How to Add a Dash of Style to Your Herb Container Garden

How to Add a Dash of Style to Your Herb Container Garden

A hanging basket overflowing with various herbs. If you have a paved area near your kitchen, you could grow a great variety of herbs conveniently near to hand. These could be in tubs, either in the modern types or in those of more traditional styles according to the setting. It is not essential to reserve one container for one type of plant. I would suggest that if you mix them you choose one upright type such as sage, rosemary, lovage or tarragon; one sprawler such as marjoram, thyme, mint or savory; and one temporary kind which can be raised from a pinch of seed sown among the perennials such as parsley, chervil or basil.

Chives can go with any mixture. On the other hand, and especially if you have a large patio, a few big isolated herbs could give it great style and atmosphere. For instance, giant angelica in tubs grouped in some shady spot have great beauty of form. Rosemary can be grown on a stem as a standard, like some picture book tree. These plants revel in the sun. They could tower over a mat of carpeting thyme planted below them. Lemon verbena, Lippia citviodora, is a splendid plant for a container in a protected area. Main Part If the area in which you grow herbs is also the main part of your garden, remember that they can be alternated with showy plants.

Marigolds, borage, nasturtiums and poppies will all grow in containers. Some of the potpourri plants will grow this way also, particularly the scented leaved pelargoniums. A word of caution: If you own a dog, raise the tubs on bricks if necessary so that the plants in them do not become soiled. Small Area An attractive way of growing herbs in a small area and at the same time, to restrict those with wandering roots is to make a three-tiered bed in much the same way as used for strawberries. Aluminum lawn edging would do for this, though if the bed could be made deeper the plants would do better.

Bricks or concrete blocks can also be used and peat blocks too, so long as these are kept moist. The lowest circle is left at, say, nine inches deep, then a smaller circle is placed on this in the center and an even smaller circular bed on top of this. You can go higher, of course, if you wish, though by doing this you would tend to increase the shade on one part of the pyramid. Much depends on the style of the garden and the plants you wish to grow. Obviously those plants which thrive in dry conditions will go at the top, as well as those which are taller and upright growing. It is possible to make such a bed look quite attractive because little plants like thyme and summer marjoram can scramble prettily over the edges. Touches of creative originality such as this do much to give a garden that individual and well-loved look. They help you to establish your own personal stamp upon it.…

Caring For Your Garden Pool

Caring For Your Garden Pool

A well balanced community of fish and snails and floating, oxygenating and marginal plants requires little attention to maintain it as a superb garden feature. Green soupy water a week or so after filling a new pool with tap water is due to algae feeding on the temporarily salts enriched liquid. Do not attempt to clear the water by draining and refilling. The algae will disappear when a perfect balance of fish and plants is achieved, and when the water is lightly shaded by floating plants. Blanket weed is a form of long stringy algae which can build up in the presence of sunlight. If it reaches choking proportions, remove what you can by entwining it round the working head of a rake. Use an algae killer if the water stays green, despite your efforts to cleanse it by shading it with plants.

Algimycin is an effective algicide. Use it according to manufacturer’s instructions. You will need to know the cubic capacity and number of gallons your pool holds. This is calculated simply by multiplying length by breadth by the average depth. The answer is the cu ft your pool contains. If then you multiply this number by 6(the number of gallons in a cu ft of water), you will arrive at the gallonage of your pool. Spring clean your pool by cutting off dead and yellowing leaves from water lilies and marginal plants. Replant in good heavy soil marginals and lilies that have outgrown their baskets, obviously using a larger sized container.

This is also a good time to divide large clumps of plants and either replant them, setting them elsewhere in the pool, or give them to your friends. April, May and June are the best months for this. Care During Autumn and Winter In autumn, spread a fine net over the pool surface to stop leaves falling into and fouling the water. In winter, stop ice forming over the entire surface by leaving a rubber ball in the water. It is important to keep a hole in the ice to allow gases from decomposing vegetation to escape and not build up to endanger the fish. And never break the ice by pounding it with a hammer. The shock waves set up can harm the fish. Preventing Herons and Cats From Stealing Your Garden Pool Fish If you suspect herons of taking your fish, the only cure is to stretch a net over water, and to keep it there. If the side of your pool is paved, check that the slabs are firmly fixed to their bed of mortar.

If they are loose and liable to tip forward, set them in fresh mortar when the weather is mild and not liable to be frosty. Cats have a habit of lurking beside a pool and deftly flicking fish from the water. If you discover your fish are being angled in this fashion, either use a cat repellant or plant low prickly shrubs round the edge of the pool. Water Lilies Without them, their vivid colors and exotic pad-like leaves, a garden pool would lose much of its charm. There are large, medium and small kinds for pools from 10-90cm/4-36in deep. Take your pick from the following hardy kinds. Best Water Lilies According to Pool Depth For water 10-25cm/4-10in deep, there is white pygmaea alba, pink laydekeri lilacea, red pygmaea rubra and yellow and orange pygmaea helvola.

For water from 25-40cm/10-16in deep, there is white Albatross, pink Rose Arey, red Froebeli and orange yellow flushed coppery pink Graziella. For water from 40-50cm/16-20in deep, there is white marlicea albida, pink Firecrest, red James Brydon and sulphur yellow Moorei. For water 50-90cm/20-36in deep there is white gladstoniana, pink Mrs. Richmond, red Escar-boucle and canary yellow Col. Welch. Water lilies are best planted in slatted plastic buckets of heavy soil top with stone chippings. Fish What grace and beauty they lend to the pool. How hypnotic their effortless glides among the lilies.

Goldfish, shubunkins and a green tench or two to act as scavengers, really bring the water to life. Wait a few weeks after planting the floaters and oxygenators before introducing the fish. Then they will feel at home in a pool that has had a chance to grow a little algae round the sides for them to feed upon, and to attract perhaps gnat larvae, those black wrigglers that the fish love to eat. How many fish will fit comfortably into your pool? Allow one per 30cm2/12in2 of surface area.

Feeding Tips Don’t over-feed them. In fact, there is no necessity to feed them at all, but it is nice to see them gather round to a side of the pool once a day when you bring them food, and this is a habit that both you and the fish are …

Building a Rock Garden

Building a Rock Garden

A flourishing rock garden gives tremendous interest. In nature, rock plants thrive where the soil drains sharply; where they are exposed to the full rays of the sun; where they are blanketed by snow in winter. It may not be possible to reproduce these conditions exactly, but we must do what we can. Ideally, site it away from the drips of overhanging trees and shrubs. Put it where it won’t be shaded for a large part of the day and where the soil doesn’t collect water after a heavy spell of rain.

A naturally sloping site is preferable to a level one, but a ‘table rock garden can have great charm. If the ground faces south or south-west, so much the better! A rock garden can be as large or as small as you like, but don’t make the mistake of building it with very small pieces of rock. These look absurd and do not give the impression of arising from a solid base. Let’s imagine we are constructing one in a sunny part of the garden, sloping down to the lawn. Start by outlining the area with string and canes.

If the soil needs draining, remove the top layer and put it on one side for later use, then replace the sticky, badly drained subsoil by a 38cm/15in layer of broken rubble or some other material. Cover the rubble with a single layer of turves, grass side downwards, to stop the soil that you add later from washing through into the drainage material. Make sure the rock garden is not overshadowed by more dominant features such as a shrub border, garden shed or rose arbour it must command attention! Construction It’s tremendous fun recreating in miniature a mountain valley, an upthrusting spur, a winding, tubling stream, an alpine lawn, a flower-decked ravine. But whatever you decide to tackle, it must look right.

Lumps of stone placed haphazardly look hideous. If possible, use locally quarried stone. It not only looks more natural but is a lot cheaper than stone which has to be dug a long distance away. Sandstone and limestone mellow quickly and look well. Granite, being very hard, retains a raw harsh look for many years. If possible, preshape the rock garden first. Mould the pockets (tiers), spurs, valleys and scarp faces with soil before you lay a single rock. Then you’ll have a good idea what the end result will be. If you’ve never laid rocks before, and cannot conceive what that heap of stone will look like, make a model of the garden in bits of polystyrene.

Glue the pieces together and the effect is realistic. Some rocks can weigh a hundredweight or more, so get a friend to help you maneuver them into position. Tool? You will need a spade, fork and a rammer made from a bulk of wood 10cm/4in square 150cm/5ft handle. Start at the foot of the rock garden. Place a shapely stone in position. This key stone should be tilted backwards slightly. Then it will resemble a rocky outcrop. Sink it one third deep in the soil and ram more soil round so it doesn’t wobble. It must be ‘rock firm.

Then continue with loop or L-shaped tiers of rock, each one slightly higher than the one before. If you’re uncertain how to achieve this, take a look at a rock garden at a botanic garden or, if you live in a hilly or mountainous district, at a naturally eroded bit of mountainside. You will soon see how to achieve a realistic setting. Each rock has lines running through it the strata. Make sure that you align the strata; don’t have some rocks with their strata running horizontally, others vertically. In nature, the strata of an outcrop are always consistent. When all the rocks have been placed, well rammed into position, and all sloping backwards slightly so that rain washes the soil back into the pockets rather than away from them, leave the soil and rocks to settle for a fortnight or so before planting. Planting

You will have chosen dwarf shrubs to punctuate the rock garden; cascaders such as alyssum, aubrietias and saponaria to flow over the outcrops; cushion saxifrages and others to contrast with the trailer and grow over the flat tops of rocks; and some bulbs such as cyclamen to grow up through the carpenters. Start by planting the shrubs. Set dwarf conifers at the base of large rocks and umbrella, or mushroom forms to spread over higher promontories. Rosette forming ramondas and lewisias hate getting their leaves wet, so plant them with their roots tucked into a vertical fissure.

No matter what you plant, so make sure that the roots are well spread out and covered with a good depth of soil. Watering In their natural state, …

Looking For landscaping Calgary Help

Looking For landscaping Calgary Help

landscaping-calgaryWhenever it comes to finding some landscaping Calgary help, you can always look around and be able to find a service that is willing to do the work for you. When you are considering landscaping Calgary options, it is important to take the time to look for someone who is going to be able to meet your needs for you as far as your landscaping needs go. Why bother trying to struggle with the task on your own? Did you know that there is skilled help out there that can get the job done for you? There are many options available in the market as far as landscaping Calgary options go, so whenever it comes to refreshing a property space and looking at some landscaping options, why not take the time to look around for a skilled and professional service who can get the job done right.

From small jobs to very large scale projects, there are a number of different things that can be done as far as landscaping goes. When it comes time to getting the space refreshed and going with a new look, it will always be a better option to go with a skilled service in landscaping. That way they will have the right tools and resources that are needed in order to do the job right. When it is time to change the space and add something new, skilled landscapers are the way to go. For landscaping Calgary options there are a variety to go with and look at so there will not be any difficulty in finding one that will be able to handle the task that needs to be completed. It is only a matter of finding one and letting them know that their services are required. Going with skilled help is the best way to make sure that you get everything that you need, and that you are going to get someone that you can trust. Going with some landscaping help can create a brand new look with a space and it can do a lot in the way of helping the space to feel new and different. If you have been waiting for your space to work a certain way for you, then why not consider going to a landscaping expert who can handle the project. Get your property space restored with the skilled help of someone who knows what they are doing as far as landscaping goes. Then you can choose something for your space that will improve it and overall leave you more satisfied with your property.…

6 Low-Care Plants for Your Garden

6 Low-Care Plants for Your Garden

Developing a plant section is essential to having a garden that is low in maintenance. Some people think that plants just grow if you leave them in the garden, but this is wrong. There are plants that need to be fertilized, paved and mowed regularly like lawns.

If you want to choose low maintenance plants for the garden that you want to make, you need to ask people who are knowledgeable in this field to give you advice. Low maintenance plants will still depend on the climate and soil in your area, so it will still differ from place to place. This article aims to give you an idea about the top 6 low maintenance plants that you can choose for your garden.


This is a plant that is easy to take care of and is usually found in Australia. The Lomandra has strap like leaves that are narrow and has creamy flowers that grows on stems that are spiny. It grows up to 3 feet high and requires almost no maintenance once you get it growing. The new variety of Lomandra is called Tanika and it usually grows on any type of weather and can withstand heavy winter seasons. It remains green all throughout the year and are suited to all types of soil.


This is a very attractive plant with glossy leaves and beautiful pink, red and white flowers growing from the stems. Because they are very gorgeous, people think that they are high maintenance plants. The truth about Camellias is that once they are already established, they will continue to bloom for many years.

Nandina Domestica

Nandina, as others call it, is evergreen in color and is a standing shrub with bamboo stems. It has a beautiful flora and usually have while flowers with red berries growing on it. These plants are mostly found in most places in Australia and is very tough to kill because it does not need much care to grow. These plants that boast a bamboo looking foliage can change its colors to orange and scarlet tones when as the cooler parts of the year approaches.

New Zealand flax

This plant has long leaves that are shaped like swords which differ in color according to their variety. Most of the varieties of New Zealand flax are tough and can go through winter season or any other harsh climates.

Bird of paradise plant

This is yet another tough plant much like the New Zealand flax. Strelitzia as it sometimes called, has green-grey leaves that are shaped just like spoons. It also has elegant orange and blue flowers that are pleasing to the eyes and are the reason why they are called Bird of Paradise.


This is the best out of all the tough plants and are mostly found in Mediterranean regions. There are many varieties of this plant and the flowers can range from white to light pink to red. They can grow in sandy, salty, dry soil and will live through drought. The parts of the oleander, however, are told to have poison in them.