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Monthly Archives: October 2016

Ideas to create a Flower Garden

Deciding the Layout of the Garden
Draw a top angle layout of the space you will be using for the garden, on the layout mark out the space for lawn, your residence, unmovable trees, and other objects. This way you will know how much area you need to work on. If you wish to be precise in your flower garden landscaping ideas, you can measure the free area in square feet and write it down on the layout.

Make few photocopies of this layout to try out different combinations. On different copies plan out the placement of different flower bushes, bushes for fencing, stand alone flower or trees, and hardscape elements like fencing, walkways, benches, etc. This way you can have a well-planned design for large or small flower garden. Show the copies to experienced gardeners to get a second opinion and then decide on a final copy.

Adding Fencing and Other Elements
Before you start with any softscape elements to your flower garden like flowering shrubs or bushes, plant the hardscape material. This includes structural material like fences, walls, pavings, walkways, benches, an outdoor sitting area, etc.

Stick to the above layout plan to install the hardscape elements. There are a variety of choices of the hardscape materials, like you can go for a brick, stone, or a concrete wall for a sidewalk, and metal wrought iron fencing or traditional white wooden fencing. You can also add some decorative hardscape materials like a water fountain or a garden pond.

Choosing the Flowering Plants
Always try to go for native flowering plants, as they have already adapted to the soil and weather conditions and are easier to grow. Avoid too many colors of plants, as this might spoil the look. Select flowering plants which look good and inviting and have flower colors which are not very vibrant. Choose plants which you can plant in sunny sites and plants which require shade or partial sun.

Select half the plants which bloom with flowers in summer and the rest that bloom with flowers during fall. This way you can enjoy having flowers in your flower garden year round. For ground cover, consider a lawn or plant small plants which grow evenly for a height of 1 foot. Consider the individual soil, watering, space, pruning, mulching, and fertilizer requirement of the plants well to plant and care for your flowering plants.

Way to Make a Flower Bed

Choose the Spot
As you may have easily guessed, the first step in making your flower bed is deciding where you want it to be. For this, you need to take a good look around the exterior of your house. There are some important things that you need to consider before you decide on a spot. For instance, how much sunlight the place gets. You may already have an idea of what kind of flowers you want in your flower bed. So, you need to keep their sun and shade requirements in mind while choosing a spot for your flower bed. Also, you may want to check how visible the spot is from inside the house as well as from the gate or driveway. There’s no point in having a lower bed in some obscure corner of your backyard, which can be viewed only if you step into the yard. You’re going to a lot of trouble to make the flower bed. Might as well have it clearly visible! Once you’ve picked out the area where you want it in, you can mark it out using either a stone border, sand or have a small fence fixed around it.

Get Digging
After you’ve decided your location for the flower bed and have bordered it, you have to dig the area up. First, make sure that you remove all the grass, dirt, garbage (if any) and weeds that are present in the area. Use a shovel to dig up every inch of the intended flower bed and make the soil loose and free. You’ll come across clumps and stones for sure. Throw away the stones, and break up the clumps. If the soil seems too hard, you may want to wet it a bit and get the work done a little faster and with less effort. Once all the soil is dug up and loosened, use a rake and smoothen it out completely.

Gauge the Soil
Now, after you’ve made the bed area ready, you need to take a look at the soil to gauge how favorable it will be for the kind of flowers you want to grow. Take a sample of your soil and get it tested for its pH level and the content of other nutrients. You can get this done by using a soil testing probe that may be available at your local nursery. It will tell you what kind of soil you have. Using these results and the soil requirement information of the flowers that you intend to plant, you can compare and make the necessary amendments in the soil to suit the flowers you want to plant. (Note that you may not always have to make changes to your soil.)

Plant ’em In: After you have given the necessary treatment to the soil in the bed, and it has been absorbed by the soil, your bed is ready to be planted! Get the saplings or seeds out and begin planting them. You should have an idea of what you want the final result to look like. This will help you in planning the design of the flower bed. Generally, tall plants are planted in the background and short ones in the foreground to give it more visual appeal. However, you can try out new things like having a circular bed with tall plants forming the center and the shorter ones surrounding the tall ones. Or, you can also incorporate vines on trellises surrounding the bed, to give it an enclosed appearance from above. Whatever your choice is, make sure all the plants and flowers are clearly visible once they bloom.

Take Care: After you’ve planted them, all you have to do is wait and watch your flower bed come to life with its vibrant colors! You need to pay attention to the watering requirements of the plants. Also, if they need partial sun and shade, you can have a retractable shed above the bed (or simply have a green garden net hanging over it when it’s sunny). Mulching helps plants grow faster and healthier. So, you may want to try that out too!

Flower Bed Border

Flower bed borders give flower beds the perfect polished look, that any gardener aims for. They add to a garden’s style and landscaping. Flower bed edging not only provides the flower beds with good visual appeal, but they also provide for easy maintenance and the cutting down of mowing time. Flower bed edging also keeps grass from occupying the flower garden soil. Flower bed edging ideas know no boundaries and can be as innovative and funky as your imagination lets them be. Yet, I present some popular landscaping ideas for your flower beds, in the paragraphs given below. These landscaping ideas are fairly simple and even an amateur gardener can successfully experiment with them.

The most obvious and also the most traditional way of edging your flower beds, is by using plants. These plants can be flowering plants, perennial herbs, shrubs or even small trees. Plant borders should be large enough to catch the eye, yet small enough to not require heavy maintenance. While wide plant borders look good with flower beds with tall flowering, layering and variations in their shapes give the garden a nice overall look. Plant flower bed borders with tall foliage, also provide for privacy and can be used near garden benches. Asters, geraniums, chrysanthemums, day lilies, tulips and other flowers make for bright flower bed edging material. Herbs like sage, keep the cats away from your flowers and give the perfect hedge-like flowerbed borders. While mixed herbs and shrubs look good as borders, climbing vegetation like clematis and ivy also give a good feel.

Mowing strips are the ultimate solutions for all those who have less time to spend on gardening. Mowing strips are flat surfaces surrounding the flower beds, that make mowing and maintaining the bed and lawn easier. Brick mowing strips can be made by almost fully burying the bricks, just outside the flower bed. Only one side of the bricks should be showing outside, and all the bricks should be aligned properly with no spaces in between. Brick paver edging strips can be used to hold all the bricks in shape.

If you do not wish to do any extra work and yet require an effective flower bed border, rock linings are your sure answers. Lining the flower beds with rocks and boulders, in natural shapes and sizes, can actually do the trick for you. It does not require any laying and just needs someone to arrange the rocks in the required stylized shapes. Rock linings look natural and classic when the flowers in the garden are bright and tall. There is a great opportunity for creativity when working with rocks, as one can easily mix and match the sizes and shapes to create patterns like waves, loops and scallops.

Are you eccentric enough to think differently? Try the recycled bottle edging. Collect bottles, of preferably the same sizes and shapes. Bury them either neck down or bottom down (as you like), consistently, throughout the flower bed perimeter. You’d be amazed at how beautiful this seemingly nonsensical idea looks, once the whole perimeter is completely lined. Similar things can be tried with large seashells. Try scallops or shells, the outcome is sure to be interesting and different. Don’t lay constraints on your imagination. Try out new eccentric ideas on a small patch, carry them on to your garden only when the testing result is appealing. Try colored pebbles, I am sure they’d look good too.

Cobblestones remind me of old castles. They remind me of horse hoofs making clocking sound on old cobbled roads. Nostalgia aside, cobblestones give a very rugged look to the flower bed edging. They look classy and are easier to keep clean as well. Flowerbed edgings with cobblestones, are very popular, as they require no extra gardening skills like the plant edgings do. The only drawback is that they are very difficult to lay down.

Terracotta tiles (that come in different colors) can be cut in different decorative shapes and sizes. These are then partially buried near the end of the flower bed to form your perfect flower bed landscaping idea. Terracotta tiles cut down on edging and trimming chores, provide an artistic opportunity and look extremely decorative in your flower garden. Let your imagination run loose and come up with new and innovative designs for using them. Then, even plain old terracotta will make your garden look surreal, right out of a fairy tale.

The raw material for this type of edging is mainly bricks. Even old mismatched bricks can be used to look really nice if arranged well, leaning in one direction, to give a domino effect. Though red bricks give a classic effect, even colored ones can be used to customize your flower bed edging. The best advantage of this type of edging is that it is very good to let off the excess water in the flower bed, and it is very easy to lay down as well.

Cast concrete edgings give a very neat and clean look to the flowerbed, and this can be seen in the photo given at the top of the article. Not only do they give the flower bed a more professional look, the raised concrete edging platforms provide for good water vents for raised flower beds. Concrete edgings are difficult and messy to construct, but the task can be made a whole lot easier if an expert is hired to make them. They can be made in various shapes and sizes, customized to suit your flower garden.

The space between the lawn and the flowerbed can be impeccably separated using a flagstone or bluestone stacking. Not only are they a secure form of edging, but they also provide an English country feel to your flower garden. Since the flagstone rocks are aligned loosely, they provide for water let outs as well. Flagstone linings make mowing easier.
There are many more flower bed edging ideas that you can try in order to adorn your garden as well as the exteriors of your house. Make your flower bed the most talked of gossip in your neighborhood. The above mentioned ideas, can materialize in some admirable flower bed borders that complement your flower bed design. Do try them, they do not require as much effort as you think. More importantly, just imagine how jealous your next door neighbor will be, when she actually spends twice as much time in her flower garden, yet yours is the more enviably talked about one.

Ways to use Silk Flowers

No one can stay away from admiring the beauty of flowers. And that is why we all love to add that floral touch everywhere, from our tabletops to our clothing and everything in between! But one sad truth about flowers is that they wilt. We can’t keep them forever fresh no matter how dedicatedly we try to preserve them or grow them. So, if you happen to love a particular arrangement or a single bud, the only way to keep it with you is in your memory or perhaps, captured in a photograph. With silk flowers, on the other hand, none of it happens!

Crafted to mimic the look and feel of real flowers, the ones in silk can be cleaned and kept for as long as you want. There is no need to water them, no need to protect them from pests and no worries about them fading away in just a few days. You can buy them at your favorite store or order silk flowers online for extra convenience. The way you use it can be exactly the way you would use natural flowers. For example:

1. Use them as accessories

Floral jewelry made of silk can be a statement piece for everyday wear or a more elaborate jewelry for special occasions. You can even get custom made floral lapel pins and men’s buttonholes for weddings and anniversaries. Another great way to use these silk flower accessories is to get them made into bouquets and bunches for brides and bridesmaids! Considering that they are firmly glued on to their base, you don’t even have to stress over the way they might fall off or be blown away by the wind.

2. Use them as decoration

Silk flower arrangements are an ideal alternative to real flowers that you place in vases only to throw them away once they lose their freshness. These flower arrangements can lift the very mood of an interior space or add a new charm to an event setup. Depending on your requirement, you can get them all customized into the right type and size, choosing the colors that go well with the rest of the decor. And once an event is over, you can either reuse the arrangements the way they are or repurpose them for crafts, accessories and other creative ideas that you have always wanted to try out for yourself. Looks like you wouldn’t be harming the environment either.