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Common Orchid Plants Grown in the HomeThere are more than 25,000 different species making the orchid plant one of the most diverse in the plant family. Below are some of the common ones grown in a home environment

Phalaenopsis (fal-en-OP-sis)

This is probably the easiest orchid to grow for beginners and would be the most popular. This orchid is often referred to as a "Moth Orchid". These can be grown under fluorescent lights; they can burn quickly if left in direct sunlight. Re-potting only needs to happen every 2-3 years. With showy colours of red, purple, white, yellow, pinks and spotted harlequins, this type of orchid is sure to please. A happy mature orchid can stay in bloom for most of the year.

Cattleya (CAT-lay-ah)

This is another good choice for those starting out growing orchids. They are a perfect selection for those who live a busy lifestyle and sometimes forget to water their plants. These produce lovely fragrant flowers that come in orange, purple, pink, red white and yellow. Re-potting only need to happen every 2-3 years.

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All About CompostingWhat should you compost?

It's recommended to compost vegetable waste, shells, flowers, fruits, tea leaves, droppings of household animals, leaves, small branches. It's not recommended to compost weeds with seeds still in them. Once this kind of compost is distributed in soil, it becomes polluted. You can't compost carcass meat, pieces of meat and fish, boiled vegetables. This kind of waste attracts rats and smells terribly.

When should you begin to compost?

It's best to begin in the spring or at the end of the summer - August and September due to the good weather conditions and dry soil.

Where should you compost?

It's recommended to compost in special containers or on specially prepared places on the ground. Using containers is more convenient since it takes less space and the right temperature rises much sooner. Containers provide faster maturity of the compost, and it's easier to sustain humidity. On top of that, it's easier to maintain and take care of the compost this way.

How should you compost?

The two most important things

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Artificial GrassArtificial grass is considered one of the best options when you are considering of giving your garden a makeover. Whether you are thinking to use it for your personal space or for huge commercial parks, these fake grasses will always stand up to your expectations.

There are many reasons why people have started considering fake turfs instead of natural grass like maintenance cost, eco-friendliness, durability factor any many more.

Artificial Grass is an exact replica of natural grass

The ultimate reason of having a lush green garden is that it pleases our senses. The aesthetic beauty of garden has an appealing grandeur which is beyond words to explain. Both these factors are fulfilled when you opt for fake grass for gardens.

Cost Effective as Maintenance Cost is Next to Nil

One of the biggest headaches when you have a garden is its maintenance. You have to spend heavy bucks to maintain it. Buying lawn mowers to keep a check on the grass and regular watering to keep it lush green can sometimes impact your budget. But when you opt for artificial grass, then you

The gardener should educate himself about gardening. Nature is always mysterious to mankind. It has great impact on the garden. A little idea of nature helps a lot in gardening. Some factors which play vital roles in gardening are soil, environment (including climate and weather), types of plants etc. These all are integral parts of nature. Apart from these, choice of plants, pots and containers along with other gardening tools have impact on a garden.

• Soil

A good soil is the key to a healthy and beautiful garden. Soil of a garden is expected to be fertile. Before starting gardening, the type of the soil should be examined. A gardener should grow plants which are suitable for the soil of his garden. The quality of soil can be further improved by adding compost or manure in every year. In the case of flower and vegetable, soil quality is really important. Therefore compost must be added in such cases. If the soil pH is much acidic, some lime can be added into the soil to maintain a balanced pH level. Soil pH level should be kept from 5 to 8. This is not so acidic or

Summer is almost upon us. May is when to plant vegetables and flowers so they are well established before summer heat takes hold.

Plant California Natives: Drought-tolerant plants will save water, but drought-tolerant California native plants will do even more-they attract beneficial insects and birds that lead to a healthier garden. Here are some flowering natives to consider: California yarrow, California mountain lilac, Channel Island bush poppy, lupine, purple sage and manzanita.

Aerate and Dethatch Lawns: Aerate and dethatch lawns so water has an easier path to penetrate to the roots. Aeration also helps reduce water runoff. Thatch is made of organic materials such as dead grass and grass roots. If not removed, it inhibits healthy grass growth. Once the lawn is aerated and dethatched, apply a light layer of lawn top dressing to keep in moisture.

Thin Out Fruit Trees: During May, fruit trees are often loaded with an abundance of small fruit. Some of the immature fruit will fall off naturally. If there still appears to be too much, remove smaller or discolored fruit by hand. By doing so, stronger fruit will grow larger and tastier.

Keep Fungus From Forming on Plants:

Summer can be one of the toughest times of the year for lawns, especially when we live in one of the warmer climates. While Summer is a time of thriving for many lawns, likewise it is also a time for less well looked after turf to suffer many different problems that can lead to stress and poor health. With a few simple lawn care practices we should be able to greatly improve all lawns as they navigate their way through the warmest months of the year.

Best Practice Lawn Watering

Watering is of course the most important aspect of turf health in Summer. Correct lawn watering practices will enable a lawn to send down roots much deeper into the soil profile, past the evaporation level of the very top of the soil, which as a result will make our turf more heat and drought tolerant.

We can slowly train our turf to create a deep root system by only ever watering the lawn once it's showing signs of leaf wilt, and then giving the lawn a deep drink of water at that time. This is an easy method to grow a deep root system for

Gardening is a hobby that calls for special techniques and skills. Being equipped with this arsenal of skills and techniques is vital to maintain a green garden, healthy, especially through summer - the hottest and driest season of the year. As the temperature rises before and through summer, cleaning the garden will help to ensure you have a beautifully maintained garden.

Before the summer season arrives, you need to give the garden a complete clean. One way to do this is by removing debris, such as dead leaves and twigs, in addition to any rubbish. Weeding the garden would be recommended as well, as it eliminates the requirement for plants to compete for water during summer time.

Infected plants have the potential of spreading illnesses to other plants and the warm summer temperatures would be just right for diseases to spread. That is why, it is vital to discard all infected plants if there are any around the garden.

When to start

The best time one should start cleaning one's garden in preparation for summer is a week or two before the summer season. This will give sufficient time for all issues in the

Referred to by the Native Americans as 'Sassamanesh', 'ibimi' or 'ataqua', the cranberry derived its name from the German and Dutch settlers who noted the similarity of the flower structure to that of the crane, a bird they were familiar with from their native lands. As the new name for the fruit, crane-berry, was popularised by missionaries from the mid 1600s, the traditional uses of the plant were celebrated. Variously employed as a juice, fresh fruit, fabric dye, poultice for drawing out poison and medicinal plant, the most popular culinary use was as Pemmican, a preserved sweet meat made from crushed cranberry and deer meats.

Related to our native bilberry, the cranberry is a stoloniferous evergreen of enviably robust constitution, preferring acidic loam soils that retain moisture throughout the year. Contrary to popular belief, cranberries do not grow in water. They are grown on sandy bogs or marshes and because the little fruits float, some bogs are flooded when the berries are ready for harvesting.

Cultivating cranberries in the garden is remarkably straight forward, in the open sunny locations either in the ground or in containers, but crops are most successful when a special planting pit

Truthfully, growing orchids can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Most people get intimidated by them, thinking that is too difficult to care for them, but in reality is the complete opposite. To help you, I will share with you some tips that I have used in my own garden when growing and maintaining orchids that will have them lasting for years. First, let's talk about what you need to do. In order to be successful in their development, you will need the following:

1 - Light

Most orchids need little or no direct sunlight. In doors, you should look for a location near windows. Outdoors, it is important to keep them in the shade. Good light conditions are essential to stimulate flowering and growth.

2 - Water

Water, in addition to the light, is an extremely important element when caring for orchids. Try to use soft water when watering your orchids, such as bottled water, running water, or rainwater. Avoid water saturation of the roots. Good drainage is crucial to their growth. They need a light and porous soil to prevent compaction of the substrate. It is optimal to let the soil

With rainfall totals below average in southern California, April is the time to plant smart while saving water in spring and summer.

Add Mulch To Reduce Water Usage: The cost of water is on the rise and watering restrictions are still in place. Adding mulch to your yard can mean significant water savings. Depending on weather conditions, mulch can extend the period between watering by one to two days. Mulch holds in moisture, prevents erosion and keeps the soil cool. Till older mulch into the soil and add another two to three inches of new mulch around plants, shrubs and trees.

Plant Drought Tolerant Herbs: Some types of herbs do very well with little water. Herbs that thrive in dry conditions include sage, rosemary, lavender, oregano and thyme. All these herbs come from the Mediterranean region. Once their roots are established during the first growing season, they require minimal watering and love full sun.

Add Water-Saving Compost to Lawns: New lawn-related products on the market contain biochar, which enable more time between lawn waterings. Biochar is a naturally-produced soil amendment. Its tiny pores retain water, much like a sponge. Biochar also contains nutrients to help

Cook up something great - herbs every gourmet needs

Why look any farther for fresh flavors than your very own garden? A culinary garden can be the ultimate inspiration for budding cooks and gourmet chefs alike. Like any recipe, start your kitchen garden with the basics. Think light, placement, planning. Place plants of similar size and water needs together, for example. You wouldn't want your woody rosemary to crowd out your herbaceous chives. More tips to get you cooking...

5 Cardinal Rules of Culinary Gardens

Location, location, location: Close to the kitchen, not to close for aesthetics. You want your culinary garden to be close enough to cut quickly. But remember, you'll be cutting your herbs often, so the plants might not be the prettiest. If it will bother you to have cut-back plants as your first view out the door, rethink placement.

Shoot for the sun: By and large, herbs hanker for the sun. Choosing a sunny locale gives you the best chance for overall success with your culinary garden. Added to that, they just taste better, with more nutrients and richer colors that add up to better flavor.

Flowers begone!: When

Lapageria is a monotypic genus meaning there is only one unique species of this fantastic plant.

The National Flower of Chile it is known to festoon the trees, shrubs and natural areas in Chile making a spectacular sight.

It has been called the "aristocrat of climbers", one of the "greater glories' of climbers and one of the most beautiful of all flowering climbers. Certainly plant collectors and horticulturists want to obtain and grow this plant, not just one but as many as possible.

As an aristocrat it is fitting it was named after Empress Josephine de la Pagerie of France and was pursued by Napoleon and married him. She was a keen gardener particularly with roses.

Interestingly Lapageria belongs to the family Philesiaceae which includes only two genera Lapageria and Philesia making it a member of one of the smallest flowering plant families. It was introduced into cultivation in Europe at Kew Gardens in 1874.

To grow this plant well one needs to understand what conditions it likes best and how it grows in its native habitat.

Strong, wiry, slender, twinning stems grow from underground rootstock and these stems may reach 5

It's not surprising that many people are opting to grow their own vegetables, especially since the food prices continue to rise. Many gardeners find themselves planting and tending to various plants and flowers, so why not add vegetable plants also. There are quite a few vegetables that you can grow in your own garden. Of course, you need to consider your climate when you choose particular vegetables.

Firstly, you need to designate a certain section of your garden as a vegetable patch. Create a pathway with cobblestones that leads you to the vegetable patch. You can build a low brick wall around the vegetable patch and add some cladding to the wall to give it a modern appearance. Within this section, check the soil and dig to loosen it. Then remove all the weeds before you plant anything. You may need to get a quality soil and fertilizer.

Once your vegetable patch is ready, you can go to your local garden centre to get a few vegetable seeds or young plants. Be sure to keep your climate, and the season, in mind when you choose the vegetables that you want to plant in your garden.

We all find ourselves busy and worn out because our lives are packed with so many tasks. Quite often we forget to go to the grocery store after a long day of work to get herbs for a meal. I find myself getting home after work and realising that I didn't get basil for the pasta dish we planned to cook. That's when I decided to grow my own herb garden in the back yard.

My garden was already decorated and complete with a braai area. I have flagstone walkways with grass alongside them, along the walls of my fence I have rose bushes, and the braai area is paved with cladding. So I had decided to allocate a small section of about half a metre by two metres nearest to my kitchen's back door. This section runs along the wall of my house. It doesn't get too much direct sunlight during the day, because I didn't want the herbs to be exposed to direct sunlight all day long. I placed one layer of bricks to partition this area. Then I added copings along the edge of the bricks to give it a rounded and neat appearance.

In order to attract butterflies to your garden, you need to know exactly what they look for nectar. Plant annual blooming plants amongst your perennial blooming plants to ensure continuous nectar throughout the year. Asters and Parsley are two of the perennials that provide food for the larval hosts. Remember that the more food you provide, the more species of butterfly that you will attract. Plant a garden that will provide continuous bloom as butterflies are active from spring to fall.

Additionally, they like sunny open spaces, shelter from the wind, and freshwater. Specifically, they look for host plants to lay their eggs. Herbs are very attractive to butterflies because they provide a great environment for their eggs.

The following are some of many flowering plants that are attractive to butterflies:

Lilac: comes in seven different colors, but most of us are familiar with the lilac color. They are perfect for your garden due to their pleasant fragrance. Most lilacs which bloom in the northern states for 2 weeks in late may. They also bloom in early- mid- and late season. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet. They need full sun exposure.

Your dwelling place does not have to end within the confines of your home but it can go beyond that, into the outside. Taking your home and sanctuary outdoors can provide your own personal relaxation spot. Gardening has always been one of my passions and giving color with variations of flowers has always made a great place of serenity. However, when I began adding special tweaks of garden gnomes and fountains plus decor, it heightened that relaxation environment times ten.

I enjoy the personalities of garden gnomes and all of the attention my garden receive when friends, family and bystanders give as they try to decipher what my gnomes are doing and what I was thinking. My gnome is sitting on his toilet reading the newspaper while others poses to smell the roses. The ones that draw the birds in to feed from their bowls, it's amazing how you notice all the little creatures, the sounds and lifestyles from this scenery. Most will always give a positive feedback as I enjoy the peaceful environment I have created.

If there is ever a question of why I have a positive outlook on life it is because of

For most of us, gardening is a hobby and something that we like performing either for leisure or to keep our homes looking beautiful for ours as well as the lookers' eyes. It involves taking proper care of the lawn by mowing it well, clearing of the weeds from the flower beds, brushing aside fallen leaves and twigs from the trees and plants that are a part of our garden. You cannot deny the fact that apart from emitting residential garbage from our kitchen, our garden too comes up with necessary waste that is not required anymore such as dried leaves or cut grass.

The effects of green waste on our environment

Quite often, you would notice that there are people dispose these green wastes from our gardens into the neighbourhood garbage bins. These bins collect almost all possible garbage right from the recyclable ones to those that aren't recyclable. Often, these end up in garbage dumps and thus adding to the landfill and creating soil, water and air pollution and disturbing the environment. To help you with sorting out the guilt of being a bad contributor to the environment with improper garbage disposal, you could

Everybody hopes for an amazing garden for spending time with family and friends. Nevertheless, garden maintenance takes a lot of time, skills and attention. If you can't do it alone, you can always book gardening services.

Step-by-step to excellence

It's better to make a plan and a list of services that a home owner might have to do for their garden.

- General maintenance

Clearance of lawn, leaves and hedge cutting (including elimination of weeds and re-turf), clearing of patio or driveway are a number of the main things. Lots of families hire skilled lawn experts who have the right equipment for commercial and residential work. The hedge needs lots of attention. It could grow onto the pavement, lose its shape and obscure the windows.

- Mowing

Grass cutting and lawn moving are general services used for industrial estates, hotels, domestic gardens of various sizes, communal areas and schools. The services might be rendered on a consistent basis so that the grass area would look tidy and neat all the time. Lawn maintenance furthermore supposes over aeration and seeding.

- Cutting of hedge

Figured trees, bushes and hedges make any

Everyone who's seen a Japanese garden would like to emulate the feeling of calm and relaxation it brings into their own homes. After all of these gardens are created to invoke meditation and reflection, and are meant to be havens of Zen.

If you're looking for a place to unwind in the comfort of your own home, it is a perfectly good idea to create a Japanese garden in your backyard. Here are some tips to help you design your own garden:

1. Consider creating a rock garden

Designed to portray a scene of mountains and rivers, a rock garden makes use of different sizes of rocks and sand. Sand gravel is meticulously arranged to symbolize water, while rocks layered on sand symbolize mountains.

2. Make use of moss

As moss thrives in Japan's humid and rainy climate, it doesn't need much rain to flourish. This easily makes it a key component of Japanese gardens.

3. Invoke zen

The main purpose of a Japanese garden is to invite calmness and meditation. Whether that means creating a pond, a rock or a moss garden, the goal is for you to recreate the

What kind of sod should you pick for your yard?

One of the most important factors to consider is the climate of where you live. The two main categories are cool season grasses and warm season grasses. One must also consider the function of the grass; will it have a lot of foot traffic? Will it be in sunlight or shade? What kind of soil do you have? How much grass do you need? All of these things must be accounted for when picking your grass.

Cool Season Grasses

If you live in a region with cold winters and hot summers and has regular periods of rain. Three of the most common cool season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, Ryegrass, and Bentgrass.These grasses can go dormant during times of droughts and experience two periods of shoot growth annually, once in mid-spring and again in early fall.

Warm Season Grasses

If you live in the hot and humid climates found in places like the southern United States, one should choose warm season grasses. Warm season grasses only have a single expanded shoot growth during the summer. Many kinds of warm season grasses require special care