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Archives for January 24, 2014

Practical ideas at Horticulture 2014

Farming and gardening enthusiasts will find an array of practical ideas at the ongoing Horticulture 2014, the garden show which will run through February 3 at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. It is under the auspices of the Philippine Horticultural Society headed by Dorie S. Bernabe.

Urban dwellers with limited space will find doable techniques in the exhibit booth of East-West Seed Company. The company has an exhibit booth where flowering plants and vegetables are grown together in one place.

  •  garden show, Horticulture 2014,   ornamentals, East-West Seed Company, Manila Bulletin

  • FLOWERS AND VEGGIES AT HORTICULTURE 2014 – Visitors at the ongoing garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle will see practical ideas they can adopt in their homes and farms. The East-West Seed Company, for instance, has an exhibit of flowers and ornamentals that could be adopted in a home garden. The flowering ornamentals are grown side by side with vegetables like tomatoes, eggplant, pechay, mustard, kangkong and others. The garden show, Horticulture 2014, started on January 24 and will run through February 3.
  • PRACTICAL TRELLIS FOR VINE VEGETABLES – Here’s a practical way of trellising your favorite vine vegetables grown in a container. The trellis is made of bamboo slats, curved into four directions at the top. This is practical for growing ampalaya, cucumber, upo, patola and other vine vegetables. The vines will be distributed into the four curved portions and the fruits could just hang under for easy harvesting. Vegetables will grow well in a container as long as they are provided with a good growing medium that is rich in organic matter, and the plant should be fertilized regularly.
  • REAL ASHITABA FOR GOOD HEALTH – What is claimed to be the real Ashitaba that is said to have rare properties for good health is displayed by Edsa Garden House at the commercial section of the ongoing garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. This belongs to the family of the celery. It is very unlike what some people are passing off as Ashitaba but which is said to be actually gyneura, a plant that is also claimed to be good for the health whether eaten fresh or cooked. Photo shows Pearl Banaag holding a pot of full-grown Ashitaba. Also available at the show are smaller propagations.
  • FIRST PRIZE IN LANDSCAPE BOOTH – The exhibit of Boyet Ganigan and Dr. James Silvestre garnered the top prize in the Landscape Booth competition at the ongoing garden show at the Tropical Garden at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. The two are the owners of Arid and Aroids which boasts of a wide collection of rare, big specimen plants from the Philippines and many countries around the world. In front of them are huge specimens of Asplenium with crisped fronds. By the way, the nursery of Arid and Aroids in Silang, Cavite, will be visited by farm tour participants on January 26.
  • MILKY MUSHROOM AT THE SHOW – Rolita ‘Baby’ Spowart points to her Milky Mushroom exhibited at the Horticulture 2014, the garden show at the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City. Milky Mushroom is a species from India which is being propagated by Baby Spowart in her laboratory in Isabela, and grown in her farms in Cavite and in Bulacan. On January 26, farm tour participants from the two-day Horticulture Conference, a highlight of Horti 2014, will visit the Merry Mushroom Farm of the Spowarts in Amadeo, Cavite.

In places where it is difficult to cultivate the soil because it may be very stony or adobe with no topsoil at all, container planting could be resorted to.

The exhibit includes vegetables that are grown in black plastic bags which are growing and fruiting very well. The vegetables include eggplant, tomatoes, different varieties of sweet and hot peppers, pechay, upland kangkong and others.

The trick in growing healthy and robust plants in containers is the provision of a planting medium that is rich in organic matter. The company uses coco peat or coir dust, carbonized rice hull, river sand and organic fertilizer.

Another doable and very practical technique that is worthwhile copying is the trellis used for vine vegetables grown in containers. At the show is a sample of the trellis consisting of bamboo slats that are curved at the top going toward four directions.

The vine vegetables suitable for such trellis include ampalaya, patola, upo, cucumber, sigarilyas, patani and others. The fruits will just hang under the canopy for easy picking.

East-West Seed is also popularizing decorative potted flowering plants as well as for use as ground cover. These include marigold, vinca, petunia, zinnia and others.

VERTICAL GARDENING  — Harbest Agribusiness of Toto Barcelona has a practical way of growing vegetables vertically. Leafy vegetables like lettuce, mustard, kangkong, pechay and others could be grown in a vertical bed consisting of two mesh wires that put in place between them the growing medium of moss and organic material. For convenient and effortless watering, the vertical beds are watered by drip irrigation.

Harbest Agribusiness, by the way, is into hybrid seeds of high-value crops, mini farm machinery, irrigation equipment and other inputs in farming and gardening.

NOTABLE WINNERS  — Visitors will also see the gorgeous plants of Boyet Ganigan and Dr. James Silvestre who own Arid and Aroids nursery. Their exhibit booth won the top prize in the landscape booth category. One can see the huge specimens of philodendrons, ferns, bromeliads and other rare ornamental plants.

The second prize winners in the landscape booth category are the tandem of Remy Rodis Santelices and Edna Felipe. Their exhibit booth also showcased a lot of beautifully grown ornamentals and orchids.

The Best-Plant-In-Show was garnered by the variegated Malapapaya or Polyscias nodosa owned by Yuyung LaO. Instead of all-green leaves, this plant has green and yellow foliage.

SENATOR VILLAR — The guest of honor in the ceremonial opening last Thursday was Sen. Cynthia Villar who heads the Committee on Agriculture and Food in the Senate. She congratulated the Philippine Horticulture Society for staging Horticulture 2014 with a focus on Tourism, Wellness and Livelihood.

She urged those engaged in horticulture to grow more vegetables for food and medicinal herbs for wellness. She recalled her visit to Ireland where she observed that a lot of the homes were producing a lot of vegetables and medicinal herbs. She was told that during the last world war, the Irish survived on the vegetables and medicinal herbs that they grew.

Although she could not do much gardening herself because of the demands of her office, she has been an active supporter of gardening, environmental protection and livelihood generation. She has supported gardening in different barangays during her incumbency in Congress.

And the Villar Foundation which she used to manage when not serving as legislator has been supportive of horticultural research. The Foundation, she said, had given a grant to the Institute of Plant Breeding in Los Baños to support the propagation of hibiscus which is an important ornamental plant for landscaping and beautification projects.

Article source: http://www.mb.com.ph/practical-ideas-at-horticulture-2014/

Katy Home and Garden Show set for this weekend

For those eager to get a head start on any home and garden expansion no matter the size, make plans to visit more than 250 exhibits featured at the Eighth Annual Katy Home and Garden Show to be held this weekend at the Merrell Center and Robinson Pavilion in Katy. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.


“Consumer interest and spending in home remodeling and DIY projects continue to rise for many reasons,” said Robyn Cade, President of RJC Productions and organizer of the Katy Home and Garden Show. “Baby boomers may now find themselves as empty nesters with disposal incomes to refurbish, redecorate and reinvest in their homes, creating beautiful living spaces which reflect their individual personalities and an emphasis on entertaining at home.”  

Additionally, low interest rates make remodeling affordable.  Some of the other reasons to consider remodeling a home include modernizing it. 

“Research shows that investing in your home pays for itself 

in the long haul, particularly with kitchen and bathroom remodels,” said Cade. 

In fact, an American Housing Survey found that adding a half-bath can increase home value 10.5 percent and a full bath contributes 20 percent to home value. Lower heating and cooling bills by replacing outdated windows and doors with energy efficient ones. 

“We’re especially excited about the range of exhibitors, demonstrations and experts who’ll be part of this year’s show,” said Cade.

Fall in love with your home all over again.  Get inspired to kick start or finalize renovation plans with the help of design and renovation experts and two buildings of one-stop shopping including: decorating, gardening, remodeling, window treatments, home theater, landscaping, kitchens baths, do-it-yourself, flooring, windows doors, siding, heating/cooling, pools, outdoor entertainment and a myriad of other home related products and services. Whether planning a major renovation or smaller home updates, you’ll be right at home at the Katy Home Garden Show with the ability to comparison shop in one convenient area.  Find out how to make “green” improvements which can reduce electrical and heating bills or creative ideas to improve your home’s curb appeal.  

For those interested in a new garden, landscaping tips or other home improvement how-to’s the Katy Home and Garden Show is brimming with ideas; experts and workshops. Foodies can get in on the fun with more than 20 food sampling booths.  

On Saturday, attendees will meet celebrity DIY TV Host, Jason Cameron, who helps bring life to dreary landscapes and or specialized man caves.

Watch him work and it quickly becomes apparent this licensed contractor really knows his stuff, especially when it comes to his own personal passions: home improvement and landscaping. Jason says he recently even gutted his own home and completely revamped the backyard. Now he’s putting his extensive hands-on expertise to work for DIY Network building, landscaping, hardscaping and more. 

Tickets are $9 for adults; $8 for seniors and $5 for military.  Kids under 12 are free. The facility charges $1 per ticket added at the time of purchase.  For ticket information, directions, parking and more visit www.katyhomeandgardenshow.com.

Article source: http://katytimes.com/news/article_2fee90a4-8385-11e3-9ff7-001a4bcf887a.html

Freeway art adds flavor and color to Bay Area highways

Those drab gray walls found along many Bay Area freeways are getting much more interesting.

Eager to win beauty points with motorists, Bay Area transportation agencies and Caltrans have stepped up efforts in the recent years to adorn new freeway walls with artistic patterns, accents and sculpted scenes of local geography.

In Mountain View, it resulted in artful egrets and San Francisco Bay marsh scenes on walls along Highway 101. Antioch has Delta wetlands depicted along Highway 4, and Livermore has grapes and vines on a Highway 84 overpass.

In Vallejo you can find sailboats decorating a retaining wall north of the Carquinez Bridge. And when the $417 million Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore opened, it featured six concrete architectural medallions of local landmarks like Mount Diablo and wild deer.

A detail of a sculpted San Francisco Bay shoreline scene with an upside down egret by Denver artist Carolyn Braaksma on a freeway wall near intersection of

They are “icing on the cake of some transportation projects that will be with us for a very long time,” said Randy Iwasaki, a former Caltrans director and now executive director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority. “Remember when you were a kid and you had a birthday cake? It was often the icing you remembered years later.”

The newest art appeared in Danville in late October when 96 oak leaves were built into a concrete retaining wall along southbound Interstate 680. Concrete was poured in molds to cast the leaves.

“We think the oak leaves provide a subtle visual accent and underscore what the town values,” said Tai Williams, Danville’s community development director. A historic oak tree, she noted, is the town logo used on town street signs, letterhead, and its website.

Freeway art isn’t new, but has gotten a boost because of new freeway projects and walls funded in part by the federal economic stimulus act of 2009 and California’s Proposition 1B bond measure in 2006.

Iwasaki said freeway art also has been helped by county congestion management agencies like his ponying up local sales tax money to help pay for projects. And they want their money to give drivers something interesting to look at.

Plus, including wall art has a practical payoff. It beautifies freeways in developed areas where there is limited space or money to install and maintain landscaping, planners say.

Not everyone is impressed with the freeway art, though. Yvonne Gilchrist of Danville said: “A concrete wall is a concrete wall and you can’t change that with a few leaves.”

But Danville resident Denny Hintz likes the leaves, and thinks they improve the drive. “I don’t see how someone can call them a waste,” he said. “I think they add beauty.”

Planners say freeway art is a minor cost.

Architectural medallions adorning the portals to the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore cost about $70,000 of the $417 million project cost, according to Caltrans. The oak leaves on I-680 in Danville cost $60,000 out of a budget of $32 million for new auxiliary lanes.

Adding art to a project is no last-minute decision.

Aware that the merging lane project was coming, Danville town officials years ago made their wishes known to Caltrans and the county transportation authority.

While Caltrans must approve freeway art, the state highway agency says it encourages local agencies and residents to present their own ideas.

“We want the locals to buy in,” said Caltrans spokesman Bob Haus. “We want to make sure there is consensus in the community, and not overwhelming opposition.”

The plan for the sailboats just north of the Carquinez Bridge came from a Caltrans landscape architect, and was vetted by local residents.

The design for the Caldecott Tunnel fourth bore medallions came from six East Bay students who won a Caltrans art competition.

The Danville oak leaves were simple enough that no outside artist was needed, but the wetland scenes along 101 in Mountain View were designed by Denver artist Carolyn Braaksma.

Braaksma has designed more than 17 public art projects, including walls on Interstate 25 near Denver and on the Pima Freeway in Arizona.

She said a Mountain View art advisory panel played a big role in shaping her project there that shows wetland birds and plants.

“These projects become landmarks for an area,” Braaksma said. “I’ve done lizards for Scottsdale, Ariz., and buffaloes and swallows for Denver. People want to something special about their area.”

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff.

Article source: http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_24984313/freeway-art-adds-flavor-and-color-bay-area

Lush gardens can add thousands to sale price

garden

A new Global Garden Report says gardens can substantially increase what buyers are prepared to pay for a property. Picture: Thinkstock


Source: HWT Image Library




A WELL-maintained garden can substantially increase what buyers are prepared to pay for a property.


Husqvarna Group’s most recent Global Garden Report, which surveyed 5000 homeowners from nine different countries, revealed it could add up to 12 per cent to an Australian property’s price.

The report also surveyed a global panel of 44 real estate agents who estimated the value increase for such a garden was about eight or nine per cent.

Place Estate Agents’ chief executive Damian Hackett said vendors who maintained their gardens could experience a five to ten per cent increase in their home’s value.

“Gardens are definitely a key factor when selling a home and are an important part of a home’s presentation,” he said.

“When people pull up to look at a property, the garden is the first thing they see.”

Dean Handsaker and Susan Jackson’s home at 12 Agnew St, Sandgate, which is on the market for $429,000, offers a prime example of a simple yet appealing garden.

With four children and a six-day working week, the couple were on a tight financial and time budget when they bought the three-bedroom home five years ago.

The house was framed only by red dirt potted with holes and a chain wire fence.

“I wanted to do things the old-fashioned way and propagate plants,” Mr Handsaker said.

“I also stayed away from expensive palm trees and stuck with mostly Australian natives and other tough survivors.

“As a result, I only spent about $200 on plants as many friends gave cuttings to me.

“Landscaping cost a little more but only amounted to about $1000.”

The result of Mr Handsaker’s labour of love are lush lawns, garden beds filled with bromeliads, cordylines and tree ferns, and a mock orange hedge concealing the chain wire fence.

“The garden has added indefinite value to the property,” Mr Handsaker said.

“It’s now a house that people will stop and look at.”

Nursery and Garden Industry Queensland (NGIQ) chief executive Donald Scotts said a stylish garden could result in a 14 per cent jump in the realisable value of a home.

“Gardens will improve a home’s aesthetics as well as its energy efficiency,” he said.

Mr Scotts said resident could pay $5000 to $6000 for a landscape designer or head to a nursery.

“Obtain good advice before planting a garden as you will need to know what plants grow best in your area,” he said.

Read more at Perth Now

Article source: http://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/property/lush-gardens-can-add-thousands-to-sale-price/story-fnkerdg1-1226809205365

PETER FISCHETTI: Class offers water-saving drought strategies – Press

The timing could not have been better. In the middle of an unprecedented heat wave and a severe drought, Corona last week hosted a class on creating water-efficient gardens.

The instructor, Paula Henson, a landscape designer who has appeared on HGTV’s “Landscaper’s Challenge,” did a good job informing and inspiring about 30 of us at the Corona Public Library.

She will repeat her free class on Saturday, Jan. 25, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the library. The event is sponsored by the city’s Department of Water and Power.

Henson began with a comment that put things in perspective: Corona should have 10 inches of rain by now. (The rainy season began July 1.) So far, we’ve had a half inch of rain, and sources such as the Colorado River are drying up.

In declaring a drought emergency last week, Gov. Jerry Brown warned that restrictions on water use may be tightened. He urged residents and businesses in the state to immediately cut water use by 20 percent.

So what are we to do? A rain dance? No, that’s silly.

Before I attended the class, I would have suggested we change our shopping habits. That’s right, instead of buying plants at 7 Oaks Nursery, let’s go to Michael’s! I actually know someone who would tape fake roses on the plants in front of her house. She’d be out pretending to trim the plants and people would drive by and compliment her on the beautiful roses.

What’s really terrible is that I didn’t think of it first.

One of Henson’s recurring themes was a strong dislike for lawns. They take a lot of water and maintenance, as we all know. But did you know that a lawn requires four feet of water a year to stay healthy, and most of us use twice that amount?

Here’s another eye-opening statistic. For those of us in single-family homes, 60 percent of the water bill is for outdoor landscaping.

But enough negativity. I took notes on ways to use less water in our garden without compromising its appearance. Nothing about Henson’s advice was earth-shattering, but all of it bears repeating.

In fact, we’ve already implemented one of her ideas. Years ago, we dug up the lawn on the side of our home and replaced it with California native plants that use very little water once established. We added plenty of bark to improve the appearance and discourage weeds, and our water bill went way down.

Yet another statistic from Henson: Native plants use 20 percent of what a lawn needs.

The day after class, I took her advice about irrigation, and checked our sprinkler lines. Three were leaking, and now they’re not. My next move was to plant some agapanthus on the same irrigation line as plants with the same watering needs.

Simple, right? Well, most of this is.

Henson is big on using rainwater as a resource. It will rain again some day, probably when the Cubs win the World Series. And when that happens, redirecting downspouts to a garden will make sense. Yet another statistic: For a house with a 1,000-square-foot roof, one inch of rain can mean 600 gallons of water for the garden.

Compost can do wonders for improving the soil, she said. And here’s great news: Just last week, the city council approved an ordinance that allows hens in Corona, and quoting Henson, “Chicken manure is a great fertilizer.”

There’s much more, and I believe it will be worth your time to attend the class on Saturday. Reservations are necessary as space is limited. Send an email to stopthedrop@discovercorona.com or call 951-736-2234. The library is at 650 South Main St.

Riverside County residents have several resources to assist in creating water-wise landscaping.

The Western Municipal Water District (www.wmwd.org) offers online tips as well as its Conservation Garden in Riverside. The Eastern Municipal Water District website (www.emwd.org) has a neat portfolio of photos showcasing residents’ water-efficient landscaping.

And the Metropolitan Water District will offer a class, similar to the one I attended, on Saturday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to noon in Temecula. Visit www.ranchowater.com to sign up.

Contact Peter Fischetti at pfischetti@pe.com.

Article source: http://www.pe.com/local-news/riverside-county/corona/corona-headlines-index/20140123-peter-fischetti-class-offers-water-saving-drought-strategies.ece

Show brings new plants, ideas for landscape

SALISBURY — Last week I went to the Green Growin Show held at the Greensboro Coliseum. The exposition provided an educational program and trade show for nurserymen, landscapers and other allied landscape professionals throughout the region. Sponsored by the North Carolina Nurserymen Association, the show also allowed those in the green industry the opportunity to share what’s “vogue” in the landscape industry.

A popular plant show nationwide, the event drew 425 vendors from 27 states, including three Canadian provinces. The more than 4,500 people who attended had a chance to visit 760 booths and displays of plant materials, shade trees, shrubs, turf and other landscape or nursery-related accessories. There was even a display of fake indoor plants.

The show featured everything from warm season turf to 4-inch caliper (trunk diameter) trees. But what seemed to be interesting were local North Carolina nurserymen traveling internationally to bring new plants of interest.

Many professionals travel the globe in search of new plant materials.

Research plantings at the JC Raulson Aboretum often feature plant materials recently collected from around the world.

Groundcovers seemed to be one of the key plants of interest. Many booths featured new types that fit well into today’s low-maintenance landscape schemes.

Plant material with unusual leaf shape, color, fruit, flower and bark interest is always appealing. Contractors appreciate the use of tough plant materials — plants that can withstand droughts, poor growing conditions and pests. Reduced irrigation and pesticide usage are benefits both homeowners and maintenance contractors seek from plant materials.

Landscaping is not limited to areas around the yard and home. Planters and containers of all shapes and sizes give sidewalks, decks and patios a splash of color. Window boxes and containers planted with both annuals and perennials add a full season of color to both outside and inside the home.

Flowering perennials, shrubs and trees providing winter interest and attracting wildlife are very popular. Gardens featuring berry-laden plants give a hint that homeowners are yearning for more outdoor activities in both summer and winter.

Contractors are seeking low-maintenance materials, However, there are still those who demand high maintenance areas. It may be a sign of environmental awareness, a fascination with backyard wildlife or a yearning to be outdoors, but the popularity of home gardening seems to be increasing.

One important note: With the upsurge in the building industry, there may be limited plant materials this spring. The nursery industry is greatly affected by supply and demand of the building industry.

It’s time to rethink azaleas and boxwoods and consider newer plant introductions. You’d be surprised at how much the nursery and landscape industry changes within a year — almost as much as in women’s fashions.

Darrell Blackwelder is county Extension director for the Rowan County Center; 704-216-8970; www.rowanextension.com


Article source: http://www.salisburypost.com/article/20140124/SP03/140129793/show-brings-new-plants-ideas-for-landscape

A few tips for gardening veggies at home

Growing vegetables successfully is easier by following a few simple steps:


Extend the harvest

Instead of planting all of a vegetable at the same time, spread out the planting time. For instance, three broccoli plants should yield enough for one person. Plants are typically ready to harvest 60 days after planting, with the harvest continuing for 40 days. This method results in a lot of broccoli in a short period of time.

Example

Set out plants at the beginning of the recommended planting time period, then set a few more plants out in the middle of the planting period and a few more at the end of the planting period. This method of spaced planting results in broccoli harvest season for 85 days, that is, 45 days more than only one planting date.

Selected vegetables

Select vegetables to grow based on your personal and family preferences. Learn the growing requirements for those vegetable plants to be healthy and grow productively. Select an area with suitable sunlight of 6 to 8 hours daily. Know the soil fertility and pH level by testing the soil. Start each crop when the temperature is suitable for planting.

Where to grow vegetables

A vegetable garden may be located at ground level with drainage ditches, ridges, and raised beds — low or up to 30-inch-high structures — or in containers of 1 to 20 gallons. Containers may be located on the ground or placed up on structures for easy access. Use a soilless mix for containers and weeds should not be a problem.

Accessible gardening

If raised beds and containers are 30 inches high, they are convenient for gardeners to stand while tending plants. If the raised beds or containers are lower, gardeners can sit on a stool, kneel on pads or easily bend over to care for the plants.

Soil temperature

Earlier this week in our vegetable garden, the soil at 4 inches deep was 50 degrees at 8 a.m. This temperature permits early planting of asparagus, beets, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, bulb onion, edible pod pea, English pea, radish, spinach and turnip.

• Write to Elmer Krehbiel, c/o Brazos County Office, Texas AM AgriLife Extension Service, 2619 Texas 21 W., Bryan, Texas 77803. Email him at gardening@theeagle.com.

Article source: http://www.theeagle.com/news/local/article_24773009-8776-520d-b7bf-2e1c7121dced.html

Pot Soil Gardening Tips

SOIL SETTING FOR POT PLANTS

Pot Filling Gardening Tips:

Pot Soil Gardening Tips

Don’t Use Garden Soil: Even if your garden soil is the best soil, do not use it in your pots. The garden soil is too heavy and dirty with eggs, bacteria, bugs etc which can kill the pot plant. Instead using potting soil which is lightweight, well aerated, sterile, and contains mineral particles like peat, sand. Potting soil doesn’t contain dirt. So, prefer that over garden soil.

Need Not Fill The Pot Completely: If you are using large container pots, you would be amazed to see the big amount of potting soil that will be required. So, it is not necessary to fill the whole container with soil. Most of the plants especially vegetable plants spread roots from 10-12 inches. So, arrange soil levels accordingly.

Drainage: make sure that the pot has proper drainage system. Insert a wick inside the pot or make a small hole so as to allow excess water to drain away from the soil. Too much water can kill the root and the plant will die gradually.

Don’t repeat The Same Soil: Soil depletes and if you think that using the same soil for growing a new plant is a great idea, then perish the thought! Moreover, soil is more prone to attracting bacteria, diseases, weeds, fungal spores etc. you can throw the old potting soil in the garden and use a fresh one for a new sapling.

Flush The Soil: The soil can be coated with salt, dirt and fertilizers. So, once in a month, flush the pot in the sink under smooth flowing water. This clears the top layer of the soil and also washes out accumulated salt, fertilizers and dirt. This helps get healthy and blossoming plants.

Try these tips to fill the pot soil in your indoor garden.

Article source: http://www.boldsky.com/home-n-garden/gardening/2014/pot-soil-gardening-tips-037500.html

Garden designer plants key ideas with schoolchildren

YOUNGSTERS will be helping to raise awareness of the plight of wildflowers with a pocket garden they will create for one of the country’s leading flower shows.

Pupils from Bainbridge Primary School, in Leyburn, are teaming up with the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust and award-winning garden designer Chris Myers to showcase the natural beauty of early-blooming wildflowers.

They will have a plot of just one square metre for the Harrogate Spring Flower Show’s pocket garden category, but dozens of native species to choose from including lords and ladies, stinking hellebore and wild daffodils.

The children will learn about the different habitats the plants grow in – from grassland and hedgerows to verges – and how they co-exist.

Between 1930 and 1980, 97 per cent of wildflower meadows were lost across England and Wales, with pressures from agriculture and development, together with neglect, continuing to impact the remaining areas.

Their decline has had a knock on for the insects, bumble bees and other pollinators that have evolved to feed from them.

A spokeswoman said: “We just thought it would be nice to focus on Spring flowers because they are overlooked and yet they are vital for extending the foraging period for insects by providing nectar early in the Springtime. Part of the project is to raise awareness of the fact lots of wildflowers are under threat.”

Mr Myers, who is an ambassador for YDMT, will help the children select the best elements and ideas to include in the final design, before offering expert advice to help the team source and nurture the plants.

The children will be sowing some of the seeds themselves and pricking out others so the plants flower in time for the April show.

He said: “We are so lucky to have the Dales as our backyard. The wildflowers found there constantly wow me and are such an important part of this stunning environment.”

YDMT’s Flowers of the Dales Festival, which includes more than 100 public events to raise awareness of the range and importance of wildflower habitats in the Dales, runs from March to November.

For a free programme call YDMT on 015242 51002 or email info@ydmt.org.

Article source: http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/garden-designer-plants-key-ideas-with-schoolchildren-1-6393087