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Archives for July 25, 2014

Gardening tips for late summer

In August flower gardeners reap rewards from the hard work they did in spring and can relax knowing that most of the ornamental garden work can be left until weather cools in September.

Even dead-heading flowers is an option. People who want a second crop of shrub and perennial flowers will get busy shearing back roses, buddleia, phloxes, lavenders, globe thistles, anchusa, penstemons, yarrows and toadflaxes But people who hope for rose hips or seed for future planting don’t even have to do that.

In August petunias often start to grow long and lanky. It’s fine to shorten them. They’ll be pathetic stumps at first, but before long they’ll be shooting back, budding and flowering.

Soon Autumn crocus (Colchicum) bulbs will be in nurseries. These aren’t cheap, but they’re such good value because they’re pest-free and spread and flower reliably in sun with very large pink-purple crocus-type blooms.

Gardeners who keep their garden mulched can relax the frequency of watering except for moisture-loving plants such as hellebores or mints. There’s no problem either in abandoning lawn watering for a couple of months. Lawns green up fast when rain arrives.
Any water saved from the lawn, will be needed in the vegetable garden because moisture is needed to help beans, zucchinis, squash and tomatoes root and leafy crops get larger. Any crop that’s partly self-pollinated, such as beans, will also benefit from a swoosh of the hose over the plants to get their pollen moving around.

Tomatoes grown under cover also need a good shake for pollination. These are greedy feeders and moisture lovers. So are squash. Bush squash need very rich nourishment especially if they’re in a big container – fish fertilizer, sea soil or a balanced (all numbers the same) organic fertilizer are all suitable.

Rural gardeners often have space for vining squash, which seek out their own food if allowed to run because auxiliary roots form on the wandering stems. The leaves are quite beautiful, like huge earthbound water lilies. Heirloom squash are often vining. Fruit of some kinds can be large and very heavy.

Garlic doesn’t need watering now, nor do shallots because both are in the run-up to harvesting. August is good timing to harvest these, especially before the stems dry and disappear. Invisible stems mean a few root clusters also vanish. In spring they reappear in inconvenient places.

With some crops, harvesting fits nicely with composting unusable plant bits. Every time a broad bean plant is stripped of its last beans, it’s easy to pull the plant and pile it ready for compost. If you’re armed with a pruner, the last crop of summer raspberries can dovetail with cutting fruited stems.

It’s not too late to sow seeds of a few things: arugula and corn salad are especially useful because they mature very fast and are fairly slug resistant. Green onions, radishes and spinach can also be sown now.
My father, who gardened in South Surrey, used to plant peas in the last two weeks of July, calling it his “silly” crop because whether it ever matured was always dicey. But planting pod pea seed gives you a harvest a week earlier than shelling peas do.

Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to her via amarrison@shaw.ca.  It helps if you add your city or region.

© Royal City Record

Article source: http://www.royalcityrecord.com/community/gardening/gardening-tips-for-late-summer-1.1256004

gardening tips: how to grow Chinese greens

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Article source: http://www.perthnow.com.au/lifestyle/home-garden/great-gardening-tips-how-to-grow-chinese-greens/story-fnivsv0s-1227000388916

Jim’s Garden Tip: Mid-season trimming and pruning – KIVI

 And now Jim’s Garden Tip. Each Wednesday during warmer months, Jim Zamzow shares some of his expert gardening tips. Here’s his advice for thinning, pruning and early harvesting.

Jim Zamzow says, “An important part of early summer maintenance is thinning, pruning and early harvesting. I’m going to start off by demonstraiting how to thin corn. To get two good ears on one stalk of corn, you really should have it 8 to 10 inches apart. So I’m just going to very gently pull this one out. That gives those plenty of room to grow up.

Now this is my black zucchini hill. And through the season I’ve been pulling out the weaker plants. I’m now down to the 3 strong plants and you can see that they are still too thick to yield properly. So I’m going to have to remove one of these plants and I’ve chosen this smaller one here in the middle. That will allow more room for these 2 plants to expand.

Now as these cucumbers get a little larger, I’m going to train them to go up this trellis. But for cucumbers to do their best and to give you the heaviest yield, they should be about 8 to 12 inches apart.

Onions and radishes should be thinned through the season. That will allow your onions to get really large, but if they are too close together, they won’t. I’m going to summer harvest these scallions…that’s what we call an immature onion.

And the same is true for radishes. Excellent eating all season long. The thing about radishes is that you should plant them about every 2 weeks so that you’ve got a continuous supply. Radishes are ready in about 21 days and they are only good then for about a week before you should harvest them.

The way you prune a tomato is by removing the suckers and train your plant back to just the few main stems. Right off to the side here, in the crotch of the leaves, is what we call the sucker. So i’m jus tgoing to take my knife here really carefully and i’m just going to remove that sucker.

Join me next week and i’ll show you how to make a magic compost tea that will jump start your garden like nothing else will.

Article source: http://www.jrn.com/kivitv/news/Jims-Garden-Tip-Mid-season-trimming-and-pruning-268555042.html

August gardening tips, tasks and events

Hard to believe, but summer is beginning to wind down. Enjoy your August garden with these tips, tasks and events:

• Continue to watch for Japanese beetles, which are attracted to many of your favorite ornamentals. Pick off any you find on your prized plants, and plunk them into a bowl of soapy water.

Related: Listen up, gardeners: Time to turn attention to fall

Provide ample water if it doesn’t rain. It’s still hot, and you may need to water frequently. In fact, you may need to douse container gardens every day.

• Nothing’s more frustrating than finding that birds have poked holes in your prized tomatoes. To discourage pecking, pick tomatoes before they are fully red and let them ripen indoors.

Keep vegetable beds clean of dead or dying foliage and rotting vegetables. A tidy garden bed means fewer places for destructive insects to overwinter.

• Continue to harvest and use basil frequently to keep the plant from setting seed too early.

Cut back petunias, which may start to look ragged, and fertilize lightly. They should soon rebound with fresh blooms.

• If the weather is hot and dry, watch for spider mites on roses. They thrive in these conditions and can quickly defoliate a rosebush. A strong spray of water on the undersides of the leaves every two or three days for a week should help keep them under control.

• There’s a saying: One year of seeds; seven years of weeds. If you can’t dig out the weeds frequently enough, at least cut the tops to keep them from flowering and setting seed.

Check the mulch on perennial and annual beds and add more if needed. A good layer of mulch can help keep those weeds at bay and prevent soil from drying out too quickly in the heat.

Begin gathering seeds of your favorite annuals or vegetables to plant next year. Dry seeds thoroughly, package, label and date them, and store them in a place that’s cool and dry.

Harvest summer vegetables regularly from the kitchen garden. Most will continue to produce well into fall.

• Continue to deadhead summer-flowering perennials such as coneflowers, black-eyed Susans and daisies.

Summer means mosquitoes, but you can reduce the population by regularly emptying everything that collects water. Change the water in birdbaths every day or so. Use natural mosquito control products in ponds and rain barrels.

Mark your calendars

Aug. 1-9 and Aug. 15-23: County fairs are a showcase for the products of gardens and farms this month. The Williamson County Fair is Aug. 1-9. The Wilson County Fair is Aug. 15-23. For a list of fairs across Middle Tennessee, visit the Pick Tennessee Products website, www.picktnproducts.org, and click on “Fun,” then “Fairs.” And read more about area fairs in Thursday’s Family section.

Aug. 8-9: Celebrate summer’s favorite vegetable at the annual Tomato Art Fest in East Nashville’s Five Points area, hosted by Art and Invention Gallery. You will find art, entertainment, parades, games, competitions and family activities at this costume-friendly event. Information: http://tomatoartfest.com.

Aug. 8: Nashville author J.T. Ellison, author of “When Shadows Fall,” is the guest at this month’s Annotations: Authors@Cheekwood series, 6:30 p.m. in the Sigourney Cheek Literary Garden at Cheekwood. Space is first-come, first-seated. Details at www.cheekwood.org.

Aug. 19: Carol Reese of UT Gardens in Jackson, Tenn., is the guest speaker at this month’s Perennial Plant Society meeting. The topic is “Just Do It!” focusing on garden ideas and how to refresh older gardens. Refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m., and the meeting begins at 7 p.m. The public is invited. Details at www.ppsmt.org.

Aug. 21: Lunch Lecture: Easy Gardens for the South will feature author Harvey Cotton, who will describe the plants that are key in creating a successful, sustainable garden. Noon-1 p.m., Cheekwood’s Potter Room. Tickets $15 for Cheekwood members, $25 for non-members. Details at www.cheekwood.org.

Aug. 23: Sign up for Organic Gardening 101 at Warner Park Nature Center, where the organic garden is at its peak. Visit the garden with naturalist Deb Beazley and learn the basics of how to start and grow your own garden. 9-11 a.m. Call 615-352-6299 to register for this adult level program.

Aug. 28: The Middle Tennessee Hosta Society meeting will feature hybridizer Bob Solberg, whose topic, “Back to Basics: A Hosta Fact Sheet,” is useful for beginners and experts. 6:30 p.m. at Cheekwood’s Potter Room. Open to the public. Find information on the Middle Tennessee Hosta Society at www.mths-hosta.com.

Article source: http://www.tennessean.com/story/life/home-garden/2014/07/25/august-gardening-tips-tasks-events/13103761/

6 Tips for Creating a Fragrant Garden

Make an eye-catching garden more enjoyable by including fragrant plants. Incorporating aromatic flowers into the landscape adds an unforgettable dimension. Fragrant plants tend to bring up pleasant memories, and scented flowers also attract wildlife, such as bees and butterflies.

Fragrance is produced by plants when their essential oils evaporate and the molecules enter the air. The most fragrant flowers are white and pastel, while bright flowers, like red and orange, have little to no scent.

Good fragrant flower additions to your garden include lilac, rose, dianthus, gardenia, jasmine, citrus, honeysuckle, hosta, alyssum, stock, bee balm, nicotiana, moonflower, citrus, ginger lily, and michellia.

Create you own fragrant garden with these tips:

1. Avoid using pesticides and chemical fertilizers. They detract from the pleasant odors and can kill or harm beneficial creatures like birds and butterflies.

2. Use drip irrigation. Overhead watering interferes with the release of nectar in aromatic plants, which will cause them not to smell. Drip keeps the water at the root zone and off the plants.

3. Place aromatic plants in high traffic areas. You want the plants close enough so you can smell them. Good locations include entryways, passageways, and enclosed areas where the odors can linger, such as patios, courtyards, and atriums. Spots near windows that you open are also good.

4. Locate low-growing fragrant plants near nose level. Place short aromatic plants where they can easily be appreciated, rather than on the ground. Good locations include elevated containers located on tabletops and hanging baskets.

5. Consider time of day. Some plants only smell at certain times of the day. For instance, brugmansia releases its scent at night-time but has no odor in the day, while other plants only smell during the day. Weather can also make a difference. Hot days tend to stir up the volatile oils in plants more than cool days, which means you’ll have a more fragrant garden when the weather is warm.

6. Balance and layer. Avoid putting too many different types of fragrant plants into your landscape. The results of doing this can be overpowering and even unpleasant. Some plants, like night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum), are so strong that you only need one in your yard. Other flowers, like alyssum, require that you plant several in order to notice the scent.

Julie Bawden-Davis is a garden writer and master gardener, who since 1985 has written for publications such as Organic Gardening, Wildflower, Better Homes and Gardens and The Los Angeles Times. She is the author of seven books, including Reader’s Digest Flower Gardening,  Fairy GardeningThe Strawberry Story Series, and Indoor Gardening the Organic Way, and is the founder of HealthyHouseplants.com.

iStock
(iStock)

Article source: http://parade.condenast.com/319695/juliebawdendavis/6-tips-for-creating-a-fragrant-garden/

Formal contracts advocated by Society of Garden Designers

By Rachel Anderson
Friday, 25 July 2014

Garden designers told it is professional practice to have paper contracts clarifying responsibilities for all parties involved.

Sargeant: will promote contracts at Landscape Show in September

Sargeant: will promote contracts at Landscape Show in September

Garden designers are being encouraged to break from tradition and introduce a formal, paper contract at the start of their projects.

They usually rely on trust, but Society of Garden Designers (SGD) chairman Juliet Sargeant will tell garden designers at the Landscape Show in September that it is good practice to have a contract by promoting, for the first time since their creation 18 months ago, JCLI homeowner contracts.

These are a series of three user-friendly contracts created by the JCLI Contracts Forum specifically for domestic garden design projects. They put in writing what is required from each party in a garden design project.

Forum members include the SGD, the Association of Professional Landscapers, BALI, the Institute of Chartered Foresters and the Landscape Institute.

Sargeant said: “Traditionally, garden designers have felt that if we have this relationship with our clients it’s not very trusting to then slap a contract onto the table. But it’s professional practice to have contracts. It just clarifies what the responsibilities are for each of the parties – namely the designer, the contractor and the client.”

She added: “The SGD has realised that members need a contract that’s more suitable for domestic projects. The existing contracts in use were designed for larger projects, were cumbersome and were often off-putting for clients.”

Sargeant said the new contracts ensure clients know it is their responsibility to ensure contractors are able to access site at agreed times to do their work.

They also outline payment terms and times, what services are to be offered by the designer and where additional services may be required – such as surveyors, planning consultants and structural engineers.

The contracts also have tick boxes so that the client can easily see what the designer will do and what other professionals may need to be brought in – “so there are no surprises”.

Contract versions

There are three versions of the JCLI homeowner contract:

– One between client and contractor where the client is not using a designer to oversee the work on site.

– One between client and contractor where the client is using a designer on site.

– One between client and designer.

For details, see www.sgd.org.uk.

Article source: http://www.hortweek.com/news/1304975/formal-contracts-advocated-society-garden-designers/

Tom Karwin, On Gardening: Thematic garden designs yield both aesthetic …

Click photo to enlarge

Designing a garden bed around a theme yields practical and aesthetic benefits.

The aesthetic benefit of thematic garden design rests on the relationships among the plants: They are linked by being members of the class defined by the theme. In that respect, a thematic group is more coherent, aesthetically, than the ever-popular “grab-bag” approach to plant selection.

The practical benefit is a plan for selecting plants from the hundreds of thousands of available varieties. Once the gardener has chosen a theme, he or she has reduced the universe of possible plants to consider. This one action narrows the selection task and supports close evaluation of options.

A garden design theme is simply a concept to which plants relate. This definition embraces a very wide range of possible themes. It could be a single color or combination of blossom colors, a plant genus (rose, iris or daffodil), size (miniatures), or bee or butterfly friendly.

For today’s topic, consider a progression of four themes for low-maintenance gardening.

THEME 1 GT;GT; Zone-appropriate plants. Every gardener should know the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zone in which his or her garden exists. The Monterey Bay area is in USDA Zone 9b, where minimum temperatures are in the 25–30 degree range; plants marked for Zone 9 should survive cold spells in that range. A great many plants are that hardy, so this theme excludes only plants that are vulnerable to cold and therefore high-maintenance. Nurseries also use UCDA zones to indicate the preferred zone for given plants. Plants that are rated for Zones 10 or 11 usually will thrive best in very warm climates, not in Zone 9.

THEME 2 GT;GT; Mediterranean Climate Plants. These are plants that have evolved to grow well in the world’s areas that have dry summers and moderate winters. These areas (again) are native to the central coast of California, the central coast of Chile, the southwestern coast of Australia, South Africa and the Mediterranean basin. A large number of plants are suitable for this theme, but this category still is significantly smaller that Theme 1.

THEME 3 GT;GT; California Native Plants. This theme is within Theme 2, of course, but it stands apart from the others because includes plants that are both suitable for the Mediterranean climate and the soils and fauna of this state. Soil chemistry and symbiotic relationships with birds, mammals, insects and microbial life contribute significantly to the growth of plants, and, ultimately, the success of the gardener.

THEME 4 GT;GT; Native Plant Communities. A great variety of plants are native to California, and many have evolved to grow best in specific environments within the state, and in communities with specific other plants. An oak woodland plant community is certainly different from one that occurs naturally on coastal bluffs and cliffs. For the ultimate in low-maintenance gardening, adopt a thematic design for a California native plant community that would be appropriate for your garden setting.

Consider a thematic design for each garden bed or each large area of your garden. Plant selection will transform a random process to a purposeful activity.

Tom Karwin is vice president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum and a lifetime UC Master Gardener. Visit ongardening.com for sources of plants for these four thematic designs. Send feedback to gardening@karwin.com.

Article source: http://www.montereyherald.com/home_garden/ci_26215786/tom-karwin-gardening-thematic-garden-designs-yield-both

How I Did It (Again): Bouncing Back From Failure As An Entrepreneur

We can all learn from the rise – and fall – and rise again of self-made entrepreneur Christopher King. King is the founder of Cruzach, Inc. a holding company comprised of a dozen businesses including a partnership with the Mondavi family for a wine that retails for $799 a bottle and the executive production of a feature film, “What Lola Wants,” starring “Once Upon a Time In Wonderland” actress Sophie Lowe. I learned about King from a mutual friend and felt his advice on entrepreneurship would be beneficial to all.

At age 36, King has no MBA (in fact no degree at all) and has made his fortune from the ground up. Twice. King registered his first company at age 17 and made his first million by age 26. But even more impressive is that after losing everything in the economic crash of 2008, he picked himself up and did it again: Starting from nothing, he has bootstrapped his way to a venture worth multiple millions of dollars once more.

Christopher R. King has built his success from the ground up, more than once (Image courtesy of Cruzach.com)

Christopher R. King has built his success from the ground up, more than once (Image courtesy of Cruzach.com)

How did he do it? And is business success easier the second time around? Here’s his story:

King grew up in Manchester, Connecticut (near Hartford) with a little sister, a stay-at-home mom, and a father who drove a pick-up truck to his job in construction. When his father left and his mother had to enter the working world, times grew tough enough the family moved in with his grandmother. “I slept in the living room,” he recalls. When his mother could finally afford an apartment, it was in an undesirable neighborhood.

As man of the house, Chris developed a protective and compassionate nature. In high school, when he tried to shield an unpopular kid from a bully, he wound up in a fight of his own and was expelled. Forced to attend an even rougher school for troubled youth, he dropped out. With two friends, he set up a landscaping business at age 17. They landed a great client—a fitness club—but failed to read the small print and couldn’t generate money for supplies up-front, and the deal fell apart. As he matured, Chris became obsessed with hip-hop and R B music. De la Soul, Wu-Tang Clan, and EPMD were his favorites, along with a string of up-and-coming artists he’d picked. He decided to become a DJ for the local clubs. “I wasn’t that good at it,” he laughs. What he did excel at, however, was putting on a suit and making deals with the owners. Fellow DJs and musicians sought out the blond-haired, blue-eyed impresario to help secure and negotiate bookings. He quickly became a big fish in little pond, owning his own club and working with producer/artist Clinton Sparks, Usher and 50 Cent.

Despite his success, however, he soon became burned out on the business. “In music, you always have to rely on other people, and other people can let you down,” he says. “I realized I would never be in control of what I do. You can’t own an artist or control what a record label does. I needed a career that would allow me to make more of the critical decisions myself.”

Next Next came real estate. The property market was blowing up in the mid-eighties. Chris moved to Atlanta and flipped his first house seven weeks after buying it, for a tidy profit of $70,000. He was hooked. “One house turned into three, three into six, six into nine.” By 2007, he’d become a millionaire at age 26. It was the big life. Chris hired his best friend. A glamorous high-rise housed his slick new office. He was young, single, and living it up on the town. Then came the real estate crash. Now he scrambled to stay solvent.

“I thought we’d weather the storm,” he says. He didn’t. “Everything I was making went right back into real estate,” he recalls. “I had no cars, no art, no stocks.” The lack of diversification meant that his wipeout was total. Back at square one, California beckoned him. “Beautiful weather, beautiful women, palm trees, the beach…. I figured it was as good a place as any for a guy to reinvent himself,” he said. He rented an apartment on Sunset Strip and soon found himself doing what he knew best once again: putting people and ideas together and brokering deals.

Consulting jobs put him back on his feet. He met his fiancé, fell in love, and they moved in together. Still, something ate at him. The brass ring remained out of reach. His fiancée verbalized what Chris had not yet realized: “You’re always helping other people grow their businesses and make money. Why don’t you join my company?” It was a field Chris knew nothing about: medical sales. Her small local business facilitated ancillary services offered by doctors.

Inspired, King re-launched the company as Monarch Medical Group and put the firm into overdrive. He expanded nationally and pushed the sales to millions. He hired 50 employees to keep up with demand. “I always say to myself, ‘what’s the worst that can happen? That I go back to driving a Honda Accord and living in a little apartment?,” he says. “So be it.’”

Monarch is King’s day-to-day endeavor, growing by leaps and bounds alongside the affiliated businesses he launches that seem to spring up like mushrooms after the rain. Through a friend he met Robert Mondavi, Jr., of the famous Napa winemaking family. (In addition to cars and watches, Chris also collects fine wines.) That relationship led to a partnership on Ace of Clubs, a cabernet sauvignon wine in luxury packaging that sells for more than $700 a bottle. As an effort in sustainability, he has backed Eco Dog Planet, which makes biodegradable products for dogs. The start-up has attracted the acquisitioning interest of larger pet companies. Now dipping his toe into the entertainment industry, Chris sees great possibilities with independent films and through his venture Cruzach Films is executive producing What Lola Wants in partnership with the legendary Sid Sheinberg and the Bubble Factory.

King claims there’s no magic to his golden touch. His self-generated motto is this: “If you get the right people in the room, good things will happen with very little effort.” His life has come full circle. Rolls Royce and Aston Martin vehicles fill his garage. He and his wife give their two children, Cruise and Zachary, the level of childhood he never had. He is also active in charities that focus on underprivileged children. (He admits to being a bit of an easy mark for good causes; Sharon Stone personally pressed him into making a winning bid of $40,000 on an Ed Ruscha painting earlier this year to benefit amFAR.)

At 36 he believes his biggest deals are still to come. “Whoever said, ‘Less is more’ never had more,” he maintains. No level of personal comfort will satisfy his hunger for new ideas, new partnerships, and new ways to solve problems. With his trademark candor, Chris offers the following strategies as his top tips to emerging entrepreneurs:

1. Generate a Plan. A lot of people have an idea of what they want, but haven’t really solidified the goal, King maintains. The key to real success is to clearly establish your end goal and start with the end in mind. The person who knows exactly what they want in business and in life will always get what they want. A business will have a hard time moving the needle if it lacks a clear plan for the various steps in its lifecycle, he says. “There is an old saying, ‘people don’t plan to fail; they fail to plan.’ I believe this is true and that it is the same in business. I have always had a plan. Someone once told me that it is better to make a decision and be wrong than to never make a decision. A good plan is not a set course that a business must run by. Rather, it is a general direction that gives you an idea of how and when to adapt for change and what your goals will be.”

2. Don’t Quit. Life will perpetually throw curve balls.  You have to weather the storm and never give up, King says. Success is also about your perspective: Sometimes what appears to be an obstacle can actually end up becoming the solution. The answer isn’t always right in front of you, but success lies in having the perseverance and adaptability to know that you can always find a way through. Keep dusting yourself off. Do whatever it takes to win.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2014/07/24/how-i-did-it-again-7-tips-for-bouncing-back-from-failure-as-an-entrepreneur/

Living Smart: How landscaping can deter intruders, pests

Done right, landscaping can do much more than attract compliments and boost your property value. It can help you repel intruders, both human and natural.

Landscaping experts who’ve earned high marks from Angie’s List members say overgrown bushes and shrubs are like welcome mats to burglars. Keep plants and trees trimmed. Place thorny but attractive bougainvillea or barberry bushes under windows, sending would-be thieves a sharp message to go elsewhere.

Other ideas for enlisting your landscaping as part of your home security system:

Don’t give thieves the idea that nobody’s paying attention. Mow your grass and maintain plantings and trees. If you’re going to be away awhile, hire a reputable lawn service.

Illuminate your home and property with security lighting. Options include motion-sensor lights, solar pathway lighting, uplighting on the house and downlighting in trees. Newer lighting controls are relatively easy to use and can turn systems on and off when you want. LEDs can be a long-lasting, high-value lighting option.

While it may not be obvious, landscaping could be key to preventing a more natural intruder: rainwater. Take a look at how your lawn or flower beds slope. If they slant toward your home, guess where water flows?

Ways to address the problem include:

Keep mulching materials about six inches from siding, to prevent mulch from wicking moisture to the siding and causing rot. It’s OK if mulch touches brick or block.

Prevent rain pouring out of overflowing gutters from displacing soil and allowing water to pool. Cover the area with river stones or other decorative rock.

Regrade your lawn. Methods include creating a “dry creek,” in which a simple trench, lined with river rock or cobblestones, channels water away from the house. Another option is a French drain, in which water flows into a gravel-lined trench, through a pipe and away from the house.

Garden experts say you can repel mosquitoes and other pesky insects by planting or potting specific plants, flowers and herbs, including citronella, marigolds, basil and lavender.

Before you hire a landscaper for some of the more complicated projects, get estimates from several companies with good reputations on a trusted online review site. Confirm appropriate licensing, insurance and bonding. Contact references and get all pertinent details in writing.

(Angie Hicks is the founder of Angie’s List, a resource for local consumer reviews on everything from home repair to health care. Follow her on Twitter @Angie_Hicks.)

Article source: http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/07/24/4252330/living-smart-how-landscaping-can.html

Get fresh new ideas for your yard as the Green River Pond and Garden Tour is …

GREEN RIVER – Take a relaxing stroll or get new ideas for your yard as the Green River Pond and Garden Tour has been set for Aug. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Nestled in between amazing rock formations with the Green River running through the heart of the town, Green River is a beautiful town in the High Desert Country. Because Green River is located in the high desert plains it has a very short growing season making local gardening very challenging.

That’s where the  Green River pond tour becomes an avenue for residents and visitors to see what can be grown and created in our area. The Green River pond tour was started 19 years ago by several friends wanting to show residents what type of landscaping, plants and water features will be successful with our extreme conditions. Through the years the pond tour has grown into a community event showcasing 12 garden homes in both Green River and Rock Springs.

All gardens on the pond tour gives the visitor a unique opportunity to view  koi ponds, water features, landscaping designs, vegetable gardening ideas and personal touches that set off every garden. Visitors have the opportunity to talk with garden home owners and take photos of those ideas that they want to add to their own gardens.

The pond tour is free to the public and tour guides available a week prior to tour at local businesses. Residents can visit garden homes in any order.

Pick your guide up at the following businesses; Castle Rock Realty in Green River, Riverside Nursery in Green River, both the Green River and Rock Springs Chambers and Taco Time locations in both Green River and Rock Springs.

Go to http://greenriverpondtour.com/ for more information about the tour.

 

Article source: http://www.sweetwaternow.com/get-fresh-new-ideas-yard-green-river-pond-garden-tour-set-aug-9/