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Archives for April 8, 2016

Home and garden events April 2 and beyond – The Courier


Event

ZooPoopyDoo Compost and Mulch Sale. Louisville Zoo, 1100 Trevilian Way, 7:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 23 and 30. High-quality compost and hardwood bark mulch. $40 per scoop; $19.50 per scoop for mulch. Available for pre-purchase online. www.louisvillezoo.org.

Healthy Soil to Beautiful Gardens. Louisville Nature Center, 3745 Illinois Ave., 6:30 -8 p.m. Tuesday. Learn ways to augment and maintain viable soil and how this relates to growing healthy plants, ornamentals or vegetables. $10 advance, $15 day of event. (502) 458-1328.

Purdue Extension Service of Clark County Vegetable Gardening Workshop. Clark County 4-H Fairgrounds, 9608 Ind. 62, Charlestown, 7 p.m. Thursday. Topic: Space management in the home grown vegetable garden. Registration required. (812) 256-4591.

New Ideas in Landscaping Design. Louisville Nature Center, 3745 Illinois Ave., 6:30 -8:30 p.m. Thursday. Learn trends in landscape design such as perennial meadows and ecological reconciliation and how urban and suburban yards can apply time tested design principles to become more eco-friendly. $10 advance, $15 day of event. (502) 458-1328.

Log Timber Home Show. East Hall, Kentucky Exposition Center, 937 Phillips Lane, 1-7 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. April 16; 11 a.m.-4 p.m. April 17y. Learn how to build or remodel a wood home; meet with builders and companies; attend a log and timber Home University; workshops and more. General admission, $12 advance, $15 at the door. University Course (full weekend and course), $85 per person, $119 per couple, $25 each additional attendee. Parking $8, $20 bus. (502) 367-5000.

Gardenaganza. Louisville Nature Center, 3745 Illinois Ave., 11 a.m.-3 p.m. April 24. Festival and plant sale presented by the Louisville Nature Center and Jefferson County Master Gardener Association. Features native plants, perennials, annuals, vegetables and herbs. Garden auction, door prize, food truck and music by Hominy and Grizz. (502) 458-1328; www.louisvillenaturecenter.org.

Brightside Compost Sale. Outer Loop Recycling and Disposal Facility, 2673 Outer Loop, 9 a.m.-noon April 30. $2.50 per bag or $40 per i cubis meter scoop. Co-sponsored by Waste Management of Kentucky. Proceeds benefit Brightside’s community education and beautification efforts. www.brightsideinc.org.

Kilgore House and Garden Tour. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. May 21 and 22. The tour includes six gardens and three homes. For guests who have purchased tickets online or wish to pay with credit card, the tour will start at, 3316 Lexington Road. Tickets will be available for sale at all gardens. $30, $5 for children. For tickets and tour information: www.kilgoregardentour.org.

Classes

Pruning Trees Shrubs Workshop.Yew Dell Gardens, 6220 Old LaGrange Road, Crestwood, 6-7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The class will cover trees, shrubs and just about anything you can prune. $25, $15 members. (502) 241-4788. www.yewdellgardens.org.

Patio Garening 101: Early Spring Greens.Yew Dell Gardens, 6220 Old LaGrange Road, Crestwood, 12:30 p.m. April 16. Yew Dell Garden Manager, Ted Martini will guide participants through the process of creating a spring container for their terrace. $55, $45 members. (502) 241-4788. www.yewdellgardens.org.

Meeting

Audubon Park Garden Club. Audubon Park City Hall, 3340 Robin Road, 1 p.m. Monday. Program: “Earth Boxes – A New Way to Garden,” by President, Jane Jonczy. Information: (502) 636-3851 or (502) 634-4921.

The Louisville Rose Society. Louisville Nature Center, 3745 Illinois Ave., 6:30 p.m. Friday. Pot luck.

Email items to listings@courier-journal.com. Deadline for next Saturday’s column is noon Tuesday.

Article source: http://www.courier-journal.com/story/life/home-garden/2016/04/08/home-garden-events-april-beyond/82799508/

Southern Ideal Home Show comes to Raleigh this weekend

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – People hoping to do some home improvement and remodeling can find all the answers they need this weekend at the Southern Ideal Home Show, which started Friday and runs the whole weekend.

The expo returns to Raleigh to offer expert remodeling advice.

“The Southern Ideal Home Show is the only place you can touch, feel, actually talk to an expert face-to-face – you can’t do that any place else,” said Debbie Ball, the executive show manager.

More than 300 area companies set up displays at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds where people can shop and brainstorm new ideas for their homes.

This year’s highlights include celebrity guests like HGTV host Chip Wade and a prize of a $10,000 dream closet with the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree from Crabtree Valley Mall.

Organizers said they know people are excited and have their minds on particular renovation areas.

“The number one thing is landscaping and outdoor living,” Ball explained. “Outdoor living is such a huge part of the home. They may still be remodeling their kitchen but the outdoor living is huge at the show.”

For more information, click here.

Article source: http://wncn.com/2016/04/08/southern-ideal-home-show-comes-to-raleigh-this-weekend/

Olson Toon Landscaping Inc.


Olson Toon Landscaping, Inc. is a locally owned and operated organization of design, build and maintenance professionals with extensive experience in custom, residential and commercial landscaping. Established in 1997, our quality workmanship and attention to detail have transformed our Better Business Bureau accredited firm into one of Wisconsin’s premier design/build landscaping and outdoor living firms. In addition to having three designers and one architect on staff, we also have concrete, pool and spa, and irrigation divisions.

Olson Toon Landscaping, Inc. provides beautiful, high-quality workmanship and our design-build approach to landscaping allows us to transform your ideas into reality. Our professional design staff is prepared to create innovative and functional design solutions. Armed with a wealth of experience, our management and design team has more than 50 years of combined experience from which to draw. We have performed extensive work throughout Dane County and much of Southern Wisconsin.

Located at 3570 Pioneer Road in Verona, Olson Toon Landscaping, Inc. services clients within a 50-mile radius of Madison. We specialize in landscaping, landscape maintenance, fertilization, concrete, flat work and excavating.

For more information, you can contact us at (608) 827-9401. You also can visit our website at: http://olsontoon.com or like us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/OlsonToon. You can even email us at: info@olsontoon.com.

Olson Toon Landscaping, Inc. can take care of all your outdoor service needs under one roof. When it comes to creating positive first impressions, we are the company of choice for all seasons, all reasons, 365 days a year! Establishing ourselves as one of the area’s premier design-build, landscaping firms in the heart of Madison’s robust construction market, Olson Toon is striving to be the most complete outdoor service company in Dane County. All of our divisions are led by highly-trained specialists, committed to quality and service.

We know the value of customer service and satisfaction, and our goal is to give you the best experience possible. We have the flexibility to do a wide range of projects, from small to very large, at a great value.

 

Our primary services are as follows:

* Landscape: Retaining Walls, Patios Walkways, Plants Planting, Water Features, Specialties.

* Maintenance: Full-Service Lawn Landscape Care, Seasonal Services.

* Irrigation: Design, Installation, System Service Maintenance.

* Pools: Design, Installation, Full-Servicing For All Pools Spas.

* Concrete: Flat Work, Foundations, Restoration, Removal.

* Snow Maintenance: Snow Removal, Salting.

 

 


The Olson Toon design-build approach to landscaping allows us to transform your ideas into reality. Our professional design staff is prepared to create innovative and functional design solutions that meet your unique goals and requirements. You will receive individual attention throughout the entire design and installation process.

The design solution we develop for your project will assimilate all objectives received from you during our initial meeting(s). Your designer will create a scaled master plan after careful, on-site analysis and data collection. Preparation of this master plan is guided by the budget you set forth. Phased implementation plans can be developed which will allow for installation of your project over time. We are comfortable developing designs for single or multi-family homes, as well as commercial and industrial projects. The scale of our work may range from simple perennial gardens to large business sites.


Our budget-oriented design process works successfully for planning all aspects of new residential properties or renovating existing landscapes. Custom home builders and homeowners alike, feel at ease with our personal approach to their projects. No matter how large or small.

Retaining Walls • Patios Walkways • Plants Plantings • Water Features • Fire Pits • Outdoor Kitchens • Fencing • Pergolas • Low-Voltage Lighting • Specialties

Call us or visit our “Online Get a Quote Form” for a FREE consultation!


Olson Toon Landscaping provides a full line of premium maintenance services to maximize the natural beauty of your property at competitive prices. Our team of experienced maintenance managers will customize a program that meets your needs for all seasons and any size property. Olson Toon takes great pride in using only the most environmentally friendly and highest quality products available. On-site supervisors will act as the eyes and ears of our clients to communicate any potential problems. Our maintenance division looks forward to working with you to help maintain the value of your property.

LAWN LANDSCAPE CARE: Lawn Mowing • Lawn Fertilization Weed Control • Insect Pest Control • Disease Diagnosis Treatment • Sidewalk Edging • Bed Perennial Maintenance (Weeding) • New Lawn Plant Watering • Irrigation Systems

SEASONAL SERVICES: Aeration • Lawn Renovations • Tree Shrub Pruning • Spring Fall Clean Up • Mulching

Call us or visit our “Online Get a Quote Form” for a FREE consultation!


Olson Toon’s Irrigation Division provides professional installation and service for residential, commercial and athletic field systems. Every irrigation system we install is designed in concert with your landscape design to provide the proper amount of moisture for each plant, while also conserving water.

We can also retrofit existing irrigation systems with water conserving products that will save resources and money. Our crews can add lawn sprinkler systems to existing landscapes, with minimal disruption, using our vibratory method which eliminates the need for trenching. Our certified, trained professionals can service and repair all brands of irrigation systems and their associated components.

Complete System Design Install • Estimating • Spring Activation • Winterization/Fall Blow Out • Rain Sensor Installation • Vibratory Plow Installation • Trenched Trench-less • New Construction • Existing Lawn Installation

Call us or visit our “Online Get a Quote Form” for a FREE consultation!

 


Olson Toon’s Concrete Division excels at a wide variety of concrete production and installation for both residential and commercial projects. Our concrete experts will work closely with our design staff to achieve exactly the look you desire, then our experienced installation team will make your vision a reality with their high quality workmanship.

We take pride in helping our customers enhance their property’s appearance while also increasing its value. Let Olson Toon’s Concrete Division help you take on your next project, we look forward to working with you.

Driveways • Parking Pads • Patios: Stamped Colored • Sidewalks • Foundations • Swimming Pool Decks • Basement Garage Floors • Decorative Flatwork • Sealant Application • Removal • Curb Gutter Instillation • Professional Design

Call us or visit our “Online Get a Quote Form” for a FREE consultation!

 


From sales to service, Olson Toon’s Pool Division can take care of all your pool spa needs! With more than 30 years of experience, we offer professional design and installation of in-ground, vinyl-lined, steel swimming pools. In addition, Olson Toon has an entire pool maintenance division dedicated to servicing most makes and models of pools and spas. This includes liner installations, openings or closings, and chemical needs.

We offer a complete package that incorporates everything from design and installation, to servicing them once they are completed. We are dedicated to a quality finished product and complete customer satisfaction!

Professional Design Installation • Full Pool Spa Service Department • Maintenance Packages • Pool Renovations • Salt Water Chlorination • Natural Gas Heaters • Automatic Cover Systems • Automatic Cleaning Systems • LED Pool Lighting • Custom Pool Decks • Pool Automation • Diving Boards Slides • Sports Nets

Call us or visit our “Online Get a Quote Form” for a FREE consultation!

 


Olson Toon provides a full line of premium residential and commercial snow maintenance services to keep your parking lot, driveway, and sidewalks safe and clear during the cold winter months. Our team of experienced maintenance managers will customize a program that meets your needs for all seasons whether residential or commercial.

Plowing • Shoveling • Salting • Hauling

Call us or visit our “Online Get a Quote Form” for a FREE consultation!

Contact us today at (608) 827-9401! We are here to keep your property vibrant or build and maintain your oasis with our beautiful, high-quality workmanship!

Olson Toon Landscaping Inc.

3570 Pioneer Road
Verona, WI 53593

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Article source: http://host.madison.com/places/agriculture/landscaping_garden_services/miscellaneous/olson-toon-landscaping-inc/business_1138581655.html

Truth Behind the Saying "April Showers Bring May

Spring has officially arrived, and that means we will shortly be seeing and planting spring flowers. 

The three main things that flowers need to start growing and survive is soil, light, and water. A nice warm environment helps for plant growth and survival. Based on the cooler than average temperatures we have already seen this month, April may not be the best bet this year.

“We really don’t recommend planting until the end of May, especially annual flowers around here because that is your frost free date,” Greenhouse Manager at Massi’s Gardens and Landscaping Silvia Lewis said. “You can plant some pansies right now. They take the cold, and they will benefit from water if we have April showers.”

Of course, this all depends on the type of flower. Annual flowers live only one growing season, while biennial and perennial live longer. Perennials is what we usually see bloom during the spring. Rain is a huge factor if this happens or not.

“If it’s a dry month in April, you have a lot of your trees and shrubs and perennials come up so you should supplement with water if you don’t have a whole lot of rain” Lewis said. “They need about an inch of rain in a week.”

For us locally, April isn’t exactly the rainiest month. It’s the first month of spring that we actually see rain, but we actually see more rain in May and into the summer.

“May on rain will really do good for the plants you are going to be planting”, said Lewis. “You really want to make sure they get a lot of water then. Lots of people plant their vegetable gardens at the end of May. So, you do need a lot of rain in May actually more than in April.”

So, there is some truth behind the saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers”, but it may be time for a rewrite. Possibly “”May Showers Bring May Flowers”.
 

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Article source: http://www.mytwintiers.com/news/local-news/truth-behind-the-saying-april-showers-bring-may-flowers

Homeowners can add flood fixes to yards and gardens

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — In some low-country yards, it’s a pattern: rain starts falling and within hours the lawn is a lake, plants are drowning and the mulch is bleeding into the street.

Landscaper Brec Connett of Cape Fear Gardens said every year more of New Hanover County gets covered in pavement and more of his customers end up with soggy yards. Add to that heavy rains during the past year and local homeowners have a recipe for sod soup. 

“It seems I’m getting more with all the development that’s going on,” Connett said. “The areas for runoff are getting less and less.”

But wetter weather doesn’t mean low-lying yards can’t have curb appeal. From landscaping fixes to water-loving plants, gardeners can work with a flood-prone yard.

Lou King of Lou’s Flower World on Oleander Drive said many of her customers deal with minor flooding by planting weeping willows, thirsty trees that can soak water out of a yard. Wax myrtles and maples thrive locally and love wet soil, and even plants that can’t take overly wet conditions can thrive with proper planting.

“If it’s a wet area, we recommend that you plant the plant like a quarter inch high, so that the water will drain from the plant,” King said. “Just mound it up a little bit.”

Slowing the water down

Homeowners with especially troublesome lots might want to embrace flooding with a rain garden.

The old way of dealing with excessive rainfall is hooking drainage pipes up to a home’s gutter system and running them to the street. But landscaping yards to hold water and let it dissipate is becoming more common. Noticing an uptick in customer interest, Connett recently took a course in rain garden installation at New Hanover County’s N.C. Cooperative Extension office.

“It’s basically a way to slow the water down, and you can plant them with plants that tolerate wet soil,” he said. “You have to dig a depression  generally about 2 feet deep. You have a berm around it, and you have to have a weir, which is a way for rain to exit the rain garden.”

Gardeners have plenty of diverse options for populating a rain garden. Water irises, cannas, cat tails, ferns, tall grasses and Chinese holly will thrive there  as Connett puts it, basically any plant that “can manage wet feet.”

The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority even offers a list of nearly 100 native plants ideal for rain gardens in Southeastern North Carolina. Just don’t plop a rain garden in an existing drainage ditch  that can mess up drainage for the whole block and leave you with unhappy neighbors.

Seeping through

Some homeowners may have visions of a bog garden brimming with Venus’ flytraps and pitcher plants, but achieving such an ecosystem requires lots of forethought. Flytraps can be grown outdoors in the area, but they require disturbed soil with high acidity and low nitrogen.

Given the web of state laws protecting carnivorous plants, Connett said it’s easier to leave them out of landscaping projects. Stores like Lou’s Flower World do sell flytraps and other bog plants, but King recommends growing them up indoors for about a year before attempting to take them outside.

Connett said the best ways to cut front yard puddles is giving the water more places to go. He often recommends alternatives to slab patios and driveways like gravel, pavers with grass in between or even permeable concrete. And letting stormwater seep through earth is also a boon to water quality.

“Basically anything to slow the water down,” he said. “So it actually dissipates into the soil as opposed to running off into the creek.”

Reporter Cammie Bellamy can be reached at 910-343-2339 or Cammie.Bellamy@StarNewsOnline.com.

Article source: http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20160408/NEWS/160409787

LANDSCAPING: How does your garden grow?

After a barrage of winter storms, a few spots of sunshine have allowed yard owners to venture outside and take a long, hard look at their yards and think about spring landscaping.

But what kinds of flora thrive in a Central Oregon Coast climate?

How can one create a beautiful backyard landscape without disrupting the ecosystem?

The answer is to work with what is already there, said Lincoln City landscape contractor Loren Wand, whose business is called Wand’s Landscapes.

“I try to educate and encourage people to have more native landscapes, functional landscapes with edible plants, gardens, berries, herbs and fruit trees,” he said. “People come here to get away from the city and often I will have to dissuade people from doing a valley-type of landscape.”

Coastal plants that thrive in this climate include shore pine, Sitka spruce, hemlock, wax myrtle and strawberry madrone trees, he said.

“Around here we have mostly 40-degree to 70-degree temperatures, so this is an ideal climate and spring is a good season for lots of plants but not good for hot-weather plants,” Wand said. “We don’t get too much freezing out here, so there are a vast array of plants that work here very well. It’s a good rainforest kind of environment.”

Food-producing plants do not do well close to the beach, but are all right farther away. Wand said fig trees could do quite well in a warm environment.

“Strawberries do well out here; so does Oregon grape,” Wand said. “Blackberries, gooseberries and huckleberries—the deciduous and non-deciduous types and raspberries. Apples, pears, and in some places even plums.”

Wand said he has been in the business for 38 years and has seen land go from undeveloped to developed in his time

Drainage problems are among the most common issues that Wand finds in coastal yards, he said.

He said he prefers to work with existing plants on a client’s property, in particular existing large trees.

“I’ve been trying to reintroduce the native species and to help save existing big trees and work around those and save a lot of the native ground cover and vegetation, especially for my client so that is something they may not have to pay for since it’s already established,” he said.

“On a given day as a landscaping consultant I may change or enhance the silhouette of any larger trees. Find a way for the large trees to shade the house or at least protect from the wind, create some privacy, an area where people can sit. Make it more like a wooded, enchanted little garden.”

He encourages clients to discontinue the use of herbicides and pesticides in their yards and gardens for the benefit of the coastal environment.

“Everything a homeowner, anything any of us do, has an effect all the way down,” Wand said. “I really encourage people to stop the use of herbicide because it gets down into the soil and kills earthworms and soil microorganisms. Birds wind up ingesting it and it’s poison to the environment and gets down into the streams.

“Since the 1940s and ’50s, people seem to think that they need a monoculture, stereotypical, putting-green lawn. If they’re going to have grass, that’s fine, but just mow it. If it goes brown in the summer, that’s fine.

“If there is a variety of things that grow in it that’s good, because some weeds actually aren’t weeds. They have a function in the soil and we just need to change the way we think about the way it should be.

“Nature has a way of doing that. If we just follow suit, we’ll have lots of birds, lots of wildlife and preserve the environment.”

Wand’s Landscapes can be reached at 541-994-9420.

Article source: http://www.thenewsguard.com/community/landscaping-how-does-your-garden-grow/article_ca82f144-fc0c-11e5-8fa6-571ce46127c6.html

Chrystal Johnson April 4, 2016 No Comments

I am so excited to have Angela England back to Earth911 with another interview and more great gardening tips. We got so much great feedback about her last interview about her book, Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) that we had to talk with her about her new book – Gardening Like a Ninja: A Guide to Sneaking Delicious Edibles into Your Landscape.

Slealth gardening tips

Gardening Like a NinjaFor a long time, the thought of gardening in our front yards has been taboo. Gardens were meant for the backyard, right? Wrong! You can grow plenty of edible plants in your front yard that will look perfectly in their place right in your front yard. I had no idea some of the edible plants Angela mentions were even edible!

If you’re curious about how you can grow food in your front yard, read this interview for some great gardening tips. Then head over and check out the Gardening Like a Ninja book and Edible Landscaping e-course so you can get your hands dirty and your yard edibly beautified!

1. What inspired you to write Gardening Like a Ninja: A Guide to Sneaking Delicious Edibles into Your Landscape?

When I wrote Backyard Farming on an Acre (More or Less) I got a lot of questions from people wondering how they could incorporate some of the principles I mentioned, even if they had an HOA, smaller spaces, or were renting.

I chose to expand the brief mention of Edible Landscaping into a full book because I wanted to people to realize there is a far more rich option than either or. You can have a gorgeous, landscaped home. And grow edibles there.

2. Why should someone consider adding edible plants to their landscape even if they have a backyard garden?

Most backyard garden plots tend to focus solely on annual vegetables, but the world of edibles is so far beyond that one sub-section of plant. Flowers, vines, trees, shrubs, and perennials might all be out of place in a vegetable garden row. But these plants have been used in decorative beds and borders for centuries. Why not use edible versions to maximize your food potential? If you want to have a lovely home garden by your front door, side yard or backyard, you might as well get your money’s worth from it!

3. What plants tend to look the “prettiest” in front yard landscapes?

High visibility areas call for rockstar edible plants that can hold their own in any landscape. Look for trees, shrubs and perennials to form the long-lasting foundation of any garden space. These will come back year after year so you want to choose wisely.

I recommend plants that have interest through more than one season. Evergreens look especially good near the home with their year-round color. Some trees have interesting bark, winter flowers or fruit, or unique silhouettes that are beautiful even in the dead of winter.

Make every plant serve maximum duty – if you have to choose between a plant that looks good one week, or a plant that produces flowers all season long, choose the one that gives you the most benefit.

Containers can be a great way to fill in any gaps as well, especially in the front yard where curb appeal is vital. Don’t be afraid to move plants from the backyard into an attractive container and place them in an area where cool season annuals have gone dormant or you just want a little more color.

Yellow and red Daylily flower in a garden

Daylilies are flowering plants with edible or medicinal value that also have a wonderful place in any garden landscape. Image Credit: DGSHUT / Shutterstock

4. What edible plants would you suggest someone grow that traditionally leans towards flowers?

It’s amazing how many gorgeous flowers are available on edible plants. My favorites are in the viola family – pansies, violas, and violets. Our summers are too hot for them so I enjoy them in our fleeting springs and falls and let them reseed so I can enjoy them each year. Asters, daylilies (right), chives, borage, lavender, Echinacea, and nasturtiums are all flowering plants with edible or medicinal value that also have a wonderful place in any garden landscape.

5. What tips would you give to someone that lives in an apartment?

Move! OK maybe not. I would look at maximizing your container options and grow the plants that will give you the most return for your space. Think about things like basil, for example, which will produce an enormous amount of plant material for you to enjoy just from one plant in one pot. Other plants that produce well in containers are pole beans (let them drape over the side or grow up a trellis), leafy greens (hint – they don’t have to be green but come in a stunning variety of colors), chives, lavender, rosemary, peppers and mints

6. We know that some homeowners’ associations and city codes have policies against front yard gardens. What advice do you have for our readers to help them change these policies in their communities?

The cool thing about these policies is that they usually don’t preclude landscaping in the front yard which is where edible landscaping can be such a powerful technique. You can follow the principles of landscape design that professional landscapers would use to create curb-appeal-filled gardens, but substitute ornamental plants with edibles. And, your HOA will be none-the-wiser.

When it comes to changing restrictive policies I like to look to the facts and the changing culture. The First Lady grows a garden in her yard and I figure if it’s good enough for the White House it ought to be good enough for any house, right?

Share statistics on the benefits of garden in every area of health. Gardeners have higher self-esteem and decreased depression. Gardeners have a decreased risk of cancer, heart attacks, diabetes and more. The more you can calmly arm yourself with the facts and research, the more likely you are to have an effect.

7. Is there anything else you’d like to share about your book or edible landscapes?

I just want to encourage everyone to realize that you don’t have to “a farmer” or “a homesteader” to learn some of these techniques. I grew up in a massive city in Southern California and was as city as you could be. It was only after I got married and pregnant with my first child that I really began to explore the possibilities and develop a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Don’t feel like you have to do everything all at once – in fact I recommend you don’t! Focus on one thing to add, change or replace and start there! Maybe you just switch out your mailbox planter this year or put a container garden on your bare patio deck. Maybe you take out that flowering shrub along the fence line and put in elderberries or raspberries instead. Whatever it is, it can be small to start. Give yourself a chance at success with that first shift and then grow from there.

Find out more information about Gardening Like a Ninja book and online course on Angela’s website, Untrained Housewife.

Angela is truly a Renaissance woman. In addition to growing food for her family, she also homeschools her five children and is the founder of the website, Untrained Housewife, the editor-in-chief of Blissfully Domestic, co-founder of the Homestead Bloggers Network, a freelance writer and popular speaker. You can connect with Angela on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with her adventures in backyard farming, front yard gardening and more.

Feature image credit: Foodio / Shutterstock

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Article source: http://www.earth911.com/home-garden/gardening-like-a-ninja/

Fences, sheds and decking: 5 tips for updating wood in your garden

With spring in full bloom, you may be looking forward to spending more time in your garden.

As your plants begin to flourish again, don’t let tired old wood spoil the whole look.

Here’s how to spruce up fences, sheds and deck.

1. Don’t be scared of colour

Colours for garden wood have come a long way. Where you used to only be able to get brown or green and little else, now you can choose from a myriad of different hues so your outside space can be just as colourful as the inside.

Cuprinol Garden Shades offers a wide range of colours. My favourite combo is Pale Jasmine (a pretty pale creamy yellow) for the shed or summer house, and Urban Slate (a gorgeous dark grey) for the fences.

These colours work together beautifully, but there are many more to personalise your garden with this spring, and Cuprinol Garden Shades promise four years of weather protection.

[Related story: 12 ways to get your garden ready for spring]

2. Give it a good clean

Before giving your garden wood a makeover, clean it thoroughly.

Uunless it’s new, it will probably need a good scrub with a cleaner designed for garden wood, such as Ronseal Decking Cleaner Reviver, to remove algae, dirt and moss.

Allow the wood to dry out before starting to paint, and consider applying wood preserver first.

3. Get around tricky plants

One of the pitfalls of painting a fence is navigating nearby plants, which can make the job tricky. Cover them with plastic sheeting as much as you can, or tie them back out of the way.

If the plants are growing against the fence and quite large, you may have to wait until they die back at the end of the year to paint the fence properly.

In fact, you may find that fences you can hardly see now, and so don’t need to paint, will be much more visible in winter.

4. Spray paint in the right direction

If your fence has horizontal planks, paint in a horizontal direction, and if it has vertical planks, use vertical strokes.

Painting a fence or shed with a paintbrush can be very time-consuming and is much quicker with a paint sprayer. Not all garden-wood paint can be sprayed, but if you want to make life easy, choose one that can.

Cuprinol Spray Brush is a really innovative paint sprayer because it’s a brush and sprayer in one, so you benefit from the speed of spraying and the precision of using a brush for the edges and fiddly bits.

5. Use a pressure washer

Another good way to clean garden wood is to blast it with a pressure washer. The top-of-the range Bosch AQT 45-14 X is particularly powerful and designed to tackle larger, heavy-duty outdoor cleaning jobs quickly and easily.

This model has lots of special features and accessories and is brilliant for cleaning patios and decks. If your deck is painted, start by doing a small tester patch because a pressure washer may remove the paint as well as the dirt.

Painting a deck will transform it, but ensure its clean and dry first. Some decking paints, such as Cuprinol Anti-Slip Decking Stain with Pad Applicator, come with a useful paint pad that can cover large areas in no time.

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Article source: http://home.bt.com/lifestyle/house-home/5-tips-for-painting-garden-wood-11364050078747

Have the prettiest garden in The Pine Belt with these tips – WDAM

HATTIESBURG, MS –

Spring is in full swing, and many people are beginning to garden.

Owner of Art*Cetera Michelle Messer in Hattiesburg said this is the time of year more customers visit the store’s garden center.

“The geraniums do really well, begonias are a great plant, and of course ferns in the south are everybody’s favorite,” Messer said.

Messer’s number one tip is to water plants regularly.

“If you forget to water them they dry out,” Messer said.

“It puts them in shock and its hard to get them back to their original beauty. Feeding once a week is important, as well. I use Miracle Grow, but there’s a lot of good brands out there,” Messer said.

Messer suggests planting flowers after the last frost, which she said shouldn’t be a problem for South Mississippi.

“If it does tend to get a little chilly especially with the baskets you can always bring them into your garage or cover them up if it gets cold, but I think we’re past all of that,” Messer said.

Art*Cetera has over 70 types of plants and a countless number of artwork and garden accessories made by local artist.

“I have some beautiful bees and dragon flies, waterfalls are always a nice feature,” Messer said.

Messer said mulch can also be used to beautify the garden as well as improve the soil’s health.

“And that also helps weeds, keep them down. And helps keep moisture in the ground and helps your plants,” Messer said.

Messer recommends wearing gardening gloves when using any gardening materials.

Art*Cetera will hold an open house on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Copyright WDAM 2016. All rights reserved. 

Article source: http://www.wdam.com/story/31670720/have-the-prettiest-garden-in-the-pine-belt-with-these-tips