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Archives for March 2017

MahaVastu tips for an auspicious ‘griha pravesh’

The real estate market experiences a boon during the auspicious season of Navratri and Diwali. People buy new homes and offices during this period so that prosperity and happiness last forever. The imbalance in the five elements – space, sky, air, fire, water and earth leads towards sickness of mind and body. Mahavastu helps in propagating the five elements in all directions in our living spaces. But what is Mahavastu and how can it help in making positive decisions related to buying new spaces or renovations? We got in touch with Dr. Khushdeep Bansal, founder of MahaVastu, whose ‘MahaVastu Philosophy’ is based on his extensive research on vastu shastra and yoga philosophy.

What is ‘Mahavastu’?

It is an upgraded, tested and bug-free understanding of vastu shastra that I have distilled from more than 12,000 case studies in the last 25 years. A rational understating helps to maintain equilibrium with nature; with simple yet powerful remedies without demolishing buildings. MahaVastu propagates that five elements are present in directions in our living spaces and the imbalance in these elements leads to the sickness of mind and body. It basically balances all these 5 elements for harmony in life.

Few MahaVastu tips to keep in mind before purchasing a space that you would like to recommend?

Before buying a home or an office one must check the location of entrance, e.g., an east or a north – east entrance is very auspicious, it brings in money, profits and success. On the contrary, an east entrance of a house leads to fire, accidents and unexpected losses for the inhabitants. According to MahaVastu, south or south – east entrance brings immense prosperity whereas entrance from south creates negative effects on the kids specially the boys of the family.

In general, houses and buildings facing north-east, south and the west are considered good for the residence.


Ideal directions

Toilet

Toilets in the north-east direction should be avoided completely.

Kitchen

The fire place / kitchen should ideally be located in south east zone of the house. An underground Water tank should ideally be placed towards the north, north – east, east and west zones of the house.

Bedroom

Bedroom should ideally be located in the south zone; however, for a newly wedded couple the north or north – west is the ideal direction.

Kid’s room should ideally be in the east, north – east, west or south – west directions.

Office

An ideal location of entrance(s) is north, north – east or north -west zones. This would bring good luck and positive energy. The main door of the entrance should be facing the north or the east. The reception should always be in the east or the north – east.

Location of toilets should ideally be in the south or south -west vastu zone of disposal. The toilet seats should ideally be placed in either south to north or west to east direction.

Location of Pantry ideally should be in the southeast corner or zone of the building

If a house is not built according to
vastu
, what should they do?

Simple remedies can help you to correct vastu flaws. Mahavastu has some very simple yet effective remedies like changing the colour of the main entrance, painting a particular portion in a colour to balance the five elements, e.g., the elemental strip technique proves instrumental when it comes to removing the bad effects of entrance locations and toilets.

Hanging green sceneries towards north attracts growth and new opportunities. Mahavastu believes in giving you proven vastu formulae for instant results without any demolitions and reconstruction.

What is the most important thing to retain happiness and harmony in the house?

A clean north-east zone in a home gives absolute clarity about life and farsightedness. I feel that’s the most important understanding to maintain harmony and happiness in every domain of life.

Keeping love birds in the south-west zone enhances all relationships, bringing in happiness and harmony.

Any tips for Diwali puja?

Clear the north-east zone of the house and make sure there are no red-coloured objects in this part of your premises.

Businessmen should place a statue of ‘Kuber’ in the north vastu zone on Wednesday, November 22, 2016.

Place fresh flowers in a green flower vase in the North area.

Place silver statues of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesha in the west zone to remove hindrances and enhance financial prospects.

Article source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/home-garden/MahaVastu-tips-for-an-auspicious-griha-pravesh/articleshow/54672553.cms

April gardening tips for the Fort Smith region

April will bring more time in the garden with more sunny days and that extra hour of daylight. Plants are already leaping out of the ground. But don’t be too complacent because the predicted last frost day for this region is April 15. So have a plan to protect your plants if temperatures dip.

Here are some tips to help you maintain a beautiful and productive garden:

• When purchasing bedding annuals, choose properly grown plants with good color. Buy plants with well-developed root systems that are vigorous, but not too large for their pots, and lots of unopened buds. Plants that bloom in the pack are often root bound and can be set back for several weeks after being transplanted. Plants not yet in bloom will actually bloom sooner, be better established and grow faster.

• Begin to plant warm-season seedlings such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. You can also sow beets, beans, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce, corn and radishes.

• Divide perennial herbs such as mint, chive, tarragon and creeping thyme.

• Plant thyme, sage, parsley, chives, basil, dill and rosemary.

• Prune spring-flowering shrubs and trees after bloom.

• Mulch soil to save water, smother weeds and keep soil cooler. Spread 1-3 inches of mulch or compost around shrubs, perennials, annuals and vegetables.

• Start feeding potted plants every two to three weeks with half-strength liquid fertilizer.

• Lawn grasses do best if mowed at the correct height. Check your lawn mower blade. It should be sharp to prevent tearing the grass.

• Don’t toss the little gladiolus cormlets you dug out with the larger corms last fall. Plant them in a row in the garden this spring, and in two years, they will reach blooming size.

• Plant clematis where it will receive at least six hours of sun. Shade the roots by covering with mulch.

• Cut flower stalks back to the ground on daffodils, hyacinths and other spring flowering bulbs as the flowers fade. Do not cut the foliage until it dies naturally. The leaves are necessary to produce strong bulbs capable of reflowering.

• Attract hummingbirds by planting red or orange flowers, such as beebalm.

• Hydrangea is one gift plant that transplants well into the garden after its flowers fade. When the weather warms, plant in well-drained soil in partial shade. Next year’s flowers may be a different color because color is dependent on the pH in the soil. Alkaline soil produces pink flowers; acidic soil produces blue flowers. White is not affected by soil pH.

• Keep an eye out for aphids and catch them early by using a strong stream of water or safer soap products.

Lance Kirkpatrick is the Sebastian County Cooperative Extension agent. Have questions about lawn, garden or other horticulture related issues? The Sebastian County Extension Service can help with offices in Barling and Greenwood. Call (479) 484-7737 for answers to horticulture questions.

Article source: http://www.swtimes.com/entertainmentlife/20170330/april-gardening-tips-for-fort-smith-region

Garden Tips and Soil Testing

Whether you’re growing lettuce or lupines, it’s important to know who to turn to for advice — the URI Master Gardeners are here to help! Bring in a soil sample from your home garden for free analysis.

On the first Sunday of the month, these garden pros will speak on selected topics ranging from pest management to heritage plants.

April 2: Soils and Soil Testing

May 7: Spring Edibles

Herb and vegetable garden walk identifying culinary perennials and discussing how they are grown.

June 4: The Mighty Pollinators

Gary Casabona, State Biologist for NRCS, talks about pollinators and plants to attract them.

July 2: From Compost to Compost Tea

Demonstrations on how to build a compost pile and use the compost in the garden.

August 6: The Three Sisters Growing Techniques

The history, legend, and practical use of the system.

September 3: Growing Cover Crops

October 1: Feeding your Family from a Colonial Garden

How to collect a soil sample:

Using a clean trowel, take and combine several smaller samples in each separate area of your property that you want to test. Take a sample at a depth of 3-4″ for lawn, 6-8″ for vegetables and flowers and 12 -18″ for fruit trees. Do not sample recently fertilized, limed or very wet soil. You can take the sample from different parts of the lawn or garden.
Take approximately one cup of soil and spread it on a piece of paper to dry overnight.
Transfer the sample to a small zip-lock bag. Write on the bag your name and the type of plants you plan to grow and bring it with you.

Article source: http://www.rimonthly.com/event/garden-tips-soil-testing/2017-03-29/

Get Growing: The Philadelphia Flower Show inspires a shakeup in the garden

Takeaway thoughts inspired by the Philadelphia Flower Show are simple: Try something new this year.

Sometimes the new idea or garden practice is really just the old idea making a comeback. It’s not really a trend, but a good idea whose time has come to re-surface.

Trend 1: Be sustainable in your gardening endeavors. Even though I have heard this term over and over again, it doesn’t always resonate with me. Simply, what is sustainable for one person may not be a solution for another. Clearly, the goal is eco gardening or eco-friendly no matter how you achieve the end results; the basic principle is the same. Be kind to the earth by practicing a do-no-harm philosophy. Consider your neighbor and the next generation. What will your garden legacy be?

Sustainability practices may include becoming an organic gardener or, at the very least, reducing the herbicides and pesticides used.

The movement to help the pollinators, such as bees, butterflies, beetles, ants and birds, by planting foods for their survival, both larval stages and adults, is reaching around the globe.

Planting native plants for the journey along migration routes and for the increasing length of the growing season, early spring through late fall, are key factors to assist pollinators and therefore safeguard our own food.

One in every three bites we take needs a pollinator.

Taking care of water resources by keeping stormwater on-site is becoming common practice, if not yet written into the building code. Keeping water clean and safe from toxins and conserving water should be a priority. Why? The human body is 90 percent water. Plants and animals need clean water, too.

Plant something to keep our human carbon footprint in check, especially trees.

Trend 2: Integrate the natural world into the built environment; a lesson from the Dutch designers on mixing architecture and landscape for balance and beauty. Nature heals. A walk outside restores the soul, reduces stress, invigorates the senses, clears the mind and increases productivity.

Studies show that a walk in the woods elevates mood, decreases blood pressure and allows our bodies to absorb oxygen, counteracting the toxins from harmful indoor air quality. Imagine if we all had access to woodland out our back door. Let’s strive to integrate natural surroundings into our daily routine, and within work or school surroundings.

Trend 3: Foodscape rather than lawnscape. Add edibles to your ornamental landscape. No longer must we separate the garden by function; one for food and the other for entertainment. Land is precious and every square foot should provide a benefit for us.

Think about where you could tuck in some lettuce along your annual border, or change out an invasive shrub for another that would be more beneficial to humans or wildlife. Edible landscapes are beautiful, whether annual (tomatoes) or perennial (asparagus) plantings. Dutch designer Bart Hoes’ urban living exhibit highlighted the creativity possible when blending herbs and vegetables with spring bulbs. Brie Arthur introduced the concept with her new book, “The Foodscape Revolution: Finding a Better Way To Make Space for Food and Beauty in Your Garden” St. Lynn’s Press 2017.

Trend 4: have fun in the garden, and especially with children. Gardening is hard work, but also enjoyable and rewarding. Learn to play in the garden. Encourage children to participate in growing flowers and veggies. Teach them about insects and animals in the wild. Even if the wild is your own backyard, there can be much to view from a child’s perspective.

Spring is here. What will you do differently this year?

Gloria Day is president of Pretty Dirty Ladies Inc. Garden Design Maintenance; a member of Gardenwriters and the Pennsylvania Landscape Nursery Association; and serves on the Pennsylvania Governor’s Residence Horticultural Advisory Committee. She lives in Berks County and can be reached at Gloria@prettydirtyladies.com.

Article source: http://www.readingeagle.com/berks-country/article/get-growing-the-philadelphia-flower-show-inspires-a-shake-up-in-the-garden

Over the Garden Fence | Learning Japanese designs

In the newest relationship pursuit, The Rising Sun Friends, things are going well. At our last meeting, two of the women announced that their stays in Bucyrus were coming to an end in the next several weeks. Sad for me, but a happy thought for them as they embrace the fact they will be returning to Japan with their families.

Last fall at a state school for the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs — a school for flower show Judges — Terri Lady provided a session on Ikenobo designing; she asked someone if I were there. Yes, and I quickly looked her up. You see, Terri and Randy grew roses, lots of them. Each summer when junior gardeners went to the Bucyrus Historical Society History Day, we wanted miniature roses to form the center of our fresh nosegays. The ladies always offered roses to us — we knew one another. Yet, I had no idea that Terri had been studying Ikebana floral designing in the Ikenobo School. She became an answer to a prayer once again.

Terri was positive about coming to the house to share with our group. Shallow containers were rounded up; in oriental designs, a kenzan is placed in the container to hold plant materials. Kenzans are really heavy metal needlepoints; my cupboard is loaded with them.

We met in the morning and Terri arrived early. For foliage, we used bakers fern. There is enough arc in the frond to help in the moribana designing. An assortment of white lilies, some red tulips and alstroemeria were available. Terri demonstrated while the group watched. Then each one of us selected a container and a kenzan.

At the end of the work session, she checked each design and made comments or adjustments while the designer watched.

In a snap, the whole group had the dining room table cleared and all the materials and tools put back into place. By then, green tea was steeping and coffee was hot. Each member of this group brings something for our noon segment, which is much like a church pot luck where everyone does her very best to prepare savory items. It is the artistic display down the center of the table, which is amazing!

These gals work on food with the pride of a licensed chef. Photos of food outnumber those of us working. My offering was corn chowder served from a tureen into Japanese bowls bought in Columbus years ago.

My excitement in having their company in our home over the last two years cushioned my brain. Sure, I knew that husbands assigned to IB Tech would reach the end of their sojourn. Now, reality sets in. Emiko and Kayoko, our president and vice-president respectively, are going home. Sadness is about realizing that their energy and happiness will go, too. On the bright side, friendships, memories and front-line cultural adventures will continue.

It will just be another set of friends, that’s all. Nozomi and Mio have just come into the fellowship, bringing young children with them. That is another dimension.

To my surprise, Terri would like to be part of our fellowship. She admires the culture and had a pleasant time. Life is good.

Mary Lee Minor is a member of the Earth, Wind and Flowers Garden Club, is an accredited flower show judge for the Ohio Association of Garden Clubs and a former sixth-grade teacher.

Article source: http://www.bucyrustelegraphforum.com/story/life/2017/03/28/over-garden-fence-learning-japanese-designs/99684960/

Garden design is enhanced with surprises

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Article source: http://www.parispi.net/lifestyles/features/garden/article_a10aa27a-148a-11e7-b2ca-b7ea5317e8c2.html

Lots of new at Home and Garden Show

According to Katie Hanning, executive officer for the Great Falls Home Builders Association, “I don’t care what the groundhog says, spring does not come to Montana until the Home and Garden Show happens.”

If Hanning is right, then spring in Montana begins Friday, March 31, at Montana ExpoPark.

This year’s booth space is sold out and includes more than 30 new vendors selling everything you can imagine for the home and garden as well as some things you never knew you needed and can’t live without.

North Country Armory, a company selling home safes, joins the show for the first time.

“Because sometimes the guys like to look at stuff,” Hanning joked.

Marias River Farms is bringing Italian rototillers.

“I don’t know what that means,” said Hanning, “but it sounds like it’ll be exciting.”

Quarry Works brings some new stonework ideas for landscaping and other projects, Big Sky Quilts shows off some fancy sewing and Furniture Row has decor and furniture ideas galore.

The vendors aren’t the only thing that’s new for the 2017 Home and Garden Show.

“This year, we’re doing a hot trends event,” said Hanning, explaining that vendors with new styles, looks and items will have green ribbons on their booths to entice shoppers.

These trends include everything from the latest paint colors to new metal products.

“And, of course, we have our seasoned veterans like Anderson Glass, and they have new hiding screen doors, which are really awesome,” Hanning said.

As the years roll on, the businesses bring bigger and more elaborate booths to draw in customers and show them the possibilities.

“We encourage that because we want people to be able to dream in living color,” said Hanning.

Some of the fancier displays include life-sized gazebos and an outdoor kitchen setup from All Season Spas and Stoves.

“I’m at the show starting on Wednesday because it takes a couple of days for these people to build,” said Hanning. “It’s not a one-day deal.”

The Home Builders Association also provides consumer information throughout the show on how to avoid being taken in by building scams and how to hire safe contractors.

You can also have a shot at a Visa gift card by bringing easy-to-cook items for the school food pantries. Or just grab a card on the way in and play Home Show Bingo for a shot at Visa gift cards and a picnic table from Pro Build.

“You can get money just from being a cool person,” said Hanning.

The Great Falls Home and Garden Show runs from 3 to 8 p.m. March 31, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 1 and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 2. Admission is $3.

Reach Tribune Staff Writer Traci Rosenbaum at 791-1490. Follow her on Twitter @GFTrib_TRosenba.

THE ESSENTIALS

What: Home and Garden Show

When: 3-8 p.m. March 31; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April 1; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 2

Where: Four Seasons Arena

Cost: $3

Article source: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/entertainment/2017/03/28/lots-new-home-garden-show/99766008/

Native plants are good choice for landscaping in town or rural …


Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 4:15 pm


Native plants are good choice for landscaping in town or rural

By Francis Skalicky
Missouri Department of Conservation

Buffalo Reflex – Buffalo, Missouri

|
0 comments

Whether you have a small yard in the city or a large acreage in the country, native plants can give you options to grow on.

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      Tuesday, March 28, 2017 4:15 pm.

      Article source: http://buffaloreflex.com/outdoors/native-plants-are-good-choice-for-landscaping-in-town-or/article_9dcd2b58-13fb-11e7-bfd9-232c4ba2fa64.html

      Water-Saving Landscaping Ideas for Traditional Style Homes

      Shades of Green Landscape Architecture, original photo on Houzz

      For most of us, when we think of drought-tolerant design – also known as xeriscaping – the gardens of Mediterranean and Southwestern-style homes come to mind. Why? Because those climates require water-efficient plants and trees, and they make the most use of drought-resistant landscaping techniques. But, what if you own a more traditional-style home, like a colonial or Victorian and you want a water-saving lawn?

      It’s tradition for the traditional styles to sport lawns with vast swaths of grass, hedges, rosebushes and other water-hungry plants. But, the good news is there are plenty of options for grasses, shrubs, and plants with lots of color to create beautiful landscaping, and they won’t suck your water system dry.

      Not all grasses have the water demands of typical turf. Drought-tolerant No-Mow Fine Fescue or Buffalograss replaces a standard lawn behind the shingle-style home shown above.

      A splash of lavender from some roses or fuchsia from a bougainvillea would look picture perfect next to a traditional house. But maybe you don’t have the time or money for the upkeep.


      BE Landscape Design, original photo on Houzz

      This traditional cottage offers the same bursts of color, with a “lawn” of creeping thyme and a rich and colorful front yard with a drought-tolerant ground cover and shrubs.

      Large bushes of Spanish lavender (Lavendula stoechas) serve up some water-saving purple magic.


      Robert Shuler Design, original photo on Houzz

      In yet a different lawn variant, the drought-tolerant grasses in this rustic heath provide this English country classic home with a soft green carpet, but one that is much more water efficient than manicured turf.

      When you do want lots of green and color, combine different grasses and drought-tolerant flowering bushes, like one of the many forms of lavender. While most traditional flowers and lawns slurp up water, a yard like this can surround you with nature and color and be largely self-supporting once established.


      Le jardinet, original photo on Houzz

      In this colorful garden, drought-tolerant plantings show that you can save water and still pile on all the reds, yellows, oranges, blues, greens and purples you want. Bright daylily (Hemerocallis) and reddish-hued smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) form the foreground of this lovely landscape.


      Beinfield Architecture PC, original photo on Houzz

      Sometimes, however, the answer for saving water is a little more hardscaping and a little less lawn. The approach works well for this traditional farmhouse in New York.

      If you add hardscaping, try to design it in a way that allows water to seep into the soil below. In other words, don’t create a solid concrete or stone surface, but rather one that’s permeable. That will reduce risks of soil erosion where the water leaves your hardscaping and will reduce the load on your municipality’s storm water sewers.


      Dan Nelson, Designs Northwest Architects, original photo on Houzz​

      Segmenting a garden with walls and pathways reduces the planting area — and water demand — while creating interesting spaces and providing natural focal points. What’s more traditional than a courtyard garden?

      (A huge shout-out to Ira Johnson of Rainscape Design in San Francisco for his invaluable assistance identifying the plant varieties shown in this ideabook.)

      This article was originally published on Houzz.com
      For related content see:
      Try Traditional Style Patio Furniture
      The Case for Losing the Traditional Lawn
      Hire a Hardscaping Professional Near Orlando

      Read more Home Grown blogs – your go-to source for tips and inspiration for your home or garden, and subscribe today to have Orlando magazine delivered to your door once a month.

      Article source: http://www.orlandomagazine.com/Home-Grown/March-2017/Water-Saving-Landscaping-Ideas-for-Traditional-Style-Homes/

      Attracting butterflies and other pollinators to your garden


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      Article source: http://www.progressnewspaper.org/Content/News/Community-News/Article/Attracting-butterflies-and-other-pollinators-to-your-garden/198/1184/194328