Wednesday, February 23, 2005

How to Attract Butterflies to Your Garden

The flittering of the butterfly through your garden is no accident if you planned your garden carefully. The adult butterfly flitters from flower to flower - sipping nectar from many flowers in your gardens, while other adult butterflies search for areas to lay their larvae. It is good to take note that the butterfly garden is going to differ from other areas of your garden. Your natural instincts will be to kill off pests, larvae and creatures in the garden, but in the butterfly garden your best results are noticed when you use organic gardening: Which means no chemicals at all.

In you want to include the use of butterflies in your landscape you will need to create a safety zone for your butterflies to feel safe. Butterflies frequent habitual zones, where they feel safe and where areas of the landscape meet with the tree lines. Creating your butterfly gardens near or around trees will help in attracting even more of these graceful creatures to your gardens.

A tip in attracting the Black Swallowtail or the Anise Swallowtail is this: Plant parsley, dill or fennel in your gardens, these plants attract this certain butterfly. If these herbs are not your favorites, you can attract other types of butterflies using other flowers. To attract the Fritillary butterfly for instance, plant Lupine flowers your garden. Or you may want to consider planting Snapdragons to attract butterflies that are native in your own area. Your early butterfly gardens are going to attract butterflies only in passing, but creating and growing the gardens that offer a safe haven for the butterfly will urge them to stay in your garden.

Butterflies are attracted to areas of your gardens where they can gather food for their offspring. The caterpillar will eat from the plants while the adult butterflies will sip on the nectar of the flowers. As your plants, shrubs, and flowers mature, the amount of butterflies to your gardens will also increase. The plants and flowers that you put in your garden this year will attract only a few, but in the years to come the natural instinct of the butterfly will lead them to your garden.

What is the adult butterfly searching for in your gardens? The butterfly searches for areas to take shelter from the high winds, the rains, and the summer storms. This is where the trees and shrubs in your gardens become important in protecting the butterfly and offering shelter. During the normal, warm sunny summer day the butterfly wants the wide-open areas of your lawn and garden.

Butterflies will seek soft soil that is sandy-like to find water. The sand-like soil that allows water to puddle up after a rainstorm is a butterflies delight. The developing stages of the caterpillar to the butterfly are observed often in the established butterfly garden.

By creating the atmosphere in the garden that offers the shelter, food, water and the fragrance the butterfly is searching for you will have Butterfly Garden success.

© 2004. This article is provided courtesy of The Garden Source Network - a large gardening network devoted to helping you find all the gardening materials you need, such as Seeds, Live Plants, Roses, Trees and Beautiful decor. This article may be distributed and published on any website, as long as this statement and URL remain intact, and the website address is linked properly.


Compiled by TP Goh (http://www.simplyflowergarden.info)

A Bit About Bare Root Roses...

Scents from the rose garden filling the air as you walk by... it's a lovely summer scent that you can enjoy every year. Many gardeners know that the rose is referred to as the queen of all flowers, and you can see the history in the rose by traveling back in time to Europe. The rose is a plant whose scent predominates the historical gardens all over the world. Historical gardens in Europe include the use of Roses, Peonies, Honeysuckle, and a few other strongly scented plants. The rose creates the feeling of royalty, color, and elegance all in the same instant

The rose bush is a perennial that will fill your garden space without much added work.

In planning a rose garden, you might have the option to plant roses that are bare root. What are bare root roses? Bare root roses are plants that you will dig up from your family or friend's house and bring back to your own garden. The plant that you dig up without bringing the soil that the plant lived in to your garden is a bare root plant. Here, we are going to discuss more about bare root roses, and how to plant them for your rose garden success.

Bringing the bare root plant back from the store, your friends or from your supplier, you should soak your bare root plants in a bucket of water overnight before planting. In planning your rose garden, you can dig your hole for your new plant, loosing the soil where you will place your new rose bush. Using the soil that you loosen in the hole, pile or mound it in the middle of the hole to support the plant during and after planting.

Placing your bare root plant in the hole, center it on the mound of dirt and back fill around the plant. Do not pack in the soil, but loosely back fill the soil around the plant to an inch above where planted in the soil before. You can tell how far the plant was in the soil earlier by the green on the stalk of the plant. Water the rose bush once again with ample amounts of water.

After watering your rose bush well, cover the soil with mulch to hold moisture. The mulch around the rose should not actually touch the thick stalk of the plant, but instead be a half-inch to an inch from the stalk. Watering your rose bush at least once a week, for the first month after planting, will bring the first breath of success in your new rose garden.

Rose Garden Tips...

The rose garden ultimately is a get away for you and your thoughts any time of the day. You can plan and create a rose garden of your own that will take away the stress of your day with its beauty. The rose garden that you love and admire so much can be yours if you follow a few easy steps in planning and in raising your roses.

If you have never raised roses before, we have a few great tips and ideas lined up for your reference. One important thing to remember is that roses do love the sunshine. In the garden that is full sun areas only, you will have great success in growing roses. If you have a partially shaded area where you want to grow new rose bushes, you may want to consider moving your plants to where your roses will receive at least six hours of sun a day or more.

When first planting or transplanting a rose bush, water will be an important factor. You will need to water your roses at least once a week as your rose establishes itself. The soil that you plant your rose in does need to drain well, this is important. The rose bush will not thrive in the area moist all of the time. Refraining from planting your rose in an area that fills with puddles will aid in your successful rose gardening.

As your roses grow and change every year, you will need to pick off the dead head flowers. Picking off the flowers that are dead will bring new life to your bush. If you find black spots on the leaves of your rose bush, this will keep your plant from suffering and from any disease from spreading over the entire plant. Treating your plants at the first sign of Japanese beetles is going to save their luscious green leaves from these tiny creatures.

In the spring of the year, you will need to prune your rose bush. The blackened portions of your rose bush need pruned away to promote additional new growth over the entire plant. While pruning your plant in the spring season, pull weed starts so that your plant is not in competition for water or soil nutrients over the growing seasons.

As you plan your rose garden and begin placement, planting roses of the same color next to each other will enhance the over all look of the rose garden. Using too many flowers in one area though, can make the entire rose garden look more jumbled than a wave of color.

One last thing for you to think about when creating and planning a rose garden is to remember to test your soil. Soil testers are widely available and relatively inexpensive. When testing your soil, your pH level is going to be most important for success with roses. A pH level of 5.5 to 6.6 is the ultimate situation for raising a rose garden of your own.

Gordon Goh is author of the free, informative website Simply Flower Garden offering quality useful tips for flower garden lovers.

Prepared by : Gordon Goh (TP Goh) http://www.simplyflowergarden.info



Garden Room Boundaries...

The areas of your landscape can be divided into several sections and areas, which are also known as garden rooms. Garden rooms are spaces where you plant, grow, and display different ideas in gardening in various creative methods. One garden room could be a rose garden, while another could include the use of a water garden, while still another garden room in your landscape could include the use of just purple flowers. Garden rooms are your creation, and only limited to your imagination. To create the rooms in your landscape where you can be both different and creative you need to actually create some type of walls in your gardens. The walls in your gardens are going to be grown from other larger types of plants. Living fences are one 'way' that you can create garden rooms.

Dependable shrubs and hedges that you can use for fences or as wall between the garden rooms include various types such as:

Forsythia is a spring flowering shrubs that would make the country garden room lovely. Long after the spring months, the flowers will die off but the leaves on this shrub will fill in as a wall nicely.

Broadleaf evergreens are another type of shrub that is very popular in creating garden rooms. One in particular is the boxwood. The boxwood can be shaped rounded or with a boxy shape. It will take years to grow to be very tall, but it is a very thick shrub, that will create wonderful walls for the garden rooms. The leaves are very small, appearing in the late spring months and lasting until the very coldest of the winter months.

There are many 'ways' that you can create walls in the garden to grow private rooms. Lilacs are a 'flowering boundary type' plant that will spread but very slowly. The flowers on the taller bushes create a nice backdrop for many garden rooms. The Border Privet is a smaller shrub that is fast growing. This plant would grow to fill in the walls of any room in the garden.

Juniper evergreens, holly, burning bushes, and even rose bushes grow and tame to produce what will look like walls. When you are creating several different areas in your landscape, you have hundreds of choices of plants, shrubs, or even bushes that will fill in nicely.

One important thing to remember when you start creating your walls for any type of garden room is that the final display inside of the room is going to be accented by the type of plants that you use to create the actual room.

Gordon Goh is author of the free, informative website Simply Flower Garden offering quality useful tips for flower garden lovers.

Prepared by Gordon Goh (TP Goh)
http://www.simplyflowergarden.info

Planning a Water Garden...

A water garden is the area of your landscape that will provide you with relaxing sounds of the water, while adding to the overall details of your landscape. The water garden is a project that you must 'plan' for continued success. If you are lucky enough to have the room in your lawn for a water garden, you are already one step ahead of many gardeners! Let's talk a little about how to plan for your water garden. A few important factors about placement of a water garden that often are forgotten are:


Do you have children in the neighborhood? If you have or live near children, you will want to keep your water garden in an area that will be close to your home. You will want to be able to see what is 'going on' by the water. Children are curious and they love water! Being able to see your water garden will save you worry later after the creation of your water garden even if the children are in the yard.

Do you have a natural spring in your lawn area? When planning a waterfall in the water garden, the use of a natural spring or water source is going to make the continued success of your water garden much easier. A water garden is possible with a waterfall even if you do not have a natural spring or water source, but it is a little more 'work' to create that special effect. You can find more information about this in another article on this site.

The lay of your land is important. While we will discuss this in other articles as well, planning your water garden around the lay of your land is important. If you are lucky enough to have a flat lawn, you can plan your water garden in various areas. The landscape that includes hills and slopes are a little tricky but using the slope in your lawn, you can create the water garden that takes care of that little 'wet patch' at the bottom of the yard!

Most water gardens are an addition or extension of the natural landscape. To encourage and invite your guests to the water garden for picnics, for chats, and for just sitting in pleasure: Plan the water garden so it's visible from the walkway to your home. The water garden that your visitors and guests see while entering your home adds value to your home and to your conversation!

In planning your water garden, use a sheet of paper to write down what you want to gain from your water garden. Start your list by using personal reasons, value reasoning, enhancing, or changing the overall look of your landscape. Alternately, you may simply want a place for solitude. These are the desires you'll write on your list. From this list, you can better plan 'where' your water garden will suit you and your ideas.

Gordon Goh is author of the free, informative website Simply Flower Garden offering quality useful tips for flower garden lovers.

Preparede by Gordon Goh (TP Goh) http://www.simplyflowergarden.info



Monday, February 21, 2005

Starting a Shade Garden...

The shade garden can be exploding with color and texture. No matter how much shade is in your landscape, the right flowers, plants, bushes and bulbs will grow in this area when given a chance. As there are various types of shade, you will need to choose the plants that are 'right' for the type of shade you have: partial, dense, full, or filtered shade. In starting a shade garden, one of the easiest shade gardens will be the filtered shade garden. What you need to do first is look at the trees or bushes that are making this area a filtered shade garden. Pruning off the lower branches on taller bushes and on the tree will allow additional light into your garden. Because you are planning a filtered shade garden, you do want some amount of sunlight in that garden below the tree.

Thinning out the bottom saplings that are trying to grow from the tree is needed at this time to ensure they do not grow up in your garden. Underbrush and thorny bushes should be cut down and dug up at this time before starting your shade garden.

Now you can work on the soil that is in the area that you want to create that new garden. Adding organic materials, more soil, compost, manure or other types of nutrients to the soil will prepare the fine garden bed that will hold your shade plants.

When possible, do not disturb the roots of the tree that will be in or around the garden area. Cutting or disturbing the roots of a tree can cause damage or death to the tree over time. Working with the soil and adding the needed materials to make your garden about six inches deep is going to be the ultimate situation for your new plants.

After planting your first shade plants in the garden continue to water them every few days until the roots begin to 'take hold' and support the plants. When placing your plants in the soil of your new garden, mulching around the plants will hold the water in the soil for your plants to thrive best.

Shade Garden Plants

Do you have a landscape that involves trees, shrubs, and bushes? When your landscape is filled with shade during certain times of the day, you can still have wonderful plants, flowers and color using the shade garden plants. You might find it most interesting that within the shade garden plants, there are additional types of shade needs. Shade gardening does give you various opportunities to change your landscape and to enhance the tree line of your yard. Shade gardens give many gardeners a more relaxing feel, as a place where you can stroll and be calming in the shade. The sun areas of your garden and landscape are lively and energetic.

To discover more about the different shade areas of a garden, take a walk through this area, or walk through the woods. Taking a walk through the woods you will find that sunlight does still hit some areas and some soil is in the shade all the time.

Filtered shade is an area where the sun will lightly hit. This indirect sunlight filters to the ground between leaves, branches, and other bushes. An example of where filtered shade is - this the soil at the bottom of a very tall tree that has branches that have been thinned out. The thinning of the tree allows sun to still fall on the ground below but in an indirect manner.

Partially shaded areas of your garden are different from the filtered shade areas. The portions of your landscape or gardens that does get sun four or five hours a day, but then remains in the shade of a tree or house the remaining portion of the day is a partially shaded area. The plants that are sensitive to the high temperatures of the full sun in the afternoon are plants that you will grow in this area.

Full shade areas of your garden are the areas of your garden that remain in the dark for most of the day. Sunlight may shine in this area of the landscape when trees loose their leaves or for less than an hour each day. Choice plants that mature in the spring or produce flowers in the fall are the plants that grow in this portion of your landscape.

Dense shade is yet another area of your landscape where the sun never shines and the area never do receive partial shade. Dense shade areas of your landscape include those that are beside fences, houses, in the thick of the wooded area or similar type areas.

Read the information that is available when purchasing plants that you want to place in shade gardens. Some shade plants still require some amount of sun as described above for the best results.

Gordon Goh is author of the free, informative website Simply Flower Garden offering quality useful tips for flower garden lovers.


Prepared by : Gordon Goh (TP Goh)
http://www.simplyflowergarden.info

How to Attract Butterfly Activity...

The flittering of the butterfly through your garden is no accident if you planned your garden carefully. The adult butterfly flitters from flower to flower - sipping nectar from many flowers in your gardens, while other adult butterflies search for areas to lay their larvae. It is good to take note that the butterfly garden is going to differ from other areas of your garden. Your natural instincts will be to kill off pests, larvae and creatures in the garden, but in the butterfly garden your best results are noticed when you use organic gardening: Which means no chemicals at all.

In you want to include the use of butterflies in your landscape you will need to create a safety zone for your butterflies to feel safe. Butterflies frequent habitual zones, where they feel safe and where areas of the landscape meet with the tree lines. Creating your butterfly gardens near or around trees will help in attracting even more of these graceful creatures to your gardens.

A tip in attracting the Black Swallowtail or the Anise Swallowtail is this: Plant parsley, dill or fennel in your gardens, these plants attract this certain butterfly. If these herbs are not your favorites, you can attract other types of butterflies using other flowers. To attract the Fritillary butterfly for instance, plant Lupine flowers your garden. Or you may want to consider planting Snapdragons to attract butterflies that are native in your own area. Your early butterfly gardens are going to attract butterflies only in passing, but creating and growing the gardens that offer a safe haven for the butterfly will urge them to stay in your garden.

Butterflies are attracted to areas of your gardens where they can gather food for their offspring. The caterpillar will eat from the plants while the adult butterflies will sip on the nectar of the flowers. As your plants, shrubs, and flowers mature, the amount of butterflies to your gardens will also increase. The plants and flowers that you put in your garden this year will attract only a few, but in the years to come the natural instinct of the butterfly will lead them to your garden.

What is the adult butterfly searching for in your gardens? The butterfly searches for areas to take shelter from the high winds, the rains, and the summer storms. This is where the trees and shrubs in your gardens become important in protecting the butterfly and offering shelter. During the normal, warm sunny summer day the butterfly wants the wide-open areas of your lawn and garden.

Butterflies will seek soft soil that is sandy-like to find water. The sand-like soil that allows water to puddle up after a rainstorm is a butterflies delight. The developing stages of the caterpillar to the butterfly are observed often in the established butterfly garden.

By creating the atmosphere in the garden that offers the shelter, food, water and the fragrance the butterfly is searching for you will have Butterfly Garden success.

Gordon Goh is author of the free, informative website Simply Flower Garden offering quality useful tips for flower garden lovers.

Gordon Goh (TP Goh) http://www.simplyflowergarden.info

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Fertilizers - What you Need to Feed Your Lawn

Fertilizers - What you Need to Feed Your Lawn

Wildflower Seeds - Ten Reasons Why You Should Plant...

Native wildflowers are those that were growing naturally in the landscape before the first settlers arrived from Europe. Ever since that time more and more plants have been introduced from around the world with very mixed results. Although many of the imports are now prized garden specimens, others are regarded as invasive weeds whose cultivation is actively discouraged eg Japanese Knotweed. The benefits of growing wildflowers are many, but here are just a few:

Since wildflowers grow naturally in the landscape they will thrive in similar soil types and situations in your garden.

Because they are growing in their natural habitat, wildflowers will require less water and fertilizer than other plants.

Equally wildflowers have a natural resistance to pests and diseases and so will reduce the need for sprays and pesticides.

Many wildflowers are attractive to bees and butterflies and so will encourage these colorful insects to visit.

Songbirds are also attracted by the seeds and berries produced by the plants.

A wildflower planting can produce a dense groundcover that will encourage frogs and toads who will eat slugs but not harm your plants themselves.

On a more practical level, give up part of your lawn, sow wildflower seeds and save yourself the effort of mowing.

Read about the folklore of wildflowers and discover a whole new world of traditional uses of plants as food, as tisanes, potpourris and more.

Many wildflowers have in the past been used as medicines and a number of modern drugs are based on plant extracts.

To bring this short list to a close, just consider that when all around you land is being developed for houses, shops, factories and roads, your area of wildflower planting can be a contribution to the preservation of the natural environment.

Hugh Harris-Evans is the owner of The Garden Supplies Advisor where you will find further articles, gardening tips and product reviews.

TPGoh (http://www.simplyflowergarden.info)

Herbs can add a touch of magic to your garden with their supernatural associations and practical uses.

Records show that herbs were in use in ancient Greece where they were valued as flavorings and for their fragrance. Certain herbs were also credited with mystical properties. Herbs were introduced into Britain by the Romans who also valued the reputedly supernatural powers of the plants, as well as their culinary and medicinal uses. In Britain, too, herbs became a focus of superstition, reaching their peak of importance in the Middle Ages when every village had its witch, and every witch her herbs and potions. Herbs were also used to combat the witches' powers; garlic, hyssop and wormwood all combated witchcraft and evil spirits.

The medicinal qualities of herbs were even more important. In 1597 John Gerard, the London herbalist and apothecary, published his "Herball", a volume containing 1000 pages with woodcut illustrations of some 3000 plants. A rather smaller collection of some 400 plants was included in Nicholas Culpeper's Complete Herbal first published in c1640 and still available from bookshops today.

For most of us today the main use for herbs will be as flavorings in cooking. A few plants within easy reach of your backdoor so that they are handy for the cook will be well worth the effort. You can even grow a small selection in a container on a sunny windowsill.

Generally herbs thrive on a light and well drained soil. Although herbs can be planted in borders throughout your garden, it is more usual to group them in one place. Many formal planting schemes have been devised ranging from a chequerboard design of alternating square slabs and plants to using an old wagon wheel with plants in between the spokes.

Hugh Harris-Evans is the owner of The Garden Supplies Advisor where you will find further articles, gardening tips and product reviews.

TPGoh (http://www.simplyflowergarden.info)

Cat Repellent or How to Keep Cats Out of Your Garden

Do cat repellents work? How to stop a cat from using garden as litterbox? Tell me how to keep cats out of my garden. These are common questions of concern to all gardeners but is there a real answer?

The first line of defence is to ensure that your yard boundaries are secure. Any gaps in your fence should be blocked to deny low level access. But cats can jump so fix a taut wire or string some six inches above the top of your fence to deter this approach.

Once inside your garden many people say that the best cat repellent is a dog who will soon see off any feline invader. If you are not a dog lover then you will have to resort to more passive methods. Since cats like to lie on freshly dug soil you should lay mulch on your borders so that no bare soil is left exposed. Seed beds should be covered with wire netting or twigs arranged as a barrier.

Young trees should have plastic guards fitted around their trunks to protect them against use as a scratching pole. Your garden pond should be covered with netting to keep your fish safe.

Cats are generally known to dislike water so a well aimed bucketful or a squirt with the hose will certainly make an intruder run. After one or two dousings it may learn the lesson and stay away.

To protect plants and borders both mothballs and citrus are said to be effective deterrents. Place the mothballs, orange peel or lemon rind in the borders. Alternatively spray cloths with orange scented air freshener and place the cloths around the plants you wish to protect. Other known cat repellents are cayenne pepper, coffee grounds, pipe tobacco, lavender oil, lemon grass oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus oil and mustard oil.
Certain herbs are said to deter cats. In particular rue but not catmint which has the opposite effect. Coleus canina is another plant which is marketed by one merchant as a cat repellent.

The broadcaster Jerry Baker has suggested treating your yard with a tonic made from chewing tobacco, urine, birth control pills, mouthwash, molasses, detergent and beer. A smallholder has reported success using dried rabbit blood but you may feel that the ingredients listed in the previous paragraph should be tried first.

If you visit your local garden center or hardware store you will find several cat repellent products on sale. These range from electric water sprinklers and ultrasonic devices to sprays and granules.

Motion activated sprinklers act in the same way as a burglar alarm using an infra red detector. When the cat enters the area covered by the detector the sprinkler shoots out a jet of water to scare the animal away. It is claimed that, after one or two encounters with the jet, the cat will learn to avoid the area.
Ultrasonic devices emit a high frequency sound which is annoying to cats (and dogs) but is not audible to humans. There are various different models some of which operate continuously and others which have an infra red detector and only emit a pulse of sound when the cat triggers the device. To be successful you need to ensure that the model is powerful enough to cover the area you wish to protect. In addition make sure that the sound frequency is designed for larger animals since some models are intended to deter insects and so would be no use for cats.

There are also commercial scent cat repellents. Those that use chemicals should be kept away from any food crops but the essential oil based granule varieties act in the same way as orange and lemon peel mentioned above. Another way to keep a cat out if the garden is a repellent evaporator which consists of a container holding puffed rice which has been impregnated with essential oils. These are effective for three to four weeks and can then be refilled for a further period. Another natural product which many people claim really keeps a cat out of the garden is lion's dung. You may need to visit your local zoo to obtain this although some stores do stock zoo poo.

In Ontario, Canada the local township provides a cat trap service. Once the animal enters the cage it cannot escape but is completely unharmed. The owner has to pay to recover his pet and so should be encouraged not to let the cat stray in future. Apparently few owners bother to reclaim their cats but just obtain another kitten. However this sounds like a good way of dealing with a cat that cannot be deterred by any other method. If there is no such scheme in your area, just buy your own trap.

So, to recap, the first priority is to secure your boundary fences. Then you have the whole selection of suggested cat repellents ranging from homemade recipes to expensive commercial gadgets. I would suggest that you try the orange peel and prickly twigs for a start. If you are around when the intruder appears, try the bucket of water or hose. Even if you miss, the shock may be a sufficient deterrent. If these do not do the trick, then you may have to consider the commercial alternatives.

Hugh Harris-Evans is the owner of The Garden Supplies Advisor where you will find further articles, gardening tips and product reviews.

TPGoh (http://www.simplyflowergarden.info)

Friday, February 18, 2005

How To Choose Water Garden Plants

How To Choose Water Garden Plants

TP Goh
http://www.simplyflowergarden.info.

Learn All About Feng Shui Money Trees

Learn All About Feng Shui Money Trees



TP Goh
http://www.simplyflowergarden.info.