27 Aug

Online Garden Planning Tool and Corinthian Bells Chimes

Online Garden Planning Tool and Corinthian Bells Chimes

Planning your gardens look and feel used to be a tedious processyou probably worked on re-landscaping or re-arranging your garden without any solid plan whatsoever. Most people do something like that regularlythey just look at what they have and proceed by relying on gut instinct. The result, however, is often what you may expect with gut instinctno logical redirection of the viewers attention or no smart usage of every inch of garden space.

These days, there are various free tools available to help you plan your garden. No, you dont have to actually buy a drawing board and begin drafting your plan. With a computer and some internet connection, you can actually plan your garden while having fun at it.

Online Garden Planning Tool

There are some websites that specialize in gardening tips that also provide a free online garden planning tool. Nothing fancyif your browser can support Flash, and most modern browsers do, you can easily use this tool. Much better if your internet connection is fast. The great thing about such online garden planning tools is that theyre freethe website hosting or offering the tool simply finds other ways to earn from it, such as by relying on the growth in the number of its loyal readers or in the sales of its affiliate products. Using such an online garden planning tool is waste free and your creativity to take full rein. For example, you can incorporate Corinthian bells chimes in your plan and see the chimes overall impact on the plan without having to dig the soil or taking out your hammer. You can also have lots of fun while working on your designbecause you can always reload or “undo” anything that you do not like, your creative mind is unhampered with the fear of making an irreversible or hard-to-change mistake. And this sense of freedom can do a lot in enabling you formulate a garden design that truly represents what you want and what you feel.

The minor downside with free online garden planning tools is their limitationthere may not be enough options available if youre the type of gardener who likes things beautifully complex. Most online tools are also meant for use on small or medium-sized gardens, so if youre someone who happens to own a sprawling property, then you can do better with a little professional help.

Software Garden Planning Tool

However, if you want a more detailed and more powerful tool in planning your garden, there are various software programs available that you can buy. Ranging in price from tens to hundreds of dollars, depending on complexity, such software-based tools can serve the gardening enthusiast with more than enough legroom for their creativity. Some highly priced software garden planning tools can be so complex as to resemble a typical CAD software, and you may have to hurdle a certain learning curve before you can fully harness the entire extent of its capabilities.

The great thing about such software-based tools is the quality of

25 Aug

Cisco further strengthens Its Videoscape Architecture in India

Cisco(NASDAQ:CSCO) has added live TV and mobile video capabilities to its Videoscape architecture by integrating the Video Delivery Platform from Apalya Technologies Private Limited. This capability was demonstrated at the Cisco Video Summit in New Delhi, which is an annual event for the company’s customers and partners in the cable and broadcast sectors.

To demonstrate Cisco’s commitment to delivering best-of-breed solutions to multi-system operators (MSOs) in India, who operate multiple cable or direct-broadcast satellite television systems, Cisco has also made an investment in Apalya. This investment was done along with existing investors IDGVI (IDG Ventures India), IUVP (Indo-US Venture Partners) and Qualcomm.

“Video is a key priority for Cisco, and we have been investing in innovative technologies to enhance the delivery of quality video content across platforms. We are excited to work together with Apalya to drive innovation in the intersection of Mobility and TV Video delivery,” said Vish Iyer, Director, SP Video Architecture, Asia-Pacific, Japan and Greater China, Cisco.

With the uptake of 3G services in the country and the introduction of 4G services, the demand for data and video, on mobile, is growing significantly. According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), global mobile data traffic will grow 13-fold from 2012 to 2017, reaching 11.2 exabytes per month in 2017, and mobile video will represent 66% of all mobile data traffic. In India, video is expected to be 40% of mobile data traffic by 2016, up from 15% at the end of 2011.

23 Aug

Humate Based Cannabis Plant Food

Humate Supreme Inc. introduced its organic humate and nutrient base plant food products to the European cannabis community at the recent Cannabis Cup in Amsterdam. Attendance was excellent and enjoyed by all, with free samples flowing generously to attendees looking for a better way to grow vibrant, healthy, potent cannabis, without the high costs and mess of hydroponics.

Humate Supreme plant food tablets are a complete stand alone fertilizer product that can be used at any stage of the growing process, from seed planting to plant maturity, eliminating the expense and mess of hydroponics.

Our UK division will service the numerous contacts made within the UK/European community, allowing for fast, inexpensive shipments and better customer service. With attendees from countries around the world, we were pleasantly surprised to meet with growers from as far away as Mali, Canada and even the United States, that are already successfully growing with Humate Supreme products, having purchased online. Many took applications to sign up as an authorized Home Dealer, allowing them to purchase Humate Supreme product at wholesale pricing, for personal growing use as well as the income generating opportunities.

Humate Supreme will exhibit next at the Hemp Con show February 21-23, 2010 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California; followed by the Cannabilooza show in Las Vegas, Nevada in March 2010. We invite you to come see us, get some free samples, have fun talking gardens or maybe become part of our family of dealers. For more information, please visit us online at www.humatesupreme.com or call us at 918-786-6800. We love to talk gardens. Howard E. Turrel, President/CEO of Humate Supreme Inc., is a pioneer in the research and development of organic humate base nutrient rich fertilizers. With a background in agriculture dating back to his youth, Turrel has been at the forefront of eco-friendly sustainable agriculture since 1968, being instrumental in the development of numerous synergistically powerful humic acid based plant food products; including products formulated specific to the hemp/cannabis plant.

Humate Supreme manufactures and distributes organic humate base plant food products, formulated specific to the Hemp/Cannabis plant. The product line includes plant food tablets, liquid teas, and potting soil supplements; all rich in humic acid and micro-nutrients.

22 Aug

How to Grow Flowering Kalanchoe Plants for Drought Tolerant Gardens or as Houseplants

Kalanchoe plants are pretty dry garden bloomers known for their bright colorful flowers. They’re great succulent plants for dry landscapes or as houseplants in container gardens indoors. Kalanchoes are in the Crassulaceae or, Stonecrop family. Most varieties are perennial and evergreen.

One of the most popular form of kalanchoe species grown today is kalanchoe blossfeldiana and its many hybrid plants. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana plants grow up to 2 feet tall and as wide. They have large, leathery leaves about 2 1/2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. The leaf edges are usually lightly scalloped and may have a slight tint of red or other color. Some hybrid plants have smooth edges and different colors on the leaf.

Flowers bloom in upright, large clusters from 2 to 3 inches across, and are made up of small daisy like flowers of 5 petals. The stamens are usually yellow and can stand out brightly depending on the flower color. Flower colors can range from white, yellow, orange, red, pink and everything in between. Flowers can also be creamy, dreamy pastels, or have flowers with more than one color, but kalanchoe blossfeldiana are mainly known for neon bright colors. These drought tolerant plants make a bold statement in the garden with their glowing, bright flower colors. Bloom is heaviest in spring, but they can bloom all year with a little feeding of fertilizer after the first bloom.

Care of kalanchoes outdoors is easy in mild winter areas. They are hardy to USDA Zone 10b, or 35 degrees, (Sunset Zone: 17, 21-24), These plants can take full sun to part shade in the garden. Outdoors, if it gets over 100 degrees for more than a few days, or your plants develop brown spots it may be getting sunburn. Either move the pots, or provide a little shade during the hottest part of the day. Indoors they prefer a bright windowsill with lots of light. Indoors, place plants near a bright window.

Kalanchoes are popular gifts during the winter and make nice housewarming presents. If you are lucky enough to receive one the first thing you might want to do is see if the soil is dry. If so, give your plant some water and let it drain in the sink. Then move them outside if you are in a mild winter area, or to a windowsill if it is cold outside.

Seeds saved from hybrid plants will not grow out to look the same as the parent plants. It is much easier to propagate kalanchoe with leaf or stem cuttings. Place the cuttings in damp soil, and keep the soil moist for the first two weeks. After that, let the soil dry out between waterings.

Water requirements are low. They can take average garden water, but will also grow well with much less. In my garden a few plants are out in a section with the natives and other drought tolerant plants and they do quite well. To avoid root rot, let the soil dry out before you water them again.

Kalanchoe plants also do

20 Aug

Building a Night Garden

The week before last I was lucky enough to attend Custom Houses Grand Designs convention, wherein over a thousand different exhibitors displayed a range of new products, techniques and disciplines, applicable not only to interior design and decoration but also (on a smaller scale) to horticulture and outdoor decoration.

In this regard, the overall focus largely fell to the advertisement of commercial ventures such outdoor furniture (which will be covered in our next segment) or ecological building alternatives, but there was one exhibit that struck me as particularly unique – that of a night based garden.

The impetus of the design lay in the philosophy that due to the hectic lifestyle required to support a grand outdoor space, many of us dont get the choice to enjoy our garden during the daytime-ironic no? So, The 24 Hour Garden, as it was so aptly named, was built with not only its lit aesthetic in mind, but also the applications it might promise after hours, particularly those of hosting and catering.

It seemed a topic not oft discussed in conventional garden design, so I wanted to set aside some column inches to suggest how one might go about building your own space whose usefulness is complete, regardless of whether the clock reads lunchtime or late-o-clock.

Lighting

Despite the night garden being traditionally a dimmed place, lighting is an essential component to make the space both useable in the summer months, and visually accessible in the winter, however, like the palette you choose for your planting, lighting is, at best, a subtle art, meaning that although it is a characteristic of the day time there is no need for yours to be reminiscent of blazing sunshine. Indeed, as any photographer will tell you, the nightscape provides lighting opportunities not available when sunlight is abundant – hence the attraction of black and white celluloid where the light becomes a means of punctuation rather than the prose itself. The beauty of modern lighting is the variety of different forms it comes in: stairway lighting, underwater illumination, overhead down-lighters or vertical up-lighters, not to mention those concealed within the plants themselves. This latter is a popular option as it helps negate the tone of artificiality that the plastics and metals of a lighting system evoke. The underwater light is also a marvellous addition to the night garden which, while not particularly functional, gives an access to view any wildlife inhabiting your ponds you might not otherwise be privy to.

However, the likely motivation for building or adapting a night garden is so you have the means and the place to entertain and to relax afterhours and to this end I would also recommend, either recessed walkover floor lighting, or focal point spot lighting rather than harsh floodlighting as is so often seen in gardens. Floor lighting is a softer option and will not threaten any trip hazard in the twilight, particularly with the use of frosted lenses, while spotlighting will lend a glamorous red-carpet feel to not only the garden but to any tree canopies above it too.

15 Aug

Various garden tools from spear and Jackson

Various garden tools from spear and Jackson

Here are just some of the many tools on offer from this very good manufacturer.

E-Series Border Fork

Features:

* Centralized foot take, lowers slipping and unbalancing, offers more burrowing power with less muscle effort and stress

* Heat taken care of (hardened) metal go and stirrup for longevity and durability

* Reflection refined metal go for corrosion level of resistance and little ground bond

* Additional soft-feel for relaxed, safe use and other hold

* Tubular metal base for corrosion level of resistance

* Ergonomic desk forward slanting manage for relaxed use at the ideal burrowing position

* Large soft-feel handle

E-Series Border Spade

Features:

* Centralized foot take, lowers slipping and unbalancing, offers more burrowing power with less muscle effort and stress * Heat taken care of (hardened) metal go and stirrup for longevity and durability * Reflection refined metal go for corrosion level of resistance and little ground bond * Additional soft-feel for relaxed, safe use and other hold * Tubular metal base for corrosion level of resistance * Ergonomic desk forward slanting manage for relaxed use at the ideal burrowing position * Large soft-feel handle

E-Series Digging Fork

Features:

* Centralized foot take, lowers slipping and unbalancing, offers more burrowing power with less muscle effort and stress

* Heat taken care of (hardened) metal go and stirrup for longevity and durability

* Reflection refined metal go for corrosion level of resistance and little ground bond

* Additional soft-feel for relaxed, safe use and other hold

* Tubular metal base for corrosion level of resistance

* Ergonomic desk forward slanting manage for relaxed use at the ideal burrowing position

* Large soft-feel handle

Cold frame 750 x 500 x 1200

Features:

* Made from FSC timber, sourced from well managed forests

* Tantalized wood finish for higher degree of weatherproofing

* Durable lactic panes

* Fasteners and assembly instructions included

Cold frame 900 x 460 x 450

Features:

* Made from FSC timber, sourced from well managed forests

* Tantalized wood finish for higher degree of weatherproofing

* Durable lactic panes

* Fasteners and assembly instructions included

E-Series Garden Rake

Features:

* Reflection refined metal go for corrosion level of resistance and little ground bond

* Soft-feel, shaped manage for relaxed use and other hold

* Lightweight aluminium base with ergonomic bend

E-Series Flexor Lawn Rake

Features:

* Reflection refined metal go for corrosion level of resistance and little ground bond * Soft-feel, shaped manage for relaxed use and other hold * Lightweight aluminium base with ergonomic bend

15 Aug

Giving Your Plants A Boost With Epsom Salts

Use this old household remedy to give some plants a boost.

Many gardeners are familiar with benefits of applying Epsom salts to tomatoes, peppers, and roses but if you are not then let me explain the benefits. The purpose is to improve magnesium content in the soil but is also used as a foliar feed, in order to have healthier foliage, bushier plants and to improve the yield and size of flowers and fruits.

The History and Science of Epsom salts

Epsom salts are a natural mineral, discovered in the well water of Epsom, England, and has been used for hundreds of years, not only to fertilize plants but also to treat a range of human and animal ailments. Chemically, Epsom salts is hydrated magnesium sulphate (about 10 percent magnesium and 13 percent sulphur). Magnesium is critical for seed germination and the production of chlorophyll, fruit, and nuts. Magnesium helps strengthen cell walls and improves plants’ uptake of nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulphur. Sulphur, a key element in plant growth, is critical to production of vitamins, amino acids (therefore protein), and enzymes. It’s also the compound that gives vegetables such as broccoli and onions their flavours. Sulphur is seldom deficient in garden soils because acid rain and commonly used animal manures contain sulphur, as do chemical fertilizers such as ammonium sulphate.

The causes and effects of magnesium deficiencies vary. Vegetables such as beans, peas, lettuce, and spinach can grow and produce good yields in soils with low magnesium levels, but plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and roses need high doses of magnesium for optimal growth. However, plants may not show the effects of magnesium deficiency until it’s severe. Some common deficiency symptoms are yellowing of the leaves between the veins, leaf curling, stunted growth, and lack of sweetness in the fruit. Gardeners add magnesium when they apply dolomitic lime to raise the soil’s pH.

However, this product (46 percent calcium carbonate, 38 percent magnesium carbonate) breaks down slowly, and the calcium can interfere with magnesium uptake. For soils with a pH above 7, many gardeners use Sul-Po-Mag (22 percent sulphur, 22 percent potassium, 11 percent magnesium) to increase magnesium. Although dolomitic lime and Sul-Po-Mag are inexpensive ways to add magnesium, Epsom salts’ advantage over them is its high solubility.

Applications of Epsom salts can be given to the degree of 1 or 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts mixed with 1 gallon of water and applied at planting, and as a foliar feed at flowering time and fruit set.

Roses

Many rose growers agree that Epsom salts produces more new canes at the bottom of the plant (bottom breaks) and darker green foliage. Recommendations on how much to use vary, but generally you can apply 1/2 cup of granules in spring before buds first begin to open and 1/2 cup in autumn before leaves drop. Apply a foliar spray (1 tablespoon per gallon of water per foot of shrub height) after the leaves open in spring and again at flowering.

Tomato and Peppers

13 Aug

Tips on Maintaining Bougainvillea Plant

Bougainvillea is as well known as Paper flower is from the family of Nyctaginaceae and is a native of Brazil. This tropical trailing plant is grown in containers and is perfect for hanging baskets and the place it can flow its lively flowering vines. The flower is unremarkably compared to the vibrantly multi-colored bracts like paper that encircle the flower.

In the spring season at the beginning of the budding season, Water these plants a few hours before hand as it will make it easy to take away the plant from the container. Cautiously take it out from the container and with a pointed blade cut it into segments. Remove tangled and dead roots. Ensure to make use of clean containers and new peat based soil. Plant it the similar way that it was planted earlier. After using another container prune away one-third of the vines, this will provide the roots some time to raise and preserve the leaves.

Some of the Bougainvilleas can make progress after getting destroyed due to frost provided that the roots are not frozen. Wait to trim whilst all risk of frost has conceded in the region. Some branches that are dead might shock you and grow again in the spring. If you trim in advance and if the roots get hit by one more frost any latest growth will be particularly responsive to frost. If there is another frost then you should immediately cover up your plant with a plastic or blanket. Optimistically, the plant will come back twice as attractive.

This plant does well in a hot and steamy climate. They flourish in complete heat and sun and blossom best when to some extent held stressed. They are serious feeders and supposed to be fed frequently with half strength manure to keep them blossoming the entire season. To the extent that the automatic watering, two times a day might not let the plant tumble dry and will maintain it in a moist condition the whole time that will encourage the growth but no flowers. One cant water a plant to their plan; they should water as per the plant requirements particularly during the rainy season. So much of watering is not a good idea. If the leaves that are wet do not have a possibility to dry within a little time then they can be caught up by diseases like powdery mildew and leaf spot.

13 Aug

Positive Impact of Rain Gardens

Thinking about the current concern to conserve and be eco-friendly, I decided that I would let you in on one great way anyone can help further conservation. There is a recent trend receiving a lot of popularity among homeowners and other real estate owners called rain gardens. These are designed to help prevent rainwater run-off into sewers, rivers, and streams and help replenish the local groundwater.

What is a rain garden? A rain garden is a strategically placed flower or plant bed of native, deep rooted plants, in a shallow depression. The location of it is planned out to receive the run-off from rooftops, sidewalks, and driveways. This helps conserve municipal water and prevents contamination of streams and rivers since they are not receiving the run-off which may contain fertilizers and other commonly used chemicals.

Why is it okay for the flower or plant beds to receive contaminated run-off instead of the rivers and streams? The water that is re-routed to the rain gardens slowly soaks into the ground and filters naturally in the process. This does not happen when the water is directed to the gutter, into the sewer, and then into streams and rivers. In this process the water just collects even more contaminants, which then contaminates our water systems and reliant wildlife.

A typical rain garden is dug four to eight inches deep, although sometimes as much as one or two feet deep. It is ideal to plant them with deep-rooted native plants as they are more hardy and acclimated to the environment and soil make-up. The depth of the garden is important so that it can hold large quantities of water to decrease the need for irrigation. This also helps recharge the local groundwater while it slowly seeps into the surrounding soil. Because the water is below ground it diminishes standing water and reduces mosquito breeding.

Aside from the environmental benefits of having a rain garden, there are aesthetic benefits as well. With the plants naturally receiving all the water they need, they are able to flourish and create a natural habitat, even during dry periods. This invites natural wild-life, such as butterflies, to grace your garden with their beautiful presence. Also, rainwater is actually better for your plants as it does not contain the added minerals that tap water does, such as lime, calcium, and chlorine. These minerals decrease the quality of the soil and make it harder for the plants to receive the nutrients they need.

Rain gardens can be pretty easy to install on your own. All you would have to do is a little bit of research on native plants that would thrive in a rain garden and download detailed directions on how to install it. Otherwise, you can always hire your local landscape contractor to help you pick out the best plants and do the labor instead. Either way, I hope you have been enlightened and inspired by the importance and benefits of having a rain garden!

12 Aug

Terraces and paved Gardens.

One of the aims of garden planning is to associate the garden with the house so that one unit is created. The garden, viewed through a window, should be a natural extension of the house. The eye should sweep freely across an open lawn to the perimeters, to the prospect of hidden surprises behind curves, or be drawn to an apparently distant focal point.

The uniting link between house and garden is the terrace, usually leading from the living room into the garden. The shape and size of the terrace are usually determined by the garden area and by aspect. Where a new terrace is being built, it should ideally harmonise in shape with the garden.

A garden design based on curved lines should be repeated in a rounded terrace, and a formal rectilinear garden outline should be echoed by a square or rectangular terrace. Existing terraces can be made to conform to a curved garden design by hiding sharp corners with low-growing shrubs, or by adding to the front a curved strip of contrasting stone material as a standing area for planters.

Rounded terraces can be straightened out to some extent by means of additional stones of different material and colour, or by planting slender pyramidal trees at either end of the terrace.

A sunny or lightly shaded terrace will be used as a living and entertaining area in summer. It must, therefore, be large enough to accommodate garden furniture, such as tables and chairs, and to give easy access to both house and garden. Even where the rear of the house faces north or east, and a sunny sitting-out area is better sited somewhere else in the garden, a terrace against the house still provides a natural link between house and garden. It pushes the garden away from the immediate house walls, creating a feeling of space and opening vistas.

Older houses are often raised well above the garden area, and an existing terrace may be an elevated platform shut off from the garden by a low stone balustrade. Here, ornate planters are perfectly at home, and formal planters placed along the balustrade, or pots containing trailing plants, enhance the mellowed brickwork.

The outline of the steps leading from the terrace to the garden can be softened with planters or with plantings of low, graceful shrubs on either side. The bed at the foot of a balustrade can be treated as for a retaining wall and planted with shrubs, perennials, annuals and bulbs.

Most modern houses are built with the ground floor raised only a few inches above ground level. The terrace is on the same level as the garden, and steps are therefore unnecessary. On any type of terrace, leave small planting pockets between the stonework for cushion-forming plants, such as artemisia, armeria, dianthus, thyme and small-leaved mint or even the tiny rock rose (helianthe-mum). Reserve these planting pockets for those parts of the terrace that are not used for furniture or frequent walking.

Small beds can be made at the rear of the terrace next to