You might think that cutting fresh flowers both for friends and for the homefront would quickly deplete our flower garden. Not so. Rather than denude various parts of our permanent flower garden to fill a vase, my wife and I have included an old Victorian idea in our garden plan: a cutting garden. We grow an abundance of annuals for color, plus a few choice perennials, all specifically grown for bouquets.
With this equipment, you will be able to produce those startling close-up pictures which, when enlarged by projec¬tion on a screen, seem to magnify the original beauty of the flowers. And these are the pictures which your clients cannot duplicate with their own cameras. They are the shots which will establish you as a flower photography specialist. The other pictures you have occasion to shoot, those showing garden layouts and pleasant clumps and clusters and masses of flowering plants, will take care The best sources of customers for your flower photography are the garden clubs and the flower clubs in your commu¬nity. If you don't know the flower clubs, get in touch with a florist for the information you need.
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Gardening soil is an indispensable component for a fruitful garden, and therefore knowing how to choose the right one and how to apply it is more important than what we might usually think. In order to know when soil is good, you will need to check on its texture and fertility.
A good soil texture should be cohesive but at the same time allow water to filter in. For example, soil which has too much clay will tend to pack to tightly in such a way that it is hard to work with it as well as water wont be able to move as freely as necessary. On the other hand, soils that are too sandy will not have enough cohesiveness and water will not be absorbed properly.
If you wish to be able to find out how good your soil is easily, you can test it by making a ball and observing if it packs to tightly or breaks too easily. If the soil ball is so cohesive that you can mold it, then it has too much clay, and if it breaks apart and you are not able to make a ball with it, then it has too much sand.
A good soil also must have three main nutrients: phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium. Phosphorus is indispensable for a good root growth. When growing flowers, this nutrient is extremely important, since their bulbs will need it for growing strong and healthy.
Nitrogen is the nutrient which will help leafs to grow strong and healthy. It is important to use the right amount of this nutrient, since too much of it may cause an exaggerated growth of leafs which may take space from fruits or flowers, while on the other hand, using not enough of it may interfere with a healthy growth since this nutrient does not remain for a long time in the soil.
Potassium is a nutrient necessary for the growth and health of the plant as a whole. This nutrient strengthens the immune systems of the plants and helps them growing healthy and strong. As with nitrogen, you should be careful not overusing Potassium as well as make sure it is always present in the soil since it tends to be washed out easily.
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These are the basic steps for planting flower bulbs:
Selecting bulbs for planting.
It’s not a bad idea at all to be fussy and picky when it comes to choosing bulbs that are healthy and firm. Always take into consideration bulbs which is most consistent and compatible within your planting area. Once chosen, place all the bulbs into a cool, dry and well-ventilated area. If by any chance you acquired a lot of them, try placing / storing the numerous bags of bulbs you have not too close together. Never stack all of them on top of each together. A constant check on the condition of the bulbs to check signs of decay is essential. Lastly but not least, don’t forget to label all your bags of bulbs so that you know what you’re planting. Read more
Looking at different planting areas, use buld diggers or trowels for smaller areas. Spade is recommended for larger areas. Not to forget, fertilizers to ensure your bulbs get the proper nutrients and materials they need to grow healthily. For smaller areas, a teaspoon of bone meal can be added and mixed into the soil before planting. Also, label them again to identify the location of certain bulbs.
Prepare a nice home for your bulbs.
Planting areas with an efficient and good drainage system is important. Excessive supply of water, especially in cases where plants are drowned by pools of water should be avoided at all cost. Always prepare the soil to a minimum depth of eight to ten inches in the planting beds. Should you encounter heavy soils, get some additional compost or rotted manure which will assist in improving the overall soil structure and drainage.It is always the best to prepare the planting site as one large planting area, as contrary to smaller and separated individual areas.
Optionally, you can also utilize bone meal within the soil for that extra nitrogen and phosphorus nutrient. Although phosphate rock can also be used for this, bone meal will break down in the soil considerably faster and can thus be used as a quick fix, but this also means that it will not have a long term effect on the soil.
Another thing to take into consideration is the pH of the soil where you bulbs will grow. Bulbs generally prefer a soil pH of nearly neutral to slightly alkaline.
Planting the bulbs.
When it comes to planting, it is not uncommon to get multiple and wide diversity of opinions on how you should go around doing it. Some parties claim that the best planting depths for bulbs should be 2 to 3 times the diameter. Others claim that 3 to 5 times the diameter would be a better solution. Generally speaking, taking all options into consideration, the lighter the soil is, the deeper the planting depth will be. It is also the best to have a spacing distance of 2 to 3 times the diameter of the bulb.
If you’re into a nice high impact heavenly like results, it’s a good idea to group bulbs in packs. Preference of appearance will depend greatly on space and personal taste, but going into a more general concept, tulips, daffodils and large bulbs should be massed in groups of 10 or more. Smaller bulbs like crocus and snowdrops in groups of 15 to 20 or more. No matter how you do it, always remember not to plant them in a straight line.
Going to variety of bulbs, try to start with the largest bulbs first as they are usually the ones which will have the deepest planting depth. Continue planting accordingly to the size of the bulbs. This should produce you a nice "stairs" of bulbs.
Always remember to give your bulbs a nice deep watering once your planting activities are done. And of course, labeling the bulbs is always a great idea of keeping everything in place. You might even want to keep track of the overall picture of your new bulb garden by drawing a simple map to identify the location of your planted bulbs.
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What do your Plants Attract?
Regardless of type of plants you know and see, they will usually attract different kinds of bugs or insects which can be either beneficial or harmful to your plants. Visit for more
Simply put, you want to avoid the pests, and get the good guys (most commonly known as the beneficials) which will benefit you on the long run.
Angelica attracts lacewings, lady beetles, parasitic wasps.
Anise attracts parasitic wasps, tachinid flies and lady beetles.
Borage attracts bees.
Caraway attracts parasitic wasps and flies.
Catnip attracts bees and parasitic wasps.
Nasturtium shelters ground beetles and spiders.
Rock cress attracts bees, shelters ground beetles and spiders.
German chamomile attracts syrphid flies and parasitic wasps.
Chervil attracts syrphids and parasitic wasps.
Curry plant attracts parasitic wasps, flies and other predatory insects.
Dill attracts lady beetles, wasps, spiders, hoverflies and bees.
Fennel attracts hoverflies, parasitic wasps, lady beetles, tachinid flies.
Lavender attracts bees.
Lovage attracts beneficial wasps and shelters ground beetles.
Parsley attracts parasitic wasps if permitted to flower.
Rue attracts ichneumonid and predatory wasps.
Spearmint attracts predatory wasps and flies, shelters spiders.
Sweet annie (an artemesia attracts parasitic wasps and syrphid flies).
Sweet cicely attracts beneficial wasps and flies.
Bee balm attracts bees and parasitic wasps.
Gayfeathers attracts parasitic wasps, hoverflies, butterflies and hummingbird
Golden asters attract a wide range of beneficials.
Goldenrod attracts a wide range of beneficials.
Hardy marguerite attracts lady beetles, parasitic wasps.
Santolina (lavender cotton) provides shelter for predatory beetles.
Painted daisies attract tachinid flies, parasitic wasps and other beneficials.
Pincushion flowers attract hover flies and tachinid flies.
Cone flowers attract beneficial wasps, flies and spiders.
Sea hollies attract chalcid wasps.
Yarrow attracts hover flies, lady beetles and parasitic wasps.
Candy tuft attracts hover flies and protects ground beetles.
Bachelor’s buttons are a great nectar source for beneficials.
Black eyed susans attract hoverflies and parasitic wasps.
Blanket glowers are a great nectar source for beneficials.
Blue eyed African daisies are an excellent nectar source for beneficials.
Calendula attracts a large variety of beneficials.
Calliopsis attracts hover flies, spined soldier bugs and tachinid flies.
Cosmos attract hoverflies, parasitic wasps, tachinid flies, and bees.
Dwarf morning glory attracts hove flies and lady beetles.
Gazania attracts lady beetles and spined soldier bugs.
Marigolds attract hover flies and parasitic wasps.
Mexican sun flowers attract beneficial wasps and flies, spined soldier bugs and
provide spider shelter.
Common sun flowers attract hoverflies, lacewings, parasitic wasps, tachinid flies
Swan river daisies attract tachinid flies.
Sweet alyssum attracts and shelters ground beetles and spiders.
Zinnia attracts lady beetles, parasitic wasps and flies, and bees.
Depending on the beneficials you may attain by different kind of plants, you can
plan wisely on how these beneficials can help you in many various ways including
getting rid of certain unwanted pests as well as brightening up your garden.
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You can find instances when any gardener requirements a fast expanding type plant for fast covering of bare soil in beds or over a sloped bank. Perhaps you’ve just started a new perennial bed, and would like a method to fill inside the bare spots till the perennials have reached their experienced growth. Or you could have planted trees and will need a flowering ground cover which could tolerate the shade below its branches.
Areas of bare terrain is usually transformed pretty swiftly with a carpet of reduced expanding factories. Bare earth is usually a magnet for weeds, which if allowed, can come to be established and set seed very swiftly. On banks, erosion is a much more serious dilemma from both wind and rain. Planting these places with fast increasing include crops not just solves these two potential difficulties, but can make locations much more interesting.
Variegated periwinkle (Vinca important) is one from the finest options for a big area that desires a quick developing and vigorous groundcover plants. With its white and green perennial leaves and its fairly blue-violet flowers, it does have to be sited with care given that it is going to distribute incredibly swiftly. Extended shoots mature practically overnight, and will re-root wherever they contact the earth. These hardy factories flower finest with some sun, but will also mature properly in shade in which the variegated foliage adds a light contact. One particular warning – this could become invasive speedily if not managed.
Serbian bellflower (Campanula poscharskyana) is a different good choice in which a rapid expanding ground cover is required. With clusters of lavender-blue star shaped flowers, it indicates properly. This plant spreads by underground runners, so really should not be positioned where by it can overwhelm other much less vigorous growing factories. It is possible to simply chop off the outer sections from the clump using a spade.
Azure catmint (Nepeta faassenii) may be the third decision for an fast expanding easy-cover plant. It has aromatic foliage of little silvery gray leaves and sprays of pale lavender-blue flowers. It does choose a sunny place, but will tolerate some shade. This plant needs to be situated where by it may sprawl over the edges of the raised bed or edge a path wherever its scent can be released as it’s brushed against.
Prostrate junipers for example Azure Carpet (Juniperus squamata) are another very good selection for ground covers. With dispersing ground-hugging branches covered with silvery-blue needle-like leaves, this just one appears beneficial all 12 months. It will mature in nearly any disorders, and is particularly appropriate for planting on financial institutions and slopes.
Distributing roses (Rosa sp.) are quite helpful and attractive techniques to deal with large locations of terrain. With masses of flowers, they type a prostrate carpet that appears stunning most in the summer. The prolonged prickly stems quickly distribute so place these wherever you would like to handle earth erosion. Quite a few with the new types of blanketing roses are difficulty free of charge and quite hardy. They appear particularly very good tumbling more than a wall or trailing down a sloped place. Many varieties are obtainable, in shades ranging from white by means of pinks and peach to vivid reds.
Choose any of those 5 quick ground covers for soil stabilization, weed manage or just for aesthetic attractiveness in the tough area.
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Freshwater Pearl - A pearl created by a mollusk found in fresh water ponds and rivers.