Author: Earline Days

Container gardens need compost
Compost

Container gardens need compost

How Do you Start – Container Gardening

Simple! Buy a pot or uѕе something уоu аlreаdу have. Buy plants, compost аnd add water. your miniature garden іѕ almоѕt complete. OK. It’s nоt quіte that simple but іt’s nоt rocket science either. If you аrе a novice to gardening, container gardeningіs great wау to dip your toes in the water.

Container gardening hаѕ beсome increasingly popular in recent years for mаny reasons. there іѕ wide range of containers аvailable to suit whatever space you have аvaіlable anԁ a wealth of plants that can be grown in them. It’s great for the modern lifestyle. you cаn enjoy the relaxing effects provided bу beautiful flowers wіth littlе time аnd effort. It’s the nearest уоu’ll gеt to аn instant garden.

Container gardens need compost

Container gardens need compost

So, lеt’s gеt started. Only a littlе research іs required. Visit your local garden centre аnd you will usuаlly find a display of plants suitable for growing in containers. And, depending оn the time of year, уоu will be able to ѕeе ѕоme of them in аll theіr glory. there will alsо be information оn theіr requirements.

First, the right sized pot. How muсh or how lіttlе will they grow in a season?

Some plants will neеԁ room to expand, whіlе оtherѕ will prefer to be snug. Also, check the pot for drainage. Although frequent watering will be needed thrоugh the summer, уоu have to prevent the root system from becoming waterlogged, depriving the plant of oxygen. A layer of gravel, stones or broken post саn hеlр wіth thіѕ.

Composting

Composting

Most plants will be happy wіth a general, multipurpose compost. Some nееԁ special conditions. Lime haters will nееԁ ericaseous compost. If уour plants will stay in the pot for more thаn оnе year, уоu nееԁ a loam based compost. If уоu аrе mixing plants, make surе that theу саn all tolerate the ѕаmе conditions.

Compost for fertiliser

To reduce your maintenance workload, add a slow release fertiliser аnԁ ѕomе moisture retaining granules аt planting time. Water the plants thoroughlу beforе уou start. Position уour container to provide the rіght amount of sunshine and shelter from the wind.

Organic compost

Organic compost

Add a layer of compost to your drainage layer. Try positioning the plants in the container beforе уоu remove them from their post. When you аrе happy with the layout, make uр the compost to the level of the bottom of the largest pot. Backfill wіth compost anԁ bring аll of the plants uр to the ѕаmе surface level. Gently firm dоwn the compost, leaving the surface аn inch belоw the top of the pot to allow for watering.

Sit back, relax and enjoy your handiwork. And соnѕіԁеr what would be a good position for your next masterpiece. the great thing about container gardening iѕ that іt can grow wіth you. As уоu beсоme morе knowledgeable аnԁ enthusiastic, there іѕ аlwаys something knew to try. How about ѕоme home grown vegetables. Or ѕоmething more exotic. Where will уour imagination tаkе you?

The Wonderful Wabi-Kusa
Garden

The Wonderful Wabi-Kusa – A tree UK gardeners don’t know

The Wonderful Wabi-Kusa

Wabi-sabi isn’t easily translated into the English language—in fact, there is no direct translation. It is an all-encompassing term for the Japanese aesthetic school of thought that the imperfection, incompleteness, and irregularities of a thing are the qualities that make it beautiful. Wabi-sabi is the acceptance and appreciation of the natural state of things, free from interference or editing of any kind, including what we might consider flaws or defects that come through when we don’t intrude and correct them.

Wabikusa

It is this concept of wabi-sabi that inspires one of the newest trends in aquascaping, wabi-kusa. Aquascaping is the art of creating highly manicured submerged aquatic gardens in an aquarium setup. Traditional aquascapes include a variety of mosses, aquatic plants, driftwood, and decorative features arranged very thoughtfully and precisely, and the upkeep of these arrangements can be very demanding and time-consuming. For the fans of aquascaping, this involved maintenance is part of the joy of building these amazing pieces of art, but for most, the space, time, and financial investment of an elaborate aquascape is just not feasible. With the advent of wabi-kusa, however, nearly anyone can experience the satisfaction and beauty of the aquatic garden without the huge outlay in money and time.

Amazing for aquaspaces

Wabi-kusa differs most from the traditional aquascape in design and layout. While =aquascaping employs heavy planning and editing to ensure that plants mature into exactly the shape you want, wabi-kusa embraces the idea of wabi-sabi—you might pick the colour of the gravel you want, the shape of the tank you want, and the type of plants you want, but once planted, the plants are left to grow as they will, and your job is only to keep it watered, fertilised, and enjoy watching the plants take over. Wabi-kusa is also typically done on a smaller scale, like in a glass container instead of an aquarium, making it a great way for apartment-dwellers to get involved. The chosen plants are planted or attached to a substrate ball, and this ball is emerged or submerged fully in water and allowed to fill in and grow wild. Wabi-kusa displays can be as simple as water with a wabi-kusa ball, or can feature hardscape items like wood, gravel, or sand, or can feature a fully planted bottom that the wabi-kusa ball rests on. Once the wabi-kusa is planted, the regular maintenance required is as simple as misting, changing the water, and adding a fertiliser.

Wabikusa

Amazing water features

As was mentioned, practically anyone can make their own wabi-kusa at home. The wonderful thing about wabi-kusa is that though it is an art form that presents new challenges to experienced aquascapers, it’s also an art form that is accessible to those just starting out. Small spaces and budgets are not as prohibitive, and it’s a wonderful way to bring relaxing water features inside the home, especially if you can’t have your own ornamental pond or aquarium.

Here’s how you can start your own basic emerged wabi-kusa garden:

Wabikusa

Materials:

  • A planting container – This can be an aquarium or planting container designed for wabi-kusa, or you can use a decorative glass container, like a pitcher, apothecary jar, or large bowl
  • A substrate ball – You can attempt to create your own substrate ball, or you can purchase one ready-made. Many prefer to use the ready-made balls because they don’t make the water murky. The purchased substrate will need to be soaked for a few days to become pliable and ready for planting.
  • Semi-aquatic plants or cuttings – Remove any stem plants from their own planting medium, and trim the roots and leaves to motivate growth. You may want to get an aquatic moss to cover your substrate ball for a more green and wild look.
  • Long tweezers
  • Fishing line – This will be used to tie your moss down, and won’t degrade because of the water.
  • Liquid fertiliser for aquatic plants
  • Plastic wrap
  • Decorative hardscape elements – Like gravel, stones, wood, shells, and sand. This is totally optional.

Wabikusa

  1. If using, go ahead and add your gravel or sand to the planting container first.
  2. Lay your moss (if using) over your substrate ball as desired, and use your fishing line to tie it to the ball. Carefully wrap your line around the ball until the moss is securely attached. Tie off your line, and trim the excess.
  3. Use your tweezers to puncture the substrate ball where you would like to insert your stem plants. Pick up each plant by the stem with your tweezers such that the rooting end is pointing down, and use your tweezers to embed the rooting end of each plant or cutting into the punctures you’ve made. Do this until you’ve arranged all of your little plants just how you want them. As you work, you might want to make sure your plants stay moist by giving them a mist of water every once in a while with your mister—after all, they are aquatic plants.
  4. When you’ve planted all of your plants in the substrate ball, go ahead and put it into your container and rest it on your gravel (if you’ve used it). At this point, you could also add any other hardscape items you might want to complete your look.
  5. Measure out enough water to immerse your substrate ball in water in your container.
  6. Add liquid fertiliser to the water per the directions on the bottle. Be sure to only add the exact amount of fertiliser needed as too much could cause algae.
  7. Add your water to your planting container. The substrate ball should now be completely submerged in the water, and the leaves of your plants should be above the water line.
  8. You will now want to cover your planting container with plastic wrap, leaving only a small slit for ventilation. This plastic wrap will trap in the humidity of the water.
  9. Keep the plastic wrap on the container for at least two weeks, slowly either widening the slit in the top to allow more humidity to escape, or puncturing the wrap with a knife. This process will get your plants used to the levels of humidity in your home so that you can eventually take off the plastic and leave it off without hurting them.
  10. To keep your wabi-kusa in tip-top health, mist it several times a day with water, and fertilise regularly. Keep it near a window with good indirect light, or put it under a grow light.
Uncommon Herbs for your garden
Garden

Uncommon Herbs for your garden

The best uncommon Herbs for your garden

We all love the aroma and tastes of fresh cut parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, but sometimes we need to switch it up. There are so many different herbs that can be grown in your own backyard that will add new and exciting flavours to your favourite recipes, so go ahead and explore! We have gathered some information on five of our favourite unique herbs to help you get started:

  • Siberian Chives– Giant Siberian Chives can take up to two years to reach full size. Because of this, it may be best to buy starts at your local nursery or ask a friend for a clump of stands from an existing plant. Siberian Chives are great in the garden, not only because they produce lovely edible flower heads, but they also repel garden pests such as Japanese beetles. Cut fresh leaves or flower heads and add them directly to your salads. Snipped leaves taste great on top of your baked potato, or mix them into to butter or oil for an exciting flavoured spread. Grows best in well-drained soil with full sun exposure.
The best uncommon Herbs for your garden

The best uncommon Herbs for your garden

  • Aztec Sweet Herb– This perennial herb has been used for centuries by the Aztecs for its ability to sooth coughs, colds and asthma. The leaves of this uncommon herb contain a compound called hernandulcin which is about 1000 times sweeter than sugar, so the fresh-cut leaves of this herb are great for naturally sweetening teas or can be added to salads for a unique flavour. This particular plant sends out fast growing horizontal runners, so be sure to use a planter if you want to keep it contained. Aztec Sweet Herb likes the sun and will grow best moist soil.
  • Ginger Mint– With over one thousand mint varieties out there, Ginger Mint stands apart with its distinctive yellow-striped leaves and unique ginger flavour. This plant does well in partial shade and average to moist soil. As with most mint plants, it can grow uncontrollably through a garden, so it may be best to use a planter for this one. Use fresh cut leaves in marinades, salads or spreads for a unique flavour reminiscent of Thai cuisine, or add to lemonade for a sweet and spicy effect.
Herbs for your garden

Herbs for your garden

  • Lemon Verbena- As its name suggests, this fresh and flavourful herb has a lemon-like flavour and aroma that tastes great in herbal teas or marinades. Some people will even use the herb in the place of lemon zest in certain recipes. This plant loves the heat, so unless you live in zone 9 or below, consider keeping it inside when the weather gets chilly. Lemon verbena grows best in moist, rich soil with plenty of sunshine. If you live in areas that are warm and humid, keep your plant in check by cutting it back frequently.
  • Lovage- The leaves of this plant have a taste and smell similar to celery, but stronger. Use the leaves to make soups, marinades, infused butters or oils, or add it to leafy salads, potato salads or tea mixes. The root can be eaten on its own or chopped up to be added to your favourite recipe. Lovage has been described as a hardy perennial plant, growing up to 2.5 m tall and grows well in sunny or partially shady spots. Make sure soil is fairly fertile and make sure to use organic fertiliser occasionally to keep your lovage plant robust.