Lush Gardens

Published on Home Magazine July 2011 by Eng. Zeena AL Jaajaa

 

Green Gift

Herb Pot Trio

You may wonder what to get your newly married friends. Trying to get out of the usual form of wedding list can be a challenge to most of us! I recommend an original gift that is green, fresh and functional. Sagaform herb pot presents a combination of functionality, creative design and beautiful materials. It is just a wonderful addition of useful herb in any kitchen.

URBAN GARDEN

The Desert Cacti

Have you ever seen a desert in full bloom? It is an exquisite site when we see these colorful flowers bloom from the toughest plant in the toughest environment. There are many beautiful varieties that can actually bloom indoors.

The desert cacti usually covered with spines or hair and often growing in paddles, balls or obelisks have a unique, stark beauty. They need little care but you need to stick to some simple rules for the success of your cactus!   

Give your cactus lots of sunlight, hold off on the water, and wait for spring or summer:

  • Light: Strong light is essential for healthy cacti, especially in the winter. Some species may scorch in direct summer sun if they haven't been hardened off first.
  • Temperature: During the active growth period, cacti prefer hot, dry temperatures, In the winter, the plants prefer a cooler period.
  • Water: In the spring and summer, when the plant is actively growing and/or blooming, water whenever the compost begins to dry. During the winter rest period, nearly cease watering. Only water if the plant begins to shrivel.
  • Potting Soils and Repotting: Pot into a fast-draining cacti mix. If one is not available, amend regular potting soil with inorganic agents like perlite to increase drainage and aeration. Cacti are generally slow-growing plants and will rarely need repotting.  
  • Fertilizer: Use a cacti fertilizer during the growing season.  

The most common mistake with desert cacti is overwatering in the winter, which will cause rot either at the base of the plant or at the tips of the growing areas. Cacti cannot tolerate standing water. Empty the drip tray beneath the pot after every watering.

 

GARDEN IDEAS

Green Walls!

Add more visual interest to your garden! Adding architectural details like an archway, bench or stone pillar and covering them with climbing plants for a natural, established feel.

Stone walls covered in lush greenery or climbing vines can become an interesting focal point for a garden. Plants like ivy are perfect for covering a wall quickly and maintain their leaves throughout the year. Go wild with trying as many climbers as you want for various fascinating results!

 

HOT TIP

Dogs and Landscape

I always make sure to ask my clients if they have dogs in their gardens or if they are thinking to get one! If your dogs are to be allowed to run about in your yard, you'll probably have to make adjustments to your landscaping. Dog spots are the unsightly yellow spots on grass caused by the nitrogen and salts in dog urine. You may be frustrated as well from your dogs needs of scratching, digging, etc.

Don’t' raise the flag of defeat, you can still enjoy both having a great garden space as well as your loyal fellow! 

  1. Avoid dog spots with hardscape

Try switching from lawns to Hardscape. Stone and masonry are especially useful for landscaping with dogs as it minimizes the mess of dogs.

  1. Switch to other lawn types or Dichondra

 Some grasses hold up better to foot traffic and paw traffic! Go for Bermuda and try Kentucky for a cool-season grass.

  1. Emergency Dilution

Rush with some water on the area that your dog urinated on. soak the area with water,  this will flush them and dilute the harmful elements in the dog urine.

  1. Fence your space

Put attractive small fences around your delicate plants; complement the wooden structure with some perennial flowers.   

  1. Wire Cages

Place wire cages around trees and shrubs to prevent dog urine from reaching their trunks and roots and damaging them.   

  1. Dog Behavior Modification

Train your dogs so as to restrict their toilet spaces to a certain area in the garden. Go for dirt surface or gravel to facilitate clean up later.   

  1. Refrain from poisonous plants!

Naturally if you have dogs, cats, or small children, you have to be sure to tell your Landscape designer about it. This could stop potential accidents from happening !

Last remarks that can make a big effect; walk your dog, then he will lessen from anxious behaviors such as digging and scratching on that beautifully manicured lawn or the azalea just ready to bloom. Observe where your dog usually like to do his activities in your yard and adjust your landscape planning accordingly. You can turn his space to a path while leaving your other areas flourish.

 

Talk of the garden

Solar lighting

Rising bills of Landscape are making homeowners rethink new ways to depend on natural resources instead of the conventional power resources. Imagine your security lights reduced by 35 to 45 JD a month. Introducing external solar lights in your garden can reduce maintenance and electrical bills and can make your lifestyle more affordable.

Solar lights are very functional lights as they collect energy all day from the sun and then expend it at night, casting a soft expressive glow over your rose bushes and crawling ivy! Basically, you’ve got solar panels that collect light energy radiating from the sun and convert it into electrical energy that is then stored in batteries and available for use.  

Not only are the new available solar lights functional, but can be stylish as well, check the usually types of solar light that we have nowadays;  

  • Accent Lights: These are used to illuminate driveways, paths, walkways and other thoroughfares throughout the landscape.  You can even use them around a patio to help outline it and provide light, and add a cozy look and help show off your landscaping at night. 
  • Spot Lights: Spot lights are buried lights that brighten a specific area in focus.
  • Security Lights: Those lights can be turned into motion sensors and only come on when the sensor is triggered.
  • Door Entry Lights: Positioned above an external door these solar lights limit the exposure to their illumination within the door’s boundaries.
  • Whimsy Lights: All above lights but usually crafted with decorative shapes, patterns and even themes. Solar rock lights are ar fun option because they provide light, but they don’t look like a typical light fixture. Go for more distinct options like the colored solar lights. Hanging solar lights are another very interesting invention related to solar lights.      
  • Net Lights: These solar lights are positioned within a net and cover shrubs, trees and bushes as an impact statement.

There are some tips to complete the easy DIY job;

  1. Positioning the Solar Panel: Ensure that the solar panel is facing north (Southern hemisphere) or south (northern hemisphere) so that it captures the most sun. Each panel needs a certain amount of sun per day to perform adequately for the whole night.
  1. Conservative Distances between Lights:  Decrease your initial spacing between lights. As solar lights are mostly decorative in results. Sometimes when they do not give the right light, you can turn back on your conventional outdoor lights for the interim period.  

Soak up that sunshine and stay out even longer by dotting solar lights around your garden. Renewable energy is the way of the future so substitute your life style to a greener and eco friendly one!  

 

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