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Finding the Best Plumbing Services in Tempe Arizona

Many people realize that plumbing is considered as one of the most crucial things that they need inside the house. Without the proper plumbing, everything inside the house can be screwed. Even though, there are not many people who can fix if there is a problem related with their plumbing inside the house. Furthermore, some of them are choosing the bad plumbing services so that the result of their work is totally annoying. If you do not want to experience the same thing like all of those people, then you will need to make sure to pick the best plumbers Tempe AZ just in case you have some problems related with your plumbing in your house in Tempe. However, how can you get the best one if you do not know the quality of the plumbers? Here are some simple tips that can help you find the best one that you need.

The first tip that you can try is to get some recommendations from some of your families or friends. Some of them might have experienced the plumbing problem so that they have to call the plumbers and some of them will surely be able to help you get some nice recommendations of the best plumbers that you can find around the area of your house in Tempe. The second tip that you can try is to look at the year of their establishment. For your information, there are some plumbers that have just established since two to three years ago but they have declared that they are the professional plumbers. However, you might want to skip that kind of thing since there are some real professional plumbers that have been established since more than a decade ago and they are still fixing the plumbing problems in many houses in Tempe Arizona. This is the kind of plumber that you will need to call if you have some troubles related with your plumbing.

The next tip that you can try is to get the plumber with certification. For your consideration, certification is considered as one of the easiest ways to know if a plumber is the real professional or not. That is because to get the plumber certification is not something easy and if you can get a plumber with the certification, then you can make sure that you are getting the professional one. However, you might want to also consider the type of certificate that the plumber has. That is because some of them only have the local certification while the others have the state certification, which means the services and quality is better of course.

The next tip that you should never miss is to check on the warranty that you will have. For your consideration, when you are getting a job done by the plumber, then you might need to ask for the warranty. That is because the warranty is something that only the professional will give to you. If you cannot get the warranty, then you are not getting the best plumber to fix your plumbing problems at home. However, you also need to understand that all of those plumbing services that you will get will give you many different warranties. The main point is that you will get the longer warranty for the more expensive services and you will get the less long warranties for the cheaper services from the plumber. Therefore, do not ask for a year warranty just for fixing the leaks on your pipes.

Those are some simple tips that you can simply consider if you are going to pick the best plumbing services that you need. For your final consideration, when you are choosing the best plumber to fix your plumbing problems in Tempe, then you might want to also ask about the number of money that you need to spend. That is because asking for the free estimation is one nice thing to predict the number of money that you need to spend for your problem. As an addition to that, this is one nice way to know if you are getting cheated or not since there are some plumbers, the amateur ones, that usually ask you to replace some parts even though you do not really need to do that.

Best Pool Services for Your Private Pool in Goodyear

Having a private pool in your house can surely be something nice. However, the maintenance of the pool cannot be considered as something easy that you can do, especially if you have the considerably large pool. If you have a large pool in your backyard and you are thinking about the maintenance, then you will need to pick the best pool service Goodyear if you are living in the area of Goodyear. For your consideration, there are some things that can be considered as the best things that you can get if you are getting the best pool service. If you want, some of these considerations might be able to help you out in getting the best pool services for your private pool maintenance needs.

The first consideration that you might want to take into account is the response of the services. When you talk about the response, you will need to talk about its speed. Getting the fast response from the pool maintenance service is something that you will surely want to get. Therefore, you might want to consider getting one that is close to your house. Or else, you will need to pick the real professional one so that the services can go to your house as soon as you hang up the phone. The second consideration is the kind of service. When you are talking about the kind of services, you will need to know the kind of services that you want to get and the kind of service that you can get. This one is the mutual relationship that you need to consider. When you only need to clean up the pool and the hoses, then you can say that all of those pool services are able to do that. However, when you need them to take care of the pump too and some other things, then you will need to pick the professional one that can do all of those jobs all in once.

The next consideration is the price that you need to pay for the services. This one is important since there are some cases when people were not asking for the price and the result is that they had to pay for the decent amount of money. That is because many of them think that they only need to pay for the average money for the services, but it turns out that they have to pay more for the similar services. Therefore, it will be better for you to get the free estimation before they start the work. As an addition to that, you might want to ask them to ask you first just in case there are some parts that need to be replaced. You might want to know that replacing some parts of your private pool might cost you the nice amount of money that is worth for some other things better.

The last consideration that you might want to take into account is the certificate. There are some people who do not really think about the certification of the services as long as they can get the nice result from the service. Actually, that is quite true but when you are picking the service for the first time, you might want to simply consider their certification. That is because only the best pool services that have the certification and that can be simply used as a warranty that you will get the best pool maintenance services for your pool. Therefore, make sure you always check if you are getting the certified services for your pool maintenance or not.

Those are some simple considerations that you might want to take into account when you are going to do the maintenance for your private pool. If you are picking the best maintenance services for your private pool, you can simply say that you will get the best experience from your private pool.

Interested in Incredible House Look? Let’s Find it out!

My home is the place where my heart belongs to. During this time, I always think that my home is the right place where I always spend most of my life in. When I am back from my job, I will go to my house after that. I always feel so comfortable while I am in my own home. I don’t know why but when I am in my own home, I always the security feeling and I feel so relax. Can you explain why we will feel so comfortable in our own home? If I may assume, I guess that since the home is our own living space, it is our own authority. We have the complete authority to handle and to determine what kind of thing that we are going to do in our home.

Let’s imagine that when you have the good order of your home, you have the well-organized of the home, you can feel the heaven in your home. The heaven here means that you will feel that the home is so that perfect for you. You can create the good atmosphere of your home and you can create the comfortable situation in your own home. Do you feel so happy or glad when you can create this kind of situation? I believe that you will feel the happiness when you can create the good atmosphere in your home.

The next question that might be appeared is that what kind of action that we should do for creating the good atmosphere of our home? Actually, there will be many kinds of ways that you can do. The matter here is that the activeness of you to make the perfect decoration and look for your home. For instance, I imagine that my home will be in the rustic style. I love the rustic style for my own home. Because I really want to have the unique style of the home, I try to create the style for my own home. Then, I start to learn the rustic concept for the home. I start to ask the home interior consultant about how I should put or bring the rustic style for my home. I have some plans about the concept that I will bring to the home, then I will apply that if it is suitable with what said by the home interior consultant.

Another thing that I will really consider is about the wall painting. No matter what happened, the wall painting should be decorated well. The wall painting will be one of the interesting home part that will make the home have the good rustic style for this case. I do not really know the best technique to paint my home well. I am afraid that I cannot paint my home wall well. I assume that the wall painting needs the special technique and for the perfect result, I need to be really careful about it. I try to find out some information about the service about wall painting service. After some times finding, I finally find the best wall painting service. I am living in Arizona and I find painters Scottsdale AZ . It is such a good deal that I can get. They are very good in wall painting service and there are many customers who believe that they can make the perfect wall decoration well for many houses. I have watched some of the examples of their work hard result and I assume that they are very good in wall painting. They have been experienced for years handling this kind of services. Besides, they have got many clients so that they really know what kind of thing or favorite owned by their customers. They are ready for the custom wall painting. For this case we want to have the rustic style for the home and you can ask them to adjust the wall painting with the rustic style for your home. They can make that for you. The most important point here is that they are ready with any custom or request by the customers. Any kinds of concepts that you are looking for, they are ready to make that for you and your favorite.

Fragrant Flowers to Plant in Your Garden

What Do Flowers Mean to You!
“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world.” ―Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.” ―Tennessee Williams
“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.” ―Emma Goldman
Think of a particular place where you would want to go when you are sad or in a bad mood. What would cheer you up then? William Wordsworth, the great poet, also suffered from pensive moods. On one such occasion, he wandered off alone, and finally, totally weary, sat down on a meadow lost in his thoughts. As he looked around, his eyes fell on the beautiful daffodils swaying in the cool morning breeze. He suddenly found himself smiling and realized the effect these lovely flowers had on him. They seemed to lift off the burden he felt in his heart in an instant, and that inspired him to pen this beautiful poem:
“For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.”
Flowers, with their lovely shapes and beautiful colors, exude a presence that lightens your overburdened soul. Their sweet fragrance is like a balm to your weary, hurting head. Does this mean that, like Wordsworth, we would need to find a meadow with beautiful blossoms every time we feel low? Of course, not! You can create your own little heaven on earth by planting lovely fragrant flowers in your backyard.
Here’s How…

Take your pick from the list of best smelling flowers in Buzzle’s garden and plant one or as many as you can in yours…
Go Wintry With White Fragrant Flowers

Lily of the Valley
Though they look fragile, you can enjoy the sweet fragrance of these flowers throughout the year. These perennial flowers are easy to grow in zones 2-9 according to United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). An easy-to-care plant, it does not require much care to bloom. November or December is the ideal period to plant the seeds. As it is a poisonous plant, be extra careful while planting it. Partial shade and moist soil enhance its growth. However, the plant can adapt to full sun or completely shaded areas.

Star Jasmine
These sweet-scented flowers are found in tropical or warm regions. The essential oils extracted from them are used in perfumes and aromatherapy, which induce a relaxing effect. It is an evergreen plant that grows well in zones with USDA code 9-11. The plant adapts well to heat, humidity, and light drought. However, the plant requires plenty of sunlight as its leaves remain active throughout the year, even in winter. The ideal time to plant Star Jasmines is late summer to early fall. The plant can be grown in a variety of soil types. However, when planted in sandy soil, regular watering is recommended.

Sweet Alyssum
These tiny, sweet-smelling flowers are grown yearly. They bloom well in zones with USDA code 7-11. The flower carpets are either pink, white, yellow, peach, or purple in color. They are perfect for cool seasons and can be easily grown. The plant prefers neutral to a rich mix in soil type. Though the plant grows well in full sun, keeping the soil moist with regular watering is necessary. Deadheading the plant promotes flowering. Alyssums grown in containers require more fertilizing than those planted in the ground.

Shrub With Fragrant Flowers
Rose
The sweet, enticing fragrance of roses captures the hearts of many a poet. Ample sunlight, regular trimming, and fertilization are necessary to grow a successful and blooming bed of roses. Summer, spring, and fall are their blooming seasons. USDA codes vary for every rose type. They need loamy type of soil. Generally, they are planted after the average last frost date. The plants need a good 5-6 hours of sun, though there are shade tolerant variety of roses as well. In addition, good air circulation is needed for the plant to grow well. Regular watering enhances their blooming, and in turn, you will be rewarded with a bed of beautiful, fragrant roses.

Daphne
The plant produces pink flowers with a strong, fruity scent from late January to February. The planting season is spring in zones with USDA codes 7-9. Daphnes grow best when the soil is well-drained, moisture-retentive, and rich with humus. This plant does not tolerate droughts. Light trimming is recommended every once in a while, especially within the area of healthy leaf growth. A must in your garden, exclusive and complete care can make these flowers blossom well.

Lilac
These sweet-spicy scent, star-shaped flowers grow in a cluster. They are hardy, easy-to-grow, and are low maintenance. Areas with chill and mild winter climate are most conducive for their growth, mainly in zones with USDA codes 3-7. During the summers or in areas with a warm climate, they need complete exposure to the sun, or light shade will also do. They grow in any soil type. They are available in different shades like red, pink, yellow, blue, etc. This plant does not require annual pruning; however, faded flowers should be cut off from the main branch. It gives the plant a chance to work on the new blooms.
Climbing Plant With Fragrant Flowers

Sweet Pea
These flowers are known for their intense fragrance. Their colors range from red, pink to yellow and white. Mild-winter climate is suitable for their growth. The USDA zones 8-10 are areas where they blossom well. They bloom best in early spring. The plant needs well-drained and loamy soil with exposure to full sun. They grow well in moist soil. Slugs and snails as well as rust, gray mold, and leaf spots are a menace to these plants. Hence, extra care is required to keep away these pests.

Wisteria
Wisterias, with purple and white-hued petals, look like a bunch of grapes. Spring and autumn are their planting periods, and April to June is the flowering period. USDA hardiness zones for the plant are 4-9. Wisterias grow well in full sun and partly shaded areas with well-drained and fertile soil. The plant dries out quickly in light or sandy soil. Therefore, it should be watered well in dry conditions and needs regular trimming to blossom beautifully.

Honeysuckle
This climber plant flowers in mid-summer. Its vines are suited to grow in partial shade to full sun, and the flowers emit a powerful scent. This is an easy-to-grow plant. The plant’s hardiness zones are 2-10. It needs moist and well-drained soil. Regular pruning is not required, just cutting back the overgrown shoots, and removing weak and damaged stems are enough. Water regularly in dry conditions.
Fragrant Flowers for Patio

Lavender
These flowers entice one with their sweet perfume, and blossom best in well-drained soil and ample sun. They bloom well in summer especially in hardiness zones with USDA 8-11. The soil type for the plant can vary from sandy, loamy to gravelly. Young lavenders need care like any other perennial plant. The plant can tolerate dry spells and heat if well rooted. However, watering in drought is necessary. Pruning 1/3 of the plant, weeks before hard frost, is recommended.

Dianthus
These spicy fragrant flowers come in pink, white, and red colors. They fit in both annual and perennial plant types. The USDA zones for the plants are 3-10. The plant needs fertile and well-drained soil. Watering and fertilizing regularly is recommended. Overwatering might cause the leafage to turn yellow. Weekly watering in enough. It needs good air circulation around its stems. Cutting off the top of the stem, layering, and plant division works wonders and prevents plant diseases.

Peony
These flowers are low maintenance and bloom all throughout the year. The USDA zones for the flowers are 3-8. The planting season is fall. The plant needs loamy soil with full or part sun exposure. The flowers bloom in fertile, humus-rich, deep, and well-drained moist soil. Watering the plant regularly is a must. The plant should be sheltered from strong wind. The flowers bloom best in sunny spots. Deadheading the plant every once in a while is recommended.

Fragrant Flowers at Night
Moonflower
Also known as Devil’s Trumpet (hardiness zones 8-11), they are available in pink, red, yellow, and white colors with a touch of gold in the middle. The plant grows well in fertile soil. It needs regular watering and fertilization. Ample sunlight enhances blossoming. The sweet scent of these flowers elicit a tropical feeling in you.

Nicotiana
The sweet scent of these flowers gets stronger at night. The flowers of this tobacco plant open at dusk; however, this perennial plant is short-lived. The hardiness zones for this plant are 5-11. The soil should be moist but not soggy. Planting it in sunny or partially shady spots is recommended. Deadheading the plant for enhancing a beautiful bloom would be a great idea. Removing the spent flowers promotes health in the plant.

Evening Primrose
Originally from North America, these beautiful yellow flowers are named so, as they bloom only at night. This biennial plant blooms from May to July. 3-11 are the best USDA hardiness zones where they grow well. The plant adapts in well-drained soil. The most common afflictions this plant suffers are aphids, leaf spots, rusts, etc. The oil from these flowers is used in the treatment of various heart ailments, arthritis, etc.
Fragrant Flowers of Hawaii

Frangipani
Plumerias or Hawaiian Lei flowers is another name given to Frangipani (USDA 10-11), and they are available in tropical and sunset colors. This tropical plant requires full sun and well-drained soil. They tolerate sea breeze but not high winds. Organic fertilizers are recommended for this plant. You can use different pruning techniques to promote blossoming in this plant. The plant may decay due to fungus; hence, proper care is needed.

Tuberose
The plant type is perennial, and its bulb-shaped flowers are rich in fragrance. Its hardiness zones are 7-10. The flowers bloom in mid to late summer. The plant grows well in full sun. Keeping the soil moist as well as monthly fertilization is necessary for the plant’s growth. In some varieties, these white flowers may have a touch of pink. They are used for making bouquets, as they withhold their scent beautifully even after being picked.

Gardenia
All that these flowers require are rich soil, light shade, and regular watering for them to blossom well. This plant flowers in early summer. These thick, light, and wax-like flowers are known for their intoxicating aroma. The plant can be grown indoors and outdoors as well. Its hardiness zones are 7-10. It needs well-drained, acidic soil. Regular watering and humidity leads to its healthy growth. A full sun and some shade in the hottest summers promote their growth.

Decorative Garden Fencing

Garden fencing has to be aesthetically pleasing, apart from being useful in keeping away stray animals. In fact, it is better to ensure it from the very beginning, so that all the future confusions can be avoided. The boundary of your property can be defined by the fence, which would save you from all the future arguments with your neighbors. It definitely gives a sense of security and safety. So, if safety and security can be attained with the aesthetics maintained, nothing can be better than that. It can also hide something that you want to hide. North Americans introduced this whole idea and now, it is quite popular in America. Gardening is one of America’s favorite hobbies, pastimes; you remember that even Charles Lamb described it as his primary activity after retirement in the essay “The Superannuation.” So, to save your favorite garden from any kind of transgressive activities, here are some of the decorative fencing ideas. Before choosing a certain design, do check if it matches with the architecture of the house and the surroundings.

There are ample options to choose from as they would increase the style quotient of your garden. The following can be simple, and they also come in a wide range of colors and designs.

Bamboo Fencing
It can give your garden a very exotic look, apart from ensuring your privacy and safety. These come in various designs such as Yucatan fence panels, reed, willow fence, etc. You can also go for a Kinakauji, Koetsu, or Rioanji-gaki style. Classic Kenninji fences are also a very good option since they can cover your garden quite well and are very artistic to look at. Traditional black tiles are also used with it to make it more beautiful. There are vertical strips of bamboo, combined with multiple horizontal, semi-round bamboo rails used for support. This kind of fencing can be designed in either single or double-sided, capped or uncapped. Though it really adds a character to your garden, it is not very long lasting and rots after just one season of rain, and snow would be enough to consume it.

Vinyl Fencing
It also comes in different colors and designs. The best feature of this style is that it is durable and requires almost zero maintenance. It gives you the full worth of money in terms of durability, and definitely, enhances the beauty of your garden, apart from keeping it safe from intruders. If embossed with wood, it provides the same look as you have got from wooden fencing, but with much more ease. PVC fencing is rot and rust resistant. There are no hassles of discoloring and graffiti as you can give them a simple wash, and they will be like new again.

Wire Fencing
This kind of fences is generally held by steel poles and is used to demarcate boundaries, wherein defining the boundary is really necessary and there is dire need to stay clear of intruders. You can definitely get it done if that is the situation, and then, you can decorate it with flower climbers and twirling plants, so that it can also look beautiful. These let in a lot of air and light, but do not keep your garden a very private area. The security is low when it comes to potential intruders who want something beyond the flowers in the area.

Chain Link Fencing
It is a kind of fence that is weaved of galvanized or steel-coated wires. These are placed vertically and are bent in a zigzag pattern. They are very easy to install and also, do not require much maintenance. They are also very cheap and like other wire fences, let abundant light and air, although they provide the least privacy. To make them semi-opaque, you can insert slashes in the openings.

Wooden Fencing
It gives your house an old-world look. It is appropriate for colonial homes that can be found easily in parts of lumberyards and home stores. If you want to get it done, you can also go for a simple split rail style that would give your house a rustic look. There is not much hassle as you get the readymade ones, so you can fence your garden within a day if you have all your tools in place. Wooden clapboards are also a good option, but then, they require regular maintenance to avoid rotting.

These are some ideas that you can use to decorate your garden and add to the aesthetics of your property. It will make you feel a lot better if you see beautiful greenery, with an equally beautiful fence around.

Ants in Vegetable Garden

Ants invading your home or garden can be quite frustrating. In the vegetable garden, they feed on nectar-filled flowers, sweet tasting vegetables, and fruits. In most cases, you will see their colonies feeding on strawberries and other soft skin fruits.

Despite the fact that all type of ants feed on garden plants, the most annoying part is they bite you when you step on them accidentally. In fact, you won’t get a chance to wipe them away as they usually live in groups.

No doubt, ants prove to be beneficial to the gardener by feeding on destructive garden pests such as caterpillars, spiders and small insects. But, some species like black garden ants live together with the aphids (for their honeydew).

In such a case, they are inviting a notorious pest in the garden. So, how do you get rid of them?

Methods

Though you can find several poisons for killing them, do not consider using commercial products. Rather you can rely on effective homemade remedies which are discussed below:

Pour Boiling Water

This method of drowning the garden ants with boiling water is practical if the number is less. For one mound, you require about 3 gallons of boiling water. Accordingly, pour boiling water in their hills and kill them.

Use Citrus Peelings

Collect citrus peelings (orange, lemon, etc.) and ground them by using adequate amount of water. Remove the liquid concoction and spray it over the mound. This method is an effective natural remedy for getting rid of carpenter and other garden ants.

Use Borax Mixture

Spraying a mixture containing borax is also effective in killing them. For this purpose, combine equal amounts of borax and sugar, and spray the mixture randomly in the garden or wherever you notice ants. Sugar attracts them, and as they feed on the mixture and the borax kills them. By following this method, you will be successful in getting rid of sugar ants.

Sprinkle Grits

Grits or hot cereals are a perfect choice for getting rid of ants in the yard and garden. As per your choice, purchase any brand of hot cereal from the market and sprinkle it in the garden, especially in the mounds and hills. After they feed on this hot cereal, it expands in the stomach and kills them.

Spray Baby Powder

Any kind of fragrance is a repelling agent for ants. So, take this advantage and spray baby powder, cinnamon, pepper or vinegar to repel them. Doing so will definitely help you in getting rid of lawn ants.

Grow Mint Herb

As already mentioned, ants hate any type of strong odor. The pungent aromatic scent of mint leaves acts a natural pesticide for them. So, do not delay in planting mint in your garden so as to get rid of these troublesome creatures. The permanent solution is to grow and maintain mint throughout the year.

In case, these methods do not work, you can use insecticidal sprays. I know it is not a natural way but, if nothing is working, you can consult professional pest control services and use chemical insecticides.

Flower Garden Layout

Flowers are essential components of a garden. They are considered as the centerpiece of any garden. In fact, a yard with a lawn, trees, and fountain, looks incomplete until one incorporates flowering plants to its borders and beds. While flowers look great in any kind of landscape design, proper planning enhances the aesthetic value of the yard. So, instead of growing them randomly like flowers in the wild, why not plan the garden layout first and design it neatly?

How to Plan a Flower Garden
Laying a flower garden requires some forethought, your creativity, and basic gardening skills. But, you don’t need a degree in landscape designing to proceed with the same. While planning a flower garden layout, certain criteria should be considered like location, yard space, adding flower beds, finalizing flowering plants, and design tips. And to make your project simpler, make a rough sketch of the layout including the plant placement and color pattern.

Decide on the Location

The actual garden layout and the flower varieties to be planted depend on where the area is located. A sunny yard with fertile and well-drained soil is excellent for maintaining a garden. While any piece of land can be made into a beautiful flower garden with some effort, it is better to grow flowers in a suitable area. If possible, try to avoid a shady and damp location. For a shaded garden, the flower options are limited. In fact, colorful blooms look more vibrant in a sunlit garden.

Layout of a flower garden largely depends on how big is the area. So, yard space and total area of the flower beds should be considered first. Later, you can decide the plant types and their position in the garden, based on their height, flowering time, and color.
You can also add trellis, stone paths, and alike garden components. What about including a garden pond with colorful fish and water lilies? Depending upon your personal preferences, finalize the color scheme and flower cultivars.

Designs for Flower Beds

The flower beds should be wide enough (about 5-7 feet) so that you can have better planting options. Each bed can be demarcated from the other by straight or curved lines (as per your choice).
A formal garden looks elegant with straight lines. But, if you want something out of the box, select five types of varied colored flowers that bloom at the same time. Plant them in a five-petaled flower shape, with each flower variety representing a petal. Believe me, this pattern looks awesome in a home garden.

Choose Flowering Plants
You can consider growing all types, including annuals, biennials, perennials, and climbing vines. While selecting native flower species, make sure you consider the amount of care for each plant type along with the desired traits of the blooms. Like for instance, exotic plants surely add a unique touch to the yard. But, most of the species call for special care and are not suited for novice gardeners.

Why Choose Annual Flowers?

Annuals complete their life cycle in one season, i.e., they grow, flower, bear seeds, and die in the same season. They are most preferred for planting in bedding schemes, rather than growing at the borders. You can create a different flower bed in each season by planting annuals. Another advantage of selecting annual flowers is that they are available in a wide range of colors.

Some of the best choices are geraniums, spider flowers, Brazilian verbena, and daisies. You can design a color scheme by planting different annual flowers in the same bed. While doing so, make sure that the plants in one flower bed bloom at the same time. Annual flowers also serve as great space fillers before the perennials start blooming.

Biennial and Perennial Plants

Biennials develop their leaves in the first season and bloom in the next season. Then they shed their seeds and die. They are best planted at the borders and the hedges along with perennials. The most preferred biennials for flower gardens are foxgloves and hollyhocks. Perennial flowers are long-living plants, which bloom for a short duration (about 3-4 weeks) in each season. You can select perennials that flower at different times, so as to make the flower garden look lively. This way, there will be blooms in the garden throughout the year, irrespective of the season.

Other flowering plants include bulbs and climbing vines. Bulbs are very easy to grow and maintain in the garden. They flower in one season, remain dormant for a while, and again flower in the next season. Some of the stunning bulbous plants are tulips, daffodils, amaryllis, and snowdrops. If there are trellises, you can give a different look to your garden by growing climbing vines. Flowering vines like morning glory and hyacinth bean can be planted based on the color scheme of the surrounding area.

Garden with a Lawn

This idea is for a large sized garden, where you have sufficient room to incorporate a green patch. For lawns, ornamental grasses are maintained for enjoying greenery in all seasons. Once planted, they continue to grow for many years, provided that proper care tips are adopted. In short, a lawn requires less maintenance than a flower bed.
For people who have limited time for garden care, a lawn garden adorned with ground cover and flower beds is a perfect option. You can also include evergreen shrubs on the lawn boundary.

You may consider using containers and/or raised beds in the center of the lawn or in the borders. Fill the empty space with potted plants and your garden will definitely look complete. If interested, try experimenting theme-based flower garden design ideas. You can focus on a particular theme, like a butterfly garden, rose garden, summer garden, and proceed accordingly.

Making a Prayer Garden

Prayer is something that is very close to your heart. It is something very precious and sacred. Prayer can mean different things to different people. For the one dedicated to what he does, work could be prayer. Dancing for him/herself could mean praying for a dancer, composing music could mean praying for a musician, while simply being close to nature, being one with the force that drives the world, being in the vicinity and the company of the classical five elements could be equivalent to praying for some individuals. For those of you who belong to the last category, a praying garden would be a wonderful way to pray. Find out here how to make your own prayer garden.

How to Make a Prayer Garden

First and foremost, you have to plan it out on paper; and believe me, you don’t have to be an architect to be able to do this! Get an idea of how much space you have in which to create your prayer garden. Praying is something that is very personal – you may not like being disturbed while praying. Likewise you may not want just anybody to walk in upon your praying premise. If that is the case, divide your garden up into a place the entire family can share and a section that will serve as your praying room. If everybody in your family likes to pray, then you may want to design the garden in such a way as to give each one his/her privacy and space to pray. If you like to pray together, or if there is a part of your prayer that you do together as one family – for example reciting a particular hymn or psalm together – you can instead have one common place where everybody can assemble and pray together. The importance of prayer is irreplaceable in the lives of those who pray; so before you actually go about setting up your prayer garden, make sure you know what you want out of it. The above mentioned pointers can be a good place to start planning.
Prayer Garden Plan

~ Seating Arrangement ~
The seating arrangement is probably the single most important point to be considered while designing your own prayer garden. Do you stand and pray? Do you like to sit cross-legged? Do you like to kneel down? Do you like sitting on the ground, the grass or a mat? Depending on this, you can choose from a patio to be built in the middle or in a corner of the garden, you can have a cobbled walk-way through the garden, you can have a lawn, or you have a clear patch of ground, devoid of grass. If it is going to be a patio, you can choose to have a bamboo patio, a wooden patio, or a stone patio. The insides of the patio can be decorated in various ways to create the mood to help you pray.

If you do not want your guests and other people who visit you to enter your praying area, you can segregate it from the rest of the garden. You can build a tall bamboo fence to seclude your praying area from the rest of the garden. You can have a tall hedge as well. If you don’t want to have a bare fence, you can grow a shrub over it. Alternatively you can simply build a wall. A five-feet tall wall could give you the privacy you need without the arrangement seeming too drastic or rude. You could even place potted plants on the wall.

~ Classical Five Elements ~
Each one of us can identify with at least one of the classical five elements very closely – I identify with water; I am at complete peace in the vicinity of a water body, especially a moving one. The sound of flowing water sounds like music to me. My father on the other hand, loves the wind. He finds heaven on this hill that is close to our place. He climbs right up to the top of the hill every single day for just a few moments of the wind blowing in his face. You can also discover your element. If you already know your element, being close to it while praying can bring you real peace and calm and leave you with a deep-seated feeling of happiness and satisfaction.

If you like to pray at sunrise, you can arrange for your praying garden to be set up in such a way that the soft morning sunlight enter directly into your patio, or through the leaves of trees bordering your garden. If you like the wind, you can set up a rock-bench in the middle of the garden, away from the plants or trees that may block the wind. If water is your element, there are many ways in which you can include it in your garden. You can build a waterfall. You can have a fountain. If you want something more natural, you could have a small rock pool in your garden. The pool can be designed to hold small colorful fish. Alternatively, you can build a shallow rock pool and have round stones fill up the bottom – it looks truly beautiful. If you want to be still closer to water, you can have a small bridge built over the pool and can sit on the bridge and pray. Or if you opt for a shallow pool, you can simple walk through the water to a central table on which you can sit and pray, surrounded by water on all sides.

~ Flora ~
The last thing I would like to discuss are the plants in your garden. You have to be calm, relaxed and absolutely at ease when you pray. Having fragrant flower plants in your prayer garden can be a nice way to calm your senses and relax before you actually begin praying. You can place potted exotic plants in the patio, or you can surround your sitting area with fragrant flowers. Another option could be to burn some incense sticks.
Praying is not an activity – it is an experience, a journey. Praying lets you connect with life, connect with yourself. Hope these ideas will help you build the perfect little prayer garden you have always wanted.

Steps to Protect Your Garden

Did you Know…
… that the growth and nutrient requirement of plants decreases naturally during summer, and all they need is a bit of TLC to carry them through the harsh conditions.
Gardens provide a cool, breezy space perfect for relaxation and a bit of me-time. Unfortunately, extreme weather conditions and record-breaking temperatures – a common occurrence these days, have the potential to wreak havoc on your garden.

To minimize damage, many experts recommend planting native plants to begin with – plants that have evolved over thousands of years and are well adapted to the local conditions. But, a heat wave can damage the native plants as well and besides, we all love a bit of variety.

Another thing we must do is to recognizing the signs of heat damage and provide that particular plant some extra care or move it in the shade. A heat-damaged or dehydrated (usually both go hand-in-hand) plant will reveal itself by displaying droopy, yellow leaves throughout the sun-exposed area; whereas the shaded leaves will have a healthy green coloration. The yellowing generally occurs around the edges and veins and might progress into brown, brittle leaves. Ultimately leading to a permanently damaged plant, unless immediate action is taken.

While you cannot undo the damage once done, you can definitely ensure that the garden stays happy and green, using these simple yet effective steps, before and during a heat wave.

Keep the Grass Taller

It is a good idea to keep the grass longer during the summer months. This has three advantages – two that are good for the garden, and one that is good for you. First, the longer leaf blades will help the soil retain moisture by shielding it from the sun. Two, it will keep the garden cooler, reducing the impact of the blazing sun. And three, it

will cut your mowing time.

Keep the grass approximately ½-inch longer than you usually do. It is best to mow in the morning or evening, so that the lower, shielded leaves get time to get accustomed to the elements. Also, make sure that the blade of the mower is sharp, as a dull blade might damage the leaf tips.

Prune Less

Pruning might stimulate new growth, which is fine and dandy during spring, but the tender shoots and leaves become much more vulnerable to the elements. Limit it to only the dead, infested or decaying parts. A dead branch or a bunch of brown, rotting leaves are perfect candidates for pruning. Use a disinfected blade, as a new cut is an ideal entry point for bugs and pests. You may keep a few dead leaves near the roots, but do make sure they are rot-free. If you have an overgrown shrub or tree, prune it long before the high temperatures set in. The best time to prune a tree is during late winter, just before spring sets in.

Construct a Sun-Screen

The most important step to protect your garden would be to create a barrier between the hot sun and the plants. While most established, native plants may not need the shade, potted plants and newly established trees will need some protection. The shading will also reduce water loss through their leaves, as plants, like us, ‘perspire’ to stay cool. This also means the plant will need much less water to stay hydrated, an important consideration if you are

facing a drought.

You can use anything to construct the barrier, as long as it stays put and is not a fire hazard, especially if forest fires are an issue in your area. Use a bed-sheet, a beach umbrella, a fancy awning, old curtains or even the good old tarp suspended on bamboo poles about 10 feet high. Although, a store-bought canopy will offer better protection as it thicker, more resistant to damage and custom-made to shield the plants.

Move Tender Plants to The Shade

Once the canopy is set, move the delicate plants to the shade. You can also utilize the shade of tall trees or plants, or the house itself. Make sure you group the plant in a cozy manner, meaning they should be huddled closely, but have enough space to grow and breathe. Placing the plants closely will further lower the temperature around them and increase the humidity. Try to place the most delicate ones in the center, with the tougher ones around the edges.

Get Rid of Weeds

Weeds steal all the precious moisture and nutrients from your plants. Plus, they are hardy and manage to thrive even through the worst of conditions. Even worse, they attract pests, diseases and infections making your plants even more susceptible.

Pull out any weeds as soon as you notice them. The younger the weed, the easier it is to get rid of. In case of a well-established weed, cut off the top, leaves and all, with only the stump remaining. You might have to do this several times till its root taps get exhausted. Summer is also the time when you can compost the weeds, as the heat in the compost bin will destroy the seeds naturally.
Mulch

Mulch helps the soil retain moisture by reducing evaporation of water. This means the plant will require much less water to thrive. It also suppresses the growth of most weeds and provides the plants or shrubs with nutrients. Mulch is an efficient organic and fully natural substitute for both, herbicides and fertilizers.

Add a thick layer (2-inch thick for finer mulch and 4-inch of the chunkier mulch) to all plant beds. Do leave a gap of a few inches around the base of the plant. Do not use a weed mat or plastic sheet as an underlay. Put the mulch deeper, over a newspaper about 16 sheet thick, to prevent weed growth. Also, do remember to weed before you mulch. Preferably, use light, reflective mulch like straw or saw dust during the summer months.
Avoid Watering at Noon

Water in the morning, before the heat sets in, ideally before 10 AM. This will make sure the plants stay hydrated during the sweltering heat and will also help in keeping the temperatures down. The next best option is late afternoon, after the worst of the heat is over, but before evening. This will ensure that the leaves stay dry during the night, which happens to be the preferred time for a fungus to take roots. Also, try to not get the leaves wet if you are watering after 5 PM.

The reason for avoiding watering the plants at mid-day is that the combination of water and heat can actually scald the plants instead of having a cooling effect. Plus, most of the water might evaporate before soaking in the soil and reaching the roots. For best results, water deep, meaning the moisture should reach at least 6 inches deep once you water the garden. Then, water again only after the top 2 inches are completely dry (usually, this means deep-watering every couple of days).

Do Not Disturb the Soil During a Heat Wave

Disturbing the soil at this time will only release the trapped water. You want this moisture to stay in the soil to hydrate your plant as well as to keep the temperatures down. So do not carry out any activity which might disturb the soil, such as digging, weeding, planting or transporting plants. The newly transported plants or young seedlings are much more susceptible and vulnerable. If you have weeds, just cut off their heads, instead of pulling them out, so as not to disturb the soil surrounding them.
In short, the best to protect your garden during a heat wave is to disturb it as little as possible, while ensuring that it is well-hydrated, cool and the plants have sufficient nutrients.

Characteristics of Different Types of Soil

The most important factor when beginning to cultivate your garden is to know your soils texture. Take a handful of moist soil and roll it between your palms until it forms a sausage shape. If it feels gritty and breaks apart immediately, the soil is predominately sand. If the soil feels smooth, and holds its shape for a short time before breaking apart, it is mostly silt. However, if it feels sticky and holds together, then it is clay.

Sandy Soil
Easy to cultivate and warm up quickly in spring. It drains well so the plants do not stand with their roots in water for too long. However, as it drains quickly, plants need to be regularly watered and fed if they are to thrive.

Silty Soil
This soil type is richer in nutrients than sandy soil. It is also heavier because it can retain moisture and has a tendency to become compacted. It does however tend to drain well and much easier to cultivate than clay.

Clay Soil
Weighty to lift and difficult to work. Drainage is usually bad; the soil is acid and clinging to the feet in wet weather. When preparing the beds for vegetables in clay soil, the organic fertilizer should be added at a rate of two bucketfuls to the sq. yd.

Loamy Soil
Contain sand, silt and clay, in such well-balanced proportions that none produces a dominating influence. These are amongst the most fertile soils. Almost any crop can be grown in them. They warm up quickly in spring and rarely dry out in summer.

 Chalk Soil
It fertility depends largely on the depth of soil overlaying the chalk bed formation. If the topsoil is thin the ground will be poor and hungry. It will be bone dry in summer and the plants will need far more watering and feeding than on any other soil. If however, it is fairly deep, good growing conditions are possible.Peaty Soil
It occurs in fen or boggy areas. Peat is composed of excessive quantities of humus and is associated with water-logging. The soil is usually very acid and contains few nutrients. It does have one advantage in that it warms up quickly in spring. It is excellent for plant growth if fertilizer is added.