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Archive for the ‘How-To Information’ Category

Gifts for the Gardener

Is there a gardener you need to buy a gift for? Christmas is as great a reason as you can get to buy gifts for that special gardener. You don’t have to look far to find great gifts for gardeners. Every year there seem to be new gadgets coming out and several on-line websites have wonderful gardening gifts. A couple of them are www.gardenscape.on.ca/ and www.behnkes.com. Both sites have an abundance of unique gifts for the gardener. Local hardware or home improvement stores will also have a good line of gifts for that special gardener in your life.

Practical gifts such as a shovel or trowel, garden hoses or other digging and planting tools are most always welcomed but then there are also the whimsical items to add that extra special touch to a garden.

A basket full of goodies for the gardener is also a great gift idea. Buy one already made or personalize one by adding your own special touches. A basket with the essentials is a good choice. It could include gloves, poison oak/ivy medication, fertilizer, twister ties, rain gauge, and disposable towels etc. You could include an Old Farmers Almanac if your favorite gardener would appreciate such “old school” methods for finding the best time to plant their vegetables and flowers.

Gardening books may need to be on your shopping list. Gardening books can be found anywhere and found on an endless variety of topics. Choose among specialty garden books, such as vegetable gardens, wild flower gardens, or formal gardens. Maybe a book on the subject of perennials and annuals, which flowers are best suited for your climate? How about buying plants that are best suited for your soil type? The local bookstore will have a whole section devoted to gardening books, it’s big business.

Perhaps your gardener wants to attract butterflies or hummingbirds? Or maybe they will after reading a book you gave them for Christmas about the appropriate types of flowers to plant to draw them to the garden. You can also will different hummingbird feeders that will keep these beautiful birds coming back again and again.

Garden stones are another popular gift for gardeners. Garden stones can be unusual shapes, colorful, humorous and can be personalized. You can even get kits to make garden stones with a child’s hand print and their name added to it, a wonderful way to span the generations and bring the little ones into the gardening world. What a wonderful memories that would make for the child and the gardener. Round garden stones can be bought and painted with the family name to make an extra special gift for a garden lover. You can put the year the marriage was established or maybe the year that the garden was started. Your personalization can make even an ordinary gift something very special, a real tribute.

On the more practical side, there are countless gifts to choose from such as special boxes to store your garden hoses and hose carts. Fertilizer sprinklers and water sprinklers are also good gifts. A really cute water sprinkler I found was in the shape of a John Deere Tractor.

A popular item for gardens is the gazing ball, to be honest I just don’t get the attraction but many do. They’re found in all sizes and colors and add a fanciful touch to the garden. Holders for the gazing balls come in many shapes, sizes and materials. A favorite of many is a little angel holding a small gazing ball. Perhaps I need to “gaze” into one for a while and learn the attraction.

Wind spinners and flags are also popular for the gardener. Spinners are available in a variety of colors such as the rainbow spinner and a patriotic, red, white, and blue spinner. Flags can be changed throughout the year changing with the seasons. I was surprised to learn of the many varieties of garden flags. Their growing popularity is due to the ability to give the garden a different look by changing them frequently, with the seasons, the crops, or the weather.

Have a taste for the exotic? You can find exotic plants such as the amaryllis exotica, or unusual items such as the shitake mushroom log. How about an Italian herb garden or a ginkgo tree growing kit? You may be surprised to learn of all that is available.

Animal or angel statues of any size make great gifts. Birdbaths are another added attraction to a garden that never goes out of style. I guess because birds can add so much to a garden and can also help control insects. But whatever you decide on know the greatest gift is the thought you put into it. There are gifts out there for every gardener, it’s a growing world and you can never go wrong as long as your heart is in your gift.

Get Rid Of Moss And Algae For Good

It’s green; it’s slimy; it’s slippery. It’s growing on your lawn, your patio, your steps and walkways-even your roof and siding. If you’ve ever lived through several humid or wet days, you probably have had to deal with moss or algae.

“Dampness combined with heavy shade and poor air circulation are the ingredients that create moss and algae,” says Bayer Advanced™ Garden Expert Lance Walheim, who wrote the book “Lawn Care for Dummies” and is a regular contributor to Sunset magazine. “They make your house look dirty and on your patio, it’s easy for children or the elderly to slip and fall.”

Pruning trees to increase sunlight can help prevent moss and algae over the long run. Adjusting the pH of your soil can help reduce the green slime in your lawn. You can also spend a few hundred dollars a year to have the exterior of your home cleaned.

In the past, if you wanted to get rid of that nasty green stuff, the do-it-yourself approach required a scrub brush and a bucket of water mixed with bleach.

“Mixing bleach is always a challenge,” says Walheim. “You have to make it strong enough to get the job done but the fumes can be awfully strong too. You also have to scrub like crazy to get into all those nooks and crannies.”

Now, however, there is another alternative with no scrubbing required-Bayer Advanced 2-in-1 Moss and Algae Killer. This is a fast-acting moss, algae and lichen killer that can be applied to lawns, as well as steps and walkways, patios, shingles, stucco, wood decks and fences, roofs and even the exteriors of cars and boats.

On wood, concrete and asphalt, a single application of the product will control moss and algae for up to one year and it does not stain surfaces.

Gardening information and design ideas

A good garden design is usually the result of good planning. The first step to planning a garden for you is to work out what you want. There are many styles to choose, there is a great range of product to incorporate in your private domain, whether it be a large country garden or a tiny townhouse section.

Creating a garden that satisfies the hunger for beauty, while catering to life needs becomes more than just planting. There is no need to spend a fortune on a professional garden designer when you can create your own garden design on your computer with 3D landscape 2 Deluxe.

This advanced garden design program provides you with realistic 3-D views and you can even see your garden change through the seasons. The program is packed with lots of design tips.

Whether you are a professional landscape designer or a gardening enthusiast, 3D Landscape 2 will help you achieve the look you’ve always wanted before lifting a space.

A simple mouse click places trees, shrubs and flowers and over 100 garden design features such as brick pathways, wooden fences, lights and retaining walls.

Over 100 step-by-step explanations, and what tools and materials you will need are all included in this informative CD. We want to be able to use our garden designs, to entertain friends, children to play, and just to sit and enjoy the environment.

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