Gardening Activities for Children
In many of our previous pieces we have made sure to focus on our own gardening activities, enjoyment, and design. However, our children want to be active participants in the things we pursue as well. This is why we felt it would be a good idea to consider methods of including children in our gardens.
Sure, our kids are probably more interested in an electric powered 2 wheel scooter that can be ridden without any handles, but there are other things that are safer endeavors. This is why we should strive to educate them on the value of gardening and the enjoyment that can be found therein. Not that we want to deter their desires to play outside on their scooters either.
5 Great Gardening Activities for Kids
Being outside in any capacity is highly advisable. Unfortunately, our children have become too engrossed with technology to understand the value of outdoor exposure and adventure. So, when we are given an opportunity to provide them with this chance, we should embrace it with complete abandon. After all, your garden is your safe haven, why wouldn’t you want to share that with your children?
Therefore, the next time your kids are complaining about being bored, even though they own the best new scooters, swegways, and video game consoles, consider introducing them to gardening. Specifically, contemplate exposing them to the following five great gardening activities for kids:
- Odd Containers– While you may want your garden to be a sophisticated spot, you could totally add some pizazz by incorporating odd containers for growing various plants. Let your children use old shoes, toys, or various other implements. Maybe your garden needs a little comedic relief. If you need some ideas for odd containers to use in your gardening endeavors click this.
- Grow a Craft– Plant things that once they grow, can later be used as craft projects. Consider the value in growing gourds for birdhouses, or pumpkins for carving. Berries can be used for the purpose of utilizing natural dyes too.
- Plant something Weird– Remember, you want your kids to be enthusiastic about their gardening endeavors. That might mean planting something a little weird like purple carrots or beans, or blue potatoes. You also grow some miniaturized versions of corn and peas to keep the interest percolating. Read more about some of the weirdest plants available.
- Plant a Rainbow– Lay out the planting area in the shape of a rainbow. Then try to pick flowers of similar sizes and varying colors. Plant the seeds in a way that will allow the flowers to show up in rainbow color form.
- Sensory Gardening– There are a number of plants that can offer a tactile adventure for your kids. There are those that curl up when touched, or feel fuzzy on the hand. And, there are even plants that can make noises that will draw your children’s attention. Consider planting those things that will appeal to their inquisitive nature and meet their sensory needs. If you are in need of some ideas for your sensory garden read this.
Kids can learn to love being in the garden if you will present them with opportunities to grow things that get their attention or spark their imaginations. Try the recommendations suggested here, your kids will thank you.
Learn How to Take Great Photos in Your Back Yard
The back yard is one of the best places to make fantastic memories. You and your family has some of the best times in the back yard because this is where your children will take their first steps, explore the nature for the first time, play and have a blast the first time, learn to ride a bike for the first time and much more. It is important to capture some of these memories on photo so you all can look back on these fun times and remember. But how can you capture great memories if you cannot afford a good photographer for each and every event or fun occasion? The solution is simple; learn to take professional photos yourself.
Why you should learn to take professional photos
Learning to take good quality photos yourself is much more lucrative than you might think. When you have great photography skills you can take great photos of your family and save a fortune on photographers. You can also earn a great income from your photography skills by doing it as a part time job or by selling some of your photos online.
Ways to make your back yard photo friendly
Studio photos are great but your garden is the ultimate photography backdrop since photos in your garden is much more real and features true memories as they happen. If you want to take fantastic photos of your family then you should make your garden more picture friendly with these simple tips;
Lots of shading – Even the silliest camera can take great photos in good tree shading in your garden.
Plant a beautiful lawn – A beautiful large lawn is the easiest way to create a beautiful picture friendly garden.
Plant some flowers – You can use your garden flowers as photo props in your photos.
Get beautiful seating – Beautiful seating will give you a great area to capture some great portraits of your family. You should invest in a good concrete or wood seating set that looks great on photos.
Clean and tidy – A clean and tidy garden always look great on photo.
Get some photo props – With a few good photo props like a sink bath, a statue or a vintage bike you can make garden photos much more interesting or capture major events like your child’s first birthday cake smash.
Where to get the best online photography tips
Not everyone is naturally great at photography. Some have some good photo skills and a great eye for capturing beautiful moments but most people have to learn how to take good photos. Online courses is just what you need to improve your photography skills since they are cheap and you can enjoy them from the comfort of your home at times convenient to you. You can check out some reviews of the best online photography courses so you can find the best possible tips and solutions for your unique needs. With these courses you are sure to improve your photography skills a lot and you will learn to take fantastic photos in even the most plain of gardens.
Turn your garden into a show-garden
There are many show-gardens on display and many competitions every year where people enter to show off their gardening and landscaping skill. It can turn out to be rather expensive to make drastic changes in your garden and to some not worth the money. It is however possible to change your garden into a masterpiece on a budget. Just by doing a little more work and applying yourself to gardening a little more you can make a huge difference and put yourself in the running. The experts say focus less on the element that you cannot afford in your garden and focus more on what inspires you. Here are a few ways to turn your garden into a paradise on a budget.
This is a new and beautiful way to give your garden that individual edge. Use a couple of old tires, a bit of spray paint and voila you have a planter to fill with beautiful new flowers. This is a colorful addition to any garden. You can decide how many planters you would like in your garden.
String lights aren’t particularly expensive and can turn any garden into a wonderful visual experience. Beautiful lighting really compliments any garden and will make everyone believe that you have fairies fluttering around in your backyard. This is ideal if you are looking for that enchanted garden and will look magnificent at night.
Make a grand entrance
By planting the right shrubs and trees you can make a beautiful entrance into your garden. There are many other ways to do this for example placing a bench at the entrance of your garden with an outside lamp. It will just be more inviting. Click here to read more about creating the perfect garden entrance with the right garden gate.
Leave a spot for enjoying your garden
You really don’t want to do all the work by planting the most beautiful flowers and plants and not be able to enjoy it. Create a little sanctuary perhaps with a table and chair where you can have your morning coffee and also enjoy your garden. Click here for ways to enjoy your garden.
Visit garden shows for inspiration
There are many shows featured across the country that you can attend to find inspiration in someone else’s hard work. You might get ideas or meet people that will provide you with advice for your garden. Don’t overpay for your trip, take a look at United Airlines for amazing flight prices and the experience to be able to witness the entire inventory of flights.
Add height to your garden
By strategically placing pillars in your garden you can create the illusion of height which will make your garden look bigger and give it more space. The same effect can be gained by planting upwards. Build a couple of planters and purchase a few plants that will compliment them. Creepers always look amazing and just make your garden more enchanting.
Escaping to the Garden
Long days of utter drudgery slow you down, they make you feel like you are carrying that COPD elephant one handed. You long for moments of peace and joy and rest. That is why you have taken all the pains to create a garden. When you consider what your life looks like daily, you cannot imagine why other people haven’t grasped hold of the value of escaping to the garden.
Opening the front door, you take note of the dingy color of your tile. You understand that it has seen better days. So, you look up tile & grout cleaning, sealing, grout coloring- and click here. The sheer intensity of the work that would ensue, on your knees, desperately scrubbing away at years of caked in “ick” makes you shudder. But, from your seat at the computer screen you can see your personal retreat. It beckons.
You smile, knowing that you can hire someone else to do the dirty work. Thank goodness for companies willing to come and clean your home so that you can go out back to the garden. You head to your bedroom to get out of your dreaded work clothes. Even though they feel fine all day, as soon as you step through the front door, they become something restrictive, suffocating you.
Once you have resorted to infinitely more comfortable attire, you can prepare for your garden escape. Here are some tips for getting ready to escape into your garden:
- Book- Get a good book or magazine. Pull out those novels you shelved long ago because life was just too busy to consider allotting time for page flipping. Yes, grab those books and prepare yourself to escape to another world, another time, and rest in the ever open arms of a well-structured sentences and beautifully articulated imagery.
- Drink- Whether you prefer a fragrant rose toned glass of wine or a steaming warmth-inducing cup of gourmet coffee, will make no difference. However, ensuring that you step into the garden with some form of hydration will aid in the sensory escape and elevation you are seeking in this repose. These drinks claim to promote relaxation.
- Repellant- Chances are you get off work like the rest of us, in the evening, and if you live in a southern state where you will have the pleasure of enjoying your garden nearly year round, you will also be in need of bug spray. There is nothing more frustrating than sitting down with your selected reading and preferred beverage only to discover you must return inside to attain some protection from the blood suckers flying around. Instead, put it on before you step foot outside. Find natural repellants here.
- Lighting- When we consider escaping into the garden we intend to spend a decent amount of time out there. This means that you should go out prepared to provide extended lighting for your reading pleasure. Consider an oil lamp rather than candles, the ambiance it will create is quite desirable. But, your lighting preferences are just that, yours. Maybe you would prefer citronella candles, or electric lighting. Whatever, just make sure you have some so you can stay outside as long as you desire.
Using your garden as an escape from work, both the kind that you get paid for and the kind you have to do at home, is highly advisable. Get someone else to clean your tile so you can retreat to your personal oasis. Learn more about garden retreats.
How to Make Your Garden Bee Free
You may be planning your very own garden party and you want to pull it off. The weather is nice and you already have all the right tools. Everything seems perfect and nothing could go wrong, right? It may be perfect until the bees start appearing. One or two bees are fine because they can go away after some time but what if you have so many bees that your guests are starting to freak out?
Aside from your guests, you cannot help but feel crestfallen because the party that you have planned can become a disaster because of the bees. Perhaps you just love staying outdoors because of the weather but every time you go out of your house, you see bees. You may even feel apprehensive about going out because there are too many bees outside.
What Can Attract Bees
You have to know what exactly can attract bees to go to you. Bees are pollinators which mean that they want to carry out their duty and pollinate flowers. If your garden is full of flowers or if you smell like flowers, you can expect that bees will become attracted to you. They also become attracted to strong and sweet smelling food so if your picnic basket will be full of sweets, you can already expect that bees will start approaching. In order to avoid this, you can always avoid packing food that will attract bees in the first place.
Keeping Bees Away
There are different ways by which you can naturally keep bees out of the garden. Instead of using pesticides that may not only harm bees but also your plants, you can do these methods and keep the bees out especially during special events:
You may be surprised by this because you think that peppermint is a bit sweet but bees do not like them. It is best if you can have some peppermint plants growing on your garden because bees will then stay out but if you do not have any, placing a few drops of peppermint essential oil will also help a lot.
This is another thing that a lot of humans love but bees may not like it that much. You can just leave a few sprigs of cinnamon in various parts of your garden. You can also use the dried version provided that you are going to reapply it every day for a week. The effect will be lasting but once you see some bees trying to get into your garden again, this will be useful.
- Crushed Garlic
Searching for a natural food product that can be used as a repellent? Garlic can be very useful especially if you would mix it in with water and leave it soaking for a few days. The garlic water can be sprayed in areas where you know the bees love to enter. They will be repelled by the smell of garlic.
There are still different natural ways that will help you get rid of bees. You may also try using baby powder if you are using an organic version because this can help get rid of bees immediately. Feel free to share the natural remedies that you use as well.
How You Can Achieve A Lawn You Can Be Proud Of
Do you honestly think that you need to slave over your lawn just to make your lawn look great? There will be some weeks wherein you have to spend more hours than usual but most of the time, you will not have enough time in order to pay attention to your lawn. It still does not matter because you would like to improve it and make it look amazing.
There are some things that can happen when your lawn looks great. Not only will you increase the value of your home, there is also a big possibility that you will improve the overall value of your whole village or neighbourhood.
Your lawn will not magically turn beautiful overnight. This is the same with all the other causes all over the world, if you would check Foundation for Defense of Democracies, you will realize that they are always working hard in order to achieve their goals. You would also have to work or at least, you can hire someone who will take good care of your lawn for you. Here are just a few of the things that should be done to your lawn so that it can look amazing:
There will be days when you can water your lawn sparingly and it would still look amazing but during the summertime, you need to water your grass and the rest of your plants for the whole summer. You will know if the grass needs to be watered when the grass starts to change its colour. Sometimes, the grass would turn blue – gray. When this happens, water it at the soonest possible time. If you think it’s going to be hard to water your plants, remember that there are a lot of other machines that you can install on your lawn that will make watering very easy.
When it comes to making sure that your plants will grow well, you need to make sure that you will fertilize it properly. The best way to fertilize is before spring. Finding the right fertilizer can be a bit complicated especially if you do not know what you are searching for. Look for reviews first and you know that things will be amazing.
- Weed Control
One of the reasons why plants die is because of the weeds. Weeds can be removed in different ways depending on how mature they are. The more mature weeds are, the harder they will be to remove. There are some weeds that need to be removed with the right machines while there are also some that would only require the use of products. There will be times when weeds would overpower the grass and this would only make your lawn look like one big mess.
There are still different things that you can do so that you can improve your lawn from decorating and designing your lawn and placing the right plants. When you plan how your lawn would look like, you will most likely become excited in improving your lawn further.
Lawsuits against Landscapers
If you’re in the landscaping industry, please note that you are not exempt from the potential of being sued. People will be expecting you to live up to your promises when it comes to the look and care of their yards. If you cannot, or do not, there will be serious repercussions.
In fact, if you make enough people unhappy they could retain Martin Chitwood and file a class action lawsuit against you. Since Mr. Chitwood has been able to recover billions of dollars for his clients, this is not a situation you want to find yourself in. If you’re smart you’ll take some advice from him, “In my experience ensuring that large tasks are conceptualized at an early stage almost always improves product quality.” Provide a quality product and you’ll never have to meet him.
Minding that advice will save you a lot of money and heartache. But, not everyone is as hardworking or as informed as you are. These are some of the lawsuits against landscapers that we were able to dredge up:
Empire Landscaping & Irrigation- In 2015 a lawsuit was filed against the owner, John M. Capone, accusing him of violating the Ohio laws established in the Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Home Solicitation Act. The nine consumers filing complaints are claiming $60,000 in losses. The charges against him include: shoddy work, failing to register business names, failure to obtain permits, failure to deliver services or give customers notice of their right to cancel his door-to-door sales, and attempting to get new customers before paying off older consumer judgments. Read more.
Crewcut Lawn Care- The Better Business Bureau (BBB- learn more) gives this company an F grade as of January 2015. They have had 7 complaints against them and apparently resolved two. People complain that they are not seeing the work completed though they have paid Crewcut thousands of dollars upfront. One woman paid for a year’s worth of lawn maintenance. She says she only got some occasional mowing in the spring. Another irritated customer paid for a retaining wall but it was never completed. The suits were minor and are supposedly being worked out, though Crewcut’s representatives have a tendency not to show up in court.
Steve Ericson & Joe Floyd- Both are Georgia based men claiming (allegedly) to be contractors. They have been accused of acquiring money up front, starting a job, and then disappearing. Supplies are left on site and the projects are deserted. Thirteen people have filed complaints and suits against the gentlemen (who are separate from one another). Floyd has claims against him for more than $30,000 and Ericson’s claims exceed $50,000. A criminal investigation may have been filed back in 2006.
Billy Durden Vs Newton County- Taking a slightly different angle, this 2014 lawsuit involves a landscaper, Billy Durden, filing suit against the county for unlawfully terminating his contract. His lawyer contacted the county in an effort to determine if settling outside of court would be feasible. Durden is seeking upwards of $1 million dollars. He says that the county is guilty of defamation, emotional distress, humiliation, and creating a loss of earning capacity for him. Essentially, he claims the board approved his contract but never signed the paperwork and then they reneged on the agreement thereby terminating his employ.
As a landscaper, you don’t want to end up on this list. Make sure you follow these suggestions to avoid future lawsuits.
Landscaping Ideas to Make Your House Look like a Celebrity’s
We can’t all be rich and famous, but a lot of us wish we could at least look like we were. When we gaze at the massive facades of celebrity homes and long after their fountain lined walkways in their seemingly endless gardens, we are sorely disappointed by our own bare yards. While it’s always best to be content with what you have, there’s nothing wrong with being a really good steward while it’s in your possession.
We’re certain that Martin Chitwood, a very successful securities litigator, has an immaculately manicured yard. When you’re winning cases that provide $490 million dollars to the clients, landscaping expense is probably menial. However, most of us aren’t living that high on the hog. That’s why we have devised this list of landscaping ideas that will give your home the look of a million bucks but not the expense.
7 Ways to Make Your Home Look like a Million Bucks
We’d be lying if we haven’t sat googled eyed with a celebrity magazine in hand. The serene porticos and classic ambiance of their homes makes us all guilty of covetousness. But, we don’t all have the ability to hire professional landscapers and invest in complete overhauls of our yards. That’s why these 7 ideas will really make you smile:
- Gradual Elevation- Texture and dimension are two key facets of making your home look more valuable than it is. Add elevated steps to the front of your home and then line them with an abundance of plants and flowers. Learn how to build garden steps here.
- Paths- Think about the celebrity gardens you have drooled over. Most of them had pathways. If you are creative and patient, you can get pavers, bricks, and blocks for free from craigslist and other people’s remodeling jobs. Winding paths in your soon to be gorgeous garden don’t have to cost you your firstborn.
- Archway- If you’re looking for elegance this is one sure fire way to accomplish it. Use it to separate different flower beds in your yard. And since you will have already installed the winding pathways, this will provide an enchanting escape from the daily grind. Check out these garden archways.
- Flowers- Yes, it seems completely obvious, but flowers are the big eye catcher of most celebrity homes. You can plant giant ones along the elevated steps to your front door or line the backyard walkway with them. The more colors and flowers you have the more breathtaking your yard will become.
- Geometry- Herein lies a common problem with “ordinary” people designing their own yard layouts. We don’t always think outside of our casual design boxes. Go with something a little more austere, think triangles and polygons for your flower beds. Not everything has to have a curve.
- Mix it Up- While flowers are a no-brainer, you’ve got to mix up the foliage. Try adding sword shaped and round greenery because flowers don’t bloom all year and unless you’ve added in some really cool green plants the garden will get drab.
- Honeysuckle- You don’t just want your garden to look fabulous, but you also want it to smell fabulous. Honeysuckle is a marvelous plant for your consideration. You can put it near your archway or add trellises along your paths to allow the honeysuckle freedom to provide aromatic décor.
You can get more ideas here.
Planting a Relaxation Garden
Our world is far too wound up. There are too many things to do every day. We run from one event to another never really having the time to enjoy any of them. Parent’s over plan their children’s lives and we wonder why kids’ stress levels are increasing exponentially. Maybe it’s time to plant a relaxation garden.
Vast amounts of people equate relaxation with finding the best memory foam mattress. While good sleep is certainly a contributor to feelings of well-being and relaxation, there are other methods that can provide that peace while awake. A relaxation garden is a prime example.
Perhaps you are familiar with the concept, but if you are not, we would like to make some suggestions as you seek to design your very own calming space. The following plants should definitely be included in the garden and we will explain why:
Borage- It tastes a bit like cucumbers and is often grown in vegetable gardens as a mean of attracting pollinators. You can eat the flowers and leaves, if you like the taste of cucumbers, that is.
Catnip- The flowering tops are utilized in medicine making practices. It has been used for sleep issues and migraines among other things. And, your cats will love you.
Chamomile- There are several varieties, each with a daisy-like flower. These flowers contain flavonoids, volatile oils and various other therapeutic substances.
Hibiscus- In Iran, hibiscus is turned into “sour tea” but it tastes delicious. Hibiscus has a number of health benefits including those in the cardiovascular realm. Read more about hibiscus and its uses.
Lemon Verbena- This herb’s flowers and leaves are used in herbal teas for the purpose of aiding in a large number of digestive disorders.
Lavender- Lavender’s gorgeous purple flowers will brighten your gardens pathways. And, since every ounce of the plant is infused with its highly beneficial oils the aroma therapy you enjoy will be well worth the thought behind planting a relaxation garden. Learn all about the value of lavender by clicking this.
Mullein- Known by many names: flannel leaf, bunny’s ear, hag taper, and candlewick plant, Verbascum thapsus, is versatile and used in medicinal teas. Although this might not be a very familiar herb for you, you can learn all about it here.
Oregano- Loaded with antioxidants and nutrients, oregano bridges the gap between cooking and medicine. It’s actually more flavorful when it’s dried than when it is fresh. So make sure to take clippings from your relaxation garden and allow them to dry for your food enhancing purposes, or other herbal medicine endeavors.
Sage- With a long list of health benefits attributed to it, sage is certainly a good choice for your garden. In fact, it has one of the longest histories of use when it comes to both the culinary and medicinal realm. Sage tea has been credited with some significant medicinal powers that are probably worthy of further investigation by clicking here.
If you will follow these planting suggestions for your relaxation garden, then before you hit the sack on your super comfortable memory foam mattress, you will be able to step out into the garden, gather some herbs and make a tea that’s worthy of deep breaths and quiet calm. Indeed, these herbs were specifically chosen to enable you to make medicinal teas for your health and well-being. The garden’s layout is up to you.