10 Aug

Garden Dispatch # 6

The Garden Dispatch is a weekly compilation of useful and interesting resources for gardeners and landscape designers.

How to Design, Start and Maintain a Rooftop Garden

Being an urbanite, I have been gardening on my rooftop for many years. I have grown a variety of plants in my rooftop garden ranging from large ornamental plants to miniature succulents. If you are thinking about turning your rooftop in to a garden, follow Marianne Cannon as she talks with landscape designer Christopher Owen about how you plan a rooftop garden in all sorts of locations, from a large garden on top of an apartment block to a small garage rooftop. http://gardendrum.com/2015/08/10/how-to-plan-build-plant-a-roof-garden/

How to Use Epsom Salt for Better Foliage

Gardeners have been using Epsom Salt in many different ways to improve health and foliage of plants. Epsom Salt is a natural source of magnesium and sulphur – two important elements  that encourage growth of healthy foliage. Read more on using Epsom Salt for growing healthier roses, vegetables and ornamental plants.

How to Grow Turk’s Cap

Malvaviscus arboreus var. mexicanus

Malvaviscus arboreus, commonly known as Turk’s Cap, is a beautiful flowering shrub from the family of hibiscus and hollyhock. Recognized by its bright-red flower, Turk’s cap makes an excellent plant for tropical and sub-tropical climates under sunny as well as shaded spots. Read these useful tips by Pam Penick on growing Turk’s Cap.

Product of the Week: Solar Powered LED Landscape Light

InnoGear Solar LED Light

If you are looking for a budget landscape lighting solution, check out InnoGear 2-in-1 solar powered LED landscape light. This tool-free installation light easily sticks into the ground. You can also use the mounting kit (included) to fix it on the wall. With automatic on/off and 2-levels of brightness, this adjustable LED light suffices almost all landscape lighting requirements. The InnoGear 2-in-1 solar light is water and heat proof. The built-in lithium battery can be easily recharged when the sun in shy.

How to Prepare Your Own After-Sun Lotion

After Sun Lotion

Ingredients (makes 2 oz.)

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil infused with calendula
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa butter
  • 1 teaspoon Shea butter
  • 1 tablespoon grated beeswax
  • 15 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 tablespoons aloe vera gel

See details on Garden Therapy by Stephanie

Also see,

 

31 May

Design Ideas for Kids Friendly Backyards

Why the big boys have all the fun. These practical and kids friendly backyards show a lot of potential for turning your backyard into a fun house for the little ones. No, you do not have to compromise on your favorite plants, landscape design or barbecue spot. There are plenty of opportunities for integrating a small swing, a little fun house, a sandbox and a dedicated area for kids to play.

Browse these simple and practical examples of kids friendly backyards for your inspiration.

22 May

Top Tips for Gardening in a Small Backyard / Patio

Gardening in a small backyard or patio can be challenging – what plants should you select for all-seasons interest, how should you arrange your plants for best display, and how should you integrate your favorite plants with your day-to-day family activities – this article answers all of these questions.

Also see: Simple & Beautiful Deck Design Projects

What plants should you grow in your small backyard/ patio?

Plants come in many sizes, colors, and textures. And they all have their specific requirements. Because you cannot make major changes to your backyard or patio, you should select plants that can easily integrate in your existing settings – soil type, space, sunlight, and effects of changing seasons.

Small and enclosed spaces tend develop their own microclimate with higher level of moisture and retained heat. Therefore it is important to select plants that are hardy and require less maintenance.

Plants in enclosed backyard or patios are more likely to transfer insects and diseases to other plants. Therefore, it is recommended that you keep a vigilant eye on insects and immediately isolate infected plants.

When buying a plant for your small backyard or patio, carefully consider its growing habits and the room that it would require in coming years. Some plants have columnar growth and do not spread much, some remain solitary but produce heavy foliage, some plants develop clumps and require more space than others, some plants do not attain much height, some shed their leaves in fall, and some are evergreen. Make sure that you plant them in the right place in your backyard or patio. Plants with columnar growth can be used to form a background for plants that attain medium to low height.

Usually low-growing shrubs and bushes make nice plants for small backyards. There are a plenty of flowering shrubs that do not need regular pruning and produce attractive foliage and flowers. Small empty spaces can be cultivated with ground covers.

Mix and match plants for all-season interest. Combine annuals, perennials, small trees, and flowering shrubs. Visit your local garden center and you will find many species with foliage that change colors throughout the year. You can also find interesting accent plants that add architectural interest to your garden.

Top Plants for Growing in a Small Backyard or Patio

  1. Cycas revoluta for interesting and evergreen foliage.
  2. Plumeria, when you need a small tree with lovely and fragrant flowers.
  3. Angel’s Trumpet for stunning and fragrant flowers.
  4. Agaves and Euphorbias for year-round interest.
  5. Bamboos for evergreen foliage.
  6. Canna for nice and colorful foliage.
  7. Mandevilla for nice trailing branches and attractive flowers.
  8. Boxwood for evergreen and hardy foliage.

Top Examples of Small Space Backyard / Patio Gardens