12 Apr

9 Examples of a Beautiful Sunroom Garden

A sunroom also known as a solarium is an extension of a house that provides protection from weather yet allows good exposure to the sun and the landscape outside. Mostly popular in colder climates, a sunroom serves multiple purposes:

  • As a warm place on sunny days, you can use your sunroom as a patio for enjoying breakfasts
  • During freezing months in winter, you can bring plants from your garden inside the sunroom and protect them from frost and freezing
  • You can also use a sunroom to grow plants that cannot be grown outside in the garden during the winter season
Sunroom or Solarium Garden

 

With introduction of many durable, cheaper and better materials, it is not expensive to build a solarium or sunroom. Modern materials are cheaper as compared to traditional sunrooms made of glass and aluminum. Sunrooms made with modern materials and techniques also address issues of leakage and climate control. You can easily provide ventilation, control moisture level, and temperature and maintain an ideal climate for growing almost all types of indoor and outdoor plants traditionally grown outside in the garden.

Useful Link: How to Build a Successful Sunroom by Steve Maxwell

Examples of Beautiful and Practical Sunroom Gardens

This design by Dominick Tringali Architects that shows how practical a beautiful a sunroom garden can be. 
A solarium can be a tropical garden too. Photo by CKA PARIS 
Sunroom can be used to grow almost any type of plant in colder climates – Photo by Reliance Design Build
You can even make a zen garden in your solarium – Photo by Flavin Architects
A solarium can be as useful as a living room – Photo by Conservatory Craftsmen
Call it a patio, a living room or an indoor garden – Photo by B. Jane Gardens 
Grow your favorite plants all year round in a solarium garden – Photo by Jonathan Miller Architecture & Design
A lovely solarium garden. Photo by Elsie Interiors 
A solarium can be built to practically utilize unused outdoor space – Photo by Tych & Walker Architects
07 Jan

Top Tips for Redesigning Your Garden

No garden design is ever complete, especially with changing tastes and unpredictable weather. If you are not quite satisfied with your garden, you have probably been noting some of the things that you like or dislike about it.

 

Since you have already put some thought into what your ideal garden should look like, you can learn from your mistakes and redesign it with pride. The following are some handy tips to help you transform the look and feel of your garden:

Choose a style

Before you start re-designing your garden, you should decide on the overall style, form, colours, and theme that you desire. This will help to bring your design together, and provide a great starting point.

Useful Resources: Use Garden Puzzle software to design your garden

Look for inspiration

There are many places where you can get ideas, including gardens like yours. Consider visiting several open garden schemes in your area, so you can pick up new ideas on how to redesign the space or transform your planting in a cost effective way.

Useful Resources: Examples of Beautuiful Landscape and Garden Design

Consider your garden’s function

Be realistic about how you intend to use your garden. If you have children and pets, it is likely that they will spend a good amount of their time tumbling on the lawn, so it will not make a very good showpiece. If you plan on using your garden for entertainment, then some shade or a well designed patio area with the right style of furniture may be a good idea.

Useful Resources:

Tidy up

It is a good idea to spruce up an untidy or cluttered garden by weeding and removing any junk. You should also organise your garden tools and essentials, so you know what you need for your revamped garden design. This will also make it appear more spacious for better planning.

Useful Resources: Tips for keeping you garden fresh and clean all through the year

Develop a plan

Before you start work on your garden, write down your ideas, budget, and make a simple sketch of your garden, so you know exactly where each piece will go, and save time and money. When sketching the plan, start with a focal point, such an eye-catching plant, and re-design around it.

Lastly, take your time. Reflect on the changes, bit by bit, to ensure that you are happy with the final outcome. If you’re not up to doing the actual work yourself, you can always hire a gardener.

Useful Resources: Hire a Garden by Comparing Quotes on MyJobQuote.

MyJobQuote has a huge database of gardeners and other tradesmen so finding someone local won’t be difficult. They then send off your job details to 3 local gardeners who will then get in touch with you with a quote, thus allowing you to compare prices.

05 Jul

How to improve sandy soil organically?

Soil, being the basic component of your garden, determines quality, health and volume of growth you can have in your garden. Hence before you start experimenting with anything else to make your garden lush and thriving, it is a good idea to spend some time and effort to improve your garden soil. The following are a few tips to improve sandy garden soil.

Lush Home Garden

Lush Home Garden, Image from topdesigninterior.com

A sandy, light and granule soil is good for growing a wide range of plants. However, too sandy soil can make your gardening experience a tough job. It drains off moisture very quickly and forms a crusty surface preventing essential moisture from getting down to the roots. If you are living in coastal areas or near mountain range, you probably have a higher proportion of sand in the soil.

Improving sandy soil is not very difficult but it does require a lot of organic portion added to it. You can add well rotted compost and manures to correct the sandy soil. If you are preparing ground for plantation, the best way is to dig the organic matter into the soil several weeks before plantation.

If you already have an established garden with sandy soil, add gradual layers of organic matter as mulch. As a layer breaks down and becomes part of the soil, add a new layer and allow it to break down and become part of the soil. This continuous process may take some time to form a perfect soil however the results are satisfactory – lush and thriving garden.

17 Jun

How to Keep Your Garden Fresh and Clean All Through the Year?

Keeping your garden fresh, clean and adorable all through the year is quite a challenging task. Not just because you have to maintain your plants for all seasons, add seasonal plants, and manage the space but also because you really have to plan your garden and organize yourself for the hobby. However, with a few practical and simple tips you can manage to keep your garden maintained,  fresh and clean for all seasons. Here are 9 tips for a fresh, green and clean garden for all seasons.

Example of a beautifully maintained garden

Beautiful Garden, Image from hydrochanger.com

  1. Mulch: Mulch retains moisture in summer, warmth in winter and helps suppress weeds. It gives beds a neat ‘finished‘ look.
  2. Deadheading: Deadheading keeps the plants looking nice and promotes blooming. Always keep a bucket and pruners handy to remove spent blooms and any dead leaves from the area.
  3. Plant Seasonal Annuals: By planting seasonal plants, you always have something green and in bloom for the most part of the year.
  4. Be creative with containers: Containers not only make it easy to keep bright spots in the garden, they can be used to add thematic and dramatic effects to your garden. Experiment with containers of different types, styles and materials. You can find plenty of unique containers for your plants. The best part of planting in containers is that you can easily move them around as needed.
  5. Grow Evergreen Plants: Get some evergreen shrubs and trees for structure and a spot of green year round. There are a number of evergreen flowering shrubs and climbers available that you can use creatively in your garden. You can grow them against trellis, pergolas, against walls or for hedging purposes. Try Mandevilla, Hebe and Syzygium.
  6. Explore: Explore and admire your garden daily; not just to get the joy of admiring your work but to also catch problems early such as unwanted insects, early symptoms of disease or possible crop failure, and respond immediately.
  7. Weeding: For most weeding is a chore but it is wonderfully therapeutic as  well. When you are stressed or just need to ‘escape’ for awhile, heading to my garden to weed is the ticket. It not only keeps the garden fresh and clean but also helps catch problems before they get out of hand.
  8. Get Early Crops: Plant new crops following harvest of an early crop – plant beans following lettuce, spinach and other cold-season crops. This keeps the garden producing, fills in those empty spots and provides less area for weeds to develop.
  9. Shoot and Enjoy: Take a camera! Experiment macro shots of blossoms, seedlings and more. You can archive those shot and enjoy them year round!

Thanks Kristen and themoonhowl for these tips!

15 Jun

5 Unusual Plants for a Miniature Succulent Garden

I am a big fan of miniature gardens. They allow you a lot of freedom in a very limited space to grow your gardens the way you want – Japanese tea garden, a traditional Italian garden, a mini succulent garden or whatever creative or unusual you can imagine.

Best Plants for a Miniature Succulent Garden

Being a lover of cacti and succulents, I have compiled a list of unusual plants that I am going to use in my next miniature succulent garden experiment. These plants are unusual as well as slow growing, so they can live together for quite a long time.

Epithelantha Micromeris (Button Cactus)

Epithelantha is a really slow growing, miniature succulent.  It grows in rocky and well drained soil, requires very little amount of water and usually remains solitary. The plant bears white or pink flowers in summer. Epithelantha requires a sunny spot to grow but does not like direct harsh sunlight. It is also known as Ping Pong cacti for its unusual formation and resemblance with the Ping Pong ball.

epithelantha micromeris

Epithelantha micromeris (Button Cactus), Image from www.drogen.bz

Lithops (Living Stones)

You would hardly find these unusual plants visible in their habitat because of their unusual formation and colors that make them look like pebbles. These miniature plants of South Africa are an excellent choice for a miniature garden. These are relatively easy to grow when provided with proper sunlight, regular fertilizer and grown in well drained soil. Lithops bear white and yellow flowers that look like dandelion flowers.

Lithops, Living Stones

Lithops (Living Stones), Image from lithops.net

Fenestraria (Baby Toes)

Another group of miniature and unusual succulents, Fenestraria belong to extremely dry regions of South Africa where they rely on rainfall for survival and hide themselves in sand for protection against harsh climate. They are excellent choice for a miniature succulent garden and form a soft, green mat of succulent leaves. This unusual plant bears white and yellow flowers in winter. Fenestraria is also known as Baby Toes plants.

Miniature Succulent, Fenestraria Rhopalophylla, Baby Toes,

Fenestraria Rhopalophylla (Baby Toes), Image from wikipedia.org

Crassula

Almost all species in this group are suitable for a miniature succulent garden. These attractive plants are known for their colorful foliage and unusual, tiny flowers. These are drought tolerant plants and do not require plenty of water. These unusual succulents need protection against direct/harsh sunlight and frost. The most unusual of all Crassula is Crassula ‘Buddha’s Temple’ which is a hybrid of Crassula Pyramidalis and Crassula Perfoliata var. minor. This unusual plant actually looks like a mini pagoda.

Crassula (Buddha's Temple)

Crassula (Buddha’s Temple), Image from ilgiardinosullago.blogspot.com

Discocactus horstii

Another unusual, lovely and rare succulent plant that belongs to Brazil, Discocactus horstii is known for its unusual white flowers that bloom in the night and spread intoxicating fragrance. This unusual plant grows solitary and forms a nice and symmetrical globose body. Mature plants produce woolly cephalium covered by bristles. This plant is sensitive to frost, requires partial sunlight and moderate watering.

Discocactus Horstii

Discocactus horstii, Image from www.discocactus.nl