Gardening

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Gardening without a Garden

 Y ou don't need a plot of land to enjoy the fruits of your labor

(ARA) - As days warm and mailboxes burst with garden catalogs, many people begin to find their green thumbs itching to play in the dirt. But if you're one of the countless people for whom a full-fledged garden isn't a possibility, you don't have to give up the vision of bountiful blooms and fresh produce. There are options available to provide everyone with a way to grow.

Folks with limited space or mobility -- or those who want the beauty and benefits without the hours of work -- are discovering the many different types of container gardening. Once reserved for apartment dwellers only, container gardening can now work for every lifestyle, as more and more people are discovering.
 
 
 

Tips for Instant Outdoor Style

(ARA) - Whether you are looking to create an outdoor retreat or just want a great place to entertain this summer, there are a few things you can do to achieve instant outdoor style. Adding accents like a wall fountain, clustering planters near an outdoor bench or even adding chic new cushions to your porch swing will help to update last year's look.

But where do you start? Outdoor living magazine gurus Samantha Thorpe of "Cottage Gardens" magazine and Susan Applegate-Hurst, of "Better Homes & Gardens" magazine share five fail-proof design tips that will instantly brighten any outdoor living space.

#1 QUICK FIX FOR COLOR

Applegate-Hurst recommends using annuals as a quick fix for injecting color into an outdoor scene. "Annuals are an easy choice," she says. "Many of the new cultivars are longer blooming than plants of the past and offer bold, wow-colors."

When selecting a color palette, Hurst suggests - either monochromatic or colors that complement each other. "Think of putting together an outfit," she says. "If you wouldn't wear the colors together, don't plant them together."

The color-perfect containers from Simply Beautiful Plant By Number are mixed by professionals using complementary combinations and monochromatic plantings of annuals.
 
 

Don't Drown Your Plants, Nurture Them with Micro/Drip Irrigation

Conserving water for generations to come

(ARA) - Now that spring is here, garden centers across the country are once again bustling with activity. There are house plants, fruit trees and vegetables as far as the eye can see, and they all look great. So how do you keep them looking that way once you get them home? 

"The secret is in the way you water them," says Susan Thayer, who is an expert in landscape irrigation. Thayer owns and operates the Southern Citrus Nursery in Dundee, Fla., as well as Mister Landscaper, a company that specializes in low-volume landscape irrigation. 
 
 

Advice for gardening enthusiasts with allergies.

Advice for gardening enthusiasts to help them get down and dirty in the garden, while minimizing their allergy symptoms: 

Check the Pollen Count -- Avoid gardening between 5:00 and 10:00 a.m., when pollen levels are at their highest. Visit www.benadrylusa.com daily to check the pollen count in your local area.

What’s the Weather? -- Avoid spending time in the garden when it is windy outside. The wind stirs up pollen and spreads it throughout the garden, which can exasperate your allergies.

Arm Yourself -- Allergy sufferers should have a proven effective medicine, such as Benadryl Allergy, on hand to relieve their worst symptoms like sneezing, coughing, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and itchy throat.

Protect Yourself -- Wearing a mask and protective goggles when gardening will help protect your mouth and eyes from coming in contact with allergens in the air, such as tree, weed and grass pollens.

Use the Right Plants -- Avoid using plants that have small flowers; they tend to produce more pollen. Try using tulips, begonias, roses or daffodils. Refrain from using male trees and shrubs in your garden since they are the only sex that produces pollen. Consult your local gardening shop to determine if a plant is male or female.

Water Frequently -- Regularly water the garden’s soil to keep allergens from rising. Also, replace straw with black plastic mulch, rocks or gravel.

Wash Away Allergens -- After spending time in the garden, be sure to thoroughly rinse your hands, clothes and hair. Allergens from outside can easily be carried into your home continuing to aggravate your allergies.