Norma’s Garden Pool

As a lover of plants and flowers, I am captivated by the garden and consider the swimming pool a nice touch. Youngsters are captivated by the swimming pool. They may or may not ever notice the garden (except on occasion when a buzzing bee gives them a reason to jump into the pool.)


It all began in 1977 when Kenny and Norma Wilson, with a “Yes!” vote from their four children, chose to build an in-ground swimming pool on the family homestead. The youngest was three years old at the time.

The 20 x 40-foot pool has a concrete walk as its perimeter, bordered by a narrow strip of grass on all sides. Norma’s garden meets the grass. This inviting combination of lovely home, nice family, and swimming pool with a garden has been a refreshing place to visit for thirty-six years now. The pool has served Kenny and Norma’s children, their thirteen grandchildren, and now their great-grandchildren (as Norma affectionately refers to those youngsters that are close to her family).

This week, I paid a visit to Norma to tell her that I would

Gardening with Bearded Iris Dividing Irises 101

If you’re nervous about dividing plants, Bearded Irises are a great place to start. Shallow roots make them easy to dig. Big rhizomes make it easy to see where to split up the clump. And their inherent toughness means there’s no way you’ll kill them in the process.


Wait a few weeks after they bloom before dividing irises, as the plants won’t then be in active growth. Try to replant rhizomes at least 4 to 6 weeks before freezing weather, so they can grow new anchoring roots. In most areas, this means dividing in July and August and planting by or before September.

Like mother, like daughter
thick brown root with branching offsets and central bloom stalkThe roots of bearded irises form tuberous structures called rhizomes, at or just below the surface of the soil. Rhizomes store food for making blooms and for making more rhizomes. Each rhizome blooms only once. Future iris flowers come from “daughter” rhizomes that bud and branch out from the “mother” rhizome. Knowing this, you can see why you need to divide irises

Vertical Garden Tips

Use Pocket-Like Materials

You can purchase or make your own durable pouches that allow plants to grow within them. Simply create rows of these pouches along a wall that gets plenty of sunlight. Some material is made of burlap while others use a type of recycled material. Organic material is often best to use. As long as it holds soil and drains well, you’ve got the perfect place to grow.

Attach these to the wall using metal grommets. You can purchase a kit with everything you need or you can drag out your sewing machine to create your own. You can plan between 10 and 20 pounds in these, depending on the strength of the material. This may allow for herbs, small plants without heavy fruit, or perennials.
Get Creative With Containers

On the other hand, you may want something even more simplistic. If you have plastic containers lying around the home or perhaps even some old gutters, use them as containers. Simply mount one side to the side of a structure using heavy duty screws or affix to the side of a wooden fence. Add

6 Gardening Tips to Prepare for Spring and Summer

Spring is the ideal time to get started on your garden and complete some vital tasks that will have your outdoor space looking vibrant and healthy for the summer and beyond. The weather is getting warmer, making it easier to be outside, and it’s lovely to get outside after a long cold winter.

Whether you have the greenest fingers in the world or you prefer to watch your garden from the comfort of your patio chair, we’ve got the spring and Summer Gardening Tips you need.

  1. Clean and Clear Patios and Decking

Over the winter patios and pavements get stained and dirtied by berries, leaves, rain and mud. One the sun starts to shine you can get out a pressure washer and use plain water to blast down the concrete and also clean wooden decking so it is ready for outdoor dining.

  1. Tidy Beds, Borders and Everything Else

It may take some time to clean up everything you want to in the garden, but start in spring and by summer you’ll have much less to do. For example, you can rake up leaves and branches, and clean up the edges of your lawn where the grass has overgrown. Replace

Tips for Container Gardening in Cold Climates

Container gardening becomes a challenging task in the winter and during cold weather because soil in a pot could potentially freeze. This is why you have to follow several important rules when trying to create a container garden in a cold climate.

Choose the Right Containers
There are so many possibilities for plant containers, how do you choose the ones that will withstand the effects of the cold weather?

Every container that you pick should have drainage holes that allow the moisture to leave the soil. Adding some rocks, sand or gravel at the bottom of the container before adding the soil will improve the drainage even further.

Choose a material that will remain intact despite low temperatures. Ceramic pots, for example, will possibly crack. Thin plastic is a bad idea, as well. The best materials for cold climate plant containers include metal, stone, concrete, fiberglass and thick plastic.

Choose the Right Plants
Some plants are very sensitive and incapable of surviving in cold climates. Whether you want to plant flowers or vegetables, the selection of the right plant species will be determining for the outcome of your efforts.

Regional plants are

Tips For A No Weeds and No Bugs Urban Permaculture Garden

Soil Preparation

To produce delicious fruits and vegetables in an urban permaculture garden, all starts with the soil preparation. This easy method helps minimize weeding and requires minimal watering.

1. Lightly sprinkle the complete grass or soil area that you want to make into an urban garden with fresh compost. This attracts the worms to come to the surface and find all the delicious layers you put on.

2. The most important first step in creating your urban permaculture garden, is to cover the grass or soil thoroughly with wet newspaper, at least 5 pages thick, making sure there are no colored ink pages included.

3. Then cover the newspaper with plain flat cardboard and water it well. Flattened cardboard boxes are good to use for this.

Raised Garden Beds

1. Use untreated 8″ x 1″ or 12″ x 1″ timber to make square or rectangular garden beds, no wider than an arm span from each side to the middle. This allows you to work your permaculture garden from all sides without stepping on the growing area. This way, the worms and insects do all the hard work for you, and

A Few Simple Things That People Can Do For The Care For Their Lawn And Garden

Having a nice family home is a wonderful thing compared to just having the family live in a big condominium in the city. Now having a big family home is even better because it provides enough living space for all of the family members. Now when we say big family home, one of the features it will surely have is a big lawn and garden. This feature of a family home provides a nice space for rest and recreation, and like they say “the family that plays together, stays together”. Therefore, proper care for lawn and garden is a definite must.

To be able to keep the beauty of a lawn and garden so that the family can have a nice space for rest and play, here are a few simple things that people can do.

For the lawn, it is essential to also keep in mind that the top soil also needs care and protection. When mowing the grass, it will be good to make sure not to cut it too short that the top soil will be partially exposed. This is very important for the top soil so that it will be less

How To Save Worms And Soil Life During Flooding Of Your Garden

An interesting discovery enabled this article on how to save worms and soil life during flooding of your garden. Two years ago after learning urban permaculture gardening, and turning a whole town property into a food forest, something very interesting happened that shed light on a wonderful way how to save worms and soil life during flooding of your garden.

After adding a lot of local natural materials, like horse manure, wood chips from calf shed cleanings, tree and leaf mulch, hen manure, sheep manure, seaweed, and many other organic nutrients to the gardens, setting up water retention walkways filled with mulch, and vegetable filled, no dig, no weed garden boxes and planting many double grafted fruit trees, delicious fruits and vegetables grew prolifically.

Following urban permaculture tips, covering soil with straw, wood chips, or leaf mulch, this encouraged worm activity to the very surface, and held the soil moisture in. This year a very thick layer, nearly two feet thick covered all the garden beds, tucked in around plants and trees.

The indoor pot plants also had worms and mulch added, and just before every flood, the indoor worms would leave their pots

Gardening Advice And Tips How to Water Your New Lawn Sod

Having a nice looking lawn requires taking care of your sod from the start. In doing this, it will guarantee your lawn looking beautiful for a long period of time. To begin the process, the soil you’ll be laying the sod on should be moistened including the rolls of grass you will be applying to prevent dryness.

Your watering begins right away after sod installation. The key is to keep your sod moist but not soggy at all times for the seed to germinate. If you keep your sod dry, it will dry out the sod and both the sod and the seed will die. Apply mulch on top sparingly then water twice a day for a week then twice a week for a month. Watering will also depend on the climate. If it rains you don’t need to water your new lawn sod. Water your lawn same time during late hours to save water and not during the afternoon time which will make most of the water evaporate instead of soaking down the lawn. Wait until the sod is well rooted before decreasing your watering. Water your lawn evenly and water less on shaded areas.

It Is Easier to Create a Realistic Fairy Garden When You Are Familiar With Miniature Scales

The allure to miniature gardening or fairy gardens is that all ages that can create a garden suited to their lifestyle and surroundings. From small-scale terrarium gardens to large-scale landscape gardens, miniatures can be displayed in a variety of places. People living in the country may consider designing a plot of land for their garden, while apartment dwellers may chose container or terrarium mini gardens. Whatever the size of your garden, having a consistent scale will create realism in the world of minis.

There are a variety of scales used in miniature gardening, but the most popular size is 1:12 or 1-inch equals 1-foot. This is considered a large scale. The next size would be the 1:24 scale or medium scale, which is a great size for smaller pots or wicker basket tabletop gardens since.05-inches equals 1-foot. Lastly, there is the small scale, which works well with terrarium or tiny pots. This scale has a 1:48 ratio and.25-inches equal 1-foot. These three sizes are most commonly used in mini gardening, although there are additional scales that are popular with miniature enthusiasts.

In the fascinating world of miniature trains and railroads a variety of scales are

5 Proven Ways You Can Inspire Kids to Garden With YOU

Us gardeners all want to inspire the kids in our life to join us in our gardening and seed saving passion.

Here are five proven ways to encourage kids to get their hands dirty with you!


Giving kids ownership of at least part of your garden is a great way to pique their interest. A dedicated garden bed just for them is an excellent idea.

Keep an eye when they’re planting so if needed you can assist later to be sure what they planted will grow (pressing the seeds down to the correct planting depth, watering afterwards, etc… see “pick up the slack” below).

Give them their own tools, such as a gardening trowel or this Seed Saving Kit.

If you are short on space, give them total ownership of some activities. For example, let them plant the seeds. Let them do it all on their own. Give them a few options of varieties you know will grow during this time of year, and let them choose what to plant.

Kids LOVE planting… it’s a great introductory garden activity to inspire them!


The Primary Advantages of Mulching Plants and Gardens

“Mulching” is a way of giving your plant beds a change. It makes plants healthier and garden maintenance hassle free. Organic mulch is more beneficial and easy to find. These include wood fragments, straw, grass trimmings, and leaves. Plants require sufficient moisture to grow properly. These substances keep the soil moist longer because of the ability to absorb rainwater and irrigation. It holds back evaporation of wetness in the soil. Enhanced water preservation reduces the need for repeated irrigation. It also allows plant growers to schedule watering. Mulch can decelerate erosion since it prevents water from washing out soil.

Mulch insulates the soil. Thus, soil temperature increases slowly. The soil remains cool for a longer period if you apply mulch in spring or early summer. The material takes in some of sunlight. As the temperatures declines, mulch helps the soil to maintain heat. Warm soil protects the roots from severe winter temperature. It also controls growth of weeds since it serves as barrier against the sunlight to penetrate sprouting weeds.

Mulch should be applied properly. In the case of decorative plants, the mulch bed should be spread over at the plant’s drip line. On the

Simple Tips For Effective Landscape Gardening

There are many people who believe that there are just two ways to keep your lawn. There are those who believe that you spend no money on it at all and ignore the fact that it looks like a trailer park, or else you have to you lavish care on it and make it look like the White House lawn. Of course, as with everything else that takes an extreme view of things, and is fundamentally flawed in its outlook. Affordable landscaping is eminently possible and it can be yours if you know how.

If you’re actually trying to win awards for your landscaping, of course, then you need to put a lot more effort into your landscape gardening but that’s not what we’re trying to do here. We’re just trying to make affordable landscaping possible so that you and your family can enjoy nice, well-kept grounds. But even if you are trying to make everyone green with envy, these tips for affordable landscaping should help you.

What makes a person look really healthy and well-taken care of? Well, it’s a healthy diet of course. And so it is with your yard. The better-fed it

Care of Roses What Should I Be Doing for My Rose Garden in Spring

The rose. What flower has inspired more poetry or more romance? There is good reason why roses are everybody’s favorite flower. From the delicate little Cecile Brunner with it’s picture perfect pale pink buds, to the magnificence of a the mighty yellow and peach blooms of a Peace rose in full bloom or the blowsy indulgence of a Pierre de Ronsard as it trails over arbours and up trellis, there is a rose for every garden, in every colour and style.

Now that Spring is in the air and the soil in our garden is warming up, so the roots of our favourite plants are waking up from a long sleep. It’s time to don the gardening gloves, grab the secateurs, and make sure we give our roses the best possible chance for healthy growth and a long-lasting bloom of flowers in the summer and autumn months ahead.

While rose growers living in warmer climates generally prune over winter; for those people living in a cold climate, April is ideal the time to prune. Wait until the leaf buds begin to swell. For cold climate dwellers, this is also the time to clean up around

How Should You Decorate Your Garden

With the summer months fast approaching, it is time to take a look at how your can decorate your garden so that you can spend a lot more time out there.

When the hot months arrive, people spend more and more time in their garden and they appreciate the fact that they can spend as much time as they want out there. Sometimes, for people who haven’t take the time to make their garden look nice, they will feel trapped inside their house and they might not want to go out there in the summer.

These people will have the option to go somewhere else to enjoy the sun, but they might have to pay in public places and they should be able to enjoy the sun from the comfort of their own back garden.


Now, for this article, plants are not going to be mentioned because planting flowers is something that is more personal. Everyone likes the look of their own plants and they will pick certain flowers whether they will last or not.

The aim of this article is to tell you how you can decorate the garden with

Finding Success With an Indoor Herb Garden

Some folks just don’t have the time to manage a huge garden however, they still have a need for fresh herbs and spices. Why not grow your herbs indoors? Although I love the fall season I hate saying goodbye to fresh herbs as they die off until next year, so in order to ‘stick it to the man’ I started growing all of my herbs indoors where I can get a year-round harvest.

The best way to start is by picking out some herbs that you commonly use in your kitchen and then make a decision based on what you use most, sometimes more than one plant is necessary. One great benefit is the look on your friends faces as you serve them dinner and tell them that you grew the herbs yourself! Additionally, we’ve found that our little indoor herb garden is a great conversation starter.

Since you are growing your herbs indoors you don’t have to worry about regions so much although you do want to pay attention to how much light that your plants need because you don’t want plants that require very little sunlight with plants that require a lot of

Mulch Delivery For Convenient Home Gardening

If there is one tool that every home gardener and landscape artist should have in their arsenal, that would be mulch. Mulches are pretty much important in gardening and landscaping. Available in organic and inorganic varieties, mulches help solve a variety of problems in a home garden.

For one, mulching can be used to prevent the loss of moisture. Used effectively, mulches can help you save time, effort and even money toward the watering of plants. Mulches also inhibit the growth of pesky weeds by covering the soil. They can also prevent splashing, one of the leading causes of the transmission of diseases among plants. Gravel mulches can be used to prevent water run-off.

Organic mulches include lawn clippings, leaves, sawdust, straw, bark and wood chips. Expert gardeners should know that over time, these mulches degrade and decompose and give off several benefits to the soil. Some types of mulches encourage the growth of roots while others promote soil granulation. Others raise the pH level of the soil while others decrease it.

As such, it is worthwhile to have the pH level of the soil in your garden tested prior to the application of

3 Important Qualities of an Organic Gardener

Gardening is not as simple as planting seeds into the soil. It takes a lot of effort and perseverance to grow plants that are healthy and sturdy. In this article, we have a look at three qualities needed to become a successful organic gardener.

The first important quality of an organic gardener is to be knowledgeable. There is a lot of scientific knowledge that one will have to acquire when learning about organic gardening. For example, it is important to understand the dynamics of soil acidity. If the soil becomes too acidic due to factors such as rain then that can have a negative impact on the growth of the vegetables and fruits. Since an organic gardener will also avoid the use of chemicals such as pesticide, it is important to understand the dynamics of a natural ecosystem. One is more likely to face annoying pests such as caterpillars and groundhogs. Before you start a garden, it is important to have preventive measures in place to reduce the level of damage these pests and rodents have on the garden.

The second important quality of an organic gardener is to be attentive. It won’t do a

3 Easy Ways to Prevent Pests and Rodents From Attacking Your Garden

One of the biggest hassles gardeners face is the presence of rodents and pests. Depending on the location, gardeners can face pests of all shapes and sizes. For example, some gardeners may have to get rid of moles while others have to get rid of caterpillars from white butterflies. In this article, we have a look at three effective steps one can take to prevent pests and rodents from attacking the gardens and lawns. By taking these steps, one can ensure that their plants will grow in a safe environment.

If you are dealing with medium to large-sized rodents such as rats and groundhogs then one effective method of preventing garden attacks from such creatures is by placing a firm cage around the garden. This is especially important for gardeners growing vegetables, fruits, flowers, and herbs in their gardens. There are several types of cages one can use. One good example is chicken wire. When you place the cage around the garden, you want to make sure it goes a few inches deep into the soil. This is to prevent animals like moles from accessing your garden underground. You also want to make the cage high

3 Tips to Creating a Successful Hydroponic Garden

If you have just entered the gardening scene then you may have heard of a unique process called hydroponic gardening. This particular type of gardening helps plant grow in a water-based environment. In this article, we have a look at three useful tips one can follow in order to create a successful hydroponic gardening system.

The first tip is to make sure you are fully equipped with the knowledge of how hydroponic systems work. A lot of people fail because they simply do not understand how plants grow in a water-based environment. For example, one primary reason for failing is due to the incorrect input of water. It is extremely important that you get the right balance of nutrient and water. It is also important to select the right plants. One should note that a hydroponic gardening system is not suitable for every type of plant. Some plants grow faster than others when placed in aquatic environment.

The second tip to creating a successful hydroponic garden is to make sure that environment variables are set at optimal levels. One way of doing this is by making use of specialized garden tents. These tents can help