Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Japanese Gardening

bonsai

Japanese gardening is a cultural form of gardening that is meant to produce a scene that mimics nature as much as possible by using trees, shrubs, rocks, sand, artificial hills, ponds, and flowing water as art-forms.  The Zen and Shinto traditions are both a large part of Japanese gardening and, because of this; the gardens have a contemplative and reflective state of mind.  Japanese gardening is much different than the Western style and most would say it is far more meditational and soul soothing.

In Japanese gardening there are three basic methods for scenery.  The first of these is reduced scale.  Reduced scale is the art of taking an actual scene from nature, mountains, rivers, trees, and all, and reproducing it on a smaller scale.   Symbolization involves generalization and abstraction.  An example of this would be using white sand to suggest the ocean.  Borrowed views refers to artists that would use something like an ocean a forest as a background, but it would end up becoming an important part of the scene.

There are essentially two types of Japanese gardening: tsukiyami, which is a hill garden and mainly composed of hills and ponds.  The other is hiraniwa, which is basically the exact opposite of tsukiyami: a flat garden without any hills or ponds.

The basic elements used in Japanese gardening include rocks, gravel, water, moss, stones, fences, and hedges.  Rocks are most often used as centerpieces and bring a presence of spirituality to the garden.  According to the Shinto tradition rocks embody the spirits of nature.  Gravel is used as a sort of defining surface and is used to imitate the flow of water when arranged properly.  Stones are used to create a boundary and are sculpted into the form of lanterns.  Water, whether it be in the form of a pond, stream, or waterfall, is an essential part of a Japanese garden.  It can be in the actual form of water or portrayed by gravel, but no matter what form water is in, it is crucial to a Japanese gardens balance.

There are several forms and types of plants that are signature of Japanese gardening, the main one being Bonsai.  Bonsai is the art of training everyday, average plants, such as Pine, Cypress, Holly, Cedar, Cherry, Maple, and Beech, to look like large, old trees just in miniature form.  These trees range from five centimeters to one meter and are kept small by pruning, re-potting, pinching of growth, and wiring the branches.

Japanese gardening is a tradition that has crossed the Muso Soseki, poet, said “Gardens are a root of transformation”.  A Japanese garden is sure to bring about many different feelings and is definitely a transforming experience.

Advertisements

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gardening | Leave a comment

Indoor Gardening

indoor-garden2

A lot of people stick a fake tree in a corner, dust the leaves off every week, and call it indoor gardening, but indoor gardening has grown into much more than that lately.  There are also a lot of people that thinks plants belong and should stay inside, but there are many reasons for starting an indoor garden.  For instance, plants don’t only remove carbon dioxide from the air, they also remove many poisonous toxins and pollutants as well.  Indoor gardening will result in beautiful decoration in your house as well as cleaner air.

When picking out plants for indoor gardening, make sure the plants are adaptable and will be able to thrive in the conditions and setting in your house.  Consider how much time you will be able to spend caring for the plants, how much light your house offers, and also how much money you want to spend on your indoor garden.  If you are on a low budget, start with seeds or cuttings.  If you have a little more money to dish out you can buy a plant that is already grown.  Another thing to consider is if you want a plant that can be displayed all year or just for a season.     Herb gardens are a good thing for indoor gardening; they are both attractive and edible.  They will grow pretty quick and you won’t have to wait a long time to see results.  Some popular herbs, especially for cooking, are chives, dill, sage, thyme, and oregano.

When indoor gardening, consider the amount of experience you have before choosing a plant.  There are some plants that are stronger and harder to kill and therefore better for a novice gardener.  Examples are Fatsia, Cyperus, Scandens, Popular Succulents, Coleus, and Bromeliads.

Some things, such as the basic rules of maintaining plants, are different in indoor gardening that in a regular outdoor setting.  Since plants won’t get the sunlight they do outdoors, lighting is essential.  You need to know exactly how much light your plants need and pick plants that only need medium to low light, such as ferns or Philodendrons, unless you plan to supply artificial lighting.  If you buy a plant already grown, wherever you get it probably has better lighting than your house so you will need to “condition” your plant and gradually reduce the light it receives.  Once you get the plant inside, make sure and rotate the plant to encourage upright growth.

Just because you are indoor gardening, don’t think the plants don’t have to have water; they still do.  How often you water, once again, depends on what type of plant you have.  Make sure the water can drain out of the bottom of the pot and try to use water that is about the same as the temperature of the room.  Also pay attention to temperature in your house in order to ensure healthy plants.  A 10-15 degree range won’t hurt any plants, but rapid changes could cause damage.

Indoor gardening is not all that difficult; in fact, it is pretty much the same as outdoor.  There are even some advantages to indoor gardening.  For example, you won’t have to worry as much about bugs and insects bothering your plants.  You also won’t have to worry about wind or frost reeking havoc on your garden.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gardening | Leave a comment

Hydroponics Gardening

Many gardeners are beginning to switch to Hydroponics gardening for many different reasons.  These types of gardens are small and can easily be grown inside and are perfect for most vegetables, especially the red tomato.  Also the equipment required for Hydroponics gardening is not expensive and they are relatively easy to manage.

Hydroponics gardening is the growing of plants without soil, in other words, “dirtless gardening”.  There are many methods of Hydroponics gardening, most of which work better than regular soil gardening because it is easier to give the plant exactly what it needs when it needs it.  Plants will only receive what you give them; therefore you will be able to regulate the pH, nutrients, nutrient strength, water amount, and light amount.  This makes it imperative that you research the kind of plants you will be growing so you know what they need to survive.

Hydroponics gardening is only as difficult as you make it.  It can be complicated if computers with sensors are used to control water cycles, nutrients, and light for the plants.  However, it can also be as simple as a hand watered bucket with a single plant.  The normal home Hydroponics system is usually made up of a few basic things: a growing tray, light (natural or artificial), a reservoir, a water controlled pump for watering (or some type of watering equipment), and some form of air pump to give oxygen to the nutrients.

The growing medium used in Hydroponics gardening can be any number of things, such as Rockwool, perlite, coconut fiber, gravel, sand, vermiculite, or even air.  You can get instructions from a gardening store or online or buy separate parts and build your own.  There are also kits already assembled for sale in gardening supply stores.

There are certain micro-nutrients that are necessary for healthy plant growth including magnesium, sulfur, calcium, cobalt, boron, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc.  These nutrients are absolutely essential to plants and if missing could cause the food to not be as healthy and in some cases even cause health problems for those who eat it.  It is very important that you use a quality fertilizer when Hydroponics gardening.

Another important aspect of Hydroponics gardening that must be closely regulated is the pH balance.  When the pH balance varies the plants will lose the ability to absorb nutrients that it needs.  The ease with which the pH in Hydroponics gardening is tested and controlled give it a huge advantage over regular dirt gardening.

Even though there are hundreds of different variations, Wick, Water Culture, Ebb and Flow, Drip, N.F.T., and Aeroponic are the six most basic types of Hydroponics gardening systems.  Hydroponics gardening is easy, affordable, and you can have fresh produce, flowers, herbs & spices all year long!

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gardening | 2 Comments

Home Gardening

Over the last few years home gardening has become an increasingly popular past-time and hobby.  In fact, studies show that home gardening is at an all time high in America right now.  In the United States 8 out of 10 households take part in some type of home gardening activity.  Obviously from the number of people that are doing it, home gardening is one of the most popular recreational activities in nation.

Most people that try their hand at home gardening plant flowers; at least they start out planting flowers anyway.  Roses will probably be the first thought into any gardeners mind, but roses will take extra time and work, and should probably be left to those who have gardened before.  When planting flowers many choices are available, such as bulbs, perennials, and annuals.

Edible plants are another big thing in home gardening.  Perhaps the best thing about edibles is the reward of eating them.  The list of edible plants that gardeners can grow at home is endless. Some of the most common edible plants in the vegetable arena are, potatoes, peas, corn, carrots, squash, and cucumber.  Many gardeners opt for fruits, such as, watermelons, tomatoes, peaches, plums, apples, pears, and apricots.  Small fruits, such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries usually require less work and less space, making them much more feasible for home gardening.  Herbs, most often used as spices in cooking, are growing in popularity every day; some of the most grown include basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, and cilantro.  One of the most important things to watch for when planting edibles is insects and disease, after all, you don’t want to miss out on the feast you will get to enjoy from healthy plants.

Many people don’t realize it, but landscaping is a form of home gardening.  Landscaping covers many different areas and forms of gardening.  You can even classify mowing your lawn as landscaping!  Keeping in the line of grasses, landscaping nearly always involves decorative grasses, and the great thing about them is they don’t take much work for upkeep.  Types of grass include monkey grass, pampas, buffalo grass, flame grass, and ornamental millet.  Landscaping is not just limited to plant life, but also includes anything done to a yard for decoration, such as adding rocks or stones, putting a small pond, statutes, or a waterfall.

There isn’t much difference between home gardening and gardening anywhere else.  Plants still need to be planted in a good location.  The plants still need water and they still need the same nutrients.  Home gardening shouldn’t cause anyone to get nervous.  If you do decide to try homing gardening and finding out that you don’t have a green thumb, don’t get discouraged.  Get some information, read up on gardening, and try it again the next planting season.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gardening | Leave a comment

Herb Gardening

Herb gardening is becoming more and more popular every day, and for a good reason.  Herbs have practical value, serve a purpose, and with herb gardening you can actually use your plants.  When most people think of herb gardening they automatically think of cooking, but herbs are also grown for their pleasant aroma and their beauty.

One important part of herb gardening is drying the herbs for use during the winter months, especially if you plan on cooking with them.  First the tops of leafy herbs have to be cut, washed, and hung up for the water to evaporate.  Then, tie stems together and hang up in a paper bag to dry.  After two to three weeks they must be removed; crumble the leaves, dry them out in the oven, and store in a glass jar.

One of the most common herbs gown in herb gardening is basil.  “Dark Opal” and regular green basil are beautiful additions to any garden and often used as decoration.  Dark Opal has light pink flowers and dark red leaves.  Basil isn’t just used for its looks; it is used for extra flavor in tomato juices and pastes.

Chives are very petite looking and resemble a blade of grass.  They are much stronger than they look, however, and will grow well through a drought and a drought.  Their toughness and sturdiness makes Chives a perfect plant for herb gardening, especially if the gardener doesn’t want plants that require a lot of hassle.  Chives are good used in salads, egg dishes, and many different sauces.

Mint is also very simple to grow and is good to use in mint jelly, mint juleps, lemonade, and any other kind of fruity drink.  Mint is also good in herb gardening for its unique minty smell.  Two herbs that appear in nearly everyone’s herb garden are thyme and sage.  Both of these herb gardening favorites are used for flavoring soups, chicken, turkey, pork, and other sausages.  Sage is also grown sometimes for its beautiful blue spiked flowers.

Lavender is probably the best smelling herb in all of herb gardening and is often used in candles, as a perfume scent, and to improve the smell in linen chests.  The light purple flowers smell absolutely lovely.

Other types of herbs often grown in herb gardening include borage (used in salads), chervil (used in egg dishes), sweet marjoram (flavors lamb, fish, salad, and soup), sesame (flavors crackers, cookies, and bread), and dill (flavors meats and used in pickles).  Herb gardening allows gardeners to use herbs from their own garden for cooking, looks, and smell.  Herb gardening will produce much fresher herbs with more flavor than store-bought herbs, and are a lot cheaper.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gardening | Leave a comment

Gardening Tools – An Overview

I think you know very well about the rules and regulations to keep your plants to grow healthy in your garden. For getting sustainable growth of your garden plants you do require good soil quality, sunlight and sufficient water. Although these items have been gifted by nature, you ought to require modern gardening tools to upkeep your garden in a good state. Gardening tools help a lot in taking care of your plants as well as the good growing conditions and positive effect on your plant’s health.

Defective gardening tools might have cause injury on your plants or cut your plants or totally plug your plants from the soil. In order to prevent the occurrence of such untoward incident, it is a must to look for the best gardening tools, which will provide your plants loving tender care. Once you called a tool as ‘Best gardening tools”, it refers to a tool, which will permit labor saving methods and that allows energy efficiency.

Here you can see some of the best gardening tools available in the market to provide a better care than ever for your plants in the garden.

Lawnmowers
Luxus Push Reel Mower rated as best by the gardening aficionados provides large top cover that protects overhanging flowers and shrubs. Another special gardening tool called American Lawn Mower Deluxe has also been accredited as best which will be helpful to operate on elbow grease alone and also causing no pollution. But this is not conducive for too tall grasses.

Garden Shredders
In general all the garden shredders have a high power motor and come with a silent crushing system. This kind of gardening tool used to accelerate your shredding activity.
Garden shredders with electric shredder is an easy to assemble gardening tool, which aids in tree pruning with maximum of 40 mm and making healthy hedges. This gardening tool is considered to be a best among all the garden shredders since it is available with a plunger for increased portability and built-in wheels.

Cultivators
These modern gardening tools are available with patented tines to help in cutting the hard compacted soil smoothly. Cultivators are available with a free border edger. It is perfect to use in cleaning the moss, aerating and in thatching. This garden tool helps extensively in preparing vegetable plots, flowerbeds, etc.,

Leaf sweeper
These gardening tools are extensively used for smaller lawns. It is having an infinite height adjustment with 200-liter collector.

Edge Trimmer
This gardening tool has also been accredited as important equipment by the gardening equipment reviewers. This aids in trimming the hedges and also aids in plant pruning.

Spading fork
This is a wonderful gardening tool used for aerating and transplanting.  By using this gardening tool it is possible to perform splitting grasses and perennials. In addition to this these gardening tools helps a lot as the job of a manure fork, mulch, sorting hay, for tiny gardens.

Mattock
Mattock is an important gardening tool for breaking up the clay soils and also working around established trees with the roots. There is no need to have a pick and a hoe and handles in your garden, if you are having mattock with you.

Before you leave the garden center, it is highly advisable to have a look at these check list of gardening tools and confirm if you’ve got all the gardening tools you’ll need to make your garden just like that of spring to life.

March 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gardening | Leave a comment