Category Archives: Gardening

The Elements of a French Country Garden

The formal gardens of former French royalty deserve admiration for their sheer over-the-top fussiness. Clipped and hedged and plotted within an inch of their lives, these spaces are lovely but not exactly inviting. In fact, most people who don’t have full-time help would probably find these gardens nicer to look at than to live with. On the other end of the spectrum, we find cottage gardens, which not only invite us in but ask us to stay a while relaxing in French country garden furniture.

Essential ingredients

Prim and prissy these verdant places are not. The French cottage garden likes a bit of overplanting to achieve an overstuffed look. Flowers and more flowers sit cheek to jowl. One trick is to mix two types of flowers in the same bed; start with a flowering ground cover, such as purple verbena, and within it plant long stems, such as lupine or coneflowers. Don’t be afraid to mix colours.

Give the area shape with flower beds and a simple path of decomposed granite, pebbles, flat stones, or bricks – embedded in dirt is just fine, even preferable. Environmentally, permeable ground is much better, and the paved-over look is not what we’re going for here.

If your space is small, go vertical and train flowering, climbing plants up walls, trellises, or even simple upright structures.

This is a great style of garden for those who hate lawn care: create your haven with earthen paths between flower beds with a profusion of colour. Use a few planted or potted conifers as framing elements.

Visual texture and scent are essential to any garden design, and you’ll get both from English lavender. Its long, grassy stems are hardy, too, able to withstand cold better than French lavender. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends planting English lavender on a mound. It can thrive even in relatively poor soil, but the roots don’t like to be kept wet. The RHS also advises annual pruning to keep the plants from running amok. They can grow up to 4 feet tall so can serve as a screen for areas you might want to hide.

Seating and accessories

Wrought-iron tables, chairs, and benches are the classic functional elements in French country garden furniture, and you’re spoiled for choice. This is a place you’ll want to spend time in, not just look at from the window, so a bench is a must. With these types of gardens, the living things are your decoration, so instead of statuary, dot the area with lanterns.

What To Consider When Landscaping

Landscaping can be a really big project and you want to get it exactly right. In fact the average person will spend around £30,000 on their garden in their lifetime. Not only can having your garden landscaped make your home more aesthetically pleasing, it can also add to the value of your home if done well. When it comes to planning how your garden will be landscaped, it can be overwhelming because there is a lot to think about. If you have a think about these few points, the whole process won’t seem as overwhelming.
Continue reading What To Consider When Landscaping

Checkout the availability of Reasonable Synthetic Grass for outdoor living

Gardening is one of the major favorites of people who own extra space in the vicinity of their house. It is because the surrounding areas of the house essentially need to be decked up in a proper manner in order to ensure healthy and aesthetic living of the inmates of the former. The activity of gardening has been into existence since ancient years and with the time and technology, ways and means of carrying out this activity have been highly developed and various interesting options have been coming up over years, so as to make outdoor living even more beautiful and serene. Among the various options that can be made use of, while decking up the outdoors, the synthetic grass is one.

synthetic grass

Characteristic features of synthetic grass:

On defining synthetic grass, it can be defined as a kind of artificial grass made out of fibers so as to deliver a natural look. This kind of an artificially made turf has been in use since many years and the most significant application of this that has been in prevalence since many years, in the areas where sports activities are practiced on a wide scale. However the fact remains that with time, the utility of artificial grass has been going up and that in the modern day, these grasses are widely used in residential areas, in order to deck up the lawns and other vacant areas attached on to the main house. This type of grass delivers a magnificent appearance to the outdoors, being it at home or in office and here it has to be mentioned that commercial applications of these are no less important.

Why use artificial turf in place of natural grass?

Synthetic grass is one of the most common options when outdoor living is concerned and this is because of its easy maintenance. They do not need to be trimmed and brought in shape from time to time. One has to spend no time irrigating the areas where these have been planted. These make a perfect option on grounds that are fully covered or are semi-covered because even the lack of sunlight does not affect the health of these artificial grasses; however, it must not be missed out that they require proper cleaning at regular intervals. Initially when artificial turf was brought into use, it did not have any infill whatsoever, and was likely to enhance the chance of contaminants in the environment. But with time, these kinds of grasses have been replaced by advanced products which use sand and even mixtures of recycled rubber and sand as their infill, that give in for much less pollution at an overall basis.

Major applications of synthetic grass that are in prevalence in the modern day are as follows:

  • In stadiums of games like baseball, golf and hockey
  • In snowboard and ski
  • In gardening and landscaping
  • In airports

It is on account of these wide scale utilities that manufacturing and giving out artificial grass has emerged as a prominent business venture for those professionally engaged in the activity of gardening, landscaping and outdoor living. The business heads offer good quality products against reasonable charges, thus helping people to deck up their lawns and playgrounds in an innovative manner. Installation of the turf is got to be done by concerned professionals and that the basic charges that will be included in the entire process will be the price of the grass, charges for installation, labor charges, and fees on operation, exclusive of the profit margin of the concerned company.

However, synthetic grass is affordable and hassle-free means of outdoor living in modern households. Let’s have a look for more information about Synthetic grass.

Fall has Come to Iowa, the Garden is Being Put to Sleep, and Other Updates


Happy Fall!! My favorite time of year!

Let me start by saying that I would have never imagined October would come and we would still have NO internet. There are several reasons for that…money, laziness, and some sadistic need to see if we could live without it. Today I’m in the library pounding out a couple of posts (hopefully…Pinterest keeps drawing me in!). I haven’t been making the drive into town as often as I thought I would because gas costs money, yo!

What’s been going on? Well, our little homestead threw out quite a few veggies this year. Not too bad considering we bullied turf into becoming gardens late this spring. Tomatoes, green peppers, sweet corn, kale, green beans, cauliflower, and beets have found their way into our freezer as well as freezer pickles and coleslaw.

Potatoes, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash are stored for winter. We ate all the kohlrabi, strawberries and lettuce as they were picked. The rest of the cabbage still needs to be picked. Some of it is going to be turned into sauerkraut and some of it will be stored for later.

And we did have a few duds…our potatoes crowded out the onions and 5 out of 200 grew. The potatoes didn’t produce as many as I’d expected. I also only got 2 sweet potatoes and those are funky-shaped. It’s a shame because those are my absolute favorite.

Now, the gardens are being cleaned up and the last things harvested. We’ll continue to let the kale grow for the chickens. They love it!

The chickens have been wonderful! We have so many eggs that we scrambled and froze 9 dozen eggs for later use. I also froze 3 dozen in ice cube trays so we can thaw one or two out at a time for baking. Even with the temperatures dipping recently, they are still laying strong with an average of 9 or 10 eggs a day.

We did have some heartbreak about a month ago. A neighbor dog got into our rabbit shed and killed Peanut’s pet bunny and fatally wounded our meat rabbit buck. It also bit Sweet Pea’s show rabbit’s ear leaving it unshowable. The only rabbit it didn’t kill or injure is the doe that won’t raise a litter. Dang. We’ll wait until next spring to get back into the meat rabbit business again.

Profession-wise, I haven’t babysat for a couple of months but I’ll be advertising for a couple of kids this coming week. I wanted to wait to see what was going on with me health-wise until I committed to taking on any more kids.

My health is still a little strange. I’ve seen several specialists now, had a multitude of tests including a CT scan of my chest, and I have no answers as to WHY I had a crazy rash and continue to have excessive fatigue, funky heartbeat, shortness of breath, and swelling in my feet. The good news is that the swelling has become less and less often. The bad news is that when I do swell, I’m also fatigued to the point of not having the energy to do basic housekeeping or homesteading chores. Thankfully, that hasn’t been that often lately.

I do have one more appointment with my family practitioner to go over my CT in more detail, but I’ve already decided to take this into my own hands and work a more holistic approach. I’ll detail that soon, and trust me when I say I’ll be blogging about it!

It’s safe to say that we have ZERO regret after moving back to Iowa. It’s been 5 months now, and I’ve seen so many fabulous changes in my kids socially, emotionally, and physically. There’s a lot to be said about living in a place you love surrounded by people who love you.

How has your Fall been so far? Do you have colder than average temps like we have?