COPYRIGHT © 2011 Cherie Kuranko ~ ”InkSpot”
All Rights Reserved.
Gardeners are list makers–prune the orchard, plant the peas, transplant the seedlings, till the ground. Raising fruits and vegetables works around mother nature’s seasons and whatever weather she brews up, but having a basic outline on a calendar at your disposal is a handy way to keep up.
First, jot down the twelve months of the year. Then decide what gardening tasks occur in each month for the location the garden is grown in. This will vary depending on what part of the country you or the gift receiver lives in. If you aren’t sure–check the Internet or a local nursery and ask them for help.
For Northwest Gardeners there is a wonderful book called Maritime NW Garden Guide. The book has a great list of year-round garden tasks listed month by month. Check your local library for this book or another similar book for your area to complete your list of monthly garden tasks.
Once you have completed listing monthly garden tasks under each month it is time to decide what type of photos you will use. You may need to plan well ahead to get the photos, but try to use photos that feature something that would be growing or occuring for each of the twelve months. Apples and sunflowers for fall. Pumpkins for October. Or ripe tomatoes on the vine in September.
There are many themes you could go with. Sweet potatoes for February–afterall, sweet-heart’s day (Valentine’s Day) is in February. Or you could just provide an array of garden photos that appear with snow, rain, sun and fall color to have a seasonal garden calendar. If you plan ahead and see the person you are making the calendar for often, then you could take snapshots throughout the year of he/she tending the garden. Add those to the calendar.
Once all twelve photos have been chosen and your garden task list is complete, it’s time to make your calendar. You can either use a home computer to design and print the calendar or try a store (either in person or online) to upload your photos to and then type in the tasks for each month. You can even personalize the calendar further by adding family events such as reunions or annual camping trips, birthdays, anniversaries and more.
Copy stores like Kinko’s can enlarge copies of your photos and have various types of binding available; as well as laminating services. A laminated calendar is an added bonus for gardeners as their hands are often covered in soil or water. If making the calendar as a “Greenhouse Calendar” it is best to laminate it so it can be hung and used there without worrying about ruining it.
Happy gardening….Check out other great Gift Ideas for Gardeners or Unique DIY Gift Basket Ideas & Themes
COPYRIGHT © 2011 Cherie Kuranko ~ ”InkSpot”
All Rights Reserved.
Wimpole Hall is a National Trust property located about 8 miles south-west of Cambridge in the East of England. It is a stately home with extensive grounds, and has various cafes and restaurants, formal gardens and a farm. The grounds are open all year round in daylight hours, but check on the website if you want to visit any of the other attractions there – the hall is closed over the winter months and the farm and gardens have shorter opening hours (often restricted to weekends) too.
The hall itself dates originally to the 17th Century and is according to the guide I spoke to is the largest house in Cambridgeshire. It has changed hugely over the years, with parts of it being demolished and rebuilt according to the whim of each owner. During the summer months it is open to the public- free for National Trust members, but £8 if you aren’t a member (£4.40 for children). Don’t wear high heels if you visit the hall because you won’t be let in. Amazingly enough, though, hiking boots are OK (of course I do wipe the mud from my feet first!).
When going around the hall, I always find that it’s hard to imagine being rich enough to afford to live that sort of lifestyle, but easy to imagine being a maid or a ward there! To some extent, I think that if you’ve seen one stately home, you’ve seen them all. They all have rich, opulent hangings and furnishings, ornate antique furniture, oil paintings, South-facing rooms with the blinds perpetually lowered to stop light damaging the furnishings. So far, Wimpole hall is no exception.
The extensive library is a bit different though – it is full of Rudyard Kipling’s works and has a strong Kipling family connection because his daughter Elsie was its last owner, and after her death thirty or so years ago, she left the hall and grounds to the National Trust. She is largely the one responsible for its restoration and the excellent state of the gardens.
When visiting, I particularly like looking out of the windows on the North side (where you can see over to the Folly) and imagining what it must be like to wake up here, take a bracing stroll, then go and curl up in front of the fire with one of the books from the library – sounds the sort of lifestyle I’d like if I won the lottery!
The dark and cramped servants quarters in the chilly basement are by far the most interesting parts of the house here – you really get to see how the poorer half of the household lived. The housekeeper really ruled the roost here! Plus there are some fun period dressing up clothes for children to try on.
Even National Trust members have to pay £3.35 to visit Wimpole Home Farm. Everyone else has to pay more than that (prices vary according to if you go to the Hall or not, but start from £6.60 for an adult and £4.40 for a child). This is a proper working farm and they farm many rare breeds here, particularly pigs and sheep. You can buy a wide selection of the sausages and meat produced here in the main shop. I’m afraid I don’t know if it is nicer than Tesco’s meat, because I’ve never tried it – I’m vegetarian.
The farm is very child-friendly and a good way to introduce children to the idea of farming in a non-scary way. Indeed it sometimes seems to be more or less mandatory to bring a small child with you if you visit the farm, judging by the number of families who go there. It is an excellent place to go during lambing season, because if you are lucky then you get to watch the lambs being born.
For most of the winter months, the farm is open from 11-4 at weekends, but in summer months it opens a little earlier and closes a little later than this and is open some weekdays as well.
The formal gardens here are a bit dull and stylised for my taste so I wouldn’t recommend paying money (£3.30 for an adult non-member, £1.75 for a child non-member)especially to go and see them – go see the gardens in Anglesey Abbey (another National Trust property) instead if you are in the Cambridge area. However, if you are visiting another attraction here, the Hall ticket or the Farm tickets also gets you entry to these gardens for free though (and it is free if you show a NT membership card). The only bit of the gardens I really bother with is the fruit and vegetable stall in their walled garden – for most of the year, you can buy the produce. At this time of year, you can get some tasty squashes there.
You can actually see most of the gardens from the outside if you walk around and peer over the fence. That will give you an idea if you like the geometric layout enough to see it closer. Much of the grounds of the Hall were worked on by several landscape designers, including Capability Brown. The best bit of the gardens in my opinion is the Ha-ha (a concealed ditch with a wall in it) which means that you get unspoiled vistas for long distances, even though there are also cattle grazing in the neighbouring fields. There are other hidden ditches out in the (heavily-landscaped) fields as well, which make the views look fantastic, but they do make navigating the fields a bit tricky in places – there are only a few crossing points to the deep ditches, and you can’t see them until you get right up close, meaning you often end up walking in completely the wrong direction and having to double back to find the right place!
Walking around the grounds is free, even for non- Members, though you are encouraged to give a £1 per person donation. There are several excellent walks around the grounds available, which I do regularly as a gentle Sunday afternoon stroll. It’s not really strenuous walking, but it isn’t really suitable for people with restricted mobility though – the ground is rough in places and often gets muddy. The grass gets very long and covers rabbit holes up, so you have to be careful where you tread. I recommend two walks that I recommend in particular. The first walk takes you up on a ridge and gives you excellent views to the flat lands lying to the South and West of Wimpole, then follows a belt of woodland around the North edge of the grounds (great for blackberries in August/September), then comes back through the old village with its quaint old buildings. All in, this takes about 1-2 hours in total at a gentle pace, though you can cut it short if daylight fails. The second walk is the walk across the cow fields over to the Folly, which is great to photograph.
The stable yard at the Hall has a wide range of interesting little shops available (as well as being the location in the grounds for the loos). I don’t dare to visit the second hand bookstall or the home made fudge shop there very often – I always come away with something! There is also a traditional National Trust shop there, selling all the calendars and chutneys and the like which you get at nearly all National Trust places, but it also has a lot of meat products from the farm. In the courtyard here, come rain or shine, there are usually some people outside making and selling woollen garments the old fashioned way, with a spinning wheel and knitting by hand – fascinating to watch!
The hall is a few miles away from two main roads bypassing Cambridge – the A14 and the M11, and is readily signposted – I’m terrible at giving directions usually, but I’ve given several people sets of directions that just read “Turn off the A14 when you get to the M11 and carry on down there until you see the National Trust signs and then just follow those through the next couple of villages” and they managed to get there in one piece without getting lost.
Usually, when I visit, I go by car because the buses aren’t at all frequent and the train line doesn’t go nearer than 5 miles away. I’ve never found the car park to be completely full, even at Easter, though it does often get extremely muddy when you park in one of the fields on a busy wet weekend.
I have cycled here once from Cambridge. I can’t say I recommend the experience - you either need to go on some extremely busy roads with cars going past you far too close, or you need to cycle on some very muddy and grassy bridleways. Hopefully when the new Sustrans bike networks get going, this will be a nice route. Currently, it’s a pleasant place to hike to, but a little bit too far for a round trip from Cambridge.
This is a nice National Trust property to go visit of a Sunday afternoon. I like coming here for walks around the grounds followed by a nice cup of tea at the cafe afterwards. Good for taking small children to and good for taking visiting family members who like stately homes.
Other National Trust properties nearby include Wicken Fen and Anglesey Abbey.
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Commercial properties need commercial grounds care, and the unique needs of businesses make this type of yard care somewhat more complex than residential grounds care. Whether your business is a school, health care facility, small business, sporting business, or another type of business, you will need:
1) A focus on aesthetics. Branding begins before your clients even walk in through the door. Creating a great first impression means hiring a grounds care company or lawn care service that can keep your business property looking its best. While having a slightly overgrown lawn at home can be embarrassing, at work it can cost you business. Clients and customers want to see a professional-looking company that cares about the details. Taking care of the outdoor space around your property shows that you are up to the task of taking care of customers. A good Lawn maintenance service ensures that your property looks its best year-round.
2) Safety. Commercial grounds care usually involves clearing any straggling weeds, long grass and ice and snow – and it’s not just for aesthetic reasons. If anyone slips and falls on your property, it can cause a nasty lawsuit that threatens the very survival of your business.
3) Managing larger property. Some businesses have very large properties to maintain. Gold courses, schools, and recreational properties may have many acres to mow, weed, and take care of. Properties of this size usually need teams of workers to look their best – something that only commercial yard care services can provide.
4) Professionalism. If clients and customers see lawn maintenance services on your commercial property, they may associate that yard care company with the image of your business. Having uniformed and professional-looking yard care services makes your business look more professional. The Groundsguys.com, for example, use only clean vans, uniformed professionals, and modern equipment. We not only make your property look good – we make your business look good.
5) Schedule flexibility. A gold course may need grounds care after hours, when no one is on the links. Many commercial customers also require fast response times to ensure that any problems are fixed fast. Pests and weeds or overgrown grass can be a real problem to a business, so commercial lawn maintenance services need to be able to respond fast.
The Grounds Guys offers lawn maintenance services, Landscaping services, and yard maintenance services to both commercial and residential customers. Our fast response times, professional staff and expertise can help make your business grounds look their best all year long.
Article by Frank Froggatt
Landscaping could be a fairly major undertaking, demanding lots of time and energy. Nevertheless before you seek the services of that professional landscaping developer, follow this advice that will save you both time & money.
1. Spend time pondering just how you wish the final design to be. It is advisable to take account involving the style and functionality of your landscape. Do you want to include a place for entertaining? A BBQ? Is there to be a location for children to relax and play, a new fishpond or maybe a swimming pool? An idea regarding the flowers you want to be there will certainly also help. Concentrate on the location where you devote most of your time. That’s a great place to start.
2. Think twice prior to committing to a professional. An independent designer could run you 100′s of dollars when you might possibly access zero cost ?deas on the net or in a nursery. But if you have an difficult block such as extremely vertical ground, an expert could supply you with the expertise to avoid costly blunders.
3. The design of your house must be taken into account. Should you have a rural cottage, formal gardens encompassing it will seem out of place. Contemplate in addition around your daily activities. Do you want to spend hrs tending to many beds of flowering plants or trimming beds of roses? If so, go ahead and plant all of them, however, if you’d rather commit your free time at the sea, then go for an easy-care backyard and landscape.
Allow me to share the different landscape styles you are able to pick for your own private garden:
a. Formal. This particular design makes use of numerous straight lines and also flawless geometrical forms. Orderly layout regarding plants rather than arbitrary positioning is employed. Close arrangement as well as trimming is seen on lots of landscaped gardens using this model.
b. Casual. This kind of landscape plan works very well with cozy cottages. Beds with curved edges in lieu of straight lines and random placement of greenery match this landscape designs style.
c. English Garden. This particular style draws attentions to the harmonious relationship concerning the houses architecture plus the garden.
d. Formal/Informal Garden. This kind of design usually has a brick walkway which exudes formality. This particular walkway takes you to the rear with a circle of plants. The particular design of these plants resembles the English gardening design but it lacks the formal borders.
e. Oriental. It’s often the type of garden present in small backyards. The idea makes use of evergreens, rocks, and water. Numerous plant life creates a lot of attractive angles with this particular model.
f. Woodland. This landscaping suits a house that has a wooded backyard as well as sloping ground.
Having these different backyard landscaping ideas it’s simple to move ahead into choosing which one will work together with your home and yard and commence formulating all the actions that you have got to undertake to be able to realize the job through to completion.
Article by Lisa Tanady
How often have you flipped through home and garden magazines, staring at the lovely well landscaped gardens thinking how costly it must be to get these gardens set up and maintain? On the contrary, with a little bit of creativity and imagination, you can actually achieve the same well manicured lawn in an economical way, by following some of these tips:
1. Know what you want.
Look around your neighborhood and study which plants really grow well in your area. You can start gathering pictures from magazines or internet websites to get an idea of the garden design that you would want to have.
2. Decide on the color.
Once you had already chosen the plants that you want to see in your garden, you can now decide the color scheme for your garden design. Remember that you need to consider other factors such as the amount of sunlight that the plants you chose should get – should they get partial shade, full shade or partial sun, full sun? You can begin by building your foundation made of shrubs and choosing perennials, ornamental grasses, bulbs and annuals to give a wide selection of colors through the year.
3. Consider your budget.
You can turn your garden design into a long term project, if you are short on cash. You can start with a foundation first and then add flowers or plants gradually. It is a good idea to start purchasing expensive plants first and make them the focal point of your garden design.
Watch out for garden sales and discounts at garden stores and nurseries. Perhaps you can trade plants with your friends, or you can let your friends know that you are starting a garden, and maybe they can share some of their plants or seeds with you. You can even do some seed swapping with other gardeners or maybe approach your local garden club for some seed samples that you can start to plant.
Try to make friends with your neighbors who have some fine gardens themselves and ask for some tips. You’ll never know, they may even give you some seeds to get you started.
4. Draw your garden design on paper to get a good idea what your garden will look like.
You can arrange the plants according to color or height. You should aim for harmony in color and variety in texture to make your garden interesting. To make it even more interesting, you can add some stepping stones, terra cotta bird houses, wind chimes and other simple accessories that you may already find around your garden such as old wooden chairs and ladders.
All it takes is a little imagination, time and patience and you’ll be on the road to creating a perfect garden design that is well within your budget.
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It’s easy to get carried away when dreaming of the perfect nursery décor for the new arrival – with so many choices you might even wish for twins or triplets! Every parent wants the very best for their baby so the best idea is to begin with good-quality basics in order to establish a safe and comfortable nursery that works for baby, parents and caregivers.
Basics include a new crib mattress, especially if you are considering using a borrowed crib or a family heirloom crib. Indeed if the crib is more than a few years old it’s very likely that it may not meet current safety standards, so the best use for a much-loved family crib might be to deploy it as a decorative piece to hold stuffed animals, baby toys or extra baby bedding and entrust your little one in the security of a modern crib.
A new crib mattress is mandatory and you will be pleased to find there are chemical-free and environmentally friendly options which reduce baby’s exposure to plastics and other potentially toxic materials. Once the crib and mattress have been selected it’s time to seek out suitable boy or girl crib bedding. The typical crib bedding ensemble consists of a fitted crib sheet, a crib skirt which is similar to a bed skirt or dust ruffle and one or more crib bumpers. There are many accessories above and beyond the basic crib ensemble and it’s fun to have them all but be sure to cover the basic – you will need two or three sets of crib bedding at the very least, with the general idea being one set on the crib, one set in the wash and one set at the ready.
Information on the best way to improve or add a sunroom or porch.
Dozens of inspirational photos show a broad range of options.
Construction basics including how to choose and work with professionals.
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A beautifully landscaped property can bring pleasure to you, your family, as well as your neighborhood. This practically brings pride to your humble home, making you a proud owner of your lot. To create a landscape that is both grandiose and easy to maintain, you need to consider some important things and basically some useful home landscaping ideas. The scope and limitation of your property size, the climatic conditions of your area where you live, and the types of soil you have to deal with in your property are some of the primary factors you should consider.
Landscaping is one of the best ways to improve your home’s appearance and increase the resale value of your property. Nothing beats a home that is endowed with exceptional beauty with plenty of curb appeal and “wow” factor. If you are among those who wanted to transform their dull and lifeless lawn, maybe it’s time that you consider landscaping. But to do this, it is wise that you start off with some home landscaping ideas. You can start with a do-it-yourself landscaping project and do it a bit at a time like you can start with your house’s entryway and work your way outwards. Or maybe you can start by landscaping your backyard and slowly continuing to the front – the choice is yours!
The challenge that most homeowners are faced with is not actually coming from the landscaping ideas but from too many home landscaping ideas. With the diverse choices of landscaping concepts, it is just tough to come up with a decision. After all, if you are starting from scratch like a “blank slate” for a lawn, there are literally countless landscaping ideas you can apply.
So the question now is: where do you begin your landscaping project? Well, it is entirely you choice. If you feel that your front yard should be the first, then go for it or if it is your backyard or pool area, you are actually the boss. Just make sure to come up with home landscaping ideas that are suitable for your budget, your house’s space, climatic conditions of your area, and the type of soil that you need to deal with.
The design of your landscape will be up to your own personal taste and desire. Before you plunge into a home landscaping ideas, take into consideration the style of your home. This is highly important to come up with real satisfying results.
Here are some of the common landscape style categories:
1. Formal – What this style empathize is ‘order’. This style basically employs primary straight lines and perfect geometrical shapes. Properly arranged plants rather than randomly positioned is favored. A feature of this style that many uses are pruning and close arrangement.
2. Informal – This landscaping style works well with cozy country cottages. Beds with curved edges rather than straight lines are favored. Random placement of plants fits this landscaping style.
3. The English Garden – This style brings out the harmony between the architecture of the house and the garden surrounding it.
4. Formal and Informal Garden – This landscaping style showcases brick walkways that exudes formality. This walkway goes its way to the rear, featuring circles of plants. The order of plants resembles the English Garden style with no formal borders.
5. Oriental – This style is suitable for houses with backyards that are small. It made use of rocks, water, and evergreen. Different plants create various angles with style.
6. Woodland – This style is good for houses which have woods in the backyard and slopes on the ground.