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    Benefits of trees

    What could be more obvious than the fact that horticulture benefits people? Anyone making a living in the trades understands it instinctively. Below are some quick facts on the benefits of trees and the equity value of landscaping. Trees improve health Trees improve moods and emotions, and they create feelings of relaxation and well-being. Trees provide privacy and a sense of security. Foliage helps to settle out, trap and hold particulate pollutants (dust, ash, pollen and smoke) that can damage human lungs. Because of their potential for long life, trees frequently are planted as living memorials. We often become personally attached to trees that we or those we love have planted. In cities, trees can act as buffers, absorbing a significant amount of urban noise. Trees add natural character to our cities and towns Provide us with colours, flowers, and read more

    Favourite Herbs

    Add zing to your meals with these favourite herbs that are easy to grow. Sweet basil (annual) 40 to 60 cm tall; tender annual that can not be planted out until early June; the perfect flavouring for tomatoes and tomato dishes; highly aromatic clove-like scent and peppery taste; young leaves are best; leaves in excess of your immediate needs can be dried or packed in jars and covered with oil. They can also be dry frozen or frozen in ice-cubes. Bush basil (annual) 25 cm tall; a small compact plant, good for pot and windowsill culture. This ‘picollo’ basil is thought best for pesto, a delectable sauce for ‘al dente’ spaghetti and other pasta. Chives (perennial) The chopped hollow stems add flavour to salads, soups, omelets and cheese dishes. The attractive flowers are worth growing for their ornamental value. Garlic read more

    Perennials for your garden

    The following is a comprehensive list of the most popular perennials. This list is arranged in alphabetical order, according to genus. Plants flower at different times and for different lengths of time. The ultimate goal it to include plant material of varying heights and varieties to ensure something is in bloom in your garden at all times. The handy chart below will give you an idea of blooming times, growth height, sun and soil requirements, and what type/theme garden the plant works best in. Plant name Bloom colour Bloom period Plant height L-low M-medium T-tall Exposure Used for Comments Achillea (yarrow) Yellow-gold Mid/late summer L,M,T Sun Rock gardens, borders, cut flowers Well drained soil, may require staking Alyssum (basket of cold) Yellow Early summer L Sun, partial sun Rock gardens, beds, borders Well drained soil, divide in spring Aquilegia(columbine) Blue, maroon, purple, read more

    Container Gardening

    Containers allow you to bring the garden to the deck, patio, steps, driveway or the front entranceway. By using hanging containers, colour can be added to sheds, garages — any place you can mount a bracket! Getting started: The first step is to select an appropriate container. A drain hole is a must and after that just about anything goes. Containers come in plastic, wood, fiberglass, iron, cement, stone and more. Extra work is needed to keep smaller containers watered as plants grow, while larger containers allow you to use a more diverse selection of plants, and are easier to keep moist. Always use a light growing medium (soilless mix). This allows water to flow easily and provides the roots with sufficient air. Most commercially available mixes are a blend of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. We like ‘fluffy’ lightweight read more

    Colour spring to fall: six basic perennials

    Tall bearded iris and peonies, flowering May to June Oriental poppy and delphiniums, flowering in June and July Dayliliy, flowering in July and August Tall phlox, flowering in August and September delphiniums, re-flowering in September These six essential perennials are plants of size and substance. They will be the backbone of your perennial garden. With the wide choice of cultivars available in each of these six basic plants, any colour scheme is possible. Your perennial garden could consist totally of these few basic perennials, but if space permits, it is so easy with the many hundreds of perennials available to fill in around them. Not only would this create an increasingly lush garden, you could begin the flower display earlier than the show of iris and peony, and extend it later in the fall. Tall bearded iris Unlike the common read more

    Water smarts: Tips for using irrigation water more efficiently

    Water smarts: Tips for using irrigation water more efficiently Watering: Install rain sensors on sprinkler systems. Adjust irrigation timers according to seasonal needs. Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems. Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water more often. Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only — not the street or sidewalk. Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Do not water on windy days. Use properly treated wastewater for irrigation where available. Have system serviced regularly. Maintaining: Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth. Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone. Raise your read more

    Green spaces reduce crime, road rage and enhance mood

    The benefits of natural and landscaped green spaces are not just limited to the environment, say officials at Landscape Ontario. According to research gathered by the not-for-profit organization, green spaces can improve children’s self-esteem, lower crime rates, increase mood, encourage social interaction and even reduce road rage. The research was originally compiled for Landscape Ontario’s website, and provides proof that green spaces not only make communities look better, but feel better as well. The following are a few of the research highlights on the benefits of green spaces compiled with the help of Landscape Ontario: Lowers crime and enhances self-esteemA 30-year study conducted by researchers at Morton Arboretum revealed when landscaping projects are promoted in communities, neighbourhoods, housing projects and prisons, self-esteem increases and vandalism decreases. Beneficial to childrenGreen spaces can boost children’s attentional resources and, “green spaces may enable read more

    Landscaping for quick real estate sale

    Whether the real estate market is hot or cold, you always want to make a few extra dollars when selling your home. Most people focus on the inside of their home when it comes time to sell, but first impressions, even from the outside, are critical. Landscaping will definitely improve your curb appeal, but you don’t want to invest in a house you’re about to sell. Here are four easy steps for you to take right now that will improve the curb appeal of your home and improve the sale price. Step one: Don’t cut down trees According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, “A mature tree can often have an appraised value of between $1,000 and $10,000.” Step two: Add plants Money Magazine says that landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100 to 200 per cent for read more

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