Bringing Gardens Indoors

Gardening is for more than just your backyard or front lawn. It is the perfect way to add life and beauty to your interior or exterior home décor. One of the best ways to highlight your windows is with brightly colored flowers and greenery. For those of you who aren’t proud enough of your windows to put them on display – consider replacements! Old windows begin to peel, crack, change shape, and get foggy panes. Newer technology from a top notch replacement window company, like Renewal by Andersen, can go a long way in style and function.

Incorporating Gardening with Your Windows

  • Vase – sometimes simplicity is beautiful. Placing a simple flower vase in the window can be enjoyed from both the indoors and close-up outdoor viewing. The effect is similar
    to placing a lit candle in your window during the night.
  • Multiple Vases – You could also place lines or varieties of small plants in your window sill. The benefit of working with plants is that you can add as many colors as you like without getting that tacky effect. No matter what you do, you are working with natural materials.
  • Holiday Arrangements – You may also consider implementing holiday-themed flower arrangements during different times of the year. For instance, poinsettias combined with greenery make for a Christmas and wintery atmosphere. Bright orange daylilies and black orchids are appropriate for Halloween, and burn orange colored roses are great for Thanksgiving and the later fall.
  • Box Garden – If you are feeling up for a project, try building (or ordering) a box garden. Drilling a box made of ¾ inch thick wooden
    boards to your exterior wall can create a vibrant garden display. An easier variation is to line a wooden crate with plastic, fill with rocks and soil and add plants.

  • Floating Plants – Not a fan of dirt? Floating plant displays are another neat way to incorporate bright colors in a peaceful atmosphere. Simply use a bowl of water; and add water hyacinths, parrot’s feather, or other floating plants to the surface. Make sure you are regularly adding water to keep a consistently full bowl.

Each of these methods are great ways to vamp up your home’s design. Whether you decide to add an interior or exterior plant display, websites are swarming with themed ideas to match your taste.

How to Make Gardening Relaxing for Seniors

Planting a Senior Garden

To some, the point of gardening is to make your yard a beautiful place. People will either hire landscapers, find gardeners, or put hours of work into their garden to make it flourish. However, some prefer to garden because it is a leisurely activity. Nature can be a sanctuary from busy life, especially during quiet times of day. Following are some tips for seniors to make their gardening experience truly relaxing and fulfilling.

magenta flowers

  • Hire a little help – Hiring a landscaper or an expert can both be expensive and take away the fun of gardening. Instead, try a senior care service that offers companionship. With the little help from an aid, gardening can be much more enjoyable for the elder population. It is easier to have a little help with pulling out that heavy hose, and some company never hurt. Make gardening a social activity to get the most out of it.
  • Ease the strain – No matter your age, bending over and reaching can be strenuous for your lower back and joints. To avoid the amount of bending needed to tend to a senior’s garden, consider raised plant beds. With elevated plants, it is possible to garden standing up or simply sitting on the ledge while weeding and watering. Another way to avoid aches and pains is by adding some benches to the lawn near the garden or taking a portable stool around.

raised flower beds

  • Avoid extreme temperatures – Gardening during the noon and hottest times of the day can be grueling. Instead, seniors should make it part of their routine to wake up early and garden. Some also prefer to spend time outside in the evening.
  • Protect yourself from nature – Wearing long sleeves, pants, and closed toe shoes can help you be safe from mosquitoes, bugs, and prickly plants. This is another reason to garden during cooler temperatures; you can comfortably wear more clothing. Rain boots and closed toed crocs are popular choices due to their comfort and water resistance.
  • Stretch first – Even with benches or raised flower beds in place, stretching can prevent injuries and soreness. Elders should stretch their arms and lower back before setting out in their garden. Even when not gardening, stretches can help increase blood flow and prevent injuries from daily stress. Morning stretches can help you think more clearly and feel more alert and positive throughout the day.
  • Research local plants – Although some people prefer to pepper their gardens with exotic plants, the easiest and most beautiful plants are often local. The flowers and greenery that naturally thrive in your state’s environment are the ones that will be the easiest and look the best in your backyard. For instance, in a dry environment, local plants will need less watering and survive droughts. The same applies to areas with heavy rain or extreme heat.
  • Eat a healthy meal – Before trekking outside, eat a hearty meal. This will help give you endurance when standing for long periods of time and stay sharp when choosing the right pesticides and watering intervals.
  • Install a sprinkler system – Water is heavy! Carrying a hose or a watering can around can be difficult and slow you down. If you, or your senior friend, are having difficulty lifting and carrying heavy items; consider getting a sprinkler system to keep your plants looking lively. An underground irrigation system will provide similar benefits. This article describes the different types of watering and their benefits for those who are willing to invest in an automatic system.

Following some simple steps can help bring joy and creativity to a senior’s garden. If you are in your golden years, don’t be scared to ask for a little help! And if you are trying to help a family member, be sure to lend a hand. To get the most out of your gardening, prepare yourself to make it a relaxing, leisurely experience.

Gardening with Kids

Kids love to watch things grow and what better to do just that than a garden. Here at our daycare in Plainfield IL we believe that it is important to teach kids about sustainable living and gardening at a young age. There are many kids these days that don’t even know what vegetable a French fry comes from. I don’t know about you, but I feel this is very troubling and I feel that everyone should know where their food is coming from. By creating and starting a garden with children, you are able to show them the science behind gardening with experience and give them the satisfaction of making something grow. By making them a part of the gardening process, they will learn to love and appreciate the food that they eat every day. I have asked the help of Creative World School to aid us in ways to teach these little ones with fun gardening activities.

Tools of the Gardening Trade

gardening toolsThe first thing we do is to introduce them to all the tools that we will be using. If they are dangerous tools, we make sure to teach them that a grown has to help out. We don’t want anyone getting hurt at our daycare facility. Tools like shovels, aerators, pruners, composters, and hoses are all used at our garden. When we first constructed the garden we showed the children how to make raised beds, allowing them to make all the score marks with pencils while we did all the cutting. We also set up a compost pile station, where we would add all organic materials. All organic material from our child care facility was used in this process and the kids loved to make sure that all trash went where it was supposed to.

Preparing the Soil

With the beds and the compost set, we would then prepare the soil. Because we didn’t have compost that was quite ready, we bought our first batch and mixed it with our screen top soil. We let all of our daycare attendees each get a chance to mix in their own little buckets while we mixed vermiculite and peat moss into the final mixture. Now we had a chance to throw in a few science lessons by teaching a small chemistry lesson. We arranged a small little song to sing while we were getting the soil ready to introduce them to the elements that help to balance the soil correctly like Magnesium, Sulfur, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen. Just like humans, we teach them that plants need certain vitamins to grow healthy and strong.

Choosing the Right Fruits and Vegetables

guy and son gardeningWith the soil ready, we were then ready to pick out our vegetables. We decided to grow carrots, tomatoes, corn, potatoes, bell peppers, eggplant, strawberries, and beets. We started out with incubated seeds and let them sprout throughout the following weeks. We also bought a few plants to better our success rates of growth. This was also a good way for the little ones to see the different stages of growth. When the plants were ready we could now start the planting process. We had sectioned off designated spots with the recommended spacing for each different vegetable. For this step, we had every child care assistant help out. We made sure to that everyone was on track and over the matter of a couple hours we had a perfectly aligned garden at our daycare center. The final step was to water our new beauties. This is another great lesson opportunity by teaching responsibility. It was up to us to keep the plants watered so they can live. Here we set up an experiment where we had a few plants to the side that we never watered so we can show the need of water.

Harvest Time

As time passed by the plants began to start bearing fruits and vegetables. Now was the fun part. Whenever we had a decent yield we would prepare a home cooked meal.  This was their favorite part of gardening and now they know where their French fries come from! Good Luck and make sure to comment if you have any child care gardening tips.

6 Great Reasons To Build a Backyard Fence

wooden privacy fence in backyard











Before you start building your backyard fence, you have to decide the purpose of the fence. Maybe you just want to establish a boundary between your property and that of your neighbors. It is also possible that you want to keep your pets on the grounds of your home. You may even build your fence for security reasons to protect your family and your property. It does not matter what your reasons are. What matters is that you give the job to competent and qualified fence builders so that they will do an excellent job for you. Below are some benefits of building a backyard fence as inspired by Fencing Unlimited Inc..

Security and peace of mind

Security for life and property is one of the most important reasons for building a fence. You want to sleep well at night and you want to have peace of mind. Get an expert in fence installation to design and construct the right fence for you. Your security fence should be tall and solid because you want to keep intruders out of your property. In this case, your best bet is a concrete fence. It is strong, durable and reliable.

Establishing property lines

If your aim is to make a demarcation between your neighbor’s property and yours, a basic chain link-fence will do. This fence will establish clear boundaries between your neighbor’s property and yours.   With this fence in place, everybody knows where his or her property begins and where it ends. This minimizes incidents of trespassing and creates harmony between you and your neighbor.

Beauty and esthetics

Your fence should not be gloomy and dull. You can actually use your fence to beautify your home if you install the right one. Your best bet in this case is the white picket fence. The only requirements for this fence are quality wood and whitewash. You can install this fence yourself or consult and expert to help you get the job done. If you have flowers in your back garden, the effect of the white picket fence against a green background will add some spice to your home.

Go green to show ownership

You can use landscaping to create the perfect fence for your back garden. Plant trees along the borders of your property and trim them regularly. As long as these trees remain in place, you can always claim ownership of the land if a dispute arises by proving that you planted the trees as proof of ownership.

The combination fence

You can construct a combination fence if you like this option. The implication here is that your fence will be a combination of different materials. For instance, you can use wood picket fencing at the front of the home and connect this to a chain-link at the back of the house. This saves you money and creates a bit of variety too.

Cooperate with the neighbors

Your backyard fence is most likely connected to your neighbor’s property. Before building this fence, you should consult your neighbors so that you will be on the same page. A fence can be built and shared by two people. Once the duo agrees on the terms of the deal, experts in fence installation can be contracted to handle the project.

Final word

If you are thinking of fence installation, you have many options. Decide what you want then talk to fence builders and other experts and you will get the right backyard fence.

How to get Organized for Your Next Landscaping Project

fall landscaping

Fall is a great time to launch that do-it-yourself (DIY) backyard home gardening project you’ve always wanted to do. Thanks to some inspiration from the Fall season we have put together a full proof plan that will help you see your project from start to finish. Our step by step guide is chock full of tips and ideas on just about everything you will need, from landscape supplies to design ideas and so much more. So, let’s get you started on what promises to be your most successful fall landscaping project yet!

  1. Carry out a thorough assessment

Before you jump right into getting this landscaping project started, there are a few things that you should consider. For starters, you should have a clear idea of what you are working with as well as what you would like to achieve. Take for example, the size, shape, existing landscaping if any that you may be working with. These are the things that will determine how you move your project along. Some questions to help you with your assessment include

– How much living (e.g. garden) versus non-living (e.g. concrete) landscaping space you will be working with (use actual measurements here)

– What would you like the final product to look like and do you have the space and resources to accommodate your vision. How can you tweak one or the other to have some sort of meeting in the middle.

– What kind of landscape supplies will you need and where can you get them

– How much are you willing to spend versus how much it is likely to cost. How can you tweak either your budget or resources to ensure that you do not spend too much but still get your desired result or close.

– Look at the work that you are likely to be doing and assess how much extra help you will need. Perhaps you can make it a family project with the kids or other relatives and friends pitching in. Do not underestimate your needs.

  1. Gather supplies

Now that you have a clear idea and picture of exactly what you want and what you will be doing for your landscaping project, the next step is to begin gathering your supplies and resources. You will need landscaping tools for digging and planting your garden for example (which lowes is perfectly fine for), as well as plants for your said garden. Begin to source your supplies and gather them. Big box stores like Lows or the Home Depot will have some options but I prefer a landscape supply specialist so I go to Pete Rose Inc. in Richmond A simple search for landscaping supplies should help you out if your not familiar with any.

  1. Plan your work

By now, you should have had everything you need and have begun your landscaping. To not be overwhelmed it is a good idea to take the work in stages, breaking it up into small, manageable amounts. It is equally as important to work smart as it is to work hard.

Bonus tips:

  1. Source ideas online. There are lots of landscaping tips for spaces of all shapes and sizes online. There is also lots of DIY shortcuts that can save you time and money. Best of all, most of this information is provided freely. Therefore, make use of your online resources.
  2. Pay attention to other non-landscaping details that may affect the overall look and feel of your landscape in the final analysis. One feature that persons often overlook when landscaping is the painting of their house. A fresh coat of paint (even if you are not changing the colors) go a long way in helping to add to the fresh, warm and inviting look of your newly landscaped space.