Water, water everywhere

Gorgeous landscaping idea - a water garden with lilies.Incorporating a water feature, pond or natural pool into your garden design is a wonderful option. They are not only of great environmental benefit, but also add incredible beauty to your garden. Natural ponds and pools support the animals in your area, attracting a variety of indigenous wildlife into your garden including lizards, dragonflies, frogs, birds and more.

Your water garden will also provide an excellent place for breeding. Frogs and many other critters will happily visit ponds during breeding season. The frog’s tadpole offspring are a welcome addition to many ponds as they enjoy eating algae. Birds will also love to visit your natural pond or pool, not only to drink and bathe, but also to create nests in neighboring trees to breed. Knowing there’s a source of fresh water at hand, many birds will choose to nest nearby, so your pond can also become a great first home for baby birds!

As I have said before, this kind of first hand education is of immense benefit to children. Learning about the web of life is vitally important, and will generally give them a lifelong respect for all forms of life. And it needn’t stop with children. Many adults derive great pleasure from watching nature unfold before their very eyes.

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A perfect place to sit, read a book and enjoy your garden.

Ponds, pools and water features will, and do, require care and on-going maintenance, taking up your precious time. Many pond or pool owners tell me this, however also confess that the joy and reward gained from the experience is well worth it. Taking the time to find the ideal position in your garden for a water feature, or feature’s, is highly recommended and should be first priority on your list. Some things you need to consider are drainage and irrigation, electrical sources, the amount of natural light, impact on water temperature, accessibility for maintenance and more.

You will also have to think about the neighboring trees and impact of the surrounding environment. For example, a water feature or pond placed near trees will require more time spent collecting leaves, but if you are introducing fish or animals into the pond they might prefer a shaded area. The position of your pond is also important if you are introducing fish or animals, you will need to consider if the area will be shaded, full sun or partly covered to suit their temperature requirements.

A whole "natural" watercourse can be incorporated into your landscape.

A whole “natural” watercourse can be incorporated into your landscape.

The water in your pond can be heated to create the perfect environment for fish or animals if the natural conditions in your area aren’t right. Heating the water in your pond can be  expensive, but if you are considering it there are many alternative methods that are friendlier to the planet, and cost a lot less in the long run. You could include solar panels or lights into your design, and use plants or materials which will warm the water naturally.

In order to properly maintain a pond or pool you will have to clean it regularly  . The leaves will need to be removed from the water’s surface and bottom as required. Fouled water also needs to be removed, adding clean water to compensate for evaporation. Introducing fresh water will return the PH, nitrate, nitrite and ammonia levels to their optimum, preventing the water from becoming toxic. Water testing kits can be bought from your local garden supplier, and come with detailed instructions. They’re easy to use, and are a must have investment for pond and pool owners.

The filter and/or skimmer that’s installed will also need to be cleaned as recommended. If the installation of any electrical outlets or underground plumbing is required, make sure you call a professional. Not only are water and electricity a deadly combination, but you can be guaranteed of a safe and professional job carried out to all council, state and national standards and specifications.

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A beautiful, Asian inspired pond. You couldn’t help but be relaxed here, and what lovely surroundings to explore your inner self. It looks complicated, but the individual elements are simple and very achievable.

If you have fish or other creatures in your water garden, you will also have to consider their on-going maintenance. It is best to consult a professional about which fish and animals are best to introduce into your garden. Different species will require different environmental settings, and you will need to get this right, or your pond will be a graveyard rather than a wonderland. Koi fish for example, which are a popular and much loved pond fish, require quite specific pond conditions. Choosing a species native to your area may be far easier to maintain.

Plants, like aquatic animals, will also require certain pond conditions. Most aquatic plants prefer full sun so shaded areas will need consideration when it comes to choosing plants. If your pond or pool has a water feature, waterfall or strong current you should also be careful about which plants you introduce. Many aquatic plants do not like the constant splashing or root disturbance from a water current, while other plants will prefer the conditions and will thrive. Oxygen is also important to all aquatic species, both fish and plants alike obtain their oxygen from water, not air. An aeration unit may be required where there is an abundance of flora and fauna with a limited water supply.

Having your design created by a professional landscaper is greatly advised. They can inform you which are the most suitable plants and materials to use in your design. You can also be assured the work will be completed to a high standard, complying with all and any regulations in your area.

If you have always wanted to create a pond or water feature in your garden but were unsure about cost, maintenance required or anything else, my advice would be to start small. Small ponds and features can always be added to later by creating adjacent ponds or connecting waterways. Smaller ponds are easier and cheaper to create but they will require more maintenance than larger bodies of water. Larger ponds require less maintenance as the water will stay clean for longer, but they require more skill and planning than a smaller pond. Whether you opt for a small, large, or any other sized pond, it is highly recommended to employ an experienced professional who has the experience to help you with your project.

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A tranquil natural swimming pool, with incorporated regeneration zone.

A great option for environmentally friendly gardens are natural swimming pools. Natural pools are split into two areas, the open ‘chamber’ area in which you swim and the ‘regeneration zone’.

The regeneration zone can be designed into the pool area in many ways, creating a modern or more natural look. The zone consists of plants that clean the water naturally. A water current, stream or waterfall will also clean and aerate the water.

You can use solar panels or other methods to heat the water and in winter, if the temperatures in your area get low enough, you could have a place to ice skate! Combine this with submersible lights and you would have a skating wonderland! How gorgeous would that look?

Natural pools also eliminate the need to introduce any toxic and costly chemicals into the water. Because of this they can be a more cost efficient option compared to an average pool, and less maintenance. The chemical free water will also benefit the native wildlife in your area and provide a natural habitat and ecosystem for neighboring wildlife. The chemicals you would find in most pools aren’t safe for animals or insects. Creating a natural body of water in your garden will provide them with a fresh source of water. Whether you’re after a small plunge pool or a larger family sized swimming pool you can enjoy swimming in fresh clean water, as if from a mountain spring, and with no stinging eyes!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7c/Single_Chamber_NSP.jpgIf you’re thinking about creating a water feature, pond or pool in your garden, or know someone who is, consider incorporating natural elements and environment friendly options into the design. Not only will the native wildlife in your neighborhood benefit, your wallet will benefit from the cost-efficiency and your garden will benefit from a beautiful natural feature.

For those whining about having no space for this sort of thing, there's a solution for you too.

Despite what you may think, there’s a water garden for absolutely everyone. Just scale it to suit your needs!

Erin Harriman.

We’d love to know what you think. What you like (or don’t like). What would you like to read about? This blog is for you, so tell us what you would like to see.


 Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

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Forget the florist – grow your own

Give me, odorous at sunrise, a garden of beautiful flowers where I can walk undisturbed. – Walt Whitman

While searching for quotes for this piece, I found hundreds of them. Flowers mean many things to many people. Of course their beauty is paramount to most of us, but there is so much more in a flower than beauty or scent.

Flowers also have their own language. In 1714, after five years in exile at the Ottoman Court, King Charles II of Sweden brought back to Europe the knowledge of the coded messages being used by the ladies of the Turkish harems. Lady Mary Wortly Montague introduced the idea to the English Court in 1718, and by the time of Queen Victoria in 1837 the tradition was Empire wide.

So, let’s see what we can make them say for you!

Mary, Mary, quite contrary

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Simple red geraniums in terracotta pots give a stunning display, picking up the red stripe in the awning, and giving a subtle Mediterranean feel

Flowers can fill many niches in your overall garden scheme. They can be spectacular color displays during a certain season, as changeable as your mood. Or they may offer a stable background with which to play with design and form. You don’t even necessarily need a garden! An incredible display can be achieved using pots and window boxes, and that’s what I’m going to focus on in this article.

How does your garden grow?

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Don’t use garden soil for your pots. A good purpose made potting mix will provide all that your plants need.

As with any successful garden, soil preparation is the key. You need top quality potting mix, and a handful of slow release pellet type fertilizer. Do yourself and your plants a favor and buy the best you can afford. Cheap potting mix is usually just that. Cheap. Inferior quality, lacking in water retention qualities and the micro-organisms necessary for strong sustainable growth. The last two times I ever bought cheap potting mix were the last for me. The first lot ended up sprouting all these crazy little yellow fungi, and the second gave me an infestation of spider mite which I am still battling to this day. I kid you not. You’ve been warned.

One good little piece of information that came out of all that was the idea of putting your bags of potting mix in the sun for a few days before using them. The heat and moisture inside the bags will kill the majority of soil borne bacteria and spores.

Contain yourself!

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A re-purposed bird bath makes a striking rock garden. Note the pot behind painted to match. This is a great way to unify a collection of odd pots.

Here’s where it can get incredibly interesting. You see, you don’t need pots – you can use anything that will hold soil. From old toilet bowls to teacups – if you can put soil in it you can use it : as a centerpiece, or part of a very unique display. Growing pansies in grandma’s old, cracked milk jug is a great way to remember and honor her for many years to come. If you have many different kinds of pots and containers, you can tie them all together by painting the pots the same. Or you could paint them to reflect the color of the flowers growing within. Or to contrast with them. The variations are only limited by your imagination.

Silver bells and cockle shells…

Unusual pots provide a sculptural element to your garden

Unusual pots provide a sculptural element to your garden, and are an innovative way to re-use old and well-loved items.

So what do you grow? As always, my strong advice is to just go for a wander around your neighborhood and see what is working for other people around you. The elderly couple out pruning in the front yard are an invaluable source of information about what works and what doesn’t. Your local nurseryman or landscaper will also generally be more than happy to give you advice. One tip I will share is one I always use. When ever you plant something, no matter what it is, I always put a few appropriately sized flower bulbs in the pot with it. It’s a real buzz to get a little surprise every spring when they come bursting through.

Also, think outside the box. Although they are generally thought of as upright plants, a hanging basket full of Freesia is an absolute joy to behold. I’ve also seen Jasmine in a basket – small but very striking.

images (5)And pretty maids all in a row.

So where do you put them? If you’re so tight on space that you need pots, where will they fit?

Vertical gardens are very popular. They’re basically a metal mesh frame attached to a wall, which you hang pots on. You can have an ever-changing display this way, and rotate plants in and out from your larger garden if you have one. Vertical gardens are also an excellent solution for herbs, and I have had excellent results with strawberries in them.

An exceptionally gorgeous arrangement

An exceptionally gorgeous arrangement

Staircases are custom-made to display objects of beauty, and plants certainly qualify. A pot of vibrant color on each step will go a long way to lifting your mood and the ambiance of the area. Use common sense here though, you need to leave room to walk!

If you are lucky enough to have a pergola, or other outdoor structure, you can use the space above your head for a stunning hanging pot display.

I would love to know your thoughts about flowers – do you have a special favorite? Why? What memories do they evoke for you?


 Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

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Kid safe gardens

A mini fairy wonderland

A mini fairy wonderland

Creating a child and animal friendly garden is a great idea, not only if you have animals or children yourself, but also for your visitors as it provides everyone peace of mind in the safe area. Whether your gardening ideas are for children, or you want to express your inner child in the garden, a safe garden design is always of great importance.

There are many ways to achieve this, using child and animal friendly design principles and materials, as well as researching which plants are safe to use in your design are two great ways to start. Some species of plant are very toxic for certain animals, as well as humans.

Many ornamental garden plants are toxic or fatal to humans and pets. Click the photo for a list of the most common of them.

Many ornamental garden plants are toxic or fatal to humans and pets. Click the photo for a list of the most common of them.

Aloe Vera is a great relief if you’re sunburned, and a must have addition to many succulent gardens. Amaryllis is a beautiful flower used commonly for garden beds and flower arrangements, but along with Aloe Vera it is quite toxic to both cats and dogs. Both plants can cause some nasty symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, tremors and more.

There are many plants used commonly in gardens that are toxic to animals and humans, they are also easily mistaken for non-toxic species, so it is always best to consult a professional about which plants are safe and most suitable for your garden design.

A good practice when creating a child or animal friendly garden is to consider the appropriate fencing and gates required for your design. You should also consider the gardens’ paths and outdoor flooring, ensuring decked, paved and stoned areas are flat and even – this will prevent many trips and tumbles.

Hiring a professional landscaper to design your outdoor flooring areas will assure you the materials used are quality, safe, and best suited for your design. You can also rest easy knowing the work has been done to the utmost standard, will look great, and last for many years to come!

A captivating, spacious water garden, with an Asian style bridge crossing it. Pink and red foliage in the distance is a lovely contrast to the green in the foreground.If you have a water feature in your garden or you’re considering installing one, you should always have them designed and installed professionally using high quality materials. Ill-fitted or ill-fitting designs are  hazardous, and sometimes downright dangerous when it comes to children and animals.

All areas with exposed bodies of water should always be fenced and secured appropriately, and along with water features and fountains will require constant supervision when children and animals are present. Taking into account the design of your water feature or fountain before building your garden is always smart, and may be crucial for your gardens safe design.

For those with grand ideas, and grander budgets - a train set to die for

For those with grand ideas, and grander budgets – a train set to die for

Creating a special or hidden area in your garden will not only appeal to children but adds a sense of whimsy to any garden. Miniature tree stump cities for elves or dinosaurs, fairy gardens, and hidden paths are popular options for children, and give them a place to create their own spaces. Scented flowers and herbs are a great idea for planting around stepping or hopscotch stones, and high traffic areas.

If themed gardens aren’t for you, then raised garden beds are a wonderful alternative option, and allow children the freedom to design and decorate their garden how they please without infringing on your garden’s overall design.

Children crossing a pool on stepping stones.Mazes, enclosed walkways, and even rooms can be created using plants. Build a secret spot in your garden by planting tall plants like ferns in a circle, the foliage will create shade and provide privacy. Placing stepping-stones strategically among the foliage in your garden can create hidden paths for little feet to explore!

When it comes to the plants used in your design, using native options can bring more wildlife into your garden. Flowering trees and plants attract many species of birds who collect the pollen and nectar. Not only will the birds be a welcome addition to your garden, they can also help to pollinate the flowering plants in your garden along with the bees. Some plant species rely solely on birds to pollinate their flowers, including most blue colored flowers, as bees are unable to see the color blue.

A gorgeous little witch's hut playhouse. The kids will just love it!You can attract more bees into your garden by planting pollen and nectar-rich plants like Salvia and lavender. Installing a bird bath and feeder into your garden is always a good idea too, as it provides a clean food and water source for birds to eat, drink and bathe, helping them to thrive.

Incorporating logs into your garden can attract lizards, frogs and many insects, as they are the ideal habitat for small mammals, insects and amphibians. Larger gardens that can accommodate them will benefit greatly from planting trees. They not only offer great shade, but house a variety of wildlife to discover, big and small.

An imaginative play area with multiple steps leading up to a gazebo like structure.

Play areas and equipment for children or animals need to be designed safely and built properly, ensuring they are structurally sound and that all floor surfaces are even. There are many options for children’s play equipment, you can find something to suit every type of outdoor space that will fit easily and seamlessly into your garden design.

When designed and built properly the space can become a great asset to your backyard – some people might even say the best asset! Sandpits are amazing fun for youngsters and  a great educational tool for them as well, teaching them physics, stimulating their senses and providing a place for them to build.

You are advised to consult a professional if you’re installing a sand pit or any play equipment. They will inform you of the best possible materials to use for the job, and provide vital insights on how to complete the build, even providing you planning, safety and design advice if you need it.

Remember – whether you’re designing a garden with children, animals, wildlife, or family in mind you can always add something fun. A little mystery or whimsy, something unique or pleasing to the senses. Create something special and exciting and invite your garden’s visitors to leave with a lingering sense of magic and wonder!

Written by Erin Harriman

Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

link to online business card

Posted in Avalon, Cape May Landscaper, Gardening, Landscape Contractor, landscape Design in Avalon, Landscape Makeover, Landscaping, Landscaping Contractor | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dealing with Digitaria

D. Sanguinalis seedlings

D. Sanguinalis seedlings

Digitaria is a large genus of annual plants, which grow worldwide in tropical, sub-tropical and temperate regions. Its name comes from the Latin word “digitus”, which means finger. This quite accurately describes the finger like leaves sprouting from the stem.
It is native to Europe, but has become easily naturalized in many places worldwide, including Northern USA, where it is considered a weed plant. However, due to its incredible rate of setting seed, in many parts of Africa it is grown as a crop.
There it is known as “Fonio”, and the seeds are used as a grain, ground to flour or used to make couscous. You can brew beer and make porridge with it. It can produce an amazing amount of forage for stock – up to 17 tons per

Characteristic spreading form

Characteristic spreading form

acre, and dried and bundled for use as hay.
It’s also been used as a crop in parts of Germany and Poland, and here it’s called Polish millet. It was brought to the US by immigrants to serve as grain for them as forage for their stock. Farmers often deliberately seed it into their fields, or till patches in their pasture to encourage its growth.
Although there are many species of this plant, this article will deal with the two most destructive and invasive of them, Digitaria sanguinalis, and Digitaria ischaemum.

Digitaria sanguinalis

Mature plant ready to flower

Mature plant ready to flower

Its name translates as “red finger”, and it is also known as large crabgrass, hairy crabgrass, finger grass, or summer grass in the southern hemisphere. It has a low, spreading habit, and resembles crab’s legs coming out from a central “body”.
It’s an annual, meaning it grows all year, sets seed and then dies. The problem lies in the fact

Fine hairs, and red coloring at the leaf joints are the defining characteristics of this species

Fine hairs, and red coloring at the leaf joints are the defining characteristics of this species

that one plant can produce up to 150,000 seeds, and these can very quickly take over your lawn areas.
The roots of this plant exude a toxic substance that kills other lawn grasses, and provides perfect conditions for the stems to spread. When the plant dies off in the fall, it leaves conspicuous brown patches in your lawn which are quickly colonized by next year’s seedlings. The stems themselves have nodes, or joints, which very easily sprout roots when in contact with the soil, and in this way plants can grow up to one foot in diameter.
Crabgrass can quickly become a problem, as it is more than able to flourish in hot and dry conditions, which enables it to out-compete stressed lawn grasses.

Digitaria ischaemum

Seedhead of D. Ischaemum. Note the difference from Sanguinalis, where they radiate from a central point

Seedhead of D. Ischaemum. Note the difference from Sanguinalis, where they radiate from a central point

D. Sanguinalis

D. Sanguinalis

This species, to all intents and purposes, is the same as the other in its growth habits and subsequent annoyance to gardeners. There are minor visual differences only, and treatment of both species is the same.

I recommend to divide your lawn into sections, and just do one section per day. Or one per week, whatever you can handle. Then it doesn’t seem like such a huge job to do. It’s like anything, you just need to start, and you will find it gets done in no time.

Close up of D. Ischaemum seeds, showing their shorter, ovate form

Close up of D. Ischaemum seeds, showing their shorter, ovate form

The longer, pointier seeds of D. Sanguinalis

The longer, pointier seeds of D. Sanguinalis

If you have a horrible infestation, as a very last resort you can spot treat your lawn with an appropriate herbicide. Consult your landscaper or garden professional for formulations appropriate for your particular situation.


Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

link to online business card

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Save money, drop by drop

Reduce, reuse, recycle…

7876It’s the mantra for the modern world. If you’re not living green you will be highly irresponsible, and in many cases a social outcast. We all owe it to our planet, and our children, to go as easy as we can on the resources available, and recycle them when practical to do so. It’s not very difficult, the ways we can do this increase almost daily, with the constant invention of resource and money saving products.

“Across the window-pane It pours and pours;”

One of the most powerful things we can do to recycle and save money is harvesting rainwater. Our planet’s water supplies are under stress: industry and stupidity have ruined much of it, and what remains is dwindling quickly, and thus becoming increasingly expensive. It makes a lot of sense to harvest your own, taking advantage of that which falls from the sky, absolutely free.

There are many worrying reports of dangerous chemicals being found in municipal drinking water. Chromium 6, fluoride, and chlorine, just to name a few. Just one reason why rain is honestly one of the greatest gifts that nature bestows on us, and collecting it for later use really is a no-brainer. Harvesting your own rainwater:

  • eases pressure on municipal supplies
  • eases pressure on storm water systems
  • eases flooding and runoff erosion
  • allows full use of a very finite resource
  • greatly reduces water bills
  • gives you water free from the chemicals that many cities add to their water supplies

Now that you know the benefits of having a suitable rainwater catchment system, let’s go get you some free water!

Rainwater Harvesting

Note the purple reclaimed water piping. Indoors…

Note the purple reclaimed water piping. Indoors…

The absolute ideal situation is where you are in the planning stages of building your home. You can confer with your builder and landscaper, and decide on a water harvesting system that is perfect for you, and have it installed and connected at the same time as your household plumbing.

…and outdoors

…and outdoors

This situation will also let you take full advantage of grey water recycling, which can be expensive to retrofit into an existing plumbing system.

The basis of any rainwater system are the storage tanks. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and one of them will be perfect for you.

The old standard

You can even get them color co-ordinated – match your roof, match your wall or match your garden – your choice.

You can even get them color coordinated – match your roof, match your wall or match your garden – your choice.

The ones I remember as a child were the round, galvanized corrugated iron ones. They were cheap, effective, and could double as many other items when they finally rusted through. (Wood sheds, chicken houses, and cubby houses for kids, to name a few. I made a fully plumbed shower stall out of one when I lived in the bush!)

The art of concealment

The art of concealment

Metal tanks have come a long way since then. Many of them have a food grade membrane sealed to the inside, and are designed to exclude insects, dust and vermin. They need to be placed on a solid slab, and cannot be used underground. They can, however, be repaired by the manufacturer if they are punctured.

The concrete behemoth

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Concrete tank form ready to pour

Concrete is mostly used for fairly large tanks, due to its great structural strength, and these tanks can hold massive amounts of water. They are delivered in preformed parts, or poured on site into a form, which is taken away later.

Lawn on top of a tank

Lawn on top of a tank

They can be installed underground, and this is their main use. They do crack, but very rarely, and this can be repaired although it may prove rather expensive if you have opted for the in-ground model. They come with load bearing tops, so the space above them is not wasted – you can use it just as you normally would any outdoor space.

Good old polyethylene

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If these plants were taller, you probably wouldn’t even see the tank, and you could direct the overflow to water them. Perfect.

It’s been around for quite a while now, and it just gets better with age and engineering. Modern “poly” tanks are strong, lightweight and UV resistant. Most of them come with a 25 year guarantee. They can be situated above or below ground, they are affordable, and they are repairable. They come in all manner of colors, shapes and sizes, and can be customized to perfectly suit your situation.

Rainwater_tanks_4_side_view_2

Good use of otherwise difficult space – these homeowners won’t run out of water for quite a while

There are some things that need to be considered when deciding to purchase one of these systems, the major one being maintenance. It’s not a heavy burden, and many of these will be on a home owner’s to-do list anyway, as part of normal roof maintenance.

REGULAR MAINTENANCE SHOULD INCLUDE:

  • Keeping roof catchments clean and clear of moss, lichen, debris and leaves
  • Cutting back trees and branches that overhang roofs
  • Regular inspections and, if necessary, cleaning of gutters
  • Cleaning gutter and tank inlets and screens every 3–4 months
  • Disinfecting the water supply, if tank contamination is apparent
  • Inspecting tanks annually, and cleaning them if necessary
  • Testing the water periodically

GOOD DESIGN FEATURES SHOULD INCLUDE:

  • A clean, impervious roof made from non-toxic material
  • The absence of lead flashing or lead-based paints
  • A coarse filter and first flush device to intercept water entering the tank, and gutter guards or screens
  • Wire mesh (screens) to cover all tank inlets
  • A covered and light-proof tank
  • Tank taps or draw-off pipes that are at least 100 mm above the tank floor (Alternatively, a floating arm draw-off valve)
  • A tank floor which slopes towards the sump and washout pipe
  • A well-covered manhole for easy access and inspection.

The American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association has a website with a wealth of information about products, regulations, press releases and more. You can sign up for newsletters and get discounts on cool water saving products and services.

Grey water Harvesting

Now that you’ve got all the free water you could want, let me show you how you can use it twice!

Grey water systems divert waste water from your bath, shower and washing machine for further use. It can either run straight to where it is to be used, or you can store it in tanks for later treatment and/or use.

This water can be used to flush toilets and for irrigation purposes. Modern detergents are formulated to comply with very strict safety and environmental regulations, and are perfectly safe to use for watering veggie gardens and lawns.

Your best bet is to contact your local landscaper, and ask them for advice. They will know any relevant laws and regulations that may apply to you, they will be able to source products that will perfectly match your needs, and they can organize installation for you.


Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

link to online business card

Posted in Cape May Landscaper, Gardening, Landscape Contractor, Landscaping | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Building a Sanctuary

 

Medici Villa vineyard – 15th century pergolas still in use today

Medici Villa vineyard – 15th century pergolas still in use today

Pergolas have changed a great deal since the time of their invention, and this was quite a while ago. The earliest surviving garden plan we have found dates back to 1400 BC. The garden belonged to an Egyptian court official, and he chose to construct a pergola at the entrance to it.
The word comes from the Italian pergula, which means a kind of projecting eave, most likely originally added for extra shelter. They evolved into a kind of shopfront or trading structure, and went through many more stages to arrive at the multipurpose structure we refer to as the modern pergola.
The word pergola was not recorded until the 1640’s, when it was used to describe the structures Italians were using to shore up their grape vines.

I don’t have grape vines

The blank slate

The blank slate

Its most basic function is to delineate an area as separate from another, and in its most simple form this is four posts and some roof beams. Sounds boring? Not at all! This simple structure, this blank slate, can become any of a dozen different rooms in your own garden. You can’t get much more versatile than that.
As I’ve said before, using your square footage to maximum advantage is in everyone’s best interests, and a pergola is an excellent way of doing that, while adding some extra value to your home in the process.
Sounds great! What do I do?
In short, whatever you like. Do you like to entertain friends? Make a lounge room. Fancy yourself as a whiz in the kitchen? You can construct the most amazing outdoor cooking space. The materials to construct the basic shape are cheap and easy to come by, and it can be erected quite easily by your local landscaper. So, let me show you what’s possible.
Relax in style

A few chairs and a cosy fire pit gives you all the comforts of home

A few chairs and a cozy fire pit gives you all the comforts of home

For the past ten years the global incidence of vitamin D deficiency has risen remarkably, mostly due to people not getting enough sun. Another problem that a pergola can solve for you! Imagine relaxing in your own outdoors in style – a few drinks, good company and fresh air. If the weather is cold in your area, consider installing a fire pit as well. This small addition will enable you to extend the use of your pergola into the winter months if you choose.
But it’s too windy
No problem. You can attach a trellis to the sides of your pergola, and train plants up it for a windbreak. You could plant a tall windbreak on the appropriate side of your pergola. You can purchase zip up plastic walls and insect screens that will install in no time. You can even use sumptuous UV stabilized fabric for a very grand look indeed. There is no reason not to get a pergola and use it, and so many good reasons why you should.
I’ll get sunburned

Pergola with wind break and shade sail

Pergola with wind break and shade sail

Not if you’re smart. If situated with care, the roof beams of a pergola can provide adequate shade in areas where the sun stays relatively low in the sky. The beams can also be slanted to maximize this effect.

Or you could put a roof on. Shade sail, corrugated plastic sheeting, gorgeous growing vines – there are many options. Imagine enjoying a wine in your pergola with the scent of Jasmine floating around you, its leaves shading you. Beautiful.
Go Al Fresco

BBQ by the pool, anyone?

BBQ by the pool, anyone?

But instead of just eating outside, why not cook outside as well? There are styles to cater to every class of cook, from the standard barbeque to a realistic chef’s kitchen. Many of these styles can be combined with others to create the perfect outdoor space for you. Pergolas are just made to be beside your pool – and why not bring the kitchen out too. You can relax while you watch the kids, and hubby can cook lunch. Or why not make a whole day of it and turn it into dinner.
Intimate or grand?

Add a few chairs, some friends, and yummy wood oven pizza- what could be better? And the oven doubles as the perfect heat source

Add a few chairs, some friends, and yummy wood oven pizza- what could be better? And the oven doubles as the perfect heat source

You can make it whatever you want. From an intimate dinner for two to a banquet for many, a pergola can fulfill all your requirements. All it requires is installation of an appropriate outdoor kitchen, and some cooking skills.
And for the adventurous…
And last, but definitely not least, for the romantic and adventurous out there is the opportunity to make a truly grand and luxurious statement.

Some luxurious bedding, drapes around the sides and solar led lighting and you have a stunning outdoor four poster bed

Some luxurious bedding, drapes around the sides and solar led lighting and you have a stunning outdoor four poster bed

For the warmer nights there is the outdoor bedroom.
You can choose to relax there during the day, or live a little and spend the whole night. Or three. Let the kids spend the night out, knowing they are safe and within easy reach just in case.

Three delightful outdoor rooms under one roof

Three delightful outdoor rooms under one roof

Contact your local landscape supplier for ideas and plans. They will be able to point you toward suitable materials and structures for your area and budget.


link to online business card

Scan the code, and save all my contact info straight to your phone.

Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

Posted in Cape May Landscaper, Extreme Landscaping, Landscape Contractor, Landscape Design in Cape May, Landscape Makeover, Landscaping, Lundholm Landscaping, outdoor entertaining, Outdoor heat, Outdoor Kitchen, Outdoor Living Area | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

An Avian Arcadia

images4 Arcadia is defined as “any real or imagined place that promotes peace and tranquility”. This sounds like something worth aspiring to – we could all use some more peace in our usually hectic lives.

But what about out little bird friends?images2 To see them enjoying a refreshing bath leaves you in no doubt that they absolutely love it. They sing and flap around, getting rid of the grime of the day – it’s a joy to behold. It’s one of the few times we can step inside their minds, as we can so easily relate to their pleasure – it’s just the same as we feel when we have a good shower.

“This little bit chipped off in brilliance, and went whizzing through the slow, vast, succulent stems.”

These days, most standing water is unsafe, contaminated by industrial or urban pollution. It’s becoming harder for the native birds to find water enough to drink, let alone bathe in, and this is where we come in.

We can provide this resource, and in the process reap the benefits of a garden full of gorgeous birds. There are quite a few quite practical reasons to encourage birds to visit your garden, and I will list some of them for you.

“The bird sang louder, clearer – a rich, exulting lay…”

Different bird species prey on different bugs

Different bird species prey on different bugs

Firstly, they are beautiful. Birdsong can’t fail to make you happy, and appreciating the sheer variety of forms and colors of the singers will keep you spellbound. If you have young children, bird watching can be a wonderful introduction to animals, and biology in general.

Birds eat many destructive garden insects

Birds eat many destructive garden insects

Secondly, they fill an important niche in the food chain of your garden, and that is eating bugs – aphids, spiders, mosquitoes, and many others. Depending on which bird species you have visiting you, many pests can be controlled without using any chemicals at all.

Artificial pollination is time consuming and expensive, but increasingly necessary due to declining bee populations

Artificial pollination is time consuming and expensive, but increasingly necessary due to declining bee populations

Another huge benefit of attracting birds is that of pollination. To our great misfortune, overuse of pesticides has devastated the world’s native bee populations. As bees are generally the main pollinators in nature, some farmers are having to turn to artificial methods of pollination to ensure the success of their crops.

Birds can fill this need nicely. Do a little research on the plants you have, find a suitable bird pollinator, and then invite that species to come. You can offer food and shelter tailored to them, and then sit back and let them do the work for you.

“And then he spied a breeze, and situated softly upon a pile of wind…”

Click photo for more information on endangered species.

Click photo for more information on endangered species.

They can also weed for you! Weeding has to be one of the most tiresome garden chores, and birds will happily do it free of charge. The great majority of birds eat some form of seed or another, and each one they eat is one less weed for you to deal with.

In my opinion, one of the most important reason to encourage birds is that of nature conservation. Too many species of birds are doing it tough due to housing and agriculture encroaching on their habitat. We can provide much needed relief by providing a haven for them in the middle of it all. The value of massed individual efforts to support vanishing species’ cannot be overestimated. And, really, we owe it to them.

“…and gliding rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!”

There is no doubt that the beauty of a well kept garden will substantially increase the value of the property it occupies, as well as the value of the whole street in general. This should never be overlooked by the savvy homeowner; it can translate to many more dollars in your pocket in the long run.

The garden, outdoors, and specifically birdsong has been found to decrease stress levels, increase levels of vitamin D, and provide excellent low impact exercise. So for those of us not fortunate enough to own our own homes, there are still overwhelming reasons to encourage our little winged visitors.

“Come, and make thy calm retreat, among green leaves and blossoms sweet.”

imagesrr

Growing worms will encourage ground feeders, which will also feed on less desirable insects

So, how do you do it? What enticements can you use to draw them in, and encourage them to stay? The primary things any creature needs are food, water and shelter, and birds are no different. Provide one or more of these, and they will more than likely stay in your garden, and provide you with years of service and delight.

Firstly, food. There are a few ways you can do this. Buying the appropriate seed, and placing feeders around your house and garden is the obvious choice. However, you can also undertake plantings that encourage the species you want, or just birds in general. There are many attractive plants and grasses that would fulfill this purpose, and your local garden supplier or landscaper will be aware of the local bird populations, and can help you choose plants that will be appropriate for your situation.

A third option is to encourage the species that the birds feed on. Not spraying moths and their caterpillar forms will greatly encourage birds that prey on them. Some insecticides do great harm to native bird populations, so it’s always better to avoid these as much as you can. Build a worm farm and you will encourage ground feeders.

“…Was shrunken hard and dry, and every spirit upon earth seemed fervourless as I.”

Standard “hanging bowl” style – easy and portable

Standard “hanging bowl” style – easy and portable

Water is no doubt the singular most important thing birds need to survive. Due to their low body weight, they lose water quickly and need to drink often, especially in summer.

There are so many gorgeous options for bird baths, there will be one out there you will just love.

The hanging bowl style is simple and effective, so much so that you can literally have them all over your garden. Or choose just one and be able to move it around whenever you want. They are also easy to clean when necessary, and can double as bird feeders.

A solar powered modern “bowl on a pole”

A solar powered modern “bowl on a pole”

Another design that has stood the test of time is the “bowl on a pole”. The basic design has evolved throughout the centuries into some modern marvels, like the solar powered one shown to the left. The trend is increasingly towards multi-purposing, and this one is a perfect example. The incorporation of a solar light into its design would make it a beautiful and useful focal point in any garden.

“Two feather’d guests from Alabama, two together, and their nest, and four light-green eggs spotted with brown…”

Another style available is the solar fountain type. This one will also encourage water insects for your bird friends, and has the important feature of movement.

Solar powered fountain type, but with an old style look

Solar powered fountain type, but with an old style look

Moving water doesn’t stagnate as still water can, and this kind of fountain will require minimal cleaning.

This could quite easily be placed on a balcony, and features a removable cover which will deter mosquitoes

This could quite easily be placed on a balcony, and features a removable cover which will deter mosquitoes

There are also modern solutions for those of you in small spaces. Many bird baths available today are just a shallow bowl, which can be placed anywhere and decorated anyway you want.

Lastly, to go even smaller, a sweet little balcony model that anyone can find room for. You could also float flowers or candles in it and it would look very elegant.

You could also detach this and use it as a table centerpiece

You could also detach this and use it as a table centerpiece

Go see your local nursery or landscaper. They will have a range of bird baths for you to choose from, and will of course arrange installation for you if necessary. Some models need to be plumbed and connected to power, and you need to have this done correctly.


Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

link to online business card

Scan the code, and save my contact info straight to your phone.

 


Posted in Cape May Gardener, Gardening, Informative, Landscaping, Lawn and Garden, weeds | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The mysterious case of the Bag Worm

Bag worms are a nasty little pest, which can quickly defoliate over one hundred species of trees, including cypress, juniper, pine, spruce, apple, elm and willow.
So, what are they?

Typical bag moth case

Typical bag moth case

Bag worms, or bag moths, are a family of the Lepidoptera order of insects, making them closely related to moths and butterflies.

Bag of an as yet unidentified species of moth

Bag of an as yet unidentified species of moth

The family is fairly small compared to some others, comprising about 1350 different species, three of which are found in North America. These are the Evergreen, Snailcase and Grass bagworms. The Snailcase bagworm reproduces without the assistance of any males, and thus each egg is a perfect clone of its parent! They are often mistakenly referred to as Case worms, but the two species are very different. Case worm bags are quite flimsy and made primarily of silk, while bag worms use plant material from their environment to strengthen theirs.

Where are they?

Bagworm larva found in the Negev desert in 2014

Bagworm larva found in the Negev desert in 2014

They are found all over the world, and some of them have even managed to naturally colonize continents they were not formally native to. They thrive in the eastern United States as far west as Nebraska, north to New England, and south throughout Texas. Use of insecticides in urban areas has decreased populations of their predators, (mostly small wasps and hornets), and this is where the largest populations of bag moths are usually found. Woodpeckers, sparrows and white footed mice can also feed on the eggs inside the bags, but the eggs are so hard they pass straight through, starting a new infestation wherever the animal chooses to drop them.
Most bagworms are completely harmless, and you wouldn’t even know they were there, were it not for their little “sleeping bags” all round your garden. In fact, one Madagascan species locally named “Fangalabola”, is encouraged to breed on Acacia, and its pupae collected as protein rich animal food.
A few species, however, can become serious pests, and have caused a great deal of damage to Acacia in South Africa, and oranges (Citrus x-sinensis) in Florida.

A circular argument

Newly hatched bag worm feeding

Newly hatched bag worm feeding

Bag moths have the same life cycle as your average moth, larva to pupa to adult. It starts with a clutch of 300 to 800 eggs inside the bag. These were laid by the female who has since died. Sometimes she falls out of the bag, while in some species the eggs hatch inside the dead parent.

They poke their heads out of the bags…

They poke their heads out of the bags…

The eggs hatch into larvae, which climb out of their bags and head for the top of whatever plant they happen to be on at the time. They spin a fine silken thread up to three feet long, which is caught by the wind and off they float to colonize a new host.
When they find a suitable one, they attach themselves to a branch with silk, and start building their bag. They start with silk, and build on top of that with material from their surroundings. They poke their heads out of the bags and munch on your tree’s leaves and buds, and they can cause major devastation in a very short time. When they get to about an inch long, (although some species can grow to 5 inches!) they close up their head hole and pupate.

Adult male evergreen bag moth – note the vestigial legs

Adult male evergreen bag moth – note the vestigial legs

After attaining adulthood, the males fly off in search of a mate, while the females just wait for a likely suitor to turn up. Both sexes of adult bag moth have only vestigial mouth parts and legs, and the females have only vestigial eyes and no wings at all, as they never leave their bag. This is why both sexes of adult live only a short time – they literally cannot eat.
After mating, which the male accomplishes through the bottom end of his lady’s bag, both will die within hours and the whole cycle starts again.
So what’s the downside?
The larval stage of this insect can wreak absolute havoc with many species of ornamental and fruit trees, and very major damage can be done in only a matter of days to both home gardens and agricultural crops.
Please! Make them stop!

Ten days work

Ten days work

There are several methods you can use to control this pest, and which one you choose will depend upon a variety of factors. There is not much you can do to prevent these pests from visiting your garden, as their mode of transport is generally airborne.
Be gentle.
Not using broad spectrum pesticides is always a good idea, you can retain many beneficial insects this way, such as the wasps that feed on bagworms. Adding flowering plants to the landscape has been shown to increase the numbers of beneficial predatory wasps. If only people would breed ladybugs instead of spraying aphids this world would be a better place.
What should I do?
The best and gentlest way to control bagworms is to go round your garden, remove the bags, and dispose of them by placing in a bucket of soapy water or a sealed container. If you have young children you can make a “Let’s get the bag ladies” game out of it – many hands make light work!
There are several species of bacteria (esp. Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki) which have been shown to be effective in controlling bagworms. These are best applied when the worms are in their early larval stages. Bacillus thuringiensis is available at nurseries and garden centers as Dipel or Thuricide.
When should I do it?
Caterpillars generally emerge at the start of June, so removing the bags before this is the most effective manual control method. The timing could be slightly earlier or later depending on your specific climate zone, so if you are unsure ask your local nursery person for advice. The bagworms will feed voraciously and grow until around late August, when they close up their bags and cease feeding.


Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

link to online business card

Scan the code, and save my contact info straight to your phone.

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Fire-up this Fall

images7The weather is finally getting colder, and the balmy summer days coming to an end. Time to pack up the tools and head inside for four months, sit in front of the fire and read a book.
No! Wrong! Winter provides you with a perfect opportunity to get things accomplished that you don’t have time to do during the frantic growth of spring and the laziness of summer.
In these times when every dollar counts, many people are looking to live smarter, and take advantage of every square foot they can. This means considering their outdoor spaces as rooms, and decorating them appropriately.
Getting outside in the colder months is difficult for most of us. On those days it doesn’t rain, it’s usually too cold to really enjoy the outdoors much. So, instead of curling up inside by the fire, take the fire outside with you!
A Million Years of Campfire Stories

A microscope image of sediment shows burned bone. Analysis revealed that the bone was burned at campfire temperatures, and not by wildfires or lightning, and has been dated at around one million years old. Our oldest BBQ!

A microscope image of sediment shows burned bone. Analysis revealed that the bone was burned at campfire temperatures, and not by wildfires or lightning, and has been dated at around one million years old. Our oldest BBQ!

Our ancestors have been using fire for around 1 million years, and it is arguably the most important tool we have ever used. The industrial revolution would have been impossible without it, and all the things a modern society depends on would not exist without our using it in some form or another.
However, from time immemorial we have had other very important uses for fire, and two of these can be recreated quite easily in your backyard. As well as the obvious use as heating, fire is a social event – it draws people together, inspires conversation. Our ancestors have known this for eons, and gathering around the campfire is still a time honored tradition in many countries.
The Modern Campfire

Ye Olde style campfire - drawing people together for thousands of years

Ye Olde style campfire – drawing people together for thousands of years

You can recreate this ambiance in your own outdoor space with a fire pit. There are so many different styles to choose from, it is really only limited by your imagination.
Fire pits are very versatile, and look amazing in most settings. They are functional, affordable and practical. Whatever style you decide on, rest assured that it will look great, and become the focal point of your outdoor space.images6
If you are using it as a source of heat then it will bring the whole family together, as no one will want to move away. It is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to sit and talk, tell stories, and just have a great time.
That sounds awesome.
images4It is, but it gets even better. As well as the heating and social aspects of your fire pit, you also get to cook on it. There are many gorgeous “coffee table” models that make it very easy to cook and socialise at the same time. You can get “hang over the fire” models which will allow you to use your lovely cast iron cookware. (Or give you an excuse to go buy some!) There’s nothing quite like the taste of hearty food cooked in a Dutch Oven. You can find many great recipes for dutch ovens, and they’re not just for cooking stews!

Imagine – a few chairs, some friends and family, and a big pot of soup hanging over the fire. Heaven on a chilly day.

Imagine – a few chairs, some friends and family, and a big pot of soup hanging over the fire. Heaven on a chilly day.

What else can they do?
Apart from the very practical uses I have mentioned so far, this article would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful sculptural effects you can achieve with fire. It has a mesmerising quality, which can be used to images2very great effect in almost every space.
Where do I get one?
Of course it is possible to build your own fire pit, but as with everything there are downsides. Outdoor fire laws can differ widely, and hefty fines generally apply for those who get it wrong. If you choose to go this route, be very certain about the laws that apply to you before proceeding.
Secondly, some fires just don’t burn properly unless the fireplace is correctly constructed. The oxygen intake, or draft, can have a great impact on the efficiency of burning, and can mean the difference between a lovely fire and a column of grey smoke.

Stunning, practical and unique. Who wouldn't want one?

Stunning, practical and unique. Who wouldn’t want one?

Thirdly, some places don’t even allow wood burning, and all outdoor fires must be gas fueled and connected by a professional. In these cases you need to get help to…
Get it right, first time.
Your best bet is to get your fire pit installed by a reputable landscaper. They will be well aware of any laws applicable to the products they sell or install, and will get it right, first time. They will show you models perfectly suited to your situation and budget, and get it safely installed for you. All you have to do is sit back with a coffee and some friends and enjoy it.


Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping
P.O. Box 1066
Cape May, NJ 08204
Office 609-898-9136
Cell 609-722-1814
Email: rob@lundholmlandscaping.com
http://www.lundholmlandscaping.com

link to online business card

Scan the code, and save my contact info straight to your phone.

 

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It’s Way too Cold and Nasty! Try Landscaping Indoors!?!?

Image

In these cold, windy, nasty times people find it difficult to get out and enjoy nature,  walk on the grass and literally smell the roses. Most of us would love to be able to enjoy nature whenever we want, whenever we need to – and fortunately we can!  Simply look within…  Your home that is… Houseplants!!!

There are so many benefits to the cultivation of indoor plants that you would be crazy not to enjoy the positives yourself. These benefits apply equally to business premises and offices as well as to your private homes, so you can enjoy the well being that plants bring everywhere you go.

Did you know???

-Plants improve indoor air quality – they remove volatile organic compounds emitted from plastics and synthetic furnishings, reduce CO2 by up to 25%, and CO by a whopping 90%. They also filter nitrogen and sulfur oxides, ozone and microscopic dust particulates.

-In a three month study it was shown that workers with plants in their offices suffered considerably less illness, and had less time off.

-Plants help reduce background noise. As well as being brilliant in reducing noise levels in your gardens, plants in your houses can also absorb noise, and thus help promote a calm, peaceful atmosphere.

-They lower stress and counter negative feelings.

-They’ve been shown to improve productivity in both schools and workplaces.

Image

(Cleaning the air while bringing a room to life!)

So let’s get started!

Placement

So, where do I put my plethora of new plants? Anywhere with abundant natural light, but avoid direct afternoon sun.  If you live in a cave and have very limited sunlight, there are many species available that will tolerate less light. If you choose to enjoy more than one houseplant, it’s always good to group them together. Apart from providing a more bountiful feel to the arrangement, it creates a micro-climate for the plants which will benefit all of them. If the air in your home is very dry, place a dish of water somewhere near the plants to create a localized increase in humidity. A light misting with a spray bottle once a day also creates the same effect.

Choice Overload…

So, which ones should you choose? To provide a comprehensive list would be well beyond the scope of this article and your attention span.  Choices depend a great deal on your own location, so the best idea is to ask your local nursery for ideas.  If you don’t have any luck finding a nursery that is open this time of year, box stores, pharmacies and supermarkets usually have a vast selection of house plants.  As a small business person, I always recommend shopping local whenever possible.  Also, check out which plants your friends grow indoors, or any businesses that have them. Chances are they will work for you also. Whenever I go into a hotel lobby, shopping mall or office complex, I always take a few minutes to enjoy the species of plants on display.  Not only do I steal their ideas but I quickly pick up on which houseplant varieties require the least amount of maintenance(plants in these environments are likely only watered once a week, if not less). Some of my best houseplant arrangement ideas I picked up while waiting outside of a clothing store at the mall!

If budget is a problem, you don’t necessarily need to buy houseplants! How about grabbing some cuttings from your friends or neighbors? Most people are more than happy to help out a fellow gardener with plants and good advice, and it’s an excellent way to meet people.

If you have plants outdoors in pots you can bring them in for short periods of time, then rotate them to make an ever changing display. Of course you must use common sense when doing this – you can’t bring one in from the snow to a heated room and expect the plant to like it.

Houseplant Care

Indoor plants don’t require any more care than your outdoor ones, you just need to treat them a little differently. Self watering pots are a great investment in time saving, and water retentive potting mixes will improve this even further. If you have chosen large leafed plants, they will love it if you wipe the dust off their leaves occasionally with water or milk. You can achieve this with the smaller plants by giving them a shower, or taking them outside when it’s raining. In between, you can give them a misting with a spray bottle.

How Often Should I Water??

The most common cause of house plants dying off is over watering.  People ask me on a regular basis, “How often should I water my houseplants”.  My answer is, “The plant will tell you”.  Once a plant starts to wilt, it’s time to water.  Usually once a week, but that could fluctuate based on humidity and a number of other factors.

Image

(Rootbound plants seldom thrive and often choke themselves-  Either reduce the size of a plant like this or plant in a larger pot)

Re-potting is very important, and you should generally do it once a year. Potting mix gets depleted of vital nutrients and trace elements, and fertilizers can only do so much. There are some things in this world that you can buy cheaply with no problems, but potting mix is not one of them. I recommend buying the best you can afford, as it will be so very worth it in the long run.

If you wish your plant to continue growing larger, you need to purchase a pot a little larger than the one it’s in. Don’t forget to include a layer of pebbles or mesh at the bottom for drainage. Gently tease the roots loose after removing the plant from it’s pot, and place it in it’s new home with fresh potting mix.  water it in well and enjoy!  A layer of pebbles on top of the soil will help minimize evaporation as well as provide a cleaner look.

If you want to keep your plant at it’s current size, you can generally trim the roots of most plants without ill effects, and put it back in the same pot with fresh potting mix. I would suggest you thoroughly wash the pot before putting the plant back in, just to help keep any diseases in check.

Just a little something to keep us busy for a few more weeks.

Keep in mind that Lundholm Landscaping offers off season discounts on projects like pavers, hardscaping, planting, water features or anything else that you have in mind.  Contact me in any of the following ways to discuss your project.  My initial 30 minute conversation is always free!

Rob Lundholm

Lundholm Landscaping

P.O. Box 1066

Cape May, NJ 08204

Office 609-898-9136

Cell 609-722-1814

email rob@lundholmlandscaping.com

lundholmlandscaping.com

Posted in Cape May, Cape May Landscaper, Extreme Landscaping, Gardening, Home Maintenance, House Plants, landscape Design in Avalon, Landscape Design in Cape May, landscape Design in Stone Harbor, Landscaping, Lundholm Landscaping | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment