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What exactly is a Rock Garden?

Rock gardens are a great way to display rocks and sunny, alpine plants together. Rock garden should look natural and not superimposed. It can be made in open sunshine or partial shade.

What exactly is a Rock garden?

Garden planned around natural rock formations or rocks artificially arranged to replicate natural (often mountainous) conditions. The concept of rock gardens is believed to have been introduced from China and Japan into the Western world in the 17th cent. They have since gained wide popularity as an ideal method for the cultivation of mountain flora and for beautifying hilly, stony or other awkward terrain. 

Rock plants usually have long roots that enable them to obtain moisture even when the surface is hot and dry. Low plants requiring well-drained conditions are suited to rock gardens: besides alpine plants, these include stonecrops and species of phlox, bluebell, and succulents.

A rock garden can provide several different habitats even in quite a small area. A rock, for example, can be placed so that sun-loving plants make the most of its sunny face whereas shade-tolerant plants can nestle in its north-facing shadow. A large garden is not essential as it is possible to incorporate a rock garden into all sizes of the plot.

Choosing the right site:

  • Aim to use the most open position, away from overhanging trees or tree roots, where plants will receive sun for the greater part of the day.
  • It is better to have fewer hours of sun per day than the whole day in light shade
  • Choose a position where the drainage is perfect unless you are prepared to build raised beds or enhance drainage in other ways.

Choosing the best Rocks for garden:

      Rock gardens are quite an investment in hard materials such as rock, stone, gravel or slate.Choose local stone if possible.

  • Sandstone is an example of a suitable rock, widely available, that is not too alkaline (limestone) or hard and dense (granite).
  • Limestone from natural ‘limestone pavements’ was widely used.  These pavements are a scarce and finite resource with a unique flora.  
  • Choose stone in a range of to construct a natural-looking outcrop.

Placing the stone:

To create as natural a rock garden as possible select large stones to act as ‘keystones’. Position the larger of these first and place the remaining ones so that the layer look natural. Use a spade to dig out hollows to set the stone into. A crowbar will help move the stones into their permanent positions. Support them with smaller stones or bricks underneath. Aim for a naturalistic look when setting the rock in place. The rocks should tilt backward, with the strata running the same way. Use weed-free topsoil for the top layer of the rock garden, working it underneath and between the stones to set them firmly in place.  Bury the stones up to a third of their depth, firming them in place. Leave the areas between the stones uniform and add the specially made compost over the area to create planting pockets.


Planting the rock garden: 

Remove the plant from the pot, make sure the plants are planted firmly in the compost mix and are top-dressed with gravel or soil. Set a few plants first, then add rocks around them. Try to cover as much of the surface as possible with rocks and plants.

Plants for rock garden:

A wide range of plants called’ Alpines’ can be grown successfully, like achillea, alyssum, azalea, begonia semperflorens, dianthus, gazania, linum, primula. Perennials like – phlox, saxifrage, verbena can be grown too. Besides, one can grow cacti, succulents, euphorbia milli, sedum, miniature roses, lantana, and ferns.

There are many ways you can design your rock garden. Select the perfect site that is suitable to your landscape conditions to achieve a better effect and if you choose plants wisely, no matter what kind of design you have chosen, you will have a beautiful, thriving rock garden to be proud of !

Happy gardening

 

 

 

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Use of Bamboo In Landscaping

Bamboo is a spectacular exotic and incredibly durable plant that can be seen in many gardens. Most varieties grow to be extremely tall and even though they can be trimmed from the top, most grow to be well above three feet in height.

This article will give you the tips that you need to grow bamboo in your garden as well as show you a few ideas that will inspire you to incorporate bamboo into your outside decor. Bamboo is one of the most beautiful, hardy, drought-and-pest-tolerant plants a homeowner can add to his yard. Many bamboo types make perfect privacy screens, hedges, and ornamental landscapes.

What is Bamboo?

Bamboo is a perennial evergreen in the grass family – yes, it’s not a tree – but it’s a grass! More than 1,200 different species grow around the world. Various species grow to heights of 100 feet or more. It grows new shoots without replanting and can be harvested within five years for building materials.

There are two main types of bamboo –

  1. Running bamboos are considered invasive because they spawn underground “runners” (called rhizomes) that extend away from the parent plant by large distances.
  2. Clumping bamboos produce a different type of underground rhizome that sprout new stems (clums) next to the original plant, which then expand slowly each year.Clumping bamboo is most often used in landscaping because it’s dense, fast-growing, and prunable.

Bamboo features

  • Bamboo is available in various colors, sizes, shape and height which gives visual interest and a striking design to a landscape.
  • Bamboo is versatile, hardy and very fast-growing, doesn’t require any fertilisers to grow and drought tolerant.
  • Bamboo plants grow successfully in a range of climatic conditions.
  • Bamboo is easy to grow.
  • Bamboo is evergreen.
  • Bamboo is self-renewing.

 Use of bamboo in Landscaping

Bamboo Wall Accent – Bamboo is used in this idea in two different ways. It is first used to create a more three-dimensional wall that stands out and looks amazing against the wood in this garden. Secondly, there are also live bamboo plants that bring life to the corner of the garden.

  

Screening Purpose –Natural bamboo screens can be trimmed to desired heights and widths and grow quicker and taller than shrubs and hedges. Popular bamboo species used for this purpose include clumping varieties, Golden Bamboo and Dwarf Malay.

Bamboo Hedge– Everyone likes to have a bit of privacy in their back yard, and this bamboo idea creates a perfect hedge-like design that will give you just that. The hedge is narrow, so it does not overwhelm the space, but it provides a good bit of cover.

Containers- Growing a bamboo privacy screen in containers is not only a great idea for those who live in densely populated areas where limited space is an issue, but also for those who rent or lease their homes and don’t want to make any permanent changes to the landscape. Containers submerged in the ground, placed on your patio or even grouped around your yard perimeter for a hedge effect always look amazing.

 

Alternative uses– Environmentally friendly and durable bamboos are also used for patio furniture, fencing, edging, water features, wind chime and for ornamental areas such as Zen gardens.

Common Clumping Varieties Used for Landscaping

Alphonse Karr or Multiplex Bamboo -This species has golden culms (bamboo stems) striped with green. This variety can grow as high as 30 feet and is often used for privacy screens.

Image result for alphonse karr bamboo

Golden Bamboo – Golden bamboo is a commonly planted variety with finely textured green leaves and attractive golden-yellow stems. Usually used as a screening plant, it grows quickly more than 20 feet if not trimmed and spreads to create a dense hedge or screen. Unfortunately, this plant becomes invasive so it’s not recommended for all gardens.

Image result for golden bamboo

Giant Buddha’s Belly -This bamboo type features bulging (“Buddha belly” culms and long, narrow green leaves, and can grow up to 50 feet.

Buddha belly Bamboo

Murray Island -This type of bamboo forms dense clumps with lighter green, textured leaves and its lush top growth also makes it ideal for privacy screens. It grows up to 13 feet in height.

Chinese Dwarf Bamboo – Compact and lush, this variety lends itself better to pot planting than other clumping species. Chinese Dwarf Bamboo is also a popular hedge choice and can grow up to nine feet tall.

Timor Black Bamboo -This clumping form of black bamboo has light green leaves and dark culms with lighter stripes. It grows upwards of 50 feet.

Black bamboo

I hope this article inspires you to add gorgeous, functional and evergreen bamboo to your landscape!

Happy-gardening

Benefits Of Inviting Birds To Your Garden

Who wouldn’t like to wake up with the chirp of birds? Who wouldn’t love to see dainty winged angels fluttering from one corner to another? But, thanks to urbanization, the bird population has decreased and it’s a rare sight to spot a few every now and then. So, the beautiful thoughts mentioned above, well, just remain thoughts. At Green My Life, we have amalgamated a few ideas to attract little feathery creatures in your garden.
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Cover me Up! – with a Garden Umbrella

Today the day is sunny sunny sunny and it’s not funny funny funny. We all love the heat but in summers it’s the shade that we need. Be it scorching heat or pitter patter raindrops a Garden Umbrella will always come to your rescue!

Sunshade Umbrella

Sunshade Umbrella

Nicknamed as a “Patio Umbrella” its basic job is to provide shade during leisure activities. Be it a deck, yard, or your plain Jane garden a snazzy umbrella can bring life to any of these places. But, looks are not the only yardstick, one should always keep in mind of the type, location, fabric and mechanism before buying the umbrella.

THE MULTITUDINOUS OPTIONS

  • Sunshades: As the name suggests, they are meant for shading from the sun. It looks like a round disk on a pole, the one you can see near the pools.
  • Pagoda: These are a little jazzy Asian style inspired umbrellas. Pagodas are what you see in palaces in the south east Asian countries.
    Market Umbrella

    Market Umbrella

  • Market: They are octagonal with vented tops. These are very popular and can be spotted in diners and cafés.
  • Cantilever: It has a sturdy base with a pole and is adjustable. It caters for a larger crowd and area.
  • Wall mounted:  These are detachable umbrellas with brackets that let you mount it on a wall. A wicked way of saving space.
  • Tulip: It’s what the name says. If you want to make a unique and stylish statement go for this tulip like canopy umbrella.

THE ABCs OF GARDEN UMBRELLAS
1. Zero down on the right size. Consider the available space. Always go for a 5′ larger than the desired space for full cover.

Cantilever Umbrella

Cantilever Umbrella

2. Weigh down the options for the frame and also the anchor weight. Aluminium suits perfectly because of its durability and light weight. Wood is also an option but a tad more expensive.

3. Choose the fabric of the canopy with care keeping in mind the use, and the ability to withstand weather changes. Go for polyester or polyester blend. Opt for fabrics that are UV and mildew resistant. If you’re buying it for ruins always go for waterproof fabrics.

SHOW ‘EM SOME LOVE

  • Wash each part with damp cloth or mild soapy water.
    Tulip Umbrella

    Tulip Umbrella

  • Close the umbrella when not needed and especially before inclement weather.
  • Open with care. Make sure that it is not in deadlock position and don’t pull too hard.

Now that you have all the fundas of garden umbrellas, just sit back with a book on that chaise under the umbrella with a pinacolada and a good book.
HAPPY RELAXING 🙂

Written by Nishta Chakravorty for GreenMyLife