Maintaining Winter Gardens Need Not Be Boring

plant-with-snow-in-winterWinter is here to stay and is making great performance of brisk winds and threatening snow storms.

As an avid gardener, you know your work is never done – no matter the season.

The green thumb knows there are a variety of ways to keep busy during the winter.

From planting crops that can handle the winter temperatures to growing plants indoors, winter gardening can be accomplished.

The benefits of winter gardening are vast.

As hibernation season, we stay in more and exercise less, so gardening is a way to get outside and be active.

Another benefit is avoiding the price hike in fruits and vegetables by growing your own. Of course, the benefits of produce itself will ward off illnesses that may attack during the vulnerable Flu season.

Here’s a really cool video I found on how to build a raised vegetable garden:

The best benefit of all is the joy that will come from keeping your green thumb active. What you enjoy most about spring and summer can be indulged by the environment you create with winter gardens.

Now to select your plants!

A bit or research will go into this process as your plant selection depends on your region, location of growth (indoors, outdoors, solar garden) and personality. However, if you are providing a heated environment, you are may choose almost any plant to grow.

Produce – for those who enjoy fewer pests.

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Potatoes
  • Rosemary
  • Parsley
  • Kale
  • Parsnip
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • … and more

Flowers – for those who enjoy a beautiful, colorful view.

  • Snowdrops
  • Bergenia
  • Hellebores
  • Camellias
  • Pansies
  • Petunias
  • Snap Dragon
  • Iceland Poppy
  • and Cyclamen

Trees – for the ambitious green thumbs.

  • Japanese Maple
  • Crape-myrtle

Other – for those who dare to be different.

  • Ornamental Grass
  • Winter Berries (such as Nandina, Evergreen Hollies and Beautyberry)
  • Witch Hazel

During this cold and darker season, don’t forget to get the kids involved. It can be fun to help plant and watch the crop grow.

They can take snap-shots of the growth process and create a presentation or they can simply give it as a home-warming gift to a family friend. There are many options that are fun and educational.

This post was written by Philippe Allaire, a guest author with over 15 years experience in the home improvement field, from landscaping to kitchens renovations, together we are sure to accomplish any project around the house you may have.

Adding a Little Sound and Feng Shui To Your Landscape

chimesWhen designing your landscape, it’s important to think not only about stuff like:

  • your budget
  • what size plants to get
  • irrigation
  • trees

… you know, “stuff”.

It’s also important to think about the feel of your yard, or put another way, the mood. Is it going to be a funky array of colors, sounds, and smell or a relaxing Zen kind of garden?

In this post, I’d like to talk a little about adding sound and mood (or emotion) into your landscape design.

The Wonderful Connection Between Wind Chimes and Feng Shui

Those that purchase wind chimes and hang them in the doorways in their home commonly do so because of their decorative value.

There is just something uniquely appealing to the look of these chimes. Of course, the calming sound they make adds even more to their unique value. Beyond the common aesthetics, are there more benefits that can be gained from the placement of wind chimes.

For those that weave the chimes in with the principles of Feng Shui decor, the results could literally be holistic in nature.

At this point, some might find it incredulous that Feng Shui and wind chimes are capable of working so well together.

How is this possible?

Once you understand the basic principles of what Feng Shui is, you will discover that it might be quite easy to tap into the amazing energy flow Feng Shui manipulates in order to deliver on its holistic merits.

What is Feng Shui?

For those not familiar with the concept of Feng Shui, this is an ancient Chinese method of tapping into the universal life flow energy traveling through the earth. This life flow energy is commonly called Qi (aka Chi) and it flows through the meridian points of the human body.

When Qi flow is blocked, the body can become ill. When Qi flow is enhanced, then the health of the body might be optimized. Most means of cultivating Qi center on breathing exercises, seated and moving meditation, and physical exercises.

Feng Shui takes things into a completely different direction.

The words Feng Shui are translated as “wind-water.”

This refers to the notion that Qi flows freely through the air, but can be trapped in water. Since it is believed Qi is flowing through the air, it becomes obvious how there just might be a solid connection between the placement of wind chimes and the ability to direct external Qi flow from the earth.

The Connection between Feng Sui and Wind Chimes

Before delving into the relationship between Feng Shui and wind chimes, it is important to note there are many different schools of thought when it comes to how the chimes should be used to cultivate Qi energy.

No one, single approach can be considered right or wrong. However, there may be certain strategies that are better for you than others. A little bit of research and trial and error may be required.

Feng Shui commonly revolves around the placement of objects in order to help direct the flow of Qi. So placing items in your garden in specific areas is something you’ll need to do to achieve the proper flow of Qi.

Through effectively placing objects in a set way, Qi energy can be manipulated in a manner that yields the most positive results. While wind chimes are traditional placed in an environment that puts them in the direct path of wind, those hoping to cultivate Feng Shui might put them inside the home in a manner more preferable to working with Qi than the wind.

The prime purpose of mixing wind chimes with Feng Shui will generally be intended to get rid of negative Qi energy.

Contrary to what some might assume, not all Qi energy has a positive effect.

yin-yangKeeping in accordance with the theory of Yin/Yang, positive Qi energy cannot exist unless there is also negative Qi energy.

This does not mean, however, you have to be at the mercy of negative Qi energy. There are ways to address and reverse the presence of it and wind chimes would be the most common way, especially in your overall landscape design.

Specific Strategies to Eliminate Negative Qi Energy In Your Garden

In order to eliminate the negative Qi energy from a home, simply hanging wind chimes in an errant manner will not work.

Feng Shui is all about the deliberate placement of items in the home and garden. Through following along with common, well established strategies, it might become much more likely the chimes do as is expected of them.

The placement of the wind chimes in a northwest direction would be one traditional strategy that can be employed with a metal wind chime. If the chime is made of wood, southwest would be the better direction. Symbols and numbers on the wind chimes will further enhance their ability to deliver results. 6 and 8 would be the best numbers.

buddaSimilarly, there are symbols such as a Buddha or two hearts would be helpful to the chimes.

Looks do count!

And also…

In addition to helping reverse the presence of negative energy from a home and garden, Feng Shui wind chimes can enhance the look of an interior. For many, if the chimes do this, then they have done their job!