Roses in Pots for Beginners

unduhan-17If you want to grow roses in your garden but don’t have space left, try growing them in containers. They can also add beautiful accents that brighten up your landscape and perfume the air.

Pick the Right Roses

Not all roses will work well in containers. For example, unless you put it against a trellis or otherwise provide support, one of the climbing roses would be a poor choice to pot up as it will sprawl everywhere. Grandifloras live up to their name and tend to be on the taller side in addition to large blooms. Shrub roses, species roses and older cultivars of roses also reach dimensions that make it difficult to grow in a contained space. Leave the hybrid teas to your landscape as they do not usually grow well in pots.

Four types of roses that are especially suitable for containers are:

  • Groundcover These stay low and look lovely spilling over the edges of your container. Depending on the size of your pot and the groundcover variety, you could also possibly use it as a border around a larger plant.
    • Miniature Since these types of roses have been cultivated to stay on the small side, they are naturally well suited to growing in containers.
    • Patio If you want a rose that is not miniature, but not as big as a standard rose, try a patio rose. They are the type called floribunda, on a smaller scale.
    • Polyantha These bear clusters of small roses on a shorter plant. Check the tag to make sure you are not purchasing a climbing type of polyantha rose.

    Water Thoughtfully

    There is a delicate balance to be maintained when you are planting roses (or any other plant) in containers. You want a potting medium that drains well enough that root rot is less likely, but is heavy enough to hold some water. The container needs to have enough drainage holes so that the excess water can flow out. However, this also means that water runs through it relatively quickly and the plant can dry out faster.

    Keep an eye roses so you know when you need to water. A good general rule of thumb is to water when the top of the soil surface is dry–you want to keep them moist, not wet–the soil should have as much moisture as a rung out sponge. You will also have more success if you water outside of the period of 10 AM – 6 PM, as this is when it is usually hottest in the day and evaporation is accelerated. As much as possible, try to keep the water off the leaves of roses as wet leaves can lead to powdery mildew and other fungi and disease.

    Drip irrigation can also be a successful way to keep your container rose happy. These systems are designed to deliver the water directly to the root zone instead of spraying over a general location.

    Fertilize Regularly

    When you place a rose within a finite amount of soil, it tends to use up all of the nutrients available. Apply fertilizer every other week to make sure that they have access to all of the food that they need for proper growth. Be sure to follow the directions as over-fertilizing can be as bad or worse than not feeding at all.   Apply to the soil and not the leaves (unless the directions instruct you to do so) because foliage can be burned by the salts in fertilizers.

    Repot and Change the Soil Every Few Years

    If you start with a miniature rose or one that is at maturity, you may not need to repot for many years unless the roots start coming out the bottom or the pot breaks. With most other roses, though, you will need to change containers every few years as the plant grows.

    While you are repotting, go an extra step and change out the soil if it has been there for more than two years. The plant has depleted some of the nutrients, and the soil has probably compacted, so a fresh batch will keep the nutrient level at an acceptable level. Over time, salts and minerals can also accumulate in the soil from fertilizers, so this may potentially damage the rose.

Trees and Shrubs in Pots

unduhan-18Whether you are limited on space, growing plants that don’t usually survive your local weather or just looking to create focal points, container trees and shrubs can be a lovely addition to your landscape. However, there are some considerations that you will need to remember in order to help them stay happy and healthy.

Research to Determine What Trees and Shrubs Are Best

One big mistake that some gardeners make is falling in love with a plant online or at a nursery and whisking it home with nary a thought as to whether it will actually work in your garden. This is especially true when you are trying to place a tree or shrub in a container. The cute little sapling that you spied at the garden center can turn into a tree that is over 100 feet tall.

The basics that you should check out for potential candidates include:

  • Preferred hardiness zones
  • Height and width at maturity
  • Light and water requirements
  • Potential for litter 

    Use Dwarf Cultivars as Available

You are asking a lot of a tree or shrub when you place it into a container.

The roots have far less space to work with and can naturally become crowded. When you choose dwarf cultivars and species that are naturally on the smaller size, it is easier for them to adapt to the limited area presented. This is especially important when you are working with fruit trees since they will need extra energy to produce fruit and you want a good root base.

Choose Your Pot Size Carefully

Picking the right size of container for your tree or shrub can be a bit tricky at first. You do not want one that is too small, of course, as this will leave little room for root growth and it is likely to become rootbound and struggle or die. Since it is a large plant, you might naturally think to place it in a very large container so it will have room even when it is fully grown.

However, you can definitely run into problems if the pot is too large for the plant’s current size. When there is an abundance of soil present and not enough roots to take up the water, it can retain moisture for too long and cause root rots that can ultimately kill the plant.

For best results, plan on moving up in 2” increments every couple of years until it reaches maturity. Repot sooner if you notice roots escaping from the drainage holes. If it is rootbound when you change containers, perform root pruning by use a box cutter or other sharp instrument to score along the sides of the root ball and remove the mass of roots. This will stimulate new root growth and keep the plant healthier.

Drainage is Essential

Even if you have the correct size of container, you can run into root rot and other problems if there are not enough drainage openings present. Check your pot (especially if you are using an alternative form of planter like a barrel or bucket that is not necessarily sold with drainage holes) and use a drill to create more as needed.

Protect the Roots in Freezing Weather

Many trees and shrubs have adapted for survival through the harsh conditions present during winter. Growth slows and the plant goes into dormancy. The roots are protected by the ground surrounding them and the temperatures are at least a little higher than in the air above.

In a container, there is a lot less buffer present for the roots. It is much easier for the soil to freeze completely and cause damage. Options are to bring the plant inside, bury it in the ground or place it somewhere like a garage or basement. If you choose to bury them, add mulch on top for extra protection and leave a space around the trunk to prevent insect and disease damage.

How To Avoid Decorating Mistakes

images-32One of the things that makes decorating so much fun is the huge amount of resources that we can go to to learn more about how to make a beautiful room. We can read books and magazines, watch TV shows, read online articles, and visit decorating showhouses to find all sorts of wonderful advice on things to do to get a beautifully decorated room.

But even with so much advice and inspiration on what to do, it can still be hard to learn what not to do or what mistakes you can avoid even before you even start a decorating project.

So to help fill in a few of those gaps, here is our list of the 20 easiest decorating mistakes to make and the best things not to do in order to get around them.

But when the time comes to make decisions, they should be yours. It’s your home and you should feel comfortable with the choices.

2. Don’t Paint First
You can buy paint in every color under the sun. In fact, you can have paint mixed in any imaginable color you might want. Choose fabric, carpet, and upholstery first.

3. Don’t Choose Paint From a Paint Chip
A small chip of a paint sample might look great in the fluorescent light in the paint store. But a whole wall of it might be overpowering. When you’ve decided on a color, purchase a quart of the color and paint a small section to see how the color looks in the room with natural light. If you don’t want to mess up the walls, paint a piece of cardboard and tape it on the walls in the room where you plan to use the color.

4. Don’t Decide on Colors in a Store
Never buy fabric, flooring, or paint on your first visit. Ask for samples of paint and carpet and swatches of fabric so you can see what they look like in your home. Check them out in natural light and in the evening with lamps.

Container Garden Edibles

There is something ridiculously fabulous and satisfying when you make something delicious from food you have grown. Over the years I have grown more and more edibles in my containers because I get such a kick and pleasure from cooking with my own produce.

This page will tell you where on the site to find the recipes and also the links on how to grow what is in the recipes. I’ve also thrown in a few recipes for things I don’t grow, like cranberries (which some people do grow in pots), that are just so delicious I wanted to share them.

1.  Garlic Scape and Basil Pesto

I love recipes that involve no cooking and this is one of my favorites. I blend up a few huge batches when scapes are in season and then freeze them in small jars. Sometimes I make scape pesto and sometimes I make a combination of scape and basil pesto. One of the beauties of scape pesto is that it doesn’t turn brown and stays a bright green, where basil pesto can quickly turn an unappealing brown. Another approach I sometimes use is to make and freeze small jars of garlic scape pesto and then do the same with basil pesto. I defrost one of each and mix them together at that poing.

2.  Three Versions of Tomatillo Salsa

Tomatillos are incredibly easy to grow. They do sprawl so you need a fair amount of space and a big pot, but the plants are amazingly prolific, pretty drought and negligence resistant and not anywhere as prone to disease as tomatoes. I also love the way they grow from flowers into Chinese lantern-looking pods which then becomes filled with fruit. While I have tried growing purple tomatillos, and they look pretty when raw, I don’t like the color when cooked.

3.  Simple Curried Pumpkin Soup Recipe

Pumpkins are a lot of fun to grow. You will need some space, even for small varieties. Use a big pot, be sure to give them lots of sun and water. While I don’t get many pumpkins from my potted vines, I really enjoy the ones I do get. This pumpkin soup is super easy and a crowd pleaser. I also love the seeds.

Herbs in Pots

Herb container gardens are the best. I love growing herbs in containers because they’re beautiful, they give you great bang for your buck and many are easy to grow. It is also convenient. Even if you have miles of property and gardens galore, it is really great to be able to step out your door and pick a handful of fresh herbs from a beautiful container garden. Besides, when I’m cooking dinner it’s often dark, and rather than rooting around my garden wearing a headlamp, it is much easier to turn on my porch light and go out to my pots and snip some fresh herbs.

You can grow almost any herb in a container and most are very easy. However, herbs can have different water requirements, and some are more finicky than others, so be sure to put herbs that require similar care in the same pot.

You can grow as many types of herbs in one container as you want, as long as you make sure that all the herbs in a single pot share the same sun, water and soil preferences. For example, rosemary likes it hot and dry while parsley needs steady moisture. They wouldn’t be perfect in the same pot (though to be honest, I have pushed this envelope and put unmatched bedfellows together, fairly successfully).

I also like to grow pots with one type of herb per pot and then group the pots.

Plants Per Container
I’m a big fan of crowded, bountiful container gardens. I pack in plants and most do fine. Particularly since herbs thrive if you keep pinching them back and harvesting them, you can usually keep them from strangling each other. One caveat to this is basil, which needs good air circulation so really doesn’t like crowding. Also, if you’re trying to save money, and are patient, buy small plants and let them grow to fill your container.

Herbs in Container Garden Design
Don’t be shy about using herbs as decorative elements in any container garden. They can look fantastic and provide a great texture and scent mixed with annuals or perennials. Again, just be sure to pair them with plants that have the same requirements for light and water.

Great for Growing Plant

Think of raised beds as super large container gardens. Raised beds are often used by gardeners when their soil is less than perfect–and let’s face it, most soil is far from perfect. If there is too much sand, for example, water will go through too fast and leave the plants thirsty. Many soils are rocky, making it difficult for plants to send down roots. Building your own garden box on top of the ground allows you to get better results than you would otherwise. You can have the soil you want, not the soil you are stuck with.

Because they lift plants up, raised beds also help people access the plants more easily for weeding, watering and harvest and put less stress on joints and are kinder to backs.

What Can Be Grown in a Raised Bed?

The good news is that there are many plants–and almost all vegetables– will work well in a raised bed. They are commonly used for growing fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. If you are growing root vegetables, you may want to dig down deeper to make sure there is enough loose soil for roots to properly form.

Efficient methods like square foot gardening can be used to maximize production and are easy to lay out in a grid system within the box.

Types of Construction Materials

There are a variety of options available if you want to create a raised bed. Wood planks are a common choice. Make sure that chemicals have not been used to treat them, as these can leach into the soil and into your vegetables, fruits and herbs.  For this reason, if you are going to re-use found wood or pallets, source them carefully as in many cases, they have toxins and/or pesticides present in the wood. Choose fastening materials like bolts or screws that are made of a substance that will not rust, like stainless steel.

Cinder blocks are another possible option for your raised bed. They will last almost indefinitely and weather better than wood. If you lay the concrete blocks so that the holes are facing up, the sides will create a solid wall. Use rebar inside each opening to keep the blocks from shifting. Plants that stay on the smaller side (some herbs, onions, radishes, etc.) can even be grown in the holes. Watch on your local classifieds, Freecycle and Facebook yard sale groups as they are sometimes offered for free if you haul them away.

If your garden is naturally rocky, use that to your advantage by building your raised bed for free with those stones. These are also a common item given away on classified groups if you are willing to pick them up.

Another great option is to buy a raised bed made of fabric. One of the advantages of a fabric bed is that at the end of the season, you can dump out the soil, wash off the fabric, fold it up and store it for the winter. You can even make a raised bed from a kiddie pool.

How to Start Container Gardening

Anyone can learn how to container garden. Seriously. I used to be a confirmed slayer of all plants. My thumb was not green, it was a destroyer of green. However, over time I learned how to keep plants in containers alive, at least for the most part. I still do kill plants–on a fairly regular basis–but have come to the conclusion that all gardeners do. It’s just part of the deal. A reasonable goal goal, over time, is to kill fewer and fewer plants.

For me, the pleasure of gardening far outweighs the inevitable pain of losing plants. One of the ways to achieve this is to take guilt out of the equation of gardening. There is a learning curve and with each failure, if you can take the knowledge and experience from that, it will make you a better gardener.

The good news is that there can be huge joy in container gardening even with inevitable

Here’s the thing. You can grow gorgeous container gardens even if you have very little sunand you can grow gorgeous containers if you are drenched in sun all day long (or anything in between for that matter). However, for your container gardens to thrive, much less be spectacular, you need to accurately assess how much sun your pot or garden will get. And here’s a warning. If you just guess, or think you know how much sun exposure an area gets, chances are very high that you will be wrong–by a lot.

No matter how good a gardener you are, the tendency I have seen again and again (ok, I’m guilty too) is to grossly overestimate how much sun an area gets.

The first thing you should do is figure out, either by timing with a watch, or using a sun calculator, how much direct sun your containers will get. You need to do this close to the time of year that you are going to plant, because in the depths of winter, the sun is in a different place than it is in the summer. The amount of sun your pots get will determine what you can plant in them. You can’t know what will successfully grow, unless you know how much sun the plants will have.

Making sure a plant has the amount of sun it requires to thrive is critical for any container garden

Focal Point in a Room

A room will feel much more inviting and offer a more comfortable place to rest if you arrange the furniture or accessories around a focal point. Sometimes a focal point is an architectural feature. At other times, a focal point can be a special picture, mirror, or dramatic piece of furniture. Learn how to find a focal point in your room and how to make the most of it.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Varies

Here’s How:

  1. Look around your room to determine the ‘biggest’ feature. It may be a fireplace, a picture window, or a built-in bookcase. This will generally be your focal point.
  2. If your room has no distinguishing architectural features, identify the largest furniture pieces. These could become your focal point.
  3. A focal point should be something interesting to look at, something colorful or texturally and visually appealing.
  4. You can create a focal point for the room, by focusing on artwork, floral arrangements, paint color, or shelving.
  5. The focal point should be the ‘first thing’ you see when entering a room. If possible, build your furniture arrangement around the focal point.
  6. If an outdoor view is the focal point, orient the furniture inside and outside to take advantage of window areas.
  7. You can create a focal point wall by painting one wall a different color from the rest and accessorizing with a wall arrangement, artwork, or display shelves.
  8. Use lighting to enhance your focal point. For example, use a picture light, track light, or wall washer fixture on a painting or wall display.
  9. If you’ve identified a mantle or shelf as the focal point, use plants and accessories to decorate them.
  10. Use contrasting color to make the focal point stand out. For example, use a light wall color behind a dark wood armoire.

Living Room Basics

Whether you live in a cozy apartment or rambling suburban home, a cottage by the sea, or a lodge in the mountains, your living room creates a lasting impression for all who enter. It tells your family and guests if you’re formal and elegant or fun-loving and laid-back. It sets the mood for the home and should be a reflection of the owner’s personal taste.

A living room can be arranged in many ways.

For some, this space is formal and perfect at all times, to be entered and used only when guests come to call. To others, it serves as a comfortable family gathering place for watching TV, doing homework, or visiting. Some have a cozy nook for sipping tea and curling up with a book.

A formal living room, historically referred to as a drawing room or parlor, often showcases the homeowner’s finest possessions.

The décor is often symmetrical—a sofa with painting above, flanked by two end tables topped by lamps. Formal window treatments of luxurious fabrics trimmed with braid and fringe, and perfectly set pairs of occasional chairs and tables follow traditional rules of decorating. Few homes these days have space for such a perfect (and often useless) room that is more to be looked at than used.

Decorating style has evolved to allow a less formal look. While retaining certain elements such as beautiful millwork or lush fabrics, the more casual living room has lighter window treatments and more comfortable furniture. Studied symmetry has given way to softer lines, fewer rules, and more color.

A more casual family room style of living room has a character of nonchalance. While furniture and fabrics should be coordinated, there are few rules.

Choices are governed by practicality. Furniture selection and placement is less structured. Seating around a TV is often necessary, with a table for casual eating. In today’s home, the living room may even have a computer center, so a desk may have a place of prominence.

Regardless of what purpose your living room serves, the fabrics, colors, furniture, and accessories should be what you love.

Basic Household Tool Kit

You may have lots of tools for particular projects that you use infrequently, and they can be kept in a garage or workroom. But having basic tools handy in your living area makes it much more convenient to do simple home repairs.

You might keep these basic tools in a hall closet, a kitchen drawer, or in a handy tool box or plastic box on a shelf in the entry or mudroom.

It doesn’t really matter where you keep them, as long as they’re easy to get at for quick home repairs. You’ll save lots of inconvenient trips out to the garage or down to the basement.

Your in-home basic tool kit should include these basic do-it-yourself items.

Whether you measure for a tablecloth or window treatment, or a whole room for new flooring, choose one large enough to easily measure your home’s spaces. A second smaller tape of 6 to 12 feet can be put in a pocket or purse for shopping trips or for hanging pictures.

Screwdrivers
Two basic screwdrivers are a necessity. Choose both a good quality flat head screwdriver and a Phillips head screwdriver in a medium size. A set of tiny screwdrivers will come in handy when you need to tighten a pair of eyeglasses or fix audio or computer equipment.

Pliers
One pliers will not do. Get a small assortment in various sizes and shapes. You’ll use a needle-nose pliars most frequently, but have a heavy grooved pliers for removing nails or large staples.

Wire cutting pliers are good for wiring and craft jobs.

Level
You get what you pay for here. It’s important to get an accurate level for accurate positioning. A good sturdy level will last a lifetime. (These are also called “torpedo levels” due to shapes of the tapered ends.) A level is a must for straightening up pictures, drilling holes in a level line, checking tabletop alignment, or mounting towel bars perfectly.

Online Resources For Learning Basic Home

Not everyone has the time to go to school to learn the basics of decorating. And depending on what you’d like to do as a decorator, not everyone has the need. But for those of us who have the eye, but not necessarily the know-how to design the interiors that we’d love to live in, there are numerous online resources that can give you more than enough information to get you on your way. With these great online sources, anyone can learn about the basics of decorating while finding wonderful inspiration for their first design project.

If  you have no clue about choosing furniture, selecting color, or what style of decorating you like, help is at your fingertips.

If you know just what you like but not how to bring the look to your home, you’ll find photos, tutorials, and helpful advice about decorating for just the right look.

Sitting at your computer, you’ll find loads of information without ever setting foot inside a classroom.

Whether you need ideas, color suggestions, or instructions on ways to do things, just get “web surfing.”

  • About.com’s site for Interior Decorating
    Of course, we think you’re already at the first stop. Here at About.com’s site for Interior Decorating we’ve tried to put together a lot of information to answer just about every question you might have. And we add more information all the time. But if you’re not finding what you need, check out some of these other sites.
  • About.com Style Guides
    Our own site has a section on Style Guides for Home Interiors. Learn what goes into making a comfortable Shabby Chic® bedroom or a French Country dining room. You’ll have fun deciding what style you like and learn how to bring the different elements into your rooms on any budget.
  • About.com site for Furniture
    One of the main elements of interior decorating is Furniture and Fred Albert has articles about arranging furniture, choosing good design, and finding great pieces on a budget, among many others.