The Rose Garden

If I remember correctly, the rose garden is right behind hedge in back of the dahlia bed, but you have to follow a path to get to one of the two entrances. This image shows only a small portion of the rose garden: it's essentially round and the two people in the distance are near the center. You can just make out the matching arches at the far end.

Notice the variety of foliage on the large trees in the background. I've concentrated on the flowers, but the Botanic Garden has many other wonders.

This rose is Grand Masterpiece. I didn't do justice to the rose garden here, partly because I was feeling the effects of a flu bug and partly because they had been somewhat tatered by several days of high winds: While the beds were still brilliant, many blossoms did not look all that impressive in the viewfinder. Fortunately we ran across an even more spectatular rose garden in Wellington a few weeks later.
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The Importance of the Right Garden Rake by Rex Magnum

There are two different kinds of rakes that every gardener needs to have: a lawn rake and a Garden Rake. While being quite different, both rakes take care of important lawn care functions.

Choosing the Right Rake

You can clean all kinds of debris from your lawn and garden using a yard rake. Traditionally they have been used to rake leaves in the Fall. It can also be used to help you clean up your yard in the Spring. Winter always deposits a fair amount of decaying leaves, twigs, and other debris, and a yard rake is the ideal tool for reaching under bushes and digging out all the junk that gets stuck in there. You should also use a yard rake to clear debris from your garden. Young plants have a tough time trying to sprout through a layer of dead leaves.

Some yard rakes have tines which are spring-loaded. You will be able to use these around plants without damaging them. Although a narrower rake will be able to clean around plants more easily, a wider rake will make a world of difference when raking leaves. Many of the newest rakes on the market have ergonomic handles. These handles are designed so that the least possible stress is put on the back during raking.

You will need to use a garden rake to break up chunks that form in the soil as well as to smooth over the top of your garden to prepare it for planting. The configuration of the rake's steel head is important. It needs to have teeth that are sharp enough to break up dirt clods and a flat back that you can use to tamp down dirt. A bow rake has longer, curved tines that make it easier to do raking jobs in hard soil.

Most garden rakes are about 5' long and will have either a fiberglass or hardwood handle. There are usually between 14 and 16 tines on the rake head. These tines need to be sharp enough to pull stones and debris away from plants without harming them. You will also use it to rake garden soil smoothly.

Garden Tools with forged blades will cost you more initially, but they'll make up for it by lasting for a much longer time. A long-handled rake places less stress on your back, but it also provides you with less control than a short-handled one.

Clean your garden rakes and tools each time you use them to keep them in top condition. When putting them away for the winter, give them a coat of wax to protect them. A rake is one of the most essential tools for yard work, so you'll want to take care of it to make it last longer. When choosing a rake, pick the best one you can afford. It will provide you service for a good many years.

About the Author

Rex Magnum enjoys gardening in the evenings and the weekends with his family. Showing his kids how to raise vegetables and use the different garden tools is a great way to spend time outdoors and to learn how nature works. Writing about gardening tips is a way for Rex to express and share his experiences.
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Butterfly Gardening

What is butterfly gardening? Simply put butterfly gardening is the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden. Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death.

The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies. that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library . To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.

When planting your butterfly garden be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don't want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.
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Gardening Gifts for Your Green-Thumbed Friends

Almost everyone has at least one friend who is a gardening enthusiast. You know, that person who spends every waking moment perfecting their garden. Well, when it comes time to giving that person a gift, it can quite often be a challenge to think of exactly what they would like. However, it’s always possible to come up with something that will suit them well, so here are some ideas of things that you should consider.

The first type of gardening gift is something that will make their gardening easier. Sometimes this could be a gardening tool. Lots of gardeners spend lots of time doing repetitive actions, such as planting bulbs or pruning their bushes. While you can get these jobs done with basic tools, it’s possible to get them done easier and quicker with specialty tools. You can get a bulb planter, a pruner, a lawn aerator, or any number of other handy gardening tools. So if you hear your friend complaining about how difficult a certain task is, you can make it easier by getting the right gift.

The next type of gardening gift is to get them some sort of seeds, bulb, or plants to add to their garden. This can be a tricky one, since there are so many factors in play. You don’t want to get them something that is easily found in your area. You also don’t want to cause them a burden if your plant takes hours of work per day to maintain. Usually it is best to do this only if you have explicitly heard them state their desire for that plant. Also, if you go overseas, a plant from some exotic corner of the world could make a good gift. If you aren’t sure, it could be a good idea to ask them before you buy a plant. It may take away the surprise factor, but at least you know your gift will be appreciated.

If you haven’t had any chords of inspiration struck just yet, you can consider some alternatives to what I have mentioned. A subscription to a gardening magazine is always a safe gift. You can also buy a number of gardening novelty items, such as bumper stickers, refrigerator magnets, or artwork related to gardening. Just consider what your recipient is missing, and what would make their life easier.
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Online Gardening Catalogues At Your Disposal

Are you searching for gardening catalogues? What kind of gardening and plants do you prefer to read about? There is a wide selection available online. Here are a few websites that offer gardening catalogues. Check out the URL to see if they are free or not.

1. www.jacksonsnurseries.co.uk

Along with nursery facilities, Jackson Nurseries offer landscape designing, ground designing and wholesale plants at wholesale prices.

2. www.mzbulb.com

If you are looking for flower bulbs, McClure and Zimmerman have each and every variety. They have a no fuss website navigation that allows interested clients to easily order gardening catalogs.

3. www.gardennursery.com

In business for over 50 years, Nichols Garden Nursery has an online catalogue unit offering seeds and plants. Their 76 page free gardening catalogue can be ordered by filling out their catalogue request form online.

4. www.gurneys.com

Gurneys offer great deals like buy one, get one free. They also have a no-risk guarantee and a scheduled shipping of orders according to categories of plants, i.e., roses, herbs, shrubs, and trees, tender annuals, and all other plants and bulbs.

5. www.homeharvest.com

Home Harvest Garden Supply offers alternative gardening products, i.e., organic fertilizers, hydroponics, natural insect controls, container, hobby greenhouse, propagation and irrigation supplies, indoor plant grow lights and other rare gardening supplies. They offer an online catalogue for every gardening enthusiast.

6. www.jacksonandperkins.com

Jackson and Perkins are known to be one of the best American gardening experts. They are reaching out to other gardening aficionados through their website, offering gardening products through their catalogue. They sell a wide range of plants - from new award-winning roses and easy to grow perennials, to special outdoor decor. Flowering gifts may also be sent directly to your friends by ordering from their site.


7. www.thegardenwindow.com

This site offers an online catalogue that specializes in imported Chinese tree peonies (from Mainland, China).

While free online catalogues may be good source of gardening supply information, you may also be deluged with a flood of promotion about other products.
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Gardening Gifts for All Occasions

There is nothing nicer than receiving a gift relating to one's passion. If your loved one's passion is gardening, then show your thoughtfulness by giving a gift that will be truly appreciated.
There are so many great gardening gifts that the only constraint is your own budget.

If your budget is small, go for things like gloves, kneepads or even a shady hat. A pretty pot (or a watering-can) filled with a small bag of potting mix, a packet of bulbs, some gloves and a small trowel or other tool will be received with delight by most gardeners. There are many hand tools at hardware stores that are reasonably priced.

If you feel that is too ordinary, how about a subscription to a gardening magazine? A tiny bit more expensive perhaps, but it will give twelve full months of delight. A book on gardening is another idea, but make sure your recipient does not already have the one you choose. Books are often heavily discounted at Christmas time, so you may get a bargain.

On the other hand, a pot that contains a flowering plant is usually a welcomed gift. Be sure to choose a plant that is suited to your climate. Sometimes plants are sent from tropical to temperate zones and kept in artificial conditions in the store. These plants will not do well once taken from their environment. Shrub roses are hardy and attractive and grow in many climates. Tulips do best in the cooler climate.

If your budget is strong, a more expensive tool may be appropriate. A pull-trolley is easier to use than a wheelbarrow and, like some electric tools, is still not terribly expensive. Small electric tools such as whipper-snippers can retail for as little as $20.00. Or if your friend has a hose but not a hose reel, then that would be a more useful gift that he would truly appreciate.

Automatic lawn mowers, electric cultivators, hedge trimmers and brush cutters are in the more expensive price range and you are the only one who can decide whether that is an appropriate gift. However, when the recipient realizes you have given a gift that complements his passion, expensive or not, it will certainly become the best gift
your friend has ever received.
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