Reducing Florescence Size

How can this be? Don’t we know that flowers can’t be dwarfed, at least to any serious degree? And if we can’t dwarf flowers, how can we make them in scale? Is there a trick? Well, it’s not exactly a trick, but it is a secret of sorts. At least it’s not a deliberate secret, but it hasn’t been talked about much; in fact, it’s even hard to find out much if you were to search for it in “Google” for an answer.

The secret lies in the fact that flowers don’t grow individually but rather in groups which together are called a “florescence”. A florescence consists of many flowers growing out of the same stalk and secondary stalks, as it were. Importantly, the florescence consists of a different kind of plant material with different growth characteristics than the flowers themselves. Thus the flowers don’t need to be dwarfed (which won’t happen anyway) to reduce the scale and size of the overall mass of the flower mass, the florescence. If we could just dwarf and shorten the stalks on which the flowers grow, we could make the florescence smaller without doing anything else. But how?

Here again there is a trick that has been developed over the past few decades and it involves using chemicals which have been formulated for just such a purpose. Collectively, they are called “growth retardants”, PGRs, or “growth regulators”. The part of the plants that these chemicals have been developed to retard are, for the most part, the stems. There are several parts to the stems, primary, secondary and tertiary. All have the same characteristics of growth as a result of which we can treat them similarly. The primary stem that is the attachment of the florescence to the rest of the plant is called merely the stem. The secondary stem, which attaches to the primary stem, is called a peduncle, and the smallest part of the florescence, which themselves carry the flowers, are called pedicels. Fortunately for us, they all react the same way to the PGRs, as “stem” material.

Much work has been done to create different growth patterns, especially including products which can cause a more compact form of growth. That is something that is in great demand in ornamental plants which have, as their purpose, their looks, rather than a particular function of the plant. Even grasses have had formulations prepared to keep them from having to be mowed as often. There is even a formulation designed specifically for grasses, called “Cutless”, for obvious reasons.
Other formulations, which have different effects on different plants, but which are all designed primarily to make the ornamental plant and/or its blooms more attractive, include those with names like: A-rest, B-nine, Cycocel, Trimtect, ethephon and paclobutrazol, or bonzi (not recommended, for when used in a concentration slightly too high, it can cut off any more growth almost permanently), and bud ignitor, which does several phase-specific bud boosters for different aspects of the blooming cycle. And there’s much to discover. To read more on this recent development, Bud Booster, for example go to:
http://www.advancednutrients.com/hydroponics/products/bud_ignitor/bud_ignitor_product_information.php

Ethephon, as another example, which has a different mode of action than inhibiting gibberelic acid (GA). GA inhibition is one of the most used methods of reducing growth. Application methods vary too. Some are designed as foliar sprays and others as soil drenches. The literature has become so all-encompassing that it is impossible to do more than touch on some of the highlights of a few of the best known. For more information, just Google “Plant Growth Retardants” and you will find everything you need to know – and much more.

The crape myrtles, being vigorous growers, for the most part, will generally need more powerful PGRs. The more forgiving sprays are probably the best to experiment with first. We’ve found Cycocel, B-nine and Ethephon among the best – all foliar sprays – for our personal purposes. Much experimentation is still worth doing. For each size of growth florescence, and its speed of growth also, there may be another PGR that is best for it.

Another thing that needs to be kept in mind is that many of these are designed only to be applied in commercial quantities and thus only available in large (and expensive) quantities. If so, you will want to share your acquisition with others to make it affordable. However, there are some good ones for our purposes which can be bought in smaller quantities. Bud Ignitor is one such PGR; Bud Blood is another that is similar. These last two mentioned are commonly used in the marijuana growing trade, but I am not suggesting this. The fact is, there is a great growth of knowledge among those growers, perhaps for obvious reasons, and as a result their prices are coming way down as they become more popular. They are still expensive, but perhaps affordable, and available in smaller quantities – and for our purposes and quantities used for bonsai, they will last a very long time.

There’s another way we can reduce the size of the florescence, also: by reducing the number of flowers in the florescence. Simply cut back the remaining flowers on the remaining stem to only the bottom few, perhaps even just one, while they are in the budding stage, and remarkably the remaining flowers will fill the gaps to create a complete mass of flowers that look as well as if they were the complete florescence from the start.

Successful Indoor Container Gardens

The first tip to creating a successful container garden is to get the right-sized container. There are many different types of containers one can use to grow their plants. It can be simple pots that are catered for specific types of gardening or one can get creative and use recycled materials. For example, one innovative gardener used an unused cabinet to her container garden. You want to make sure the container is big enough to support the root system of the plant you intend on growing. You also need to make sure that the proper drainage system is in place. In some cases, it can be as simple as having a few holes at the bottom of the container. In other cases, you may need a more complex drainage system in place to make sure that the soil does not get too wet.

The second tip for container gardeners is to use the right type of soil. One should never buy the first pack of soil they see on sight. You want to get soil from a reputable seller. Otherwise, the soil will come with plenty of unwanted visitors that will cause all sorts of havoc in your apartment. Ideally, you want to get organic soil, especially if you intend on growing vegetables and fruits. It also would not be a bad idea to get some organic compost to make sure there are plenty of nutrients for the plants to strive on.

The third tip is to find a suitable location for the plants. Most plants will need plenty of sunlight to grow properly. Make sure you have enough space by the window so that plants can receive at least a few hours of proper daylight. If there are no suitable locations then it may be possible to use artificial light instead. However, those types of growing lights are better suited for hydroponic systems so you will want to check with your sources first before making any moves.

African Violets

Watering and feeding your violet. The African violet likes a humid atmosphere and moist soil. I found that the bathroom works well. You can also provide humidity for your plant by standing the pot on pebbles in a partly water filled saucer. The pot should not be touching the water. When the plants soil starts to dry out, water well with lukewarm water. Take care not to wet the leaves. You can feed your plant with water soluble plant fertilizer every month except in winter.

The potting and re-potting of your violets. African violets tend to bloom more freely when their roots are a bit crowded. Only re-pot them when more than a third of the rosette of leaves extends beyond your pots edge. The best time for re-potting to be done is either in spring or summer. You can re-pot the violets into African violet potting soil or you can make your own potting soil from equal parts of peat moss, perlite and your garden soil. If your plant grows extra rosettes of leaves, nip them off with a knife. If the leaves turn yellow or rot or become too crowded, break or cut their stalks. Do not leave any stem part behind on the plant as it will rot. African Violets can very easily be propagated from leaf cuttings. Select a healthy leaf keeping about 2 – 4 cm of the stem. Plant this leaf in your pot that is already filed with potting soil. You will see in approximately 3 to 6 weeks tiny new leaves appear. When this happens, transplant the rooted cuttings into separate pots. Cover them with plastic bags where a few small holes have been made.Keep the new plants in a warm but shaded area for up to 3 weeks.

Get Children Interested in Gardening

First, it is important for parents to understand that children have little patience. If they don’t see results quickly then they will move their attention elsewhere. Therefore, it is important to start off with small projects. Pick a plant that takes a short amount of time to grow. For example, vegetables with short growth periods include green beans, spinach, onions, and sweet potatoes. Once your children get the hang of it, introduce plants that require more care.

The second way to get your children interested in gardening is by getting them to grow something that is consumable. For example, if your children grow tomatoes then they will be instantly proud of the fact that it can be used for a beneficial purpose. While the plants are growing, try and give your children as much ownership as possible. It is possible for the children to learn that the health of plant is their responsibility.

The final way to get your children interested in gardening is by educating them. There are many things to be learned while maintaining a garden. For example, it is a great opportunity to teach your children the basics of biology. How do plants survive? Why do they need sunlight? These questions should come naturally if your child is curious about the way life works. Gardening can become even more interesting if you make it a competition. For example, you may set up a competition to see who grows the biggest tomato. If your child is up for the challenge then he or she will search online to find out the most productive way of growing healthy tomatoes. As you can see, gardening introduces a sense of responsibility. It is a great way to help your child develop into a responsible adult.

Choosing Garden Shed

When you have reached the decision about buying a new shed a good point to consider is the base it requires. If you are thinking of replacing your existing shed, then you would have to decide whether or not to keep the original base, or for a small fee and with minimal effort, a new one can be laid for you.

Whatever material you choose to have your shed made from your decision should revolve around what you need the shed for. Is it going to be just for storage or maybe a workshop? Perhaps you want it for both, in which case a larger shed is probably necessary. The size of the shed should also fit well into the space available. Make sure you take precise measurements of various parts of the shed. A good tip is to check the eaves and ridge height of the sheds to make sure you can stand up in it and also that it is a usable space to fit in and move around comfortably.

So what else will you have to consider when choosing your shed:

Are you going to be storing large items, you will need to take careful measurements to ensure that not only all the goods can be stored, but that you can also get the items in and out with ease.

If you are going to store large items then a concrete shed with double doors could be a good option. Concrete sheds are very popular due to their durable build and great safety record, and with the double doors it would make accessing the shed a lot easier.

The panels used in concrete sheds are virtually impenetrable which, coupled with some good quality uPVC windows and doors, means your items will be very safe.

A concrete shed also provides better security from the elements and from thieves than a typical timber shed. This is because it is made from more durable, watertight material that makes it less susceptible to damage from the elements. As it is a lot stronger, a new, well maintained concrete shed would probably be inaccessible to most if not all burglars.

Concrete sheds do not rot unlike wooden sheds, so rodents and other pests will struggle to gain access to a concrete shed compared to a timber structure.

Other aspects to consider are the windows and doors. Some sheds come with windows and some don’t. If you want to keep your items out of sight then it is a good idea not to have any windows, but make sure you have sufficient lighting installed so you can see when you are inside. If, on the other hand you are going to use your garden shed for a home office then windows would be a good idea, perhaps one that opens to improve ventilation.

The shed design is also something to take into account, particularly the shed roof. The most common are Apex, which is a two sided sloping roof with a ridge running along its length and a Pent, which is flat with a slight slope to allow rainwater to run off. Some people prefer the aesthetic appearance of the Apex, whilst others prefer the practicality and generally lower cost of the Pent. Apex designs can also be specified to have translucent roof panels to let in natural light, perfect if you wish to work inside your garden shed.

When thinking about location, you need to consider access, proximity to trees, bushes and garden beds etc. You shouldn’t really put a shed in an area that is susceptible to heavy rainfalls as standing water may rot a water shed. Although a concrete shed isn’t subject to this problem. Try to make sure you have at least two feet of space around all sides of the shed to allow for access for maintenance. A wooden shed would need regular treatment of the wood but a concrete shed requires little or no maintenance, which means you can find more interesting things to do with your days off rather than painting the shed.

Keep a Healthy Flowers Garden

Any garden big or small requires a strong base, which in this case is the soil. Inserting good, fertile soil is probably the best thing you can do for a healthy garden. The more fertile the soil, the more healthy your plants will be. You can either buy fertile soil from a store or choose to cure the one that’s already present in your garden. However, it is important to note that not all soil is the same, but serve different flower types and/or gardening needs.

For example, flowers and vegetables require nutrient rich soil, while herb plants achieve healthy growth with compost free soil. After you’ve determined the type of soil that’s best for your flower garden, you can add an extra layer of protection in several ways. First, keep tillage and compacting of the soil to a bare minimum, use a mulch to prevent erosion and grow as much to cover any empty spaces to avoid any occurrences of erosion.

All flowers require different growing conditions so don’t attempt to guess what they are. If you’re buying your flowers from a nursery, pay careful attention to the instructions on the package or simply ask the experts at the nursery. When inserting seeds or plants into a flower bed, be sure not to smother them or plant them to deep in the soil. To determine the right amount of sunlight for your flowers, keep a track of the level of sunlight each area of your garden receives. If your garden is set completely in a shady area and one that receives a minimal amount of sunlight, it is best to find flowers that grow well in shady conditions.

Lotus Flowers

There are several kinds of lotus flowers for you to choose from, available on the market today. Increase the luxury and ambiance that a garden pond provides already, by planting lotus flowers – these will bloom impressively and flourish in your personal outdoor sanctuary. Create an even more beautiful place to relax and unwind at home. Perennial plants such as lotus flowers are a great idea for any garden pond. These plants want good soil, however, and humid condition. Nonetheless, it is not absolutely impossible, to adjust them to more dry environmental conditions.

Winds as well as the height of the plant’s leaves may bend or become discolored, brown and dry or discolored. So you should care for your lotus plants with a dedicated, continuous observation. If you live in less than ideal conditions, for the safety and beauty of your lotus flowers and overall garden décor, be sure t tend to them properly.

Warm, if not what are considered hot temperatures, are preferred by the lotus plant. Eighty to ninety degrees are actually ideal conditions for this kind of pond life. As with any kind of plant or garden flower, a lotus flower under pf conditions will reach their full, flourishing and most beautiful potential. By their potential I mean the size and condition of the blossoms, as well as the health and fragrance of your pond in general. Of course, this adds to the appeal of your home outdoors and your ability to relax and unwind.

There are several kinds of lotus flowers, such as the “Chinese Dbl Rose” these are described as deep rose colored dbl flowers. They can grow to be up to three feet in height. Because this is one of the smaller lotus flowers, they can be grown in the water in a three gallon container. The Chinese dbl rose is a beautiful sight to see! You would be surprised at the bright color and the ambiance it creates all around you. This rose of a lotus flower may become the center of attraction in your garden pond. But there are many, many more kinds of beautiful garden pond plants on the market for you to choose from, and a long list of lotus, which is what this article will focus on.

The “Empress” or Alba Striata are great flowers. They are a whitish bloom with gentle strokes of pinkish colors on the edges of the petals. These plants can grow up to five feet tall in perfect conditions. The empress lotus flower bursts into a wide white rose-shaped blossom when in full bloom. As all plant life will, the Lotus flower will increase the oxygen in the air. It is also a great way to enhance your g pond and / or landscape design with a water plant which best suits your personal taste.

One of these bright and beautiful flowers is called the “Mrs. Perry D Slocum” and what lovely ladies they are! These flowers are multi-colored and abs el. The first day they appear pink, on the second day they are pink and yellow, by the third day of blooming they are a creamy, flushed pink color. These colors combined are luxurious buds you will certainly love. The Mrs. Perry D. Slocum lotus flower grows to be about four to five feet in adequate conditions. And will decorate your already relaxing outdoor pond with a burst of colorful, fragrant allure.

The lotus flower called “Momo Botan” is a deep, brilliant pink, it will produce double blooms, of truly elegant water blossoms. Older flowers are able to stay open through the night. The blooming season of this wonderful flower will last longer than the average blooming seasons of other flower blossoms, including, lotus lowers. These plants can also be placed in a small cont in your g pond.

The “Lavender Lady” is another lovely member of the family of lotus flowers. These are, as their name indicates produce dark, yet chalkish, and lovely, lavender colored blossoms with a tinge of pink. These beautiful ladies grow to become five to seven feet tall depending on the stability of their conditions. Like all other lotus flowers, you must be attentive to their needs as far as the amounts of water, light, and humidity. The conditions of your environment are only part of it. You can create special conditions when you care for your lotus flower, such as misting the flowers being extra attentive to their intake of water, the health of the surrounding plants, and the flower’s overall stability.

Another beautiful lotus bloom is called the Green Maiden. In addition to the elegance and grace of all these decorative females, is the common distinctive shape and color, which vary slightly between the separate species of this flower. In the case of the Green maiden, (as with many lotus flowers) their sequential pattern of color transformation goes from pink to yellow to a cream-color. The final blossom looks as though the tips have been dipped in a bright, yet subtle pink, the yellow can be seen more closely from the center of the bloom. These blooms can grow up to three feet in your g pond.

Another wonderfully named lotus flower is the Frankly Scarlet lotus flower. These are dark pink and a very impressive, colorful, and alluring addition to your pond. These plants can grow to be up to six feet and produce multiple, single blooms. Frankly, the frankly scarlet lotus flower is one of my personal favorites. Treat her like a princess and she will treat you like royalty too. Find our how amazing these flowers will look in your garden pond, not to mention the possible habitats that many kinds of lotus plants will help provide for other wild life.

Caring for Conservatory Plants

Blinds will also help to keep your conservatory cooler which is ideal because too much heat can stress your plants. It also means plants won’t dry out and need constant watering. Cold is less of a problem because even plants used to sub-tropical conditions are fine at 4 to 8°C. Ventilation is important to regulate the temperature, so make sure you have enough airflow as plants like fresh air, even in winter. Fresh air also helps to prevent the build-up of fungal diseases and some plants, such as citrus trees, will shed their leaves if they don’t get enough air.

Watering is also important and in summer you may need to water your plants every day. Plants with lots of leaves tend to need more water than those with fewer leaves and those in small pots need more water than those in larger ones. Most bought plants these days come with clear instructions about watering.

Feed plants once a week in spring and summer but reduce this to once a month in winter when plants are dormant. A fertiliser which is high in potash is good for flowering plants. Green plants do well with fertilisers high in nitrogen while citrus fertiliser will keep your citrus trees in tip-top condition and help them to produce fruit.

Plants need room to grow so check the roots and if they are too tightly packed, re-pot in spring or summer. Prune plants if they start to become leggy but wait until after the plant has flowered. Pinching off the tips on bushier plants will also help to cut down on the need for pruning and also encourages flowering.

Hazel Tree

Identifying a Hazel Tree

The tree will grow to about 12m tall and can live for around 80 years if left to grow on its own accord. Hazel’s are usually coppiced to increase their life expectancy and can live for up to 700 years if coppiced. The smooth bark is greyish to brown in colour and begins to peel with age. The stems are hairy and flexible with hairy, rounded leaf buds which are blunt. Leaves are green, hairy and rounded with multiple teeth like pointed tips; these turn yellow before they fall off the tree during autumn.

Hazel trees have monoecious reproductive systems, which mean that the male and the female catkins (flowers) are located within the same tree, they must however be pollinated by other hazel flower pollen. The male catkins are yellow and hang in bunches on the twigs; they appear earlier than the leaves during February. The small female flowers are like buds and are red in colour. The female flowers are pollinated by wind and turn into rounded fruits; these hang in clusters of one to four. Once matured, they develop into nuts enclosed in a shell which is surrounded by leaf bracts.

Interesting fact: in spring, the hazel twigs are so bendy they can be knotted without breaking.

It is also challenging for bees to collect pollen from the hazel tree and they can only collect it in small loads. The reason being is the pollen grains aren’t sticky and will repel each other.

Significance to Wildlife and Surroundings

The tree provides plant food for caterpillars from numerous moths including the small white wave, nut-tree tussock, large emerald and the barred umber. Coppiced hazel in managed woodlands, where wildflowers are in abundance, help support life for lots of species of butterfly especially fritillaries. They also support lots of ground-nesting birds like the yellowhammer, nightingale and willow warbler as they frequently use the tree for shelter.

Dormice have been associated with the hazel tree for many centuries and they can also be known as hazel dormouse. It provides a good source of hibernation food for the mice and they will also eat the leaves.

There are many species of wildlife that make use of the hazel nuts apart from dormice; these include wood pigeons, woodpeckers, tits, jays, nuthatches and a few small mammals such as squirrels. Bees also extract pollen from the flowers and are an early and important source for them.

The trunk is often home to many types of liverworts, mosses and lichens. Fungus also grows below the soil.

How We Use hazel

The wood from hazel can be bent and knotted and was used for making things like net stakes, thatching spars, water divining sticks and furniture.

Now day’s coppiced hazel plays an important role in conserving British woodland habitats for many different types of wildlife. We also use the timber for many purposes and a poplar wood for making bean poles and pea sticks, which are used by gardeners.

Hazel trees were also grown for their nuts, on a large scale, right up until the early 1900s. There are cultivated versions still being grown in Kent, these are known by the name of cob-nuts. Today, nearly all of our hazelnuts are imported from other countries.

Threats, Pests and Diseases

There are not that many threats pests or diseases associated with the hazel, although they can come under attack from infestations of aphids and gall mites. Coppiced trees can also be prone to damage from deer if there not protected sufficiently.

Water Features in Greenhouse

Water features in a greenhouse can come in the form of a pond, fountain, or waterfall. All three of these options fill the greenhouse with the sound of running water, creating a tranquil, relaxing atmosphere. The background noise provided by the running water also drowns out unwanted sounds, such as traffic.

Adding water features to a greenhouse not only develops the design aesthetic of the greenhouse, but also offers unique benefits. Sharing space in your greenhouse with a water feature promotes a relaxing environment for you, and helps your plants to thrive. Banana trees, for example, if planted by a pond, will pull the water they need from the pond in order to produce fruit.

A water feature can add both functionality and a decorative element to the greenhouse. By adding a pond to your greenhouse the ability to grow a wide variety of aquatic plants becomes available. Water lilies, cannas, water hyacinths, elephant ears, and more can be grown in a pond year-round. Fish can be raised in the pond as well. Koi, for example, make delightful pets and will help to fertilize the plants growing in and around the water.

Fountains and waterfalls provide a continuous source of running water, which purifies the air by adding moisture to it. The tiny droplets of moisture adhere to dust and other irritants, removing them from the air. The increased moisture also provides extra liquid for plants to absorb. Unlike mechanical humidifiers, fountains and waterfalls are constantly running, preventing the growth and potential spreading of mold and mildew in the air.

Running water produces negative ions which help reduce particles such as pet dander and spores. Studies at Columbia University and the New York State Psychiatric Institute have also shown that negative ions can help patients with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), because it is believed that negative ions create a biochemical reaction in the bloodstream that increases the levels of serotonin in the body. Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, which increases alertness and mental energy.