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As a digital advertising copywriter of ten years, I have written thousands of pages of content; including web pages, articles, press releases, books, blog posts, advertising copy, product reviews, and product descriptions. These pages are a sample of my work.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Getting Published By Looking More Professional

Getting Published By Looking More Professional
Looking More Professional Makes Getting Published Easier
Getting published one day may be your future dream. Or, you may have already finished a manuscript and are submitting a book to a publisher right now.

However, if you just are learning how to get a book published for the first time, you may be a little anxious about how publishers will judge your manuscript.

Because what you may have found is that the list of requirements for publishing a book is a long one.

And submitting a book to a publishers seems impossible.

Then, with so many self-publishing options available, the steps to getting a book published may seem confusing.

And while you may have found a few people who will help you proofread, no one is interested in helping you find a publisher for your first book. And there isn't much helpful advice about submitting a book to a publisher online.

Which leaves you learning how to publish your first book on your own. And this may have prompted you to look at first time authors who made it big - to copy what they did. In order to get book publishing companies to notice you.

Or to find a literary agent who knows about submitting a book to a publisher.
But this didn't work. So you may have tried approaching publishing houses for new authors with your own brand of query letters. You may have even tried vanity presses for self-publishing. And a last resort, you may have tried to take advice on publishing a novel (or self-help book) from an indie authors' group online.

No help with getting published there.

So what do you do? It's a bit of a waiting game now.

But as a first-time author, you may have missed one of the most important steps to submitting a book to a publisher there is:

Because as a first-time author, you have to look like you are already published.

But instead of doing that - your cover art, your book description, your formatted manuscript, and your research are all still saying, "How do I get published?"

And you, as an unknown author, may have written something really brilliant. But no book publishers will take you seriously until you look like a professional writer.

Simply because the execution of your book is too amateurish-looking.

So before you jump ahead and start looking for a list of book publishers for first time authors, you need to make absolutely sure your book looks like it has already been published. The process of looking for a publisher will be much more productive if you do. And at this time in your writing career, submitting a book to a publisher is crucial.

But you can appeal to book publishers much faster when you follow a few simple rules:

Getting Published With The Right Cover Art.

Your book cover has to be right and it has to be professional-looking. And it doesn't matter whether you are submitting a book to a publisher or publishing your book yourself. To have a book that looks finished, you will still have to "visualize the cover."

Because even if you are working with the best publishers for first-time authors, they should be able to easily execute an impactful cover, based on your finished manuscript.

If you are self-publishing, the same applies. Nevertheless, don't pay an artist to create your book cover from scratch. This is because the artist that you will be able to hire will only be able to create cover art which makes your book look substandard. Even though it isn’t.

To learn more about cover art for books go to:

And in reality, the right photograph with the right font is always best when it comes to cover art. Whether submitting a book to a publisher or self-publishing.

For example, think about the daily tweets you see, like when someone sends out famous quotes. What does the artwork consist of? An impactful photograph and an eye-pleasing font. So for your cover art, find an expressive photo, and pair it with the lettering that makes it stand out. This will not only create a professional quality cover but will also give you the credibility you are looking for.

Clearly, you wouldn't need to have a professional cover made if you are going to find a publisher for your first book.

But how do you know?

A nice cover becomes the total sum of your manuscript. And even literary agents for first time authors would like to see an entire presentation like this. And a lack of cover art ideas is just one more reason for book publishing companies to say no.

Getting Published With The Right Format.

The formatting of your book must adhere to all of the professional standards of the publishing industry. If you want to be taken seriously. And there are a lot of standards. And it doesn't matter whether you learn how to self-publish for free or figure out how to submit a manuscript to a publishing company.

This is why you may find it helpful to put your first book aside. (It's not going anywhere.) And instead, work on publishing an ebook that may be similar. Learning how to publish a book on Amazon first will be something pro-active you can do while you do further work on submitting a book to a publisher. Other companies that publish ebooks are iTunes and Barnes & Noble.

And their software automatically puts your manuscript into a professional format. There is still some work for you to do. But when you try to format a paperback or hardback book on your own, you will add to your frustrations. And much less costly than paying someone else do it.

And this is not a book to sell, but rather a book to learn how to publish you own book for free. Think of your ebook as that first pancake. It doesn’t quite come out right the first time. But you want to make these kinds of mistakes before you start looking for a publisher.

Getting Published By Being Accurate.

Everyone wants to read your opinion or slant on a topic. That’s why they buy your book. But readers love to pick apart the inaccuracies in novels, and they simply won't buy a self-help book that isn't in the least factual.

So the biggest part of learning how to write a book and then submitting a book to a publisher is learning how to do research. If you write a self-help book, you have to have some facts to back it up. And those facts have to come from reliable sources: e.g. university studies, research scientists, or legitimate reference books.

Book publishers will forgive almost any typo, but they will not ignore erroneous facts. Or, the lack of any facts that back up what you are saying. The library is a good place to start. And you can download many research books from the library and read them on your computer at home.

And when it comes to research, publishing fiction is no different. If you are publishing a novel that is based in any kind of reality, you will need to know about all of the physical characteristics concerning the setting of your book. And if your setting details are a little sketchy, book publishing companies will reject your book. They aren't going to do your research for you simply because they feel they have discovered some kind of brilliant new work of fiction for publishing.

Getting Published By Finishing Your Manuscript.

Completely finish writing your book first. This includes having an impactful cover-art concept, correct formatting, and completed research. As well as enough words to have a completed manuscript. Because the biggest complaint about first-time writers from book publishers and literary agents is that the writer is looking for the publisher to "fill-in" the small details. To make the manuscript readable.

In other words, first-time writers, when submitting a book to publishers, shouldn't confuse creative writing with a completed manuscript. Because a book editor will not finish your book for you.

So before you start looking for the best publishers for first-time authors, make sure your book concept and manuscript are finished first. Submitting a book to a publisher is much more likely to result in having a bestseller if you do.

See also:

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Adding Drainage To Flower Beds Will Greatly Improve The Way They Grow

Adding Drainage To Flower Beds Will Greatly Improve The Way They Grow
Proper Drainage Makes Flower Grow Better

Planting flower beds is not simply a matter of digging out a square piece of earth, filling it with topsoil, and planting colorful flowers. There is much more to it than that, including picking flowers that will grow in your area, planting them at the right time, and providing proper drainage so they get the right amount of water.  If you haven’t had much luck with flower beds, adding drainage to flower beds will make a big difference.

Determining the problem:

If you have pre-existing flower beds with too many weeds and poorly growing flowers, then you probably have a soil or a drainage problem.  Examine the soil closest to the house first.  Usually, when a house is built, the back fill that is put in after construction will not be the same as what was removed, and often times contains too much clay to grow anything very well.    

Investigate each planting site.  If you don’t find soil that is sandy and well-drained, you are probably dealing with too much clay in the soil.  The problem with too much clay is always poor drainage. Poor drainage prevents proper root development and the growth of beneficial soil micro-organisms that are responsible for decomposing organic matter that releases nutrients for plants.  To test for soil drainage, dig a hole that is 18” deep near one of the beds and fill it with water.  If the water is still there in the morning, you have a drainage problem.

Different types of drainage:

There are several ways to handle this kind of drainage. The easiest way is to plant flowers that thrive in a poor drainage situation, but that is only as a last resort.

You can mix sand into the soil loosen it up, but you must add enough sand to have a mixture of about 80% sand to 20% soil in order to make a difference.  If you are fortunate enough to have a hard, compacted layer on the surface with a drainable layer of soil below, a hole can be dug down to the permeable layer for each plant with some success.  If the clay and hard rock are solid all the way through, you may be better off going a more professional route.  Most home improvement centers have drainage systems that are designed specifically to go through hard clay and rock.  You may need some help installing them, but when the drainage problem is so severe, it’s worth it.

A more creative way of adding drainage to flower beds is to raise them.  Raised flower beds are fun to make and beautiful to look at.  Measure the areas where you want to put your raised flower beds and buy enough treated lumber or railroad ties to build the boxes that will house them.  Cut the wood to fit the measurements and build the boxes by assembling them into squares or rectangles. Dig a trench around the perimeter of the soil and set the box in place. Put a layer of gravel in the bottom of the box for drainage and then fill the rest with topsoil.

Another solution is constructing a French drain. This is used to redirect water when sloping terrain drains water into flower beds or other areas of a lawn. A French drain is essentially an unobtrusive trench filled with gravel and sand.  It is fairly simple to install before planting and effective for routing water away from flower beds.

There are just a few ways of adding drainage to flower beds.  The best way to decide on how to proceed with a home improvement project like this is to watch the weather, pinpoint the problem areas of your property, and figure out which drainage system will work with the flowers you want to grow.


Monday, August 20, 2018

Use Of Structures In The Garden For Added Personality

Use Of Structures In The Garden For Added Personality
A Garden Structure Adds A Focal Point For Your Garden

You may have beautiful plants and trees in your garden, but if you feel like something is missing, it is. The element you are missing in your garden is a garden structure. Garden structures aren’t necessarily used for anything other than decoration, but this decoration is essential to provide a focal point for your garden.

Garden structures can also define the space or “rooms” in your garden.

We talk about “rooms” in a garden because when you create a garden you are essentially creating outdoor rooms where you will want to spend your time outside.

If all that you want for your home is a manicured lawn with some bushes planted around the house for decoration, chance are that you don’t spend a lot of time out in the lot where your house sits.

However - if you create a garden - this means that you want to sit outside and enjoy it. This also means that you need to install the right structures that will make your garden an extension of your home and a place where you will want to sit instead of watching television.

Build It To Last

The first mistake that many people make with a garden structure is that they build something flimsy. A wimpy structure in your garden looks like a cheap decoration. And after a few seasons, it may even start to fall apart and look unkempt.  This defeats the whole purpose of adding structure outside in your garden.

So if you are going to put up something like an arbor, make it big and sturdy. If an arbor is attached to a fence and serves as the entrance to your home, it should be sturdy and permanently anchored so that it adds value to your home, not becomes an eyesore. Remember, the goal of an arbor is to have vines and flowering plants growing up around it. As these plants tend to decompose whatever they are growing on, the structure needs to be sturdy for the long haul.

Make A Grand Statement

The next mistake that people make is to build something too small. One of the trendiest garden structures right now is the pergola. This is a four columned structure with a slatted roof that is wonderful to grow vines on and sit under during the warm months. However, a pergola should be large enough to fit a patio table under - along with a barbecue - to be functional for guests who may come over in the summer months to enjoy a fun get-together under the shade of your garden.

Match Made In Heaven

The final mistake that gardeners make when they build a garden structure is to build a structure that has nothing to do with the architecture of their house. If you have a Tudor-style home, then you should have classic-looking garden structures. Just as well, a modern home cannot be made to look old-fashioned with a picket fence and lattice work surrounding it.

Matching your garden structure to the style of your home, making it big, and making it sturdy will not only enhance your garden but will also give added value to your home.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

What Are Some Shade Loving Plants For The Garden?

What Are Some Shade Loving Plants For The Garden?
Ground Covers Grow Well In Shaded Areas

If you have a garden that doesn’t get any sun, you may be blessed with lots of trees that provide beautiful shade, or you may simply have buildings or walls that don’t allow for sun to shine into your outdoor areas. 

Either way, there are many plants that thrive without a lot of sun or even a lot of water. In fact, many of these shade loving plants are also overall low-maintenance.

Non-flowering Shade Loving Plants

There are many plants that are colorful and decorative in their own way even though they don’t necessarily flower. These are plants like bamboos, mints, boxwoods, heucheras, ferns, hostas, and variegates.  These plants have distinctive leaves and add a beautiful variety to any garden that doesn’t get sun.

Flowers That Love The Shade

Many people think that because their garden doesn’t get any sun that they can’t have beautiful flowers. Actually, many flowers grow in the shade and provide beautiful color for a longer period of time than the flowers that need sun. The shade loving flowers include periwinkles, hydrangeas, some varieties of roses and azaleas, just to name a few. Some of these flowers can be grown in pots as well, so if you are looking at a terrace garden that doesn’t get a lot of sun, these flowers are perfect. 


Groundcovers are for those bare dirt places in your garden that don’t get a lot of sun and also the places where nothing seems to grow. A good ground cover will take over these places and not only beatify them, but are practically no-maintenance.  Groundcovers are especially good under trees and around drainage ditches and other places that need something more than just grass or weeds to hide bare dirt. Many ground covers even bloom for added color in a dark corner of the garden.

The only thing that you have to watch with ground cover is that you have to make sure that they don’t take over the whole garden; so they may need to be cut back occasionally. Easy-to-grow ground covers include winter creepers, periwinkles, creeping raspberry, various ivies, sedge grass, hen-and-chicks,  and bluebells, which are only a few of the ground covers that grow almost anywhere and are perfect to fill in the bald spots of a shaded garden.


If you have an urban garden, you may have a small dark space that is walled in or doesn’t get sun because of neighboring buildings. There may not be enough room for large trees, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have a few trees to anchor your garden. The trees that fit neatly into these types of gardens are called understory trees. Understory trees live under taller trees, so they don’t get very big and they don’t need a lot of light.

Some examples of understory trees include dogwood trees, persimmons, serviceberries, winged elms, greenbriers, and spice bushes.  Some of these trees flower in the springtime and go perfect with a ground cover or other shade flowers to create a perfect little urban garden.

So as you can see, no matter where you live or how much shade you have, you can make a beautiful garden with the right kinds of plants and trees.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Garden Ideas For Year Round Color

Garden Ideas For Year Round Color
Finding Plants That Bloom In Every Season Is Key

Year round color is the goal of many gardeners, and while it may seem like no small feat, it is really rather simple to accomplish. There are plants and bushes that bloom at all different times of the year and it is simply a matter of keeping up with them in order to keep year round color in your garden. So once you have the information for what plants have color in what seasons, you can plan (and plant) ahead.

Even if you have a garden located in an area with four seasons, then you can still keep color year round, unless there is an awfully lot of snow in the winter. Otherwise, your local garden center will have plants for every time of the year that will keep your garden colorful. Perennials are definitely an important part of having year round color. Perennials bloom in their season and then revert back to foliage, but the convenient aspect of perennials is that they only need to be planted one time.

Following are some suggestions about what to plant so that you always have color in your garden:

Spring Color For Your Garden:

Spring blooming bulbs (like tulips) are wonderful to plant because when they bloom they signal that winter is coming to a close. Other flowers that come out in the spring are crocuses, hyacinths, irises, and many other beautiful flowers. However, since springtime is a real boon for flowers, you probably won’t have any problems with color in the spring. Again, the key here is to plant perennials so that you don’t have to replant flowers every year.

Summer Color For Your Garden:

Summer is an easy time to have flowers in the garden as well. Trees in particular will usually bloom in the summer. So if you would like flowering trees, then you should look into planting roses, hydrangea, crape myrtles, yellowwoods, red buckeyes, and summer sweets.

Summertime flowers include asters, carnations, chrysanthemums, and heather to name a few. The thing to remember about these flowers is that while they will come back every year, they will need some help in the springtime to get going again. Talk to your local gardening center to find out how to winterize these summer flowers and you won’t have to replant every year.

There are also plants that attract butterflies to your garden, which adds a whole new dimension of color to your landscape.  These plants include butterfly bushes, button bushes, lilacs, azaleas, hollyhocks, snapdragons, and herbs like sage and oregano.

Fall Color For Your Garden:

There are many plants for the fall that will add color to your garden. Of course, if you have trees with leaves that turn, fall is the most beautiful time for trees - as their leaves will turn to all different shades of amber, yellow and orange. The most common flower for fall is the New York aster, but mums and varieties of sage are also colorful, and many shrubs turn beautiful colors as well.

Winter Color For Your Garden:

Winter is the biggest challenge for color, which mainly comes from evergreen trees and conifers; also there are bushes and trees like dogwoods that have berries in the wintertime that add color to any garden. Flowers that can bloom in milder winters are chrysanthemums, violas, pansies, and the dianthus. These kinds of flowers may be trickier to grow, but once you get the hang of growing them, you will have color year round in your garden. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

What Are Your Hard Landscaping Options?

What Are Your Hard Landscaping Options?
Hard Landscaping Options Add Value To Your Backyard

If you are looking for hard landscaping options - like fences & walls, paths & driveways, decks & patios, and water features – they can be made from almost anything: including rocks, wood, brick, and metal. And hard landscaping options like these are used to define the structure of a garden. 

The possibilities and materials for hard landscaping options are as endless as your imagination - and can make a garden really spectacular if you plan them right.  

Finding hard landscaping materials locally isn’t that hard.

A trip to the local woods is a great place to find rocks - or you can go to a landscaping company and inquire as to where you can buy inexpensive landscaping boulders. Scrap metal can be found at salvage yards, and antique stores have old pieces of wrought iron that they may just be giving away. Being creative and being resourceful is the key to creating hard landscaping options if you are on a budget.

Hard Landscaping Options: Driveways And Pathways

Depending on where your garden is located and how large it is, you may be able to have a pathway or driveway running through it. A pathway or driveway can be made of almost everything, including stone, bricks, concrete, blacktop, or gravel. They can be curved or straight and are the perfect place for borders of flowers or ornamental grass.

Hard Landscaping Options: Fences And Walls

Fences and walls are other hard landscaping options that can be made of anything. While fences and walls are generally put around the perimeter of a garden, they can also be placed around a certain part of the garden, like the center. Walls can provide privacy as well as shade and can be covered with vines or anything durable like seashells or colorful tiles. Walls and fences can also be painted any color, which makes them one of the most creative hard landscaping options that you can add to a garden.   

Hard Landscaping Options: Decks And Patios

Decks and Patios are what really let you enjoy a garden, especially at daybreak and sunset. The possibilities for decks and patios are absolutely limitless; however, they are the one hard landscaping option that should really be installed by a professional. This is because a deck or a patio becomes a permanent part of your home and a poorly built deck or patio will eventually have to be torn down if it becomes dangerous or an eyesore.  

Hard Landscaping Options: Water Features

There is nothing as stunning as a pool or a fountain in a garden to really make it look spectacular.  A pool should be installed by a professional, but fountains are easy to make. You can buy all of the materials for a do-it-yourself fountain from the local home improvement center and make it out of almost anything that can be water-proofed.

Hard Landscaping Options: Raised Flower Beds

Raised flower beds are another hard landscaping option, which are especially attractive if you have poor soil in your area. Ground-level flower beds can be professionally built using quarry stone - or raised flower beds can be constructed from painted plywood that is cut and assembled into rectangles. Pre-made raised flower beds can also be purchased from your local home improvement center.

Any of these hard landscaping options will add distinction and definition to your garden, and also improve your time spent in your backyard.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Tips For Growing Flowers And Gardens In Dry Conditions

Tips For Growing Flowers And Gardens In Dry Conditions
Give Your Flowers Some Shade In Dry Conditions

Plant enthusiasts who are new to outdoor gardening have their hopes set on growing all kinds of flowers, but become heartbroken when they find out that they live in a dry climate. A climate where the flowers they love won’t grow where they live - simply because there isn’t enough rainfall.
Many gardeners suggest planting flowers that thrive in dry climates, but before you resign yourself to growing cacti, there are different ways to make sure that your more frail flowers get enough water without having to install an expensive underground water sprinkling system.

Mulch, Wood Chips, And Compost

The first way to solve a lack of water in a garden is to conserve what you have. Mulch, wood chips, and even compost on flower beds will keep the water in the soil when there is little or no rain. Also, if you have hard or infertile ground, these ground covers will help add the nutrients that plants need and also help keep plants alive and growing. Plants which may not necessarily thrive in your area without some extra help.

As well, there are many flowering ground covers that keep moisture in and fill up the places where nothing else will grow because of lack of water.

Water Deeply And Less Often

If you water your outdoor plants every day, the roots will stay on the surface and the plant will remain spindly from lack of water. It is much better to give your plants a good soaking with the hose (say about an hour or so) once every week. This gives the water time to seep deeper into the ground where the roots of the plant will follow. The deeper the roots go, the more water the plants will find in the long term and the healthier they will be.

Put Up Some Shade

More delicate plants have a better shot at staying alive and flourishing if they have some shade during the day. Shade also keeps moisture in the ground, especially when combined with woodchips. Even a small or newly planted tree will provide some shade. If you don’t have time for a tree, however, you can try other methods of shade like an extended pergola, a trellis, or even a patio umbrella.

Survey Your Property For Moisture

Whenever you are at home, try to pay attention as it rains. The land around your home may be perfectly flat, but if there are parts that are wetter than others when it rains, these are the places where you should grow plants that need more water. Especially with some mulch or wood chips added, most plants that need more water should be able to grow in these spots with less effort on your part.

The Compromise

If you simply can’t get plants to grow in your garden because of lack of moisture, you may have to give in and buy plants and ground cover that require little or no moisture. However, you may be surprised at the amount of beautiful plants that you can find that require little or no watering.  As well, you can always grow your beloved plants that need water and shade in decorative over-sized pots and keep them on your patio.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Garden Shade Options For An Enjoyable Backyard

Garden Shade Options For An Enjoyable Backyard
Trees Provide The Most Tranquil Garden Shade

There are so many shade options for gardens that will fit anyone’s style as well as their budget. Here are a few obvious (and not so obvious) ways to shade your garden so that you can enjoy it in the summer months:

Garden Shade: Trees

Trees are the most economical and natural ways to shade your garden. They do take a while to grow, but if planted properly, mature trees will give your home added value if you decide to sell it. Make sure to plant trees so that they are not too close to the house, power lines or water lines so that they will not cause damage later when they grow larger. The best shade trees are maple, oak, and elm and are perfect for a backyard garden.   

Patio trees that are planted in large pots are wonderful for smaller areas of shade and can be moved around as needed. Dogwoods, redbuds, ficus and lilacs trees are perfect for a patio or walkway to provide immediate shade.

Garden Shade: Arbors/Pergolas

Arbors and pergolas offer shade and are also an attractive and ascetic addition to your garden. Pergolas can be custom-built or you can buy them from a home improvement store. Once the pergola is in place, this is another shade option where you will have to wait for vines to grow to create shade, but modern pergolas may simply have closely spaced wooden slats or mesh material stretched over them to keep out the sun. This eliminates the need to wait for vines to create more natural shade.

Hanging baskets can be suspended from larger pergolas, making for even more shade and a beautiful accent to any garden.

Garden Shade: Umbrellas

Large patio umbrellas are the cheapest and most versatile way to create immediate shade for dining or sitting out-of-doors, and can be easily moved or put away.  Large canvas umbrellas come in almost any size and color, so they are the best way to decorate a garden with something that is functional as well.

Garden Shade: Free Standing Trellises

A free standing trellis made of lattice work is a perfect way to shade a garden and at the same time provide privacy or section a part of a garden off from the rest.  Climbing flowers like wisteria, clematis, and morning glories can be planted to grow up the trellis, making it a beautiful focal point of your garden as well as providing shade.

Garden Shade: Gazebos

Gazebos are a more architectural way to provide shade in a garden and also a place to sit and relax. Gazebos are readily available at home improvement stores and can be stained or painted any color. They also provide a focal point for the garden and are the perfect destination for the end of a walkway.

As you can see, there are many choices for shade in a garden. If you want to get really creative, there are also options like outdoor curtains and panels that can be constructed for the summer months. Conversely, if you have too much shade in your garden, there are many plants that can grow with little or no sun.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Basics Of Home Garden Design For Beginners

The Basics Of Home Garden Design For Beginners
The Basics Of Garden Design Include Decorations

Whether you have your garden professionally designed or you do it yourself, it is important to know some garden design basics so that you come up with a final plan that will suit your home and your lifestyle. 

The one thing about garden design that you can count on, however, is change. Plants die, trees get too big and your tastes will change as well. So when you sit down to design your garden, don’t become paralyzed with the fear that you are making unalterable decisions.  Follow your instincts and be reasonable as to what will grow in your area and you will be fine.

Plan First Your Garden, Plant Later

A site plan is the first thing you will want to do if you are designing a garden. A site plan is a bird’s eye view of where everything will go in your garden. It can be done by a professional or you can draft one yourself. There are no drawing skills required.  Mapping out a plan simply makes it easier to execute the planting of a garden and see what it looks like before you start. You can also eliminate potential problems in this stage of garden design. When you draw your site plan, following are some garden design basics that you will need to consider:

Formal Style Or Informal Style Of Garden

Despite all of the different choices you have when designing your garden, the style will boil down to two choices: informal or formal. Keep in mind that a formal garden is not necessarily stuffy-looking and an informal garden is not randomly placed plants and trees; a formal garden is simply one with a specific purpose, and informal garden is an assemblage of plants and trees that are pleasing to the eye.  Deciding what purpose you will use the garden for will help you decide which style you want.

Symmetry And Balance Of A Garden Plan

Symmetry and Balance have to do with the flow of the garden, the scale of the plants and trees and the repetition of the plants. People are generally more attracted to a garden that makes sense geometrically. You can be as creative as you want, but in the long haul, you will probably want plants that complement each other and have a rationale as to the way they are planted. For example, large shrubs that are surrounded by smaller flowering plants are pleasing to the eye because they balance each other out.

Planning Walls, Roofs And Paths In Your Garden

Walls, roofs and paths give an order to a garden and make them much more enjoyable. Walls make gardens private, and roofs like those on a patio or a gazebo can give protection from the sun and rain. Of course, pathways make gardens accessible so that you can enjoy walking through them. Carefully planning these design elements will infinitely make your garden a place where you want to spend your time.

Once you have considered all of these design basics, the final touch will be to decorate it. Decorations include elements like bird houses, water features, fences, trellises, benches, sculptures, and decorative planters that give your garden a finished look and showcase your personality as a gardener.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Quick Ways To Attract Beneficial Insects To Your Garden

Quick Ways To Attract Beneficial Insects To Your Garden
Attract Butterflies With Common Flowers 
When you think of insects and a garden, your first reaction may be that you want to swat at them – when they are preventing you from sitting peacefully and admiring your flowers. However, beneficial insects are very important if you want to keep a garden that is pest-free and well as safe from harmful pesticides.

It is natural for your first reaction to be to spray your garden with insecticides, but you can avoid doing this if you plan your garden correctly. Insecticides should always be a last resort. Besides being harmful to humans, insecticides also kill the good insects that pollinate flowers and help your garden grow. So let’s look at ways to make your garden more beautiful, and at the same time, make it friendlier to the helpful insects that your plants need to be healthy.

The Three Types Of Beneficial Insects

The three types of insects that you want in your garden are predators, parasitoids, and pollinators. Predatory insects are those which prey on aphids, mealy insects and other insects that destroy the foliage in your garden. Parasitoids patrol the undersides of flowers, looking for pests like harmful caterpillars that eat plants, subsequently using them for food for their young.  Pollinators, of course, make it possible for plants to multiply and grow and are essential for flowering plants.  These are the kinds of insects that are not pests, and will make your garden grow beautifully with little or no pesticides.

Making A Home For The Beneficial Insects

Now that you know what kinds of insects you need to keep your garden low maintenance, it’s time to think about how to attract these insects to your garden so they can start working for you. Much like birds, you have to make a home for these insects so they know that they are welcome.

The first insects that you will want to attract are the pollinators. These are the insects that will pollinate your flowers and essentially make your garden grow. You have to attract theses insects early in the season so it is important to get flowering plants out in your garden as early in the season as possible. This lets the pollinators know that there will be plenty of flowers for them to work on throughout the season and they will pick your garden for their home.

It is important to plant flowers of varying heights and also to plant herbs to attract insects that like ground cover and different types of nectar. A variety of plants including zinnias, fennel, dill, umbels, daisies, and sunflowers are a good mix to attract many types of beneficial insects. As well, flower beds should be mulched, so that ground beetles have cover and a place to find and eat the slugs and cutworms that can also destroy your plants from the root system. Decorative stones and rocks are also a good place for them to hide.

Lastly, don’t forget the water. If you have a sprinkler system, there should be enough water lying around in puddles for most insects. However, if you water your garden manually, always make sure to leave some excess water lying around so that insects can get a drink. You may even want to install a water feature to add a finishing touch to your garden and give the insects some water as well.


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

4 Ways Attract More Birds To Your Garden

4 Ways Attract More Birds To Your Garden
Birds Like Gardens With A Natural Place To Nest
Birds are attracted to a garden by the lure of four different elements: plants, nesting materials, food, and water. Which means that birds don’t just come to any garden that has a bird feeder. 

In order for birds to want to visit you in your garden and stay for a while, you have to make your garden a place that has the elements they need, placed in such a way that makes your garden comfortable for them.

Plants And Trees Are The Most Important Elements

While many people think that food is the most important thing to attract birds to a garden, it is actually the plants, trees and bushes that attract birds to any place where they plan to stay for a little while. This is because plant life is the place where birds can seek shelter and also roost while they rest or digest food. Bushes are also places where birds can socialize and sing, which is really why you want them around.

Check your local information to see what kinds of birds are in your area and what kinds of trees and hedges they like. Trees and bushes with lots of foliage and places to land are perfect for birds to seek cover and also build nests if you want them to stay longer.

Nesting Materials Will Encourage Birds To Stay

Many people think of traditional birdhouses when they think of nests for birds, but nesting boxes also make suitable places for birds to live and raise their young.  You can make your own, or you can buy ready-made nesting boxes and birdhouses at many places online.

Also, to help things along, you can put out nesting supplies. However, make sure to leave the birdhouses and nesting boxes bare. Birds won’t go in a nest that contains materials arranged by human hands. Instead, leave supplies of bit of wool, grasses and twigs lying about (neatly of course), so that birds may pick their own materials to build their nests.

Food For The Birds

Now that your birds have a place to socialize and a place to nest, it is time to think about what they will eat. Premade bird feeders are the easiest to put up and are also inexpensive. They come in a great variety of designs, so you can match them to the style of your garden.  Bird feeders should be put up on some kind of post, so that cats and other animals cannot get to the feed, or more importantly, the birds themselves.

Any hardware store or department store will have bird feed that is suitable for attracting outdoor birds. Once again, it is important to find out what kinds of birds are in your area before you buy bird seed.  It is also wise to buy food for songbirds or birds that you will want to sit and watch while you are in your garden. Be careful not to buy food that will attract pesky birds that will take over your garden.

Water For The Birds

Finally, your birds will need some source of water if you want them to stay around. Stone birdbaths are the obvious choice, but birds aren’t picky. Any basin of water that is a few centimeters deep will give them a place to bathe and drink and make your garden their favorite one in the neighborhood!