Author Archives: The Green Team

Image of kitchen garden

Making the most of your garden

Image of kitchen garden

Your small garden can grow and yield much more, if you know how to make the most out of it. Is this hard? Of course not. You just need to know a few ground rules and you will be good to go. In this hectic world of today, nothing will give you more satisfaction than harvesting your own organic vegetables and herbs for use in your kitchen. Sounds like fantasy especially for the urban folks, but if you have a garden, you can use the tips in this article to make it much more productive.

Tip #1: Grow vertical plants if you have a small garden

I bet you already know this, but listen, there is no harm at all in repeating a good idea one time too many. Think… a plant like tomato is a climber meaning that if you let it grow vertically; it will leave you with more space to grow other things that need more space. Thus, plant your tomatoes and when they start climbing, provide a climbing stick for the plant such that it grows upwards, instead of falling all over the ground. Other plants that grow vertically include squash, peas, melons, pole beans and many others.

Tip #2: Grow everything together – you will be surprised!

In Africa, people have a tendency to grow everything together in the same small piece of land. Now, this is a bright idea that you can adopt if you would like to grow more in a small garden. Consider a case where you would like to grow corn, beans and tomatoes in the same small garden. Beans and tomatoes are climbing plants and therefore they can use the stalks of the corn for survival. In addition, if your garden is fertile enough, you can even make a wider hole and plant everything in the same hole. Lovely, edible neighbors they would make, no?

You would however have to make sure that the crops you would like to mix up are compatible. Lettuce, peas, beans, squash and basil are compatible. And so are many others.

Tip #3: Succession growing

Succession planting is one of the best ways to harvest even more than three crops in one season from the same small piece of yard. How does this work? It is very simple. Find a crop that does well in your area, and matures in as fast as 4 weeks, or 6 weeks. Immediately after harvesting, go ahead and plant another crop that matures in, say, 2 months. To be successful in succession planting, you will need to grow seedlings in a nursery and transplant them, which makes the, grow faster in the garden than when you plant a seed directly into the soil.

Tip #4: Don’t plant in rows

Rows take a lot of space and only people with big enough ground can enjoy such luxury. You do not have that. Thus, try different patterns rather than following rows to fit more crops. For example, expert gardeners say that if you follow triangular patterns, you can fit in up to 15 percent more crops in your tiny farm.

Tip #5: High quality seeds

This is very important. No matter how much ground you have, if you do not go for the best quality seeds and fast growing varieties, you will not enjoy higher yields. Never plant blindly, always seek advice. Thankfully, most of this information is readily available on the internet and from experts like us. Come for assistance, we will help you.

Finally, your soil pH, nutrients, drainage and so on matter a lot. If you do not have the best, you will not get the best harvest. That small, 40sq feet garden can give much more yields. Try these few tips today, thank us later.

Image of a timber deck

Decorating Your Outdoor Timber Deck

Your outdoor timber deck will be your sanctuary during the hot season of summer. Make it livable! Decorating your outdoor timber deck should not be too hard and it should not cost you too much money if you get the right people for the job. Since you will be spending a lot of time here, and you will be welcoming guests too, it is only fair that your deck looks impressive enough. If it is an old deck, all you need is to get a professional floor sanding guy to come in and do if for you. In fact, if you are in the Melbourne area, Affinity Floor Sanding has been restoring timber decks and flooring for over 20 years! Charlie always does a great job.

Image of a timber deck

When decorating, there are many things to consider, but the chief most of them all is simplicity. Your deck should be simple. Believe me, adding too much detail to the deck will just turn it into a ramshackle of things that will be an eyesore instead of being an attraction.

Stepping up the deck

Don’t you just love outdoor timber decks that have those large steps extending from end to end? What a great place to sit down and catch the sunset if your deck faces west! Note that these steps should be wide, and make them just a few, say, about three only. Why is stepping up the deck important? Because you will extend the living area by a few square feet, and you will have a nice place to rest with the young ones.

Deck furniture

This is another of the most important consideration when you are decorating your deck. It doesn’t make sense at all to have great deck decorations and then use beaten chairs made of metal or wood and do an injustice to the deck. Hit the shops and get some good outdoor cushions and pillows for your outdoor chairs. These are made of tough fabric that can withstand outdoor use. Try the neutral colors or the stripped varieties as they will complement the metal or wooden furniture that you use for your deck.

Color theme

Have some color theme for your deck. This could be the same color as you have used for the exterior of your home, or it could be a light contrast to that. However, be careful so that what color you choose does not clash heavily with what you have for your home. Find out which colors are best for the deck. Get a few rugs and drop them for effect more than for use. Make sure that their color compliments that of the decks.

Some plants?

Yes indeed. Why not try some potted plants and flowers that can add more bloom to the summer? Just make sure that the containers are not in contact with the wooden deck to avoid condensation and damage to the deck. If you would like to create some privacy around the deck, try some hedges of the evergreen variety on the side of the road. However, make sure that they are planted some distance away from the deck to prevent damage.

Elevating your deck

Now, this one will make your deck a good-looker, considering that it will create a picture of a deck stacked on another deck. Flat does not look appealing, but adding some elevation gives it a new look altogether.

Conclusion

There are probably a thousand and one ideas for decorating your outdoor timber deck. However, you cannot try everything out at the same time. These few tips in this post will make your deck more appealing.

 

Image of landscaping design

Your Landscaping Design – Plan for Perfection

If you see a design of landscaping that you love, take a picture of the same and come to us, we will help make the same for you, and add more features for customization to make sure that you get your heart’s desires. Do you want a landscaping design that can turn heads? You have come to the right place. Tell us what you want and we will bring it to fruition for you.

Image of landscaping design

Landscaping is one unique way to add life to your yard. Your garden is a big feature and it is the first thing that guests see when they come to visit you. Therefore, it should be done in the best way possible. In addition, landscaping does not only make your home appealing, but it adds more life and value to the home, if you would like to put it up for sale in future.

Hardscape and softscape landscaping design

To make the most out of landscaping, it is important to have the necessary information, especially if you are doing it for the first time. You can use either hardscape or softscape design to create a lasting impression in your garden.

Hardscape involves the use of stones, flagstones or rocks, bricks, mortar and so on, it is best for use in the driveway, the patio, the gate and such. It is hard, literary meaning that it is for the “hard” aspects of your garden.

Softscape landscaping design uses trees, grass, soil, flowerbeds, shrubs, herbs, vegetable gardens and many more to bring out the best in your garden. It is important that you set your priorities right in building a design that will not only meet your present needs but also your future desires and aspirations. Landscaping can be expensive and therefore the last thing that you want is to have to pay for a new design after every few years. They say it does not hurt to dream.

In all landscaping, you will find that hardscape and softscape are used together. Hardscaping lays the foundation of the landscaping design that the softscaping will follow. With the use of stonework, mortar and other physical structures, the hardscaping will be set. This could take some time, you know, to construct all those features that you want in the garden, for example, the walls that need to be erected to set the boundaries between different aspects of the garden, fountains, swimming pools and so on are important features of landscaping design.

Where to find inspiration for landscaping design

Even before you come to us, you can look in the home improvement magazines online and offline and you will see amazing designs. What we can tell you here at Natures Best Landscaping is that we will help you make your dreams a reality. With a team that has a collective experience of decades, we are sure that whatever you have in mind can be brought to fruition.

Take time to visualize your desired yard. If you can see it in your mind, you can have it. That is our creed and we will help you get the best out of your garden and yard. How big is it? Can it fit all the features of landscaping that you want? If not, we will help you choose the best and most important features and the areas that need to be improved. With the perfect innovative plan and up to task budget, you can achieve what you need at your convenience.

Three things to consider for perfect landscaping design

Curb Appeal – The front yard creates the first impression that will last in people’s mind. This is the entrance, thus, it largely influences an individual’s perception of how the rest of your home looks. It is not so much about what people will say; rather it is also about your sense of fulfillment as the owner of the home. There is a variety of ideas as to how you can redecorate your front yard to create the perfect appeal plan. You can consider building arbors and trellises that add some life to a dull garden. These structures can also provide a good ground for hanging potted plants.

Privacy – Everyone, at some point wants to drift away to someplace of privacy and away from the scrutiny of outsiders. Consider fencing and planting some dense plantations that will give you the level of privacy that you want. Choose the best trees for your garden, and in this case, consider those that are best for screening and wind breaking.

Your budget – Landscaping requires money. Could be much money, could be less depending on what you need. However, however much money you have, come to us and we will customize a landscaping package with that budget. Your money can get you a great landscaping design.

Planting bamboo

How to Plant Bamboo

Planting bambooI once heard about the Chinese bamboo … you plant bamboo seed, and then water it for 4 years, yes, four years! while it is still underground. And then it sprouts and grows so fast, and I mean fast, say, like up to 90 feet in less than 2 months, such that it recovers the four years that it spend as a seed buried in the soil.

But that is not the kind of bamboo species that you want for your hedge or garden. You want a species that can grow moderately fast and give your garden the ornamental quality and aesthetic value that you are looking for.

Planting bamboo – bamboo species to consider

There are different species of bamboo for different uses. For example, for screens and wind breaking, try Gracilis, Alphonse Karr, Fasca, Ventricosa, Amoenus and Oldhami. For the delicious bamboo shoots, yes, these are edible and Chinese and Indian restaurants buy them readily, try Black Asper, Oldhami and Atter. For timber (very popular with flooring), try Black Brandisii, Atter, Atro and Black Asper. Lastly, for aesthetics, go for Chungi, Amoenus, Gracilis, Black Brandisii among others. Make sure you understand the Australian government’s regulations regarding bamboo too. You can even use bamboo flooring! Brisbane, and most of QLD for that matter, has the perfect climate for planting bamboo.

How to plant bamboo

Step 1: With the knowledge that there are different species of the bamboo plant, it is important to establish which type of species you prefer to plant. Consult with the relevant experts on the particular type you desire. After identifying the species, seek to understand the specific requirements of the bamboo in terms of the spacing, the amount of water needed, and the amount of sunlight as well as establishing whether the bamboo will be contained or whether you will plant it freely directly into the ground.

Step 2: To ensure maximum fertility, mix the soil you intend to plant with manure. It is more comfortable and convenient to improve the ground before planting than when the plant is in place. After this dig a hole that is relative, one inch longer than the size of the container in which the bamboo plant is. Soak the hole with water to prepare the soil for planting.

Step 3: While exercising caution not to damage the new shoots from the plant take the bamboo plant from the pot and firmly put it in the hole. Ensure that the plant is standing straight before covering the hole with soil. Put back the soil into the hole, pressing it firmly with your hands. Make sure that the plant is in contact with the ground. In addition, be very careful not to break any shoots as at this time, they are very tender. You may want to keep junior and the pets away as you plant bamboo.

Even as you press the soil firmly around your tender plant, you will need to leave a space between the plant and the soil for watering, a kind of berm which you can fill with mulch. That way, whenever you water the plan, you will be sure the water is going to the roots.

Step 4: Water the plant to certify that the different layers of soil connect with each other to create one common ground for growth. Remember one important fact here; that bamboo does not do well in swampy conditions. Thus, you will be better off planting it in soil that has high drainage so that you can water it more often.

How much space do you have to plant bamboo? If you are growing the running bamboo variety, that can really spread out widely. When buying seedlings or seeds, look for a species that can be managed in not more than 5 meters square area. On the same note, know that running bamboo can be a nuisance and therefore you need to know how you can contain its spread.

You have just planted the bamboo seedlings from the nursery. Only a little of the work is done. There is need for more. For example, some species need more water, others do badly in cold regions while yet others need more soil nutrients. Do more research before you plant bamboo.

Image of trees for your garden

How to Choose the Right Trees for Your Garden

Image of trees for your garden

From selecting shade trees to selecting trees for breaking the wind (wind breakers), there is so much to consider when you are selecting the right trees for your garden. Trees play a significant role in enhancing the beauty and the freshness of the air in our home. In addition, the sound of the cockatoos and other birds is just so welcoming. Make trees for your garden your legacy because for sure they are going to outlive you. When you pass on, you would like to be remembered and you would love generations to enjoy the goodness of your trees.

Trees provide shade for the hot summer days when you would like to rest outdoors. However, perhaps the most important thing about them is that they increase the aesthetic outlook of the yard. Thus, it is best to choose a tree that is used widely as an ornamental plant. If you would like your garden to look good, go for the best trees.

Considerations for the best trees for your garden

As you will find out later, not all trees are great for your garden. Thus, you will have to consider a few things when you are buying trees for your garden.

Is the tree going to thrive among other garden plants that you intend to plant? Some trees are not good for the garden because they take up too much nutrients, leaving the soil a bit too lean and infertile.

Three kinds of trees for your garden

Windbreaks and screening trees

Windbreaker trees help to counter high winds and storms. They are evergreen, they are dense, and therefore when they are planted close together, they are going to give your home the privacy that it needs. You have never seen a better buffer against the wind and other elements of the weather than these trees. You should consult our experts to know what side of the garden you should plant the trees, that is, northern, southern, eastern or western side depending on where you live and where winds and storms come from.

Screening trees, on the other hand, are suitable for providing privacy and blocking noise. They are usually columnar in shape, and the leaves should almost start from the ground to create maximum efficiency. A few examples of such trees include fir, holly and Leyland cypress.

Specimen or ornamental trees for your garden

Specimen or ornamental trees create a good ambiance and a beautiful lasting impression. Planting them strategically at focal points such as in entrances enhances the exterior decor a lot. It is important to select trees with attractive flowers and bark to appeal to all. Try crabapple, jacaranda, flowering Cherry, magnolia and Japanese maple. The latter is especially good, what with the different colors of its flowers and the sizable height of between 3 and 20 feet!

Shade trees for your garden

Everyone loves to sit under a tree during the hot summers. Shade trees for your garden have broad shaped leaves to block the sun’s rays during summer days. In the winter, they shed their leaves, thus allowing whatever little sunshine is available to penetrate through for the benefit of the rest of the garden.

Shade trees like elm, ash, linden and beech also enhance beauty with their flowers. In addition, the fallen leaves are great for foliage and mulch, making your garden more fertile.

Now that you know the best kinds of trees for your garden, will you just go and buy? Definitely not! You will want to consult a specialist so that you can know your soil pH, minerals, nutrients level and so on.

Do you live near the town? You may need a tree that will withstand the pollution of the urban centers. If you live in a cold place, you need a tree that can withstand a lot of cold… and so on and so forth.