Mind Lost in Garden

Garden related ideas for relaxed lifestyle. Fresh air in green garden, nice mood, vivid color, go green lifestyle….Mind lost in garden

Greener Idea for Adding into Your Home

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Home accessories are a quick and easy place to start if you’re just looking to add some small revitalizing touches to your rooms. Pillows made from antique linen grain sacks that were once common in Europe add rustic-chic texture without being uncomfortable. To add a pop of color to your couch, drape it with a throw made from a natural material and eco-friendly dyes. To add a touch of social consciousness, choose from a multitude of throws made by indigenous communities in developing countries, like luxurious alpaca blankets from Peru or mohair from Swaziland.

Decorative bowls made from reclaimed wood add a touch of natural beauty, as do driftwood or Manzanita branches. Be cautious about adding some natural touches, though – coral, for instance, is often harvested in ways that are unsustainable and threatening to natural environments.

Don’t count out wall decor as a way to express your eco savvy, either. With Landlord Approval) More and more paint companies are trotting out low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints that are safer to breathe. But if you want to add extra dimension to your walls and make a bolder statement, add wall murals printed on earth-friendly canvas. Sites like MuralsYourWay.com bring beautiful nature scenes right into your home. Not only are their canvas murals made of an ecologically friendly fabric material, there are over 5,000 options to choose from. You can choose everything from a jungle scene to the Mona Lisa or you can print a photo of your own on their fabric wallpaper.

Greening your furniture can be done in multiple ways. If you’re ready to buy new pieces, consult an interior designer, who can weed out items that don’t match your standards. But you can re-use and recycle when it comes to furniture, too – just make sure you revitalize first. Consider re-upholstering items like dining chairs with exotic fabrics that are hand-made or antique. Suzanis, brightly-colored Central Asian textiles in graphic patterns make a great statement fabric, as do boldly embroidered Otomi textiles from Mexico. Ask a designer to help seek them out, or check out exotic import shops – sometimes you can find large examples of these textiles that can be repurposed on your furniture.

Eco Choice For Home Decor

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Going glam and being green don’t need to be mutually exclusive, especially when it comes to decorating your home. Makers of furniture and home decor items have started incorporating environmentally friendly practices and materials into their products, allowing consumers to have greener households without compromising their personal style.

It’s possible to incorporate greener choices in almost all home decor projects. Because so many companies are recognizing that their customers want eco-friendly products, it’s possible to find green products at all price ranges. Even the highest-end design firms now source items like couches made from sustainable wood and organic fabrics – but you can also find them at retail stores, too.

You can also add new life to pieces already in your home by painting them in one, or a coordinated couple, of the year’s color trends. For 2010, turquoise promises to be big, as do coral, cobalt blue and eucalyptus green – all colors inspired by natural materials.

Conserve Water When Caring for Plants

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How to Conserve Water
Water is becoming increasingly scarce in the USA. So all of us need to conserve water whereever we can.

Organic matter. Mix some sort of organic matter into your soil to reduce downward drainage (persolation) if done before planting. Do this for vegetable gardens, flower beds and foundation plantings. Organic matter absorbs many times its own weight in water. This helps plant growth.

Mulching materials can be placed over the soil to reduce evaporation from the surface. This may also reduce some of the run-off, give better water penetration into the root mass and help to control weeds. Mulches may be organic (shredded leaves, bark, sawdust) or inorganic (gravel). To limit evaporation from the soil surface, try plastic mulch, however this can limit water absorption.

Spraying. There’s not much you can do to stop transpiring. Woody plants, bedding and vegetable plants will benefit by occasionally spraying the foliage durint he day and by keeping the area shaded.

Trickle or drip irrigation allows the slow water penetration into the root zone with just minimum surface wetting. If large areas are to be irrigated, these systems can be useful. You can use plastic tubins, emitters, filtrs and pressure reducers. Attach them to an existing outdoor water supply.

Drip or trickle irrigation allows a steady supply of water to be delivered slowly to the soil around the plant roots. Often a 60 percent or more savings in water usage may be realized using such a system.

Watering Tips for Plants

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Planning on planting vegetables, bedding plants or perennials? These are usually have shallow roots because they are small so it’s no wonder they have to be watered more often. You want to have a consistent water supply. To check the soil, use a trowel or spade. Push the tool into the soil down to the depth of the expected root zone. This area should be moistened prior to the plant starting to wilt. Wilting a few times will cause subsequent growth to be retarded and yield a reduced harvest. But be careful not to overwater. Use a drip irrigation system to control the amount of water the plant receives.

Any time you have a plant in a container it needs special attention. Both volume of soil and total water available for plant use are limited, so you have to constantly monitor it. Container plants have to be watered more often than plants growing in the ground as a result. For this reason I have a lot of artificial quality plants in my home. I just don’t have the time, energy and desire to stay on top of container plants in the manner needed. Begin watering when the soil surface feels dry to the touch, but not before. The frequency and amount of water you give it will depend on media, location, amount of sun, temperature, type of plant, etc. Containers which have been allowed to completely dry out may need to be soaked in water to rewet the soil.

Caring for Your Indoor House Plants

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You Don’t Need a Green Thumb

Even I have managed to keep some of my plants alive, much to my surprise. Green and flowering live plants not only add beauty to any home or office, they also are good for your health. That’s because common house plants are powerful, natural air purifiers. This is a fact determined by the National Aeronatutics and Space Administration (NASA) after a study they did. A good reason to keep your plants healthy by giving them proper care.

You can get guidelines on green house plants and how to keep them thriving from The Society of American Florists.  Care instructions often come with the plants which you purchase from a nursery or florist.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

We would all agree than natural sunlight is best, but some plants can also thrive in office fluorescent light. I’ve discussed lighting at length on another page in this newsletter, so I’m not going to go into it here. Suffice it to say, flowering plants need a lot of light; foliage plants can do with less light.

Keep the Soil Moist

Try not to let your plants dry out completely or wilt. But be careful not to overwater them. Finding that balance can be tricky. Don’t allow plants to stand in water and avoid wetting the plant leaves if you can.

Avoid Extreme Temperatures

65 – 72 degrees Fahrenheit is the ideal temperature for most plants. You don’t want them to dehydrate, so avoid hot points, vents, furnaces, electrical equipment, incandescent lights.

How to Pot Your Plants Successfully

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Consider potting your own plants, especially if you are ordering over the internet. You can save a lot of money in shipping costs by buying your pots locally. Unpotted and unshaped plants cost less, but you have to do more work to get them ready to display in your home. Here’s a brief guide on “How to pot the plant”. Decisions on what to do are pretty much dictated by the size and style of the plant, where you’re going to place it, and the style of your home.

1. I find the best way is to pot first into a black plastic nursery pot (just like you would do if you had a live plant), tape up the holes, mix in some weight (such as rock, stone, brick) and use an expanding foam (which can be found in home improvement stores). Then you can put the plant into the decorative container of your choice, be it ceramic, metal, wood or wicker. This keeps the plant separated from the decorative pot and a larger (the proper) size nursery pot can be used. Many people tend to choose pots that are too small to save money. Don’t do that. It’s important to fully support the plant visually in every way.
2. You can also pot directly into a decorative pot if you wish. If you are potting into a wicker basket with a plastic liner, just make sure to tape up any holes before putting in expanding foam with rock, stone or brick. This method is great because it allows you to pick up the plant and the pot as one unit which makes it easy and far less messy.
3. Cement or plaster can be used as a potting medium. Cement or plaster is for adding a lot of weight when potting the plant into a smaller pot than is normally used, plants going into windy or high traffic locations and when a palm trunk curves way out. A few products like some of the topiary styles come from the factory already potted into a small nursery pot filled with cement. These are put into the larger decorative pot, then filled with pine or cedar bark nuggets, dried moss. To add even more weight, use decorative stone.

Tell the Quality of Artificial Plants

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There are a lot of artificial plants on the market that are excellent quality and there is a lot out there that is pure junk. So how do you know the difference? Where are are a few determining factors that will help guide you in the selection of silk plants of quality:

  • How is the plant constructed. Check out the fine details. Tug a big on some of the leaves and see if they come off easily.
  • The amount, size, color, quality and realism of the leaves, trunks or stalks also makes a difference. Quality plants will be true to nature’s colors, not too bright and not too strong. The colorization of the petals of the flowers will graduate from one color into another and not be a flat color throughout the petal.
  • Look at how realistic the plant or tree is designed, constructed and shaped out. Cheaper varieties may look great from one angle but be very thin from another angle. Turn the plant around and inspect it from all sides.
  • The use of the correct size and how large the nursery container is. Knowledge of scale is important here. You want to make sure your planter fully supports the plant and is in good scale for the size of the plant itself.
  • All of these factors determine a plants value, quality and longevity. Don’t choose your plants based on price. Look for quality and spend a little more to get it. You’ll be happier with it in the long run which will far outweigh the extra cost on the front end.

House Plants for Lighting Your Mood

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Another great look is to group a number of plants in a single container for drama and an unexpected look. Use any large container, like a basket or trunk. Remember to choose plants with similar watering needs. Try using plants from the same family. For example, group different ferns together, or use the same plant with different color variations for more variety. If your color palette in the room is cool, choose plants that are dark green, not a yellow green.

Bring plants into the bathroom and create a more spa-like ambience. To adjust the heights, raise the bottom of a deep container with folded fabric, rocks, bricks so the plants will be more visible. Line the container with heavy plastic, like a garbage bag. (Even with the lining, however, you will probably want to remove your plants to water them at the sink for the best safety and thorough watering.)

For a beautiful centerpiece, use plants with colorful foliage or blooming plants. If you group several plants together in a container, cover the pots with sphagnum moss or Spanish moss or small pebbles for a finished look. Balance and scale are important when placing plants in a room. You don’t want to overpower a wall, but neither do you want to plants to look lost in the space. Choose plants heights and fullness based on the space and the height of other elements in the room, such as windows, armoirs, doors and so forth.

Decorating with House Plants

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You’ll find great success in your decorating and add continuity as well if you choose plants for your home that coordinate with the style of decor you are using. For instance, if you have a contemporary style, choose plants that have clean lines are sleek and have long, slender shapes. However, if your home is Victorian in style, you’ll want to choose feminine, frilly ferns. But in a Southwestern style, you’ll probably want to use plants from the cacti family. Here the choice of palm trees is perfect to go with the southseas style. It’s very casual and informal and the palm is light and airy to go with the light weight wicker furniture.

The heights of the plants should graduate down in small increments. Don’t place a 7 foot or taller tree (like seen here) next to a short plant. In the picture to the right, the tree is a little tall for the severe drop in height to the plants on each side. It’s better to graduate down with less of a drop off. The scale is all wrong and too severe. An easy-to-make platform for pots is a grouping of bricks covered with coordinating fabric from the room. If one of the plants isn’t tall enough, place it on a brick or a flat basket turned upside-down.

So Will Our Future Be Like This…

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Senior manager
I will live in a villa in China in 2020, with fresh, unpolluted air, more trees and green fields and blue skies…
Everyone just works at home, no longer needs to gather in one office building. We can save both the resources and the time, and we also can allocate our time freely to improve efficiency and relieve traffic congestion.

travel business
I hope I can live in a beautiful village with nice surroundings, convenient transportation. I also hope I have more free time to travel and see the undeveloped places.

Artist

An artistic lifestyle, living in a natural and harmonious environment. I dream the city would be like a big garden and I am the bee.

Teacher, artist

A dream is only a dream. According to the situation now, a dream would remove you only be further away, so you’d better stop dreaming.

My Dream Survey in 2015

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Teacher

Several years later, I wish there should be more green; I hope to breathe more pure fresh air. Drinking water will be much cleaner. I expect the buildings are more beautiful, the quantity of cars is much less than now. The population density is reduced. I could go through the city by bike.

Manager? …probably.

In 2015, I hope I would have a happy family, and everyone is healthy. Less pressure from living, enough time for traveling. I expect the living environment would have well appointed facilities, nice environment, fresh air and with a European feeling.

Gardener, manager or musician
Get up at 10 o’clock, start working, then a meal, and go to bed at 10 pm, that’s all. Living in a city with mountains and rivers and also animals. The city is quiet, with cultural details, traditional buildings and


Dream of a Green Neighborhood

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More green in the surroundings, well-developed road network. I would buy my parents an apartment. Work hard, live intense.

15 years later, I expect I could join into some interesting affairs, like sell paintings, mount paintings, make some beautiful accessories, or run a flower shop. I could go for walk with my grandson in the park to play Taiji (Chinese kongfu). Blue sky, green land with birds and flowers, exchange chess techniques with friends.

I want to live in a lower than 6 stories building, no high buildings around so nothing would block the sunshine. There is a row of trees in front of the building to enjoy the shade. A sweet-smell comes from roses and clove trees. There would be no traffic jams on the roads, so the kids could get home quickly to have a rest, an 8 hour workday, and no overtime during the holidays; keeping healthy and energetic. Our kids’ kids would go to a school with highly skilled teachers, bright classes with just 30 students, no more crowded classes of 60 students. No dust in the playground.

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