Monthly Archives: January 2010

A Guide to Planting a Winter Garden for Food And Beauty

In the winter, it’s easy to fall into a bout of depression when the air is cold, the ground is frozen, the trees are bare and all of the beautiful flowers have died. However, if you plan your garden plants just right, you can extend the spring and summer prosperity into winter and enjoy year-round blossoms without making a trip to the florist. A gardening expert may recommend winter-blooming camellia blossoms, crimson poinsettias, stunning hellebores and aloha roses, or late-winter crocuses. Often people discover what works best in their regions with a little trial and error, but these are some hardier varieties to try out.

During the winter, you may want to add late growing plants to the mix. You can plant ornamental cabbages that come in stunning foliage colors such as yellow, lilac, deep purple, white and pink. This heath is the hardiest winter flower, as it’s able to withstand temperatures as low as -25.

If this is your second year of producing garden plants, then it’s important that you plant your winter vegetable crops in a different location than last year. Planting in the same spot every year weakens the soil, loses nutrients and attracts insects or disease. A gardening expert may also recommend that you use cover crops to build up damaged or idle soil. By planting fast-growing greens, you can spade, plow or till them into the soil for added green organic matter and nutrients. In the fall, you can sow alfalfa, Austrian field peas, white clover, crimson clover, red clover, purple vetch, hairy vetch, woolly vetch, common vetch, fava beans, wheat, oats, cereal rye, winter rape, and lupines. If you’d like to cover in the winter, try cow-peas (Southern peas), hairy indigo, bell beans (a small fava bean) Lana vetch, winter peas, lupines, and purple clover.

There are several tactics to help your garden plants withstand colder temperatures and extend your growing season. If there are sudden freezes, extremely cold weather or if you’re dealing with young plants, then you may need to cover your new shrubs with a burlap sack or an old sheet. It’s best to avoid direct contact between the fabric and the foliage, so add taller stakes to your garden supplies list, as these stakes will hold the cover up and away from the delicate leaves.

If you’re really into home vegetable gardening, then you may want to build a permanent greenhouse. You can grow leaf and root vegetables without heat, or — if you’d like — you may grow tropical plants, tomatoes and cucumbers in a heated greenhouse even if it’s cold as Alaska outside!

Many people are saving money during the recession by growing their own edible foods, while also improving their moods with fresh cut flowers on the table all year round. Flowers in a winter garden can add a dash of fragrance and a splash of color to your yard.

Everyone wants their property to look its best and one of the ways to do that is to enhance your landscaping. For some great suggestions on lawns, gardens and even outdoor garden lighting, visit our landscape ideas site.

The Great Thing About An Outdoor Fireplace

Learn how to select your outdoor fireplace from the many makes and models available on the market today. Or better yet, learn to build your own. It could be a fun project that will not take long to do. When it is finished you can enjoy the warmth and glow from your new outdoor fireplace, as you bask in the feeling of a job well done.

Swim in the pool on a cool evening as you warm up by the fire. Invite guests for a peaceful evening while enjoying a glass of wine. The weather will not deter your fun outdoors even if it is cool outside. The heat from the fireplace will keep you warm while you relax and entertain.

Place or build it on the patio or in the yard. You can even add an outdoor kitchen to make your look complete. Bring the convenience of the indoors, outdoors and expand your space. There is not any certain way that the fireplace needs to be designed. You could design your own in any way you desire.

There is a wide array of choices from which to choose. What size fireplace will you decide on? Large or small it is totally up to you. There is as much fun to be had decorating the exterior of your home as it was to do the interior. Spend hours of fun entertaining guests in the comfort of your backyard.

Think of how the addition of the fireplace will enhance outdoor activities. The change will be well worth the time and effort. You and your guests will love what you have done to your yard, and you will especially appreciate the peace and tranquility that you can immerse yourself in after a long hard day.

Roasting hot dogs or enjoying a snack of roasted marshmallows is a delightful outdoor activity. It is one of the simple pleasures of life generally enjoyed in warm weather months. With an outdoor fireplace this activity can continue throughout the year if desired. A warm and inviting atmosphere is always welcomed by all.

There is so much fun to be had with the adding of a fireplace to the backyard. More time will be spent outside with many activities to do. Safety is number one in preparation of all of the fun to be had. A distributor will be able to go over and explain all of the necessary requirements to keep your home and family safe, while they enjoy time spent outdoors.

Airflow is an important factor to consider when effecting, a fireplace, fire ring, or pit outside. Without proper airflow smoke will accumulate and build up getting onto your clothes and into your eyes. A great outdoor fireplace is something called a Chiminea, its upright design provides a natural draft to disperse of smoke.

What is better a permanent or portable outdoor fireplace? Whichever one is best for your home would be the better choice. Adding one to your backyard is like receiving the golden ticket to fun times and activities. Enjoy the outdoors all year long while staying warm in cooler temperatures.

Toasty Joe is the kind of person who understands a budget, this is one of the reasons he searches high and low for the lowest manufacturer price on outdoor fire pits. If you need an outdoor fire pit be sure to check the deals at