Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Organic gardens take root in Canada| Reuters

By Julie Gordon


TORONTO As climate change makes longer, drier summers a reality in many parts of the world, a new trend in landscaping is taking root in Canada.

In Toronto, where precipitation levels were 52 percent below the seasonal average over the past six months, according to government data, residents are trading in their manicured lawns for environmentally friendly organic landscapes.

"Irrigation is a huge issue as water is such a valuable resource," said Claire Suo-Cockerton of landscaping company Aesthetic Earthworks. "We are trying to plant material that is more appropriate today in our climate."

Organic landscapers use drought resistant plants and shrubs native to the region, which encourage the development micro-organisms in the soil. This attracts birds and insects to act as natural pest and disease control.

A well-managed organic landscape is self-sustaining, whereas a traditional yard needs to be watered at least onc e per week, Suo-Cockerton said.

"It's a drastic lifestyle change for those who incorporate it in their homes," she added.

But the change may be a bit too drastic for average homeowner.

Kevin MacDonald, operations manager of Humber Nurseries near Toronto, said he hasn't seen an increase in the sale of native plants and shrubs. He said the downside to native plants is they are more susceptible to native insects.

"By planting a cultivated variety, that is non-native, you may not end up with diseases and insect problems, simply because the diseases and insects that would traditionally attack that plant are not found in the new location," he said.

Still, the main reason why traditional gardens remain popular may be purely aesthetic.

"In most cases homeowners will have a pref erence for what looks best," MacDonald said.

While the bare shrubs and woodchips of an organic landscape don't quite have the curb appeal of an ornamental garden, commercial and residential buildings looking to go green are picking up on the trend.

"From a developer's standpoint it's a great marketing tool because people are becoming very conscious of the environment," said Melissa Ferrato of the Canada Green Building Council (CGBG).

The CGBG uses the leadership in energy and environ mental design (LEED) standard developed in the United States to measure the "green factor" of a building. Avoiding pesticides, lawnmowers and leafblowers all reduce a building's carbon footprint, contributing to a higher LEED score.

"Native, organic plants is what we're all about," said Ferrato. "We really discourage the use of manicured lawns and pesticides."

While organic landscaping is only now gaining popularity in the private sector, it has long been used by city parks departments.

"We've been moving away from traditional lawns for many years now," said Patricia Landry a liaison officer at the Toronto parks department. "We are using plants able to withstand drought, pollution and the changing climate."

Organic landscaping makes economic sense for urban municipalities, Landry said. Less money is spent on labor and irrigation. And reintroducing native plants provides habitat for birds and small animals.

While efforts to convert Toronto's ornamental flowerbeds to organic gardens were met with public opposition, some of the cultivated annuals were swapped with native plants.

"It's about trying to keep a balance," said Landry. "Finding different ways to keep those areas a little more environmentally friendly."

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Gardening :: Cold Climate Greenhouse Gardening Tips

Tips for Cold Climates and Growing Green House Gardens

A cold greenhouse is simply one that is not heated; it is an affordable way in which to begin gardening in a greenhouse. Many plants and vegetation as well as flowers grow just fine in an unheated greenhouse.

Therefore, if you have a cold or unheated greenhouse, you will have some limitation since some plants or flowers have a temperature that must Spinkler Installation be kept consistent in order to survive.

Therefore, you will have to choose the hardier plants, flowers, and vegetation that can grow without the needed heat or control of temperature.

Capturing Heat in the Summer

The cold greenhouse captures heat in the summer months. In addition, it is also the simplest type of greenhouse simply because it has no artificial heat source, it's even better than most lean to greenhouses. This essentially means that your growing season is limited to the outside temperature. Therefore, if you live in a very cold climate, you may find that you can only garden a couple of months each year. On the other hand, if you live in a warmer climate, you will be able to garden in your greenhouse for many more months in the year.

Of course, a cold greenhouse extends the growing season because it can capture the heat from the sun during the day, whereas if the plants or vegetation were outdoors, they would surely die. In addition, the plants and vegetation are protected from rain and wind.

Why Use Only a Cold Greenhouse

Many people only use a cold greenhouse and garden during the summer months simply because installing a heater means more costs in their utilities and it means more fuel is used, which ultimately effects the environment.

When you have a cold greenhouse without the use of heat, you can insulate the greenhouse so that when the sun shines through, the heat the greenhouse captures remains inside the greenhouse for longer. This means sealing off any cracks or anywhere that the heat may seep out through and cause the heat to dissipate faster. This often becomes a personal crusade in order to capture and retain as much of the daytime sunlight as possible.

Costs of Cold Greenhouses

Obviously, because there is no heat source inside a cold greenhouse, it is much cheaper to purchase and more efficient to operate then a heated green house. If you have never done greenhouse gardening, the cold greenhouse is definitely a great place t o begin because you can always add a source of heat later.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to greenhouse gardening, many people choose the cold greenhouse because it is cheaper to operate than a heated greenhouse. They find ways to capture the sun's heat during the day and therefore, have natural heat, which for plantation and vegetation is often Sprinkler System much better than artificial heat.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Landscape design plans | Landscape Garden design

The landscape design market is booming. But what is booming along with it is the market of the online software that actually helps you design a landscape for your own house. I think it is a brilliant innovation. The advantages of the same are manifold. Not only do you save on the money that you would be giving to a professional landscaper, you will also actually be putting yourself into the design. Each and every corner in your house can now be a reflection of you and your family.

People in the United States spend a huge amount of money in landscape architecture as property is considered as the most important investment there. After all, it is an investment that will bring years of enjoyment, peace and harmony at your property. However, it is very important to understand all aspects of landscaping Mckinney Sprinkler System so that the money is not wasted and also that your landscape architects do not cheat you. Also, it is very vital to understand that the landscape should reflect your personality and not vice-versa. So do not overdo anything.

While choosing a landscape design for your house, considering the geographical and climatic conditions of your area is of utmost importance. For example, planning lush green lawns bordered with exotic Sprinkler Installation flowers in an area where drought is a high possibility would be rather foolish. In contrast, a rock garden in a rocky terrain would be a fantastic idea. Also, in an area where water is available in plenty around the year, a water feature like a pond that reflects the sky and the surrounding surfaces can add depth and dimension to your landscape.

Along with the softwares, there are also a huge number of online web sites that provide help. Some sites are owned by professional landscapers who fill their website with beautiful pictures of what they could your backyards into. However, some are in it for the pure pleasure of landscaping and fill their sites with very useful home landscape design ideas and tips.

Some of the easy to use and inexpensive landscape design software available for home landscape design over the Internet are:

Plan 3D: is an online landscape design service tha t helps you create home landscape with features available for walks, drives, patios, trees and planting. It lets you view your design from any angle.

Instant Architect Home (Broderbund Software): provides the ability to design your own home or landscape and is very intuitive in nature. Hence, no previous experience is required.

Fences and Gates: software helps design fences and gates in an artistic manner. It also provides a list of all the materials that will be required to build the fence after the design has been finalized.

3D Home Architect Home & Landscape: provide easy to use home and landscape design solutions, which also contains a complete set of landscape design tools. It uses the latest design techniques and technologies to make designing a very enjoyable experience.

35 Do It Yourself Backyard Project Plans: allows building 35 different projects for your backyard. It allows a combination of 10 sheds, 3 playhouses, 3 gazebos, 3 arbors, 2 picnic tables, a deck, a doghouse, a sandbox, fence and a loveseat. This is very inexpensive software and permits printing of plans.

Realtime Landscaping PRO (Idea Spectrum): helps you visualize even the most demanding landscape design projects. Using the latest advances in 3D technology, even beginners will find it easy to plan and visualize design ideas.

Realtime Landscaping PLUS (Idea Spectrum): helps create highly realistic 3D and photo based landscape designs. This software is ideal for homeowners as well as professional designers. The plus point is that no CAD or prior architectural experience is required.