THE ZEN GARDEN…A STRESS RELIEVING GARDENING STYLE

Tranquil. Peaceful. Calming. Elegant. The term the Japanese use for a Zen garden is “karensansui” and it means dry landscape. To achieve this look, a merging of gravel, rocks and boulders are used to create a vision that represents islands and mountains surrounded by an imagery of flowing water.  A Zen Garden is not a Japanese Garden. There are differences in the two. A Zen Garden will not include a pond, but a Japanese Garden typically will.

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GET OUT OF THE SUN! AND ENJOY YOUR PATIO!

You got that new patio or deck you’d been dreaming of. You enjoyed it all spring and into the early summer. Your neighbors oohed and aahed over your new backyard living space and you smiled over everyone’s excitement. But now it’s dead in the middle of summer and well…it’s too hot to enjoy your new space during the middle of the day. The sun is banging on everyone and the guests don’t seem as excited over your invites. What to do? What to do?

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FOR THOSE WHO HATE TO WATER THEIR LANDSCAPING

Summers in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states can often be very hot and very dry. Very dry. And when it feels like 100 degrees outside, the sun is beating on you and you look outside at all your beautiful flowers struggling outside, knowing you have to water them AGAIN, it can sometimes be a struggle. A real struggle. But you can make things easier on yourself by planting drought tolerant perennials to brighten your outdoors. There are plenty of varieties available. The color, size and texture variations are many and finding the right plants for your yard will be a fun adventure.

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GO FROM BLAND TO BREATHTAKING…ROLL OUT THE OUTDOOR RUGS.

Is your deck or patio a little boring? Is it too hot to walk on when the sun is its brightest and the temps their highest? Do you feel like something is keeping you from feeling like your outdoor living space isn’t quite a livable as you’d like? An outdoor rug will instantly turn your patio or deck into an outdoor lounging or living space that will host you and your guests comfortably and longingly.

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PLANT OF THE WEEK – PETCHOA SUPERCAL PREMIUM

Petchoa  is a scrumptious cross between a petunia and calibrachoa. It’s got the size of a petunia and it’s profuse flowering power, as well. But the bonus is that it has the wonderfully rich and vibrant colors of a calibrachoa. The newest version of the Petchoa is the SuperCal Premium and its size and color will not disappoint.

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HOW TO DECORATE A PATIO

It’s not just a slab of concrete to put your grill on. It’s so much more. A patio should be extension of your home and style. The ways you can decorate your patio are numerous, and you can do something lovely no matter your budget. Creativity and inspiration are key. How do you find inspiration? Think about the things that most inspire you and go forward. Is it a song? Think about the title and lyrics and how you can transpose that into your design. A certain type of flower? Use that as your color palette starting point. How about something as simple as an outdoor memory from a past vacation? Even a search through a magazine will help to spark your creativity and imagination.

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PLANT OF THE WEEK – CANDY APPLE HYDRANGEA

Everyone loves a pretty hydrangea bush. Right? We certainly do, and nothing excites us as much as a new variety.  Candy Apple is just that plant. If you’re familiar with Limelight, then you’ll love Candy Apple. It has the same stunning lime green clusters that you see on Limelight, but with a much more compact form.

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COOL AS A CUCUMBER – RECIPES FROM YOUR GARDEN

Do you know where the expression “cool as a cucumber comes from? It’s because cucumbers are typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the temperature around them. Try inserting a thermometer into one if you need a little proof. Not only do cucumbers have a cool temperature, but they’re also the key ingredient to some of the summer’s best cool down recipes.  There was a time when we only knew two main types of cucumbers – slicing and pickling. But things have changed and there is now a large variety of cucumber types available to gardeners and shoppers. They include Armenian, Diva, English Telegraph, Burpless, Persian, Lemon, Parisian Gherkins, Dasher, Sweet Success and Calypso varieties.

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