Therapeutic Gardens Newsletter – AUGUST 2010
According to research conducted by the National Garden Writers Assoc., 76% of people responding to the survey are motivated to grow their own vegetables. The deciding factors included taste, quality and nutrition. The average size garden is 20’ x 20 feet. The trend has been growing and looks to be even greater in 2011.
A hardy plant to consider adding to the garden should be Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). This perennial
blooms from summer to late fall. The red flowers bloom on stems that are 24” long. It has fern-like foliage
and is around 24” wide.
“If at first you don’t succeed, just try another variety.” – Anonymous
A rain garden is a man made shallow area that collects and retains water. The water is absorbed into the ground instead of it running off into basins and drainage swales. Effective rain gardens can reduce runoff by up to 90 percent. They are typically sloped to the center and are 12 to 18 inches deep in the interior area. Some plants to consider using include Serviceberry, Sedges, Winterberry and Hardy Hibiscus.
The use of vinegar as a weedkiller has been tested by the Agricultural Research Service. This inexpensive and environmentally safe method for controlling unwanted weeds is good for organic gardens. The researchers found that a 5 to 10 percent concentrations had the best success rate. Household vinegar is approximately 5 percent concentration. (Be sure to use only vinegar made from fruits or grains to meet organic gardening requirements.)
According to scientists at the Univ. of Cincinnati, Rosemary helps improve memory. The scent of the herb is an effective memory stimulant. Think about adding a pot of Rosemary to your desk at work or where ever you spend time.
To attract butterflies, include a muddle. This is a water source that is a shallow mud puddle. You can use a flower pot saucer or a shallow container. Place a flat rock within the saucer and add a little water, sand and maybe some mushroom compost. This offers the butterfly a place to land and rest while they take up water, minerals and nutrients. Butterflies also need to warm their wings to fly. Add flat stones to the garden to help them warm in the sun.
The best way to cut sunflowers for use in a flower arrangement is to:
- Stems cut at 24 inches
- Cut the stem at an angle to absorb water
- Add water to vase after cutting
- Remove all but the top two leaves
- Use only new booms, as the older flowers shed
A properly placed shade tree can reduce temperatures beneath the tree up to 25 degrees. In addition, costs for air conditioning can save approximately $100 per year. The figures were calculated by the US Dept. of Energy.
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