with an ivy border of green blessings!
English Ivy has three to five lobes and has several interesting colours and shades. It needs light but will also grow in shade. It is a sturdy climber and attaches itself firmly wherever it is put. It has a wonderful overall rating for helping to clear up indoor air according to the lovely book How to Grow Fresh Air by Dr. B.C. Wolverton whose tests for NASA discovered and promoted 50 plants that help to purify indoor air.
English Ivy which can be found in all sorts of places all over England and other countries too, is very effective at removing formaldehyde! Its overall rating is 7.8 out of 10! It is also easy to grow and maintain, is resistant to insect infestation and has a good transpiration rating.
Best of all it is also a very good plant to grow in gardens to lure wildlife!
Roof and Wall Greening
Lightweight green roofing, a newer technology offers an exciting new choice for both gardeners and wildlife. It also helps the staggering environment by reducing our carbon footprint.
Research from Germany brought these green roofs into gardening. In the olden days this was done by primitive turf roofs on the mud houses of ancient Kurdistan. The grass sods were helpful in keeping out the heat. They were also used in Iceland and Scandinavia to keep out the bitter winter cold.
Now Germany’s new green roofs are lifted onto a higher plane. They are low maintenance and carry a light load so the roofs don’t need extra support.
The plants that work on them are drought resistant, and can survive in the thinnest layer of growing medium, spread meanly so they keep out weeds. Extensive greening is much cheaper, and better than the old traditional roof garden – and is wonderful for biodiversity!
The magic is that plants on the roof absorb water (acting like sponges copying mosses and lichens in the forest). This reduces storm-water runoff which causes flooding of the sewers, by a stunning 75 per cent!
The magic of this story is that this is not a new discovery. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (600 BC) were built in part to stem the annual flooding of the Tigris-Euphrates valley!
So consider this brand new option that the ancient magicians were already reaping advantages from!
From: The Natural Garden Handbook by Caroline Foley.
Do odd and unusual gardening tips really work? The best way to find out is to try them! Here are some ideas using tea bags, banana peels and baking soda!
Odd & cheering Garden Tips!
Can banana peels added to soil make for magical gardening? Kathy Mauller of Missouri began saving banana peels in a bag in the freezer. When she was planting her tomatoes she dug a ditch 2 inches deeper than required, lay the peels end to end and covered them with dirt. Then she planted her tomatoes. She says that her tomato vines reach 8 to 10 feet, and the fruits are very sweet! It sounds interesting enough to try out!
When one gardener’s potted tomato plant started to die, her neighbor told her to put a tea bag in the pot, cover it with a little dirt and add water! To her surprise, the plant was green and growing again within a few days! It produced very healthy tomatoes as well!
Eli Troyer of Ohio has this tip: if you spot brown rot, spray your grapes with a solution of one tablespoon baking soda and a gallon of water. She needed to use it just once a season.
Plant tomatoes near your asparagus to keep the asparagus bugs away. Marigolds will deter insects if planted next to potatoes and tomatoes. Scented geraniums have the same effect when planted next to tomatoes!
From: 1,112 Down-to-earth Garden Secrets
Surprisingly easy Magic Killers of Garden Pests
Treat your garden pests to chives tea!
Cut some fresh chives from your garden in the early morning. Put them in a teapot and pour on boiling water. Let the tea steep for 15 minutes. Spray over mildew on gooseberries, cucumbers and other plants.
This works because chives are not attacked by any kind of mildew or fungus. Perhaps they have some quality which repels mildew which may help some other less resistant plants say Helen and John Philbrick in their book The Bug Book Harmless Insect Controls.
Another easy recipe for killing pests on trees and plants is fish oil soap they say. It is a wonderful wash for trees and plants where insects and eggs affect the bark. If you smear it on trunks of trees, it will stop worms from crawling up!
Have you tried to grow food without a garden?
Here is one very easy way to grow healthy and tasty food indoors without a garden! Sprout the seeds of a variety of grains and beans. When a seed sprouts its food value increases enormously, providing you with a good source of vitamins – especially vitamin C and minerals.
Sprouts can be eaten fresh and are a good mix with salads, sandwiches and stir fries.
To sprout seeds you only need two jam jars, a couple of muslins squares, two rubber bands and a couple of ounces each of seeds like mung beans and sunflower seeds.
Wash the beans and put them in the jars.
Cover them with tepid water, then put the muslins over the tops of the jars, securing them with rubber bands.
Change the water twice a day, and stand the jars with their necks tilted downwards, leaving the seeds damp but not submerged.
The sprouts will be ready to eat in three to five days! Wash them and eat them fresh or add them to cucumber salad, or tomato, radish or any other salad.
Now you even get ready made sprout makers which will be even easier to use!
Water saving tips: did you know that if you leave a sprinkler on for an hour, it can use the same amount of water that a family of four normally uses in two days?
Watering during the hottest part of the day can mean that 90 per cent of the water evaporates.