Backyard Gardening Approaches

Home gardens can be as elaborate or as carefree as you would like them to be. Some can survive in blend into the natural landscape of your area or dress up a garden to prove a sense of awe and wonder. Here are a few gardening approaches to get your creative juices flowing.

Xeriscaping

To turn your garden from boring to extraordinary and self-maintaining is to xeriscape. Xeriscaping means to use native and water-wise plants and in arid areas or during times when rainfall is limited, or water restrictions are in force. Xeriscaping plants make gardening easier, once established, because Xeriscaping plants are adapted to the local area and or are more drought resistant because they need less water to provide lush flowers and foliage. Most Xeriscaping plants are perennials, so, they will continue to flourish with minimal care for several years without having to replant.

Formal Gardens

Formal gardens convey a sense of artistry, symmetry, and power over the environment. Formal gardens use of carefully trimmed hedges and symmetrical layouts and elegant pathways. Formal gardens were popularized during Elizabethan times. Formal gardens require considerable work, but the overall effect can be visually spectacular.

Woodland Garden

Woodland gardens use plants that can tolerate shade, and partial sunlight of being undergrowth or grow when desidius trees have lost there leaves in the fall, winter, and early spring. The concept is to mimic and enhance the characteristics of the forest floor and encourage wildlife. Embankments, walkways, streams, and ponds can be augmented by adding or rearranging stone or wood, fencing, bridges, mulch, to accentuate desired areas. The idea is to work with space and terrain and make a Woodland Garden to convey a sense belonging to place and time.

Container Gardens

If your space is minimal, you can still create spectacular visuals with a container garden. Container gardens can be useful in an urban setting, or a small backyard, courtyard, balcony, or patio. Container gardens can con variety the differing colors, sizes, and shapes of containers creating a kaleidoscope of textures and colors. Container gardens can create stunning visuals on very little space, especially, when potential vertical garden opportunities have been incorporated.

Wildflower Gardens

Wildflower gardens can create a wonderfully natural wash of color across the seasons with minimal care in addition to providing food for the native species in your area. Wildflower gardens recreate the mix of flowering plants one might find in a natural field or meadow, rather than the classic, highly groomed, pure green grass lawn. Sowing wildflower seeds can be as simple as just casting handfuls of wildflower seeds around your garden area or in small prepared patches within the existing lawn or garden. You may also want to consider planting some within easy reach of your walkways, in case you get the urge to pick a few to put in a vase in the house. Wildflower gardens will attract bees, birds, and butterflies, to entertain and add activity to your yards and garden.

Lots of money is not required to get started creating your own extraordinary garden spaces. Mostly creating an inspiring garden space requires some creativity, research, planning, and tender loving care (TLC). If in doubt on how to get started, you can always contact your local agricultural extension office of guidance and literature to help you along the way.

Related References

A Rain Day

Writing and The Written Word

It pools in the garden
and trickles down the driveway
drowning up earthworms
dripping from window frames

A bike in a puddle
near a baseball in the mud
Yesterday’s playground
turns to today’s flood

The young one peers
through the curtains and the trees
longing for a sunny day
for riding bikes and skinning knees

An ocean is drier
than this soggy morning,
the young one ponders,
as water keeps pouring

Hey there, kiddo,
Mother soothes,
Want your galoshes,
and your raincoat, too?

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The Gardener

Writing and The Written Word

The gardener does not love to talk,
He makes and keeps the gravel walk;
And when he puts his tools away,
He locks the door and takes the key.
Away behind the currant row
Where no one else but cook may go,
Far in the plots, I see him dig,
Old and serious, brown and big.
He digs the flowers, green, red, and blue,
Nor wishes to be spoken to.
He digs the flowers and cuts the hay,
And never seems to want to play.
Silly gardener! summer goes,
And winter comes with pinching toes,
When in the garden bare and brown
You must lay your barrow down.
Well now, and while the summer stays,
To profit by these garden days
O how much wiser you would be
To play at Indian wars with me!

— A Child’s Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Days of the Month

A short poem and memory aid for children, that I remember from my youth and which I thought was still useful today.

Writing and The Written Word

A short poem from a book of poems called “POEMS: Every Child Should Know”
by “The What-Every-Child-Should-Know-Library”.
This is a song and memory aid for children, which I remember from my
youth and which I thought was still useful today.

Thirty days hath September,

April, June, and November;

February has twenty-eight alone.

All the rest have thirty-one,

Excepting leap-year—that’s the time

When February’s days are twenty-nine.


–By anonymous

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Calico Swiss Roll Recipe

This recipe is a lovely variation a the classic swiss roll.  This cake roll is a rich dessert whose calico colors will add character to your dinner table.

Servings:

  • Recipe for 6-8 servings

Cooking time:

  • 1 hour

Ingredients

For roll

  • Eggs – 4 pieces
  • Flour – 80 gr (2,8 oz)
  • Sugar – 100 gr (3,5 oz)
  • Vanilla sugar – 10 gr (0,35 oz)
  • Milk – 70 ml (2,3 fl. oz)
  • Melted butter or cooking oil – 50 ml (1,8 fl. oz)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Cocoa – 1/2 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 1\4 tsp

For cream

  • Heavy Cream – 150 ml (5 fl. oz) (1\4 pint)
  • Butter – 50 gr (1,7 oz)
  • Dulce De Leche or Boiled sweetened condensed milk – 150 gr (5 oz)

Directions

  • Separate egg whites and yolks, saving both.
  • Then mix yolks with half of sugar, add milk and melted butter.
  • In the blend yolks, then add flour and mix thoroughly.
  • Extract tablespoons of dough and place in a separate container. In this of dough, add cocoa and a half teaspoon of milk.
  • To the egg whites in a separate mixing bowl, add a few drops of lemon juice and blend them until soft peaks form. Then, add the remaining half of the sugar and blend thoroughly again until the egg white form stable peaks.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of whipped egg whites to cocoa mix dough and gently fold in.
  •  The remaining egg whites are added to the plain dough and gently folded in.
  • Prepare the form (I used a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper)
  • Put the dough with cocoa on the mold in the form of separate spots and bake 1 -2 minutes 180C\350F\4 gas mark
  • Remove the dark spots from the oven and top with the rest of the light dough and baking 8-10 additional minutes 180C\350F\4 gas mark
  • Remove the cake from the oven
  • Move the cake to a fresh piece of parchment paper and loosely roll the cake while still warm using the parament paper as a liner to separate the layers and let it cool completely.
  • Prepare the cream.
  • Blend heavy cream until stable soft peaks form.
  • In separate container blend dulce de leche with butter, after the blending add cream into boiled condensed milk mixture.
  • Unroll the cooled cake and cover top of cake with cream. Then, roll the filled cake again, without parchment paper separator, wrap the roll in a protective parchment paper and put the roll in the refrigerator for several hours.
  • Once chilled, remove cake from refrigerator
  • Remove Parchment paper
  • Then slice the roll, plate the serving slice, and serve.

Related References

How to Grow Bush Beans

Bush beans are grown in gardens, commercial as well as domestic, since a long time as long as humans have started gardening. The main reason for growing bush beans in domestic gardens is that this wonderful food can be used as a good source of protein as well as green vegetable. The information provided in this write-up will help you to know how to grow bush beans in your garden.

Advantages and disadvantages of growing

Growing bush beans in your garden may have some advantages and disadvantages like:

Advantages

  • Generally, bush beans are easier to grow as they require less maintenance
  • Bush beans are self-supporting and space saving as they rarely grow more than exceed 24” in height
  • Bush beans will provide crop in bulk after a period of three to four weeks
  • Bush beans are popular more among those who can or freeze their beans
  • Bush beans can be grown as green manure

Disadvantages

  • They do not grow well if planted at the same location every year
  • You will have to change its location every time you grow them
  • Continuous picking can increase its yield to some extent but less than other varieties including pole beans

Planting Bush Beans

Normally beans including bush beans can be sown directly in the garden as well as indoor. Small bean plants sown indoor can be transplanted to the garden later on. The seeds of bush beans can be sown indoors from 10-24 days before planting them in the garden. They should be sowed in moderately hot weather temperature. If you want to sow their seeds directly in the garden, then they should be sowed in 3 feet apart rows and nearly one inch deep in the soil.

Growing Seedlings

When the seeds are sown indoor then well, grown-up seedlings can be planted in the garden in single or multiple wide rows. The distance between plants should be almost 4 to 6 inches. Densely sown seeds can also be thinned by transplanting them in the garden at a distance of nearly 4-6 inches away from each other. If you do not have space in the garden, then you can also cut some of the seedlings with scissors, without disturbing their roots, to thin the plantation of bush beans.

Transplanting Seedlings

The grown-up seedlings of bush beans can be transplanted into the garden when the temperature of the soil is sufficiently warm to encourage their growth at an outside location. The late spring can be the right time to transplant seedlings of bush beans.

Succession Planting

If you want to harvest the crop of bush beans for a longer time, then you should grow them in succession. Usually, bush beans start producing all at once. So to get them for a longer time you should plant them after every 2 weeks. It is known as Succession Planting of bush beans.

Insect and Pest Control

After planting bush beans, the first few weeks are very crucial to ensure the productivity and survival of their plants. Some time seeds of bush beans do not germinate due to various reasons including the coldness of soil, too deep sowing of seeds, seeds are old or damaged by pests, etc. In such condition you will have to observe the plants frequently, at least 2-3 times in a week, to find the signs of pests and insects as well as diseases.

The problem of insects and pests can be controlled without affecting the quality of the crop by rotting their plants if you grow these plants every year. Insects are more attracted to weak plants whereas healthy plants can tolerate the damage caused by the pests. You can also control the infestation of the insects and pests in your bush bean plants by inspecting them regularly and focusing on the damages caused by them like leaves damaged by insect-eating, discoloration of leaves, markings on fruit surface or dying-back tips of plants. You can easily prevent any damage to the quality of the fruit as well as the health of the plant by controlling the problem of pests and insect before they harm your plants or fruits.

Controlling Diseases and Problems

The yield of your bush bean plants can also be affected by various types of plant diseases. You can easily control the problems caused by diseases by:

  • Sowing certified and free-from-disease seeds, Planting the seedlings in well-drained soil in enough light.
  • Avoid splashing water on the foliage and
  • avoid overhead watering
  • Avoiding overcrowding plantation
  • Digging out dying or diseased plants and cleaning up the debris
  • Investigating the problems experienced by weak plants 
  • Avoiding planting or transplanting bush bean seedlings in infected areas

When Are Bush Beans Ready To Harvest Ripe?

As green beans:

Green beans of bush beans can be ready to harvest within 50 – 55 days of planting them. The time of maturity of the beans can depend upon the variety of seeds you have sown.

As dry beans

Dry beans or bush beans can be harvested when they grow up to full maturity. Normally, the pods of beans are considered to be fully matured when the leaves of the plants dry up and start falling. The size of the pod by the time of their full maturity can vary from 3-4 inch to 12-14 inch depending upon the season you have grown them or the variety of seeds used while sowing.

Harvesting

Green bush beans can be harvested nearly 50-80 days after planting them. The size of the beans at the time of harvesting them can vary according to their use. If you want to eat them as a green vegetable, then you should not allow them to become yellowish in color as it can reduce the yield of the plant along with affecting their taste. Green beans should be picked up frequently to maximize their output as well as quality.

Storing

If you want to store bush beans, then you remove their pods nearly ¼ inch above the fruit while harvesting them. While removing pods, you should be careful to damage the plant. They should not be crushed if you want to harvest the crop for a longer time. These pods can be dried to store for future use. You can also freeze or can bush bean t use them in the near future.

Related References

How to Decorate a Pie Crust

Instead of a pie recipe, let us try something more creative; it’s about decorating a pie! But you don’t worry, this article will tell you all about how to decorate a pie crust.

The hardest part: Finding the courage!

Anything has to start, to reach the finishing line! Finding the right motivation and courage to bake a pie is the first step; once you are confident you can start working with the pie dough, the toppings, and finally the beautiful crust designs. Always use a pie crust that is of good quality. A pie crust consists of 3 primary things, they are liquid, fat, and flour; the ratio or the amount of each will make a big difference. The most important thing to remember is that perfect pie will take time. So be patient and give it time.

When you finish baking the pie, it’s time to make it gorgeous, and we are here to help you with that!

So let’s begin!

Creating a great crust takes more than you can think! But we will make it easy for you. To get started, get a heap of filing inspiration – from sweet and saucy fruits to classic veggie parcels and meat pies. After rubbing all the flour and butter together, blink baking, and rolling, the time comes when you turn your pie to something awesome and spectacular. Wondering how to do that?

Here are some simple ways to decorate a pie crust.

1. Patchwork Pie

First, try rolling out the pie dough and then stamp out a shape that you like. You can also try cutting the pie dough into different shaped pieces. Next, you cover the pie’s top with the pie dough pieces, making sure that you leave some gaps through which the fruits will bubble. You can try using a leaf cutter and a flower for your pie and add pie dough balls to the flowers’ center and make veins on its leaves with a knife.

2. Stamped Design

Start by rolling the pie dough on one well floured baking parchment sheet, then use the biscuit cutter for stamping out different shapes. You can try flower shapes, diamonds, little circles, or a heart cutter. Begin brushing the edge of the pie with eggs and keep the lid of the pie dough on the top. Finally, trim its edges with a scissor and decorate its rim in a way you like.

3. Midas touch

Carefully whisk the leftover egg white until frothy with a fork, which is left after making the pie dough and use that to glaze your pie. Your pie will have a golden decoration! If you want a more golden look, then whisk in some caster sugar too!

4. Snazzy Edges

Here are some ideas that will make the edges of the pie look spectacular:

Fancy fluting:

Just squeeze the edge of the pie dough around your index finger’s top, use the thumb, and another index finger. Continue working along the sides of the pie dough and it will get a professionally beautiful fluted finish.

Forked finish:

You can press down on the pie dough’s top sheet with a fork to get a very classic look. The Forked finish is simple and classy at the same time.

Deep look:

You can create depressions by pressing the edge of the pie using the back of a spoon. It’s easy and less time-consuming.

Plait together:

You can plait three thin strips together and then place them around the pie edges. Remember, this can appear fiddly and therefore, you should try doing it in four sections and join them on the pie!

Sugar love:

This is probably the easiest way to decorate a pie. You just have to sprinkle granulated sugar on the edges. It will add pretty sparkly look once the pie is baked.

Wrapping it up

Here’s a truth: The butter chunks that is often seen in the dough is a good thing! The butter should not be mixed thoroughly. There’s an explanation to it as well. When you are baking the crust, the water present in butter transforms to steam, and the steam will create flakes in that dough. If you over mix the butter in the pie dough, there will be no steam pockets, and you will not have the delicious flakiness.

There you have it!

You can now make your pie a pie-fection with these decorating ideas. It’s time that your pie becomes the star of the evening!

Related References