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Organic Kitchen Garden

15 Jul

The owner wanted to have an inviting herb garden close to the kitchen and have an area where she can enjoy a morning tea. We created it a fusion of French, Italian, Latin and Asian kitchen garden, using herbs from around the world, a dwarf peach, a chandelier topiary form gala apple, 3 different varieties of strawberries, salvias, sage, stevia, 3 varieties of oregano, lemon grass, coneflowers, mints, rosemary, laurel, cat grass, catnip, borage, bee balm, Chamomile, chervil, dill, cilantro, 3 varieties of lavender, calendula, lemon balm, thyme, marigold, purple basil, basil, curry… and many more. We installed 4 planters with 4 different themes: Asian herbs, French herbs, Latin Herbs and Italian Herbs. The incorporation of a water feature as a focal point gives the complete area a relaxing touch. We left space to have a sitting area using a Faux bois style bench and finally we installed beautiful maintenance free grey tone pea gravel.

Organic Kitchen Garden 01 AFTER

 

Organic Kitchen Garden 02 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 03 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 04 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 05 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 06 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 07 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 08 AFTER

For more information visit our website www.arcoirisdesign.com

 

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How to plant Onions? How to Harvest Carrots?

19 Feb

How to plant Onions?

My Harvest

(This is me last year, with lots of vegetables…including my old radish jejejeje)

 

Last year, we started our first Vegetable plot in our neighborhood church with full sun. We have had 2 plots with about 3 hours of sun in our backyard for over 3 years (shade its limitation for higher yield). At our new plot, so far it has been an amazing experience. We planted, garlic, onions, green onions, carrots, kale, purple kale, radish, beet root and broccoli.

We have harvested lots, lots and lots of both kales, some carrots and 1 thousand radish!!

TIP #1: Radish grows very, very fast and all its ready at the same time, so plant according to your needs!
TIP #2: Fertilize your plot at least once a month with organic fertilizer. (Our carrots are still small and we planted them in October)

Hereby are 2 videos that I made today, enjoy:

How to plant Onions? http://youtu.be/0OH3DudIUz8
How to harvest carrots? http://youtu.be/sioxOxwfKGI

Thank you for visiting, your comments and tips are VERY appreciated!
http://www.facebook.com/arcoirisdesigngardening

5 very good reasons to plant Shrubs and Trees now (fall – winter):

20 Dec

5 very good reasons to plant Shrubs and Trees now (fall – winter):

 

September 12 053
1. No stress from hot weather.
2. Plants don’t have to expend energy on making leaves, they’ll put it into creating a strong root system.
3. Because of temperatures, you don’t have to worry so much about watering your new plant.
4. There are fewer insects and disease problems that could damage your new shrubs or trees.
5. Nurseries will have a lot of good prices for plant material.
(In cold winter areas, it’s recommended to plant six weeks before the first hard frost is expected.)

Any questions? Need help with your garden? www.arcoirisdesign.com

Colors of my Garden NOVEMBER

10 Dec

Pink double knockout rose stamens and pistil

Cape gooseberry flower

Cape gooseberry flower

Cape gooseberry

Cape gooseberry

Boston Ivy on wall

Boston Ivy on wall

Sky is the limit rose new bud

Sky is the limit rose new bud

Cucumber

Cucumber

Hydrangea flower

Hydrangea flower

Tea olive flower

Tea olive flower

Japanese maple leaf

Japanese maple leaf

Tomatoes and Cucumber

Tomatoes and Cucumber

Colors of my Garden – SEPTEMBER

9 Oct

Bee on Basil flower

Bee on Basil flower

Sky is the limit rose

Sky is the limit rose

Swallowtail butterfly caterpillarr

Swallowtail butterfly caterpillarr

September 15, 2012 030

Homestead verbena

Homestead verbena

Grape tomates

Grape tomates

Frangipani

frangipani

Wren baby birds

Wren baby bird

Colors Of My Garden – JULY

14 Aug

Tickseed ‘nana’

Verbena bonariensis

Sunflower ‘sunspot’

Butterfly  bush – pink

Hosta

Eggplant

Tomato ‘roma’

Cucumber Flower

Cucumber

Crape myrtle

Curry Plant

Bell pepper flower

Peach

Frangipani flower buds

Squash Flower

Pesticide Free Gardens

21 Feb

Arcoiris Design Gardening goal is to encourage and educate our clients to a pesticide-free lawn and garden! As most of us know, the environmental impact of pesticides is often greater than what is intended by those who use them. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, including non-target species, air, water, bottom sediments, and food. (1)

Furthermore, some pesticides contribute to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. (2) There is many ways pesticides affect us, including air pollution or pesticide drift, water contamination caused by crop run-off, land run-off and leaching , persistence of pesticides in soil because the microorganisms are not able to degraded the chemicals, contamination of our food, kill bees and other pollinators,  animals may be poisoned by pesticide residues that remain on food after spraying,  poisoning from pesticides can travel up the food chain too,  can enter the human body through inhalation of aerosols, dust and vapor; through oral exposure by consuming food and water; and through dermal exposure by direct contact with skin.

Please help Arcoiris Design Gardening, to stop the use of harmful pesticides in our environment. Lets us show you how we can help you to have a free pesticide garden, we will very happy to explain all about our products and services at any time.

Are you familiar with this sign? Will you allow your childrem to play on this grass?

How about changing that sign for THIS one? Will you allow your children to play on this grass?

Important facts:

 “The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 72 million birds are killed by pesticides in the United States each year”. (3)

“The USDA and USFWS estimate that US farmers lose at least $200 million a year from reduced crop pollination because pesticides applied to fields eliminate about a fifth of honeybee colonies in the US and harm an additional 15%”.(1)

References

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_pesticides

2. http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/landuse/Vol131/REYN.HTMl 

3. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/21/BAQ21HC5CB.DTL

4. Pesticide sign picture from: http://www.psr-la.org/issues/environmental-health/pesticides/

Callaway Gardens

31 Jan

Callaway Gardens is 13,000 acres of colorful Georgia countryside in the Appalachian Mountains (Pine Mountain, GA). It was founded in 1952 by Cason J. and Virginia Hand Callaway to promote and protect native azalea species. Nowadays, the Gardens are home of the world’s largest azalea display, one of North America’s biggest butterfly conservatories, and a magnificent vegetable garden.

We visited the Garden during this winter and it was spectacular; it has several trails both for walking and biking and many attractions such golf courses, Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl, Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel, Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden, Overlook Azalea Garden, John A. Sibley Horticultural Center and my favorite the Butterfly conservatory.

If you like to visit natural parks and enjoy time outdoors, Callaway Gardens is offering free admission to the gardens now through the end of February. Awesome idea for a weekend family expedition, for take incredible winter pictures or to exercise outdoors!

Enjoy our pictures:

Do you need to water your landscape including the trees in winter?

26 Dec

 

YES! Evergreen plants are active all year and deciduous ones even without leaves will have their roots growing during fall and winter until soil freezes. So, both plants will need water to perform their activities. Root growth is very very very active in the fall and in early winter, so deep watering is a most!

“Water in the soil, acts as a heat sink that regulates the soil temperature. It keeps the soil from overheating in summer and from getting too cold in winter. It softens and lubricates the soil in fall and spring when roots are putting on the most growth. When it is cold enough, the water in the upper soil layer freezes; this insolates the lower layers of soil from any extreme air temperature fluctuations we might get. Also, when the soil freezes the water expands moving and loosening the soil so when it melts the soil is less compacted. There are many reasons the soil needs to remain moist through the winter”. 1

 

 How to check if your landscape has enough moisture?

 Most of the fine feeder roots that are responsible for the uptake of water are located in the top 12 to 18 inches of soil for trees and 4 to 6 inches of soil for shrubs.  It’s that area that should be kept evenly moist, letting only the top 2 to tree inches dry out before re-watering. For trees, if the soil in that top 12 to 18 inches becomes too dry, the small feeder roots will die, impairing the tree’s ability to absorb water when it becomes available again, same for the 4 to 6 inches apply on shrubs.  Be sure to check the soil moisture to determine when water is needed.  You do this with a trowel, shovel, or soil-sampling tool. Don’t rely on the appearance of the soil surface, dig down and feel the soil several inches below the surface.

If your trees are growing in a lawn area, keep in mind that the grass may be using a large portion of water that’s being applied through a sprinkler system.  Even if you think you’re applying enough water, check the soil moisture in the tree root zone.  Make sure adequate moisture is reaching the soil and tree roots.  Consider supplemental watering if your trees need more water. Water your trees before the soil becomes completely dry, but when you water it is best to water thoroughly and then don’t water again until the soil needs it. In the winter the soil should receive a good soaking about every 20 to 30 days. During the summer you may need to water every 5 to 10 days to prevent the soil from becoming too dry. As you get in the habit of checking the moisture level in the soil you will become more aware of the moisture needs and more easily time the watering for the time of year.

 

1. http://www.preservationtreecare.net/pdf/Do%20I%20Need%20to%20Water%20my%20Trees%20in%20Winter%20I.pdf

Midtown Wildlife Paradise

21 Dec

When we first bought our 1000sq ft home at Loring Heights in Midtown, we never thought we were going to be surrounding by the most amazing variety of birds, insects, raccoons, squirrels, rabbits, chipmunks and possums. As Nature lovers, my husband and I have planted many shrubs including native for the area, many blooming plants and shelter edgings.  When we planted trees, shrubs, and flowers around our home, we also built homes for a whole community of animals. Over the years we have provided  animals with food by planting a mix of plants that produce seed or fruit at different times of the year and by using  feeders, water in birdbaths and fountains, shelter and installing bird houses for them to nest.

Furthermore, we do not use ANY chemicals in our garden, we use organic fertilizers and none insecticides at all.

Enjoy these beautiful pictures from our backyard wildlife paradise and keep in mind that your backyard can become a better home for the wildlife already living there and a home for new wild neighbors.  

American Goldfinch

 

American Robin

 

Black-throated Green Warbler

 

Blue jay

 

Brown headed cowbird

 

Brown Thrasher

 

Carolina Chickadee

 

Carolina wren

 

Carolina wren baby birds

 

Carpenter Bee

 

Cedar Waxwing

 

Chipmunck

 

 

Common Eastern Bumble Bee

 

 

 Downy Woodpecker

 

 

Eastern Towhee 

 

Flicker Woodpecker

 

Hooded Warbler male

 

House Finch

 

 

House Finch female

 

House Wren

 

Mourning Dove

 

Northern Cardinal

 

Northern Cardinal female

 

Northern Mockingbird

 

Orange-crowned Warbler

 

Possum

 

Raccoon

 

Red – Bellied woodpecker

 

Red shouldered Hawk

 

Red-headed Woodpecker

 

Red-headed Woodpecker juvenile

 

Redstart warbler female

 

Redstart warbler male

 

Ruby-throated Hummingbird Female

 

Scarlet Tanager

 

Squirrel

 

Summer Tanager female

 

Tufted Titmouse

 

Veery

 

White Breasted Nuthatch

 

White-throated Sparrow

 

Wild Rabbit

 

Woodpecker

 

Yellow- rumped warbler male

 

Yellow- rumped warbler female

 

Yellow-throated Vireo