"Think outside the box" that's what we all being told to do. And maybe a group of french gardeners have done just that. Every year, as everyone who owns a backyard pond will know, there is a build up of algae in the water. This is a particular problem for the water features and fountains at the Palace of Versailles which is a few kilometers southwest of Paris. In years gone by teams of gardeners were employed to scrub away at the stonework to remove the algae, but this year they have come up with a novel solution.
"...anything from creating hardscapes, ponds, patios and pergolas to outdoor kitchens, open fire pits, mood lighting and container gardening." As I glanced at the beginning of this article by Kenn Alan I assumed that what would follow would be his suggestions for projects that you can tackle in your garden at this time of year. But I had got hold of entirely the wrong end of the stick. Read more..
Christmas is fast approaching and suggestions for gardening gifts abound. You have to feel sorry for the gardening writers who have to try and find something new to say as yet another year draws to a close. For instance Charlie Nardozzi gives us his Top 10 gift ideas which include a Gift Certificate for a Massage (to get the kinks out), Garden gnomes, a pile of compost and a day of free labor. Cathie Draine also has a list but her's is of crucial gardening tools which include "a current tetanus shot and an assortment of excellent reference material". Gardening books is her theme and well worth reading. More..
With Christmas just around the corner gardening news takes a back seat, so today I have just found a few scraps of trivia that I hope you may find amusing.
This first piece has nothing to do with gardening other than the headline which contains the words "Green Thumb".
"Color associated with your thumb can have a positive association. After all, having a "green thumb" means that you are deft at gardening and yielding bountiful harvests of vegetables. But these days, when you put in your thumb and pull out a BlackBerry, you may mutter "what a sore thumb have I." Indeed, "Blackberry thumb" may be joining our modern-day vocabulary, as did "tennis elbow" some time ago." Read more..
"Gardening that's good for the skin" is the next strange sounding headline. "People sometimes wince when I shake their hands. I realize I have a pretty firm handshake for a woman, but that probably isn't the cause of the wincing. I also garden -- mostly without gloves -- and, at best, my hands are sandpaper rough." But if you read on you will learn that for two weeks in the year the author's hands turn silky soft. To find out her secret, read more..
Here's a headline to get you going "Flowerdew, the organic gardening guru, buys an artificial tree for Christmas". "One of Britain's best-known organic gardeners has angered traditionalists by buying a plastic Christmas tree this year.
In his column in Amateur Gardening magazine Bob Flowerdew, 52, a regular panellist on Radio 4's Gardeners' Question Time, challenges the way that Britons take real trees into their homes and "slowly torture them to death".
And here's what the author of this piece describes as "a fascinating factoid". "Potatoes stored below 40 degrees keep well but become sweet-tasting because the starches are converted to sugars. Placing the spuds at room temperature for two to three days will convert the sugars back to the starchy tubers we know and love."
Finally "Break open the holidays with 'Viva Pinata'. Rare's latest body of work is a fluffy, happy grenade of joy dropped in the middle of gaming's hardcore battlefield." Before you click away in disgust, take a minute to read the next paragraph and you will discover that "The name of the game is gardening. That's it. You're put in charge of a patch of land, and it's up to you to build, cultivate and maintain this land to the best of your ability. The better you do, the better chance you have of attracting the stars of the show - the pi atas." So when it's all frost and snow outside, here's a way to garden in cyberspace. For a while at least - "If you're an adult, you'll enjoy it - until it wears off". Read more..