Gardening Without Plastic

Plastic is a nonorganic substance which adds nothing to the soil. Plastics cause a lot of trouble if you try to grow crops were they have been buried. In fact some believe that plastics can interfere with plant growth. I have seen where plastic has actually killed the soil by cutting off the air exchange of the soil. One thing is for sure the organic gardener can do very well without plastic. When you think about it what could be more unnatural than plastic mulch? Plastic keeps the soil untouched by sunshine, air, dew, or rainfall. Plastic does nothing to enrich the soil. With an organic mulch it breaks down into compost, humus and minerals. It also lets the air rainfall, dew and sunshine see through it to the soil beneath.

Of course you will have more work with an organic mulch. It will have to be replaced at least once a year as it breaks down and nourishes the soil. Plastic will set on the soil for years and do nothing for the soil. It will most likely damage it almost beyond repair. Hay, straw and leaves make good organic mulches, old newspapers, brown grocery bags and waste paper make an excellent underlayment for organic mulch. They provide a barrier to prevent light from reaching weed seeds and stimulating germination.
When you work the soil you bring weed seeds to the surface where the light will start them to germination. A layer of paper with a thick organic mulch on top will stop this from occurring and greatly reduce time spent pulling weeds. Thus freeing you for the more pleasurable aspects of gardening. Organic mulch can be laid in thick layers to mulch almost anything. From a box hedge, expensive evergreen border, a perennial bed, or a row of rhododendrons. These are all garden spots that respond well to a paper mulch. If you use a permanent mulch on your vegetable garden, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the absence of weeds. The paper can be covered with something attractive and organic. Such as hay, straw, compost, wood chips, sawdust or anything else organic. You must cover the paper with something or the wind will scatter them all over the neighborhood.

The plastic industry has been with us for about 35 years now. During that time they have made it the great objective of their research to develop more and more indestructible material and more uses of this material. They're great success, causing an ever growing burden on the sanitation department. This causes extra burdens on the tax payers. You can garden just as well or better without plastic. Even if that were not true. Organic gardeners that are really concerned with environmental contaminants must make up their minds to avoid using as much plastic as possible. It is one of the fastest-growing pollutants of all. A biodegradable plastic has required the industry to spend a sizable portion of its income on serious research and development. The biodegradable plastics are …

Tuscany Lighting – It's Good to Be at Home

Tuscany lighting has soft qualities and it grants a gorgeous appearance to your home at dawn or dusk. You can use it in the morning muted. You can have Tuscany candle holders at night to enhance the joyous moments in the outdoor dinner parties. Tuscany decoration with light can help to set the romantic mood and you can plan for an enthusiastic garden party. It offers an inviting ambiance and warm feeling to the guests.

You can add some other themes to enhance the Tuscany home decor. You can use the details of grapes, olives, rolled ironwork, earthy tones like olive green and terracotta and Italian garden scenes. You can add textures like maple, tapestry or ceramic tile, which can increase the Tuscany feel.

You can put a Tuscany Motif to your rooms by including wrought iron lighting. The wrought iron chandelier hanging in the dining room or bedroom can provide a beautiful backdrop for all your parties and get together.

You can add Tuscany Outdoor lighting to your garden. Tuscany inspired candelabra is the most fascinating way to enhance the feel. You can include candles and can plan a fabulous outdoor meal. Black wrought iron can offer that elegant appearance.

While planning Tuscan home decor, you need to pay attention to every single detail. You can get inspirations from ornate tapestries or designs in the Tuscan lighting. You can even pick up designs from natural details like clusters of grapes or branches of olive tree. The iron scroll work chandeliers can be accented with fascinating details like tear drop crystals. The most interesting feature of Tuscan-inspired lighting is its versatility. You can decorate it any way that you wish. You can select formal or informal appearance. Everything suits your Tuscan home decor.

You can add more colors to enhance the Tuscan decoration. You can go for wall sconces. Wall sconces having floral details painted on them offer a royal look to your living room. A rustic style table lamp or hurricane lamp can increase the charm of the room. If you want to give more details, you can select large pendant lamps. You can hang them off a wrought iron chandelier base. Beige or off-white color can augment the entire appearance of the room.

It is advisable to select Tuscan table lamps with plain paper shades. Choosing some inspiring earthy colors like olive green, apricot or gold can add an artistic look to the room. Planning Tuscan home decor is not appealing but also very simple. A little effort can help you bring life to your home. …

Plant Disease – "Garden Creep"

One thing you either might have to watch out for or embrace is something I call Garden Creep. This is the ability of certain gardens, let alone the plants in them, of slowly growing and spreading or even multiplying over time. Any dedicated gardener can explain to you the visible symtomology of the disease. New garden growths appear almost randomly at times as new outbreaks of gardens pop up in sometimes rather unexpected corners and sections of the area.

This problem is also seen in certain plants as well. When they have managed to obtain a foot hold in an area, where the available space for them, is adequate for their realistic size. You will find these plants spilling outwards or upwards into space they were never intended to occupy. This causes constant problems for entryways & walkways, as well as air space occupiers like power lines. These plants then have to regularly attacked and kept back within their territory, often at great cost in time and money to their garden owner. Law areas and sometimes even pathways in it's way are encompassed and / or swallowed up. It even can escape from your area onto and around footpaths and along road verges. It appears I reckon to be a potentially viral disease that affects both the gardens and their gardeners alike. It means that these garden areas extend over a period into every little space they can infect and take over, sometimes far outside the originally bounded boundaries of the initial garden / s. …

70 Romantic Phrases That Make Men Fall Deeper In Love

Romantic communication is just one of the proven communication tools you can use to make your man fall madly in love and fulfill your heart’s romantic desires. There is a lot of love-creating power in the romantic words that come out of your mouth. This article will reveals 70 romantic phrases you can start using today to make your man fall madly in

love. You may not say these things phrased exactly the way I have written them, but if you want your man to be addicted to your love, you must speak to him with words that will melt the walls he has build around his heart.

Feel free to use any of the romantic phrases that best suit your communication style.

1. All I care about is being with you forever.

2. All the gold and diamond in the world are not enough to buy the love I have for you.

3. God created you for just for me.

4. I am addicted to your love.

5. I am crazy about you.

6. I cannot live without you.

7. I cannot stop thinking about you.

8. I did not mean to hurt your feelings.

9. I do not want to wake up from this wonderful dream with you.

10. I feel safe when I am with you.

11. I get lost in ecstasy when you make love to me.

12. I have finally discovered true love – you.

13. I love talking to you.

14. I love the way you make love to me.

15. I miss your hugs and kisses when we are apart.

16. I thank God for the day he brought you into my life.

17. I want to spend forever with you.

18. I will give anything to be with you.

19. I will give you my heart, my body, and my soul.

20. I will go with you to the ends of the world as long as you keep loving me.

21. I will rather be broke than trade your love for a million dollars.

22. I will travel a thousand miles to be with you.

23. I wish God had brought you to me sooner.

24. If anything happens to you, I will go crazy.

25. If I could I would make love to you a thousand times.

26. If I had to live life over again, I would live it with you.

27. If loving you is a sin, then let me be guilty.

28. If our love is blind, then I never want it to see the light of day.

29. Life without you will be like going to sleep and never having sweet dreams.

30. Loving you feels like heaven.

31. Loving you has made life even sweeter.

32. Loving you has made my life so full of joy and happiness.

33. My heart cries when we are apart.

34. You are my love, my heart, and my life.

35. No man has loved me the way you love …

5 Tips to Keep Your Flokati Rug White, Fluffy and Clean

If you have a Flokati rug or are considering buying one, here are some tips on how to keep your Flokati rug white, fluffy and clean.

1. Take your Flokati rug outside and shake it

Giving your rug a good shake can help lift any woollen fibres which have become flattened when furniture has been placed on it or because of a lot of foot traffic. Shaking your rug will also remove a lot of dirt and dust which has become caught in the woollen fibers.

If you can get someone to help you shake the rug, that is best. Each person holds one side and shakes it vigorously. You will notice dust and dirt coming out of the rug. Keep on shaking it until all the dust and dirt appears to have gone.

If you have no-one to help you, place it on the clothes line. Peg one side of the rug to the clothes line, while you hold and shake the other side.

Try and make the effort to give it a good shake at least every month.

2. Leave your rug outside for a while, but not in the sun

After you’ve given your rug a good shake, leave it outside to air it, preferably for a few hours. This can help get out any odours and help freshen it.

Don’t leave it in the sun. Your Flokati rug is made of wool and too much sunlight can make the wool on your rug look yellow. Sun can discolour woollen items.

3. Brush your rug

Get a soft bristle brush and brush the rug. This can untangle any matted woollen fibers. Brush it from the center towards the outsides of the rug. Some of the fibers may get caught in the brush, and that is normal.

You may want to avoid vacuuming the Flokati rug, especially if you have a vacuum cleaner with a rotary brush in the head of the vacuum cleaner. The long woollen fibers can get stuck in the head of the vacuum cleaner, which isn’t good for the rug or the vacuum cleaner.

4. Lift the woollen fibers

After you’ve given your rug a good shake, and a good brush, you can lift the woollen fibres with an ordinary plastic garden rake. Make sure the rake is clean. Place the rake at the base of the woollen fibres and gently lift the wool from the bottom up.

This should be fairly easy to do after you have brushed the rug. Some of the fibers may get caught in the rake and this is fine. This won’t cause damage to your Flokati rug as it is very sturdy.

5. Washing your Flokati rug

A Flokati rug needs a good wash about once a year, depending on how dirty it gets.

If it is small, you can wash it in your machine on a gentle cycle. Use a mild detergent, the same you use for woollen clothes. Do not use bleach. Place it out in …

The Art of English Garden Landscaping

Each garden designer has his or her own signature style of landscaping the area. Depending on preference and style, the garden may either have a complex design with an obviously manicured landscape. Or, the garden's design may have a wild, natural look.

One of the most common designs being adapted all around the world is the English garden. English Garden landscaping combines an appealing visual blend of natural and groomed beauty. The design is simple but pleasant to the eyes. In fact, it is the design that is chosen for many public places and buildings.

As what the name follows, English garden landscaping originated in Europe. Interestingly, this style of garden landscaping was inspired by paintings that depict European landscapes. Garden designer William Kent applied the idea into gardens. There were other influential designers such as Humphrey Repton and Capability Brown who added their own ideas.

Kent got his influence from old European culture. Repton wanted a garden that would look like beautiful places in the English countryside. On the other hand, Brown wanted flowering plants to be placed right next to a structure. This was an idea that has been lingering in his mind but was not implemented by gardeners at that time.

Traditional English Garden landscaping lines lines that curve and wind around the area. This is quite evident in the garden's winding pathways. The points of interest in the garden are marked and emphasized by things such as benches and statues.

Also, English garden landscaping is characterized by a huge assortment of plants. The large amount of plants gives the garden a natural feel, although it is obvious that the plants are taken care of and pruned regularly.

A lot of parks and places make use of pure English garden landscaping. These places include the majestic gardens in famous places such as Castle Howard, Stourhead, Blenheim Palace, Stowe and Rousham House. The gardens in these places give the viewer an idea of ​​how these places might look like a long time ago.

With the advent of minimalism and other recent gardening styles, the popularity of English garden landscaping had declined a little bit. Most of today's gardens that still use this design of landscaping are affected with a smattering of Chinese garden style, making it less distinct than the original design.

But without a doubt, English garden landscaping remains one of the most famous and influential garden designs in the world. …

What You Need to Know When Building a New Home

So you’re thinking about building your own home…

It’s a great idea, because you can get a lot closer to what you really want when you build rather than buy. But there are some critical things to be aware of, in order to keep risks and surprises to a minimum, and end up getting the home you want. We’ve compiled this helpful guide from a number of industry sources and our own experience. We hope it gives you a good introduction.

1. How important is it to choose the right builder?

Your new home is going to be one of the most important investments you will ever make both financially and emotionally. You want to get the design and construction right so that it suits both your present and future needs and lifestyle. There are a lot of builders out there prepared to build you a house but which one is the right one? Which one will turn your dream into reality? Follow the steps in this information pack and you will be several steps closer to fulfilling your dream.

2. Your role in the process

Before beginning the design the following needs to be conveyed to the designer:

o Your budget

o The size of the house to be designed – including room numbers, their locations and functions

o Facade type including exterior finishes for walls (e.g. rendered, face brick) and the roof type and finish (e.g. tiled, metal)

o Individual design features that you would like

o Specific details like ceiling heights, window sizes, and bathroom and kitchen fittings.

o The time frame. Note that plans have to be submitted to various authorities and this may take longer than expected. Build this into the construction time frame.

3. The designer’s role in the process

When using an architect, building designer or engineer the charge for designing the house will be in addition to the construction costs. When using a builder who provides a design service as part of the package the design is factored into the price. This will have some bearing on the amount of time that can be spent in working with you on the design. Consider this as well when selecting who designs your home.

Designers must be up to date with the following:

o Latest legislation

o New building trends

o Environmental and energy considerations like insulation, water saving, building materials and energy saving systems like solar power and solar water heating

They should also be able to advise you on the most appropriate house orientation in relation to the sun and prevailing winds. They should also be able to advise you on how best to make use of a site’s topography.

For example it is often better to build a house on a sloping site that makes use of the shape of the site rather than bringing in a bulldozer to reshape the site. Earthworks can be expensive.

At your first meeting with a designer you need to assess whether they will be …

External Paint

We have all seen them dotted around South Africa, especially in small quaint suburbs that have a lot of history or attract people of the creative orientation. Townhouses, duplexes and cottages lined up in a row along the street, each painted in its own particular color scheme, according to the owner's preference.

It's these houses that separate that particular street or suburb from the rest of its neighbors. In general people have a tendency to just stick to neutral, safe colors for their homes such as beige, white and off white color schemes.

Occidentally you might find one house in these plain suburbs with a touch of one other color on the accents of their house, but the basic idea is to keep everything simple. Whether it's because they are scared their property might not be as easy to sell if it only suits a particular group of people, or whether it's because making their house stick out from the rest of the crowd is too daunting to contemplate, is uncertain.

However, colorful houses do exist and the amount of people that are flocking to the suburbs is growing by the day. Some historic neighborhoods in South Africa have colorful homes due to the fact that in the 1900's technology advanced to the point where many colors of paint could have made and people took advantage of it.

In Cape Town, houses in Woodstock, Oranjezicht, Tambourskloof and Observatory all share at least one magical lane of multi-colored homes, and it's these suburbs that have the largest population of alternative families, artistic individuals and out-the box thinkers.
It's the color that draws people to buy the house. Exterior visuals play a large part when the house is on show. It's literally one of those "love at first sight" scenarios. When you paint your house a particular color on the exterior you are revealing yourself to the world and people respond.

Estate Agent Andre Bottger says that color is definitely a contributing factor in the property transaction. External color is the first thing people see and first impressions do count. He says that in his opinion most South Africans are conservative when it comes to exterior house color.

Estate Agent Arnie Berman says the opposite, in that he generally finds that if the exterior of a house is in color it has a positive effect on the sales.

Each color brings its own territory of emotions and atmospheres and while the garden, fencing and structure do add to the ultimate end result, the base color is the true origin of the over-all theme and feel. This is probably why certain colors work better when it comes to the sale of a house.

Each culture has its own philosophy about what a color of the rainbow brings to the table of tastes and emotions, but the theme of the house should also be examined when choosing. While your favorite color might be purple and green, that does not need to suit an old …

Bunny Love: Benefits of Rabbits as Pets

Are you thinking of adopting a rabbit for a pet? We don’t blame you–rabbits are very cute animals, who can give you many years of affection and amusement.

However, be sure you are ready for the responsibilities of taking care of this animal. While they are certainly easier to manage than dogs, they still require some attention.

For example, rabbits molt four times a year, so be prepared for a little fur on your sofa every few months. They’ll need hay, a litter box, and a cage (clean frequently with white vinegar to remove odors). If you use hay or woodstove pellets for their litter boxes, you can use these to fertilize your garden when it’s time for a litter change.

When you own a rabbit, you need to accept that a little nibbling is part of the territory. Protect electric cords with casings (available at hardware stores) since the poor pets may get quite a shock if they try to test their teeth on them!

You should also be willing to pamper your rabbit with petting and play (rabbits get depressed if they don’t get enough exercise). Rabbit gyms are available in pet stores. They have tube tunnels that will encourage your pet to run and race, even if you can’t let him out in the garden. Those tube tunnels will also make an interesting conversation piece for your guests–talk about the “new” form of “installation art”!

Not all veterinarians are trained to take care of rabbits, who are considered “exotic pets”/ You may need to shop around and call various clinics, which are usually listed in the phone directory. The pet store may also refer you to veterinarians. .

And finally, if you have children, do talk to your pediatrician first before buying a rabbit. The doctor is in the best position to tell you whether your child has any allergies, asthma problems or other health concerns that may be aggravated by rabbit fur. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

But these sacrifices are nothing compared to the benefits of having a pet rabbit. For one thing, your pet will inspire you to change your diet–since you have to keep a supply of fresh vegetables for him, you might as well make yourself a salad! Recent studies also reveal that owning a pet significantly reduces blood pressure and can even help with depression.

You don’t need to take rabbits for a walk, or worry about the inconvenience of walking around with a “pooper scooper”. Just let him out in the early morning or dusk, and watch him play while you enjoy a cup of coffee.

Nor do you have to worry about your rabbits disrupting the neighbors. They don’t bark or meow, and the “loudest” they ever get is the patter of their feet on the floor. That makes them ideal pets for apartment dwellers.

Rabbits are also ideal pets for the elderly, who may not have the energy to take care of a very large animal. …

Garden Photography

As the seasons change the color of your garden will change with it. Most gardens are a rich source of great colors, patterns and vivid textures and can make for a perfect setting to practice all different types of photography – especially close-up nature photography.

Your garden can be one of the most wonderful places to take images of flowers, insects and a variety of small birds – and if you are lucky, sometimes other types of wildlife might wander into your garden.

You do not need great sunshine to go out into the garden – overcast days are always great days to get into the garden and capture the majestic colors of flowers.

Flower photography can be challenging, but when done right is most rewarding. The key to getting good flower pictures is pretty straightforward – get in close. You do not need to buy a macro lens to achieve this, a good telephoto lens on a tripod should do.

Use a large aperture (low f / number) to isolate your flower. This will get rid of any unwanted background, which sometimes focus attention away from your flower portrait.

Do not be afraid to use your flash – even on a bright day. This will get rid of any unwanted blur and help make your flower picture sharp.

These are simple tips to follow and should help to make your garden images better.

Photographing insects in many ways is similar to taking pictures of flowers. You need to get in close; your focusing has to be perfect and you also must minimize motion. If you are having trouble photographing insects try the following.

Pick a single flower on which you focus. Place a light fabric around any other flowers to isolate your shot. Now its time to place the bait – perfume is ideal to attract bees, butterflies and other insects into your outdoor studio. Use your strobe unit to freeze any motion with fast moving insects. This should be used in the bright conditions and will stop any movement in your nature portrait. Now it is time to sit and wait until your bait joins your prey.

Your garden is also full of all kinds of other creatures. Garden birds will make an attractive image; they will be up and out at an early hour so it's best to join them. Try building a hide in the garden and get up before sunrise – you will be surprised what creatures will wander in front of you at an early hour. Lay some bait around the garden to attract them in.

Use the elements of the weather to create more impact in your garden images. Early morning mist will leave droplets of water on leaves and flower petals. Use garden statues and other garden objects to create attractive silhouette images at dusk.

One of the largest attributes of nature, wildlife and garden photography is patience. Even though you are at home great patience is required to get the best …