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Ivy For Your Home and Garden

This plant, in some of its varieties, is probably the most popular ornament of the parlor. The ease of culture, its beautiful foliage, its rapid growth, and evergreen character all combine to make it a favorite.

The soil should be a rich loam; the richer the soil the more rapid will be the growth. Yet avoid stimulating manures. Slips root readily, taken off at any leaf joint, and placed either in earth or water; in the latter they will soon throw out roots, and may then be transferred to pots.

The only precaution to be taken in growing ivy is to keep it from frost while in growth and if frozen, to keep the sun away from it, thawing it out with cold water from whatever garden water feature you possess. In summer the plants may be set out of doors, and will make vigorous growth.

There are many species, of which the most common is Hedera Helix, the common twining ivy, a native of Europe, of which there are many varieties. The leaves of these varieties vary quite a bit and many distinctions have been founded on these variations.

There are two very beautiful kinds, the silver and golden, the foliage being beautifully variegated with white and gold. The Tree or Aborescent Ivy is merely a form of the common variety, which is shown by its returning to the primal Aborescent form not infrequently. The leaves are entire, and the plant often, retains its form for years.

H. Roegneriana is a variety with large, heart-shaped leaves, which is much esteemed.

H. digitata, the palmate or hand-shaped Ivy is a pretty variety, of rapid growth; the leaves are small, dark, and veined. This is often called, erroneously, the Irish Ivy.

H. Canariensis is the Irish, or Giant Ivy, the leaves are five-lobed, and larger than those of the common ivy. This type of ivy may not be best for areas where patio statuary is on display since it can grow quite large and overshadow the statues.

Almost all the varieties of nurserymen’s’ catalogs are merely forms of these, with peculiar foliage.

The Golden Ivy is a splendid plant; when the young
leaves come out it resembles a mass of yellow flowers. Ivies are grown in hanging baskets, around windows, made to trail around picture frames and looking glasses; indeed, they may be made decorative in the highest degree.

The plants should always be well supplied with water, though it should never be allowed to stand at the roots. Large plants of the common varieties may be procured inexpensively. The ornamental foliaged varieties are somewhat pricier.

If you have ivy growing out of doors (and it will thrive if you keep the winter’s sun away from it), a pretty effect may be produced by cutting large branches, and keeping them in vases or outdoor fountains of rain water. They will grow well all winter, and planted in spring make nice plants for autumn.

The plant commonly known as German Ivy is not an ivy; the botanical name is Senecio Scandens. It is deservedly popular, from its rapid growth and its freedom from insects. The Coliseum Ivy is a species of Snap-dragon, as may be seen from an examination of the flowers, and a very pretty plant it is; botanically it is Linaria Cymbalaria.

Five-leaved Ivy is the Virginia Creeper or Woodbine (Ampelopsis Virginica), a native of our woods. The Poison Ivy is Rhus Radicans or Rhus Toxicodendron, and not of the same family as any of the above.

Four Facts About Outdoor Wall Fountains to Make You Think About Redecorating Your Home Or Garden

Many people nowadays use fountains to decorate their homes and gardens. These can range from small simple things, to huge boastful behemoths. If you would like to achieve a similar effect but avoid the posturing and awkwardness, something small yet elegant would definitely do the trick, turning any free space you have into a brand new kinetic piece of art.

A wall fountain is great for decorating walls in the home, but work equally as well in a garden or back yard. There are many things to know before purchasing, as it is all too easy to see something you like the look of and buy it straight away, only to realize your have made a mistake, so read on to prevent this.

Attach anywhere

The beauty of outdoor wall fountains is that they can be placed almost anywhere you have free space. By hanging them on a bracket on an empty wall, you immediately change it and give the wall a new purpose; to entertain and calm you. This is achieved with such ease that it is almost hard to believe!

Water pump

Many outdoor wall fountains will be self-circulating, that is, the water keeps going round and round, eliminating the need for a mains water supply. Some will require the water supply, so if you have no mains connection near your desired location then be sure to buy one that is self circulating.

Power supply

Naturally each fountain will need to be connected to a power source to move the water pump. Be sure that there is an available source of power in the desired area before buying!

Choices

You are spoiled for choice when you buy a wall fountain, with designs ranging from modern to classical, so take your time and fund the right one!

Who Wants to Harvest Fresh Herbs From Their Home Herb Garden?

If you’re fond of being able to have herbs at anytime of the year from your home herb garden then you’ll appreciate the importance of correctly harvesting them so as to enjoy the fresh herbs in your meals or other medicinal or aromatic uses.

However, at times, you may need to preserve the herbs for later use.

Harvesting the herbs in your home herb garden requires following some guidelines of botanical nature. Professional practices include selecting best time to harvest by employing careful crop preparation techniques.

Keeping in view the type, size and strength of the existing herb, the crop is prepared. Preferably, to protect the drying out of essential oils of the herbs, the morning time is selected.

You can utilize a small portion of the existing plant, up till its foliage, for harvesting the new crop.  

For future use, the herbs can be stored by following simple steps.

The process of drying the herb, followed by either freezing it or preserving it using a special preparation of salt or vinegar that’s employed. 

Drying an herb is easy, first by making the cut, then bundle it in smaller groups and place them inside, away from sunlight. Herbs wrapped in wax paper, can be kept in the freezer to preserve them for a long time. 

Of course, the real enjoyment comes from consuming the fresh herbs from your home herb garden. As a precautionary measure, clean the herbs in running water before using them for culinary purposes. This will protect you from any infection or health problem.