Author Archive: Mary Wilson

Protecting Your Botanical Garden

So you shelled out the money to make your botanical garden, that’s great! Prepare to shell out some more money from now on! Don’t be too worried though, it would mostly be quarterly or so, so you won’t be spending too frequently. You see, when it comes to plants not native to the environment often it will start facing pests it has no way of defending itself from, it might evolve into having the defense mechanism for it, but it’ll take a few thousand to million years if done naturally. So unless if you are some genius botanist or something, I suggest calling a Pest Control Company Cheyenne, depending on how knowledgeable they are you might have to shop around for people who knows which chemicals to use and not affect your plants.

Making your botanical garden might be something of a luxury, but it is also a big responsibility, you are creating a garden that will adapt to the environment you’ve brought it to. It is a living thing that you must continue to take care of. But in return, you get a wonderful garden with an exotic view just for yourself and your guests. In a poison Ivy (the batman villain) sort of way, they are your children.

Why A Garden Wedding Is A Good Idea

Wedding celebrations always make me feel all mushy inside especially when the venue is a beautiful garden. Nature is just a fantastic feature. We always see flowers used as wedding decors. So why not have it in a garden where flowers are plenty?

Gardens provide that whimsical and intimate environment that is just so romantic to see. There are also some gardens that have a magnificent sunset view. It would be a treat for the couple and their guests.

Gardens also offer open spaces and abundant natural lighting. The wedding celebration will always have a lovely background. Oh! Not just background, you have a whole place surrounded by nothing but beauty and nature. Think about the gorgeous wedding pictures you’ll have!

Several gardens in Utah have opened their doors to hosting wedding celebrations. Wedding receptions held in the garden give a feeling of intimacy and lightness. The gardens could also serve as your wedding ceremony venue if there are no religious restrictions of having the ceremony outdoors. Think of yourself walking down the aisle on a white carpet with Mother Nature all around you.

Aside from the regular aisle carpets, I have seen a beautiful trend of using personalized carpet for weddings. These personal carpets have the initials or the customized design of the bride and groom. You might feel worried about destroying the carpet when you place it on top of the grass or perhaps a playful flower girl will stain it. Don’t worry! The carpet cleaners can remove the stain from your carpets in a jiffy.

I worked with a garden venue in Utah a few months ago, and I couldn’t help but ask the manager how they keep their wedding aisle carpets clean. Without explaining further, they just gave me the website of the carpet cleaning service they hired. Like it was meant to be, I suddenly needed a carpet cleaner for my home after a few days. The garden manager’s recommendation was superb. So don’t fret about having your carpet stained at your wedding. The professionals can do an excellent job in making it look good as new again.

If you are also worried about bugs, you can keep them at bay by hiring an exterminator to spray the garden at least two days before your wedding day. You can also check with the venue manager about their pest control activities.

The rainy weather should also not stop you from having your dream wedding. There are tents that you can rent to provide shade from the elements. Some venues have a gazebo or a patio that they can reserve for you in case the weather gets a little rough on your big day.

For sure, your wedding festivities can go on the wee hours. The garden’s beauty will not dull even at night. Most gardens are now strategically lighted to give everyone a different view after the sun sets. Your wedding stylist can also add more mood lights to make it extra special.

How To Make your Garden Shine At Night

Garden is a place where one can relax and unwind. It can instantly reconnect you with nature even if you are living in the middle of the Atlanta city. The beauty of a garden is best appreciated under the bright sunshine. However, this beauty doesn’t have to cease to existing come sundown. The best way to keep enjoying your garden even at night time is to install outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting allows you to continue to make use of your garden at night. People working until the wee hours of the evening will now be able to enjoy their garden. Once you light it at night, you will be surprised that you have another beautiful room in your house!

There are things to consider when you decide to install outdoor lighting to your garden. Here are some of them.

Get to know your garden 

Walk around your garden and identify the spots that you would like to highlight. It could be a sculpture or one of your plants. It is best to draw a sketch so you can visualize how you want to illuminate your garden. It will also help to list down all the plants and decors in your garden. [You can find some great ideas – here]

Set your budget 

You need to check your resources, especially your budget before you start executing your plan. You need help of licensed electrician who can handle electric repair to install the necessary wiring for your lighting set up.

If you do not have a big budget yet, you may opt for solar backyard lights. They do not have any wire that you need to set up. You just have to ensure that the lights are set up in a way that the solar panels can get ample sunlight in the morning to recharge the lights.

Choose the type of light and design 

The most economical light are LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). This kind of light is even programmable. Another option is a reflector light (Halogen), but it costs more to operate.

You can install the lights in different ways to achieve the desired lighting effect. Here are some of the designs.

  •     Uplighting – Light is directed upward to highlight a feature. This is usually used to highlight trees.
  •     Downlights – These are the most common lights design we see. The light is installed at a high level to illuminate the object below.
  •     Spotlights – These are lights fixed in one object. You can use this if you have a décor or plant that you wish to highlight.
  •     Path lights – These are used to illuminate the pathways. It looks better than just switching regular light bulbs.
  •     Surface lights –  These are lights installed into walls, decks, step surfaces and the ground.
  •     Wall lights – These are used to illuminate the walls for security.

The effort required for this would depend on the size of your garden. If your garden is too big, it will be better to seek the service of professional landscapers that can advise you on the best lighting for your garden.

Natural Ways To Prevent Garden Pests At Home

Botanic Gardens are a relaxing feature of the community. We are proud that we have our own botanic garden here in Denver. It features North America’s largest collection of plants from cold temperate climates around the world. It also showcases seven diverse gardens that include plants from Colorado and neighboring states.

We could have our own botanic garden right at the comfort of our homes. Potted plants can serve as a mini garden for homes with tight spaces. However, we need to be extra careful because our gardens could attract pests into our homes.

Natural pest control is a socially responsible and environment-friendly way to control pests.  There are pest control companies that advocate the natural way to address pest problems. They use natural-based insecticides and mechanical devices in their pest control activities. They also educate their clients on proper pest prevention.

Knowledge in pest prevention is the first step in pest control. We need to be proactive and not wait for the pest to come in our house before we take action. It is important to stop them before they infest our house. We can do this by identifying potential entry holes that will let the pests come into the house from our garden. Be wary of pest droppings, nesting rubble and stains as these signify presence of pests within the yard. Take note of the identified areas in your house and make sure to seal those entry points.

We also need to dispose food scraps and dirt properly so that the pests can’t have a food supply. We should fix leaky faucets and pipes because damp and dark areas are conducive environment for pests. If you will notice, most pests are found thriving in the kitchen and bathrooms cabinets. In addition, make sure that garden waste is properly disposed to eliminate possible breeding grounds for pests. Keeping your surroundings clean is pest prevention in itself.

Sometimes, use of pesticides cannot be avoided especially when the house is already infested. Avoid traditional pesticides because they are highly toxic. These pesticides should never be used if there are kids living in your house to prevent harmful effects on their young and developing bodies. You may opt for pesticides with reduced toxicity. Some pesticides are even organic and natural-based. Consider choosing a socially responsible pest control company in Denver that offers natural pest management solutions.

Mechanical and pesticide-free alternatives such as traps and general pest proofing materials could be used, too. Pest proofing is done by installing screens, door sweeps and caulking.  Barriers and repellents also keep pests away from your house. They act like walls that prevent crawling insects from going into the house. Plants such as peppermint and pennyroyal are samples of a barrier that naturally deter ants.

Beneficial insects, like lady beetles and praying mantis, can also be introduced to the garden. These insects can prey on the pests. Although these insects are beneficial, you still need to ensure the right balance of organisms in the garden. It is highly advisable that you perform additional research or seek the advice of a master gardener to ensure that you pick the right beneficial insect for your garden.

My Pest Control Dilemma

bridgeI have to say this before I start, I am not a rich person, the reason I had to say that first is that I had to make sure you wouldn’t mistakenly thing that my financial standing is really good when I tell you that I have a personal Botanical Garden at Home. The thing is I love different kinds of plants, so much so that I spent a good amount of my savings to converting a portion of my house into a greenhouse where I keep and grow different kind of plants I can get my hands on. But then something terrible happened…

One night I noticed an unbearable feeling when trying to sleep, the day after I discovered through the help of professionals that I had bed bugs. Living in Portland it was already a challenge to find a affordable bed bugs exterminator, but it became even more challenging because they told me that they would need to tent my entire house, including the botanical garden section. This was bad as most of the plants I was able to acquire were a bit sensitive to chemicals, and with the regular guys, I was certain that they use some the cheap strong kind. Finding an ecofriendly exterminator with the right tools for the specific job I needed done was incredibly challenging.

You would think that companies that uses “Natural” or “ecofriendly” chemicals would be cheaper, but you would be wrong, at least I was. Finding the right guys took a lot of time, it would have been far simpler if my greenhouse was detached from the house, but I just had to envision my like a 17th century aristocratic scientist who walks in with a cup of tea to the botanical section of the house.

After searching and asking people, I found a few that were affordable, it was hard to ask for a good price with my house looking like I make a lot of money, but I was able to connect with one of the companies who had a botanical enthusiast like me, even though she wasn’t part of the exterminating group she came along to see the greenhouse/botanical garden.  I was able to get a good price and she even helped me with a few of the needed preparations for the whole treatment. In the end I was able to get my house treated with little damage to the plants.

 

Lesson to be learned

If you ever have the extra money for a greenhouse, I recommend it to be detached from your house just in case something like this comes up. It was a difficult situation for me, as the plants I spent money on and carefully tended to be put in danger, I almost even considered living with the bedbugs. I was fortunate to find someone that was able to help me, but before that it was a complete and utter nightmare. So unless you are absolutely wealthy, don’t do what I did, and play safe when making decisions like these.

My Love for Botanical Gardens

Traveling around the world has always been a passion of mine, but unfortunately often times I am not in the financial situation to travel. I found that the next best thing is by visiting places with things from other places of the globe. I find it relaxing to go to museums and explore what they have new from other places. But what I truly find fun and exhilarating is visiting botanical gardens, especially ones that feature plants from places around the world, it’s like meeting people from other countries, but it isn’t inappropriate to smell them, and you don’t have to worry about talking to them.

garden-in-italy

As you can pretty much tell, I am the introvert type of person, and that is why I love traveling alone and experiencing things. Though I am pretty much afraid of talking to people, I do not let that keep me from doing something with my life. Don’t get me wrong it’s not like I cannot talk to people, I just find it difficult to talk to new people in my life. This has a lot to do with why I love botanical gardens so much.

A long time ago, when I was young, I lived at an apartment a few blocks away from my city’s botanical garden, I love seeing the different flowers so much that I save my money to go there at least a few times a month. One month I met someone my age there, a girl, she was the high spirited energetic extrovert type, it was incredibly hard to be around her as I was trying to concentrate of looking at the beauty that was the plant exhibits, it was not until I was at place where I was not really familiar with the new exhibit and it seems as though that they have yet to put in the info about it. She then spoke and told me about the plant, at first I thought she was just playing around but after the custodian came and placed the information sheet, she was spot on. I later discovered that she was the daughter of a botanist that travels around.

Earth made of grass and flowers set up on Euorpe

That afternoon I had made a friend, after introducing each other we had so much fun going around the garden, with me showing her around the place and her telling me a lot of things I didn’t know about the plat exhibits. It was she who sparked my interest in travels, as her stories of her experiences and discoveries were merely stories in one of those books about a young adventurer. I quite honestly also developed a bit of a crush on her, but I guess it was not meant to be as when the time came for us to say goodbye that day and we walked away in different directions I never saw her again.

My love of botanical gardens preceded me meeting the girl, but maybe deep inside me I still believe that if I travel or visit as many botanical gardens, I might just see her again.

The Best Botanical Gardens in the World (Not in any Particular Order)

So you are thinking of traveling around the world, if you are then you should visit all the places that can show you the most of what the country you are visiting offers. For plant life of the region, the best place to see all of them are botanical gardens. There should be at least one of them in most countries you visit, but if you would like to know which ones are known to be the best, then you came to the right article, her are a few of the best botanical gardens in the world.

1.) Brooklyn Botanical Garden 

If you are looking for a botanical garden close to the city with the best best Chinese Food in the world, then Brooklyn botanical garden is for you. Founded in 1910, the place has a few good exhibits including three pavilions, each with different climates for different plant species.

2.) Singapore Botanical Garden 

A bit farther away from home, this beautiful 183 acre park, is said to be the best in the world by many, with it twenty thousand different orchids, countless plant exhibits, and even wild animal life, they might be right.

3.)  Jardim Botânico 

At South America we find a beautiful botanical garden, at the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. With its wonderful Six thousand five hundred species of plants in the park, which lies at the foot of the mountain, it’s just more than a garden, it is truly nature.

4.) Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum 

Leave it to the Germans to make something so well executed. The wonderful garden was founded the same year as the Brooklyn Botanical Garden (1910), The garden boasts a whopping Twenty-two thousand species of plant life, and aside from a botanical garden it is also a botanical museum, giving us more info on the history and evolution of the plants.

5.) Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden 

We’ve been to Asia, North and South America, it’s about time for little visit to South Africa. This beautiful national botanical garden only cultivates indigenous plants. So if you want to see plants that can only be found in South Africa, you don’t need to explore the whole continent, just go to the park at the foot of Table Mountain at Cape Town, better known as Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, a wonderful wondrous place.

Well, let’s stop there for now… Why you ask? Well, if you are really making plans to go around the world then this list will allow you to visit most of the continents of the world, which is pretty much enough for one trip around the world. Don’t let your mind overload and make yourself rush and not truly feel and experience the beauty of these gardens. If you are in too much of hurry to see everything you will end up seeing nothing. The old phrase “stop to smell the flowers” can apply here, and quite literally too.

Interesting Stories from People I Met in a Botanical Garden in San Antonio

We all want to live a long life with strong, or at the very least fully functioning, bodies.  This is why I always look to nature when I study about longevity, and botanical gardens tend to have a collection of most of the local flora along with some shipped in from other exotic places. When it comes to achieving a long life, in some legends immortality, it’s always a story about an ancient medicinal plant, or the sap of an ancient tree, its fruit, or tea brewed from its leaves and/or flowers. Don’t get me wrong I’m not just some nut-job who thinks that drinking a concoction made from a few plants would make me live forever, I am actually a botanist who is very much interested in the medical application of plants, and it’s wellness effect in its daily usage. But it was at a botanical garden in San Antonio did I first start to truly believe that there could be more when it comes to alternative medicine, and the lesson did not come from plants.

 

In the Botanical Garden

the-san-antonio-botanical-gardensI had been given permission to gather a few leaf and flower samples from specifically designated plants, with the vast number of species that I wanted to gain data on I worked tirelessly throughout the day. I don’t know why, maybe I am just getting old, but after doing a few things that I have always been doing I turned and felt a pain in my back, one I had not ever felt before. It was the sort of pain that you didn’t want to move, it pretty much ruined my day. Rather, it would have, had I not met a group of people who were doing some sort of exercise inside the garden.

One of them was a chiropractor and pretty much saved my day. At a stone bench he fixed my back, but told me that it would be best for me to go to a clinic he knows, a friend’s wellness-chiropractic in Texas, and told me that I could also help me improve my health.

 

Interesting Things I’ve Learned

I had always been skeptical about physical therapies that promote wellness, most of them talking about chakras and such, but the way the chiropractor and his friends talked about it made pretty good sense. We had opened up the topic of wellness as I told them what I was doing in the gardens in the first place, and they started sharing about the effects of chiropractic therapy for wellness. At first I was skeptical but as I listened to the concept of it, my interest grew.

The concept was that our spine houses the main highway of our nervous system, which is connected with every organ system, connecting them to the brain, when this highway is misaligned and is “congested” the signal from the brain to the organ systems tends to be more interrupted, thus reducing the efficiency of their function. I understood the concept and am now open to seeing its effects first hand.

I had to leave San Antonio a few days after that as I needed to get back home to LA, luckily enough there seems to also be a wellness chiropractor in town. I will soon report on the effects of the treatment on my wellness, I had decided to give it a chance since chiropractic treatment did turn what was supposed to be a bad day into a good one.

Why Creating a Community Botanic Garden is a Worthwhile Endeavor

botanical-plantingIt has been a persona dream of mine to share the wonders of different plant life to young minds. Though we have been active with community gardens, most of the time these were directed as either a small neighborhood farm or a simple flower garden, both important to learn and important to the community and ecosystem. Though this is somewhat lacking, currently we limit ourselves to ornamental plants or crops, which truth be told are pretty fun to grow as you can eat them come harvest time, the crops not the flowers I mean.  As we live in a world where people are allowed access to enormous amount of information at the comfort of their home, I found that less people actually explore and experience the outside world. Making a community botanic garden will allow many to learn about the wonders of plants that can only be found in specific habitats, it may even be able to encourage exploration.

I first went to a botanic garden near the outskirts of my city, the very wonder of the vast number of different plant life in one place, and their beauty was what brought me to my love of botany and horticulture. Had I went on that family trip, I might be doing something totally different from what I am now. The experiences in our lives are what open our minds and hearts to new dreams and goals, or at the very least hobbies. If there is no local botanical garden in your own city, it is the duty of its citizen to create one, the same goes for museums and concert halls… we must cultivate the minds of the young generation by creating the environment for learning.

While books, videos, and the internet allows the young people to pursue things on their own it is often only after experiencing something somewhat life changing  do they do so. These are tools, made to emulate and share the experience of others, and though helpful they are nothing like true experience. Try to recall what made you love what you do now, or how your favorite hobby started. More often than not it is because of a positive experience, or at least one that stands out. Experience is necessary to develop the personality of the young, and sometimes you have to create venues for these experiences to happen.

The process of creating a botanical garden need not to be a complicated one, but I cannot promise that it is an easy one, if a community bands together and ask for help from the appropriate organizations it is more than possible to create one. My love for botany lead me to share my ideas and dreams, and it was one of the most essential reasons for the success of my previous endeavors, community was another.

We often worry about what our youth is being lead to, a way to keep them in a straight path in life is by giving them the environment to grow and experience wonderful things which will give them goals and dreams to follow. The creation of museums, concert halls, botanic gardens, and other places that some might even think as useless extra-curricular activities are worthwhile eneavors.

 

An Interesting Trip to Singapore and their Lovely Botanic Garden

flower-arcs-singapore-botanicalA while back I went to Singapore as one of the just because trips, just kidding I was there on business, but since I was there anyway I decided to enjoy myself. The whole trip was quite a fun one, the food was interesting, aside from the free hotel food paid for by the business expense budget, I also had tried the local, let’s say street food, and a lot of them were delicious and most of them was… well unique. I had a lot of fun at the sea aquarium which I do have to talk about, but what I would like to talk about now is the beautiful “Singapore Botanic Gardens”.

The entrance had quite a grand gate with “Singapore Botanic Gardens” on it, you can’t miss it! The place is apparently a UNESCO world heritage site, which is cool and the reason why is quite obvious. It was an amazing experience, it was so amazing that I will definitely go again if I am ever in the country. The place is also easy to go around and finding the places you wanted to go to was easy because of the maps and multilingual signs. I got to a place I think it was called Swan Lake, and from the name you know you would find swans there, a pleasant surprise though was the turtles, I saw people feed something in the water, I thought it was koi or something but when I got closer it was an amazing group of turtles(or whatever you call a bunch of them), quite adorable for reptiles.

I later reached and area (side note I am more of an explorer so I often just go singapore-botanical-garden-gatearound not really knowing where I am) which had a large area where a few people were dancing, and exercise group maybe, and it was quite wonderful how the place was utilized that way. In my city’s botanical garden, you might be able to do that (not really sure), but people don’t.

After a few minutes of walking around, admiring all the beautiful plants, I reached an area with a waterfall (the first of many I encountered), you could go through some sort of passage where you can see the outside from in the waterfall. I had wished that I had my camera, but I only went to the botanical garden to kill time while I wait for an associates call, my phones cam kind of sucks.

A few minutes more of walking I found this small group of people headed to the “Cool House”, which I think (I might be wrong here, but I am fairly certain) was the rain forest habitat, there was a loud waterfall and things were quite moist in the area. I saw some orchids which one of the people in the crowd called a waling-waling, though I am not certain if that is correct.

As I exit the enclosure, happy with my experience, I had decided to go through the whole park and actually read up everything, actually learn stuff! Besides, since I still didn’t get the call the meeting was probably pushed to- And then my phone rang… I had planned to go back to the botanical garden but unfortunately things just got busy after that day. If you are ever in Singapore, don’t make the same mistake as me, explore the garden and enjoy your time there.