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Posts Tagged ‘Garden’

Make a Drink Coaster of Dried Flowers

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

One unique idea of bringing Mother Nature into your home by way of a drink coaster is by picking some flowers in your garden and drying them to use for your project. It won’t cost you any money and you can have a wide variety of coasters to use for different occasions. They will also make the perfect gift to give to your family and friends. Since flowers can take as long as three weeks to dry, you can pick a selection of them and then choose the ones you want to use for making the coasters.

You will need to have a thick book in which you press the flowers you are going to use for each drink coaster. Use tissue paper for spreading the flowers on, but don’t let the flowers touch each other. Cover the flowers with more tissue, newspaper and cardboard that you have cut in the same size as that of the book you intend to use. Lay the book on top of the flowers and let sit for two or three weeks. If you don’t grow your own flowers you can bypass this step in by purchasing dried flowers at a craft store or by purchasing flowers from a garden center that you can dry.

Once the flowers are dry, you are ready to proceed to the next step of making your own beverage coasters. You do need to purchase panes of glass that measure 4 inches by 4 inches because this is the standard size of a drink coaster. You will also need to have clear glue and heavy aluminum foil tape. Use regular glass cleaner to clean the panes of glass and the edges. Arrange the flowers in whatever way you wish and lay them on one pane of glass and cover the flowers with another. Apply the glue to all four edges of the coaster.

Take strips of the aluminum foil tape and carefully apply this along the glued edges. Make sure you cover the four edges of the drink coaster and cut off any extra edges to give you a smooth finish. When the glue dries, you can remove the tape to have glorious dried flower coasters. The glass will not harm your furniture unless you drop it, in which case it will shatter. You can leave the coaster as it is so that either side can be placed under a glass or you can apply a cork or rubber backing to one of the sides as a way of protecting the surface of the table.

The Subject of Sunflowers and Your Garden

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Sunflowers are certainly stars of the gardening world. It is hard to miss the beauty of sunflowers standing tall, either on their own or edging a bed of more traditional flowers. Few who have seen these stunning beauties can deny their stunning beauty and attractiveness. The family of sunflowers, known scientifically as genus Helianthus, includes both annual and perennial varieties of sunflowers. As their name implies, sunflowers generally prefer full sunlight, so it is important for gardeners to choose the sunniest part of their garden when planting these stunning plants.

It is also important to take the adult size of these plants into account when planting them, and to space them accordingly. Most varieties of sunflowers are quite large, so it is important to space them widely so they will not crowd each other out and compete for nutrients. Since sunflowers are so large and sturdy, many gardeners like to use them to border vegetable gardens, and a vegetable garden bordered by sunflowers is certainly a beautiful sight. It’s really a good idea to probe a little deeper into the subject of Sunflowers And Your Garden. What you learn may give you the confidence you need to venture into new areas.

The blooming period of sunflowers typically extends from late summer to early fall, and the growing requirements for these plants are generally easy to meet. Most varieties of sunflowers require only a well drained, modestly fertile soil in order to thrive. It is generally a good idea to amend the soil with either aged manure or a good quality commercial fertilizer. It is best to sow the sunflower seeds directly where they are intended to grow, since they set seed quickly and start to sprout very fast.

While sunflowers may be easy to grow, their seeds are popular with many unwanted garden visitors, particularly rabbits, squirrels and insects. Due to this popularly with common garden pests, it is best to sow three times as many seeds as are needed. Planting extra seeds will allow the four legged visitors to your garden to eat their fill while still providing a beautiful garden full of sunflowers.

Sunflower seeds are best planted about a foot apart. Sowing the seeds this far apart will allow the adult plants to grow the largest heads. If you plant sunflowers closer together they will develop smaller blooms and may never reach their full potential. If you are growing sunflowers for those monstrous blossoms, it is important to give them plenty of space to grow. When working with annual varieties of sunflowers, it is important to rotate the planting area. This will keep the soil its healthiest and allow the sunflowers to achieve their best blooms.