Balancing With Feng Shui

Color impacts our spirit. The practice of Feng Shui recommends warm, earth tones such as cream, copper, coral and peach to assist in creating a calming atmosphere in the bedroom. If you are looking for a healing vibe in the bedroom, Feng Shui suggests green, lavender or light blue. There are many variations of the colors suggested by the Ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, however, only you know what will work for you. Keep in mind the opposing colors, such as reds, and oranges are seen as stimulating and will reverse the calming and relaxing effect you are going for in the bedroom. If these colors are used as accent pieces, they will enhance the balance of the room with a romantic vibe. Again, variations of these colors are commonly used depending upon your taste and style.

The Art of Feng Shui believes that the proper position for your bed is far away from the door to your room. Preferably a spot which allows you to see the doorway. This allows for safety and protection during your restful time. Believe it or not, directly opposite the door is considered the premiere spot to place your bed. Using these guidelines will create a healthy and relaxing atmosphere in the bedroom.

Camellias Cultivation

ga_c79a1f75ca77b86d_spcms_0Colorful plants native to eastern and southeastern Asia, Camellias were exclusively cultivated in Japan and China for centuries, Camellias were introduced to Europe during the 17th century by the tea trade between countries. Camellli sinensis is the species of the plant used to produce tea.

Where To Plant Camellias

Camellias, a brilliantly colored flowering shrub that flourishes in dappled, overhead light, is an ideal plant for semi-shaded north-facing home gardens. In their native habitat, Camellias are an under-story plant found growing under the canopy of other trees at the edge of forests or wooded regions. Chose a well-drained location in the garden. Camellias can’t stand “wet feet” and will die in soggy ground with poor drainage due to the shortage of oxygen in the soil.

Spring-flowering Camellias do best in neutral to slightly acid soil with a pH of between 5 to 7. If you have compacted clay or chalky alkaline soil, camellias with have a difficult time; leaves turn yellow and the plant fails to flower. Healthy camellias are an evergreen, retaining their deep green leathery leaves all year. Both the flowers and foliage add visual interest to the home landscape.

Before planting camellias in the garden, do a soil test to determine pH levels. A pH level soil test kit is available form local home and garden supply centers. For a complete soil analysis, take a soil same to your local county extension office for a determination of pH content and a full report of what you can do to amend your garden soil. Camellias do best in regions of the country where the summers are not excessively hot and the air is moist and humid.

Growing Camellias In Containers

If you do not have the ideal soil or growing conditions: no worries. Camellias are perfectly suited to container cultivation and make excellent long-term patio or sunroom plants. If you wish to grow camellias in containers outdoors, find a sheltered location out of the wind, preferably on a west or north-facing wall. If you are in a northern climate subject to freezing weather, growing in pots is the way to go. Containers are brought indoors before the first frost and make a lovely houseplant through out the gray days of winter.

When planting in containers, choose a pot large enough for the plant to grow, providing a weed-free loamy soil supplemented with well-aged herbivore manure (cow, sheep, goat, horse) to provide nutrients and to help hold moisture. Make sure the pot has excellent drainage. Positioning the pot on a rolling base makes it easy to move about the patio to take advantage of the best light and to move into the home or greenhouse when the weather cools.

Replant every two to three years to a larger pot to allow for vigorous growth. When repotting, add fresh topsoil and aged manure to the potting mixture.

An Abundance Of Flowers

Camellias brighten shaded spots in the home landscape with bold bursts of color in shades of white, creamy yellow, sunshine yellow, pale pink, hot pink, lavender, orange, red, and burgundy. New hybrids offer a diverse array of variegated color combinations. Clip off spent blooms to encourage flower growth.

How to Get Started with Bonsai Trees in Your Home

Bonsai is a Japanese artform that originates from the ancient Chinese practice of potting trees. Although it is an art that has existed for centuries, bonsai needn’t be inaccessible to the average person looking for a new household hobby.

To successfully grow and care for a bonsai, all you need are a few tools and a lot of patience. In this article, we’ll cover bonsai basics to help you get started in this craft. Keep in mind, however, that there are thousands of resources and communities to help you out along the way.

To buy or to cultivate?

The two most common ways to start a bonsai tree are to buy a pre-cultivated tree online or at a greenhouse, or to cultivate one yourself with seeds or cuttings. Many beginners elect to buy a pre-cultivated tree to decide if they enjoy the hobby before devoting years to cultivating a tree from seed. If you enjoy caring for plants and think you’re up to the challenge, starting from seed or cuttings could be more rewarding.

A third option is to collect a tree from nature that has been stunted by natural conditions. These types of trees are called yamadori and can be difficult to collect because their roots may be in a precarious location. Also keep in mind that it is illegal to remove plants from some parks and forests.

How to shape your tree

Once you obtain a bonsai your work has only just begun. The real challenge of bonsai is caring for and shaping your tree. That means clipping off growth, repotting, watering, moving it indoors and outdoors, and shaping/training its branches to grow a certain way.

Every tree is different and will require different care. An important thing to remember about bonsai is that many of them will need to be brought outside to mimic their natural conditions. Trees survive winters because they have prepared for it through the process of dormancy. By bringing your tree outdoors, it will keep its internal clock on time to prepare for winter. In this way, cold-climate bonsai trees can handle the harsh temperatures and weather that comes with the winter time.

Aside from subjecting it to different temperatures and weather, your bonsai will also need to be pruned and wired. Pruning thick branches that grow high up on your tree will help you maintain the natural look of its larger counterparts out in nature. Similarly, wiring helps you transform your tiny tree to look fully-grown and weathered.

Tree care

Just like other plants, your tree will need water, sunlight, and fertilizer. The amount of each will depend on the type of the tree, so you’ll want to do that research before you ever buy, cultivate, or collect a bonsai to make sure you can adequately care for the tree in your area.

Overwatering causes the death of countless bonsai trees. Root rot occurs when soil stays too damp for too long. Roots need air, and damp soil suffocates the roots causing them to rot. When it comes to fertilizer, follow the advice of others of have successfully grown the type of tree you have.