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8 Ways to Get the Best Garden on the Block this Spring

8 Ways to Get the Best Garden on the Block this Spring

Have you been admiring your neighbors foliage and landscaping talents for years? Maybe you’re lacking the green thumb or your budget for a bountiful garden is limited. If you begin to plan and prepare now, you will have the best garden on the block this spring and into the summer. These tips are easy ways to spruce up your exterior view whether you’re into rustic or manicured.

1. Fresh Sod for the Spring

The foundation to a beautiful yard is healthy, green grass. If you really want to impress the neighbors, consider laying down sod this spring. Home and Garden suggests that sod should be laid in the Spring or early Autumn. Cooler temperatures with some rainy days help sod to root much more quickly. You can prepare the area for the sod yourself or get professionals to do it to ensure you get a healthy, thriving lawn.

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2. Preparation in Winter

You can begin pruning the hardy hedges if you have them as well as winter shrubs that have stopped flowering. If you’re planning to grow vegetables, you can prepare the bed if the ground isn’t frozen.

3. Map Out Your Garden

If the weather outside is still bitterly cold, stay inside, and create a diagram on the computer or by hand to determine how you want your garden to look. Think about where the sun hits on your yard and choose which sun-loving plants you want. You can also create a spot for your shade-loving plants. If you want your shade lovers to be in a sunny spot in your yard, you can conceptualize a creative way to block the sun. This is a great indoor project that will get your geared for the upcoming gardening season.

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4. Order Summer Flowers and Seeds

Let the creative part of you flow as you choose what summer-flowering bulbs you will want for your garden. Lilies and Gladiolus can be planted in early spring, giving your garden color. Looking through gardening catalogs can help to inspire you when it comes to how you want your garden to look. Based on your map of how you want your yard to look, you can order now to get them in time for spring planting.

5. Prepare Your Soil

Good soil is the lifeblood to any thriving garden and preparing it in the winter months is the best practice. Creatures that assist in the ecosystem of your garden by converting dead material into that of organic matters. Earthworms, centipedes and fungi assist in making your top soil perfect for growing. Your top soil should be about 12 inches deep but this depends largely on whether soil has been well cultivated. One of the best methods to improve your soil is to cultivate deeply as it open soil up for air and water. Dig 6-12 inches in the winter months and add organic matter such as seaweed or leaves.

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6. Sow Slower Seeds Now

The garden experts recommend you begin sowing seeds that need a longer growing season in the months of January and February. Now is the time to sow your Geraniums, Begonias, Peppers and Aubergines. They will need to be grown under a heated propagator or something that promotes growth.

7. Collect Rain Water

If you’re in an area where it rains a lot, collect this natural water while you can. Rain water is best for many plants such as Camellias, Blueberries and Rhododendrons. A lot of tap water is slightly alkaline which plants may be sensitive to. You can have a water barrel or install water butts that are right under your downpipe in order to catch as much rain as possible.

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8. Garden Decor

Garden decor can really spruce up your yard appeal and it takes no effort. Create a theme that matches with the flowers you have decided to go with. Even little pockets of themes are a fun way to bring your yard to life. For instance, if you plant tulips, you can put a garden windmill in the same area. Voila! You now have a mini Dutch garden. Decks and law furniture give a welcoming area for visitors that come for a BBQ or just to admire your yard. The good news, lawn ornaments and furniture aren’t so pricey so you can achieve a great looking yard for very little money.

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Loraine Couturier

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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