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10 Tips on How to Turn Your Garden Into a Real Paradise

10 Tips on How to Turn Your Garden Into a Real Paradise

Gardeners are a special kind of dreamer — they never take today too lightly and always create for the future. Diligent and hopeful, they teach us to feel the simple joy of a growing flower. Take up their advice, and plant a tree in your backyard. With the soil losing its snow, it’ll take a couple of months for your home to become green, serene, and lively. And if you think a piece of paradise is impossible to have, here are some tips to reassure you.

1. Start a Gardening Diary

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    Whether you’re making those first steps or looking to freshen up your garden, building a scrapbook seems like a fun and practical idea. Keep tabs on each of your plants and follow their growth through the different seasons. Even before you make an addition to the garden, get familiar with the plant’s unique variety by researching it online — that way, you’ll know exactly how big they’ll get in time and, accordingly, in which part of your garden to plant them.

    Some of them, most perennials for instance, need to be around 18 inches apart in order to develop and grow freely. The same refers to height; to keep your garden tidy, make sure to plant the shorter sorts in front of tall ones, but also pay attention to the sun exposure and be careful not to block the natural light from the little ones.

    2. Understand Your Surrounding

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      Speaking of sun exposure, bear in mind that your garden is unconditionally tied to its surrounding, which is why you should get to know everything about the specific properties of your region. This is another gardening secret that demands thorough research — climate conditions, aforementioned sun exposure, pollution and even noise are all things to consider. It’s probably a handy trick to ask a local garden center for advice on your limits and possibilities. With enough knowledge, it’s less likely that your efforts will be in vain.

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      3. Get to Know Your Soil

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        The surroundings are just one of the precursors to be cautious about. The chemical composition of your garden’s soil is an equally important requirement for your vegetation to blossom. You’ll need to get a reading of pH and nutrient levels, acidity and texture. Each of those elements affect not only a choice of plant varieties, but also their further growth and continuance.

        Once again, you can consult with a local professional, or simply use some of the at-home testing kits available in gardening stores. A hard or clay-like soil might be more stubborn to farm. “It should be easily shoveled and crumble in your hands,” says Annette Gutierrez, owner of Potted in Los Angeles. “Add fresh soil, mulch, and compost, being careful to aerate as much and as deep an area as you can before planting.”

        4. Upgrade Your Gardening Kit

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          If you haven’t already, upgrade your gardening tools. Spray your shovel with silicone to make the soil slip right off, use a Dutch hoe to control the weed and invest in high-quality gardening gloves. For tweaking, don’t forget about the secateurs and hedging shears. You may think not all of these are essential for your landscaping, but the truth is they’ve been designed handy and light to ease your work and compensate for your lack of experience or strength.

          For the same reason, try not to settle for less — even though some of the gardening tools are pricey, they are easy to use and extremely durable, which definitely makes them worth a few extra bucks.

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          5. Dream Big; Start Small

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            To get experienced through practice, start your gardening season with vegetables. Most of them are low-maintenance, and the fact that they can be grown quickly allows you the freedom of making rookie mistakes. If feeling insecure about your gardening abilities, rest assured that even those least responsible can take care of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots.

            In case a flower garden is what you had in mind, begin your flourishing journey with sunflowers, sweet peas, pansies, and marigolds — their seeds are easy to handle, they grow quickly and are usually adaptable to various types of soil and weather conditions.

            6. Help It Grow

            Even a simplest garden is a paradise for those bursting with imagination. With such freedom of improvising arts and crafts projects, and all the potential for testing your creativity, it’s not so hard to invest your time and labor into a more fruitful tomorrow. Experiment with some of these tips:

            • Make your pots lighter — If your garden have grown into a pottery gallery, you know how hard managing heavy pots and planters may get. To keep it mobile and easy to lift, fill the pot one-third full of packing peanuts, separate it with a landscape fabric and top it off with a layer of potting soil.
            • Isolate an intrusive sprout — To prevent aggressive plants from suffocating their neighbors and spreading on, use a plastic container to channel their roots. You can plant it deeper to even it out with the surface and stay invisible, but remember to make a hole at the bottom for roots to reach the soil beneath.
            • Tuck in your bulbs — Use netting to keep the animals away from the flower bulbs; simply cover the bed of flowers with it and after some time, cut holes in it to allow plants to grow.

            7. Pick a Landscaping Theme

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              Once your plants have grown, you can foster them into an intricate labyrinth for you to get lost in, a floral walkway that will welcome you home or a simple manicured lawn for your children to play on. If planting a garden means believing in tomorrow, than landscaping means making tomorrow more fun. Search for ideas online or find them in your heart — this is a perfect opportunity for expressing your inner beauty and creating the most paradise-like hideaway.

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              Plant lavender, rosemary, irises and fruit trees for a wine country garden or use your carefully tweaked boxwood hedges to devise a dreamy winding path. For a charming reading corner, let the clematis and jasmine climb a brick wall or create a romantic pergola framed with roses. With Blushing Bride hydrangeas and coral honeysuckles, your garden will turn into serene dreamland in no time.

              8. Get Creative With Décor

              With DIY art blooming all over the internet, simple and budget-friendly garden décor ideas are only a click away. These unique little projects will allow you to unwind and feel the joy of creating while making your backyard even lovelier. Refurbish an old wood pallet or a used-up ladder and turn it into a display case for your favorite pot flowers or spices.

              If lucky enough to have your garden planted with taller trees, hang a hammock and decorate branches with Christmas lights. Instead of the not-so-original torches, reuse empty wine bottles to set a romantic mood. Play around with wind chimes and lanterns made from old buckets and mason jars and create a grapevine lighting balls.

              Include your kids and make a bird feeder or turn a bigger lantern into a terrarium. Add an antique bench and you’re ready for a lazy afternoon in the outdoors.

              9. Keep Nurturing

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                Especially if your garden hasn’t flourished yet, take a moment out of the each day to give your plants the care they deserve. Continual maintenance is important in the gentle art of gardening, so don’t forget to check on your sprouts even when there’s not much to be done around the place. Observe their growth and pay attention to the possible changes during the colder months.

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                Be generous when watering and do it as often as you can, if possible in the early morning before the day gets really hot — the main trick here is to allow the water to penetrate the soil! Look for stunted growth and if you find it, carefully examine the roots and help it sprout.

                10. All You Need Is a Little Patience

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                  If this is your first time gardening, getting a promised reward might be a little harder, but don’t get disappointed quickly. A garden needs time and nurture, and it might take a while until you perfect your skills. And if you think taking care of something so delicate is a great responsibility, we encourage you to experience it as a healing process — a day spent in the quiet, tucked in paradise of your own backyard will definitely be worth of occasional weeding and pruning.

                  Return to your gardening portfolio to keep track of your seasonal attainments and make notes on possible mistakes you’ve been making. In time, you’ll get experienced enough to spend less time tidying up and more time enjoying the results.

                  Start creating your own piece of heaven in early spring, when the sun is gentle and the soil fertile. Keep fertilizing all the way through summer, and wait for the August heat to abate to begin pruning. Just before the first frost turns your garden into a snow-land, remember to cut your roses and woody plants. Come next spring, your garden will be ready for you to relax and relish in.

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                  Aleksandar Ilic

                  Blogger, Social Media Butterfly, Guitarist

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                  Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                  How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                  You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                  We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                  The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                  Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                  1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                  Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                  For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                  • (1) Research
                  • (2) Deciding the topic
                  • (3) Creating the outline
                  • (4) Drafting the content
                  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                  • (6) Revision
                  • (7) etc.

                  Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                  2. Change Your Environment

                  Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                  One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                  3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                  Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                  Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                  My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                  Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                  4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                  If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                  Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                  I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                  5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                  I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                  Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                  As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                  6. Get a Buddy

                  Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                  I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                  7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                  This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                  For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                  8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                  What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                  9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                  If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                  Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                  10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                  Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                  Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                  11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                  At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                  Reality check:

                  I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                  More About Procrastination

                  Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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