What do you do when your garden gets, well, enormous? You could do what my friend Robin Jeffries did, which was to buy his neighbour’s house, which he did just so he could till and garden in their backyard, as well as his own. He was kind of a gardening nut back then and he still is.
Of course, the most common complaint for folks whose gardens have grown beyond their means is the simple notion of wishing they had planned things better. With some graph paper, a stub of a pencil and a tiller, gardners know that nothing short of a shade tree is permanent in a garden. And even the shade tree can go if it must.
Step one, then, for gardeners is to plan very thoroughly if you know your garden is destined to grow to becoming a major concern.
I say “major concern,” because a large garden isn’t always dictated by size. Mr. Jeffries, mentioned above, lived in a downtown lot with small houses and fairly small yards – 1,000 square feet or so. He had dozens of small niches in his gardens, whereas I had eight perennial beds at the time and my mistake was that each of them was enormous – a row of irises, for example, that stretched for 40 yards or so.
Still, every garden defined as large shares similar problems, which is that there is too much to do for the time you have to do it in. With that in mind, here are some thoughts:
The first step is to design and plan your garden(s). This does not always mean plot every border bed on paper, but at least have a concept that you like. A very simple concept, for example, is a path. Layout the path and the garden spaces will naturally fall into place. Or you might want to fill a space from the height of a crabapple tree down to the ground with a colourful landscape. Simple designs are all most gardeners need.
Design with equipment in mind
Novices designing a garden tend to quickly sketch in the plants they love and the colours they are hoping to raise. But old veterans also design gardens around the equipment they own. This will save tons of time down the road.
If you are the type that will buy John Deere riding mowers, then plan your pathways to fit the width of the mower’s swath with extra space to account for the flying shards of grass the mower spits out. With that in mind, in tight spots, leave some room for a grass-catcher, so the sharp wind coming from the mower does not mangle some of your delicate plants and so the cut grass isn’t spewed into your garden bed.
The same consideration goes for tillers and cultivators. If you plant in straight rows, it makes it easier for a cultivator to run though the beds. Provide some space for weed-whackers, too. Otherwise, if you plant too close to the yard, you might accidentally whack away at your precious perennials.
Try Native Varieties
Remember, native varieties are considered exotic as soon as you move them somewhere else. But the pleasure in using native plants for your garden is they take that much less care than trying to nurture non-native plants.
Your local habitat should have just the right conditions much of the time for native species. That means less watering, less time covering plants for a harsh winter and less time working the soil until it matches that plant’s needs.
The truth is that weeding is often the No. 1 reason gardens fail. The weeding is so time consuming and the constant, repetitive work so tedious or tiring, that many people give up on their small gardens, let alone a large one.
For a large garden, you don’t just pull weeds, you manage them. For the most part, this means mulch, then more mulch, then even more mulch.
One of my favourite gardeners covers her annual beds in about six inches of sawdust every year. Of course, this wrecks havoc on the soil’s PH. So, every fall, she tills in the sawdust with a healthy heaping of manure and lime. This re-balances her soil. The next spring, she is left with thick beds of pure loam and how much weeding does she do? Almost none.
Perennial beds can also handle tons of mulch, which also traps water, so it cuts down on watering time. For perennials, however, use mulch that doesn’t break down as quickly as sawdust, such as wood chips or bark.
Disease resistance and organic solutions
Remember, your enemy when it comes to large gardens is not only rabbits and insects; it’s time.
Any time saver can help you maintain a large garden and give you a few moments to actually enjoy it once in a while. With that in mind, disease resistant strains can save you valuable time (and money) you might spend replacing them or applying poisons to rid yourself of some gnarly predators.
Organic solutions also save time. Planting marigolds, for example, not only gives you an enjoyable, insect-resistant flower, but it can form a protective wall that discourages insects from invading neighbouring species.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .