Welcome to The Tao of Garden

Gardening is simply the practice of cultivating plants. People grow ornamental plants to harvest their flowers, foliage, or to get dyes out of them. They are also grown for their overall appearance.

There are also plants that are cultivated for human consumption. They are consumed as fruits, vegetables and herbs for medicinal purposes.

When we talk about gardening the subject ranges from fruit orchards to long boulevard plantings. Gardening practitioners may specialize themselves in growing only one type of plant or they may also practice mixed plantings that involve many various plants.

Gardening requires active participation of the practitioner and it usually requires intensive works and discipline.
Here you'll find many tips and tricks that are related to gardening.

There are various methods, types and approaches to maintain a healthy and beautiful garden. You can find all of them here.

You may want to learn what's the proper way to landscape the yard, choosing the right soil, maintain the plants, growing indoor gardens, and many many more.

We also look forward to hear your insights, suggestions, and even requests around gardening and landscaping. So please don't forget to leave your precious comments...

Happy gardening... :)

How To Design Your Own Oakland Garden

Roaming around the garden during beautiful summer days leaves good memories in your mind. It is always good to walk in gardens.

This is because when you go out in your garden, you get some warm sunlight and the other thing is that you spend some time away from the TV which reduces much of your mental activity and depression and thus helps in relaxing.

There are many elements to consider while you are visiting the garden. Look around your garden and think about the modifications that can be done.

First decide what would be the theme of your garden. Theme is very important for designing a garden as it provides you a layout of the work that you will do.

Would you like it to be formal and structured or loose and whimsical? Japanese gardens mostly have formal and structured look, due to which it gives limited appeal to many Americans out there. In addition the environment of most American homes is not favorable for formality as it occurs in Japanese.

This logical transition between pop’s BBQ set up and white combed rocks are not so easy. It is very difficult and sometimes impossible to do.

On the other hand there are Oakland gardens. The Oakland gardens are majestic gardens which everyone would like to watch. If someone is looking at the Oakland gardens for the first time, they would be inspired by its colors, designs and multicolor pieces of art.

At first look they might feel that they are looking at a patch of weed, but when they would look closer they will find that this Oakland garden have been made after spending a great amount of time, effort and money. It gives a majestic look.

This Oakland garden was first developed in the piedmont area of Oakland in California. Since then this style of Oakland garden has spread very quickly. An author spent his whole time in finding out that how this style developed. According to him,”whoever designed this garden was a genius”.

In creating this Oakland garden, an effort has been made in order to use the plants that are available in that particular place where the garden is present. To increase the overall effect of the garden, natural looking features or constructs are used.

The garden art has been used effectively in order to give the garden a natural look unlike that of Japanese gardens which give a very formal look. Most people love the beauty of nature, so this is a good way to keep you in touch with nature. A main feature of the Oakland garden is that the native birds, butterflies, bees and other forms of life returns back to one’s native garden.
One thing to notice about the typical Oakland garden is that there is an extensive use of garden art in developing these gardens. The garden art has been placed thoughtfully which is a key to discern an Oakland garden.

The use of garden arts in making gardens is not new. It has been used since the days of King Louis XIV. The garden art reached its peak during the rule of this king and since then it is unbeatable all the way back to Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians.

The garden art has been there since long times but it has made a great revival in the past 25 years. It is used extensively these days by many peoples who want to give their garden a natural and beautiful look.

The skills in garden art can be achieved and reaches its full potential through studying, visiting purveyors of fine garden art and visiting all the beautiful gardens present in your neighborhood which are making use of garden art.

Nowadays online resources are also available through which you can study and learn the methods for employing garden arts. An entire two volume work on gardening is present on the United Kingdom website.

They have the entitled history of garden art by Marie Luise Gothein of the year 1912. By reviewing this volume you will get to know many things related to garden art that a beginner must know. Go through these volumes and extract out the useful tips that will help you to design your own garden.

In the well known west coast center, inner gardens are present which features the garden art. It has got two locations in the greater Los Angeles areas. The inner gardens were made by Stephen Block in 1990, he had a great passion for plants, flowers and garden antiques.

Since the day when inner gardens were made, these gardens have become the West Coast leader in garden art. Because of their great beauty, these gardens have grown into two showrooms in the Los Angeles area. The original showroom was Melrose showroom which has now been joined by Jefferson showroom.

This showroom covers about 15,000 square foot. It features a vast selection of garden containers, ornaments, vintage and antiques. It also includes a line of containers and accessories that features contemporary and antique reproductions and exotic flora. You should visit these gardens.

When you walk through these gardens you might not feel as comfortable as your own garden but try to pick up the tricks, ideas, tips and techniques. This will help you to design your own Oakland garden.

When you have visited different places that use different forms of garden arts, try to put all these ideas together and come up with something new to decorate your garden. If you cannot visit different places due to lack of time, then you can also get help online from different websites that will provide you useful tips and ideas to create a beautiful garden.

In this way you can make your garden a beautiful place to sit and walk and to enjoy the beauty of nature. The neighbors might start wandering around your house. When this occurs, you should understand that you have been successful in creating an Oakland garden which has got beauty and splendor, showing garden arts.

The Importance Of Mulching

Mulching is a very important part of gardening. It plays an important role in keeping down the weeds. Weeds need light in order to germinate, so mulch blocks this light and in this way stops its germination.

The other important thing that mulch do is that they protect the soil from drying out by preventing the evaporation of water from soil. In this way the soil retains its moisture and do not form a crusty soil.

The earthworms feed on organic matter like mulch and produce castings. When earthworms move in the soil they create tunnels which helps to aerate the soil and thus improves its textures. Other organisms also do the same thing. So mulch helps to increase the amount of such organisms and these in turn makes a nutrient rich substance which is needed by plants.

This process is called decomposition and it increases the organic humus in the soil.

Simple steps to mulching:

1.    The first step is to distribute the mulch material equally. Distribute it to a depth of 3 to 5 inches. The reason is that the more coarse the material the more you add.

2.     Spread the mulch around the plants but make sure that the area around the base of stems of annuals and perennials are free of it.

3.    Now the third step is to moisten the mulch.

If you are mulching the tree and shrubs then it is necessary to keep the mulch approx 5-10 inches above the base of the tree. Mulch on the trunks even if it is organic matter can cause many problems down the road.

To maintain an even soil temperature, wood mulch can be used which helps to keep the soil cool. If you are using bark chips and sawdust, then put some nitrogen to the soil before laying down the mulches. This is because the bark chips and sawdust can eliminate the nitrogen from soil when they decompose.

Try to use organic wastes such as seasoned sawdust, peanut shells, wood shavings, rice husks, grass clippings, ground corn cobs, unused vegetable waste, seaweed, cocoa bean hulls, shredded tree barks or light pruning.

Black Plastic Sheets

If you don’t want to use organic matter then you can use black plastic sheets which are also used for mulching the soil. If this is done properly, then you will get excellent weed control and moisture conservation. The right method for doing this is:

1.    Spread the plastic mulch on the top of the soil or beds.

2.    Now cut x-shaped slits in the plastic bags.

3.    Now fold back underneath the flaps to plant.

4.    When you are doing this, keep in mind that you don’t have to fill the hole in plastic sheet completely with plant.

5.    In order to make a passage for water and air, place the slits or holes on the sides of the plastic. In this way the roots can benefit from water and air. Also make extra slits which will help to drain excess moisture and will prevent water logging during wet days.


Mulching is the process by which we make use of the organic matters like dried lawn clippings and strips of newspaper to create humus matter for nourishing plants.

We do this by spreading a layer of organic matter on the surface of the soil and as the time passes this matter decomposes due to action of various agents like bacteria, fungi etc present in the soil, thus creating humus matter.

You can also use animal manure for mulching purpose. It is nutrient rich mulch but it should be used along with other materials like straw or lawn clippings. In order to create a good humus and to provide needed nitrogen to the soil, the mixture should be well rotten.

Living mulch is mulch in which compost is mixed with rough mulch. This form of much is excellent for mulching the soil. The best form of mulch is compost.

Mulch-mowing Method:

Mulch-mowing is a method in which fallen leaves are used for the purpose of mulching. The best Melcher which you can easily find is a good sharp mulch blade on a lawn mower.

This mulch blade will cut the grass blades. The leaves will be cut in to tiny pieces and will be left there. If you use the shredded leaves at the same time, it will produce mulch which has a rough texture to cover the soil.

If you want to get the maximum benefit from mulching on the ground then use this method every week. This will make your task much easier for every week and will provide your plants with a fresh supply of mulch that will start decomposing and will form new organic matter. This organic matter will then feed the soil and will also help in retaining the moisture.

Mulch-mowing is a very good technique because your drain system won’t clog because of leaves on the street and it also protects the community from other hazards.

If you mulch properly then you won’t have to face problems during hard times like lack of rain or too much of rain. Mulching is a very critical part for lawn maintenance and gardening because it requires proper methodology to create good humus for your plants.

It is a good way to prepare your garden for unexpected weathers that can destroy your plants if proper mulching is not done. Anyone who wants to make their plants and garden look beautiful should start doing mulching so that the plants can get better nutrition and can yield much better flowers, fruits or vegetables.

This is also cost effective as you can use the normal garbage materials like vegetable wastes, peanut shells, barks of the tree or the garbage of your kitchen. Many people buy expensive fertilizers for growth of plants because they don’t know that simple garbage materials can be used for mulching and creating a good and nutritious soil for their plants.

Landscaping In Chicago

People who are living in Chicago and are interested in getting some landscaping then the best choice will be Chicago native plants.

If you are going to use the native plants for the landscaping then it would be much easier to take care of them as the time passes by.

Initially when people start working in the yard they are very keen to work but then they start loosing their interest and take their yards for granted, so landscaping no more remains a fun for them.

These plants can also be used for solving the drainage problem. Chicago gets different types of weather so it affects the plants more than you might have thought before planting them. Chicago also has a problem for drainage.

So before starting landscaping keep all these points in your mind. Consult your landscaper for all these problems and ask him about which plants will be better for your yard. Don’t be careless towards landscaping and find the plants that you think would be better for your yard keeping in mind the weather of Chicago.

If you have noticed any drainage problem then tell this to your landscaper so that he can suggest you the native plants which can also help you in solving this problem.

Before agreeing for using a plant see a picture of it, so that you know that the plant you have chosen is the right one for your yard and also everyone do not have the same taste so it’s better to see the plants before getting them.

Do look around you before choosing the plants. See what type of plants does your neighbor have? What type of plants do you like and what you dislike? Tell the landscapers what type of plants you like to see in your yard.

The landscapers in Chicago are open to ideas and they do take care of your likes and dislikes. You have the right to give your views to the landscaper because after all this is your yard and you are also paying them for the job.

Chicago perennials are a good option for landscaping. If you will use this you will not have to plant new flowers each year, so this will save your time as well as money. People in Chicago don’t have much time to waste on these things so it’s a better option for them.

The Landscaping Trees

The landscaping trees are a good option to spruce up a new home or an old one. These trees give so much beauty to your home that it can also add to the value of your home when you want to sale it.

There are many types of landscaping trees available in the market the only thing that you have to do is to make a better choice for your home.

The trees are a better option for your house than the flower and plants as these require little work to take care of them.

The best place where you can find the different types of landscaping trees available in the market is the internet. Look for all types of landscaping trees online before buying it.

The internet provides you every information about the trees so you can make a better choice for your home otherwise you will face difficulty in making a right decision.

The type of the landscaping trees that you should choose for your home depends on the place where you live and the climate of that place. Trees require a proper climate and place where they can flourish so before buying the tree make sure that you are buying the right one for your home.

Otherwise it will just be a waste of money to buy a tree that dies within few months, so to make your money fruitful for you ask the seller that either you are buying a better tree for your home or not? It’s better to research on the tree for your yard so you will not have to rely on the sales man.

Trees give a better look to your yard and it also gives your home a pretty garden feel. Another fact is that you don’t need so much of maintenance for your trees. On the other hand flowers and plants require more maintenance, so buying s tree rather than flowers and plants can reduce your work.

One of the perfect landscaping trees for any home is mimosa tree. It is a very gorgeous and lovely tree. The foliage on this tree is like fern which provides delicacy to it.

They are deciduous and it provides beauty to your home. You can also try this one for your home. Other than this many choices are available so go online and search for beautiful trees for your home.

Some Tips That Are Universal In Landscaping

There are many landscaping tips available which can satisfy a lot of landscapers or the people who have just started landscaping and you can find a lot of these peoples online.

Through my experience of landscaping I have come to a conclusion that there are many landscaping tips available but there are only few tips that are universal and there are more chances that any one tip will do you any good.

Before starting your project try to look for as many tips as you can. It’s not necessary that the tip that worked for me can also be useful for you because each project is different.

The general tip that everyone should learn is to always make a yard that will look good in any season of the year. This is a tricky thing to do because it’s not easy to find things that could look good in both summer and winter.

Try to find plants and trees that can give beauty to your home in every season. For this you will have to do some work so you can find better options for your landscaping.

You will have to work a little more to find out which plants can be useful for you and can thrive in your climate all year round.

Some plants will do better during certain months and some other will do better during any other period of time, so if you want that your yard look attractive through out the year then make a combination of such plants.

The best way to find such plants is your local garden centre because these people can tell you which plant will do better in the climate of your city. They are expert at this thing so they will answer all your queries and will suggest you better plants for your yard.

If this does not work then visit a library that will provide you information about all plants so you can choose the right thing for your yard.

If you want to bring a sense of unity and balance in your yard then layer all your planting beds. This is another good landscaping tip. You can also do repetition in your design to make this tip useful for you. Try to repeat these layers throughout the yard and it will look good to those walking by.

How To Choose The Proper Landscaping Supply Store

You must think out of the box if you want to strive for the right landscaping supply store.

You have to stop thinking like a lay man and start thinking like you are on your job and by buying the less price goods you have to save the money.

There are many supply stores of landscaping but all of them are not worth visiting and mostly good stores do not publicize them over the TV ads.

The landscaping supply store from you wants to acquire the material are the ones that can cater all of your primary needs and the best in the industry.

Some right landscaping supply stores do not offer goods for the public and only offer to the business people. This will enhance the work from your side.

In this case you have to talk to professional landscapers about the information about the right landscaping supply stores and look what they suggest you.

Also ask them about their choice of landscaping supply store. Also let them know that why you are getting the information from them. It is so that you can get the best material for your landscaping done.

Also ask them to recommend you at the stores so that you can get the reference and so that these stores also facilitate you and help you out in choosing the right products for your landscaping. It sounds little foolish but in reality it would save handsome amount of cash for you.

If you cannot get the information from the professionals then you can also see the telephone directory to get the numbers of the landscaping supply store.

You may also be able to find the right contractor for you that can find the supply store for you and also can design the landscaping for your yard. They will also be helpful in saving the loads of money for you at the end of the day.

Do whatever you can do so to save the money and go anywhere from where you can find the cheapest and high quality materials.

Many of the landscaping supply stores do not need to advertise for them because they are earning good from the companies and they are least bothered in selling the products to the local public. They do huge business and do not care for the small bugs. But if you can find this type of landscaping supply store, it would work for your benefit.