Thursday, 25 September 2014

Landscaping 101: Getting the Garden of Your Dreams on a Budget (GUEST POST)

About the author: 

Maya Pugh is a stay-at-home mom who considers her garden to be her own version of ‘heaven on earth’. When not tinkering with her plants, she is a freelance writer and an avid blogger. She loves to write about home gardening tips and trick, d.i.y. Home improvement and beautification, and other home creative stuffs.   A zealous fan of nature, she is currently saving for a Eurotrip with her husband Aleksander and their two kids. While she calls Brisbane home, you can easily get in touch with her via email or G+.


If you think you have to spend thousands to have that garden you have always envisioned, think again!

While traditional thinking dictates you need to spend a fortune on landscaping, it’s reassuring to know you can actually spend just a fraction of the expected amount and still have a space you can consider ideal.

Get the most bang for your buck by keeping the following helpful tips in mind.   

Obviously, much of the visual appeal of your garden can be credited to your plants.

In line with this, you need to choose well. Opt for plants that will complement the overall theme you have in mind.

Since shrubs, trees, soil and perennials can get downright expensive; it would be wise to purchase them late in the season. This is usually the time when retailers want to dispose of them.

In addition, you can look into getting a few plants that will help layer down the dull areas in your garden. You may also rely on potted varieties to instantly freshen up any bald spot.

When it comes to designing your backyard, creativity is always a key component. 

For instance, if you are looking into designing your pathway, consider using bricks.

Fortunately, nowadays, you can easily get cheap ones from demolition sites.  For starters, you can align them side by side, forming some sort of path wave or you can use them as a brick planter and any other designs you can think of.

Understandably, healthy soil is considered a fundamental element of most gardens. 

That being said, it will work to your advantage to ensure you have healthy soil to work with. Know the kind you currently have so you will have an idea what to do in case it needs some boost.

Also, to further save on costs, look into incorporating old bird cages and window frames into your backyard designs.

In addition, unused tires can also be painted and transformed into a garden art to add more charm and personality to your space.

The plants in your garden will thrive more given the right nutrients.

While purchasing mulch and fertilizers is something you can easily resort to, it is reassuring to know you have other options when money is tight.

For instance, you can try composting as a sound alternative to buying fertilizers. With the help of yard waste and food scraps, you can easily produce compost for your garden.

In addition, you need to make sure you are aware of composting basics, so your plants can enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.

For many homeowners, this is often the tricky part.

While challenging, however, coming up with a maintenance system that works is actually feasible. You just have to ensure you take all possible expenses into account. For instance, if you have a large lawn and you don’t think you have the time to attend to mowing on a regular basis, make it a point to include mowing fee into your maintenance expenses.

In addition, seeking the help of turf suppliers when it comes to garden supplies and the like will go a long way towards ensuring you will get what you need without having to go beyond your budget.

A garden you can be proud of does not have to cost you much. With patience, ingenuity and a little creativeness thrown in, you can look forward to enjoying your dream garden without having to spend a fortune.  

Thursday, 18 September 2014

We Have Adopted

A two month old lamb
Photo taken on 13/5/13
An orphan lamb. We welcomed her shortly after hearing her story. First her mother has passed away, then her twin sister. She needed some individual care and a place where she could access to appropriate food and care easily. She needed someone to take care of her and provide some individual attention, love and care for a few months, until she could be strong enough to live amongst other animals without the requirement of individual care as much. We have never looked after a lamb before, but we knew we would do our best to help her gain strength, be loved and cared for until she can survive in a farm by herself along with older sheep with some limited individual care. Therefore, we took the plunge and happily opened our doors to her. Well, 'The Girls' (our beautiful chickens) opened their doors to her. She is now sharing their home, which has definitely enough room for even more chickens or lambs. The girls go into their coop at nights while the lamb stays in the pen. During the day, they are all left free.

The girls: Isa brown chickens

The two photos below were taken when she first arrived at her new home greeted very warmly by Mr. and Miss Junior. This was two nights ago. It is believed that she is currently 6-8 weeks old.

This photo was taken yesterday. Her first day at her new home. She can hardly walk. She is extremely weak. She finds it hard to stand up. We are planning on massaging her knees with some olive oil tonight. We did some online search and also asked for some professional advice on what to feed her. It was advised that she had some milk (formula milk for lambs) to boost her immune system as well as gain some strength. We bought her some milk and bought a bottle too but unfortunately, there was not much luck in feeding her any of it. She definitely didn't appreciate it.

The last photo here is from today, her second day with us. For the first time in my life, I tried to bottle-feed an animal. Even though my kids never had bottles, it felt so natural to say things like "C'mon Mummy, it is good for you. C'mon, you can do it, just try to suck it a bit. Good girl". Even Mr. Junior was trying to encourage her, saying 'good job little girl'.  I feel like mothering her. Unfortunately, not very successfully at this stage though. She refused to drink any milk today as well. She slowly chews on some hay and fresh grass and we are planning to see whether she may be ready for pellets tonight. We are all excitedly awaiting the day when she can start walking properly and even jump around with a cheerful 'baaaa'.
Our little lamb

Note: This post was written and left in the drafts folder last year but I didn't have the courage or the motivation to publish it until now. Unfortunately, even after getting some professional help, she did not make it more than a few more days with us. It shook us a bit as a family but it is life. Rest in peace Little Girl! 

Monday, 15 September 2014

Food Design (10)

Puppy themed food/dish design
It has been a while since I had shared with you some food/dish designs the last time. Here is another very cute and clever design I have found for you.