This Week’s Guest Blogger is Jenny Bailey Co-Founder and Author Tales from Mother Earth

Glorious Gardens and Busy Bees!

Any opportunity to get outside into a garden, park or woodland and surround yourself in the beauty of nature, has to be a great opportunity and one to be experienced with relish.

Better still, there are those areas where we can play a vital role, and where we can plan colour schemes, borders, structures and planting plans to our hearts delight.  I’m of course referring to the simple beauty of our gardens, and if you are lucky enough to have one, you’ll know how much pleasure you can gain from working in it and studying the simple things.  Like for instance, watching the bees and other pollinators hard at work busily harvesting the nectar and pollen from your garden blooms, or the sheer delight looking at the abundance of nature to be found there amongst the array and carpet of colours you’ve planted. Your hard work has created so much beauty and at this time of year you should be justly proud when looking at the many buds, flowers and shrubs you have tended as they come into their full glory.

Our bee-friendly garden

The immense benefit you feel from being outside is tremendous and it’s both psychological and physiological.  When we engage in nature in this way, by spending time outside and breathing in fresh air our well-being improves.  It’s good for us in so many ways boosting our mental stamina, happiness, fitness, creativity – and so much more.  For children it can even start them off with a lifelong passion for nature and learning as their inquisitive minds take in all of the new experiences.

We at Tales from Mother Earth like to see gardens with wildflowers in them, using plants that are native to our shores, where our insects can happily thrive.

For us it’s all about looking after bees and allowing them to prosper. 

A busy bee doing what they do best

Bees pollinate our crops, allowing us to grow the fruits and vegetables we need to live. Sadly, bees across the world are in trouble and are facing an unpredictable future. This is due to habitat loss, farming practices and of course climate change.

By clearing an area of your garden and planting wildflowers we can help bees get the source of nourishment they need to survive. By doing this, we in turn feel better as our mental health improves as we know we are doing something worthwhile – helping nature.  This in turn, can, and should be shared with children, as they will inherit the world one day and we must pass on the amazing goodness and wonder of nature to our younger generations.  It’s all about education and engaging children to understand the we all can help and make a difference no matter how small we are.

We at Tales from Mother Earth are a creative team of five friends who are passionate about developing young minds regarding conservation and helping children understand how their actions, no matter how small, can make an impact for good. We chose to do this by writing super stories and marvellous music, retelling the tales of our natural world in today’s climate. 

Phoebe the Bee is an educational tale about a worker bee who through her courage and determination manages to save the hive and her family when her natural environment is threatened by modern development. Phoebe the Bee is our first story which we hope will ignite the conservationist in all who read it and empower them to help in some way. Take action by following the conservation tips and help bees today.

Every one of us can help and do something that can benefit our wildlife directly. Little actions such as, picking up rubbish, planting wildflower seeds and feeding the birds can all help. 

Bees need wildflowers… so let’s go and plant some!

This Week’s Guest Blogger is Ronald Pratt who suggests 5 ideal tools for your gardening tool kit

Ronald Pratt is a mechanic specialist who also enjoys working in the garden to make the perfect landscape. He can repair everything that’s related to a house and garden. Everything in his house is made by his hands. his free time he prefers surfing the Internet, reading and sharing his knowledge creating content.

Top 5 Essential Home Garden Tools to Make Your Life Easier 

Description: Are you new to gardening and wondering what garden tools should be in your essential kit? Or perhaps you’re a seasoned gardener who wants a better experience. Did you know, the right equipment can make all the difference when it comes to gardening? Follow our guide to garden tools for all our top tips!

Gardening is a relaxing hobby and a great way to stay active and enjoy time outside. Having the right set of garden tools for you can make all the difference when it comes to nurturing your outdoor space. The perfect equipment for your needs can save you time and energy and help prevent physical strain on the back and joints. With this guide to essential garden tools, gardening will be your new favorite hobby in no time! 

 

Pruning Shears or secateurs 

Pruning shears are perfect for trimming back borders, and chopping back hedges and shrubs, a good pair of pruning shears should be in your garden tools kit. A pair of secateurs are invaluable for taking cuttings to reproduce your favourite plants. You can buy all types of pruning shears and secateurs to meet your needs. When choosing a pair, consider whether you need a long reach to save you leaning or bending too much. You should also make sure that you can grip the handles securely. A pair of sheers or secateurs that fits your grasp just right will give you more flexibility and ease of maneuver when gardening so you can get creative. 

Trowel and Spade 

A hand trowel and small spade are essential garden weeding tools for any seasoned or first-time gardener. A lightweight trowel allows you to effortlessly remove weeds, and a small hand spade can help you uproot plants to be moved. Imagine the fun you could have redesigning your garden with these garden hand tools! New to gardening? Start small and try weeding and rearranging perennials that survive all year round and respond well to being moved. 

Sharpening File

It’s crucial to keep the blades on your garden tools sharp so that you have the easiest time possible using them. Dull blades can make it harder to cut through stems and reduce their grip, potentially leading to slips and accidents. Wondering how to sharpen garden tools? A large file can be used to spruce up almost any blade. Try this on your trowel points, your shovel edge, or even your mower blades

Garden Hose

A garden hose is a life-saving addition to your garden tools kit, especially if you want garden work that is light on your joints and doesn’t require too much bending. Rather than lug a heavy watering can around, a hose allows to you water plants from an upright position. This reduces stress on your back and eliminates heavy lifting. Great news – it’s also better for your plants as the spray nozzle on hoses allows you to water even hard to reach plants.

Knee Pads and Gloves 

Kneeling for prolonged periods can be tough on the knees. A cushioned pair of knee pads can really reduce strain and allow you to enjoy your garden for longer. Gloves are also essential garden tools because painful cuts and scratches are a real possibility when you’re working with sharp branches or plants with thorns. Remember, the more protection you have when gardening, the more likely you are to enjoy and repeat the experience, helping you reap the benefits of regular gardening for longer!

Happy Gardening!

This Weeks Guest Blogger is Jameka Smith a Professional in Landscape Architecture in Bermuda

Design Strategies for a sustainable home landscape

For many homeowners the concept of a sustainable landscape is a yard that needs little water or maintenance to survive.  Such a typical landscape includes a small lawn, few ornamental plants, a large natural area, and a fair amount of rocks and gravel or other hard surfaces.  Unfortunately this image gives the false impression that a sustainable yard must look desert-like, have a large hard surface, or look wild and unkempt.  The reality is a sustainable yard can be lushly planted, attractive, and undemanding.

The key concept is to choose the right plant and the right hardscape material (hardscape includes structures such as ponds, walkways, garden walls and rock gardens), then put these in the right place for the right purpose.  Doing so means your yard will be sustainable because it is functional, environmentally sound, low maintenance, cost effective, and visually pleasing. 

Many strategies can be incorporated in your yard to make it more sustainable.  The list below offers a wide variety of ideas to choose from:

Select the Right Plants

Think about the yard over many future years and seasons.  Although all newly installed plants will require water; choose plants that need little water once established.  Plant more trees.  They need less water once established and provide shade, which reduces temperature and evaporation of moisture creating a pleasant microclimate.  Consider vegetation that will produce food for wildlife. 

Keep up the Maintenance

Use naturalistic pruning techniques that maintain a neat, but un-sheared plant.  Use the natural form or habit of the plants as your guide for the trimmed form.  Use plants with the appropriate size and habit to avoid constant pruning.  Use mulch to control weeds. 

Protect the soil

It’s much easier to grow plants adapted to the existing conditions than to change the soil.  If improvements are needed, keep the plant beds small and amend the entire planting bed, not just the hole for the plant.  Use compost and mulch to build healthy soil and improve plant resistance to pests and diseases. 

Use reclaimed, recycled or local hardscape

Reclaimed materials are the greenest option.  Reusing material reduces waste and the need for virgin resources and uses no manufacturing energy.  Use reclaimed or repurposed metal for fencing and structures.  Use reclaimed brick, concrete and aggregate.  Use materials made from recycled plastic, such as recycled plastic lumber.

Use natural pest control

Use artificial habitats, such as bat boxes and bird house, to encourage natural insect control.

Design for energy efficiency

Use landscape, such as trees and shrubs, to slow wind and mitigate temperatures.  Winds that skim across asphalt or other hard surfaces tend to pick up and transport summer heat into the yard and home, while winter winds tend to carry heat away from homes.  Climbing plants can be helpful because they create a layer of still or slow-moving air around the building, yet still allow wind flow through windows and doors.

Noise pollution

Loud, noisy power tools, such as leaf blowers, contribute to noise pollution, especially on weekends.  Switch to hand tools such as rakes.

Pick a few of these strategies that are best suited for your yard and your capabilities.  Even if you can only use a few ideas you will be contributing to the ecological heath of your neighborhood.

This Week’s Guest Blogger is John Quinn who has written an online guide to composting

When I’m not working with homes, I like to help people out with home-related questions, and I found a lot of guides covering this subject were a bit overwhelming at times. I wanted to make something comprehensive that demystifies this process for people hesitant to get started. I think a little knowledge goes a long way — especially when jumping into something new.

As people realise how composting can be a relatively simple and effective way to improve their gardens and reduce waste, they may wonder why they did not start doing it sooner. About one in three homeowners in the United States compost at least occasionally, with nearly one in five doing it on a regular basis. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans throw away over 250 million tons of trash per year. At present, around a third of this refuse is recycled or composted.

As much as 30 percent of residential waste can be turned into compost. This effort could dramatically cut back on an individual’s waste production. If they compost in the house or yard (make sure to check that it is allowed in your community), homeowners who are worried that the items they recycle will end up in a landfill can look for replacements they can decompose instead. People may be surprised with just how much they can toss into a compost pile. Composting can also save money by reducing the need to purchase expensive potting soil or fertilizers to promote healthy plant growth. It may also reduce irrigation needs, cutting down on water usage and utility bills. Composting is growing in popularity across the world.

To read John’s comprehensive guide to composting please click on the link below

https://www.johnquinnrealestate.com/home-composting-guide/