Rose Gardening Magazines – A Rare Breed!

 It is very strange that in a world flooded with roses, rose gardening magazines are hard to find.  In fact, there is only one authoritative magazine on roses.  The ‘American Rose’ brought out by the American Rose Society covers a wide range of topics within the rose domain.  This is the only printed magazine that is completely devoted to roses.  Right from the history of roses to each new discovery, you can be sure of regular updates on every notable event in the rose kingdom. 

The bi-monthly issues hold 84 glossy pages of excellent writing and stunning pictures.  The American Rose Society welcomes contributions from experienced rose gardeners but at the same time maintains a careful watch over what goes into each issue.  The end of year ‘American Rose Annual’ Nov-Dec issue has 44 bonus pages and gives a little more information than usual.    The high quality of this magazine attracts subscribers from all over the world and currently the ‘American Rose’ boasts of a 15000+ readership base from different countries. 

Whatever you need to know about starting and maintaining a rose garden is dealt with extensively in this magazine.  There are several highly informative articles on how to select your roses, how to plant, and how to maintain your rose garden.  The common diseases that affect rose plants, the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases, and how to prevent / minimize infection are also covered in detail.  Each issue is a bonanza for rose gardeners – both beginners and veterans.

There are several gardening magazines that also come out with a few articles on roses but there is no magazine that can yet beat the sheer quantity and quality of articles in the ‘American Rose’.  Some of the magazines that are pretty good buys for gardeners are Carolina Gardener, Mother Earth News, Florida Gardening, Fine Gardening, Better Home and Garden, Organic Gardening and the English Garden. But, if you are only interested in roses, you may have to check each issue and then buy. 

And, of course, there is no dearth of online magazines with a lot of information on roses.  The only problem though with online articles is that you can only read so much online without getting tired.  A printed magazine affords easier accessibility and a richer feel. 

The American Rose Society is currently seducing new members with two issues of ‘American Rose’ free of cost along with many other offers for those who opt for their trial membership.  You can view a sample copy on their website before you subscribe.

Tips for Planting a Children’s Garden

In today’s electronic age, it is easy to think that children will take no interest in an activity that does not involve cell phones or DVDs. However, gardening continues to remain one of the most practiced at-home hobbies in America and there are many good reasons why. By planting a children’s garden with your kids, you are teaching your children valuable survival skills, educating them on healthy easting habits, providing a connection to their science class, and encouraging them to get exercise outdoors in the fresh air. Yes, gardening with your children has countless benefits. If you would like to plant your own garden with your children this year, use the following tips to get started.

(1) Start small.
A children’s garden definitely does not have to mean that you uproot your entire back yard and add in a raised bed. It can be something as simple as a window box filled with herbs, or a few ceramic pots on your patio with heirloom tomatoes or edible nasturtium flowers. Whether you have an shaded backyard or a sunny apartment balcony, there is a way that you can have a garden. Even just a potted mint plant can be a garden. Don’t be afraid to start small.

(2) Choose easy to grow seeds.
How do you know which seeds are easy to grow? Generally speaking, the larger the seed, the easy it is to grow. So for edibles, pick veggies such as peas, beans, and corn. Squash, greens, beets, radishes, peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes are all good choices as well. For all fruits, flowers, and vegetables, consult your seed packets for information. If you see phrases such as “spreads easily” or “prolific reseeder,” this means they will be easy to grow.

(3) Look for plant extremes.
To interest your children in gardening, select plants that either grow very tall and sprawl, or stay teeny-tiny. They are sure to be enthralled with the extremes. Sunflowers are an excellent choice for children’s gardens, since they grow to be quite tall, and produce large, heavy blooms. Another bonus is that you can roast and eat the sunflower seeds.

(4) Be creative with containers and props.
Don’t worry about making the garden look perfect. Try making it look playful and interesting instead. Encourage your children to sow plants in unusual found objects, such as an old pair of rubber boots or a coffee can with holes poked in the bottom. Climbing plants such as green beans can climb up a zany cage made out of sticks, or a teepee made of bamboo. Attract critters such as toads with overturned clay pots, and butterflies shallow dishes of water.

(5) Don’t be afraid of a little dirt.
Your kids probably know that they are not supposed to get too dirty outside, or track mud into the house. But when it comes to the garden, try not to set too many limits. Allow them to get their hands dirty- it will feel like a special privilege. Purchase each child his or her own set of garden tools, and allow them to work away.

(6) By all means, eat your wares.
This can be one of the most rewarding things about working in a garden with your children. When you harvest your fruits and vegetables, make sure to savor them. Even if your children do not usually like carrots, they may find that home grown carrots not only taste different, but that it is rewarding to eat them after tending to them for weeks. You can also find purple or yellow carrots, which put a surprising and unusual twist on what your kids expect to find on their plates. Look for creative ways to serve the veggies from your garden, such as slicing them thinly and baking them in order to create homemade vegetable chips.

(7) Don’t miss an educational opportunity.
To us, it may seem like common sense that chicken meat comes from a chicken, and a cucumber comes from a cucumber seed. But most children have only seen the end product on a grocery store shelf, and do not know where these foods come from. Therefore, planting a children’s garden gives you a very valuable educational tool. Don’t miss the opportunity to explain that a whole growing, living plant sprouts up from a tiny, dormant seed. To kids, it almost seems like magic!

(8) Foster responsibility.
Allow your children to take over the primary responsibilities in the garden. Create a plan for watering, pest monitoring, and weeding- this is basically getting your children to do chores in disguise. Allow your kids to pick ripe fruits and veggies, and cut blooming blossoms. Your children will begin to take ownership of the garden, and take pride in their new responsibilities. Make sure to maintain an organic garden so that one of their responsibilities is not being exposed to chemicals!

The Benefits of a Home Herb Garden

There are many different benefits to tending a home herb garden. No matter where you live, you can enjoy these benefits. This is because of the nature of herbs themselves. Being a very versatile plant, they are able to grow in different conditions. So, no matter if you live in the city or the suburbs, a herb garden can be of great benefit to you. The benefits range from having fresh herbs to cook with to having an escape from the every day. Everyone has their own reason for starting a home garden.

Most every true foodie will have herb gardening of some variety. This is because there is nothing like the flavor of fresh herbs in your food. This is true for both cooked and fresh dishes. The best part about having fresh herbs available to a cook is they always offer inspiration. The inspiration is drawn from the aroma and the olfactory memory they create. You can’t help but get inspired to cook something delicious right from your garden.

The aromatic value of herbs is not just for the foodie. Many people have a home herb garden simply for the aromatherapy aspect it offers. There is nothing quite as potent and as pleasing as fresh herbs. It has been proven certain smells will generate specific feelings. It helps to know how each herb will make you feel. One herb which has been used a lot in order to create a feeling of serenity is lavender. You will find it in everything from lotions to hand soaps.

There is a therapeutic value in tending a home garden. This is due not only to the smells of the herbs, but from the act itself. Many people take up gardening as a hobby because it relaxes them. Gardening herbs is especially beneficial because of how easy it can be. Nothing is more stressful than killing a plant. This is why you can plant everything from simple to manage chives, to more demanding herbs. You are sure to feel calmed simply by getting your hands dirty. This is due in large part to the feeling created from watching your plants thrive.

Many different herbs have been proven to have medicinal qualities. Growing these plants in your home can help you improve your health. Herbs have been used for centuries in order to treat everything from nausea to migraines. Growing mint is a very good way you can benefit your health every day. Mint has been proven to help you in several ways. Chewing mint leaves after a meal has two main benefits. It makes your breath smell better and it helps you to digest your food.

This only scratches the surface of the benefits you will be able to find from a home herb garden. The best way to find out for yourself is to get started. Those who already have a garden should expand their garden. Not only do herbs do many great things for your body, they make your entire garden look better. Herbs are pretty to look at while being great for you. Enjoy a better life and home by tending to something as gratifying as your own herb garden.