Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Audio video conferencing

These days we’re starting to branch out all over the globe and emailing with our contacts overseas just isn’t enough for the amount of work we have to do now. Nowadays most people prefer to talk face to face and audio video conferencing is the way to go. Gone are the days when you used to get choppy and grainy video when doing video conferencing. Nowadays most countries have high speed internet that enable smooth and uninterrupted video conferencing.


Cannas are clumping perennials. Most of them love the sun and are remarkably hardy. Lots of compost and animal manure should be dug into the soil when they are planted. Just before spring mix up a combination of blood and bone and sulphate of potash in a ration of 4:1 and apply to the surface of the soil around them. It will ensure continuous flowering from November right through until April. Dead-heading any spent flowers will prevent them from going to seed. From May hard pruning needs to takes place, removing all the old and spent flowering stems right to the ground leaving new side shoots. Systemic sprays for weeds have an instant effect on cannas, making organic growing the best option. Every plant in the ground can produce two, and sometimes three bulbs in one season, making it easy to have a good display very quickly.

Dynamic colours are popular at the moment and like their popularity in the 1930s cannas are now coming back into favour. Canna indica is a listed environmental weed in some states, so this species should not be planted. The hybrids and cultivars do not get out of control in the garden, and are a very hardy perennial with some of the most dynamic colours that you will ever see.

PC desktops

After almost a month the new office is finally near completion. All we need to do now is move in the equipments like the photocopier and the filing cabinets. We decided it would be a good time to upgrade our old pc now but I’m tossing between pc desktops or laptops which we can take with us. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages but we can do more with desktops so..I don’t know.


There are thousands of different grevilleas available to home gardeners because they hybridise so easily. There are an enormous range of flower colours and forms, as well as a wide variation in foliage and height and growth habit. By choosing wisely there is a grevillea to suit the soil and climatic conditions of any garden regardless of where you live, and they will flower for most of the year. As they hybridise so readily it is best that they are not plante in gardens that adjoin bushland where there are native grevilleas.

Grevillea ‘Firesprite’ is a popular hardy cultivar that has been in the marketplace for many years. Merv Hodge has a seedling of G. ‘Firesprite’ in his garden that has new characteristics worthy of a new cultivar, which will make it an excellent horticultural plant when it comes onto the market. Like all grevilleas it likes good drainage and it would flourish.

The delicate pink flowers of Grevillea sericea are at their peak in spring, but is an excellent plant to have in the garden because it will have spot flowering throughout the year. This species grows naturally on sandstone and does best in sandy soils.

Grevillea hybrid Grevillea ‘Simply Sarah’ needs very good drainage, and to grow this cultivar successfully garden beds will need to be raised at least 30cm to allow any excess water to drain away if the soil is not naturally well drained. It grows to over 1.5m but should, like all grevilleas, be pruned back to prevent it from becoming straggly. Pruning encourages new growth to thicken up the bush.

Insect pests are not usually a major problem with grevilleas. Because they attract lots of birds that feed on the nectar, they also feed on tiny insects and other pests as well.

Grevillea ‘Pink Midget’ is as tough as any plant that you will find, and will withstand drought conditions. If this ground hugging grevillea is given extra water is will flower even more prolifically.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cheap yard signs

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in this house for twenty years. It’s even harder to believe how much stuff we’ve accumulated all these years. Before we can even think about moving we need to get rid of most of the stuff we don’t plan of taking with us to the new house. So a garage sale is what we need. Time to get some cheap yard signs so we can organize the biggest garage sale in the neighborhood. And it is going to be the biggest ever.

Soil Conditioners

Liming: If the soil becomes too acidic, then in order to plant species that prefer slightly alkaline conditions for growth, it is necessary to lime the soil. The lime will help break down the organic matter in the soil. Worms love alkaline soil and will draw down the mulch and further improve it. Acid soils are referred to as ‘sour’ and alkaline ones as ‘sweet’. Limestone needs to be treated before it can be used in the garden to improve the soil.

How do you test your soil for alkalinity and acidity? Use a soil testing kit to determine the alkalinity of the soil. Take a sample of soil and add the indicator supplied in the kit. The colour that you see can be matched against a chart to determine the soil pH.

Buy ground limestone and use it quite generously, about a handful per square metre of soil. Another way to sweeten the soil is with dolomite, which contains calcium and magnesium. Dolomite is a very good medium for sweetening the soil, but it takes some time to do so.

If you are in a hurry to reduce the acidity of the soil, use builders lime or hydrated lime. This lime is prepared by heating limestone and cooling it, then slaking and grinding it. The powder is much finer than other limes. Spread the lime on the surface at about the same rate as before. Do not dig it into the soil, the rain will take it in for you. This lime is very readily available to plants, but it you will need replenish it more than other limes.

Another source of calcium used in the garden is gypsum (calcium sulphate). It is like a plaster of paris and has a brown colouration. Gypsum doesn’t alter the pH of the soil, and in very alkaline clay soil, will make the soil slightly more acidic. Rather, gypsum is used to help break up clay soil.

Seaweed concentrate is an excellent soil conditioner. It contains alginates and thus improves the soil structure. Use seaweed concentrate in a very dilute form, no more than a couple of tablespoons in a full watering can. Remember it is not a fertiliser but it does contain lots of trace elements. You can use this solution to water seeds which will absorb all the trace elements.

You can make a spray of seaweed concentrate plus a teaspoon of the trace elements zinc sulphate, iron chelate, magnesium nitrate and boron. Spray it on to the leaves and stems where it will be absorbed by the plant. The liquid will also drip on to the soil where it will improve the soil structure.

Wear gloves when handling lime powders and spraying if it irritates you and remember, of all our natural resources, soil is one of the most important and we must look after it.

HCG diet Austin

Going on diet isn’t just about losing those extra pounds you’ve put on since Christmas. More importantly it’s more to do with being healthy and staying healthy. HCG diet Austin not only helps me loose my weights, they also help me with choosing a healthier lifestyle that is manageable without the stringent diet rules. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to live a happy and healthy lifestyle like me.

Clay soil

Clay soils are a problem for a number of reasons. Many garden plants cannot tolerate heavy clay soils. The particles of clay are so fine that the roots of plants cannot penetrate the spaces between them. This fine nature of clay also means that there is little aeration in the soil, thus little oxygen for plant roots and soil-dwelling animals such as earthworms. Fewer animals means less soil turnover and poorer oxygenation which exaccerbates the problem.

Is there anything good about clay soils? They are full of nutrients, but the plants can’t access them. It is possible to treat clay soils and improve the soil quality, freeing up nutrients for plants. Coir and cocoa peat are quite expensive and can be substituted with compost, which can be made at home very cheaply.

When planting in treated clay soils, make a slight mound in which to grow the plant. Peter demonstrates how clay-intolerant plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons can now thrive in the treated nutrient richsoil. By the time the plant develops roots that are long enough to penetrate below the treated layer, the plant will be big enough to cope with the clay soil.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Outdoor umbrella

The warm weather is coming and I can’t wait to run around in my shorts and t-shirts. Of course with summer comes hot dry heat some days so a bit of shade while outdoor is very important. So this year I must remember to get myself an outdoor umbrella for my outdoor entertainment area. Then all I have to worry about is what to barbeque each day.


Nothing characterises summer as much as sunflowers with their bright, enormous yellow flower heads. As a child it is easy to be captivated by these large flowers on tall stalks whose heads followed the sun across the sky. They always seem to have smiling faces.

Sunflowers are native to South and Central America and are always a great way to introduce children to the fun of gardening. Competitions to see who can grow the tallest sunflower are traditional in some families and inspire friendly rivalry. The tallest sunflower that Melissa grew when she was a child was 4.1 metres. The world record for the tallest sunflower stands at 7.76 metres tall.

Sunflowers are annuals that can be sown where they are to flower, ensuring that they are planted in a fertile, well-drained, sunny position in the garden. The seeds can be sown in spring or early summer when the soil is beginning to warm up, and it is important to sow them into beds that are well prepared with organic matter and that are kept weed free. Smooth over the top of the soil lightly to create a good surface for sowing the seeds. As a general rule seeds can be sown to double the depth of the seed and cover with soil.

It is important to water the seeds regularly and to keep the bed weed free. Water with a liquid fertiliser every 2 to 3 weeks to boost the height of the sunflowers.

Slugs, snails and birds are very fond of the young seedlings, so some protective measures may need to be taken during the early growing weeks.