Monthly Archives: March 2018

Gardens through the Ages

As a pursuit built as much on our own foresight as it is on our creativity, it is important to reflect on the schools of thought that drove previous horticulturalists, because, as influential as the great painters and film makers are on our artistic heritage, so of course must be the gardeners that came before you and me. So well use this article to pay some gratitude to, and hopefully learn the motivations behind, the green spaces of the past and how these reflect on those of the future.

The genesis of artistic horticulture began with one of the oldest recorded civilizations, in the Persian Empire – at its height over 3000 years ago. Gardens emerged as an organic rebuttal to the harshness of the Iranian landscape and also as a testament to the ingenuity of contemporary engineering. It was the introduction of structures now referred to qanats which made the impossible ideal of Persian design a reality. These subterranean aqueducts were originally developed as a means to combat the hostility of the surrounding desert and make plausible the mass integration of agriculture, and also of water supply. The Persian garden is famous for its contrast with the landscapes it survived in – while the renaissance horticulturalists sought to form uniformity among that which nature already provided, the eastern garden is characterized by its ambition in the face of adversity, perhaps personified by the persistence of the legends of the garden of Babylon. So emotive was this school of design, that its thematic sensibility travelled as far west as the Iberian peninsula (modern day Spain and Portugal), where the gardens of the Alhambra are a good example, and as far east as the flat lands of India, where the gardens of the Taj Mahal were laid out in the Persian style. The horticulturalists of both these countries can, like the Persians, be considered geographical victim to, and conqueror of, the arid landscape.

Despite the predating Egyptian, Roman and Hellenic empires, none had before employed gardens with such frivolity and with so great a gulf between the priorities of art and state.

The next chronological milestone in horticulture comes from what is now the longest surviving empire of the ancient world, the Chinese principality, beginning with the Qin dynasty approximately 200 BC. These projects were usually state sponsored and were often established as a form of a homage to the current imperial patriarch, the Qin dynasty, however, they took a back seat in the progression of Chinese scholarly gardening to the Yin Yang philosophy that dominated the countries academia in later centuries. This impetus stemmed from a focus on the importance of harmony and balance within, and in relation to natural setting, hence the design ideal that spread to medieval Japan, which I have mentioned in a previous editorial. Thus began the idea of microcosmic recreations of the natural landscapes of both countries, the obsession with symbolism to evoke greater scope than would be possible in the dimensions of a conventional garden, and also the inclusion of panoramic perspective to give the illusion of size. These included the use of gravel pits to signify oceans or deserts, which themselves were identified by the deliberate inclusion of rock formations to represent land masses or landmarks within these miniature environments.

Following the fragmentation of the Roman Empire, two major powers emerged in Eurasia from the remains of the old imperial senate – the Western Roman Empire fell to ruin against the hordes of Attila, while the eastern remnant would later evolve into the Byzantine Empire. The vast majority of their horticultural heritage, however, was lost with the sack of Constantinople by the Ottoman Empire and, while contemporary novels provide romanticized accounts of the techniques employed, the only solid evidence we can rely on is the context around which they were constructed, which dictated all those that came before. Due to the relative youth of orthodox Christianity, the integration of animal sculpture to the Byzantine garden was not an unreasonable concept – having not fully established the accepted religion, pagan idolatry was still rife and thus nature, as opposed to divinity, was held in much higher regard – unlike the monastic gardens that were to follow.It is reasonable to accept that these motivations continued until the demise of the empire in 1453, which leads conveniently into the subject of renaissance gardening.

Despite the stimulus of its predecessors, and the relative contrast between countries and the respective art movements in other mediums, renaissance gardeners had one common ideal: uniformity. The beginning of the renaissance and the introduction of formalized aristocracy, following the bloody medieval period, led to a new focus on regality and aesthetic symmetry, and brought with it a boom in the popularity of topiary. Hedging had become a geometric means of maintaining the lines and shape of beds and gardens and also in promoting the favoured colour of the era, which was green. Many royal and state gardens were designed with a birds eye perspective, in that the formation and shaping of hedges and beds were intended to be seen from above, which meant that, while the garden was aesthetically pleasing, it was not an interactive experience, but one whose primary function was to be observed – and observed from a distance. Excellent examples of such gardens can still be seen at Versailles and Villandry in France.

With the introduction of the Romantic Movement in the 18th century, came a particularly English focus on the revival of the pastoral imagery that over the past few centuries had become so populist in continental art. The realization of an idyllic landscape, including lakes, trees and temples, became as much a part of the fabric of horticulture, as it had of contemporary literature and painting – hence the favoured integration of livestock such as sheep and horses to the garden grew exponentially! Lancelot Capability Brown was not the first designer to employ this style, but he was perhaps the most famous, designing 170 gardens including Petworth in West Sussex, Chatsworth in Derbyshire and Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire.

By the end of the romantic era, however, the class division in the country had grown to dizzying heights due to the effect of the industrial revolution, which was only further exacerbated by the First World War breaking out. Due to the pressures that global conflict produced, gardens were forced to evolve once more to be used for more practical purposes and, by the time World War Two hit, the working class was fully indoctrinated with the grow your own mentality. It became not only a personal responsibility, but a national duty, to dig for victory to ensure that, should the worst occur, one would be ready to contribute to the cause of king and country, and thus vegetable gardens became the new standard.

Once the wars were over, however, and the economy benefitted from the rule of a new and industrious government, sustainable consumption was no longer a priority for the common man, and so English culture underwent a second renaissance and what emerged were the many and varied children of a hundred older gardening cultures that we see today – but no less beautiful for it.

Finally, we must address the garden design of tomorrow, which in the wake of the 19th century industrial boom can be summarized in one word: Ecology. As well be covering in another topic this week, it has become the primary focus of both government and leading designers to ensure that our domestic gardens, as well public green spaces, are as sustainable as possible so that they, at least, may shine brightly in the shadow of our uncertain future.

Expanding your Horizons – Tricks to Make your Garden Look Bigger!

While an experienced gardener will have a knack for best taking advantage of the space theyve got, for example with the correct balance of small to large plants or how their borders are positioned, there is one magic trick none of us can perform and that is expanding the space itself. Of course, if Harry Houdini were here hed tell you the key to a good illusion is the mirrors, not the elephant. So as youve probably guessed, todays article concerns means of giving the appearance of a larger garden than youre actually possessed of.

Starting at ground level, we have the lines and shapes of a garden – specifically sectioned areas like lawns or paving. Due to the rectangular shape of many suburban gardens and box like connotations that geometric shapes invoke, it is often best to use fluid shapes such as circles or ovals when shaping your lawn. They not only disguise the boundaries but can also make a garden appear much wider. This can also apply to the paving that surrounds said lawns, as too many straight lines make the spaces seem constricted and unnatural. On that note, if youve a small garden, try to avoid large paving slabs as these tend to overpower the more delicate elements of a garden and, by using smaller pieces, youll be able to implement a random paved technique that no doubt will be more pleasing to the eye.

Apart from your open spaces, careful planning concerning your planting scheme is also essential to enlarging the garden as a whole. Remember the basic principle of all interior designers: lighter equals larger, while darkness means confinement. As such, your deeper toned flowers should be centralized to your borders and surrounded by lighter flowers that will relieve their oppressive connotations. Whilst surrounding the back door with crimson blooms, for example, can present an image of warmth that will be associated with the building itself, it can confine the observer, with the brighter colours fighting for your attention. Aim for lighter colours in your beds to match the greatest space you can manipulate, the sky above them. Aside from colour you should also consider the textures of your plants, finely textured plants like Rosemary will reflect light differently than the heavy foliage of a Laurel, which means that careful layering can add depth to your garden, while heavy handedness can make it look flat. Finally, you have the size of your plants which will vary depending on the type of garden youre aiming for. Simply put, bigger is better, thousands of tiny shrubs and flower heads make a garden look cluttered, whereas a bold structural scheme can attest to the size of their environment. Then theres the vertical approach – as vertical stripes make a dress seem longer, so do tall trees add a height to your garden that, even if you cant touch it, you can imagine it.

While on the subject of vertical gardening, it is important to note the value of structures like archways and pergolas. Similarly to the telescopic effect of putting your eye to a pin hole, a long corridor like this can give the illusion of length particularly if entwined with vibrant hanging flowers. There are also various perspective arches on the market which have the same effect. A garden can also be made to look longer by constructing paths that narrow in width as they progress down the plot.

Finally we have the oldest trick in the book, and one that brings us back to Mr. Houdini – mirrors. Reflective glass has been used by designers since time immemorial to double or triple the size of a room and theres no reason not to apply this beyond the home, and into the garden. Most effective when placed facing an open space such as a lawn or a pretty planting scheme, but not so as to immediately reflect the viewer as they approach, they can give the illusion of another inviting garden beyond. Their illusion can be strengthened by the addition of a view of moving water that will lend the image fluidity.

Essential Kitchen Gadget

Essential Kitchen Gadgets The kitchen is probably the one room in the house that can become a gadget graveyard. It is a familiar site in homes across the country to find stuffed at the back of cupboards numerous once -essential’ gadgets gathering dust. This is a wasteful and also really expensive habit that so many of us fall in to. Advertising is the main cause and you can so easily be drawn into buying something that you never knew you needed. This is a list of the gadgets for a kitchen that are actually useful and you should find that you use them fairly frequently.

Food Processor This is the number one gadget and you need to be wary of buying a cheap one. Quality does in this case cost, so buy the best you can afford. It should last you for years and is so versatile that it will easily pay you back in the amount of time it saves you. There are countless brands available and when looking try and go the for models that are able to handle things like ice cubes. This means that they have a stronger motor and should be able to handle anything you throw at it.

Steamer A lot of the kitchens gadgets on the market are aimed at helping you to become healthier. Some are more successful and long term than others. A streamer is definitely going to produce healthier food and in many cases tastier food. Steamers work great with chicken and fish so should see plenty of use. In addition you will be able to cook any vegetable in it and in most cases preserve more of the goodness too.

Stove Top Coffee Machine. Most of us can’t afford the type of coffee machine that will deliver the type of coffee our local coffee house can deliver. For hat you need a high-pressure machine that is able to provide you with a gorgeously creamy espresso. Don’t even consider buying a cheap looking alternative as it simply will not deliver and is normally a real pain to keep clean. Keep it simple and keep a good quality stove top machine. This will enable you to make a fantastic espresso based drinks for a fraction of the cost.

Bread Machine The smell of fresh bread has to be one of the finest aromas. Combine it with the smell of freshly made coffee and you know your day is going to get off to a good start. Making bread is great fun and can be a little daunting. This is why I would suggest a bread machine as it allows you to create wonderful breads with the minimum of effort. You can on some models even time it so that they are ready for you first thing in the morning. Wonderful!

Written on behalf on Mulberry Kitchen Studios – Luxury

Indoor Netball A Fun Sport

Finally, guys don’t have to sit on the sidelines while the women in their lives have a blast playing netball. Indoor netball is open to both sexes, making it a unique opportunity for groups to have a lot of fun. Find out why netball’s become so popular by reading the information below.

The Basics –

Outdoor netball courts are pretty large, which is why many people have a hard time imagining an indoor version of the game. Indoor netball courts are smaller than their outdoor counterparts, though; there is no out-of-bounds, which makes up for the limited amount of space. Although there is less space involved with the typical indoor netball Brisbane court, the frenetic and exciting pace of a typical game makes it more than worth it. You won’t soon forget a rousing game of indoor netball!

Netting surrounds the typical indoor netball court, adding an interesting new element to the game. In fact, the fast-paced nature of the indoor version of the game is largely what has drawn more and more men to it. Guys who used to sit on the sidelines, cheering their wives, girlfriends and sisters on, are now getting out on the court themselves. Netball teams consist of seven players; up to three guys can be on each team. If you’re a man and want to play netball, you should be able to find a team to join quite easily!

Other Rules –

As with all sports – including indoor sports – netball comes with many specific rules. The game is split up into four 10-minute quarters. Although you can’t change your position or zone during a period, you are allowed to in-between periods. This gives teams the ability to change their strategies throughout the game, allowing them to come up with the most efficient and effective way to play. If you’re unhappy in one position, just wait – you’ll have the opportunity to switch in no time flat.

Since netball is a non-contact sport, it is imperative to avoid touching other players on the court. In fact, you need to keep a distance of at least three feet from the ball carrier. It’s interesting to watch a game in progress, since it moves along so quickly and everyone manages to avoid hitting one another. Your adrenalin is sure to begin pumping when you find yourself out on the netball court, playing against men and women alike. If you and your mates are looking for a fun new indoor activity to enjoy, you definitely need to put indoor netball at the top of your list!

Wedding decoration games for girls,dreaming about you own wedding ceremony

Hey,girls,what’s your dreaming wedding ceremony,and now you have the chance to design and decorate your own wedding scene,how to decorate,and what will be the best look of it,you can have a try and do your best to make it full of colorful things or just to be the most simple and romantic ones,and you can also change the background,that you can have your wedding ceremony one the grass or just at the seaside or under the moonlight,which will also be very romantic then.what do you think about this kind of decoration games for girls.

Okay,let us have a look of all the decoration there,which offers to you,you can just make it to be your best choice and also be the best decoration in the games for girls.and you can play this decoration games for girls,just looks this as your own wedding ceremony ,and you can do whatever you want,of course,as well as what you want to make it to be in your dreaming world too.

Firstly,you can choose the furnishing that you want to own,wow,they are all so beautiful,and will be the best choice for your wedding ceremony,you will have so many kinds of funishing for you to choose then,can’t help watiting for a minute,just come one,and choose for yourself in the girls games.for more furnishing,you can click the arrow,and you can have the chance to see the wonderful design!

You know,if you want to have a wonderful wedding ceremony,you have so many things that you should do then,for example,the food,the arch and also all kinds of decoration that you need in the wedding ceremony decoration games for girls.

Enjoy it,and enjoy your life,just to be happy in your own life,you will find that all the things that you are dreaming can come true,so just have fun from the funny girls games here.

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