GREEN LIVING FENCES AT MOUNT CARMEL

The Carmelites, a Roman Catholic Religious Order, came to the Falls in 1875. The first residence for the Carmelites was a simple farm house on the side of the escarpment across from the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace, overlooking Niagara Falls. This building was demolished around 1935 to make way for Portage Road. Construction on the present Monastery building began in 1894. The original purpose was to serve as a hospice and retreat centre.

Looking to add a touch of greenery to their historic grounds, the director of Mount Carmel in partnership with Lincoln Landscape reached out to Devron to find the perfect solution.

Seeing how their was a need for fencing on the Stanley avenue side of the building, it was a no-brainer to choose our Green Living Fences as the perfect product for the job. Even during the installation, multiple residents made the point to add their feedback, indicating how the fences were adding an extra touch of beauty to the site.

Please take a look below to see some of our photos of the installation. Stay tuned for pictures of the final result! Hop on to our social media and let us know what you think!

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SAVE TIME AND MONEY IN THE GARDEN

A garden doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, there are many ways a garden can save you money. Here are a few suggestions for keeping your garden in top shape without draining your bank account. Supplement them with your own creative ideas!

Grow from Seed:Image result for free gardening photos

It makes good sense, and saves dollars to start easy-to-grow plants from seed rather than buying started seedlings from a nursery. Here are some vegetables and flowers than can and should be sown directly in the garden: Lettuce, arugula, and other salad greens: Sprinkle the seed in wide rows. You will get at least three cuttings of salad greens, which can sell for upwards of $6-$7 a pound atthe local supermarket.

All root vegetables like carrots, beets, radishes and turnips are also very easy-from-seed vegetables. Garden mainstay veggies such as beans, peas, squash, cucumbers and corn all come easily and quickly from seed as well as long as you wait until temperatures are warmed up into the 50° range both day and night.

Sunflowers, zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, alyssum, sweet peas, morning glories and nasturtiums are some of the e beautiful and popular flowers that can be had for the price of a pack of seeds. If you want to have cut flowers, a pack of seeds will produce lots and lots of flowering plants so that you can enjoy bouquets all season long.

Share-starting:

And while you’re at it, consider joining with friends in a seed-starting cooperative for plants that need a head start indoors (peppers, eggplants and tomatoes all need to be started indoors in the US except in the warmest areas.) One person starts eggplants, another tomatoes, and at planting time, just divide the started plants among the participating members.

Compost:

Don’t give your leaves away! Chop them with your lawnmower and put them in a pile. Or make a simple compost bin with chicken wire and four stakes. Add vegetable trimmings, prunings, weeds (but no weed with seeds), and other compostables.

Stake with Reused Materials:

Scavenged materials make very serviceable stakes. Political signs stakes (minus the actual signs) are a good size for propping up peppers or small pea varieties or vining cucumbers – but wait until after the election before collecting them! Scrap wood or old broomsticks or rake handles can be fashioned into tomato supports. An old stepladder can be repurposed as a bean or flower tower.

Fertilize your Vegetable Garden with Living Plants: Image result for free gardening photos

Planting a cover crop in your vegetable garden when the weather is not conducive for growing edible plants is a sure way to improve both the structure and the fertility of your soil. Winter rye, mustard and clover are widely available good choices. For more information, consult your Cooperative Extension, or go to http://hort.uwex.edu/articles/using-cover-crops-andgreen-manures-home-vegetable-garden

Get Creative with Weed Barriers:

Laying down 3 to 4 inches of bagged mulch, at considerable expense, has become almost a rite of spring for many homeowners. There are many materials that will perform the same function at a fraction of the cost! Newspaper, cardboard, or shredded paper, topped with straw, pine needles, or chopped leaves, will make a very effective weed barrier between plants. If you don’t like the look of these alternatives, try using shredded wood mulch in the front of the garden, and paper or cardboard topped with straw in less visible parts.

Clover fixes nitrogen, fertilizing your soil!

Water with Rain:

Use rain, as much as possible, to water your plants. Rain barrels need not cost a fortune. Check out this EPA instruction sheet for a low cost, DIY version: http://www.epa.gov/Region3/p2/make-rainbarrel.pdf

Seed Pots come in all Shapes and Sizes:

Seeds can be started indoors in any container. Orange juice cartons (sliced in half), yogurt containers, takeout containers – the list is endless. All you need to do is poke holes in the bottom for drainage to make them useful.

Mark with a Stone:

One attractive way to keep track of what’s where is to mark the names of your plants with indelible ink on flat stones.

See our entire line of Live Solutions here!

5 Garden Tasks to Complete Before Summer Arrives

Our gardens don’t get as much attention during the winter as they do in the warmer months, and spring is the right time to start preparing your garden for the growing season.

Beyond using an electric grass trimmer to prune your perennials and larger plants, you’ll want to check up on your garden tools to ensure you’re ready to take on the growing season. Ensure your small tools like trowels and rakes are in good shape, as well as larger ones like your electric lawn mower or wheelbarrow, are ready to go before you begin planting.

The projects you finish at this time can help your plants achieve more growth later on, so it’s important to start thinking about them early in the year. These are some of the gardening tasks you should prioritize in the early spring and summer.

Add Lime to Acidic Soil

Soil with a low pH can cause a number of problems for your garden, and adding lime to acidic soil will make it more alkaline and more conducive to growth. We recommend using lime on soil with a pH anywhere below about 6.

It takes time for new lime to have an impact on plants, so we recommend adding it to your soil at least a few weeks before you plan on planting. You should cover any soil that contains recently added lime with a plastic tarp during heavy rains to retain as much of the lime as possible.

Repair Fences and Trellises

It’s easier to fix these structures using your favorite multi tool and oscillating tool blades during the spring than at any other time o f the year, as there won’t be as many roots or as much growth to obstruct your work. That said, we recommend waiting until the end of spring to set new fence posts, as spring rains can raise the water table and make this job much more difficult than it needs to be. If a brand new, beautiful feature piece is what your looking vs. the traditional wooden or chain link fences, take a look at the unique Green Living Fences to do the job.

Remove Debris and Dead Growth

Raking your lawn isn’t the most enjoyable gardening project, but removing these obstructions will promote grass growth and prepare your garden for the summer. This is also the time to re-seed any bare patches you notice and apply any non-toxic herbicide you use in your garden.

Look Out for Slugs

Slugs are annoying garden pests that can cause significant damage to seedlings if left unchecked, and they often begin to come out during spring rains. Make sure to check regularly for slug damage.

If you’re having trouble with slugs, you can take more steps to keep them out of your garden. Check out these natural methods for ideas to get rid of slugs—many of them are possible with common household items.

Start Planting

Once your soil no longer contains any ice crystals, you should be able to begin planting seeds for your earliest crops! Some of the most common plants that should be planted early in the spring include lettuce, spinach, and peas.

Planting a range of crops with a variety of maturation dates will allow you to continue harvesting throughout the summer and fall. Make sure to cover any seedlings during hard frosts, which can cause irreversible damage to young plants.

Spring is the most exciting time of the year for gardeners, and these early-season tasks are even more rewarding when you consider the effect they’ll have on later growth. Start with these simple projects in the spring to prepare your garden for the summer and fall. Worx / Rockwell Tools

Want more information? Check out our line of green products to help get your next gardening task done.

Guest Editor: Rae Steinbach
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.

SPRINGING INTO ACTION

Grow Vertically in Small Spaces

Creating a small balcony garden — which also works for space-challenged patios and decks — helps find the perfect balance between beauty, privacy and practicality. With multiple planting levels, there’s room for both edibles and ornamentals. A great solution for a space-saving balcony garden would be our LivePicture series of products, allowing multiple plants to share the same space and receive consistent water through its self-watering reservoir.

 

Consider a tree’s final height and width when planting

Before you buy a tree, look at the shade pattern it’ll have when it’s grown. You’re going to start with a small sized tree, and it’s going to look good when you plant it near the house, but once it grows up, it’s going to be a problem with the roof and gutters. An alternative option to achieve privacy with a smaller footprint would be our innovative Green Living Fences. These pre-grown panels offer instant privacy, and immediate green focal point and is very low maintenance.

Your soil may need amending

Soil pH (acidity level) is very important, and just because your dirt looks rich and black doesn’t mean it’s the right pH for grass. Take samples around the yard and send them to your local extension service for testing. You can fix soil pH problems by adding lime to raise the pH or iron to lower it. Most grasses prefer a pH of 6.0 to 7.2

Create a Backyard Escape

Let lighting and landscaping turn a backyard into a relaxing getaway — day or night. Add natural touches to your outdoor structure with a variety of potted plants to make a statement. A beautiful focal point to immediately forget your in the city is our modular Green Living Fence panels. See below how they brighten and beautify this backyard oasis.


Grow Herbs in Containers

Maximize gardening space and bring herbs closer to the kitchen by growing herbs in pots on a deck or patio. Combine edibles with ornamental flowers to augment hardworking plants with color and beauty. The LivePicture system is ideal for such applications as a result of the ease of use of the system. Offered in multiple different sizes, it is easy to find the perfect fit for any backyard or patio.

Learn more here!

7 tips to get your yard ready for spring

Green Living Fences

Sometimes all we need is a bit of sun and some warmth to get us into the spring spirit. However, as you make your way outside – you will notice that this also bring budding new growth to your garden, and that winter has also left its mark in the shape of broken branches and bare patches.

This isn’t a problem! With our short 7 tip guide, you will spring you into action and be ready for the growing season ahead. This will will help you save tons of time, money and energy later on by getting ever

1. Start your spring lawn prep by using a rake

Get rid of any leaves and other debris that have built up over winter. Once they have been cleared, give your lawn a boost by spreading a thin layer of compost.

2. Seed lawn patches that are bare

Your initial step will be to loosen the surface to a depth of 2-4inches. Following that, use the back of a garden rake to level the soil. Spread a mixture of grass seed and compost or fertilizer over the bare spot. Tamp with the flat end of the rake in

order to work in the seed. Water afterwards, as needed.

3. Check your equipment and hand tools 

To see if anything needs repairing, cleaning or replacing. Also take this time to make sure your irrigation system is working properly for the upcoming growing season.

4. Aerate your lawn

This will allow oxygen, water and nutrients to easily reach grass roots. This perforates the soil with small holes and allows air, water and nutrients to penetrate the roots.

5. Prune any broken, diseased or dead limbs

From dead trees, branches and other woody plants. Prune back spring-blooming shrubs such as forsythia after flowering. This is also a great time to thin out and trim up your summer blooming shrubs and most roses.

6. Clear out weeds and last season’s garden debris

From beds and borders, remove or cut down last year’s foliage and toss it in the compost pile.

7. Attract birds to your garden

A single chickadee can consume up to 1,000 bad bugs a day. Include a birdbath or bird friendly plants, like sunflower, cotoneaster, viburnum, honeysuckle,  and aster. Another option would be our beautiful pre-grown Green Living Fences. They are a great way to add beauty and security to your backyard instantly.

Click here to learn more about Green Living Fences