Thursday, December 29, 2011

Specialty Garden Ideas for Cat

Why design a garden for your house cats or for neighborhood cats?  The cat garden will provide the cats with a place to go for relaxation, entertainment and if you plant an assorted of cat grasses the garden grass will nourish the cats with vitamins and nutrients.  Once the specialty cat garden has grown in the cats will be attracted to the grasses and catnip and they will pass up your flower gardens and the hood of your car.  The cat garden is a safe haven that provides cats with all that they need.

Where should I design a specialty cat garden?
Choose a location for the cat garden that is away from people, pets and car traffic.  Many people choose the furthest corner of their yard with two sides of privacy fencing.  If you do not have a privacy fence then you can install a trellis, plant shrubs or ornamental grass.

What products are needed for cat garden?

Determine what products you will use for the cat garden.  You may want to install a water feature, small pond, sandbox and cat playhouse and feeding station.  Leave a section for cat grasses; wheat, barley and oat and also grow catnip and cat herbs in a sunny section of the garden.

How to design a specialty cat garden?
Use white marking paint to outline the cat garden on the ground.  Measure your area.  These measurements will help you when purchasing gravel, mulch and assorted seeds for the cat garden.
Draw out your cat garden on paper.  Use colored pencils to highlight where each item will be located.  The cat garden design will help you when you are setting up the garden. For a medium size residential home a cat garden with the dimensions of 10 x 12 is a good size.

After you have drawn out your garden design and purchased your products you would then get the cat garden ready for planting and set-up by clearing the site with a tiller. Remove all rocks and grass.  Loosen the soil so that it is a fine texture.  Mix a two inch layer of compost with the garden soil.  Make sure that the cat garden has proper water drainage.

Set up the sandbox behind the cat house. Plant rosemary or peppermint herbs a foot away from litter box to mask the odor.   These herbs are fragrant and are bushy and tall, thus they will provide the cats with privacy.  Install the litter box by digging a hole that is the same size as the litter box. Level the bottom of the hole. Set the box in hole and fill with fine sand. Line the litter box rim with a stone border and surround the litter box with 3-inches of pea gravel.
Cascade and Pond Kit

Add the water feature in the center of the cat garden.  The water feature will add interest to the garden and all cats enjoy listening to cascading water.  They also enjoy getting their paws wet. 

What herbs should I buy for cat garden? 

Buy cat herbs.  These herbs are beneficial to cats; rosemary, catnip, cat thyme, Valerian, peppermint and dandelion.  You may want to plant herbs in containers to add interest to the cat garden or plant them in various sections of the garden.  

Where should I plant the cat grass?

Plant the grasses in front of the herbs. Start grass seeds inside, and then transplant when the grass is about two inches high. On the other hand, you can sow by seed directly in the garden. These grasses provide the cats with vitamins, minerals and enzymes, which help your cat digest their food, and controls hairballs.

The cat house will serve as the cat's bed and breakfast as well as storage for food, water, bed and toys. The cat house is a great addition to the garden.

Mulch or add pea gravel around water feature and litter box. 

Water grasses and herbs in the morning.  Deadhead spent blooms to stimulate new growth on the plants.  Remove dead plants and grasses.

Accent specialty cat garden with cat statue or decorative stepping stones.  Hang a wind chime for lovely music.(Hang chimes high so cats cannot reach them) 

Here is a video on growing catnip.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Forcing Hyacinths to Bloom Indoors

Blue bi-color Hyacinth
Forcing hyacinth bulbs to bloom indoors is a good way to liven up your winter home with color and fragrance.  

I like to force the hyacinths bulbs to bloom in a vase. 

 In October I will set up several vases and for the next 10 weeks I will store the bulbs in my cellar as it is a cool and dry area.  The bulbs will root in the bulb vase.  The vase holds the bulb out of the water but allows the roots to obtain hydration from the water. 

Forcing hyacinths to bloom indoors is a good way to decorate your home as well as add a fresh clean fragrance to air during the winter months.  You can feature indoor hyacinths in the pretty vases by setting them on your fireplace mantle. 

Another way to decorate with indoor grown hyacinths is to gather several hyacinth vases in the center of your dining room table and accent the flower centerpiece with votive candles and balsam greenery. Set a hyacinth bulb vase on your bedside table and the lovely fragrance will fill the room.  

When you grow hyacinths bulbs indoor you are bringing the garden indoors.

Growing the hyacinths indoors is not hard but does require that you pay attention to the evaporation of the water in the growing vase by checking on it daily

Learn more about how to force hyacinths to bloom indoors.