Edward's Garden Center

Forty Fort, PA


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Reasons Why Gardening is Good for Your Health

In an age when many children and adults spend as little time as possible outside, gardeners are the exception to this new way of life. As gardeners, we know that being outside and working in the garden has amazing benefits beyond the dirt under your finger nails, growing blossoming plants from tiny seeds and having fresh air in your lungs.

So what other benefits does gardening have for our health? Many. Warning: reading the health benefits of gardening may make you love gardening even MORE.

Creative Gardening - Edwards Garden Center

Gardening improves your health. Get outside and garden at the first sign of spring!

Gardening, like all exercise can reduce your risk of stroke, as reported in “Stroke: Journal of The American Heart Association”.

Gardening, like all exercise, burns calories. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gardening is considered moderate to high intensity exercise and can burn 330 calories per hour. That’s more calorie burn than weight lifting. Just think about how all those squats are working your leg and glute muscles.

Gardening can reduce the risk of heart disease and other common illnesses. Just 30 minutes of moderate-level physical activity a few times a week can prevent and control high blood pressure. In fact, gardening scored a place on the The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute‘s recommendation list for battling high blood pressure.

Gardening reduces the chances of osteoporosis. With all of the reaching, squatting and stretching required to keep your garden in top shape, you are actually helping your body too.

Gardening reduces stress (as we are sure you already know). Sometimes there is no better way to de-stress than by getting out the shovel and accomplishing something in the garden.

Being surrounded by flowers improves one’s health. In behavioral research conducted at Rutgers University by Jeanette M. Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., the results showed that flowers are a natural and healthful moderator of moods and have an immediate impact on happiness, a long term positive effects on mood, and make for more intimate connections between individuals

Digging in the soil actually has mood lifting benefits. Christopher Lowry, Ph.D., an assistant professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been injecting mice with Mycobacterium vaccae, a harmless bacteria commonly found in soil, and has found that they increase the release and metabolism of serotonin in parts of the brain that control cognitive function and mood — much like serotonin-boosting antidepressant drugs do.

Gardening strengthens your immune system. Humans were meant to spend time outside, enjoying the sunlight, getting exercise and working. Being outside, whether in your garden or on a hike, gives your body the chance to soak up some vitamin D, which which helps the body absorb calcium. In turn, calcium helps keep your bones strong and your immune system healthy.

For more reasons on how gardening is good for your health, read the article where many of these ideas came from: http://www.gardeninggonewild.com/?p=27941

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Making your own personal sanctuary

Each one of us has a different idea of what a peaceful day is. For some, a peaceful day is spent just getting the kids out of the house. For others, a peaceful day means cuddling up on the coach to watch a movie. For most gardeners, a peaceful day would be spent sitting in their garden, listening to the sounds of nature and maybe enjoying a good book. What could be better than having your own personal sanctuary in your backyard to visit whenever you want? Nothing could be better.

How can your garden be turned into your own personal sanctuary? Try some of these ideas.

1. Watch a beautiful water feature
Is there anything more peaceful than sitting beside a waterfall or pond? Don’t worry if you only have a small space available. The experts at Edward’s Garden Center can find a water feature for your space. It might be a pond, a fountain, or dancing fountains. No matter what water feature you choose it will add peace and value to your garden.

Edward's Garden Center offers water features

There are over 18 water features at Edward’s Garden Center!

2. Let bamboo shade your sanctuary
OK, we know bamboo gets a bad rep for taking over gardens, but what other plant can double as an elegant screen and comes in so many varieties. Give bamboo a try and feel the tranquility creep into your garden.

Edward's Garden Center tips for creating a peaceful garden

Bamboo can offer shade and tranquility to your patio or garden.

3. Enjoy a peaceful sound with wind chimes
Another wonderfully peaceful sound is the sound of the wind bustling the wind chimes in your garden. By adding a few different sizes and shapes, you can have your very own symphony to listen to while you relaxing with an iced tea or a nice book.

Add wind chimes to your garden for a whimsical feel.

Add wind chimes to your garden for a whimsical feel.

4. Smell those fresh herbs
Make sure all of your senses are enjoying the peaceful feeling of your garden. Plant herbs that are known for having a beautiful smell like lavender, rosemary, basil or mint. The scents can relieve stress and set a calm mood for your evening of relaxation.

Edward's Garden Center Tips for making a tranquil garden

Grow herbs that have are known for having a calming scent.

5. Wiggle your toes in the sand
Maybe your idea of a peaceful sanctuary is resting your feet in the sand and laying back in a beach chair. Why not bring the beach to your garden? You can easily create a sand box or a sand garden, where you can pull up your chair and umbrella for a nice relaxing afternoon. Visit the Garden Center this spring to pick up sand for this project.

Sand is available at Edward's Garden Center

Create your own beach sanctuary by adding a sand garden to your yard.

 

Hopefully our post has given you some new ideas for your personal backyard sanctuary. Start planning now for spring!


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Getting through the winter without your garden

It’s only mid-January, but it feels like it’s been years since the cold weather set in and we had stop watering the flowers. We are sure you are longing for your mums and daisies, just like we are.

Plan your garden for the spring - Edward's Garden Center

Draw a map of your garden to help plan for the spring.

So how to fill all the time and still get your gardening fix? We’ll clue you in on a few things we’ve found.

Take up a winter only hobby
So maybe it’s not the most creative idea, but it just may work. You like gardening and you are good at it, you must have some creativity in your hands. Why not try scrapbooking, knitting, or building? You’ve assembled various things in your garden like raised beds, bird houses and gardening benches. Surely you can think of similar projects to do around your home. Build a small bookshelf or an end table. Refinish an antique.

Plan your garden for the spring
You can’t stop thinking about the garden and that’s okay. Put all those thoughts to good use. Organize your seeds. Think about your garden design last year and how you can change it. As gardeners, we know you can never have too much space for plants. Think about what plants you can move and where you can maximize your space. Drawing a map of your garden will help you visualize without having to go out into the cold.

Pin your gardening heart out
Pinterest is a great way to spend an hour. Proceed with caution, Pinterest is addicting. But it’s a fabulous way to find and organize inspiration for the spring. We have been busy pinning fabulous ideas to share with everyone. Take a look at our Pinterest board and start one of your own.

We hope we have given you some ideas on how to get through these long winter months. If you have any ideas we haven’t mentioned, please share them in the comments!


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Try something new this year: Hydroponics

Looking for a new type of gardening to add to your repertoire? Maybe something you can start during the winter and carry through the year?

Why not try hydroponics?

OK, so many of your are probably saying, what is hydroponics and why would I want to invest time and money into it?

In simple terms, hydroponics is the process of growing plants in sand, gravel, or liquid (or other mediums), with added nutrients but without soil. Hydro is Latin for water and Ponos means works or labor. Water works! The main principles of hydroponics are increased oxygen to the root zone and liquid feed delivered directly to roots. These factors result in increased growth rates and increased yields when compared to tradition soil gardens where much lower oxygen and often nutrient levels are present. (http://www.hydroponics.com/faqs/)

Gardening experts that have successfully grown food and plants using hydroponics, say that the food is of better quality and more plentiful than the food grown using a traditional method.

To begin your own hydroponic garden, you will need to do a little research and spend some money.

You can purchase a beginners hydroponic kit online or you can put your own kit together depending on what you need. Before you purchase your kit, decide what kind and how many plants you want to grow. You should probably start out small, growing just one variety of plant.

You will also need to decide on a medium in which to grow your plants. Those mediums range from fiberglass to sand and from fired clay balls to nothing at all. Several branches of hyrdoponics include aeroponics (using air as the grow medium), aquaponics etc.

After doing some research you will learn that there are a few methods for creating hydroponic systems. The less expensive, yet still effective method, is a bubbler system. In this method, keep your pots filled with your choice of medium just barely above your nutrient solution level — then keep the solution well aerated. The popping of the air bubbles will keep your medium moist.

Other methods are the ebb and flow method, where you temporarily flood your plants and then let them drain; the NFT  or nutrient film technique – where you stream a thin layer of nutrient solution over the roots (method common in professional systems); aeroponics and drip systems.

Whichever method you chose, know that there is some extra time involved with beginning this new hobby. Once you get the hang out of it, growing through hydroponics is easy!

Here are some other links that you may want to use as resources before you start:

If you decide to try any of these systems, please leave us a note and let us know how do!


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Resolutions for the avid gardener in 2015

Happy New Year gardening fans! We hope that you and your family had an enjoyable time ringing in the New Year and hope that this coming year is a great one!

Now that the New Year is here, many of you may be looking to better yourselves. The time of year is traditional for people to try to exercise more, eat healthier, quit smoking, etc. As an avid gardener, maybe you don’t need to make yourself better, maybe you just need to add more gardening to your life?

Take a look at our resolution ideas and become inspired to work on some aspects of your garden that you never dreamed of.

1. Resolve to get those weeds under control
So you may not be able begin this resolution right now because of the area’s recent cold spell, but it’s still a good one to take up. As soon as the ground can be worked in the spring, start hoeing and cultivating bare soil to kill weed seeds before they germinate. Pull small weeds before they establish firm root systems. Your garden will thank you when you begin planting. 😉

2. Rework your least favorite part of your garden
Even the most devoted gardener has that one part of their yard or garden that they put off redesigning ever year. Maybe the soil in it is bad or maybe the sun doesn’t shine on it for more than a few minutes each day. Whatever the reason, resolve to tackle it! There are so many things you can do with unused space in your yard, like creating a rock garden or shaded plant area. After all, isn’t more space what every gardener wants?

3. Clean out your gardening bench or junk drawer
Has your gardening bench seen better days? Maybe you could spend some time this winter organizing it and sprucing it up. Clean out all the drawers, see what you have and restock your supply. Then when the warm weather starts to arrive your work area will be ready to go.

4. Edge your garden beds
Again, you might not be able to conquer this resolution until later in the year, but it is still a good one to make. Nothing says “half finished” like a beautiful garden with no edging. Start thinking about your plan now and get all the tools. Then remember to be excited to accomplish this task in the spring.

5. Sit and enjoy your garden
For all the time you spend working on your garden, you deserve to enjoy relaxing in it, right? Promise to spend at least 20 minutes each day truly enjoying your garden. Have a glass of iced tea and watch the birds. Sit and smell your beautiful flowers. Grab a book or your e-reader and sit among your gorgeous trees.

Everyone at Edward’s Garden Center is looking forward to big things in 2015! We hope you all have a great year too.