How to Grow Bachelor’s Buttons (Cornflower) – Ornamental Cut Flower Gardening Basics

Many ornamental flowers are TOXIC. ALWAYS do your own research and take responsibility for the plants that you introduce around your kids and pets. Use common sense, etc.

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NAME: Bachelor’s Buttons, also known as Cornflower

HOW: Easy to direct sow. Easy to germinate using the winter sowing method.

WHEN: In my garden, the best results come from seeds that were direct sown in fall (at the end of September). The seeds germinate and seedlings survive the winter. Some seedlings are lost during the winter, and will vary depending upon how cold and harsh your winter is. My seedlings survived a few nights down to 8F, with some damage – but were able to recover. They were also briefly covered in snow. Overwintering results will definitely vary from garden to garden.

Seeds can also be direct sown as soon as soil can be worked in the spring. Succession plantings allow for a longer bloom time, but the flowers seem to fizzle out once the temperatures get too hot. In my garden, the plants from direct sowing in spring are noticeably smaller than those direct sown in the fall.
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Hardening Off Seedlings – Seed Starting Basics – on How to Grow a Garden with Scarlett

Avoid transplant shock by hardening off your young spring plants. Lets talk about the different methods, what doesn’t need to be hardened off and what plant sun burn and frost damage really looks like.

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ABOUT HOW TO GROW A GARDEN:
Follow my journey to sustainable organic living as I attempts to grow most of my food all year long.

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Let the chat continue! You can also join me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter where I often post insider fun stuff like photos and bloopers.

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A LITTLE BACKGROUND ON SCARLETT
Scarlett is an artist, entrepreneur and a passionate gardener. Scarlett is also a mostly raw all vegan foodist who loves gourmet raw vegan strait from the garden cooking.

For many years now she has been growing almost all of her food all year round. Scarlett’s motto is grow what you eat and eat what you grow. Scarlett loves to share her knowledge about health, non-cooking and gardening with YouTube. She has two channels one How to grow a garden and the other BoTVGermany. (see link below)

Scarlett’s journey to health started in 2011 after putting all of her energy into building a successful business for more than a decade she had lost the one thing money can not buy -her health.

Scarlett now lives in Europe with her husband Bo and their cats, house trained rabbits and hand raised pet chickens and ducks.

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How to transplant vegetable seedlings into the field
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Benefits and Basics of Landscape Lighting

Landscapes of almost any size and shape can be lit effectively with low-voltage landscape lighting. It’s an easy, customizable and cost-effective way to help your yard shine day and night, year-round. The basic benefits to landscape lighting include:

Added security: Darkness itself could make your home vulnerable to intruders, and well-lit yards provide greater visual capabilities. Also, you want your guests to reach your home safely.
Increased home value: Add instant curb appeal and beautify your landscape.
Easily and safely installed: Low-voltage landscape lighting doesn’t need an electrician or inspection and, unlike some other electrical work, it’s safe to install.
Flexibility factor: As your outdoor décor changes, so can the lighting. Whether you decide to expand your yard’s lighting or cut back for a minimalist look, it’s easily adjusted to fit your needs.

When designing your layout, careful planning can eliminate potential installation issues. Look at your yard at night to decide where you need more light.

While you’re brightening the basics, decide what else you’d like to light. A number of popular, professional-looking techniques can create dramatic and attractive designs. For example, your home’s facade is an ideal lighting subject, but a spotlight could simultaneously back-light trees and plants for a silhouetted effect or front-light them to showcase the plants. Other popular outdoor lighting options include:

Pond lights for up-lighting through trees out of a water garden
Rail mount or step lights for a deck, porch and patios
Path lights for problematic areas and protection against potential liability
Flood lights mounted in the ground or on a wall surface or tree

When you’ve chosen your lights, you’ll need to power them. Your transformer must be equal to or higher than the total watts you’ll use. If you think you may add fixtures to your system in the future, a higher wattage transformer is recommended.

Transformers vary in style and quality, so choose one that fits your lighting plan. An optional photocell is both an energy-saving measure and a security precaution if you leave town. Most transformers are installed on an outside wall and are either hardwired or plugged into an outlet. And some models can be buried in the ground for an out-of-sight application, like Kichler’s in-ground transformer.

Be sure to install the transformer near a power source or outlet, and as close to your lights as possible to minimize cable runs.

Your landscape is your pride and joy. Give it the look it deserves with the proper landscape lighting. Be careful, though, not to over-light your landscape, since too much light might prove unattractive. Just be creative and truly light what you want.

Until next time, Happy Home Improving!

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LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS Composition Basics – Foreground/Midground/Background

In this latest tutorial, Ray Scott shows the basic technique for achieving a good landscape photo. This is meant to be a jumping off point. A way to get the novice landscape photographer going and a good reminder to the intermediate shutterbug. There are so many different ways to compose a landscape image. Ways that don’t even include the notion of strictly using foreground, mid ground and background, but this session shows a way to fill the frame and incorporate a 3d feel to this 2 dimensional medium. This is a good way to get going with composition.

When in studio or in the field Ray uses Canon gear. This is a choice he made years ago knowing that he was buying into a system that he could grow into. His go to camera is the Canon EOS 6D with the second camera being a Canon 5D. Lenses used are all L series f/4 except for the 50mm macro with extender. 16-35mm f/4L, 24-105mm f/4L, and 70-200mm f/4L round out the kit which is carried about with either a Lowepro Urban Reporter 250 messenger bag for city shooting or a Lowepro Sling Bag for landscape field work. While Ray does more camera handholding than before due to the image stabilization capabilities of his various lenses, he still is a believer in using his Manfrotto carbon fibre tripod. It’s light and it is sturdy.

Ray is a firm believer in exposing himself to as much photography and its history as possible. By looking at other people’s photos, he has gained a big appreciation of what this medium has to offer. Ray doesn’t think that “copying” someone else’s style is a good thing but rather feels that exposing oneself to others work can work as a teaching and inspirational tool. With this in mind, Ray has amassed a list of favorite photographers that he uses for inspiration. Some of these artistic photographers are Galen Rowell, Ansel Adams, Frans Lanting, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Freeman Patterson, William Neill and Richard Avedon.

One of the playlists on this channel is called “neighbourhood photographer” which covers tutorials shot in urban and suburban areas. It’s always a challenge to see different things of interest when you’ve been to an area many times yet this is the best way to create good images. You need to return to familiar locations many times. To do so, Ray often drives by car to an area but when he really wants to cover ground yet see things more clearly, he uses his bicycle…bike…and explores the given place.

Whether shooting landscape, macro, portrait or abstract images, Ray always tries to be aware of his surroundings to capture the best pictures possible. Part of this workflow means he is very aware of composition and uses various tips, such as the rule of thirds, as a good starting point in composing. He also likes to break rules from time to time to add new effects to his photos. Being aware of angles, shadows, shapes, lines, textures, patterns and colours goes a long way to making good pictures. He is also a big believer in “getting out there” and shooting as much as possible as it is the only way to improve and flex one’s imagination. His message is it doesn’t matter if you do your photography in the city, suburbs country, mountains or by the sea, just make sure you do it and follow your artistic passion.

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