Friday, July 27, 2012

Permanent magnets

I’ve always wondered how magnets were made and why their magnetism wears off after a period of time. I remember back in my school days we were taught o create our own magnet by stroking a metal like a nail with another magnet, a process known as magnetizing. I wonder these are the magnets that wear off their magnetism after a while, unlike the real magnets or permanent magnets which are supposed to stay magnetized forever. So where do these permanent magnets come from?

Camellia Bud Balling

Bud balling' is a syndrome where buds form but do not flower. Typically the buds develop almost to the point of opening, then stop developing, go brown, and drop off. If your camellia is susceptible to bud balling, here's what to do:

* Pinch off half the buds, it's better to have half as many flowers, than none at all.
* Give the camellia a good feed with an azalea and camellia fertiliser every six to eight weeks from about August right through to March. After applying the fertilizer at the recommended rate, add a teaspoon of Epsom salts to five litres of water - shake it around and water the camellia with that.

Nobody knows the exact cause of bud balling but if, after all that, your camellia is still suffering, you've got two more options: Move the plant to an area where it gets a lot less sun or, as Colin suggests, only partly in jest, "Enjoy a lovely green plant with glossy leaves."

Compression socks

I hurt my legs last month, I have only myself to blame. If I had been more careful I wouldn’t have strain my legs the way I did. So now it’s been almost a month that I’m out of action. The doctor wants me to rest and not do any strenuous activity and always have a pair of compression socks on everyday. I tell you what; for a guy like me doing nothing is driving me insane but I do enjoy the royalty treatment I get at home.


Have you ever walked around your garden and wondered why some plants are thriving and others are struggling to survive? It's because a garden isn't a uniform space. It's made up of a series of garden rooms, each with their own growing conditions. Some areas are hot and dry while others are cool and shady. These different growing conditions are called microclimates.

To create a successful and sustainable garden it's important to understand the different microclimates within your garden. Whether you're upgrading an existing garden or establishing a new garden the first step is to conduct a site analysis.

Three factors to consider are temperature, sunlight and air circulation. Consider where the hot spots in your garden are. Think about where shadows, particularly those cast by trees or the house - and these are likely to change from winter to summer. Also think about air circulation and which direction the prevailing winds come from. All these factors affect how plants grow and understanding them will help you to create a relaxing garden where the plants are healthy and happy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Liability insurance

Well day 1 saw me cleaning out the old room which is going to be my new office once all is done. There’s the problem of leakage on the roof which must be fixed before painting and new carpet can be laid. Then there’s the public liability insurance that must be purchased before I can even began to start moving in and start to have clients.

Worm Pouches

Portable worm farms are easy to make and provide a constant source of fertiliser to ensure garden plants thrive. To make your own worm pouch, take a piece of shadecloth. Sow both sides together and leave the ends open – it needs to look like an open ended tube. Fill the tube with worm food, kitchen scraps are ideal - but remove the onion and citrus, because worms don't like these - and then chop them into small pieces to allow the worms to get through them more quickly. Then add to the tube some wet cardboard or newspaper, and then the worms. Get special composting worms. These are available from most garden centres or hardware stores. Put them straight in and fold the tube ends over – your portable worm farm is ready for the garden. By placing it at the base of a young plant, it acts as a constant source of fertiliser. As water passes through the castings nutrients are taken through to the root zone. Worm castings are so mild that it's good for all plant species. The shadecloth also allows worms to move back and forward into the topsoil, although composting worms usually like to stay close to their food source. Another advantage is that the worm farm is wrapped up so cockroaches and flies aren't a problem. Top up the worm farm with food scraps once a week and watch your plants thrive.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Medical cart

Because we are run by generous donations from the community we can’t afford a lot of expensive medical equipments. We do what we can to help our patients but it can get quite frustrating at times. We can’t even afford a medical cart which we need to be more mobile as we tend to our patients from room to room. I just hope our appeal to the politicians will get somewhere. Hate to see this free clinic close, then the community will suffer.

Understanding Mulches

The word on everyone's lips is "mulch" and it's absolutely essential because it can reduce water use by up to 70 per cent. It also suppresses weeds and weed-seed germination and insulates the soil. Some mulches are better than others and there are some mulching mistakes that people make. There are two basic types of mulch - inorganic mulches, such as pebbles and gravel - and organic-based mulches, such as pine bark, bales of pea straw, chopped pea straw, and sugar cane mulch. Organic-based mulches break down and add goodness to the soil. A favourite is baled pea straw. It is good because the bale can be broken apart into biscuits and these pieces are spread out on the ground. This means it doesn’t blow away and the birds won’t scatter it. When mulching with different straws or sugar cane it’s important to add at least five to seven centimetres for each layer to make it work effectively. But it needs replacing every year because it breaks down. Heavier mulches, such as pine bark or pebbles, need only be four to five centimetres deep. The mistake most people make is using compost - such as mushroom compost, garden compost or a cubed pea-straw-based product - as mulch. The problem with using these as mulch is that they are too fine and can absorb moisture. They allow moisture to be drawn out of the soil, through wicking, and they form a great weed seedbed, allowing for weed seed germination. Use these composting products as a soil improver or conditioner – they are fantastic for this - but top it off with a coarser product that doesn't absorb moisture. That way, you know you're doing your best for the garden, by conserving moisture, suppressing weeds and insulating your soil.


My little fellow is doing great with his music class. He’s been in it for 6 months now and still going strong. I think he’s found his calling in life! Well as long as he’s happy I’ll support him 100%. After the electric guitar he asked for, he’s now asking me to buy him a tascam recording workstation. I had a look at the range of products this brand name comes in and they’re quite impressive. It will be money well spent for my little musician.

Compost Net

In my garden I compost everything. I've got a large compost heap in the corner for garden refuse, and a small bin for kitchen scraps. But in summer the materials ferment quickly and can get clouds of vinegar and fruit flies breeding in the compost. But there is a simple solution. Just use some shade cloth and wire. Use the wire to stitch together an open cylinder – stitch it along the edge, so that it's open at both ends. Then slip this into the compost heap and tuck it underneath the base of the compost heap. This means that nothing can get underneath. But keep it open at the top so it’s easy to add the kitchen scraps. In between visits to the compost heap just twist the top together, and hold it down with a stone. That way you have absolutely no problem with flies and you get perfect compost.

Appliance parts store

I think its about time I replace all of my household appliances. Seriously its like every couple days I have to run down to the appliance parts store to get something for my appliances. At this rate I might as well replace all my appliances so I wouldn’t have to worry about them breaking down and ruining my days fixing them. Time to go shopping I think.


Frangipanis are a spectacular plant. Their flowers and fragrance bring a romantic feeling to any garden, and they'll never go out of fashion because they're drought tolerant. There are about 45 wild species of frangipani or Plumeria. They're native to Mexico, Venezuela and other countries of Central America and are either semi evergreen, drought tolerant shrubs, or small trees. Frangipani was the name given to an Italian fragrance created in the 16th century by the Marquis Frangipani. When the Italians started cultivating these plants, the fragrance of the flowers reminded them so strongly of the perfume that the name stuck.