Archives for January 2014

You Can Grow Plants In Your Home, Yes, Even You!

DSCN2573Have you considered houseplants?  Maybe you think you can’t grow anything?  Maybe you’ve tried a couple of plants and felt like they hated you?  NOT SO! Studies show that plants can help the air quality in your home; a few well placed stylish plants can even help in the sale of your home.  Plants can improve your well-being and add softness to hard edges in your home.

Plants placed in the right spot will thrive in your home.  When thinking about trying a new plant, look around your home and consider a few things:  How much (or little) time do you have to devote to your plants, how much light will the plant get, how much space do you have, is this a gift?  Once these aspects have been decided, head on over to the The Family Tree Garden Center and let our experts help you pick out the perfect plants.  Houseplants range from very little care to daily attention.  Ask questions that pertain to the area in which you want to place the plant and be sure to talk about how much (or little) time you want to spend on taking care of your plants.

Plants such as Spider Plants, Philodendron, Snake Plants, Zee Zee Plants, Diffenbachia, Cactus/Succulents and Pothos are very easy to care for.  Ferns, Palms, Ficus and flowering plants require more attention.  These are just a few suggestions, there are many, many more from which to choose.

A fantastic idea for a decoration for your home or as a gift is a terrarium.  Terrariums need very little care and make a dramatic show.  Miniature, tabletop gardens are also a fun, showy decoration.  These types of houseplant decorations can be whimsical and elegant.

Once you start with your first houseplant and watch it grow, thrive and love you, you will be hooked!  You are a success!  Dress it up with a fabulous container, give it some “friends,” and start to see a beautiful garden grow in your home!

We welcome you to come visit our team at The Family Tree! If you need information, direction or help please contact our office by calling 770-972-2470. Make sure to follow us on Facebook , TwitterGoogle+!

Benefits of Houseplants!

indoor livitn

With flu and cold season in full swing, anything that helps with keeping a healthy home is right up our alley! Don’t you agree? As many of you know, plants are a great source of producing oxygen and having them in your home has been proven to provide a zen feeling. Even better, plants in the home can have actually health benefits to help reduce stress and fight colds. We have included a list of great health benefits from Masters of Health Care:

  1. Plants can help fight colds: Indoor plants have been shown to reduce cold-related illnesses by more than 30%. This is due to their effect of increasing humidity levels and decreasing dust.
  2. Plants can remove airborne contaminants: We breathe the same air again and again, potentially inhaling harmful substances that are trapped inside. Indoor plants can help to remove pollutants including VOCs that cause headaches, nausea, and more.
  3. Plants can stop your headaches: Filling your home with plants can decrease or eliminate headaches. With plants, you’re much less likely to be breathing the kind of stuffy, stale air that contributes to headaches.
  4. Plants can make you happy: House plants can contribute to a feeling of wellbeing, making you calmer and more optimistic. Studies have shown that patients who face a garden view in their hospital rooms often recover more quickly than those facing a wall.
  5. Plants can improve your mental health: Caring for a living thing can help when you’re depressed and lonely, giving you a purpose in life.
  6. Plants can decrease your blood pressure: People with plants in their homes have less stress, and plants have been known to contribute to lower blood pressure.
  7. Plants can reduce carbon dioxide: During photosynthesis, plants draw carbon dioxide from the air. Removing this substance can help prevent drowsiness from elevated levels.
  8. Plants can offer treatment: Some indoor plants, like aloe, can be applied to skin and offer pain relief.
  9. Plants can prevent allergies: Exposing children to allergens such as plants early in life can help them build a tolerance and immunity to the allergen. It works like a custom allergy shot, naturally.
  10. Plants can negate cigarette smoke: If you are a smoker or live with one, a plant may help you remove the airborne chemicals from cigarettes. In particular, the Peace Lily is a good choice for this health benefit.
  11. Plants can make your brain work better: Potted plants and flowers can improve your idea generation, mood, and more.
  12. Plants provide clean air: In addition to filtering chemicals, plants also put out clean air, improving the air quality around them.
  13. Plants can clear congestion: Eucalyptus in particular can help clear phlegm and congestion from your system. In fact, eucalyptus is often found in congestion remedies.
  14. Plants are natural humidifiers: Instead of buying a humidifier machine to soften the air, just bring in a plant or two.
  15. Plants can improve your sleep: Gerbera daisies give off oxygen at night. Filling a vase in your bedroom with these flowers can improve your night’s rest.

We welcome you to come visit our team at The Family Tree! If you need information, direction or help please contact our office by calling 770-972-2470. Make sure to follow-us on Facebook , TwitterGoogle+!

Attracting and Taking Care of Wild Birds

cardinal

Attracting Wild Birds

To attract birds at any time of the year, there are some essentials to consider. All of these needs must be met for birds to come and stay a while:

  • plants
  • food
  • water
  • shelter

Plants are important for food and shelter.  Plants that provide nectar, fruits, berries or nuts attract many kinds of birds. Crabapples are a favorite of  many types of birds.  Beautyberry are a winter treat for several Georgia native birds. Hawthorne, privet, dogwood, hollies and viburnum are a few of the many plants that provide birds food from autumn into winter.

Feeding our Feathered Friends

  • Suet attracts birds that cling to vertical surfaces: nuthatches, titmice, chickadees and woodpeckers.
  • Thistle seed is a favorite of finches. Use a tube feeder with small holes to dispense the seed.
  • The Family Tree Premium Bird Feed attracts over 30 species.
  • Coles* Blue Ribbon, Special Blend, Hot Meats and Blazing Hot are also favorites.

Inexpensive bird food mixes often contain wheat, millet and hemp seed. These are not bird favorites and the birds will simply pick through what they don’t want while looking for the food they desire.  The Family Tree Premium Bird Feed and Coles* Bird Feed don’t have worthless additives.

One easy way to know that you have bird food that only contains things that birds like is to make it yourself. There are an abundance of easy recipes for homemade suet, one of which is given below.

2 c shelled, unsalted peanuts

1/2 c raisins

3-4 T cornmeal

Put the peanuts in a food processor and pulse until they turn into peanut butter. Add the raisins and pulse again until there are no large chunks. Add the cornmeal and pulse to combine. Press the mixture into a mold to let harden and then hang it outside for your feathered friends to enjoy.

Squirrel Proofing

Squirrels can be fun to watch in your yard as long as they stay out of the bird feeders.  Consider providing nuts and corn in an area away from your feeders. Other solutions include Droll Yankee feeders.  There are four squirrel proof feeders that can be very enjoyable to watch as they fling the more daring squirrels off!

Insect Pests

Another advantage to birds in your yard is that they keep insects at bay.  Many birds feed on grub and ground insects.  To keep moths and ants out of your birdseed, store it in a metal container.  A medium-sized galvanized trash can with a tight lid can holds a large amount of seed and works great.

IMG_0530

Cover, Nesting and Shelter

Birds and small wildlife need protection from the elements and predators. Tall grasses like miscanthus and pennisetum as well as hollies, Burning Bush and Indian Hawthorne provide ample hiding places. Birds will choose mature trees for nesting and may not visit your yard if there are none.  If your trees are not yet large enough to support a bird family, add a bird house on a pole or tree to attract sparrows, bluebirds and house wrens.  Many bird houses are beautiful enough to enhance the beauty of your garden and yard as well as functional for the birds.

For winter shelter, Wax myrtle, large hollies, Cryptomeria, Arborvitae and Leyland Cypress are good choices. They also make good sites for summer nests.

Water 

Birds will flock to your yard if there is an ample water source such as a bird bath or small pond. Locate your water source in an area where it can easily be seen from the house or patio. It can be very entertaining to watch as the birds drop by for a drink and dip in the pool. To keep the water ice-free during the winter add a water wiggler or de-icer.

We welcome you to come visit our team at The Family Tree! If you need information, direction or help please contact our office by calling 770-972-2470. Make sure to follow-us on Facebook , TwitterGoogle+!

Designing with Houseplants

There are so many wonderful benefits in incorporating houseplants into your decor. Not only does it bring a natural and fresh feel to the house, it also has great health benefits. In today’s post we are going to touch on how to use houseplants with your home design and great finds at The Family Tree Garden Center.

design-katie-v3.preview

The image above, by Michael J. Lee was a design done by Katie Rosenfeld an Interior Designer. She used three different types of houseplants: 1. Ficus Lyrata ‘Little Fiddle’ 2. Tiger Fern 3. Japanese Aralia to “add color, texture and life to every room in your home”! How to get started on adding houseplants to your home? Head over to The Family Tree Garden Center and talk to one of our specialists. They will give you great advice and feedback on where to place each plant and how to care for it!

DSCN2573

Looking for green options other than houseplants? Try terrariums or miniature gardens and bring your garden indoors! Shop today!

We welcome you to come visit our team at The Family Tree! If you need information, direction or help please contact our office by calling 770-972-2470. Make sure to follow-us on Facebook , TwitterGoogle+!