Success With Bulb Container Gardening

There is nothing to give you the feeling that Spring is on it's way to see bulbs come into spectacular flower. Even if you do not have much space or you are affected by other factors such as poor soil, an uncertain climate, not enough sun or limitations in your own mobility then growing in containers provides the solution. Also container gardening is slightly easier in the sense that you can more readily guard against plant diseases and pest problems.

Part of the fun of creating a container garden can be in the unique items you choose to house your plants. As well as the standard terracotta, plastic, china or earthenware plant pots you could recycle and use watering cans, buckets, beer or spirit barrels, wooden planter boxes / crates, hanging baskets or even old tires. You can also use a range of sizes so there is something for everyone from the window-box in an apartment or balcony through to the other extreme of a large garden. Let your imagination run riot and you could create something really special.

Key Points To Remember When Creating Your Container Gardens:

  • All containers should have drainage holes and these are best sited in the sides rather than the bottom of the pots so that the roots do not get waterlogged. If the pots already have drain in the bottom then perhaps thing about lifting the pots on to bricks or small blocks of wood – anything really to elevate them slightly so that the water can drain away. Obviously the problem is solved if your container is hanging – so well done you!
  • The soil is the next step and this should be light, moisture retentive and well drained. It is best to avoid garden soil because as well as this possible being tainted by disease or insect problems it is also going to be too heavy. Thus only use as a last resort. Your plants will thrive best if they are in a blend of vermiculite or perlite, sphagnum moss and some finished compost.
  • Because your plants are in containers and to some extent can not spread their roots and fend for themselves you are going to have to keep a careful eye on watering. Check on your plants at least twice a day or alternately install a drip-irrigation system, use self-watering containers or water-holding crystals mixed in with the soil. None of these are essential, it just depends how much time you have to dedicate to the upkeep of your containers.
  • Again when it comes to container gardening your plants will be totally dependent on you for nutrients therefore when you are planting it is important to add granular organic fertilizer and then follow this up by weekly watering half-strength, water-soluble fertilizer.

As you can see container gardening really does offer something for everyone and it really is relatively easy to care for your plants and with such rich rewards. There are huge ranges of stunning bulbs and plants about and everyone from the beginner with a small window-box to the seasoned gardener with a large patio area can benefit. What's nicer that sitting with a nice cup of tea or chilled glass of pinot and gazing at all that blooming glory .

Photography Backdrops And How To Select The Best One For You

You've studied all the different camera settings and by now you've learned all about the difference between shutter speed and f-stop. Thanks to your studies of lighting patterns, the difference between butterfly and split lighting is an obvious no brainer … Now, it's time to consider the backdrop.

In my experience, having over 6000 professional sessions under my belt, MOST people prefer to have a natural setting rather than a formal backdrop.

For example …

If you're shooting Indoors – possibilities may include placing your subjects on the floor around the fireplace, (always have a fire burning or it appears as nothing but a black hole in the final print), or they could be posed on and around their furniture in the living room, etc.

Outside portraits could be in their back yard, at the beach, a local park, etc. Anyplace that has meaning for THEM!

Most people just want a beautiful portrait that singles them out as individuals – rather than just another group posed in front of the same old pull down screen that everyone else uses.

Whenever possible, ALWAYS try for a location that has meaning for THEM …

However, if you must use a formal backup, here are a few suggestions …

First – buy a commercially available background stand to hold your backdrops. They do not cost much and for ease of use, stability, transportability etc. it's better than making your own.

For this discussion, I'm assuming you DO NOT own a professional portrait studio and are doing your sessions in your home (or your customer's home).

There are several types of backdrop materials:

Paper- Large rolls of paper come in most any color you can imagine. They can be purchased at many local camera stores and are relatively inexpensive.

Pros – They are readily available – are fairly inexpensive – come in most any color you can imagine. They can be used in a "sweep" so the model (s) can sit or stand on the paper and have it seamlessly up up behind them. Paper rolls come in two basic widths (around 4 feet and around 9 feet as I recall, I do not often use them).

Cons – The smaller size is not wide enough for much more than a head shot while the wider size is very heavy – difficult to transport – and most homes do not have enough "empty" space to sweep it without moving around the furniture. (People really do not like you redecorating for them!) The paper gets dirty, gets creased, tears and has to be constantly replaced. If there are animals in the session, the papery feel and crinkly sounds freak them out.

Painted Canvas – These can provide some truly stunning portraits. Many back suppliers create them and they can be ordered over the internet if you do not happen to be near a supplier.

Pros – Depending on the creator, they can be stunningly beautiful. There are thousands of colors and patterns available and if you have something unique in mind, you can have one created just for you, to match your exact specifications. They are very durable and will last years. They come in many sizes and can be used in a seamless sweep.

Cons – They are EXPENSIVE! EXPENSIVE! EXPENSIVE! Again, like paper, the wider ones are heavy, difficult work with and to transport. Like paper, size vs. living room furniture is a challenge.

Seamless paper and canvas backgrounds tend to be the province of professional studios – where they can be mounted on the walls and just folded down when needed.

They are really difficult to work with in the field.

I recommend that you go to the fabric store and get strips of material. As wide as is available and about 12 feet long. Getting some sort of material that either does not easily wrinkle, or where wrinkles will not matter is best.

Pros – Choose the type and colors you like, you can get any color, style and texture that suits your fancy. It can be hung bunched up (like theater curtains) behind the subject, or stretched flat if only one piece is needed. One piece can also be used as a seamless sweep.

You can use one piece or thirty – no matter how wide your back needs are, you can easily accommodate them.

It's easy to store and transport (just fold up the strips and put them in a box in the back seat of your car!) Material is very inexpensive compared to a painted canvas (which can run into the thousands of dollars) It's reusable so it works out to be cheaper than paper in the long run.

Use another piece of two for the flooring and since it's flexible, it can be flowed around furniture. Animals have no problem walking on it. (It's washable too!).

Cons – If you want multiple strips (and you do!), You may have difficulty finding enough of the same material. If you live near the garment district in a large city, they may have it. Otherwise you may have to have your local fabric store special order it for you.

These are the major background considerations and you should have no trouble finding the perfect backdrops for YOUR creative vision!

Public Relations Jobs – 7 Steps to Landing a Public Relations Internship

You have been waiting for this your entire college career and here is the blissful summer. This is the season for internships: the season of Ice tea, cool swimming pools, cold beverages and with all of that, thousands of fresh graduating looking for their long awaited internship in public relations career. Following the 7 steps for landing that internship you have been waiting for might give you an edge over your tough competitors.

1. First things first. You need to redo your resume so that it does not look like some ordinary template out there which is being used by everyone else. An employer will hate looking at the boring template and this might be your chance to get his attention. Tweak your CV wherever possible and make it reflect what you want to do with that position.

2. The next step would be decorating and renovating your social networking profile. After you are done making it look like pro link it to your network. Others will find easy to help you out find your dream job. Public relations saleries are something huge these days, but do not hanker for it too much to make it very blatant.

3. Start a twitter account if you want a job in PR, marketing, advertising and the likes. Use your account responsibly.

4. You need to clean up your other profiles in social networks. Remember your employers do check your profile if you think it is not public. Remember PR jobs are based in how you deal with people and your sloppy Facebook profile can be your biggest loophole.

5. Reach out to the people at the top of the hierarchies. Most people do not do this because they think they do not care. It is just the opposite. It makes a favorable impression if you are respectful to their time.

6. Make yourself a nice portfolio. Remember ports are not only for designers. If you want to be a manager your employer might want to look at your past glory and it might help you to get in the spotlight. Do not forget you will be awed by your fellow interns in every way possible and you must awe them as well.

7. Be flexible. Being willing is the largest asset you can come up with. A lot of times you will be faced with the question of getting an unpaid internship. Take it without the slightest hesitation. Prove your merit to people who matter. Be loyal. Showcase ethical loyalty as your largest personality trait. Go for entry level PR jobs if you are not experienced enough.

With all of these in mind and the correct social circle with the flexible education you might find yourself in the best PR career surrounding possible. Public relations career has internships based on entry level public relations jobs. Do not let that disappoint you a bit. Get your way to the top. Get to know people, get the hang of the field and once that happens there will be no stopping you.

Really Get Away From It All: The World’s Most Remote Hotels

Sometimes we all need to get away from it all; sometimes the further away the better. When you're usual holiday destination will not suffice (out of boredom or a need to put as much distance between yourself and your everyday life as possible), there are a host of hotels around the world that will meet your needs. Some of them offer extreme luxury amid exotic surroundings, while others offer entirely new experiences in locations you would never have dreamed of visiting. Read about the top five most remote hotels in the world and start planning your next holiday.

Bloomfield Lodge, Cairns, Australia

Bloomfield Lodge is located in Queensland's far north and trips guests to not one but two World Heritage Sites: the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. The lodge is recognized as one of the most exclusive luxury resorts in Australia. Only 34 guests are permitted at a time, so you can sure that your every need will be promptly met.

According to Forbes's list of remote hotels, to reach the lodge one must first charter a plane, then one has to drive through the Outback for a few hours and finally cruise some way down the Bloomfield River. When you ever arrive, however, you will find that all your troubles were worth it.

For starters, the lodge is nestled on the very edge of the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef is just across the bay. There are guided tours of the forest or you can follow some self-guided trails if you prefer. You can also go on guided bird watching tours, enjoy some relaxing fishing or more adrenalin infused tropical fishing out at sea, and laze in the seclusion of Kangaii Beach. Activities based around the lodge include an outdoor Jacuzzi, freshwater pool, spa and well stocked library with paperbacks and a selection of books and journals devoted to the ecology of the rainforest and region's local history. There is also a two-hour guided river cruise that will take you to the local Aboriginal community at Wujal Wujal, while giving you an opportunity to look out for birds and crocodiles.

Kokopelli's Cave, Farmington, New Mexico

If you want remote but do not want to travel to the ends of the earth, Kokopelli's Cave might suit you. The cave, which is not a natural formation and is privately owned, is rather difficult to reach; even the owners recommend that you only try it if you¡¯re physically fit. But if it's seclusion you're after sleeping 70 feet below the earth is ideal.

The cave is located near the Mesa Verde National Monument in New Mexico and if you climb to the top of the cliff you'll be able to see all four states of the Four Corners area. It is only accessible by dirt roads and they are rough. They can be traversed by ordinary cars (up to a point), but 4x4s are recommended. If you're in a conventional car you will have to park it at the upper parking lot and walk the rest of the way, 4x4s will get you quite a bit further. If you're footing it, you'll have to follow a marked trail that leads steadily downward. The way out is even more difficult because it's all uphill.

You'd be well advised to note that no meals are served at the cave, although you can arrange for special occasions to be catered. There is a fridge and some cabinets that provide breakfast things and some fruit, but you'll have to bring everything else. There are all the creature comforts you could want, including a Jacuzzi and waterfall shower, but there are only two local TV channels, so be prepared to entertain yourself.

The Andean Cottage, Peru

Staying at the Andean Cottage has been likened to a spiritual experience. Aside from a butler, who is on call 24 hours and who appears at night to light the two wood-burning chimneys, guests are truly alone. The Andean Cottage is the only one in the area and guests have the lakeside beach all to themselves. You'd better be prepared to embrace rustic living, as there are no cars and no electricity (which means no TV).

What you get is a spacious two-bedroom home with a lake all to yourself. The master bedroom boasts a super king bed size and a large bath which provides open views of the lake.

You get there via speedboat; the trip takes 4.5 hours and the boat leaves daily from the private pier at Casa Andina, Puno. On the way you stop at the Uros Floating Islands as well as the traditional Alsuno community of weavers on Taquile Island, before arriving at Suasi. Alternately, guests with their own vehicles (4x4s strongly recommended) can drive to the dock in Cambria and go the rest of the way in the lodge's Zodiac dinghy.

In terms of things to see and do, you can go on a number of nature walks, canoe on Lake Titicaca, visit the cultural hut, which serves as a museum and library, trek up Itapilluni Hill to admire the sunset and enjoy stargazing such as you will never experience in the city.

Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia

For an authentic Mongolian experience you can do no better than Three Camel Lodge, which offers a taste of a rugged nomadic lifestyle but with luxury Gers (traditional nomadic tents) and five-star dining to fall back on. The Deluxe Gers come with private bathrooms, king size beds and felt slippers and Mongolian bathrobes, as well as locally produced toilets. The more traditional Gers are furnished with wood-burning stoves, felt carpets, hand-painted wooden beds and ceilings that provide an unobstructed view of the stars.

The lodge is located in the heart of the Gobi desert and was built according to environmentally and culturally sustainable methods; electricity is provided by solar and wind power. The lodge offers guests a number of opportunities to explore the vast Gobi desert, including Bactrian camel tours, four-wheel drive excursions, hikes (which provide an intimate glimpse into the ecology of the region including its plant, animal and bird life) and overnight field explorations. It's also possible to remember dinosaur fossils, as a paleontologist from the Mongolian Academy of Sciences takes guests out to dig sites and supervises the expedition.

Getting there is an experience in itself. First you will need to take a two-hour flight from Beijing to Ulaanbaatar (alternatively there is a three-hour flight from Seoul), then you will need to board a prop-plane for a further one-hour flight to Dalanzadgad, followed by an hour-and-a-half drive on a rough dirt road. The chance to meet local nomadic tribes, dine on local produce at the Bulagtai Restaurant and bask in the stars more than makes up for the inconvenience.

Hotel Arctic, Greenland

For possibly the most extreme experience of your life, you can not beat the Hotel Arctic, which is the northernmost 4-star hotel in the world. The hotel is located on the edge of the Ilulissat Ice Fjord, which is a World Heritage Site. It's not all that difficult to reach; almost all major European cities have flights to the airport at Kangerlussuaq, which is in turn a short 45 minute hop to Ilulissat, but it is actually at the end of the world.

The Ice Fjord is the region's primary attraction. It covers 3000 square kilometers and contains one of the largest and most active glaciers in the world. The glacier moves approximately 20m per day, and is described as a park full of sculptures that are constantly changing.

There is also the opportunity to stay in an igloo on the edge of the fjord. The igloos are not made of ice, mores the pity, but that means you are assured of all the modern conveniences.