Month: January 2019

Fantastic Design Plant: Globe Mallow

Globe mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) is a gorgeous perennial that is equally at home within an English-style backyard or along a desert roadside. Like desert perennials that are native, it has this is one plant. Globe mallow is a gorgeous addition to the desert scene.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Botanical name: Sphaeralcea ambigua
Common title: Globe mallow
Resource: Native to arid regions of the American Southwest
USDA zones: 6 to 9 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Low
Light requirement: Entire sun
Mature dimensions: 3 feet tall and broad
Tolerances: Drought tolerant but does best with supplemental watering; manages reflected warmth
Seasonal attention: Orange, red, rose, white or pink flowers appear in spring and intermittently through the year.
When to plant: Plant seeds or bark plants in fall or spring.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Distinguishing traits. At first glance, world mallow is a rather unassuming plant with gray-green lobed leaves. But when it blooms, it is transformed. Flowers that resemble hollyhocks appear in spring, turning this desert continuing.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

The surprise that world mallow hides is that you can not tell what color the flowers are going to be on a plant until it flowers. Nearly all world mallow plants possess orange blossoms, but in addition, there are plants that make red, rose, white or pink blossoms.

If you don’t enjoy surprises in regard to flower color, there are a few ways to know what color flower a particular world mallow plant will produce.
Buy plants from the nursery when they’re flowering.Take a cutting from a world mallow with the flower color you want.If you enjoy red flowers, there’s a reliable reddish variety of world mallow referred to as ‘Louis Hamilton’.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

If you are more of a daring type, roll the dice and then plant a world mallow without knowing what color it will be. Let it surprise you with its color once it blooms.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

The best way to use it. The delicate-looking blossoms of world mallow make it a fantastic plant to improve a perennial bed, developing a cottage garden look. Other landscape uses for world mallow comprise as a base plant, around a swimming pool and even at a container.

Pair it with additional indigenous desert perennials, including blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum),desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata),goodding’s verbena (Glandularia gooddingii) and parry’s penstemon (Penstemon parryi).

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Globe mallow can be excellent paired with dark green succulents, such as cow’s horn agave (Agave bovicornuta),for excellent color and texture contrast.

Because world mallow grows easily from seed, it is fantastic for revegetating bare areas.

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Planting notes. The demands of the alluring perennial are a few. It needs to be planted in well-drained soil in full sun and watered every other week at summer and once a month in winter (in the lack of rain) to your best look.

Globe mallow packs a colorful punch in the landscape and requires hardly any maintenance. Simply shear it back to 1 foot once it has finished blooming, to excite another flush of flowering.

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7 Evergreen Wonders of the Plant World

The importance of green space in our urban environments, as far as in our personal lives, is at the forefront of our heads today more than ever. Street curbs are being turned into rain gardens; community plots are blanketing former parking lots; parks are popping up in the very incongruous postindustrial sites. On each square inch of those victories, it’s imperative to guarantee an inspired and durable plant selection.

I believe that such a vital goal in planting design starts by securing solid bones: evergreen plants that provide construction and year-round interest — because off-season soil, yet fertile, rather looks like mucky dirt. Past overplanted rhododendrons and pieris, vinca and nandina, let’s discover seven top-notch evergreen plants for discerning gardeners.

CYAN Horticulture

Bear’s Breech
(Acanthus mollis)

No need to build Corinthian columns and plinths to rightfully enjoy acanthus (Acanthus mollis) in the garden. The model where the Greek decorative element originated, the acanthus foliage provides a bold, clean and durable appearance. It may die down through the spells but will sprout back. Together with cast-iron plant, described next, I utilize acanthus in large planters deprived of sunlight.

USDA zones: 6 or 7 to 11 (find your zone)
Water demand: Wet to moist dirt
Light demand: Partial sun to dappled shade
Mature size: 4 feet tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Spring or summer

CYAN Horticulture

Cast-Iron Plant
(Aspidistria elatior)

A staple in the American South, cast-iron plant (Aspidistria elatior) is often sold as an indoor plant elsewhere. For me personally it is now essential for its darkest porches, in which it thrones year-round without flinching. It’s indestructible, so the common name was really well chosen.

The majority of the time it’s green all the way through, but some of the many collector’s selections occasionally trickle down to the trade, like this mesmerizing variegated one dubbed ‘Asahi’. Using its clearly upright growth habit and its compact, lush foliage, cast-iron is a standout.

USDA zones: 7 to 11
Water demand: Well-drained dirt
Light demand: Dappled to complete shade
Mature size: 2 1/4 feet tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Anytime

CYAN Horticulture

(Beesia deltophylla)

Dear buddy and plant explorer extraordinaire Daniel J. Hinkley is to thank you for the wide introduction and promotion of Bessia(Beesia deltophylla). This more compact grower deserves a prime place in unethical planters (as shown in this Vancouver garden) as far as in formal bedding and thoughtful woodlands.

Heart-shaped, its thick glossy leaves stay healthy appearing year-round. For extra cleanliness, I remove the gangly scapes produced through summer.

A few peeps will be left with such a green plant, but I rejoice in knowing that in spite of the weather ups and downs, my Bessia will tough it via. Loyalty, my buddy; that is what it’s all about.

USDA zones: 6 or 7 to 9
Water demand: Moist but well-drained soil
Light demand: Partial to full shade
Mature size: 1 foot tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Anytime

CYAN Horticulture

Upright Yew
(Taxus x press)

In comparison with broadleaf evergreens, coniferous evergreens are, generally speaking, that far hardier. From the warmer reaches of North America in addition to on the majority of its West Coast nicely into Canada, broadleaf evergreens abound.

In colder reaches, however, the selection is much thinner — boxwood, euonymus, hollies and leucothoes are a few of the more demanding contenders. Yet there is more to conifers than blue spruces and hedging cedars.

An all-time favorite is yew, upright (Taxus x press, shown here) or creeping. Its nice, dark green foliage has nothing to envy of almost any exotics.

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Water demand: Moist but well-drained soil
Light demand: Full to partial sun
Mature size: Variable
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Spring to fall

CYAN Horticulture

Mexican Orange
(Choisya ternata)

Mexican strawberry (Choisya ternata) must be the one evergreen plant I use the most. While I strive to refrain from falling back into the same plants over and over, this enchanting and flexible shrub is hard to resist.

Obviously rounded and complete, easily maintained to a more compact size, generously covered in superbly fragrant clusters of white blossoms, Choisya is as near perfection as it gets. There is even a golden-leafed version named ‘Sundance’ and a filigree-leaved hybrid called ‘Aztec Pearl’.

USDA zones: 7 to 9
Water demand: Well-drained dirt
Light demand: Full to partial sun
Mature size: 5 feet tall and wide
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Spring or summer

CYAN Horticulture

(Pachysandra axillaris ‘Windcliff’s Fragrant’)

It’s far from my intention to recommend infinite blankets of covers. A default design stroke of too many designers and architects, ground covers could be counterproductive and, yes, a pain to keep. There are, however, areas — at the foundations of shrubs, along paths — where ground covers are all welcome.

Of the more recent candidates is this gorgeous pachysandra (Pachysandra axillaris ‘Windcliff’s Fragrant’). Eons from the oh-so-common Japanese pachysandra (Pachysandra terminalis), this one is slightly taller, thankfully a bit looser and clad with diminutive yet exceptionally fragrant flowers in the fall and again in late winter. A must-have plant.

USDA zones: 6 to 9
Water demand: Moist to well-drained soil
Light demand: Partial sun to full shade
Mature size: Up to 1 foot tall; spreads
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Anytime

CYAN Horticulture


In the past few years, there’s been an avalanche of newer winter-blooming hellebores. While some really represent a fantastic improvement, there is one older selection I profoundly cherish: Helleborus x sternii. For its compact habit, it has such outstanding foliar attributes and parsimonious purple-tinted blossoms I haven’t consigned this one to oblivion yet. Call me conservative if you will, but this hellebore is a keeper.

USDA zones: 6 to 9
Water necessity: Well-drained dirt
Light demand: Full sun to dappled shade
Mature size: 1 1/4 feet tall and 1 1/2 feet wide
Seasonal interest: Year-round
When to plant: Anytime

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Easy Green: Country vs. City for Ecofriendly Lifestyles

It’s easy to idealize the country as the ideal place for living a green lifestyle, with fresh, clean air and plenty of space to live off the property. And while these features are surely there (and quite appealing for some), the surprising part is there are good ecofriendly lifestyle options that go alongside urban and suburban or rural living. Learn here how to make the most of all your own area has to offer, wherever you reside.

B. Jane Gardens

Country living sounds green … but can it be? While there are many advantages to living in the country, one big negative from a green perspective is the fact that you probably need to get in the car to get just about anyplace. If you live in a rural or suburban area, try these measures to minimize auto use:

Carpool to work with neighbors
Send little ones to school on the bus
Work from home or telecommute part-time
Cluster errands to reduce time in the car

Amy Renea

Use your property to the maximum. With ample property and distant neighbors, in the country you can grow much of your own fruit and veggies, or perhaps (based on zoning laws) keep livestock. Having the ability to select beans and lettuces for supper and gather fresh eggs is eating neighborhood at its best.

John Hill

The green key of town living: walkability. Living in a dense urban area provides one distinct advantage over rural neighbors — especially, the ability to walk nearly everywhere. And where you can not reach by foot, it is likely you can utilize public transportation, virtually eliminating the need for a vehicle.

You can even get the Walk Score for your own neighborhood, that takes into account things like proximity to markets, parks, shops and restaurants. Fort Greene, Brooklyn, in which this house shown is, scores a 98: “Walker’s Paradise.”

Read more about neighborhood walkability

Rossington Architecture

Embrace a lack of space. Living in a very small city apartment makes it a lot easier to buy less material. So the next time you find yourself bemoaning the absence of a nice kitchen or full-size closet, you can at least be reassured that you do your part to conserve resources. After all, little spaces not just take less material to fill, but they also require less energy to heat and cool, and also use less water compared to larger homes.

Tobin + Parnes Design Enterprises

Get creative with urban gardens. City neighborhoods are seeing edible gardens springing up anywhere from rooftops and fire flows to postage stamp backyards and community spaces. Greening up town is a superb way to consume neighborhood, to be sure, but less obviously, it’s also a boost to air quality. Even in the event that you have space for just a few pots on the balcony or windowsill, opting to add some potted edibles are able to really make a difference, including fresh air to your house and fresh greens into your dining table.


Grow vertically in town. Thanks to innovations like wall sockets (displayed here), you can even develop a garden right in your wall, inside or outside.

The buzz on bees. Gardens need pollinators, which is exactly why some town dwellers are even choosing to add beehives for their gardens. Bees take up very little space and can offer fresh, local honey to boot.

Gardens from Gabriel, Inc..

Go green in the suburbs. Owning your own single-family house does hold a few advantages over residing in apartment buildings and condos: You are able to make more lasting structural modifications without asking permission from a co-op or homeowners association. For a quick addition, try using a rainwater collecting system to store water for use on your garden; or to get a larger investment, you could even have solar panels installed in your house.

Aloe Designs

Give up some yard space for a garden. The edible garden motion is increasing by leaps and bounds, and in many suburban areas it is no longer uncommon to see tomatoes and peppers growing in the front yard and expanses of grass given in favour of raised vegetable beds. A family of four does not require a massive garden to provide fresh, local food to supplement regular market trips, so why not give it a try?

Tour this efficient backyard edible garden in Vancouver

Amy Renea

Chickens in suburbia. Just because you do not have acreage does not mean that you can not do a bit of suburban farming right on your backyard. Local ordinances vary, so make sure you check with your town prior to bringing home a backyard flock — and educate yourself on the proper maintenance required to keep healthy hens.

Schwartz and Architecture

Expand your vision of the “homestead.” Even in the event that you reside in a town or do not want to garden, anyone can freeze and can clean, seasonal food by the farmer’s market. Widen your perspective and the range of changes that can be made right where you’re.

Tell us What do you love about where you live? What do you find is harder or easier about going green in your area?

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Central Plains Gardener's December Checklist

I bet you’re starting to overlook the garden just a little bit. You would give anything to feel dirt under your nails. Even a new scratch from a maple branch would be pleasant. As in love, it is all about the anticipation, and winter is the time to organize your spring and summer moves.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Have you been looking out your window in the “barren” landscape and needing for longer? The expression “winter interest” means something to people like us, who have four strong seasons. Winter interest we need. Start looking for structural variety so that following winter the snow produces a magical place for wildlife and you.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Perhaps you require a conifer to jazz up winter view with a few green — even one adaptable Thuja (Arborvitae) may get the job done.

Do not forget about leaving your dead-stemmed perennials status; their capacity to add winter interest is unmatched, and they provide cover for wildlife while grabbing snow to insulate their crowns and roots. Occasionally — in just the right sun — sparks of orange, rust, magenta and tan come living at a garden left up for winter.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Last year I had a sharp-shinned hawk visit my garden in winter, searching for songbirds which take shelter (and therefore escape) in my garden of winter interest. Things are very much living if you give a place for them.

Exteriorscapes llc

If you have a fantastic coat, a mild day gives you a chance to work outside. Hardscape and infrastructure chores get the blood flowing.

For instance, why not include a raised bed in December? You may create one out of almost any material (just do not use treated timber, which has chemicals that leach into the soil and poison plants). Raised beds may be used for optimal vegetable gardening, for dryness-loving plants or simply to create architectural interest — even sun interest.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

A simple rain string is something fantastic to have outside in winter, and it catches the crisp sunlight like an engagement ring’s diamond. You understand, it is that time of year. Perhaps a rain string would be a better option for your sweetheart?

Produce something amazing with the runoff from your roof

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Regardless of what you are doing, get outside. Simply because it’s cold does not mean there aren’t discoveries to be made. Get to know your garden in a season. The spent seed heads look more visceral, and the grasses more orchestral. Locate the world via the smallest and simplest pleasures. Let yourself be surprised.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Walk the garden and program out additions and subtractions throughout the bones, in which you want to add some depth, what is not functioning or is feeble. Make a few sketches. Take photographs to look at interior more than a cup of hot cocoa.

Upload the pictures to a photo editor and start drawing circles erase an entire bed and add an enviable inspiration photograph. It’s the best time of year to become interested in gardening — you can fall in love all over again as you get to understand the landscape afresh.

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10 Ways to Create a Warm and Welcoming Living Room

One of those concerns I hear most frequently is the way to make the dining area feel much more welcoming — rather than just when business coming but every day. It’s natural to focus our attention on the more heavily utilized living and family rooms, but this means formal dining rooms sometimes wind up neglected.

Maybe you picked a fitting dining area place you adore but never took the time to finish the room. Or maybe you filled the space with pieces that would make a look you respect, but in fact found that the seats weren’t comfortable or the style was too stuffy for your family. By reassessing the colours, furniture shapes, accessories as well as room layout, you can give your dining room a fresh lease on life, creating a space that seems warm and inviting and feels just perfect.

Adrienne DeRosa

1. Soften a modern dining place with a cozy rug. Sleek, modern spaces look the at home when balanced using handmade elements, like the stunning Moroccan rug shown here. An oversize terrarium and colorful art bring character whilst still fitting with all the modern aesthetic.

Alan Mascord Design Associates Inc

2. Use rich wall colour to warm a large space. A huge dining area might seem good (there are more room for that large table you have your eye on) but can feel chilly. Bark-brown walls bring out the warmth in this rustic ranch-style dining space, but any color with thickness will produce a cozier feeling in a cavernous space. Be sure to use a soft rug and thick, layered window coverings to help with the acoustics.

Cottage Market

3. Pull up a couch for a cushy English cabin texture. In case a genuinely comfortable look is what you crave, upholstered pieces are the way to go. Use armchairs in the ends of a long table, pull an upholstered banquette into the side or perhaps perch on a cushy couch — just be sure that the chair height will work with your table prior to making a purchase. Crates secured to the wall eventually become pastoral shelves for displaying china, even though a fringed floral colour adds a whimsical touch.

Niche Interiors

4. Take advantage of a sunny spot with a window seat. If your dining area receives a lot of natural light, you might be missing out if you use the room only during dinner time. Put into a comfy cushioned window seat and it might become your new favorite dining room. Bonus: A window seat is a great spot for kids to slink off to after they’re done eating, while being in sight.

Heather Scott Home & Design

5. Or fake sunlight with bright yellow cloth. Sunny yellow curtains or chair cushions and a green topiary bring the outside in, no matter what the weather outdoors. If you want to bring into a living plant, then be sure to speak with your local garden center to discover varieties that will thrive in low-light ailments.

Earth Fur

6. Add character using a cabinet of curiosities. Accessories can set the tone for the space, so consider the mood that you wish to make prior to filling that china cabinet. Pick to stack your collections somewhat haphazardly rather than in perfect order to loosen up the space. A garland draped in the top and much more decorations hanging from the knob contribute to the fun atmosphere. For an organic, nature-inspired look, use pretty rocks, moss and leaves to accent piles of dishes.

Siemasko + Verbridge

7. Alter the layout and have dinner by the fire. When you have an open living-dining space, then try turning your furniture into the other side of the space for a change of speed. You can always go back if the installation does not do the job, but you might get used to having fireside dinners!

Lucy Interior Design

8. Or suggest warmth with a blazing-hot hue. Paint a coat of vibrant red in your china hutch, buffet or seats — attempt wine or tomato red for a classic look, salmon if you’re courageous.

Emily A. Clark

9. Liven up a plain, boxy space with painted-on stripes. Paint wide wall stripes in two different colors to make a bit of architectural interest at a bland room. Insert a symmetrical arrangement of art on the walls to match the strong horizontal stripes without appearing too busy.

Caitlin Wilson Design

10. Utilize a pinboard in an unexpected location. Fight the unspoken principle that dining rooms should be impersonal by bringing into a corkboard to hold current snapshots. Guests will love having something to talk about at dinner!

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'The Collected Home' Offers a Wealth of Layout Tips

Lawyer–turneddecoratoring celebrity Darryl Carter defined “new traditionalist” style in his first book, and now he’s created a second volume full of practical advice about how to achieve the appearance. More important, he describes how to create a home that functions the way you need it to, in a manner that applies not only to his own unique aesthetic but to every design style.

Including everything from highlighting architectural details to the way to hang your baseball hat collection. He balances and combines a love of antiques, patinas, textures, crisp white paint, Asian rugs, minimalist style and a love of collecting by adhering with a cohesive color palette and cautious curation. Here’s a sneak peek in his new book, The Collected Home (Clarkson Potter, 2012).

Clarkson Potter

Carter is a big fan of light neutral colors, which place an emphasis on textures and special objects. “When carefully executed, white helps develop a logic and continuity that will relate rooms to one another,” he states. “The serene palette reinforces the experience plus a cohesive flow throughout the house, and against this backdrop, life and people take centre stage.”

Carter’s Nuts and Bolts of Good Design

Among the most useful parts of the book is a cheat sheet in the conclusion of every chapter — lists of topics to think about when planning each space and hints.

Clarkson Potter

Flooring. How can you mix items like this classical bust, ornately carved antique dining table, well-worn Oriental rug and modern Zig Zag chair? Through careful colour cohesion and fabric choices, like this dark hardwood flooring, which contrasts, ties and succeeds in with numerous pieces.

A couple of Carter’s floors nuts and bolts:

Consider installing a special padding or a cork subfloor for noise absorption. Hard surfaces in an upper level can be noisy below.
Consider the durability of flooring materials in high-traffic places.
Specifying the direction of this flooring, if discretionary, can visually enhance the sense of distance.

Clarkson Potter

Rugs. Carter is an expert in picking out the right carpets and layering them. Some of his advice for picking and putting rugs:

Consider: Is there a hearth, a pattern on the ground, floor vents that can not be obstructed, doors that will not be able to swing open within a thick rug?
Try flipping classic rugs, as the beautiful patterns are still there but are more subdued and faded.
Layering a classic rug atop a natural-fiber rug is comparable to framing a beautiful piece of artwork.

Clarkson Potter

Clothing storage. For cupboard and dressing room storage, Carter states:

Decide if you want to see all your clothing at once or conceal them behind doors.
Figure out if you will be moving your clothes seasonally.
if you are going to need easy access to suitcases, plan to leave room for them.
Consider adding an accessible iron and ironing board, a full-length mirror or semi-gloss mirror.
Mount rod heights based on your true pant/dress lengths rather than in the standard heights.

Clarkson Potter


Consider whether you need a place where children can hang out and watch food prep.
Decide whether you want to be able to shut off the kitchen after food prep whilst eating supper.
View the full slab when selecting the stone for your countertop or backsplash, as many stone have veining that may not appear on a small sample.
Consider a foot pedal for sink operation.
Review all of appliance specifications to determine whether there are any specific plumbing or power requirements.
Consider adding a wine fridge or a fridge drawer for kids’ snacks.

Clarkson Potter

Lighting. In a girl’s room, Carter combined table lamps and wall sconces for bedtime reading. Here are a few more things to consider when placing lighting:

Consider adding sockets in the ground so that floor lamps will “float” in a room. Complete your furniture plan so that you know where to set the outlets.
Prevent placing lighting switches, alarm controls and thermostats in the middle of a wall that may otherwise be used for art.
Make sure antique sconces are around code and pay particular attention to the dimensions of their backplates.
Consider adding darker switches to create ambience.
Figure out placement for ceiling lighting, then find out if a fixtures will need extra interventions overhead, including as heavy duty junction boxes or wood supports for heavy fixtures.

Clarkson Potter

Carter has been a really busy man; in addition to writing this book, he has a line of lighting for its Urban Electric Co., has recently added more colors to his Benjamin Moore paint collection and has been preparing for the introduction of his original home boutique in Washington, D.C.


The Collected Home: Bathrooms With Style, Grace, and History, by Darryl Carter – $28.35

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Fantastic Design Plant: Sasanqua Camellia

I’m not certain if plant breeding, birth order or some thing else explains this, but at the camellia clan the Sasanqua camellia is your striving, adapting, hardworking sibling — compared to the hoity-toity Camellia japonica,using its perfect, almost waxen flowers and precious cultivar names such as’Debutante’ and’Swan Lake’.

There are scores of Sasanquas, plus they bloom earlier, with smaller flowers, than Japonicas. They can also perform far more landscape tasks in a garden, in sun or partial shade: floor cover, hedge, espalier, container plant, freestanding specimen. Plus they take considerably more sun (full sun except in hottest climates) and bloom before — in autumn and winter, when flowers are especially welcome. All in all, Sasanquas are one of the top tier of helpful evergreen landscape plants in California, the Southeast and similar light environments.


Botanical name: Camellia sasanqua. Many colours and varieties can be found;’Setsugekka’ is shown here.
USDA zones: 7 to 10 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Moderate; do not overwater.
Moderate requirement: Partial color, especially in hot climates. Will take more sun than Camellia japonica.
Mature size: As much as 10 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide, depending greatly on number
Tolerances: Generally trouble free if circumstances are appropriate; not as prone to petal blight (infection ) as Japonicas.


Distinguishing attributes. Evergreen leaves are deep green and fine annually. Flowers in shades of red, white and pink, double or single, are small (2 to 3 inches or so) but abundant. Shown here’s rose-red, double-blossom’Shishi-Gashira’ (also considered a Hiemalis camellia).


Bright red with a yellow center, Yuletide’ Sasanqua camellia blossoms in late autumn, just in time for the holidays. The plant is distintively upright, perfect for a container near the front door or other narrow place.


‘Pink a Boo’ is a offshoot of’Yuletide’ — note the similar bright yellow centre. The blossom is larger but this plant can also be a vacation bloomer. It shares the same upright habit, so it’s also great in a pot.

How to use it. Choose a Sasanqua selection based on colours you like plus growth habit. Some varieties have a tendency to disperse; others stand upright. It is possible to see tendencies in young nursery plants, for example as’Shishi-Gashira’ (revealed ), which is compact and fairly low growing by character. To get a floor cover, start looking for spreaders like’Mine-Yo-Yuki’ or’Bonanza’. To get a hedge, try out a more upright type, for example as’Jean May’ or’Setsugekka’.

Growing hints. Plant in partial shade or full sun except in hot climates. Be sure that the soil drains well. At planting time refill the hole or bed with at least 25 percent organic matter. Cover the soil with mulch, keep it moist and feed regularly with special camellia food. To prevent diseases from spreading, try to pick up dropped blossoms — although Sasanquas are not as susceptible to petal blight as Japonicas.

To grow a Sasanqua at a container, start with commercial camellia combination or create your own with as much as 50 percent organic matter. Pot size can also be important: choose a diameter of 12 to 14 inches for gallon-can-size crops, and 16 to 18 inches for 5-gallon size.

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7 Bulbs That Flourish at Mild Climates

Many conventional spring-flowering bulbs work beautifully in California and other gentle climates, as shown here in the glorious yearly display on Daffodil Hill in California’s Gold Country. But lack of enough winter chill sets a damper on certain different bulbs — and creates opportunities to develop some very special bulbs. Here are some tips for picking and growing bulbs if you reside in a mild climate.

7 Rules for Planting Bulbs in Mild Climates

Here are a few things to remember if you garden in a climate with relatively mild winters. Order early, plant late. For the best choice, look for bulbs whenever they arrrive in fall. But don’t feel you need to rush them into floor that is still warm. Mid to late October and November are fine for planting, and even early December is not too late. Chill out. Mild winters don’t provide certain bulb species with enough cold weather. To compensate, cool tulip and hyacinth bulbs for six months prior to planting; store them in a paper bag in the refrigerator. Think deep. Stick to the recommended planting depths for all sorts of bulbs. Better to plant too heavy than overly shallow. Multiply. Most bulbs appear better when planted in groups of three or even more — drifts of 50 to 100 in case your budget and space allow. Or plant a dozen or 2 in a pot. Impact liberally. Enhance bulb functionality by fertilizing at planting time. It is easiest to sprinkle bulb fertilizer in the planting holes or blend it into the planting bed. Water thoughtfully. Keep the soil moist through winter if rains don’t perform the job. Do not expect longevity. Many bulbs don’t offer more than just one outstanding blossom show in mild climates. Specifically, tulips and hyacinths are one-and-dones; after blossom time dig up the bulbs and discard or give them away.

The New York Botanical Garden

Daffodils (narcissus).The classic symbols of early spring are easy to grow in most mild climates, and they can return year after year when left in the floor. Plant in flowing drifts, seen under trees, in boundaries between shrubs and perennials, or in pots. Vintage yellow kinds that perform well in mild climates comprise ‘Dutch Master’ and ‘February Gold’. ‘Gigantic Star’ is shown here.

USDA zones: 3 to 9 (find your zone)
moderate requirement: Full sun or light color
Mature size: 6 to 24 inches high
Bloom period: Ordinarily late winter through early spring; as early as midwinter in California and other mild climates
Planting strategies for mild climates: Plant daffodils in well-cultivated soil in mid to late fall (early December is still OK). Bury bulbs at a depth that is 2 or three times their height, 6 to 8 inches apart. Water the bulbs after planting, and keep the soil moist through winter if rains don’t perform the job. After blossom time cut off faded blossoms. Let the leaves to dry (or wait at least six months) before eliminating them. It’s possible to leave the bulbs in the floor (avoid heavy summertime watering) or dig up and store them for next season.

Glenna Partridge Garden Design

Tulips (tulipa). The most ordinary tulips are hybrids, and they are great in formal gardens, containers and beds. Or try a few of the smaller species especially suited to mild climates, such as Tulipa clusiana chrysantha (star-shaped, yellow and rose).

USDA Islands: 4 to 10; best in 4 to 6
moderate requirement: Full sun, or partial shade in hot climates
Mature size: Varies greatly among many species and cultivars
Bloom period: Early to late spring, based on climate and number
Planting strategies for mild climates: Supply additional chill by storing the bulbs on your refrigerator’s vegetable crisper for six weeks prior to planting. Wait until November or early December to plant them. Plant bulbs at a depth that is three times their width, 4 to 6 inches apart. After blossom time dig up the blossoms and (sorry to say) shed them.

The New York Botanical Garden

Hyacinths (hyacinthus).Dutch hybrids such as ‘Peter Stuyvesant’, shown, are lavish and aromatic but last only one season in mild climates. Plant them in which you can smell them along a walk in beds or in baskets on a porch.

USDA zones: 5 to 9
moderate requirement: Full sun or partial shade
Mature size: 6 to 14 inches large
Bloom period: Early to mid spring
Planting strategies for mild climates: Purchase huge bulbs for large blossoms. Before planting, keep them in the refrigerator, as for tulips. Plant in mid to late fall. Bulbs 5 inches deep. After blossom time, treat them like tulips.

California Flowerbulb Company, Inc..

Ranunculus (ranuniculaceae). The growing areas of vivid ranunculus in blossom make a tourist magnet close to San Diego. Tecolote hybrids — white, orange, yellow, crimson, pink — are longtime favorites, exceptional in borders or pots. In mild climates, plant them in fall for spring blossom; in cold-winter climates, plant them in spring.

USDA zones: 8 to 10 when planted in fall
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: as many as 2 feet high
Bloom period: Late winter or early spring
Planting strategies for mild climates: Plant bulbs (actually tuberous roots) in fall in pots or well-cultivated floor. (Bigger bulbs produce more blossoms.) Place the roots pointed down, 2 inches deep and 6 inches apart. Water and wait until leaves emerge before watering again unless the soil dries. Protect seedlings from birds. You may have to lightly stake floppy plants. After blossom time cut off faded flowers, let plants warm, and dig and store roots — they can do well a second year.

California Flowerbulb Company, Inc..

Freesia (iridaceae).Known due to their sweet fragrance as cut flowers, freesias bloom longer than most spring bulbs. White is the most common color; there is also orange, yellow, red, pink and blue. In mild climates to their liking, they could spread and naturalize.

USDA zones: 9 into 10
moderate requirement: Full sun or partial shade
Mature size: 12 to 18 inches
Bloom period: Spring
Planting strategies for mild climates: Plant corms in fall, two inches deep and 2 inches apart. After blossom time, when leaves have yellowed, dig and keep the corms in a dry place. Or abandon the corms in the floor for blossoms in following years.

The New York Botanical Garden

Crocus (crocus). Pint-sized harbingers of spring, they are most meaningful if they wake up through snow but they are still fun to grow in sunny winter climates. Squeeze the bulbs in between rocks, stepping stones or pavers. There are many species and cultivars. The most popular is Crocus chrysanthus, in white, yellow, blue, purple and other colors. The plant shown here is Crocus tommasinianus var. pictus.

USDA Islands: 3 to 9, based on species
moderate requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 2 inches high and up, based on species
Bloom period: Ancient spring (some species bloom in fall)
Planting strategies for mild climates: Plant the tiny bulbs (actually corms) in fall, 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart. After bloom time try leaving the bulbs set up — they may return or may not.

The New York Botanical Garden

Allium (liliaceae). This big group of plants includes garlic, onions and chives as well as many types of spring-blooming bulbs, a few with blossoms softball size or larger, such as Allium giganteum, shown here. Just a couple bulbs could put on quite a show.

USDA zones: 4 to 10, based on species
moderate requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 6 inches to two feet high and up, based on species
Bloom period: Spring and summertime
Planting strategies for mild climates: Plant bulbs in fall, 3 inches deep and 6 to 8 inches apart. Place the bulbs with the pointy end facing upward.

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How to Use a Childproofer

As anybody who’s spent time with tots can tell you, kids have a way of courting tragedy, particularly around their own homes. They are curious, they are on the move, and when there is a danger — from insufficient stair railings to exposed electrical outlets and prescription medication within reach — they will discover it.

Input professional childproofing, an industry that’s seen massive jumps in the past several years. If you are worried that your home isn’t as safe as it could be for small ones, selecting a specialist may pay off in peace of mind. Keep Reading to Discover More.

Boor Bridges Architecture

What a childproofer does: even though it’s hard to earn any house 100 percent childproof, these pros come as near as possible. Childproofers survey your house inside and outside for problem spots where kids can get hurt, devise customized solutions and select and install security gear. They are up to speed on the newest security codes and recalls and in the loop on new, innovative goods.

When to employ one: in the event that you have young kids or grandkids, or when little children regularly visit your house, professional guidance can be priceless. A child-safety expert can reveal hidden dangers that you did not know about and poisonous areas you might overlook.

Even teens are subject to certain dangers, so many people choose to call in a childproofer before baby arrives. Child security becomes crucial once kids are portable, beginning to roll, crawl and pull up.

Pool Guard Of Ohio

What it will cost: Costs vary based on the size of your residence and also the safety equipment required, but expect to pay roughly $500 to $1,500 or more to childproof an ordinary single-family house. Some childproofers will agree to a consultation fee, usually around $100 to $200 — they create recommendations; you purchase and install the security equipment. Others offer the consultation at no cost and earn their gain from equipment sales.

Should you do your shopping, make certain the expert has vetted the brands and products you choose; occasionally the cheapest gear is also the least reliable. And if you are not handy with a drill or screwdriver, it may be worth the extra price to make sure that the items are installed correctly.

Where to find one: Contact the International Association for Child Safety, which offers a directory by state. Hospital maternity centers, baby and toddler shops, and that old standby, the local parent grapevine, can also offer suggestions.

Any expert you consider should have passed the HHT (Home Risks Test), the industry standard. Some have earned the CPC (Certified Professional Childproofer) designation, so they have at least 600 hours of childproofing expertise and have passed a background check, a certification examination, and reference and continuing education requirements.

Got a childproofer in mind? Here’s what to do.
Request references.
No matter how personable and capable a childproofing expert sounds, ask the names of a few references to get a true handle on her or his work. Request past customers about the security gear that the childproofer recommended, the quality of the setup, unexpected difficulties during or after the process and more.

Detail special considerations. If your child has restricted mobility or is unusually prone to activities like climbing and leaping, make certain the childproofer knows that at the beginning. It is going to also help share any information regarding your lifestyle that may affect products and alternatives (if you use a cosleeper in lieu of a crib, by way of instance).

Do not assume that childproofing must ruin your decor. Some parents aren’t pleased with the utilitarian appearance of gates, latches, grab bars and other equipment. While security always trumps design, work with the childproofer to produce alternatives that fulfill both goals — just be prepared for them to price more in several scenarios.

For example, if you can not abide the thought of padding onto the corners of your coffee table, think about replacing it with a round design or some cushioned ottoman that removes sharp angles. Cordless cellular shades or cornice boards may look just as smart as traditional draperies. Many childproofing products also come in sleek designs which will blend in well with the appearance of your space.

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Pile On Design With a Dry-Laid Stone Retaining Wall

Stone retaining walls have existed for ages. Examine the pyramids in Egypt as well as the stone walls that line much of the southern countryside — those constructions have stood the test of time.

Unlike dry-joint walls, which utilize mortar to hold the stones together, properly installed dry-laid stone walls only utilize gravity and friction to stay together. Because the walls incline slightly inward, floor movement actually locks the structure closely together. Concrete footing is not needed, which saves on labour and material costs.

If you’re searching for a retaining wall that will stand the test of time, consider dry-laid stone.


Dry-laid stone walls create a sense of definition, distance and privacy in a landscape. They also maintain the soil in varied terrains.If you’ve got a home on a hilly terrain and want different degrees of landscape, this art form might be a good alternative.


Kinds of stone used. Consider using native stone in your region for dry-laid retaining walls. Fieldstone and boulders create a more natural look, while layered flagstone can supply a dressed and clean look. You can even integrate boulders within the wall, as shown, to combine both.

Stone with a sandy texture, such as the reddish sandstone found in the American Southwest, might not be wise to work with around a patio or pool area due to the sandy residue that can collect.


Benefits of dry-laid stone retaining walls:
They withstand fire, water and insects.They can be recycled due to the dry-laid method.They supply natural drainage with no damage to the structure, including mortared walls, which tend to crack and split into segments. Notice: You may not wish to utilize the dry-laid method right up against a swimming pool due to the silt that filters throughout the stone wall from rain or sprinklers. A dry-joint method is a much better option to achieve the same look.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Installing the stone. Reaching a sound structure means adhering to certain instructions. When picking a contractor, be sure he or she is experienced at the craft and check out previous work. Each stone is hand chiseled to fit within the wall, and there are no wobbly stone. Stone wedges are utilized to stabilize rocks within the wall. Rubble stone, or backfill, is put behind the trim stones to aid with the ethics of the wall.

Smith & Vansant Architects PC

Cost. Labor costs vary greatly, depending on the region and the wisdom of the contractor, however, usually are between $36 and $45 per square foot. Materials are additional.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Design options. Dry-laid stone retaining walls can match most landscape layouts. Curving lines or ordered lines create definitive boundaries from 1 distance into another.

The wall pictured above has a stone bench integrated within the structure. If you are restricted in space for seats, why don’t you integrate seating into your wallsocket?

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