Archive for the ‘Home and Garden’ Category

DIY: How To-Terrific Terrarium

I am drawn to succulents. They are, well, succulent. They evoke a sense of calmness in me, a feeling of clean, luscious, revitalization. They are not only beautiful, but also extremely easy to care for and they live well indoors.  I have successfully made many succulent terrariums that are still thriving in my home.
These terrariums make a simple, natural addition to your home décor. For those in colder climates, terrariums will keep you connected to green plant life during the bleak winter months. Here is everything you need to know to make your very own succulent terrarium.
You Will Need
A variety of succulents
Wide-mouthed glass container
Activated charcoal
Cactus soil (or a mixture of equal parts sand and potting soil)
Q-tip or a small brush
Decorative rocks
Decorative terrarium friends
1. Choose a container.
The first step is to select a glass container for your terrarium. Choose a large, wide-mouthed container without a lid to prevent moisture accumulation. You’ll find a unique variety of affordable containers in the glassware section of your local thrift store.

2. Select your succulents and plan your terrarium’s arrangement.
There are endless varieties of succulents to choose from. The plants you see here are: echeveria (the plants with the soft-looking, rounded leaves), and a pair of small cacti. Think about how you will arrange your terrarium, and consider how many plants you can fit in your container.

3. Add a thin layer of pebbles to the bottom of the container.
This provides drainage for the terrarium. Small pebbles can be found in your pet store’s lizard-care section.
4.Add a thin layer of activated charcoal.
This provides a layer of air filtration for the terrarium. You can find these in the fish-care section of most pet stores.

5. Add a layer of cactus soil.
Cactus soil drains quickly and retains little water, which is important in caring for succulents because they already store water in their leaves. The layer of cactus soil should be approximately 2 inches thick. If you want to make your own cactus soil, mix equal parts sand and potting soil.

6. Plant the succulents in the terrarium.
Dig a small hole in the soil. Remove the plants from their original pots and gently loosen their root balls. Securely place the plants in their new holes, and lightly water them. Clean up the terrarium by using a Q-tip or a small make-up brush to remove any dirt sticking to the glass or plants.

7. Add decorative rocks and terrarium friends.
Is your terrarium desert themed, housing a miniature lizard basking in the sun? Does it have a woodland theme, with a miniature mushroom peeking out of river rocks? Have fun with this step! Adding these final touches really makes your terrarium look alive. Here, I’ve chosen a variety of tan and brown rocks and a tiny wooden armadillo to create a Southwestern terrarium.

8. Care for your terrarium.
Place your terrarium in a sunny location in your home, and water it sparingly (about every two weeks). The soil should have time to become completely dry before you water the plants.

Your terrarium is complete! Watch it grow and experiment with different terrarium themes. Maybe tomorrow you’ll be inspired by Western movies, adding sand to your terrarium and a ceramic, miniature horse to its new home.

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How to care for your Rambling Roses

If you love roses (and who doesn’t?) you’ll want a few in your garden. But you may have heard that the Queen of Flowers is also a drama queen. Roses have gotten a bad rap for being hard to grow. There are reasons for this—because some varieties of roses do have their issues:

Hardiness issues: You need to grow the roses that excel in your growing zone—those that can withstand the coldness of your winters and heat of your summers.
Disease issues: Some roses are susceptible to fungal diseases such as black spot.
Durability issues: Tender roses, especially some hybrid teas, can be fussy.
Yet, there are plenty of easy-care roses for every landscape—including yours.

Hardy Beauties
The key to rose success is to plant varieties that are suited to your climate. Start with matching your planting zone to the zone range indicated on the rose’s plant tag.

Defeat dryness. If your summers are dry, look for rose varieties that exhibit tolerance to heat, and have vigorous root systems so they can take a little drought.
Bundle up against the cold. If your winters are cold, choose roses whose zone ratings allow them to survive below-zero temperatures. Choose varieties such as shrub rose ‘Nearly Wild’, whose flowers resemble a wild rose. And although hybrid teas are reputed to be less cold-hardy, varieties such as ‘Tiffany’  are revered for their ability to stand up to cold winters. When you are looking for the most durable roses, look at the petals: Thick petals are hardier in variable weather and last longer as cut flowers. You also can help your roses weather the winter by providing extra protection with mulch.

Tough-As-Nails Roses

Shrub roses are among the most durable of all roses. Low-growing and hardy, these long-blooming beauties can dress up even the most lowly spots: foundations, curb strips, alongside a driveway. They can take cold and heat—and they keep on blooming. Well-known hardy shrub varieties include the Flower Carpet®  series.

Disease-Resisting Roses

If your summers are humid, look for roses with mildew and fungus resistance. Often the plant tag will tell you whether a specific rose is especially disease resistant. If fungus is a problem in your yard, plant roses in open, uncrowded areas where they receive ample air and the first drying rays of the morning sun. There are a number of disease-resistant roses, such as ‘Knock Out’®, that have been bred to stand up to black spot and other rose maladies.

Healthy Roses Are Happy Roses
Keeping your roses fed and pruned will make them more resistant to weather extremes, and pest and disease problems. To keep your roses in the pink of health, do the following:

Fertilize: Choose a fertilizer formulated for roses. Begin fertilizing newly planted roses about three to four weeks after planting. Feed established plants in spring when new growth is about 6 inches long. For old roses and climbers, give a second feeding after the first bloom. For hybrid teas, feed all summer because these roses are heavy feeders.

Prune: Cut out dead, damaged and diseased canes in the spring, just as new growth appears. Prune throughout the summer to keep the plants open and uncrowded. Don’t prune in the fall.

Watch for diseases and pests: To discourage diseases from overwintering, remove old mulch beneath your roses in spring, and replace it. Common pests/diseases include Japanese beetles and black spot. Treat symptoms as you find them.

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DIY::::Beautiful Butterfly Garden

This colorful flower garden lures beautiful butterflies to your yard to provide a season-long animated show.A. 3 Star flower (Pentas lanceolata): Zones 9–10; annual elsewhere

B. 5 Creeping zinnia (Sanvitalia procumbens): Annual

C. 5 Mealycup sage (Salvia farinacea): Zones 7–11; annual elsewhere

D. 8 Sulfur flower (Cosmos sulfureus): Annual

E. 2 Spider flower (Cleome hasslerana): Annual

F. 3 Mexican sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia): Annual

G. 11 Zinnia elegans: Annual

H. 6 Zinnia Profusion Series: Annual

I. 7 French marigold (Tagetes patula): Annual

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