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Unique Treasures & Fabulous Finds

10 Tips for a Beautiful Yard

Need to add variety to your garden or add color year-round? We’ve got you covered. Try some or all of these ideas to spruce up your yard.

Photo: Ralph Anderson

1. Greet Guests with Flowers

Flowers always make a home seem more welcoming. Adorn your entrance with assorted annuals and perrenials to keep color year long. Petunia, Snapdragon, Lily-of-the-Nile, and ‘Gertrude Jekyl’ roses are great additions.

If you have a small space beetween your house and the street, try putting a low fence in front. It gives the illusion that your house is farther from the street than it really is, and it also makes for a great space for planting flowers and vines.

Photo: Ralph Anderson

2. Plant Rambling Vines

Clematis is one of the showiest vines we have. It offers blossoms of blue, purple, red, pink, or white. Grow them on a fence, on a trellis, or in a container. Or let them scramble over shrubs and perennials.

Clematis Planting Guide
When to Plant: Fall and spring are good times, because the weather is cool.
How to Grow: Plant clematis in fertile, loose, well-drained soil with lots of organic matter. It likes cool roots, so plant where the leaves get sun but roots are shaded.
How to Fertilize: Feed monthly in spring and summer with an organic fertilizer labeled for roses or tomatoes.
When to Prune: Some types bloom on new growth and some on old growth. When you buy, ask at the nursery what type you have and when you should prune.
Where to Buy: Local garden centers have lots of choices in spring.

Photo: Ralph Anderson

3. Dress Up Your Driveway

By carefully sculpting the landscape and choosing the right plants and materials, you can hide your unattractive driveway. Start by creating a slightly raised island of lawn in the center of the drive. Then, add a low boxwood hedge toward the back of the island with roses, annuals, and perennials rising above the hedge in the front. Blend a variety of colors, textures, and heights for a great look. Try ‘Crystal Fairy’ rose for height, lamb’s ears for texture, and ‘Butterfly Deep Rose’ pentas for color.

Photo: Van Chaplin

4. Plant No-Fuss Lilies

Crinums laugh at drought, don’t need fertilizer, and welcome hot, humid summers with lily-like flowers that perfume the air. Growing into huge bulbs over time, they’re practically indestructible.

Crinum Planting Guide
Why You’ll Love Them: Fragrant, trumpet-shaped flowers in many colors appear in spring, summer, or fall.
How to Grow: Most prefer at least five hours of sun a day. They’re not picky about soil.
Where to Grow: Most do best in the Lower, Coastal, and Tropical South (zones 8-10). Some, such as Crinum x powellii ‘Alba’ and ‘Ellen Bosanquet,’ are hardy farther north.

Photo: Ralph Anderson

5. Deer-Proof Your Garden

To keep your flowers from being gobbled up by deer, choose flowers that people find glorious and deer find disgusting. Choose perennials like butterfly weed, globe thistle, ‘royal red’ butterfly bush, or purple cornflower. Find these at garden centers, and plant them in well-drained soil.

Photo: Van Chaplin

6. Add Height with Planters and Baskets

Add dimension to your yard with elevated planters and hanging baskets. It creates a sea of beautiful color. Plants love the good drainage and aeration that raised planters provide.

Basket Planting Guide
Each basket should contain three types of plants-a “spiller” (something that hangs down over the edges) like begonias and variegated sage, a “filler” (something that mounds and fills in) like Kong coleus, and a “thriller” (something that is tall and eye-catching for the center) like purple cordyline.

Photo: Van Chaplin

7. Grow Blooming Shrubs

Chinese snowball is one of spring’s showiest shrubs. White flower clusters 6 to 8 inches across festoon its branches in late spring. The plant gets big—12 to 20 feet tall and wide. Though it looks like a hydrangea, it’s actually a viburnum.

Chinese Snowball Planting Guide
Where to Plant: Find a prominent spot where it will have room to grow.
How to Grow: Give it full to partial sun and fertile, well-drained soil. Prune, if necessary, just after it finishes flowering in spring.
Where to Buy: It’s available at home-and-garden centers.

Photo: Van Chaplin

8. Hide Outdoor Structures

Sheds, garages, and outdoor workspaces are not always the most attractive in your yard. Use these spaces as a setting for a beautiful display of plants and flowers. Try adding brackets and a wooden plank to create a shelf on the exterior of the structure above the entrance or windows. Then, set lightweight fiberglass planters filled with flowers atop it to hide the structure. Potted ferns are great additions for the base of the structure.

Photo: Ralph Anderson

9. Plan a Garden Surprise

Create a garden paradise in your yard with intersecting trails, meandering streams, inspiring vistas, and hidden rooms. Design small hideaways where people can gather for drinks and try mixing formal with informal for stimulating visual tension. You can also get creative and save the biggest garden surprise for the farthest spot in your yard instead of putting it directly next to the house.

Photo: Ralph Anderson

10. Enjoy Color Year-Round

A great thing about gardening in the South is that we get treated to colorful flowers, leaves, or berries in every season. Look for these each season:

Seasonal Flower Guide
Spring: azalea, daffodil, forsythia mandevilla, dogwood, wisteria, bearded iris (pictured), peony
Summer: hydrangea, daylily, gardenia, crinum, lantana, crepe myrtle, impatiens, zinnia
Fall: pansy, aster, sugar maple, beautyberry, ginger lily sasanqua camellia, holly, autumn crocus, mum
Winter: winterberry, Colorado blue spruce, amaryllis, Lenten rose, rosemary, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, crocus

 

Publish Site: www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/10-best-yard-landscaping-ideas-00417000072301/

 

Handmade Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

What Mothers Want

Your mom gave you the world growing up — and while you may not be able to repay her gift in kind, you can make her day with something more tactile.

A Good Night’s Sleep

Think of it as payback for all those nights she stayed up taking care of you. Homemade teas in lemon, lavender, peppermint, and chamomile will help her relax, while a dreamy sleep mask ensures that night ends when she says it does.

Get the Tub Teas How-To

Get the Dreamy Sleep Mask How-To

A Movie Night with Mom

Cuddle up with a classic film (we like anything starring Audrey Hepburn) or cheesy mother-daughter flick (“Mamma Mia!,” anyone?). Give a cozy night in theatrical cache with custom popcorn and a movie card to act as an adorable save-the-date.

Get the Flavored Popcorn How-To

Get the Movie Night Card How-To

Breakfast in Bed

A classic Mother’s Day move — but for good reason. Tissue-paper posies and hand-painted china will add festive flair to eggs Benedict and fresh-squeezed OJ. See more Mother’s Day brunch ideas here.

Get the Painted China How-To

Get the Tissue Paper Posies How-To

A Spa Day

Sure, Mom would love a fancy weekend retreat, but we bet she’ll be just as touched by a basket of DIY home-spa goodies. Body scrub will leave her skin feeling soft and smelling sweet, while heart-shaped soaps help drive the “I love you” message home.

Get the Heart-Shaped Soap How-To

Get the Homemade Body Scrub How-To

A Mini Home Makeover

An extreme home makeover might be out of the question, so how about a face-lift instead? Pressed-pansy coasters will ensure that her table is fit for entertaining, while teacup lights lend a lovely, ethereal glow.

Get the How-To

A Fresh Load of Laundry

She certainly did enough of yours over the years! Give her the next-best thing (plus a load or two, distance allowing) with sachets that will keep her drawers smelling as though they’re straight from the dryer.

Get the Patterned Sachets How-To

Memories as Good as Yours

Say it with pictures: Supplement your card with a Mother’s Day scrapbox or journal filled with meaningful photos and trinkets.

Get the Albums and Binders How-To

 

Publish Site: www.marthastewart.com/275133/handmade-gifts-for-mothers-day/@center/307033/spring-holidays

Spring At Home Trends & Inspiration

eclectic dining room by Dufner Heighes Inc
By Dufner Heighes Inc
1. This first trend is something we’ve seen for the past two seasons: An Emphasis on Pattern and Print.

Sarah's House's Photos - Sarah's House: Season 3 | Facebook

I included this image in an ideabook I wrote last week on, well, pattern and print, and everyone seems to agree that it’s just a fantastic space.
eclectic  by SGH Designs inc.
By SGH Designs Inc.
2. Eclectic Chic. This is a broad design category and a favorite of mine because it’s so flexible – it’s not that tough to be eclectic (though it is tough to edit yourself so “eclectic” doesn’t turn into “hoarder.”)
eclectic kids by Ish and Chi
By Ish and Chi
3. Bold Color. Last week’s spring collections were full of exuberant color, which makes the slideshows very pretty to look at on dreary, rainy days like today.

color combos - orange
And bold color at home is so much fun. Bright walls make it easier to get out of bed in the morning.

White Kitchen

4. Minimal White. Yes, it’s the opposite of bold color, but there are no rules that two opposites can’t be trendy at the same time, right? Regardless, I do love white kitchens.

5. Pajama Dressing. This was the most interesting trend, in my opinion: clothes that are all about comfort and fluid motion. These outfits are often made of neutral silks and hang beautifully – reminding me of draps in the wind.

 

traditional bedroom by The Lettered Cottage
By The Lettered Cottage
“Pajama dressing” is about sheer fabrics, too, and calm colors like this blue.

1
6. Seventies. Some of last week’s shows had a definite retro vibe – just like this room, with it’s wallpaper and vintage Raggedy Ann doll.
modern dining room by Amy Lau Design

By Amy Lau Design
Isn’t the whole concept of a wet bar totally seventies too? In a good way, of course!

Written By: Kit Pollard Publish Site: www.houzz.com/ideabooks/107750/list/Spring-2011-Fashion-Trends—At-Home

10 Tips on Finding Your Design Style

1. Multiples. Do you have multiple items of the same color, shape or style around your house? This is one big “tell” I look for as I look through clients’ homes. A kilim rug in the front hall, a kilim rug in the bedroom, another one in the living room? That means that you like kilim rugs. It sounds way too simple to be that easy, but most people stop seeing their style even when it’s right in front of them.

2. Form over function. Do you work on a desk that is too small, but can’t bear to replace it? Have a couch that is crazy uncomfortable, but it’s still in you living room after all these years? That broken clock that’s still up on the wall? Take a good long look, because this is a dead giveaway to your personal style. There is something you love so much about this piece that you have chosen its form over your need for function.

3. Where you shop. Do you browse the same store all the time, even when you’re not looking to buy? Does a good flea market make you heart pound with excitement? Where you look for your furnishings speaks volumes about your style. New, used, found, handed down from family; where your furniture comes from represents your style.

4. Art. What you have chosen to hang on your walls says something about you. Art is purely personal, not tied to function or need and therefore is usually the best indication of your style. A vintage movie poster means you probably like classic lines in furniture, while an abstract lithograph likely means that modern design is your bag. Flea market oil painting of someone else’s relative? Eclectic is your style.

5. Most recent purchase. A French country dish towel that caught your eye in the store, or an impulse buy of a Tiffany-style lamp that you thought you’d never like, but do. The last thing you bought for your home is a fantastic indicator of what your style is, especially if it is design departure for you.

6. What unites your stuff? Do you have terra-cottas, rusts and warm yellows all around your house? These are the sun-kissed colors of Mediterranean design, so you should look for rough-hewn wood tables, terra-cotta lamps and vases to polish up your style. Does all your furniture have lean, sharp lines, and you don’t have a single thing on your mantel? Your style is thoroughly modern. Whether it’s color, scale, shape or era, the uniting element in your home is the best place to start when looking for your style.

7. What’s your favorite hotel? This is my secret weapon in finding a client’s design style. Always stay in cozy country B&Bs? Like the modern city high-rise hotel? Or do you go more for the traditionally furnished places? Hotels have clear design styles, so use them to help you find YOUR style.

8. Odd man out. When there is one piece different from everything else in your room, take note. Chances are, this is one style you like, but are afraid to fully venture into.

9. Travel. Where you chose to spend your vacations, and what you bring back with you are great style indicators. Always go to Mexico on your holidays and have a full set of cobalt-blue wine glasses? You like the hacienda look. Love your family vacations at the beach and have jars of seashells in your bathroom? Coastal cottage is your style.

10. Best room in the house. What’s your most fave room in your home? Look to your best design work and repeat it. There is nothing wrong with having all your rooms designed similarly. In fact, it can bring a calm and serene feel to your house.

Written By: Karen McAloon Publish Site: www.hgtv.com/decorating/10-tips-to-find-your-style/index.html