The phrase, "growing green" just means that it is time to make decisions based on conservation when landscaping the yard. Native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, and trees can add value to your home including curbside appeal. Using native plants also has many positive effects that you may want to consider including saving money, improving your health, and provide food for you and the local wildlife.
They’re Easier to Take Care Of
The advantage of going native in the yard is that the plants are already acclimated to the environment. According to Celebrity Greens, around 70 percent of homeowners’ water bill is from watering their lawns. If using local grasses, trees, flowers, and shrubs, this cost should lower considerably as the plants are used to the rainfall amount. Another benefit is less fertilizer and mulch is needed for the plants to thrive. Planting native perennials also mean that once established, they will not need to be replaced next year. Not only is the yard easier to maintain, but it is also easier on the pocketbook.
Better for the Ecosystem
Would it give you a sense of pride knowing that you are helping stabilize the local ecosystem? The local pollinators will love you also. According to Cornell, one of the most positive impacts you can make to the environment is to create a sanctuary to support and encourage thriving wildlife. If you enjoy the local wildlife, research what are native food sources will attract the animals you enjoy watching. Also, check to see what plants make good companions. Plan your Choose a landscape that helps the local ecosystem, requires easy care, and is pleasing to the eye.
Not All Local Plants Are Native
There is some research to be done here. Over the years, plant species have been introduced from other places around the world. You may have seen a plant all your life, but that doesn't mean it’s native to the area. Prairie Nursery advises that you make sure what you are planting is a true native of the area. One reliable source to use is your local agricultural center. You can also learn more about native wild foods as well as local herbs. These have several uses including: culinary seasoning, well-being, teas, and first aid. Many of these plants can be harvested from the wild.
With all of this in mind, are you ready to become a part of the native "green growing" movement?
Here’s another article you might enjoy: 10 Tips for Urban Gardening
If you’re one of the 57 percent of women who believes having an organized closet would make finding what you want easier and faster, there’s no time like the present to stop dreaming about having a beautiful and organized closet with these tips.
Save Time with a Dream Closet
Having a disorganized closet is a problem for at least one in four women, according a recent ClosetMaid survey. Some women (1 in 10) are even depressed when they open their closet doors. What’s more, some research suggests the average American wastes as much as 55 minutes a day (roughly 12 days a year) searching for things they can’t find.
Introducing some organization is a simple way to alleviate these worries. Whether you reside in an apartment in the city or a home in the suburbs, your best starting point is to create a plan of attack. Professional organizer Barbara Reich of Resourceful Consultants offers these tips for getting started:
Assess your needs. Ask questions like: Do you have a walk-in closet or a reach-in? Need to create one within a room? Do you prefer more shelves over hanging space? Is shoe storage important? Do you prefer a flexible system, like wire, that can adapt to your changing needs or do you prefer something with a designer look? Are you a DIYer or do you require professional assistance?
Define your taste and style. Do you prefer modern or traditional? Or are you more eclectic?
Identify the product that works best for your needs and your budget. One option to consider is ClosetMaid SpaceCreations, a designer-inspired, DIY-acquired option that provides customizable storage inside and outside of closets. Available in Classic White or Premier Dark Java, it’s easy to install and is extremely versatile with different accessories and options like shoe shelves, drawers and acrylic dividers to provide a completely personalized look. As an added bonus, this storage option can be adapted for a nursery, mudroom or pantry. A handy online design tool or a complimentary professional designer can assist you with the layout and design.
Let the organizing fun begin. Before you restock your new closet, scrutinize your wardrobe and accessories, and get rid of items you won’t ever wear or use again.
Once you’ve got everything neatly in place, enjoy your newfound organization, but be vigilant about keeping your closet in order. Dedicate 15 minutes each week to keep it looking as good as new.
7 Ways to Add Functional Style to Your Closet
Shine the light. A trendy light fixture can add fun and bling while providing adequate lighting to illuminate all the treasures your closet has to offer. Diffused lighting is a good way to chase away shadows and ensure none of your favorite garments and accessories get left in the dark.
Organize by color. When you’re ready to hang clothes in your newly designed space, sort garments by style; group dressy tops, casual pants and so on. Then take your organization another step further by hanging like colors together. The streamlined color palette is pleasing to the eye, but it also makes it easier to select the right combinations and avoid overlooking any options.
Hang clothes with care. Give your clothes some TLC and make the switch to high-quality hangers. Not only do uniform hangers make your closet appear more organized, they help keep your wardrobe in tip-top shape by preventing stretching. Slim velvet hangers are optimal for saving space, but if you have the room, a heavier wooden version is even better.
Add some special flair. It’s not just the structure that affects the overall mood of your closet. One easy way to add some personal charm is with colorful and patterned fabric drawers. They provide a home to hide and consolidate more personal belongings and add pops of color and style to your shelves.
Make creative use of wall space. If you have some unused wall space, this is the perfect place for a dream board. A simple cork surface is all you need. Add pictures of your favorite outfits so you can remember pairings that made you feel great. You can also use the space for inspiration and add wish list items from magazines or photos of looks you’d like to try.
Dedicate a container for capturing rejects. Avoid hanging on to unwanted items by designating a container to capture clothing destined for donation. When the bin is full, transfer to a cardboard box and drop off at a local charitable organization. A similar approach can be used for items that need repair; when a few items have accumulated, either haul out the sewing machine or head to the nearest seamstress for professional assistance.
Don’t forget the floor. While much is made about the wall space, the floor is an important element of your closet, too. For carpeted rooms a rug may be more ornamental, but if you have hardwood floors, an area rug can be a safety feature that keeps you from slipping in your hurry to get dressed and out the door.
Showcase your wardrobe in style with ClosetMaid SpaceCreations.
Find more creative closet solutions at ClosetMaid.com.SOURCE:
(BPT) - Spring is the perfect time to shake things up with your home decor. As Mother Nature transforms her landscape with fresh buds and blooms, you're probably longing to refresh your home, too. These five easy craft projects are perfect family activities and the results will add touches of springtime throughout the house.
Rain boot wreath
Do you have a pair of rain boots your kids have grown out of? Use these as an adorable way to display silk flowers in the entryway. Simply select your favorite long-stem flowers from your local craft store (hint: tulips are perfect for spring). Have kids help arrange flowers inside boots and then hang with a large decorative ribbon on your door.
Thumbprint flower pots
Jazz up boring terracotta pots with acrylic paint and the tiny fingerprints from your mini helpers. Have kids wear a smock (acrylic paint can stain), then carefully dip fingertips into paint and press onto the pot. For example, red fingerprints can be turned into cute ladybugs with a few black details when dry. You can also use fingerprints to create flowers, butterflies and more.
Flip-flop welcome sign
Favorite warm-weather foot gear can be used to create a cute sign welcoming guests to your home. Buy four pairs of colorful flip flops from any dollar store. Line up and then adhere each side together with hot glue (eight flip-flops total glued together). On the heel of each sandal paint a letter from "Welcome!" When done, let kids adorn with colorful gems, stickers, and other fun spring details.
PEEPS spring centerpiece
PEEPS is the quintessential springtime candy, but is also great when used in crafts like this colorful centerpiece. Just follow these easy DIY directions and you'll create a centerpiece that will be a real conversation starter for kids and adults alike. For more project ideas, visit www.marshmallowpeeps.com.
4-inch cube vase
6-inch cube vase
30 Gerbera Daisies or silk flowers of choice
20 PEEPS Bunnies
1. Center one vase inside the other and insert jelly beans (in any colors you like) between the walls of the two cubes.
2. Place PEEPS on top of jelly beans, making sure to save a few for the corners of the vase. Don't be afraid to squeeze them into the space. You should have enough to fill in any gaps.
3. Gerberas are usually sold with plastic tubes on the stems for support. Keeping the plastic in place, cut the flowers to desired length and arrange them in the smaller vase.
4. Cutting shorter stems for the outside flowers and longer stems for the inner ones will give you a nice rounded top. And don't skimp on flowers: If you don't want to use that many gerberas, find a pair of smaller vases.
Pastel painted pine cones
Take kids on a nature walk and collect pine cones. Brush off dirt and allow to dry if moist. Then, lay out paper and have kids paint pine cones in festive pastel colors. Mint green, soft pink and sky blue are classic spring hues. Once dry, display in a decorative bowl and hang from strings in front of a window.
Once the structural elements and hardscape features of your outdoor living space are in place, it’s time to turn attention to the details that really bring the area to life.
Add Life to Outdoor Spaces
(Family Features) Once the structural elements and hardscape features of your outdoor living space are in place, it’s time to turn attention to the details that really bring the area to life.
Vibrant textiles like cushions, pillows and rugs can all soften the look of a space while adding colorful charm, but another effective place where you can introduce plenty of character is the landscaping.
Often, homeowners treat the landscape and the architectural components of an outdoor living space as distinct design elements. Making the landscape seamlessly integrate into the area not only transforms the way the space looks, it enhances the outdoor ambiance.
Create Climate Control
Keep Prying Eyes Out
Go Low Maintenance
Consult with experts at your local nursery or garden center for advice on the trees and plants that work best in your climate zone, and find more tips for creating your ideal outdoor living space at eLivingToday.com.
Enhance Your Outdoor Living Space
Regardless of the size of your deck – or budget – these simple tips from the experts at Trex can add interior function to your outdoor oasis:
Absolute Al Fresco
For more information and outdoor living inspiration, visit trex.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (patio with orange cushion chairs)SOURCE:
Whether the family dog gets his muddy paws on the couch, an ice cream cone melts all over the backyard hammock or a sudden storm soaks your new patio cushions, life is filled with unexpected messes. There’s no time like the present to plan ahead so you’re ready for whatever mess life throws your way with these 6 tips.
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