Mass Plants For Better Homes and Gardens

For a coffee table or for a narrow shelf, choose a small gem that asks and deserves to be looked at closely. Just as an attractive ashtray or a colorful pillow can be a tasteful, decorative accent, so can small plants. They can pick up room colors, provide interesting contrast of form, and add attention-getting detail. But just as it would be wrong to expect a small accessory to carry a big decorative role in the home, so it would be a mistake to hope for big impact from a single small plant.

But a grouping of plants, many small, or one or two big plants, can carry important roles in a decorating scheme. The mass effect of a handsome grouping of plants has universal appeal. Any one plant in the group may be beautiful in its own right, though possible to overlook if alone. But put several plants together in the right setting and you can’t possibly ignore their presence.

Of course, there’s more than one way to group plants. A well-chosen pair is often just what you need to give a room that special touch. An assortment of many flowering varieties gives the same pleasure as looking into a florist’s shop window. An all-foliage cluster, such as the one on the opposite page, is equally appealing.

Ideally, the area that you select for a dramatic display of plants should receive a good amount of natural light. If the day light’s inadequate, however, give preference to the setting that you have chosen and then consider what steps can be taken to reinforce natural light with artificial light. You can do this with ceiling spots, recessed light fixtures, or fluorescent tube lighting.

It is also feasible, if your plant group is not too large, to install it on a mobile cart, taking it by day to a window location, then returning it after sundown to the room placement that you prefer.

Since plants grown indoors vary considerably in amounts of light required to promote good growth, you’ll be wise to choose for a dramatic grouping – varieties that have similar light needs. If the available natural light is low, choose plants from the group that can easily tolerate low light. If, on the other hand, your best location offers medium to strong light, select all of your plants for that kind of light.

To help you select from the right group, turn to the section entitled ‘A Portfolio’ of Recommended House Plants/ in which plants are grouped according to the kind of light they need.

Another important resource is your florist or greenhouse man.Besides supplying you with facts concerning light needs,he can give you a great deal of added information on plant cultural requirements (soil, water,humidity, etc.). From years of experience in the field, he will know which plants are cinch-to-grow types, and which are not.

After checking on compatibility of cultural needs, you’ll want to seek contrasts of color,texture, and form within your group. Some of the greens vary from the palest chartreuse to almost black tones. Some plants have shiny foliage; others have a furry or velvety finish. There are also plants with big, pointed shaped leaves as well as rounded and pierced ones to choose from.

Get variety in size, too. Combine some tall and some short plants. Place taller ones toward the back; the shorter ones, forward. For a start, consider these combinations: a pot or two of small yellow chrysanthemums made to look still more flowery when backed by a good-sized dieffenbachia; or delicate ferns that take on the appearance of green lace if backed by the solid foliage of big-leaved philodendrons or rubber plants.

Landscaping – A Fire Resistant Home and Garden

Certain parts of the country are especially prone to fires. Dry wild grasses and trees that come right up to your home will create a fire hazard. There are things you should do to protect your home.

Clear Vegetation

Thirty feet is the minimum required distance of clear vegetation. However, it can be necessary to clear up to 400 feet of an area near the home. You should consider the following factors: wind, slope, neighborhood density, and architectural styles. In other words, will a fire spread quickly or slowly? And, if it does, will your home catch fire easily or not.

Remove Dead Plants

Remove any dead plants in or around your home. If a tree is mostly healthy, but has some dead branches, cut the dead branches off.

Keep Plants Watered

During the heat of the summer keep all the plants watered well.

Plant Placement

Don’t place plants right next to the home. Instead, create islands that are 30 feet or more away from the home.

Maintenance

Keep shrubs and trees to minimal growth. Larger trees and shrubs growing out of control are more of a hazard then well controlled smaller plants.

Siding

Avoid materials that burn. Stucco or aluminum siding is better than wood.

Fences

Use metal, stone, or vinyl. Stay away from wood fencing.

Decks

Build with stone, concrete, masonry, or tile. Avoid using wood.

Fire hose

If possible, set up a pump to work with your fire hose. Make sure the fire hose can reach all around your home. If you have a pool or hot tub, set up your pump and fire hose to use this water.

Hydrant

Keep it clear for fire personnel. With city permission, learn how to hook your fire hose up to the hydrant.

Comparing Home and Garden Tools Retailers – Northern Tool Vs Harbor Freight

When it comes to Northern Tools vs Harbor Freight, the only real comparison we need to be concerned about would be those having to do with issues of quality, selection, pricing, and level of customer service you get. After all, if you are going to be spending a lot of money of tools you want to be sure you get questions answered assuming you have them. You also want to be sure that you are getting the best. I checked into a forum that discusses such topics to see what people were saying about the two companies.

There were a lot of people who spoke have ordered from both companies and because of this they are able to compare quite easily. A lot of people said that when it came to quality they felt that Northern was slightly better than Harbor Freight. It does not stop here. People wanted selection and a lot of people said that Northern had a bigger catalog of items that its competition. Now you can take this at face value, but it is better for you to see about this for yourself. Bigger does not always mean better, especially if the selection is for tools and equipment you just do not need.

A lot of people I read user experiences on said that Northern Tool has imports that are the same quality as Harbor Freight, but they do not offer nothing but imports. People who want American made tools will have access to them. American made tools are sold next to the ones that have been imported. Just expect to pay a little bit more in this case.

Then again there were some users who believed that the imported stuff Northern Tools offers is a bit above Harbor Freight in terms of quality. People seem to be put off by the fact that HF does not seem to sell American made brands. Even though Northern Tools seems to offer really low prices, they definitely are not the lowest, this is what users said. So if you are looking for the lowest price on tools, it might be a good idea for you to use another option or use HF.

People who have used both website alike have spoken of their frustration at not being able to find a lot of coupons for Northern. While a lot of people said they had an easier time finding coupons for HF. So this might encourage people to want to shop at HF instead.

The overall theme I got from users was that they seemed to be more than willing to make use of both stores. Each one has its strengths and each one has its weaknesses. For instance, a lot of people felt that each store seemed to offer things that the other one did not. Another example is Northern Tools seems to provide pretty strong warranties on their own brand tools while HF does not.

Compare each provider for yourself and see which one you could envision yourself doing long term business with.

Wasp Control in the Home and Garden

Wasps in gardens, picnic areas, pub gardens and communal areas in the summer months can quickly become a major nuisance. Wasps are a social insect, forming colonies containing anywhere from 5000 – 10000 wasps per season. The hibernating and fertilized queen will emerge around mid April time (or sooner, depending on temperatures) and search for a suitable nesting site.

The nest starts of as a golf ball sized nest made from chewed bark, dried timber mixed with saliva, within this starter nest she lays between 10 and 20 eggs, the first brood of adult workers (sterile females) will take over the development of the nest and providing food for the next lot of eggs being laid by the queen. At the start of the season wasp pose little or no threat (this can be a different matter if the nest is interfered with) and it is only towards the end of the wasp season that they become a nuisance towards humans.

During the latter part of the summer the queen will mate and then leave the nest site to find a suitable over-wintering location. The remaining workers and few remaining males become sluggish, and their feeding on over-ripe fruit will produce a “tipsy” behavior, leading towards aggression towards anyone interfering with them. The on-coming winter will kill off the workers and the remaining males, with only the fertilized queens surviving by hibernating. During this nuisance time, the wasps will be bothering the general public in places like pub gardens and parks etc, they tend to feed off the sweeter food stuffs such as children’s lolly-pops, soft drinks alcoholic drinks, and pretty much anything containing sugar.

Obviously the nest (if near by) can be treated, but this could mean the area being out of bounds for up to 24 hours, this could in turn lead to loss of business and loss of profits. However other methods for dealing with wasps are available. New wasp treatment systems such as the waspbane are easily available to obtain from online pest control shops.

The wasbane is a wasp trap, the wasps are attracted and lured in to the trap with specially developed attractants, the wasps enter the chamber of the trap to get to the attractant, once the wasps have entered the trap they cannot escape. The trap can be placed at the bottom of the beer garden, around parks, or hanging from trees. In a recent study at a well known theme park, it was recorded that after installing the waspbane trap in various locations around the park, reports of wasp sting went down as much as 95% in 1 year.