Monthly Archives: November 2020

Honeysuckle Truth

Two of the most recognizable aspects of warmer months will be the brightly coloured blossoms and aromatic scent of honeysuckle in the atmosphere. Although invasive species can be thought of a garden nuisance, honeysuckle is often employed as an addition to a cover for fences and walls. As either a vine or a tree, honeysuckle is a robust, colorful addition to any yard or garden.


Honeysuckle is the general, common name for about 200 species of deciduous, semi-evergreen flowering vines and shrubs. Even though honeysuckle often grows throughout Europe, Asia and various parts of the Americas, there are an estimated 100 species located in China alone. In addition to creating sweet-smelling, trumpet-shaped blossoms which range in color from white to yellow to bright orange, pink and red, honeysuckle plants also produce black, red or blue berries. Even though the nectar in the base of honeysuckle flowers can be absorbed, the berries are toxic and should not be eaten.


Sometimes referred to as woodbine and goat’s leaf, fragrant honeysuckle’s numerous species are proven to attract bees, birds and other wildlife. Two of the most widely recognized species of honeysuckle include Lonicera periclymenum, better called common honeysuckle, and Lonicera japonica, known as Japanese Honeysuckle. Common honeysuckle, typically found in Europe, can be known to climb up to 32 feet high, has white and yellow colored blooms and bananas red berries. Japanese Honeysuckle produces a vanilla scent and could possibly grow to over 80 feet. It also possesses double-tongued white flowers which turn yellow as they mature. Japanese Honeysuckle is also referred to as an invasive species and may be classified as a weed.

Maintenance & Care

Honeysuckle vines and shrubs often grow wild, but can be trained to develop a trellis or within a garden as groundcover. Even though honeysuckle is a hardy, low maintenance plant, it thrives in moist dirt. In summer months, watering and mulching is vital to preserving the roots and also discouraging aphids from attacking the plant. Many honeysuckle species grow well in full sunlight, but can also tolerate partial shade. While some varieties need some polishing during the winter season, most do not have to be pruned.

Fun Facts

In addition to being used as a cut flower in bouquets, baskets and potpourri, honeysuckle has long been related to superstition. Throughout the Victorian age in Great Britain, honeysuckle flowers were often grown in gardens and around the doorways of homes to ward off witches and evil spirits. It was also considered to cause fine dreams and enhance mood when put under a pillow. Now, honeysuckle is often utilised in herbal and aromatherapy pillows. Honeysuckle, sometimes referred to as woodbine, has also been often mentioned in classic British literature. The two William Shakespeare and Geoffrey Chaucer refer to this honeysuckle plant at “Twelfth Night,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Canterbury Tales.”

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How to Burn Wood in Outdoor Fireplaces

There is nothing more inviting on a cool fall or winter night than sitting with a roaring outdoor fireplace enjoying warm beverage or roasted marshmallows. Built from a number of materials, including stone and metal, outdoor fireplaces and are cared for and maintained in much the exact same way as a classic indoor model. Before lighting a blaze in your outdoor fireplace, then give it a good once over before correctly stacking the logs and light a match.

Inspect the fireplace to get cracks or creatures that may have called it home. Mend a brick fireplace using mortar and allow the item to dry according to the package directions prior to building a fire. Allow a professional to repair your metal model. Whether there are any creatures that have taken up home in your outdoor fireplace, then get in touch with the animal control agency to remove and relocate the animal.

Cover the bottom of your outdoor fireplace having a 1- to 2-inch layer of sand or ash. Both products help keep the flame and cut down on the demand for additional wood after on.

Set a larger log, or one that is at least 8-to-10 inches in diameter, against the back of the fireplace, with a tiny log on top of it. Just use dry, seasoned wood and never attempt to burn treated wood in almost any fireplace, like an exterior model.

Put a smaller, 4- to 6-inch log directly before the larger log in the back. Gently press both logs into the ash to aid them burn more.

Fill in the gaps between the smaller and larger log with crumpled-up paper and small pieces of wood and branches, or kindling. Light the branches and paper with a match or lighter.

Monitor the fire and add more kindling when required. For added protection, slip on a pair of insulated leather gloves while adding paper or wood to the fire.

Extinguish the fire by covering it with sand or ash. Never walk away from a burning fire or just dump the sand or ash on and assume it’s out. The fire is out when no embers are burning, so don’t leave until you are sure there’s not any prospect of this reigniting.

Wash out the ash before the next usage. Wait at least 24 hours following your final fire before scooping up the ash and any other remnants of your final blaze.

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Planting Sites for Apricot Trees

Apricot trees (Prunus armeniaca) create juicy sweet fruit using fuzzy skins at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Apricot trees are temperate fruit trees, which need chilling time to make fruit. In mild winter areas without long cold weather, look for apricot varieties with low chill requirements. The fruit ripens from late spring and early summer. The ideal time to plant apricot trees is while they’re inactive, either in the winter or early spring. Choosing the right place provides the fruit tree an increased likelihood of survival.


Conventional apricot trees reach up to 30 feet tall, but they might be held at 15 feet tall with pruning. Dwarf-sized apricot trees reach 6 to 19 feet tall. The trees need space so they’re not overcrowded. This improves the sunlight the trees get and increases the air circulation, which dries the leaves fast. Conventional apricot trees need at least an area with a diameter of 25 square feet, and dwarf trees need half that.


Strong winds damage apricot tree leaves and branches. Winds can strip blossoms and fruit from the branches. Search for a site protected from harsh winds. In neighborhoods, check for buildings which may block the end. If the site is located in a windy place, plant dense shrubs and trees to act as a windbreak.


Apricot trees prefer slightly acidic fertile soil. Examine the dirt having a commercially available test kit before amending the soil using well-rotted manure and compost. The soil needs to keep moisture without being soggy because the trees aren’t drought-tolerant. Don’t plant in soil with high amounts of mud or clay. Appropriate sites for apricot trees include rich soil to the depth of 4 to 6 feet. Loosen up the dirt with a scoop in the region before planting. In case hardpan soil exists under the site, break up the dirt so that the roots have room to develop.


Do not choose a low-lying place where frost settles in the spring. These areas also have a tendency to fill up with water during rainstorms and have drainage problems. Standing water above the root zone will cause root rot. Plant the apricot trees onto a mound or in a raised bed at least 1 foot high.

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The way to Prune a Red Sunset Tree

“Red Sunset” maple trees (Acer rubrum “Red Sunset”) and (Acer rubrum “Franksred”) appear perfect when pruned using a central leader, together with a single straight main division along with a balanced number of lateral branches on each side Grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, “Red Sunset” is named because of its dense canopy which includes bright red buds in spring along with also a splendid display of orange and red leaves in fall. “Red Sunset” trees grow 40 to 50 feet tall, which means you may have to prune the tree to maintain a smaller size if you have a limited growing space.

Prune “Red Sunset” maple trees in late winter before buds break or in early summer after the tree has flowered and is in full leaf exhibit.

Select one central leader and eliminate any other vertical main branches back to the point of origin on the trunk. Pick the straightest and most powerful division in the group of vertical branches.

Select strong branches for the scaffold branches, the main branches which stem from the central leader. Scaffold branches should have broad crotches, between 60- and also 90-degree angles together with the central leader, and be evenly positioned across the central leader. Make sure branches are available to sunlight, so that no upper branches shade from the lower branches.

Eliminate any scaffold branches you don’t wish to leave on the tree. Make a clean 45- to 60-degree angle cut at the point of origin on the trunk, cutting just beyond the branch collar, the ring of tissue where the branch meets the trunk, so the tree isn’t open to decay or disease.

Cut up to one-third of the entire branch length from each scaffold division, if desired. Make a downward-facing 45-degree angle cut just above a healthy bud to force branching just beneath the cut. This is known as a heading cut, and never needed, helps to encourage denser growth closer to the trunk. Also make this sort of cut to fill in any open spaces left as a consequence of removing injured branches. Don’t make these cuts on branches which are more than 1 year-old.

Stand back from the “Red Sunset” maple so that you can see the design of all branches; the tree canopy should be pyramidal to elliptical in shape, with the lower branches protruding further than the upper branches to permit for even sunlight supply to all branches. Look for regions of imbalance and branches which do not give rise to the powerful structure and tree form.

Cut dead, diseased or broken branches back to your nearest healthy bud or intersecting division. In addition to your yearly pruning instinct, eliminate these any time throughout the year as they occur.

Eliminate any lateral branches growing from the scaffold branches which have weak crotches with angles less than 45 levels, cutting them back to the point of origin with an intersecting division.

Cut out any rubbing branches, eliminating the division with a weaker crotch or that grows inward in favor of a division with a large crotch and outward growth direction.

Cut out any branches that grow inward toward the trunk in order to keep the canopy open to sunlight and air flow.

Eliminate any water suckers as they develop at the base of the tree or in branch crotches. These tiny branches tend to grow straight up and never become strong, therefore it is best to eliminate them so the tree doesn’t waste its energy growing them.

Thin out a few extra branches as needed if the canopy becomes too dense to start up all the branches to even sunlight supply and air flow. Choose the lowest branches or the ones that make the tree look unbalanced and cut those branches back to the point of origin on the scaffold branches.

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The way to Combine a Headboard and Footboard to a Rail Bed

When you’re assembling your bed, you might realize that the bed maker used one of the two systems to connect the rails into your headboard and footboard. The rails may have hooks which fit into slots, or else they may have brackets for bolts. Either way, assembly is seldom an issue.

The Bolt-and-Bracket System

If the bed maker used the bolt-and-bracket system, you will see flat brackets attached to the ends of the rails and bolt holes in the headboard and footboard. On each side, slip a bolt during the headboard, connect it into the railing and then tighten the nut finger-tight; attach the rails into the footboard in the exact same way. The underside supports of the rails should face the middle of the bed. After connecting the footboard to the other ends of the rails, insert the rest of the bolts and tighten all the nuts with a wrench.

The Hook-and-Pin System

If your bed rails have hooks, you will see slots on the legs of the headboard and footboard. Turn the rails so that the hooks face down, and add one end of one rail to the slot to the leg of this headboard — the underside support of the railing should face toward the middle of the bed. Insert another rail into the flip side of the headboard, and then hook the other ends of both rails into the footboard. Push down firmly on the rails with your feet after you have made all four links to seat the hooks on the pins within the slots.

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Natural Cactus Fungus Remover

Though a healthy cactus is lovely and interesting to look at, one that is experiencing a fungal infection isn’t. Several different types of fungal pathogens influence cactuses. While cures for fungal diseases for cactuses are several, those which are available are natural and organic.

Copper Sulfate Fungicide Mixture

Copper, sulfur and lime are approved fungicides for its growing and dormant seasons. Mix 6 1/2 tsp of copper sulfate with 3 tbsp of hydrated lime and 2 pints of water. Filter the mixture through cheesecloth to remove any undissolved particles, and add the liquid to 1 gallon of water and pour the mix to a lawn sprayer. Liberally spray your cactuses with the mix, repeating every seven to 10 days and whenever it rains. This therapy works for cactuses suffering from Anthracnose and stem rot. Anthracnose is distinguished by light brownish fungal lesions with pink pustules. Stem rot typically affects younger cactuses, starting as small yellow spots and turning to brown spores that cause shriveling and shrinkage of the plant.

Removing Diseased Cactuses

Several cactus fungal diseases have no cure, such as leaf spot, dry rot and antiviral place. All three are characterized by discolored circular spots with fruiting bodies which grow as the disease progresses. No fungicides will cure your cactus of these diseases. In case your cactus has one of these diseases, the most natural method to control that the fungus is to remove and destroy the contaminated cactus. Always use caution and wear protective clothing, including long sleeves and gloves when removing a contaminated cactus.

Preventing Fungal Diseases

Fungal pathogens infect cactuses which are weak as a result of improper growing states or maintenance. Providing your cactus with the correct maintenance is a natural preventive to avoid infection. Wet soils are the usual cause for cactus disease and cactuses cannot live in wet or waterlogged soil for extended. Ensure your cactuses have soil with excellent drainage. When expanding them in a container, choose a specially invented cactus potting mix and consistently use a pot with a minumum of one drainage hole. When growing cactuses in the garden, provide a sand mixture amended with 25 percent pumice to give drainage but also retain nutrients.

Good, Old-Fashioned Water

If you notice fluffy white funguslike bodies in your cactus, this is the indication of a mealybug problem, although you may mistake it for a fungal disease. Also called cochineal insects, mealybugs are little red insects which feed on cactus, producing fluffy white sticky mounds to shield them from the components since they eat. They’re common on prickly pear (Opuntia humifusa), that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, and relevant species. You can normally control a little infestation with a strong stream of water in a garden hose. Spray the cactus with water, making sure the stream is not strong enough to damage the plant. To get tough-to-remove mealybugs in hard-to-reach places, use a cup of warm water with two drops of unscented dish soap and a soft toothbrush. As always, exercise caution and wear gloves when working on a cactus.

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Vole Control for Crown & Daffodils Imperials

You may be last to understand, when voles create a meal of your flower bulbs. Vole damage often does not show itself before blooms that are long-awaited fail to appear. Like many animals, voles have their favorites. If you are wise, you’ll capitalize on those tastes and choose accordingly. Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) , which increase at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 11, and crown imperials (Fritillaria imperialis), which increase in USDA zones 5 through 9, ranking low on vole-preferred menus. Harm may discourage to bulbs.

Vole-Resistant Bulbs

Gardeners have long thought that daffodils repel many garden pests, but researchers at Cornell University put the question. Researchers voles a daily diet including bulbs comparable to a tempting mix of dried, ground bulb and applesauce and your newly planted fall beauties, of flowering bulbs. Crown imperials and daffodils were one of the bulbs in both applesauce-enhanced delicacies and the fresh, to voles. Other highly vole-resistant bulbs comprised grape hyacinths (Muscari armeniacum), which increase in USDA zones 4 through 8. Planting these and comparable non-preferred bulbs sends voles.

Vole-Preferred Choices

In addition to using bulbs limiting vole favorites helps protect your garden from damage. While daffodils and crown imperials abandoned voles turning their noses up, Cornell researchers discovered that tulips (Tulipa spp.) , which increase in USDA zones 3 through 8 had diving into. Voles prefer the same bulbs which deer and squirrels love to feed . Tulips rated and revealed no resistance to vole damage, either new or at the blend. Other bulbs to avoid in vole-prone areas comprise crocus (Crocus spp.) , which increase in USDA zones 3 through 8 and reticulated iris (Iris reticulata), which increase in USDA zones 5 through 9.

Vole Deterrent Plans

To help bulbs create it through winter, begin with surrounding them with bulbs. The New York Botanical Garden recommends a wall of daffodils as a successful vole deterrent. Add a couple handfuls of gritty material, such as oyster shell, to the planting hole when planting bulbs that are vulnerable. This dissuades approaching voles. Use hardware cloth to form cages to protect tulips and other bulbs which voles tend to eat. Use a gauge chicken wire to your ground-level lid to deter deer and squirrels as well. These steps are not essential, although daffodils and crown imperials in in-ground cages, should you wish.

Vole Buffers

It is also possible to create the surrounding area less hospitable voles of your bulb garden. Also called meadow mice, voles spend some time above and under damaging over bulbs and making runways involving their burrow holes. By removing the grass and crops that shield their 14, reduce vole populations. Limit hiding areas in thick vegetation near. Create weed-free buffer areas . University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program recommends a minimal vole buffer. The wider the area, the less probable voles will risk crossing the divide.

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What Color Should I Paint My Kitchen With White Cabinets and Blue Countertops?

Blue counters in the kitchen may be a distinctive design also — or a daunting challenge. When the cupboards are white and your principal decor initiative is wall paint, then explore a few alternatives and try color swatches on the walls to save yourself time and expense of a less-than-stellar alternative to a potentially dull layout. The white and blue mixture could inspire icy or bright walls to get a cool or a hot kitchen.

Fresh Kitchen

Cobalt counters on the kitchen island and below the white cupboards are a strong color statement. Soften the plain shades with a different hue from nature’s garden palette and then paint the walls pale mint green. The mixture works with terra cotta, wood or bamboo flooring and brushed white or stainless appliances. Touches of brushed copper or copper are elegant in this kitchen a metallic sink at the blue counter with stainless stove and refrigerator, a copper beam behind a white enamel stove.

Gray Shades

White cabinets with a bit of gray would be the color of bleached stones, and light blue marble countertops are a mixture of grays, whites and blue veining. Stay cool in this low-key kitchen with walls painted flat dove gray to enlarge a little space. The delicate shade is complex and clean against the variegated slate colour and chalky white. It seems urban and high-tech with black stone or tile flooring, or ebony-stained hardwood shiny under clear, shiny polyurethane. Canvas Roman shades to coordinate with the walls and a breakfast nook equipped with a white Saarinen tulip table keep it timeless and contemporary.

A Bowl of Oranges

Burnt sienna or rust walls, textured or color-washed next to white cupboards, contrast with countertops of vivid electric blue tile in a kitchen that takes no prisoners. The daring complements of deep blue and orange are vibrant but harmonious; place a monkey-wood bowl filled with bananas on the blue countertop and varnish the wide plank flooring. Or cover the flooring in plain white vinyl to match the shiny white cupboards and bounce more light around the room. Utilizing a faux paint technique on the strong orange walls gives them more depth and also prevents the colour from appearing too heavy and solid.

Kitchen at the Sky

The cabinets are white laminate, along with the counters are sky-blue. This kitchen may be a washout if you are not careful, so receive the walls exactly perfect. Match wall paint into the counters just and include trim and touches of butcher block as a accent which picks up the tone of the hardwood flooring. Or paint the walls white but create a deep beam behind all the counters and the stove with sky-blue glass subway tile in slight variations on the hue to boost kitchen energy. Real slate flooring or huge white ceramic tile flooring function with this raised palette.

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Can I Mix Woods in My Kitchen Cabinets and Floors?

Your home is your castle, so in the event that you would like tigerwood flooring and cabinets made of birds-eye maple in the kitchen, then the one thing stopping you is your budget. Even if you’re a hardwood aficionado, however, a lot of shade — or even inconsistent colours or timber grains — can make the space look awkward. On the flip side, a tasteful mixture of hardwoods that harmonizes with the rest of the decor can certainly form up your kitchen.

Managing Visual Information

The materials you use to your floor and cabinets need to procrastinate, not just with each other, but with the walls and appliances. Hardwoods tend toward warm colours, and a tendency of the rest of the decor toward warmth gives you more latitude when blending them. If you are using the hardwood for a counterpoint in a kitchen with cool walls, lots of chrome or enameled appliances, then the combination of two distinct hardwoods may provide more visual information than the eye could comfortably handle. It is possible, however, to make a virtue from info overload and efficiently combine a number of hardwoods in the kitchen and throughout the house, as California designer Debbie Nassetta recommends.

Watch That Grain

Each hardwood species has a different grain pattern, and some are far more exaggerated than many others. Two hardwoods with notable grains, like hickory and pine, can readily clash when you used them in the exact same space. A few other hardwoods, like mahogany and clear walnut, are popular partly because they don’t have marked grains — those are usually safe to mix with different woods, provided the colours harmonize. Oak has a fairly notable grain and isn’t the easiest material to combine with other individuals. The hardwoods that function best with it are the ones that don’t compete for attention. Rather than tigerwood, for example, combine oak with yellow cherry or birch.

Visual Perspective

The floor and cabinets provide the majority of the shade in the kitchen, and they combine with the walls and ceiling to create a space which can be relaxing, sumptuous or conducive to function. Whatever your predilections for kitchen layout, keeping colors close to the floor darker than those higher up could be grounding, based on layout consultant Laurie March. If you are more into visual comparison, however, you might prefer to follow Nassetta’s information and make the flooring shade lighter than the cabinets. One advantage of this strategy is that light wood flooring are easier to keep clean than dark ones.

Layout Tips

Regardless of that hardwoods you pair in your kitchen, they will highlight each other, and it is a fantastic idea to store additional visual information into a minimum. If the kitchen includes unpainted wood trim, it should be the exact same material as the cabinets — not a third material. Rather than making a statement with flowery window coverings, then use a monochromatic or subtle pattern that is happy to remain in the background. The wall and ceiling colours may also fade in the background, or they could be daring, but they need to be uncomplicated. Utilizing the exact same colour for both is better than your two-tone strategy.

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