2 Home Decor Crafts for a Romantic Living Room

Your living room is a special place, and this special place does not have to be boring. You can add a romantic theme to any living room with a few simple home décor crafts. This article will provide you with step-by-step instructions on several home décor crafts that will create a romantic living room.
Scented Centerpiece

The centerpiece in your living room will add a lot of atmosphere to this room; it is important to have a romantic centerpiece if you want to include a romantic ambience to your living room. For this craft you will need some essential oils in romantic scents such as rose, jasmine, and vanilla; you will also need a glass bowl, candles of various sizes, some fake roses, and Epsom salts.

Start this craft by pouring about a cup and a half of Epsom salts in the glass bowll, add a few drops of essential oils, and mix the slats around to evenly coat them. Next gently shake the bowl to even the salts out, and press the candles into the center of the bowl in a free spirited fashion. Finally remove the rosebuds from the stems and place them around the candles. This lovely centerpiece will add a romantic touch to your living room, and you can change the salts or add more oil when the scent needs a boost.

2 Home Decor Crafts to Remanence up your Living Room

Stencil Walls

A simple and fun way to make your living room more romantic is by stenciling something romantic on the wall. This may be a simple love quote, a rose border, or an intricate heart design; feel free to let your romantic nature be the guide when picking the stencil for this romantic home décor craft. For this craft you will need a stencil, waterproof paint, paper towels, a paper plate, stenciling brushes, and painter’s tape.

Start by gently taping your stencil top the wall and pour some paint onto a plate. Next dab your brush in the paint and dab it a couple more times onto the paper towel. When stenciling you want a light layer of couple and you want to work in a bouncing motion. Do not try to make brush strokes or use a lot of paint at once. This will lead to paint seeping under the stencil. Start at the outside edge of the stencil and dab up and down in a bouncing motion until you have colored the entire space. This romantic home décor craft is easy and fun to complete.

Besides stenciling on the wall, you can also try wallpaper, learn more in this post

Romantic Throw Blanket

A throw blanket can instantly add a romantic style to any living room, and it is an easy home décor craft. For this living room craft you will need fleece fabric in a romantic color such as dusty rose or burgundy. You will also need scissors, fabric glue, and some lace.

If you’re interested in more cheap tips for accessorizing your home, check out this post

Start by cutting the fleece a little bit bigger than the throw you would like to create. Next cut four inch slits into the entire side of two opposite sides of the blanket to create a pretty fringe. Next use your fabric glue to add a lace border to the sides of the throw. You can also use the fabric glue to add other details such as pearls, tiny ribbon roses, or ribbon. This simple no-sew throw blanket is guaranteed to add a romantic theme to your living room.There are many simple ways to make your living room more romantic, and I hope these home décor crafts have helped you add a little more romance to your living room.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/2-home-decor-crafts-romantic-living-room/

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Garbage Disposal Common Issues and Repairs

garbage disposal

Fixing disposal problems is actually a simple job, if you’re equipped with the right knowledge. Nonetheless, a lot of people are still scared on dealing with garbage disposal problems, which usually lead to freaking out and calling a professional to get some help. To save you from this dilemma, here are some do it yourself solutions for you garbage disposal problems.

Common Garbage Disposal Issues and Repairs

Disposal Noise Problems

One common problem encountered with garbage disposals is that they may produce too much noise when used. You might hear some rattling or grinding sounds, every time you turn it on. If noises like these are present, it is probably caused by an object, possibly a metal which was unintentionally dropped down your disposal.

Having this kind of problem unattended can cause damage to your disposal blades. To fix it, turn off the electrical power for that area of your house. Then, get a flashlight and a needle nosed pliers. Using these, look for an item which causes the noise.

Once you find the item that simply doesn’t belong inside your disposal, and then pull it by using your pliers. After this, the noise should be gone and your disposal will do just fine.

When Nothing Happens Another commonly experienced problem is when nothing happens when you turn on the disposal. Generally, if this is the case and you can’t hear even a single hum, it means that power isn’t getting into the disposal unit.

It could be that you have to reset your unit or your circuit breaker is tripped. First, you should look beneath your sink and take a look at your unit. You should find a small red button placed somewhere on the bottom side. Press the button and hold it for a number of seconds.

After pressing, try to use your unit again. It should start normally, as if it is brand new. If it doesn’t start, then you have to do another trick. Find your electrical panel and see if you have a tripped circuit breaker. Try to reset the breaker that is in charge for that area. After resetting, go back to your drainage unit and do the first step all over again.

This should fix the problem.

If nothing still happens, then it’s about time that you call a professional, because it can be a sign of a bigger overall problem.

While working on your garbage disposal, you might encounter a leaky pipe, learn how to repair it in this post

Disposal Humming But Not Working

This is the last real possible problem that you can encounter with your disposal. Sometimes if you place wrong kinds of food in your unit, it gets jammed up. This can also happen if you put too much food down your disposal without running it.

To fix this, turn off your unit’s the power and use pliers to reach into your unit and pull out whatever it is that is obstructing the blades and keeps it from spinning. After you have pulled the clog out, get an Allen wrench and use it to spin the blades manually.

If the blades are now turning, then you are done with the problem. If it’s still not spinning, this means that there are still more that you should remove. Be sure that you remove everything out, so that you won’t encounter the same problem again in the near future.

Once you got the blades spinning manually, try to turn on the power, reset your unit and see if it’s working. If it’s still humming, then check for more clogs. If you’re sure that there are no more obstructions and the problem is still there, then you’ve got the green light to call a professional.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/garbage-disposal-common-issues-repairs/

NASTURTIUMS

Some plants like to be pampered. Others prefer a hands-off approach. Nasturtiums thrive on neglect. Just give them a sunny spot in poor, dry soil.

 

These vivacious plants feel at home in hot color gardens. Numerous yellow, orange, and red flowering varieties are available. For other color schemes, soft pastels are available.

In the landscape, nasturtiums have many uses. They’re valuable additions to flower beds and borders. When you’re creating your container plantings, include some nasturtiums. These jewels of summer always look their best. Even when they aren’t in bloom, the intriguing bluish-green foliage can add a spark of interest to any planting.

Bird lovers everywhere will be pleased to know that nasturtiums attract hummingbirds.

If you’re looking for plants with unusual scents, this is the one. Both the foliage and blooms have a characteristic fragrance.

This herb belongs in the edible landscape. The pungent, peppery blooms are often added to salads, and used as a colorful garnish. The seed pods are sometimes pickled as a condiment.

So far as size and growth habit are concerned, you should choose the variety that best fits your particular needs. Most nasturtiums are about a foot in height with a two foot spread. But the climbing varieties are an exception. If provided with proper support, these can be 6 feet in height.

Usually nasturtium plants are available at garden centers. I prefer to grow mine from seed, since they don’t always tolerate transplanting as well as some other annuals.

In flowerbeds and borders, direct sowing is easy to do. The same is true for containers. For mixed container gardens, I just stick the seed in the potting soil after I’ve inserted the other plants. Nasturtiums grow so quickly that they’re established in no time.

If you’re short on time, these plants are an excellent choice. They’re very undemanding, and require very little water. When you’re creating container plantings, interplant them with other drought-tolerant herbs, such as helichrysums, rosemary, and lavender.

Regarding insect and disease problems, I’ve never noticed nasturtiums are affected by these.

When it comes right down to it, nasturtiums are just plain fun to grow. That makes them very suitable for children’s gardens. Kids will find the large seed are easy to handle. This flower is fool-proof, fast growing, and quick to bloom, attributes that children will appreciate.

Though nasturtiums were originally perennials in South America, they’re usually treated as annuals, and discarded after the first frost.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/nasturtiums/

3 Shrubs Display Four Seasons of Interest

Some bushes and shrubs produce a glorious display of spring flowers or fall foliage but then are rather inconspicuous during the rest of the year. However, there are several landscaping bushes that will add four seasons of color or interest to the home garden. When considering new landscaping plants, think about planting bushes like viburnums, Virginia sweetspire and bearberry. These shrubs are very versatile and add texture, color, foliage or flowers to the landscape in spring, summer, fall and winter.

To begin planning, consider the existing landscaping and select the proper shrub for the size needed, location, weather conditions and soil. For example, Vibirnums come in many sizes but Virginia sweetspire is mid-sized and bearberry is tall. Most shrubs prefer full sun and can grow in most types of well-drained soil, though Virginia sweetspire can tolerate damp locations.

 

3 Shrubs for everlasting beauty


Virburnum

Virburnum

Virburnums come in a wide range of sizes, from dwarf to ten feet tall. They are good for ornamental hedges. Most have pink or white flowers in spring, berries and textured leaves. In the fall the leaves turn reddish purple. In winter the graceful branches add interest and look especially nice with snow on them. The leaves linger on in winter, adding both color and texture. Viburnum grows best in full sun and well-drained soil but it can tolerate most conditions. It has an adaptable root system making them easily transplantable. Most diseases and pests do not bother this shrub.

 

 

 


Check out: Pruning and Cutting Guide to learn how to prune your shrubs properly

Virginia Sweetspire

Itea virginica
Virginia Sweetspire

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica ) is a deciduous shrub that stays small. It is good for use in pots and only grows to about 4 feet tall. This shrub bears pleasant smelling white flowers in July and has colorful foliage in the fall. The flowers are white and clustered on long elegant stems and the blossoms closer to the base of this stem open first. Birds and butterflies love this plant. Virginia sweetspire has medium or dark green leaves that turn orange, yellow and red in the fall. Dark red stems add winter color. It is drought tolerant and prefers slightly acidic soil. It is native to damp areas in the US, but is also drought tolerant. Be aware that Virginia sweetspire spreads by runners and can become invasive.

 

 


Bearberry

kinnikinnick
Bearberry

Bearberry (Arctostaphylos) has many names. Some call it kinnikinnick, which means “mixture” in Algonquin because the Native Americans mixed it with tobacco and smoked it. It has red berries that bears love, hence the common name. Bearberry is also called hog cranberry, sandberry, foxberry, crowberry. This evergreen shrub is generally 6-12’ tall and 3-15’ wide. The stems trail and make a good groundcover. It is drought tolerant and attracts birds and hummingbirds. Bearberry prefers well-drained, sandy, acidic soils but can tolerate most other kinds. It grows slowly and does not like high temperatures. Bearberry flowers with small, bell shaped pink or white blossoms in spring. The small, dark green leathery leaves turn bronze in autumn. The thin red bark peels and adds color and texture in winter. The berries also stay on the bushes through the winter. Bearberry can be difficult to transplant or become established.


 

Care When Planting New Shrubs

Once a new shrub like virburnum, Virginia sweetspire or bearberry has been selected, it can be purchased from a local garden center or online garden retailer as burlap wrapped root balls or in plastic pots. These shrubs are best added to the landscape in either the spring or fall, but can be planted at any time the ground is not frozen or dry from summer heat. Dig the hole as deep as the soil level around the new shrub and twice as wide as the root ball. Loosen the soil in the hole so the plant can more easily take root. Gently remove the pot or wrapping and add the plant to the hole. Firmly pack the soil around the plant and water well. With careful watering, the new shrub should add color, flowers and foliage variety to the home landscape for years to come.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/virburnum-virginia-sweetspire-bearberry/

Install a Closet Organizer

If you have taken the time to invest in organizing your closet, congratulations. Most of us think about it, but we don’t get around to doing it. Once you have sorted through everything and decided on the types of organizing materials to add to your closet, you are about half way done with the project. Installing the custom closet organizer system is the next part of the project for you to tackle. You have the option of having someone install it for you or to do it yourself.

Learn all about Closet Organizers

If you hire someone to install the custom closet organizer system for you, make sure they are skilled in this area. You can hire a professional, a friend, or a family member to complete it for you. Make sure you have discussed everything thoroughly before they begin including how you want the closet area to look, the deadline for completing the project, if you will provide the tools or they need to bring their own, and the amount you will pay for the finished project. You can choose to pay by the hour or a flat rate for the entire project.

Installing a Custom Closet Organizer DIY

You will save money if you are willing to install your custom closet yourself. It is a good idea to ask someone to lend you a hand. This makes installing and leveling much easier with an extra pair of hands in there. It is important to only use the right tools. Most custom closet products can be installed using basic tools including a flat head screwdriver, a Phillips head screwdriver, a level, a hammer, and a drill. It works best if you have a cordless drill. I power screwdriver helps too as it will ensure all the screws are in place securely.

Before you begin putting the custom closet products together, take a few minutes to make sure all of the required parts to do so are there as well as the instruction manual. All of the necessary parts for the materials will be listed in the instruction manual. If you are missing any parts you have two options, contact the customer service for the manufacturer or go to the hardware store and purchase the missing parts yourself if it something like screws that they will have in stock.

Next read through your instruction manual. Do this before you start putting anything together. If you don’t understand any part of it, ask the person assisting you to read over it. You can also look the information up on the internet or contact the customer service support team for the manufacturer.

If you are using a closet organizer kit, then make sure you follow the instructions for the proper order of installing the pieces. This is because some of them fit together in a particular way. If you purchased separate pieces of closet organizers, install them from the bottom up. It is also a good idea to have each area for the particular item outlined so that you are positive not to put it in the area designated for another closet organizing product. If this happens you will find yourself having to take some of the products out and reinstalling them.

It is important that you adjust things as necessary. If you don’t have any studs to attach the closet organization products to, it is a good idea to add wall anchors and braces to give the products added support. For the best results, purchase quality items from your home improvement store.

For the best results, take your time installing the custom closet accessories and products. Make sure each item is level before you secure it in place. Following these installation tips will help you transform your closet into a well organized area. Once you clean up the work area, the fun will begin. You are going to be very excited as you start putting your items back into the closet because of how great everything looks!

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From http://allaroundthe.house/install-closet-organizer/

How to Reduce Mowing Time

a reduction in mowing time will save you time

While having a beautiful, green lawn seems to be the ideal goal for most householders, it actually creates a great deal of work and cost in fertilizing, mowing, and watering. While it is possible to install an automatic watering system, there is no way to get automatic mowing – unless you hire someone else to do it or use a robotic lawnmower..

Creating large gardens will reduce the lawn area, but much use should be made of perennial plants and mulching or the time saved in mowing will be spent in maintaining the gardens. Don’t plant anything that needs pruning, renewing or much of anything else in the garden. Go for shrubs of all sizes, groundcovers and even bulbs that come up year after year.

Check out our Guide to Low Maintenance Landscaping to learn more beyond the grass.

Replace Lawn With Another Surface

A beautiful walkway will enhance your landscapeReplace much of the lawn with a hard surface. This could be some form of decking against the back of the house; a gravel courtyard area; a fishpond surrounded by cement, tiles or artificial turf, or a barbeque and entertaining area made from wood chips, gravel or flagstones.

Replace the lawn with water – in the form of a large lily pond or a swimming pool. The swimming pool can be surrounded by decking and/or artificial grass. This may be rather more expensive than a small fishpond, but it will add value and create a wonderful – and safe – place for the kids to play. Pools also create coolness in the environment.

Make paths; the addition of paths meandering through your lawn will certainly create interest. And if they also divide the lawn into sections, mowing will be easier – and reduced slightly, depending on how many paths there are. Making them wider than usual will take away more lawn without taking away from the space.

Check out 3 Walkway Options for a Beautiful Landscape

Growing larger trees will prevent the lawn from growing as quickly because grass needs sunlight to grow well. However, bare patches can look unsightly so pebbles may need to be added underneath the trees.

 

the proper grasses will grow slow reducing mowing timeRe-Sow the Lawn

Replace the lawn with a no-mow grass. Replacing the lawn altogether with a different kind of grass can also be a solution to reduce mowing time. No-mow grasses include sheep and other kinds of fescue. These grasses do need mowing but only around three times per year. They are slow growers, but do not grow as tall as other turf grass.

If planting a no-mow mixture on a slope a grass blanket may need to be put down so that rain does not wash the fine seed to the bottom of the slope before it can germinate. This will soon rot down into the soil. No-mow mixes can be sown over the top of other turf and will eventually crowd it out.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/no-mow-lawn/

3 Steps to Make a Garden Plot

prepare your garden for great yields

Certain steps must be taken in order to successfully make a garden plot, including choosing the correct area and amending the soil before plants can go in. Matching the plants to the area chosen is a crucial, yet often over-looked aspect of garden design many beginners forget about.

 

3 Important Tips to Making a Garden Plot


Make a Garden Plot- Choose the Location Carefully

a quality location will make or break your gardenChoosing the correct location is very important to the success of the garden. Considerations must be made for sunlight and drainage requirements when considering which plants to grow in the area to make the garden plot most successful. For plants which require full sun, an area which receives at least six hours of sunlight will suffice. For part shade plants, four to six hours of dappled sunlight is good. Full shade means not much light at all can be gotten by the plants, so an ideal location would be under a tree or next to a building or fence. Many different techniques can be used to increase sunlight in an area without cutting down a tree or knocking down a wall. The use of reflective elements, such as glass, can improve light conditions. Mirrors should be avoided in climates that get really hot during the growing season, as this is a fire hazard.

Consideration must be made for all areas of the yard available, including the front yard, side of the house, and tucked-away back corners of the yard. Careful observation of potential areas chosen to make a garden plot should be made at least four months prior to the implementation of the garden to ensure the proper amount of sunlight is had at the specific location considered. Different areas may be considered to make sure the ideal conditions exist for specific plants considered. It is important to remember that during the winter time in certain areas not as much sunlight will be observed as would be observed in the summer. For example, in Northern climates, in a specific area, only six hours of sunlight may be observed in January whereas more than eight hours of sunlight may be observed in July.

 

Make a Garden Plot- Amend the Soil

Know how to prepare your garden soilThe soil in the specific location chosen due to sunlight requirements should be amended before planting. Timing of amending the soil often depends upon the specific type of plants to be grown in the area. For example, hardy perennial fruit-bearing bushes, such as blueberries, require soil amendment a year before planting the bush. Annual flowers and vegetables can be successfully grown in soil which was amended a few weeks before planting. Amending the soil will ensure the best success to make a garden plot.

Soil can be amended in a number of ways. One important step for most soil types regardless of what is ultimately added to the soil includes aerating the soil. The best way to do this is to dig up the area where the garden plot is to be made with a shovel, digging two feet below the surface. This will ensure that the soil is friable and light, making it much easier for plant roots to grow. An often over-looked aspect of gardening is the fact that plant roots require air as well as water. If organic growing is the method of choice for the garden plot, compost can be added when digging the soil. If non-organic methods are to be used, fertilizers typically should be added slightly below the surface to ensure the roots of the plants can easily take up the available nutrients.

Learn more about quality soil in this post

Make a Garden Plot- Choose Plants Wisely

great companion planting will yield resultsPlants should be chosen wisely in order to ensure the best success to make a garden plot. Along with selecting plants for shade tolerance or sunlight requirements, plants which have been bred to not become susceptible to common diseases should be used. These plants can be grown organically easier than those susceptible to diseases. If buying plants from a reputable nursery, information on common diseases and immunity should be available for plants purchased.

Tags in the plant pots or information on the backs of seed packets will explain sunlight requirements for specific plants. As a rule of thumb, fruiting vegetable plants such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and zucchini require six to eight hours of sunlight per day during the growing season. Other vegetables, such as beans and peas, can be successfully grown in partial shade. Broccoli and spinach can be grown in shade. Various flowers have certain requirements as well. Some flowers which have traditionally been grown in full sun have been bred to grow in part-shade with much success.

Heat tolerance is another important aspect to consider when choosing plants. Certain plants should not be grown in Southern climates during the summer but can be very successfully grown in cooler weather. Cold tolerance is important as well for Northern climates, especially when considering perennial plants. The prudent gardener will know his or her USDA zone before shopping for plants.

Following these basic guidelines, anyone can make a garden plot with success. Choosing the area, amending the soil, and choosing appropriate plants are important aspects to consider to ensure the most success.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/proper-garden-plot/

Cleaning Carpets to Maintain a Healthy Environment

clean your carpets before the holidays

Keeping home carpets clean is important to maintaining a healthy environment. Dirt and allergen particles from carpets can enter the air causing poor air quality, that can aggravate allergies asthma and other breathing problems. Home carpet cleaning removes dirt, debris and allergens from carpet fibers. Generally, vacuum carpets on a regular basis, such as once or twice a week, but heavy traffic areas may need vacuuming more often.

If carpets become heavily soiled, steam cleaning may be necessary.

Vacuum Carpet

deep cleaning carpets can make them look newBefore vacuuming carpets, make sure to remove all clutter from carpets. This is especially important in children’s bedrooms where small toys or toy parts may litter carpet. Some small items, such as paper clips, rubber bands and marbles can damage vacuum cleaners.

Removing dirt or loose soil that remains on carpet surfaces prevent it from penetrating deep into the carpet or embedded by foot traffic.

When vacuuming, use a slow, deliberate forward motion pushing the vacuum cleaner a few feet at a time, then reverse the direction. The vacuum cleaner will operate more efficiently to remove dirt and allergens.

While vacuuming, if a stain is found, it is important to attempt stain removal as quickly as possible. Usually, the longer a carpet stain remains, the more difficult it is to remove. If liquid from the stain soaks into the carpet padding, mold can grow which can contribute to poor air quality.

Have a particularly troubling stain? Check out this post, to learn how to remove carpet stains!

Steam Cleaning Carpet

steam cleaning is great for your carpetSteam cleaning carpet is a way to deep clean heavily soiled carpet. Steam cleaning involves high temperature and pressure to clean carpet. Purchasing or renting a steam cleaner, sometimes called wet-clean machine, from a grocery or hardware store, will be necessary for the do-it-yourselfer. Professional carpet cleaning companies are available for people who want carpets deep cleaned, but do not have the time for a carpet cleaning project.

Remove all furniture before beginning the steam cleaning process, so the entire carpet is available for cleaning.

Vacuuming the carpet before steam cleaning is important to remove any loose dirt and debris.

Pre-treat any stains on the carpet before beginning the steaming process. Read the directions for operation of the carpet steamer and clean the carpet.

Allow at least 24 hours for the carpet to dry before walking on it. If possible, open windows to allow air to circulate and help with the drying process or turn on a fan to circulate air for faster drying.

Vacuuming and steam cleaning remove dirt, debris and allergens from the carpet fibers. Since steam cleaning carpet is more time consuming than vacuuming carpet, many people choose to employ professional carpet cleaning companies for steam cleaning. Keeping home carpets clean by vacuuming regularly and steam cleaning when necessary will contribute to maintaining a healthy environment.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/cleaning-home-carpets/

Evergreen Climbers for Covering Walls and Fences

flowering evergreen climbers add depth and beauty to your home

Evergreen perennial climbers are especially useful on garden walls and fences when ground space is at a premium in your landscape. They can also provide great color and perfume – unlike the usual hedge solution. Hydrangea, Clematis and Honeysuckle all provide large, fast-growing examples of up to 40ft or more.

3 Easy to Grow Long-Flowering Climbing Plants

Evergreen climbers can flower intermittently for up to 10 months in any one year. Although the first flowering is usually the most dazzling and floriferous, these are often followed by pauses of up to a month between lesser, subsequent flowerings. Evergreen climbers are often hardier than their deciduous cousins. They provide year-round interest in any garden, only losing a relatively small proportion of their foliage during the harshest winters. While evergreen climbers are easy to grow, like conifers, they need about 3 years to get established before they really start to shift.

hydrangeas are perfect for the home
Evergreen Hydrangea

 

Click here for a more detailed guide on how to grow hydrangea – especially through their first winter.

 

Evergreen Hydrangea

Hydrangea seemanii is an evergreen hydrangea that will grow 3x faster than H. petiolaris normally available in garden centres and they have near identical flowers. But unlike H. petiolaris, Hydrangea seemanii doesn’t need any artificial support! It holds fast to any surface. Flowering commences around early July and lasts about six weeks.

Learn more about growing hydrangeas here
clematis is a hardy climber for your home
Evergreen Clematis

Evergreen Clematis

Clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ is a large evergreen clematis. This excellent perennial climber has dark green, glossy, elongated leaves and white, star-shaped, fragrant flowers that begin in late March and will continue right through the summer and in to early winter (in between pauses).

Alternative evergreen clematis (although smaller) include; Clematis Fragrant Oberon and Clematis ‘Freckles’. Clematis Fragrant Oberon was named after the king of the fairies and has lemon-yellow flowers that appear to glow against their dark green foliage.

Clematis ‘Freckles’ has creamy white, pendulous flowers, which have dark red spots on the inside of the petals and is particularly good if you require winter interest.

honeysuckle attracts butterflies
Evergreen Honeysuckle

Evergreen Honeysuckle

Lonicera similis delavayi is a fantastic honeysuckle. Introduced from Western China in 1901, this honesuckle is something of a late developer but well worth the wait. Long fragrant white and yellow flowers appear in the latter half of July for the initial bloom burst which is spectacular. After the initial flowering Lonicera similis delavayi will keep flowering off and on until Christmas. You can even put a perfumed garland on your Christmas table!

The images below include this fabulous honeysuckle in late winter. Here is the same plant in full flower.

Learn more about growing honeysuckle here

General information

These three evergreens are all recommended and happily take to east, west and south-facing walls in the author’s garden at 600ft altitude in a region well-known for moisture-laden, high winds. All have been snow-covered down to -12C.

These plants flower on the previous years growth, so they don’t need regular annual pruning. However, established evergreen climbers will flower better for having had a good ‘hack’ every 4 or 5 of years. ‘Pruning’ just won’t do, they will need a good ‘hack’ to thin all the branches and keep the plant closer to the wall – say about a foot to 18″(45cms) otherwise they will go 4ft or more beyond the wall given time.

Evergreen climbers provide natural security and shade on walls and fences and make a popular habitat for small birds.

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From http://allaroundthe.house/flowering-climbers/

5 Ways to Dry Flowers for Crafts

dry flowers are ideal for crafts, learn how to do them

By learning different ways to dry flowers you can open the doors to a wide variety of craft projects. Preserve your wedding flower bouquet, prom corsage, baby shower flowers, or make simple greeting cards and other fun projects with a unique assortment of wild flowers. All of these dried flower crafts will require one important job – drying the flowers. There are several ways to dry flowers for crafts, some of which can take longer than others. The techniques we’ve listed below are easy to follow and fairly inexpensive.

 

5 Ways to Dry Flowers Easily


How to dry flowers with cat litter

If you have an indoor cat, you already have all the supplies needed for this flower drying technique. If not, head out to the store and purchase a small bag of inexpensive cat litter. The flowers that work especially well for this method are roses.

using cat litter to dry flowers preserves their shapeTIP – There should be no moisture (including dew or rain) on the flowers before drying.
  1. Remove the flower heads and discard the stems.
  2. In a deep microwave-safe bowl pour approximately five cups of cat litter.
  3. Using your finger, dig out a space in the litter for the flower heads to sit and place the flowers (face up) in the bowl.
  4. Spoon a bit more litter over the flower heads.
  5. Place the bowl (uncovered) in the microwave for two minutes on full power.
  6. Leave the bowl in the microwave for 20 – 30 minutes to allow the flower drying technique to finish.
  7. Remove the bowl from the microwave and brush off the cat litter with a soft brush.

How to dry flowers by pressing

use a heavy book to press dry flowersThis flower drying technique takes time, but it is an easy and effective way to preserve special flowers.

  1. Place your flowers flat on a sheet of newspaper, paper towels, or other dry paper product. Do not allow them to touch each other.
  2. Place a thin layer of paper towels over the flowers.
  3. Get two books and sandwich the flowers between both of them. The top book will need to be heavy, or something heavy will need to placed on top of it.
  4. Place everything in a dark spot, such as a closet or basement room. This flower drying technique will take several months or longer, but when you finally remove them they will still look colorful and like new.

Dry flowers are great for homemade decorations, learn about some more cheap decorating tips here

How to dry flowers with Silica crystals

safe silica that keeps clothes dry will preserve flowersUsing Silica crystals is one of the most costly ways to dry flowers on our list, but it is a quick method that yields beautiful results. These gel crystals are available at virtually all craft stores.

  1. Add a few inches of Silica crystals to the bottom of a microwave-safe container.
  2. Place the flowers (stems upright) into the gel.
  3. Add another two inches of crystals.
  4. Place the bowl in the microwave and follow time instructions on the packaging.
  5. Remove the flowers from the microwave and brush off excess crystals.


How to dry flowers with Borax

Borax has many uses like drying flowersThis flower drying technique works in the same way as the Silicone crystal method, but Borax is much cheaper. Thus, follow the steps listed above. There is only one additional step required.

Additional step – After you have removed the container from the microwave, immediately place it in a dark room such as a closet or basement space. After a few days, check the texture of the flowers. When they feel like paper, this flower drying technique is complete. Brush off the excess Borax with a soft brush.

 

 

 


How to dry flowers by air drying

air drying flowers is an easy way to use them for craftsThis is also a very easy flower drying technique, but it does take patience. I used this method to preserve my wedding bouquet and it worked beautifully, but it did take almost a year to complete.

  1. Separate flowers into several small groupings. Remove all excess foliage from the stems. You will need to place 6 – 8 flowers in each group.
  2. Use string and tie around the stems of the flowers to securely hold them together. Do this with each group.
  3. These flowers will need to hang upside down in a very dark room. I used a closet that we rarely used and tied each string to a wire hanger to keep them in place. After almost a year, I removed the dried flowers and placed them in a vase.

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