It was a long search that took me more than ten years. But finally I found it – the indoor house plant that will brighten up the end of a corridor 5 meters from my front door. The Aspidistra, commonly known as the Cast Iron plant, has graced the drawing rooms of many an otherwise drab Victorian English manor, and now graces my suburban Sydney brick home.
Many gardening experts describe the Aspidistra as one of the toughest and most adaptable house plants. Its long blades of slender dark green or variegated dark green and white leaves shoot straight out from the soil but in clumps and up to 75 cm in height and 15 cm wide. Continue reading
Selling your house? There are many ways to get top dollar for your home without spending a lot of time and money. All it takes is a little bit of ingenuity and a few tried-and-true home improvement tips.
“One of the areas that can really make an impression on the potential homebuyer is the exterior and backyard,” said Dave Martel, veteran contractor and co-inventor of Tiger Claw hidden deck fasteners. “A nice lush green lawn and attractive landscaping are two of the most obvious things to look for, but there’s something more. The next time you see a deck, patio, porch or hot tub area, look down. Chances are you’ll see ugly black stains, wood rot, and splits and cracks in the wood. A relatively new deck can look ages old.” Continue reading
When you shop for house plants, trees or vegetables at a nursery, you’re greeted by row after row of great looking plants; but if you’re like most people, you have a hard time keeping them looking that way when you get them home. So what do nursery workers know that you don’t?
“The secret is in the way you water the plants,” says Susan Thayer, who is an expert in landscape irrigation. Thayer owns and operates the Southern Citrus Nursery in Dundee, Fla., as well as Mister Landscaper, a company that specializes in low-volume landscape irrigation.
“When my family started in the citrus business 95 years ago, we relied on hand watering and rain. Then came overhead sprinklers, but they presented problems. They not only use more water than needed, they tend to water undesirable areas, promoting weed growth in the orchards and groves,” she says. Continue reading
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