Click inside for the weekly home and garden rail, with tips on growing roses, how to use glaze in a painting project, the benefits of a heated towel rack, and more. Or check out the links below:
Home page: Lava lamps are still hot
Energy-efficient home includes rich aesthetic environment
Garbage pail provides starts for plants
Superb shrubs for multi-seasonal appeal
More in home and garden
Garden Guide: Growing roses easy with these tips
No other flower can evoke romance in the garden like a rose. As America's favorite flower, roses can be found adorning homes in quaint coastal villages to rural farmlands, modern cities to quiet mountain retreats.
"Anybody can grow roses, no matter where they live. If you can grow grass, you can grow roses in your landscape," says James A. Baggett, editor of Country Gardens Magazine.
Renowned landscape designer Jon Carloftis plants shrub roses in containers. "I like to give them perfect planting conditions such as good drainage, rich soil and the addition of regular fertilizer that won't be an overdose to neighboring plants," he says.
Here are the basics for all those who are a bit rose-phobic and long for rosy success:
Sunlight: Provide your roses with direct sunlight for at least five to six hours each day.
Soil: Roses grow best in good soil with a pH ranging from 6.5 to 6.8. Till to a depth of 2 feet, adding a good organic compost or peat moss for healthy drainage.
Location: Don't plant roses too close to shrubs or trees that will compete for water, light and nutrients. Provide them with adequate space for air circulation.
Water: It's best to water rose bushes twice a week, thoroughly at the base of the plant. Avoid late-evening watering that can foster powdery mildew. Instead, water early in the morning to allow the leaves to dry before nightfall.
Fertilize: Fertilize roses every one to two months starting in the spring with balanced fertilizers containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Stop fertilizing in late summer or early fall to prepare them for dormancy.
Drainage: Whether you grow them in containers or the ground, good drainage is necessary to prevent water from pooling at the roots. Improve drainage with tilling or raised beds and containers with drainage holes.
Decorating Tip: Where to place pictures
When hanging groups of photos, place smaller ones above the large ones to avoid a “top-heavy” look. Darker pictures should also be hung lower because they have more visual weight.
Over a sofa, start your arrangement 6 to 9 inches up from the back of the sofa. Width-wise, your arrangement should be about two-thirds the width of the sofa.
These tips should make groupings of photos or art more graceful and aesthetically pleasing.
-- Hunter Douglas
Home-Selling Tip: Easy bathroom upgrades
Upgrading a bathroom might help you sell your home, but costs can soar with this type of project. Luckily, even a few minor updates can improve resale appeal and value. Consider paining cabinet doors, adding new faucets, reglazing the tub, or replacing outdated lighting fixtures.
How To: Use glaze in a painting project
Glaze is a neutral paint formula to which no pigment has been added.
It’s most often used to achieve decorative paint finishes; when glaze is mixed with paint, it provides transparency and slows the drying time. The glaze keeps the paint “open” so you can rub, rag, stipple or blend to create interesting textures.
Glaze is typically latex based and available in paint departments. Although it looks milky when first opened, it is semi-transparent when dry.
-- Home Depot Home Improver Club
Did You Know …
Check out how homeowner insurance companies rank with consumers at www.bbb.org/us/jdpower-power-circle-ratings.
Home Improvements: Heat up your bathroom
Radiant heating products are a great addition to your bathroom, especially during the winter months.
A heated towel rack is an easy way to create a spa-like bathroom without spending a fortune or completely remodeling.
Many products can function as freestanding heaters or be safely mounted to a wall. For an easy DIY project, look for a model that is lightweight and can be plugged into a standard outlet in your bathroom.
Backyard Buddies: Network with other bird lovers
The Natural Resources Defense Council has partnered with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to create www.welovebirds.org, a Web site where bird-lovers can share stories and information about birds and learn how to help protect birds from activities that harm them and their habitat.
In addition to a community of bloggers, there is a discussion forum on bird and bird watching, and links to the latest bird news.
And don’t forget to check out the fun and useful features like the comprehensive bird guide, nest cams and video tutorials on birding.
GateHouse News Service