Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Leeks

These tall, stately onion relatives are known for their function in soups, but savvy cooks add them to other dishes too. They’re handsome plants that are worth raising in your autumn or spring garden, but plan your own garden area with them in mind. They take at least 90 days to grow, and that’s just for the baby leeks; otherwise you’re looking at four months to more than half of the year. You’ll also need to always mound soil around them to keep the lower part of the stalk white. When you do harvest, then there’ll be a bare place in the backyard. But they love the cooler weather and also can deal with the cold.

More: The way to grow cool-season veggies

When to plant: due to the long growing season, beginning with seedlings is preferable. Should you want to increase leeks from seed, then start about six weeks sooner than you want to set them out. They are truly fall veggies when it comes to planting date. You can set them out on the first frost date in locations where summers are mild. Otherwise set out them in the autumn so they will be older in spring.

Days to maturity: 90 to more than 200

Light requirement: Complete sun, though needs some shade in very hot summers

Water necessity: Regular watering

Favorites: Bandit, Blue Solaise, Giant Musselburgh, King Richard, Varna

Planting and care:
Transplant seedlings into routine, rich ground about 5 inches deep and at least two feet apart (4 feet apart is likely better). Keep the soil consistently moist and fertilize it every couple weeks. Pests are rather infrequent, though you may have difficulties with thrips.

As the plants grow, mound soil around the bottoms to blanch the stalks. Keep the soil just under the leaf joints therefore it will not find its way into the shanks.

Harvest: If the stalks reach 1/2 inch two inches thick, then gently work them from the ground. You’ll probably need a spading fork, as they run deep. In mild-winter climates, you may set out successive plantings to continue harvesting through winter. In cold-winter climates, you’ll want to finish harvesting until the ground freezes.

More: How to Grow Taller in Spring and Fall

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The Way to Get Your Home for Emergencies

Nobody wants to think that a catastrophe, natural or otherwise, will strike at home. However, with the wild weather patterns which have popped up this year, now looks like a smart time to ensure that your home is ready, just in case.

We might not be able to forecast the weather, but we can prevent many home fires, stay calm and cool during crises, access necessities during power outages and minimize harm when a legitimate disaster strikes. Commit to checking off the things on this list, and you can feel good knowing you are doing what you can to safeguard your home and family.

Architecture & Community Design, Union Studio

Put key safety jobs on the calendar now. Take the guesswork out of remaining prepared by scheduling crucial tasks beforehand, just as you would for dentist and doctor appointments.

Here are the basics:
Clean gutters after the last leaves fall and in the spring.
Have chimney swept once a year.
Test smoke alarm batteries yearly.
Replace smoke alarm batteries once a year.

AIA, Bud Dietrich

Know the dangers in your town. If you live in a fire-prone area, it is particularly important to plant fire-resistant trees and plants and keep areas near your home clear. If you reside in a flood zone, you might want to elevate your furnace, electric panel and water heater.

Understanding which natural disasters are probably in your town also can help you to choose the right insurance policy. Watch FEMA about preparing for crises for more, and examine whether you reside in a flood zone, the flood hazard maps to determine.

Goforth Gill Architects

Take action to prevent fires. Home fires are all too prevalent, and many are preventable.

Key things to start using:
Position grills and fire pits at least 10 feet in the house.
Regularly clean lint from the dryer.
Do not permit smoking in your home.
Inspect and clean woodstove pipes and fireplace chimneys annually.
Do not run electric cords under rugs.
Have an expert replace outdated wiring, in addition to any light switches which feel hot to the touch or connect to lights that flicker.


Kidde Multi Purpose Fire Extinguisher – $19.99

Have the right tools, right where you want them. Most home fires start small, and with the proper tools and safety measures in place, you can minimize or prevent damage and accidents.

Ask your fire department to inspect your home for safety problems.
Seek out training on proper use of fire extinguishers, and find out which are the best types for your property. Extinguishers are used so you might need a kitchen fire extinguisher in addition to an all-purpose model.
Install escape ladders in all upstairs bedrooms.
Check to make sure all windows can be opened. Repair trapped displays and scrape painted-shut windows.
Maintain dual-sensor smoke alarms on each floor of your home (including the basement) and inside and outside of sleeping areas.

Stern McCafferty

Speak with your children about emergency plans. Maintain your talk short and to the point, but reevaluate the subject regularly so it remains fresh in their minds. In case of fire, for example, the Red Cross advises, “Get out, stay out and call for help.” It is short, sweet, and easy to remember even in times of stress.

Be sure children understand how to escape upstairs rooms safely, and practice your fire escape plan twice a year.


First Alert 2037F Water and Fireproof File Cabinet – $69.99

Maintain your home inventory and other essentials in a safe place. When you have not previously done so, conduct a home inventory for your insurance documents. Contain the stock, along with digital photos stored on a flash drive and a copy of your insurance plan, in a fire- and watertight lockbox. You might want to stash copies of family photos and additional key documents .


Eton American Red Cross Axis Weather Radio – $69.95

Build your emergency kit. Just knowing you have all the essentials accumulated in 1 area can add to your peace of mind.

Top 10 things to have available:
Two-week supply of water (1 gallon per person, per day)
Nonperishable food
Weather radio using built-in flashlight
Extra batteries
First aid kit
Multipurpose instrument
Fundamental toiletries kit
Photocopies of personal documents (passports, birth certificates, home deed, etc.)
mobile phone with charger
Extra money

Depending on your loved ones, you might also need to include baby and pet supplies, drugs and games for children. For a comprehensive collection of things for stocking your kit, visit the Red Cross.

Just a Girl

Store your emergency supplies in a place that make sense. Now that you have all those essential things piled up, fight the desire to stash them in the deepest recesses of your cellar. Remember, your emergency kit is intended to assist you when disaster strikes!

A much better place may be the garage, mudroom or coat closet. Maintain your kit in a container with handles and a lid that snaps shut; that way you can easily grab it and go, should you ever have to evacuate your home.

More: 10 Actual Ways That You Can Help After a Home Fire

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Bahama Shutters Bring the Expression of This Tropics Home

Summer is heating up, and with the hot sunshine comes a demand for ventilation and shade. Installing tropical-inspired Bahama shutters is a great way to achieve a cool house in the summertime. Hung on the outside of your house in the peak of each window, Bahama shutters have an awning-like look that adds a distinctive tropical feel to a house.

Typically made out of stile and rail construction, Bahamas are a true louver camera design. The louvers welcome tropical breezes while providing shade and privacy (eliminating the requirement for interior window treatments). Many Bahama shutters have the added plus of being storm ranked. Code-compliant shutters are strong enough to shelter your house’s windows during hurricanes and other foul-weather bouts. Whether you are looking for shade, fashion or storm defense, the Bahama is the quintessential summertime season portrait.

Barefoot Design Group, LLC

Bahama shutters shield the dormer windows with this beachfront Antigua house. This is tropical living at its very best.

Sennikoff Architects, Inc..

Exterior wood shutters are usually made from naturally decay-resistant Western red cedar.

Summerour Architects

Bahama shutters are also appropriate on lakefront homes. This South Carolina house on The Reserve at Lake Keowee features Bahama shutters with centre stiles.

Applegate Tran Interiors

Bahama shutters can be utilized in Hawaii.

Ground-level Bahama shutters provide privacy from nosy neighbors in the Alys Beach, Florida, residence.

Clifford M. Scholz Architects Inc..

The beachy blue shutters with this Boca Grande, Florida, residence are rated.

Sennikoff Architects, Inc..

This two-story coastal tropical-style house in Orange County, California, features awning windows and Bahama shutters.

Tracery Interiors

Bahama shutters were a must with this coastal house in Port Aransas, Texas.

John McDonald Company

Bahama shutters and Chippendale balustrades combine to make a classic anglo-Caribbean house in Jupiter, Florida.

kelley gardner

While interior shutters don’t necessarily protect you from the elements, they really do encourage ventilation (much like the transom window).

Leaving your Bahama shutters wide open on summer nights permits for breezes to fulfill your property.

Tropical Windows

Storm-safe Bahama shutters without centre stiles are offered from Roll-a-way.

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How to Tap the Capacity of a Big Side Yard

When the property on either side of your home is nearly as large as the structure , you might feel overwhelmed. The apparent solution is to treat it as a personal arboretum or golf course — a distance worthy of grass grass.

But think again: Would you invent a different design motif that provides special focus to this oversized site? Make use of mature trees and shrubs instead of petite perennials or ground covers on your landscaping. Define the wide sweeps by emphasizing the remote vistas. Create a point of view using vignettes of plants, art and furnishings in the foreground.

The huge side yard provides you an opportunity to feel big and go bold. Treat that vast area with thoughtful planning and intentional particulars. You will be rewarded with unexpected beauty each season.

Here are a few of my favorite examples of confident design, especially for the often overlooked plus-size side lawn.

More: Beautiful Tips for skinny side yards

Andrew Renn

Two special details make this expansive lawn feel more romantic, appropriately scaled to the people who walk here. The first looks in the foreground in which two deep planting beds are summarized by low boxwood hedging, mirroring one another on either side of the lawn. Anybody who walks through this opening feels welcome and safe. This detail is much like path treatments that vary in width, encouraging pedestrians to slow down and respect the garden’s sensory abilities.

The second curvaceous detail emerges in the distance — an arbor that acts as a door to the hidden garden beyond. This arbor’s placement is powerful because the lawn continues beneath it such as a walking path — and plantings on either side prevent anybody from side-stepping the journey.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

Hard and soft components give this side lawn a modern sensibility which makes coming here a cure. This is a clearly linear distance, with lawn, path, planting bed and fencing lined up in parallel.

That kind of treatment could feel quite intense, however, the designer has used several tips to soften the scene:
The blue rock walkway looks like a ring that well frames the lawn.The trees are limbed up and implanted in a row, hedge-like. The small clipped boxwood balls replicate the green, natural shapes of this trees.The cedar fencing is more natural instead of painted, silhouetting the sculptural trees; fence boards are aligned horizontally to fortify the modern vibe.

Re-imagined from ordinary lawn to extraordinary plant set, this exceptional side garden supplies a journey through a verdant, leafy understory. There is a different feeling of separateness, thanks to the mature shade tree that makes a canopy. It filters the sunlight and casts a dappled shadow pattern on the ferns and hostas below.

The winding path, laid with crushed rock, offers a method to easily navigate the distance. It also simplifies maintenance tasks because you’re able to bring a wheeled cart or wagon over the road.

Read photos of beautiful garden paths

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

The round seating place links a huge side yard using the equally large front lawn, providing both a raison d’etre.

The rounded”carpet” of crushed stone has some fine detailing, including the block edging and the flagstone path that cuts through it. Not overly casual; not overly formal. Definitely inviting.

The rounded area (complete with 2 enchanting turquoise Adirondack chairs and a small side table) serves the same purpose as a front porch, providing bonus seating to the 2 chairs on the entry threshold of the traditional home. This side yard treatment is both appealing and neighbor friendly.

Narofsky Architecture + ways2design

This side lawn has ideal proportions, starting with its own width, which is equal to the elevation of this architecture (this can be an often-used design technique — imagine flipping your house on its side to the lawn — to calculate the measurements of a garden space).

Longer than it is wide, the side garden is well divided into thirds, and every slender band plays with a part to create its energy and drama.

To the left, right against the home: A vibrant bed with permanent plantings closer to the structure and seasonal plantings at the border.

At center: A picture walkway containing 30-inch-square pavers. I really like the rhythmic vibe of the treatment. The strong lines have a magnetic quality which holds the whole side garden together and direct the eye to the seating area/patio because its destination.

On the right, furthest from the home: An allee of trees. They will soon mature to visually offset the burden of this design — and provide this unwanted garden a sense of enclosure. Brilliant!

The Garden Consultants, Inc..

The side lawn has given way to the side meadow — and nothing could be dreamier than this stunning treatment which uses prairie-inspired perennials and ornamental grasses. The designer calls this installment”drifts of naturalistic plantings.”

The soft, billowy effect is a huge success, mainly because the components are massed into irregular rows tiered by elevation. Closer to the home you find the row of tall, slender feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora‘Karl Foerster’) — burnished tips catching the morning light. Following that, there’s a group of Joe Pye weed (Eupatorium purpureum‘Atropurpureum’), together with lavender dome-like flowers on tall stalks. Other perennials and unstructured grasses continue the theme in the foreground.

And while this place could look hard to naviagate, the tall arbor in the distance indicates otherwise. I, for one, want to meander through the meadow to discover where it leads.

Learn more about natural garden layout

AMS Landscape Design Studios, Inc..

A large side garden becomes updated to a private courtyard with complex lines, incredible information and luxe accessories. This is more than an outdoor”room,” it’s a grand, fresh-air surroundings where two or 20 can easily gather.

A low wall encloses the distance and defines it as a different surroundings, while the flooring’s importance is elevated, thanks to rings of rock that turn a mass of crushed rock into an interesting patterned carpet.

Low, closely clipped boxwood supplies”baseboard” detailing, linking the horizontal and vertical planes with precision.

The minimalistic furnishings are all that are needed to complete the scene: Two chaises, placed for impact with lemon-yellow pillows. They visually balance two rounded objects — an oval-clipped tree in the distance and a stainless steel orb in the foreground.

Just like a stone box, this distance opens to reveal treasures within. You might not want to disturb and enter its own perfection. But then again, nothing can be more lavish than to sit here with a tall, cool drink, soaking up the sun.

Woodburn & Company Landscape Architecture, LLC

Sometimes, the simplest solution is easily the most appealing one.

Here, a broad band of lawn turns this side yard into a pleasant trip, linking two shade gardens for a completed composition. The vast proportion of this grassy swath makes it a winning solution.

Instead of limiting the road to something barely broad enough to accommodate the lawn mower, this area of lawn is at least six feet broad and seemingly endless in its own length.

For a design element, the lawn occupies significant”negative” area, in equilibrium with all the side garden’s”positive” components: mature shade trees which flank the middle path.

8 New Software For The Side Yard
Turn Your Side Yard Into a Dramatic Garden Room

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Eclectic Tel-Aviv Home Shows Creativity

When everybody else dismissed a construction stuck in the middle of apple orchards and a senior community, interior designer Merav Sade saw a space with loads of potential. The designer was especially attracted to the apartment’s two-floor design and rooftop terrace. The home is 20 years in its interiors a collection of finds, the making and treasured bits while leasing her previous houses that she acquired.

“I’ve always dreamed of having my own master suite, away from the kids. And today I have that and much more,” says Sade.

at a Glance
Who lives here: Merav Sade and two teens
Location: Tel-Aviv, Israel
Size: 1,291 square feet
Style challenge: Converting what used to be a little office and a narrow bath on the upper floor into a spacious, light-filled master suite

Sivan Askayo

Virtually all the decor and furnishings in the house are classic. Sade, a self-confessed gadget enthusiast, considers in new technologies and aged decor. “This is the first time that I’ve lived in my own place; I’ve always leased,” she says. “But I’ve always known what my house would look like and gathered pieces here and there, realizing one day which they would come together”

Cobbler’s shoe kinds: Vintage Mania

Merav Sade Interior Design

Sade revived the original windows with the help of a contractor patient enough to discover the first arch which was reshaped into rectangular frames by programmers.

Accent wall paint: Rediscover, Nirlat

Merav Sade Interior Design

Windows that are unadorned keep the living room and kitchen cheerful and bright, enlarging the spaces and maximizing the sunlight coming in from the windows.

A blue roller chair which was previously in Sade’s house office today has a permanent home at the dining table, where a little work is done as well. “I couldn’t find bar stools which I liked, so I simply took the workplace chairs outside to the dining table for a while and found out that they are actually the ideal height for your table and they are incredibly comfortable. So I bought a lot more,” says Sade.

Classic pendants out of Sade’s grandmother — “likely from Russia,” she says — make for luxurious task lighting at the functional space.

Cabinet paint: Abstract Idea, Nirlat; crystal light pendants: classic

Merav Sade Interior Design

The kitchen floor is given a colorful punch by tiles. An unfinished door that is century-old stands guard in the background, a reminder. “Shouldn’t we get older with grace? Let’s not try to delay or change the inevitable,” she says.

Flooring tiles: Fabrizio, Oraitaliana

Sivan Askayo

Exposed shelving with citrine, chinoiserie-inspired backs raise this sun-drenched space’s cheer factor.

Sivan Askayo

Sade, a master of many trades, created the self-portraits hanging above her bed. The lamps were salvaged by her and repaired them.

Merav Sade Interior Design

Sivan Askayo

The casual, eclectic design of this bedroom is an extension of Sade’s design ethos: She swears by design that’s simple, functional and cozy.

Case in point: Maple bedside tables along with a matching headboard extend the designer’s penchant for clean-lined furnishings. Color splashes come by means of an indigo vase, floral petals and wall paint.

Sivan Askayo

Sivan Askayo

Sade created an opening out of her bedroom to the outdoor patio. “Before I generated the opening out of my bedroom, then you could only get to the patio from the first floor. Now I have this unbelievable rooftop terrace that’s accessible from my room and out of a separate staircase downstairs,” says Sade.

Merav Sade Interior Design

Here is a view of this antique doors from the patio picnic table.

Sivan Askayo

Four vases with cut branches occupy the sill above the bathroom in the restroom. They bring nature inside and add curves and femininity to a markedly spare room, which comes with an industrial feel that’s improved by the rough feel of weathered walls.

Sivan Askayo

Sade utilized a very simple kitchen sink in her adolescent daughter’s bathroom. “I bought the sink for the equivalent of 20. My daughter loves it because it’s profound, which is great for splashing water when washing your face and hand-washing delicates,” says Sade.

Merav Sade Interior Design

Sade transformed what used to be a little service balcony into her daughter’s bedroom. The message hanging on the wall is an upcycled project by Sade, who found the wood plank on the street and gave it new life.

Sivan Askayo

This key rack retains good-luck protective and charms totems for your household; it’s also a reminder of just how much Sade has come because her design college days. “I was able to innovate to earn some extra money,” she says. “I’m grateful I did not eliminate everything, because it makes my life now all the more sweet.”

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Modern Icons: Kartell Componibili Storage Modules

The cute small cylinder-shaped bodies of Componibili storage units happen to be in homes around the globe for more than 40 years. Designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri in 1969, they remind me of stashing my books and mittens in my cubbyhole in elementary school — and I mean that in a good way. Of course, they possess the smart Italian touch; you stick your finger in a round hole at the curved doors and the doors slide open to reveal the compartments.

You will find several different configurations for your Componibili; each drawer of the larger system (15⅛ inches high by 161/2 inches diameter) along with the tray top are sold separately, and you will stack as many zoom units as you’d like. The standalone smaller cabinets simplify the procedure; you could purchase a 2- or three-drawer unit that’s 121/2 inches in diameter as just one single piece of furniture (the two-drawer version is 153/4 inches high, and also the three-drawer version is 23 inches high). If you are considering a Componibili buy, have a gander at all the ways to use these pieces in a variety of space styles and types; I expect this will make your decision easier.

Emily McCall

Place a three-drawer Componibili alongside a favorite reading chair and stash your books, newspapers, studying specs, voucher case, ribbons, crossword puzzles, pens and other unpleasant items indoors. Insert a timeless anglepoise lamp on top and you are ready to go.

Leslie Goodwin Photography

Red adds a playful touch and will hold its own alongside some killer racecar bed and giant Union Jack.

Hufft Projects

The red version is a limited edition, so if you are on the fence about ordering one, then you might want to boost your decision.

FORMA Design

Add castors to put make your Componibili even more portable.

Collette Hanlon Home Stagers

The cabinet makes a smashing side table at a modern room; its curves play sculptural furnishings.

Moon Design + Build

Three drawers make the larger standalone Componibili an extremely helpful modern nightstand, with lots of room for your flashlight, night time mask, love letters and anything else you maintain in there which is not one of my business.

Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

Another advantage is its slim profile; if you’ve only a little over one foot on one side of the bed, you’ve got loads of space to squeeze one in.

sarah & bendrix

The cabinet fits into more diverse or traditional bedrooms too.

Glamour Nest

The nightstand functions not just for small kiddos and adults, but also for tweens and teens also. Should you purchase one, you’ll always find someplace around the home at which you are able to set it to good use.

Jenn Hannotte / Hannotte Interiors

The Componibili cabinet is a genius addition to a bathroom that combines classic and modern touches. It attracts in iconic Italian modern design, it can conceal those additional rolls of T.P., and you can place your towel or a candle on top of it while you soak in the bathtub.

Modern Icons: The Eames Wire Base Table
Style Trick: Use Office Furniture Outside the Office

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Picture Rail

A photo rail is a strip of decorative cut implemented high on the walls of a room. Its initial use was as a support for those hooks used when hanging pictures on plaster walls of elderly houses, which may not withstand the breaking caused by repainting.

Lucy McLintic

Background is frequently implemented up to a picture rail, while the wall over is painted, to add contrast and also delineate the 2 areas.

Johnson + McLeod Design Consultants

A photo rail also provides a convenient border for contrasting paint.

Harvest Architecture, LLC

The expression of a photo rail can be achieved with any easy trim piece.

In chambers with shorter ceilings, the image rail can be set up on peak of the wall. In cases like this, it sits directly beneath the crown molding.

Fougeron Architecture FAIA

Hardware used for hanging pictures might be visible or concealed. In cases like this, the wire and hooks of this picture are visibly hanging out of the picture rail.

NB Design Group, Inc

Within this contemporary spin on a picture rail, the wire and hooks are attached in a recessed area of the wall along with a period of molding trimming is is employed as a crown molding.

Upscale Construction

Picture rails as a decorative element can be used even when they aren’t vital.

Read more picture rail photos

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Fantastic Design Plant: Rockrose

When heavens dry, don’t feel pressured to increase your watering program or risk losing the backyard. Rockrose (Cistus spp)is a Mediterranean native which excels in landscapes in which other crops flounder. Poor dirt, dry summer heat and rocky hillsides only lead to abundant colorful blooms which will not only save your slopes, but also keep your water bills down as well.

Melissa Gale Photography

Botanical name: Cistus spp
Common title: Rockrose
USDA zones: 7 to 10, depending on species
Water necessity: Little to none
moderate requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 3 to 5 ft tall and broad
Benefits: Tolerates wind, coastal states, poor soil, drought and arid conditions; plant for erosion control or fire immunity

Shown here: Cistus x bornetianus ‘Jester’, zones 7 to 9

Svein Erik Larsen

Distinguishing attributes. A sun- and – heat-loving plant, rockrose produces a colorful and lush heaping ground cover or informal hedge. Cooling leaves and vivid flowers enliven arenas which may otherwise have been left barren.

Cistus crispus, zones 8 to 10, cascades down a rocky path.

Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc

Once recognized, rockrose will prosper with minimal or no care. Blooming profusely through summer and spring, it may also bloom sporadically throughout the rest of the year. Distinctly papery flowers range in shades from vibrant pinks to whites and lotions — typically with a bright yellow centre. When not flowering, rockrose creates a mounding texture of gentle gray-green leaves. The leaves of several species even emit a blossom resin when the warm summer sun beats down on them.

The hybrid Cistus‘McGuire’s Gold’ (shown) includes a normal form and blossoms with the exception of vibrant bright green leaves.

Linda & John Reinecke

How to use it. Rockrose, unsurprisingly, is quite commonly used in rock gardens or at which there’s a prevalence of gravelly and rocky soil. Dry banks or slopes can be difficult backyard spots for both planting and soil stability, and those are regions where rockrose thrives. Additionally, its nice texture and informal form contrast nicely with gravel and rocks as a gentle and effective ground cover or low-growing hedge.

Cistus palhinae, zones 8 to 10,revealed in Cape St. Vincent, Portugal, serves as great inspiration for designing with this plant. Scattered throughout the landscape, the plants tie the space together, gently accenting and highlighting the terrain. Without dominating the backyard, rockrose gives an enjoyable and unique outdoor adventure throughout all seasons.

Terra Nova® Nurseries, Inc

Planting notes. Rockrose is indigenous to the Mediterranean, preferring similar climates and conditions. Faring well in regions with dry, hot summers, many crops are hardy to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant requires no additional watering and requires minimal maintenance once set up, so be sure soil is particularly well drained if you do irrigate.

While this plant doesn’t survive long, it is a fast grower. Stems may become woody with age, and the plant ought to be replaced when they become lean. Periodically cut back old stems so as to encourage new growth and keep the plant looking clean.

More great design crops:
Agave parryi | Euphorbia | Red-Leafed Mukdenia | Blue Chalk Sticks | Hens-and-Chicks |
Redtwig Dogwood | Toyon

Great layout trees:
Australian Tea Tree | Dove Tree | Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel | Western Maple |
Manzanita | Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Texas Mountain Laurel | Tree Aloe

Great layout blossoms:
Ornamental Allium | Canna Lily | Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris |
Plumbago | Red Kangaroo Paw | Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant | Snake Flower

Great layout grasses:
Alphonse Karr Bamboo | Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush | Feather Reed Grass |
New Zealand Wind Grass

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Exotic Laguna Beach Family Home

Joe and Lisa Preston couldn’t wait to move to this traditional Spanish Mediterranean home in California, in which a gorgeous perspective of Laguna Beach meshes beautifully with all the old-world architecture and the owner’s art collection. The plaster walls, vaulted beam ceilings, planked walnut doors and clay roof tiles are a fantastic match for your incomparable sea view from among the city’s best vantage points.

The couple worked with Ohara Davies-Gaetano of Bliss Design to incorporate a vibrant and private design that would grow with their children’ needs and display their collected global art and paintings. “The Prestons are very colorful folks,” says Davies-Gaetano. “They’re also understated, down-to-earth and casual. They just wanted their home to be fabulous, which has been the underlying theme for the job.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Joe and Lisa Preston and their 3 young children
Location: The mountains of Laguna Beach, California
Size: 3,400 square feet on 3 levels; 4 bedrooms, 3 baths
That’s interesting: An 18th-century turtle shell from France hangs above the mantel.

Bliss Design

The living room is bordered on both sides by glass doors, together with all the sweeping Pacific on one side and a hillside and courtyard on the other. As there’s no anchor wall, the designer pulled everything to the center of the space.

A oversized ottoman with tray in the living room serves as a coffee table. The mother-of-pearl inlay fits the seat in the hallway between the living and dining room.

Leather armchairs: Holly Hunt

Bliss Design

“We don’t see a reason to reduce our layout standard for life with children,” says Joe. The couple believes that should they love the things in their house, their little ones can learn to respect that.

The velvet saffron-yellow couch, chaise and ottoman were custom made and upholstered locally. The colorful throw pillows are covered with textiles collected during the couple’s journeys. The Tibetan hand-woven area rug is coloured with vegetable dye to get a natural gradation, and the antique lamps were purchased from the initial owners of the house.

Bliss Design

A cut and mounted slice of petrified wood is placed before a spectacular abstract art piece by Paul Ecke. “It needed something textural that would not take from the vignette,” says Davies-Gaetano.

When requested his advice into other art collectors, Joe shares,”Our guidance in artwork collection is not to buy a piece for decorative motives. Buy what you love, and it’s going to be a part of your daily life forever.”

Bliss Design

For extra seats with flexibility, Davies-Gaetano placed a matching duvet from the fireplace. This comfortable setup is part of what makes the living room Joe and Lisa’s favourite room in the home. They wanted it to be formal and sophisticated, but also practical and lively. “Ohara attracted that together with all the vibrant colors and the spirit of our artwork, which represents a time and place in our own lives,” says Joe.

One of the last items added to the decoration — and among the greatest splurges — was that the 18th-century turtle shell from France above the mantel. “The extra tortoise shell and butterflies provide the space an exotic feel. We love to travel, and it reminds us of French island living,” says Joe.

Bliss Design

Real butterflies are mounted within a classic wedding veil globe, set on a classic sculptor’s base from France.

The painting of a woman reflected in a pool is by California artist Eric Zener. It holds special significance for Joe, who’s an avid swimmer.

Bliss Design

Like the living room, the sophisticated dining room occupies inside the home’s open floor plan without an anchor wall. The table and chandelier were also inherited by the previous homeowners. Upholstered chairs modeled after Italian antiques perform up the home’s old-world Mediterranean personality. A grass-green ceramic horse sits on a French antique oak chest that’s used for storage.

Floor-to-ceiling windows flow from the dining room to the kitchen. Guests enter the house on the top floor, where the living room, den, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom are located.

Bliss Design

The master bedroom has been flanked by windows and doors on both sides of the bed. Pressed aluminum bedside tables from India and lamps made from gypsum and acrylic assist the space to feel light and airy.

Bliss Design

Davies-Gaetano chose sea-foam linen window treatments and also a graphic headboard to create an effect in the master bedroom limited distance. The headboard fabric — designed from the Uzbekistani suzani design — is manufactured by Donghia.

Bliss Design

The upstairs den is bathed in afternoon light. The preexisting 1950s curtains and also the owners’ vibrant artwork determined the orange and orange color palette. An African mask collection hangs alongside the fireplace, and a blue Tibetan rug warms the floor.

The locally custom-made couch is covered in wool, followed by a Baker reading seat and a Holly Hunt coffee table. The TV sits opposite the couch.

Bliss Design

The guest bedrooms on the lower level kept a lot of the original flair. The orange room’s walls and window treatments are a lively take on the preceding homeowner’s affinity for its citrus colour. “When the family moved in, their 5-year-old daughter said this is her castle in the sky,” Davies-Gaetano says.

Bliss Design

The key garden patio downstairs is tucked right into hedges with tiny pebbles that crunch underfoot. A guest could easily imagine themselves in a timeless European garden. “What makes this house special is that you’ve got different experiences as you go through. To begin with, you don’t see the sea view till you enter the home. Then you go downstairs and have this entirely fresh adventure,” Davies-Gaetano says.

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Succulents Juice Up Outdoor Gardens

While walking through my local garden center the other day, I had been struck by the wonder of succulents. The colours and textures of the plants are so varied and magnificent that it’s easy to see why a lot of people have adopted their usage indoors in terrariums. If you’ve already tried your hand at indoor succulent gardening, now is the opportunity to take your abilities outdoors.

Among the obvious advantages of gardening with succulents is that, unlike a number of other crops, they thrive on neglect. Given adequate light, occasional watering and also a bit of fertilizer in the spring, your own succulent garden will flourish if you’ve got a green thumb or not. Additionally, the capability to grow these hardy plants in wooden crates, tin cans and also on the wall will deliver an entirely new level of creativity to your outdoor space.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Planting succulents vertically is a fantastic way to add interest to outdoor walls. You can purchase premade boxes, like these, in a variety of sizes to make the process simple.

Bright Green

You also can create an original, live art piece with succulents. Just think how great that blank wall on your patio would seem with something like the bit shown here.

Melissa Mascara Layout

If you’re searching for an easy, cheap method to add succulents to an outdoor wall or fence, think about planting in tin cans.

Zack Benson Photography

Adding architectural interest to your backyard space with cinder blocks and succulents is straightforward. Produce a one-of-a-kind garden specific to your aesthetic and distance restrictions.

Bright Green

Another option for growing succulents vertically is with a Living Wall Planter from Bright Green. Bright Green sells planters with a moisture mat that keeps watering simple and doesn’t require removing the frame in the wall.

Shades Of Green Landscape Architecture

Together with your succulents as a centerpiece isn’t just easy, it’s beautiful. Pick a container that complements your outdoor decor.

Randy Thueme Design Inc. – Landscape Architecture

In case you’ve got a little bed in your garden, look at filling it with a propagating succulent variety like hen and girls.

A simple wooden crate makes the ideal home for succulents too. Hang it on the walls of your patio and instantly add personality and charm to your outdoor space.

The Succulence of Succulents in the Home

Indoor Gardening: Herbs and Succulents

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