Now that Memorial Day is right around the corner, everyone will be spending more time outdoors. To help keep a yard looking its best, Lou Manfredini, host of the Mr. Fix-It Show radio program in Chicago and the official home expert for NBC’s Today Show and Ace Hardware, sent us this post on boosting curb appeal. They say you never get a second chance to make a first impression. The same holds true for your home. Your front yard is the first impression so it’s important to put some energy into making it look its best. As companies come out with more and more eco-friendly products
Ready to take on a little yard work? Here’s an extra incentive to keep you motivated. Ace Hardware has teamed up with The Weather Channel to launch their “Restore Your Outdoors” contest, which will reward one deserving homeowner with a customized outdoor makeover. “People often underestimate the amount of damage winter weather conditions can have on their lawns, and no one wants to sink all of their free time into repairing these issues,” said Lou Manfredini, Ace Hardware’s home expert. “Our partnership with The Weather Channel not only offers us the opportunity to makeover a deserving outdoor space, but also
My friend and colleague, Peter Walsh, the editor of Gardening & Outdoor Living stopped by yesterday to offer ideas on how I might enhance our small urban terrace. Much to my surprise, he suggested that I build a little tuteur. It wasn’t so much that I could have a tuteur (he knew I’d been thinking about this kind of garden structure just days ago—see my post from 7/7), it was that I should have a tuteur. You see one of the plants on my terrace is an unwieldly flowering jasmine, given to me by a friend for my birthday a
Unlike a lot of New Yorkers, I rarely visit the Hamptons during the summer months, so when I do I savor every minute. Such was the case, a few days ago, when my husband, Anil, and I drove out for a long weekend to attend a wedding. We spent our free hours driving along the lanes of Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton and East Hampton and taking in views of the charming houses and beautiful gardens the area is known for. One of my favorite stops during this particular journey was The Hedges Inn, a gracious old hotel in East Hampton, where
Most people know that trees and plants enhance the quality of the air outdoors by consuming carbon dioxide, converting it into food for themselves and releasing oxygen as a byproduct into the atmosphere. But new research from the University of Georgia now shows that certain plants are extremely effective at removing harmful volatile organic compounds from indoor air, suggesting they can play a critical role in improving the healthiness of homes and offices, too. I recently spoke to Professor Stanley Kays, one of the authors of the study, and he told me that among 28 plants the research group tested,
Growing herbs indoors is practically impossible—at least for me—so I always look forward to spring, when I can grow fresh basil, chives, parsley, cilantro and oregano in pots on my terrace. I like to grow culinary herbs, but after talking to Carol Brzezicki, an herbalist who works at the Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center and Botanical Sanctuary in Barre, Vermont, I think I may start growing a few medicinal herbs, too. Among the herbs we talked about, calendula interested me most—partly for its sunny yellow-orange color, but mainly for its ability to soothe the dry, irritated skin, which is often
A few weeks ago, the Australian horticulturalist Jamie Durie stopped by my office to talk about story ideas we might collaborate on. Jamie is the charming and good-looking Australian host of HGTV’s Outdoor Room. He’s also writing his eighth book, which will be published by Harper Collins later this year. Among the things we talked about were not only how a well-designed garden can boost the value of your home, but how plants can boost your mood. I asked him if he’d share a few money-wise ways to grow and use plants to enrich your surroundings and brighten your spirits.