Everyone loves a cocktail (or mocktail), and choosing one signature drink makes life easier for the hostess. Consider a crisp and refreshing pomegranate cocktail made with cold champagne and a splash of pomegranate juice. Or set out ingredients and let guests experiment with apple, pear, grape or even pineapple juice. Plan on at least three drinks per guest as most will alternate between wine, cocktails and water throughout the evening.
To give the open space just off the entry a purpose, yet keep the center of the area open for traffic flow in and out of this apartment, two pairs of ready-made bookshelves purchased from an office supply store were placed back-to-back to act as room dividers. On one side, a private office is separated from the formal dining space and family room on the other side. The apartment's walls were painted peacock blue, which helps the walls recede so that accents of white and apple green stand out.
Put a spin on the traditional holiday fruit basket by throwing all those delicious ingredients into a half gallon glass jar. Angie from The Country Chic Cottage recommends starting with apples and oranges. Add in mixed nuts, cranberries and other small fruits to fill in the gaps and add a pop of color. Add a tag and a festive ribbon, and you have a gift almost anyone will enjoy.
Beautiful blossoms and fragrance aside, some roses, which are related to apples, are highly prized for their plump, nutritious orange or red fruits (“hips”), and are often shared as rooted cuttings taken in the fall or winter, rather than as store-bought grafted plants. Rugosa roses are among the best for large, crabapple-like hips, though there are many others.
A cross between a cabbage plant and a turnip, rutabagas have a longer growing season than both of those (about four weeks longer) but the extra time is worth it. The flavor is sweet yet savory and milder than turnips. Try it in a root vegetable gratin, mashed with carrots or roasted with a topping of fresh parsley and apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps neutralize the formic acid in bee venom (that’s what causes the stinging, burning sensation). Simply soak the stung body part in ACV, or soak a cloth with ACV and place it over the sting. Repeat every 15 minutes as necessary. With honey bee stings, remember to remove the stinger before applying ACV. Grab ACV for treating all kinds of bug bites beyond bee stings, as well as poison ivy rash. ACV helps relieve swelling and reduce itching thanks to potassium it contains.
English Rose 'Tranquillity' has beautifully rounded flowers with neatly placed petals, making up a perfect rosette. The buds are lightly brushed with red and yellow but as the flowers fully open the petals show as pure white. There is a light apple fragrance. 'Tranquillity' has excellent vigor and is very healthy. It is almost completely thornless. Grows to 4 feet tall x 3 feet wide, although it could easily grow taller if lightly pruned. Repeat-flowering. (David Austin 2012, Ausnoble).
‘Imogen,’ another shrub rose from English breeder David Austin, has a button eye, like most so-called Old Roses (a class of roses grown before hybrid teas debuted around 1867). Its lemon-yellow buds open to frilly flowers that gradually become cream-colored. Michael Marriott, an Austin rose expert, recommends growing it with soft blue and lilac perennial flowers. 'Imogen's' scent is a mix of fresh apple and almond with a touch of musk and cloves. Grow it in zones 5 to 9 and expect flowers from early summer till frost.
Few plants offer so much sensory appeal as scented geraniums. The group includes a wide variety of foliage forms and plant sizes. Flowers tend to be smaller than traditional bedding plant geraniums. When crushed or rubbed, scented geranium leaves release their volatile oils. Fragrances include citrus blends, rose, peppermint, nutmeg, apple and cinnamon. The lemon scented varieties seem to possess the strongest skeeter-repelling characteristics. Scented geraniums make beautiful container plants. In cold zones, move plants indoors for winter or root cuttings to keep plants alive until spring.
To make this bouquet you'll need a large glass beer stein, a Collins glass, thin wood craft dowels, floral leaf ribbon and a selection of fresh fruits, veggies and flowers (listed in previous slide). Place the Collins glass inside the beer stein and fill the space between glasses with thin lime slices. With remaining limes and apples, remove produce stickers and insert the sharp end of the wood dowels at an angle into the bottom of the fruit. Line the Collins glass with leaf ribbon, fill with fresh water and arrange flowers and produce as desired. Tip: Cut stems at an angle and place immediately into water for long-lasting results.
Brown marmorated stink bug has been in the United States 20 years, and in that time it’s spread throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Upper Midwest and along the West Coast. Stink bugs attack many home garden crops, including beans, corn, tomatoes peppers, apples and raspberries. Their feeding wounds fruits and veggies, resulting in corky spots that are inedible. Stink bugs spend winter inside, invading home voids and attics. With their stinky personalities, these bugs stir up drama indoors when they emerge from hiding in hordes, usually in winter. In the garden, knock stink bugs into soapy water to kill them. Indoors, the same method works, or you can try vacuuming up the stinkers (which might make your vac stink). Another indoor option is using a dry-mop cleaning tool (think Swiffer-type) that you cover with duct tape, sticky side out. That device gives you reach to grab stink bugs climbing curtains, walls and ceilings.