This dandelion was scuffed just prior to spraying a weedkiller. It died quickly and completely, never to return. The best time to spray dandelions is in the fall, because this is when plants are naturally shifting materials from leaves to roots for winter storage. Weedkiller applied in fall moves directly to roots, which helps get rid of dandelions permanently. Avoid using lawn weed and feed products in fall to kill dandelions, though, because if your lawn goes dormant for winter, it won't absorb the fertilizer. Instead, any weeds present take up the fertilizer and grow stronger.
David Austin English Rose 'Olivia Rose Austin' combines beauty, fragrance and excellent repeat bloom with breakthrough health and disease-resistance. Named for the grand-daughter of rose hybridizer David C. H. Austin, the soft pink rose is considered one of the best roses the Austin team has introduced to date. It produces masses of blooms over an exceptionally long bloom season that starts three full weeks ahead of other English Roses and continues till frost. The soft pink flowers have an Old Rose formation that opens to a lovely cupped rosette. The medium-strong fragrance has distinctly fruity tints. The dark green foliage shows off the flowers beautifully.
For colorful leaves that thrive in shade, it’s tough to beat caladium. This variety, Artful Fire and Ice, unfurls leaves that look like a painter crafted them with splashes of green, pink, rose and white. Give caladiums a spot in full to part shade, although in northern gardens, plants can withstand more sun. Keep soil consistently moist for best growth and color. You’ll know you’re failing if leaves turn yellow and drop. Fire and Ice caladium grows 18 to 30 inches tall and12 to 18 inches wide. The other annuals in this container thrive in part shade: Diamond Frost euphorbia and Black Cherry Supertunia.
Mint is a workhorse in the garden when it comes to giving insects the brush off. To release the strong mint oils in leaves, brush against plants or crush leaves and rub on skin or clothing. Try tucking lightly bruised leaves (still attached to stems) into pockets or bouquets on your porch or patio to confuse and repel mosquitoes. This minty beauty (foreground) is variegated pineapple mint, but you can also use any mint, including spearmint, lemon mint or peppermint. Mints spread aggressively in the garden. Always plant it in containers, even in beds, keeping the edge of pots elevated at least an inch above soil. When mint flowers, the blooms attract beneficial insects, including ones that sting, like wasps. If you don’t want these insects near seating areas, keep plants trimmed so blooms don’t form.
A finished basement is a dependable enough investment by itself — but adding a luxury wine cellar is an increasingly popular remodeling project that also adds value and is even becoming a baseline expectation in some markets. Spend your money wisely to get the best return: “The most important feature of a wine cellar is temperature control,” says Mike Tenhulzen, owner of Tenhulzen Residential, who installed the cellar shown here. “A reliable chiller with humidity control is well worth the initial investment, and LED lighting is ideal because it doesn’t give off any heat.” Also, make sure you go the extra mile to treat the perimeter of the room properly with vapor barriers, weatherstripping and insulation in order to protect your precious cargo.
Some clematis flowers release a sweet perfume that can scent an entire yard. ‘Sweet Summer Love’ is that kind of plant. This clematis blossoms all summer long, and each bloom is filled with sweet floral fragrance. On hot humid days, the scent hangs in the air. Blossoms open a cranberry hue and shift to purple as they age. Best of all, ‘Sweet Summer Love’ won’t invade your garden with unwanted seedlings (like its cousin, sweet autumn clematis). Vines grow 10 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or pergola over a patio. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
A family favorite, applesauce blends well with many mealtime menus, standing in as side dish or dessert. Best of all, applesauce is easy to make. Simply peel, core and cook apples until they fall apart easily with a spoon. Add seasoning (think cinnamon and maple or agave syrup) while cooking or after. Applesauce without seasoning varies in color, based on the type of apple you use. In some cases, cooking the apples with peels on results in a pink sauce. To remove peels, just run the cooked apples through a food mill or strainer. Make applesauce as chunky or smooth as you like. For long-term storage, freeze or can it using a boiling water bath.
The two main types of solar water heater systems, active (which has pumps and controls) and passive (which doesn’t), both include the same basic parts, such as storage tanks and solar collectors. While active systems are somewhat pricier, they also allow for more flexibility in design, like hiding the storage tank. Because solar-powered water heaters have a variety of options and details, such as water needs, geography and aesthetic concerns, it’s best to research and then discuss your interest with a contractor experienced in installation and maintaining solar water heater systems.
Changing out light fixtures in small spaces can make an enormous difference in how they look, feel and function. The key to a swift, successful lighting swap is choosing fixtures which will fit with existing junction boxes. For situations in which junction boxes require relocation, it's best to hire an electrician; however, keep in mind this will create somewhat of a mess due to patching holes with drywall mud and creating dust from sanding. This three-bulb nickel and acrylic fixture features a linen drum shade which diffuses the light, allowing the wall color to read more clearly.
Velvety red flowers with yellow centers give ‘Rebecca’ clematis star power in the garden. Vines grow to a modest height (6 to 8 feet), which makes this clematis a good choice for a trellis, fence row or winding through shrub roses. Flower color shifts more toward purple on plants tucked into shade. To coax the reddest hue, make sure vines receive some sun during the day. Blooms measure 6 to 7 inches across and appear all summer long. Like all clematis, ‘Rebecca’ grows best when roots are shaded and kept cool. Do this by planting it behind a shrub or using a thick mulch layer. Vines grow 6 to 8 feet tall by 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4 to 10.
You may not think of a chipmunk as a pest, but when it starts digging under shrubs or patios, your view may change. Chipmunks actually cause the costliest damage to established landscapes, unseating retaining walls, destabilizing walkways and even killing mature roses or shrubs (by digging directly under the trunk). Once chipmunks dig tunnels, other critters arrive to set up housekeeping in those tunnels, including voles, shrews and snakes. Chipmunks visit gardens with bird feeders and other ready sources of food or water. An outdoor cat or dog can help keep these critters at bay, as can garlic oil pegs you toss into tunnels or various repellents you sprinkle onto flower beds or near tunnel openings.
‘Sweet Summer Love’ clematis is the hot weather cousin to sweet autumn clematis, a classic fall bloomer that opens sweetly scented flowers. ‘Sweet Summer Love’ clematis unfurls flowers all summer long—from July through September—that exude a sweet fragrance. On hot humid days, the scent hangs deliciously in the air. Blossoms start a cranberry hue and shift to purple as they age. Best of all, ‘Sweet Summer Love’ won’t invade your garden with unwanted seedlings (like its cousin, sweet autumn clematis). Plants benefit from a hard pruning (cut stems to 6 inches tall) in late winter. Vines grow 10 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or trellis. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
One reason many gardeners grow clematis is because they crave blue and purple colors in planting beds. Brother Stefan clematis delivers beautiful blue blooms—all summer long. It flowers on old and new growth, creating a plant that’s blanketed in blue hues. This gorgeous vine is named for Stefan Franczak, a Jesuit monk and noted horticulturist in Poland who developed many excellent clematis varieties. In early spring when buds swell, cut stems back to 3 feet high. Vines grow 5 to 7 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide—a great choice for an entry arch or pergola over a patio. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
First Editions Matador maple is a type of freeman maple (Acer x freemanii ‘Bailston’). The freeman maple is actually a hybrid of a red maple (Acer rubrum) and silver maple (Acer saccharinum). It displays the best of both parents: fast growth but with a solid structure, good fall color and adaptability. Matador maple unfurls bright green leaves in spring that turn deep red in autumn. Leaves hang on the tree longer than other freeman maple varieties, providing a long show of fall color. This is an adaptable tree, growing well on a home lawn or in an urban setting. Expect trees to grow 40 to 45 feet tall and 20 to 40 feet wide in ideal conditions. Hardy in Zones 4-7.
Keep an eye peeled in lawns and planting beds for sapling trees. Often these trees, like this walnut sapling, sprout thanks to the diligent digging of squirrels. It’s especially easy to miss these beneath mature shrubs or roses, until you spot the leaves poking through the plant. The other place that seedling trees pop up are along fencelines, courtesy of birds who have been gobbling fruit, such as mulberry, cherry or holly. Small trees are easy to hand-pull. Grab a spade if they seem firmly anchored in soil. Keep an eye out for seedlings in spring when weeding or mulching. Remove any you see before they have a chance to develop a tap root.
Romance blooms when ‘The President’ opens its deep purple blossoms. Expect the first flush of flowers in late spring to early summer, followed by a second blooming with smaller flowers in early autumn. Clematis with classic flower forms like ‘The President’ grow best in full sun to part shade. Prune in late winter or early spring, cutting vines back to 6 to 9 inches tall. Place cuts just above a pair of strong buds. Clematis grows well on a pergola, but flowers may unfurl across the top of the structure, out of sight. Instead, try planting clematis on an arch or fence so you can see the blooms. Deer- and rabbit-resistant plants grow 8 to 12 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
When clematis flowers fade, they form quirky mophead seedheads that look like something out of a Dr. Seuss story. Each individual stem in the mophead holds a seed at its base. As the seedheads mature, the mop “strings” become fuzzy. Clematis seedheads made a wonderful addition to dried flower creations. This clematis is ‘Rouge Cardinal,’ a beautiful large-flowered pink-hued bloomer. This clematis grows best in full sun. The 5- to 7-inch flowers shift to purple tones when plants receive more shade. To prune, in late winter or early spring, cut all stems back to 6 inches above soil. Vines grow 10 to 12 feet tall and up to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 3 to 10.
Il Giallo Osteria and Bar in Sandy Springs is a chef-forward Italian experience located close to all of Atlanta's action but with the unusual appeal of plenty of free parking (yes, it is a big deal in this valet and paid parking-crazy town) in a handsome, open space. Chef and co-owner Jamie Adams features fresh, homemade pasta in his open-kitchen for diners who enjoy a little cooking show entertainment with their meal. Adams' agnolotti with brown butter and sage has been featured on Food Network's The Best Thing I Ever Ate, but there are plenty of other culinary delights on offer including polpette turkey and duck meatballs, a distinctive calamari studded with capers, and a short rib ravioli and a rotating cast of pasta dishes that make this a local favorite. With a talented pastry chef onboard, desserts are just as notable and some of the stars of the show, including the strawberry jam and mascarpone strawberry pizza, bomboloni and a decadent hazelnut bar like a European candy bar with a haute twist.