Slice a Mini Babybel cheese round in half (leave the wax coating on until you’re ready to eat) and insert part of a flexible straw into the cut side to create adorable edible umbrellas. Add cauliflower clouds and raindrops to your plate to create a rainy day scene. Want to really be singing in the rain? Vary your “umbrella” colors with green, turquoise and purple by choosing different flavors of cheese.
Kick off summer with a bee balm that won’t run all over your garden. ‘Leading Lady Lilac’ forms a lavender cloud in early summer, with a second flush of flowers extending the show into midsummer. Blossoms beckon bees, butterflies and other pollinators, while minty foliage gives deer the brush off. Plants grow 12 inches tall. Hardy in Zones 4-8. Botanical name: Monarda ‘Leading Lady Lilac’
A modern terrarium incorporates clean lines, use of space, layers and grouping. Floral designer Paul Ponn used a large white figurehead to create an imposed asymmetrical line to bring the eye to the soil line. If you play close attention to the soil line, you will notice clear layers between the different types of soil, says Ponn, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers and owner of Bella Floral Boutique in St. Cloud, Fla.
Look to herbs like sage to give mosquitoes the brush-off. Use sage fresh by crushing leaves and rubbing on your skin or clothing. Or tie a bundle of sage stems (fresh or dried) and toss them into your firepit or chiminea to create a cloud of mosquito-repelling smoke. No firepit? Light one end of a sage bunch and let it smolder on a fire-resistant tray. Other herbs that work the same way to repel skeeters include rosemary and thyme.
Three-dimensional wall art goes a long way if you’re working with lots of blank space, and the plush variety is so fitting for a nursery. To achieve a more playful feel, mount a stuffed animal head above your crib. Thanks to the internet, you can find just about any animal you’d want – from a deer to a flamingo to a unicorn. For a more modern look, mount a plush geometric shape, like the edgy, black-and-white rain cloud here. Or, do both, like designer and stylist Live Loud Girl. You really can’t go wrong when it comes to fun, pillowy wall art.
The name whitefly is fairly descriptive of what these pesky insects look like: tiny, white, flying bugs. Whiteflies cluster underneath leaves usually starting in mid- to late summer. When you disturb plants, the insects fly up, forming white clouds. It’s dramatic and horrible at the same time. They love tomatoes, perennial hibiscus, fuchsia and anise hyssop. The adults and young suck plant sap, damaging leaves as they do so and releasing sticky honeydew. Controls include ladybugs, lacewings and a naturally occurring tiny parasitic wasp. You can also control whiteflies using horticultural oils, soaps or bioinsecticides containing fungi that parasitize whiteflies.
Problem: Swarms or clouds of tiny white creatures fly into the air when you move your plants. Solution: You’ve got whiteflies, insects related to aphids that suck plant juices. They make a sticky substance called honeydew that can attract fungal diseases. Spray the plant with an insecticidal soap, following label directions. You’ll probably need to re-treat. Some gardeners use a homemade spray of 2 parts rubbing alcohol, 5 parts water and one tablespoon of mild liquid soap. The good news is that some houseplants, like this red Anthurium, are seldom troubled by these pests.
Can you imagine taking a bath in front of a view like this? Angela Blehm's master bath is the definition of relaxed elegance. The overall palette of her home is so incredibly colorful and vibrant, that the master bath's classic design makes for the perfect sanctuary. Angela achieved a cohesive look within the space by repeating the Benjamin Moore, Cumulous Cloud, wall color on their custom vanities and adding the gorgeous "York" bathtub from Victoria + Albert. My favorite detail about this space is the repetition and balance of simple shapes. Brass sconces and round pulls are the perfect finishing touches.
The Blehm's master bedroom strikes the perfect balance of masculine and feminine energies. The palette compliments the rest of the house but is decidedly more subtle and conducive to rest. Angela takes risks in her design, but always makes room for the classics. For example, the blue velvet bed is flanked by red geometric night tables but finished with classic crisp white bedding. The homeowner admitted that she has trouble committing to patterned area rugs, therefore she typically uses white.... except for in the master. This one is a rich blue, modern take on an animal print. The master bedroom walls are Benjamin Moore, Cumulous Cloud, as is the master bathroom. That shared color creates consistency throughout their master suite.