Crunchy ‘Sweet Sunset’ banana peppers won the 2015 All-America Selection award. The fruits grow on compact plants that thrive in containers or the garden, and signal they’re ready to harvest when they change from pale green to light yellow. If you prefer, wait a little longer to pick, until the peppers turn red. This variety has better pest and disease resistance, and is more tolerant of drought and heat, than many older varieties.
This modern, Southwestern style home gets the perfect desert landscape. A gabion wall stands at the back of the yard, next to the foundation of the house to help curb erosion. Small flowerbeds then cascade down the yard along the steps. These beds contain durable plants that can survive the summer heat in this desert climate without much water. Instead of mulch in these beds, the beds are filled with rock to keep from having to grow grass that would require lots of water during the summer months. This way, the home's front yard is completely sustainable.
When choosing dwarf Alberta spruce for pots, consider miniature varieties, like Tiny Tower (Picea glauca conica ‘MonRon’). This little cutie reaches a maximum height of 4 to 6 feet tall and up to 2 feet wide. The slow growth rate means you can keep it tucked into containers for a few years. Tiny Tower has bright green leaves that shift to gray as they mature. It’s hardy in Zones 3 to 8. At Christmas, you’ll often see mini Christmas trees in pots. These are usually dwarf Alberta spruce and can be planted into the landscape after the holiday.
‘Stargazer’ Oriental lily unfurls large blooms that exude a rich perfume. Petals are deep pink with a white edge. Oriental lily grows from a bulb that can be planted in fall or spring. Top-heavy stems grow to 3 feet and benefit from staking. Add stakes at planting time to help avoid spearing bulbs. Flowers appear in midsummer and can scent an entire yard on a steamy summer evening. Grow Oriental lilies in planting beds or containers. Hardy in Zones 3-9.
Enjoy all the great attributes of viburnum in a neat little package. Lil’ Ditty grows 1 to 2 feet tall and wide, making it a great choice for perennial borders, containers or edging water gardens. Fragrant white late spring blooms—a big hit with pollinators—fade to form berries, which shift color as they ripen from green to pink to red to blue to black. Hardy in Zones 3-8. Botanical name: Viburnum cassinoides
Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri completely remodeled and updated former home theater into a new, modern family friendly entertainment lounge for Khloe Kardashian Odom and LaMar Odom, as seen on HGTV's Cousins on Call. This lounge features it's own candy bar, custom California redwood shelves and pillars, a 13-foot sofa, cinema surround sound by Pro Audio Technology and AV by Joseph Cali Systems Design, Inc. The side pillars that house the speakers and the shelves are cut from a California Redwood tree. The candy bar in the back of the lounge contains 8 different self-serve candy drawers and a Big Chill retro fridge.
Beloved for its ability to beckon bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, bee balm (Monarda) also earns rave reviews for its mosquito-repelling qualities. For many insect-deterring plants to work, you have to crush leaves or blooms to release the plant’s volatile oils. Bee balm is an exception to that rule. As it grows and blooms in your garden, it releases fragrances mosquitoes dislike (so does basil, by the way). Bee balm is a perennial that flowers in a variety of colors and plant sizes. This beauty is Balmy Rose monarda, which is a compact type growing to 1 foot high. It’s a great choice for edging beds or tucking into containers.
In Asian cuisine, sweet potato leaves are a staple in a host of dishes. Recent studies have shown that these mild tasting leaves contain five times more Vitamin C, three times more Vitamin B6 and nearly 10 times more riboflavin than the sweet tubers. Pick older leaves so young ones can keep growing—and nourishing the potatoes. Use the leaves like spinach—eat fresh on salads, sautee with garlic and olive oil or add to smoothies.
Originally, this historic home's backyard contained a swimming pool that was damaged beyond repair, so after filling in the pool, homeowners wanted a fresh, new look. Designers helped the homeowners come up with a color concept, and began work on their New Modern design by defining entertainment spaces. In one corner, a custom barbecue pit with a concrete island makes the space perfect for grilling. In another, an intimate conversation corner welcomes guests. A putting green is the focal point of the space, but the central living space is this elegant sitting area created from sustainable furniture that matches the couple's eco-friendly lifestyle.
This kitchen was transformed from a dark space with a tiny island to an open, airy concept with a nine foot island and open shelving for a casual, modern restaurant feel.
In order to compensate for removing the original upper cabinets, custom-made stainless steel shelves and a full wall of storage were added. The storage wall contains extra-deep cabinets throughout and a cubby area for small appliances like the toaster. The cabinets next to the double wide commercial refrigerator are actually tall pull-outs for added storage. Family durable materials such as wrought iron and wood stools were used so nothing is too precious to enjoy.
Lighting is crucial to the design because the grounds are used just as much — if not more — at nighttime as during the day. LED lights illuminate a series of drums where buffets are laid out on the main terrace, while a series of light-display panels in the wall behind them contain video screens that can mimic fish swimming in the ocean, or other scenes to enliven the background for big gatherings. Steps and pathways glow in the dark, along with intimate living and dining areas. In this respect, designing these spaces with furnishings and light placement required an approach similar to a home’s interior.
Several varieties of blue fescue (Festuca glauca) are available on the market. ‘Elijah Blue’ is a classic form, offering powdery blue leaves that bring color to the landscape year-round. Wheat-like seedheads appear in early summer. This grass thrives in dry conditions and is an outstanding choice for rock gardens, troughs or containers. Drought-tolerant and deer-resistant, ‘Elijah Blue’ thrives in coastal conditions, too. Plants grow 8 to 10 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri completely remodeled and updated the former home theater into a new, modern family friendly entertainment lounge for Khloe Kardashian Odom and LaMar Odom, as seen on HGTV's Cousins on Call. This lounge features its own candy bar, custom California redwood shelves and pillars, a 13-foot sofa, cinema surround sound by Pro Audio Technology and AV by Joseph Cali Systems Design, Inc. The side pillars that house the speakers and the shelves are cut from a California Redwood tree. The candy bar in the back of the lounge contains 8 different self-serve candy drawers and a Big Chill retro fridge.
If you want to broaden your baby’s palate but don’t have the bandwidth to prepare an elaborate, flavorful meal, check out Plum Organics’ Hello Dinner packets. Ashley Muir Bruhn, creator of Hither and Thither, tried these with her baby daughter. The meals are made with whole grains and contain hints of spices and herbs, and they only require a bit of hot water to prepare.
You can buy commercially-prepared echinacea to make tea, but beware. WedMD warns that some echinacea teas are mislabeled and may contain harmful or even toxic ingredients. Some gardeners make their own tea by brewing a teaspoon or two of dried echinacea in boiling water, and adding a little honey for sweetening. These plants are often used to fight flu and other infections. Shown here: ornamental Big Sky™ 'Summer Sky'™ coneflower Echinacea purpurea x paradoxa.
For the best results in terms of color, cold hardiness and overall growth, buy pansies like landscapers do, picking up larger cell packs or 3- or 4-inch pots. These plants have bigger root balls, which means plants will take off more quickly in beds and containers. Check roots to make sure they’re healthy like this—having many white, fibrous roots on the outside of the root ball. The best time to plant pansies is when leaves on trees first start to change color. Soil temps should be between 45 and 65 F.
There’s an ornamental grass to fit every landscape. Prairie Winds ‘Totem Pole’ switch grass (Panicum virgatum) is the go-to grass for tight spaces. This selection of a native tall prairie grass forms a sturdy upright clump with a small footprint. Plants grow to 6 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Steel-blue leaves bring subtle color to plantings. Seedheads appear in late summer and linger through winter. ‘Totem Pole’ works well in containers, or count on it to add a strong vertical element to planting beds. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
April showers bring May hummus and crudité flowers. Use individual containers of hummus or spoon hummus into a small prep bowl to serve as the center of the flower. Slice an English cucumber on the diagonal (these are seedless and have thin, edible skin) and top each piece with a bell pepper strip. Make the stem with a celery stalk and leaf and “plant” the flower into a bed of whole-wheat crackers.