Giant hostas embody easy-care beauty in a plant that’s fuss free. These oversized perennials unfurl leaves in many hues, including blue, gold and variegated patterns. The gargantuan plants may also be sun tolerant and can boast slug resistance.
Never underestimate the power of mulch. This simple ground cover provides a host of benefits, including suppressing weeds, helping soil retain water and keeping soil (and plant roots) cool in the heat of summer. Organic mulches like shredded bark, compost or fine forest mulch also slowly decompose and help to build healthy soil. How much mulch is enough? Aim for a 2- to 4-inch-thick layer. Refresh mulch as it breaks down so you maintain that consistent covering on soil.
Large pink trumpet shape blooms cover mandevilla vine during summer, conjuring scenes of tropical beauty. This vine is a stunner that’s often grown in containers or hanging baskets. It makes a striking pillar of color when grown on a pot obelisk trellis. In most zones mandevilla is an annual vine that grows 6 to 8 feet in a single season. Overwinter indoors in a cool spot (above 45 degrees F). Leaves may drop, so water just enough it keep it alive. Growth will resume in spring. Mandevilla is hardy in Zones 10-11, where it can reach 10 to 15 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Why we love it: Mandevilla is easy to grow and infuses even the northernmost garden with a tropical ambience.
Many plants in a meadow are perfect for plucking and plunking into vases. Include annual zinnias for pops of color in your meadow, and you’ll have plenty of flowers for picking. Zinnias come in all shapes and sizes. For a variety with the size to stand out in a meadow, look to ‘Benary’s Giant’ zinnias (Zinnia elegans). This variety is ‘Benary’s Giant Scarlet.’ You’ll need to plant meadow annuals every year. For best results, sow seed at the proper time by following packet instructions.
Purple-skinned 'Texas Blue Giant' thrives in hot climates, as you might guess from its name. The amber flesh is delicious for eating fresh or drying. Hardy in zones 7 to 10, the self-fruiting trees grow 8 to 10 feet in height.
Create your own giant acorns for extra large fall decorations this season. To create the body of your acorn you will need to find some wooden eggs shapes, or create your own with balloons and paper mache. Once you have the body you can decorate it by painting it, wrapping it with twine, or gilding it with gold leaf or glitter. Create your acorn cap by hot gluing natural elements around the top half of your acorn shape. We used acorn caps and layers of pinecone scales to create ours.
Mustard is a must-have for the winter garden because it tolerates both cold winter weather and the occasional warm snap. The Red Giant variety shown here adds color and spice to salads and, like most mustard varieties, can also be sauteed or used in baked dishes.
Plant garlic bulbs in fall for a harvest the following midsummer. Aim to get bulbs in the ground 4 to 8 weeks before the soil freezes. Mulch the planting area with a thick layer of straw or chopped leaves. Get your mulch on before the ground freezes. This keeps soil warmer longer so roots can sink into soil.
An oversized window spans the entire length of this modern kitchen, bathing the space in natural light and offering the chef a stunning view. Rich wood cabinetry creates warmth in the otherwise light-hued space.
Licensed contractor Chip Wade reveals the newly transformed attic space to the Perez family. With every family member being active and involved in sports, the family felt like they were missing out on spending time together. To fix this problem, Chip Wade turned the unfinished attic space into a home gym that fits every family member's needs. The gym includes this industrial fan to keep everyone cool while sweating, as seen on HGTV and DIY Network's Elbow Room.
A larger-than-life pendant or chandelier adds drama to a subdued space, especially when it’s smack in the center of the room. The light here is more than half the width of the full-size bed. This one is 32 inches wide. For a similar stunner the same size, check out the IKEA Grimsås. Shades of Light has gorgeous oversize options too. (Room design by Ali Budd Interiors)