Indoor plant fertilizers come in a variety of forms. You can find liquid fertilizers and powders that you mix with water, as well as slow release stakes and prills (small pellets). Do a little homework to make sure you choose the best fertilizer for your plants. For most foliage plants, general indoor plant fertilizers that are water soluble or slow release work fine.
If you like lemon drops, you’ll love the scent of lemon balm. Brush or lightly rub the leaves to release the sweet lemon aroma. Pick individuals leaves for making teas or desserts. Bright light is best for shorter stems and bushy growth. Lower light yields long, lanky stems. Botanical name: Melissa officinalis
Designed for a brother and sister with very minimal, modernist sensibility, this bathroom layout makes it easy to be used by at least two people at the same time. Separate rooms for the shower and toilet, touch-release custom oak cabinetry and a clean white backdrop complete the design.
Cheerful and bright, marigolds make an easy-to-grow addition to any garden plan—in pots or planting beds. These perky annuals bring terrific color all season long. What you might not know is that marigolds pack a punch to many insects, including mosquitoes, thanks to chemical insecticides they release. That’s why marigolds have such a strong odor when you touch them. Both flowers and leaves release the chemicals, but blossoms deliver the strongest punch. Other insects that marigolds deter include aphid, whitefly, thrips, tomato hornworm, Mexican bean beetle and squash bug. Tuck marigolds into pots on the patio to make summer evenings less buggy. Or use them in the vegetable garden to help repel pests.
Sugar maples (Acer saccharum) are native trees, making up much of the U.S. hardwood forest along the East Coast. As the name suggests, this is the maple that is tapped to release sap, which can be boiled down to make maple syrup. In addition to their sweet sap, sugar maples are famous for their stunning fall color. This maple makes a good shade tree. If planted in a row, it can form an elegant allee and effective windbreak. This grouping shows Fall Fiesta sugar maple (Acer saccharum ‘Bailsta’), which boasts strong, rapid growth and a rounded form. Leaves resist summer heat, wind and drought. Sugar maple trees grow 60 to 75 feet tall and up to 30 to 40 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 3-8.
Mix organic matter and fertilizer into your soil when you plant annuals, or use a packaged potting mix that has fertilizer in it. Make sure to water thoroughly, so the plant roots don’t get burned. Most annuals bloom heavily for several weeks before they need feeding again; then you can add a slow-release fertilizer or use a liquid or water-soluble fertilizer about every two weeks. Shown here: Superbells® 'Strawberry Punch' Calibrachoa
Fill your garden with the rich scent of Old Roses by including this pretty climber. ‘St. Swithun’ is a showstopper, opening fully double pink blooms with over 120 petals. Flowers appear reliably all season long, releasing a pure myrrh fragrance. This is an English rose packed with disease resistance, making it a breeze to grow. Train it on an arbor or well-anchored arch. Plants grow to 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Why we love it: The intense scent is alluring and a perfect complement to an entry garden or outdoor seating area.
Combining two or more spaces can create a sense of flow that makes each individual room seem larger. Case in point: A tight galley kitchen that got a new lease on life thanks to a clever reconfiguration. The architect recaps the project: “Knocking out the wall of an attached storage unit transformed the dark and cramped kitchen into a clean and light-filled space complete with a dining room and garden view. A galley layout makes efficient use of the small kitchen and allows for plenty of worktop space. The kitchen walkway leads the eye to the dining room — which has the same width as the kitchen — and the garden end of the space.”
Can’t get enough chocolate? Then this is the plant for you. Chocolate flower (Berlandiera lyrata) is a native wildflower from the Southwest. These sunny yellow blossoms release a rich chocolate fragrance during the morning hours. Plants are drought-tolerant once established and make a great choice for low water-use or xeriscape gardens. Encourage longer blooming and tame plant sprawl by cutting stems back in midsummer. Chocolate flower grows 12 to 20 inches tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-9.
Many paints these days are formulated for use on plastics. This sculptural chair got a new lease on life when it was painted a pretty nautical blue. Just make sure if you’re painting a chair you allow PLENTY of dry time in a space that’s not too cold, too hot or too humid BEFORE you actually sit in it! And if you plan on using that chair outdoors, finish it off with a clear coat spray for extra protection.
Peppermint offers a healing touch for many ailments—sunburn, headache or muscle pain. To release mint’s medicinal properties, crush leaves first using a mortar and pestle or blender. For headaches and muscle cramps, make a paste of crushed leaves and water, place between pieces of cheesecloth (or other thin cloth), and apply to skin at the site of pain. For a tension headache, apply the poultice to the base of your neck. For sunburn, mix crushed leaves with cool water, strain, and spritz the water onto the burn. Menthol in peppermint feels cooling to the skin.
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.
Give summer’s favorite thirst quencher a refreshing twist by adding mint sprigs to your pitcher. Just add washed mint stems to a pitcher of lemonade, and let it sit at least 30 minutes. Strain before serving—or not. Serve over ice in tall glasses garnished with a mint stem and lemon wedge. Mint also blends well with iced tea and makes a cooling herb water. To maximize mint flavor, before adding leaves to your brew, crush them slightly to release essential oils. Bruised edges will brown, but it won’t harm your beverage. Simply strain leaves before serving.
Trunk Club's Maggie Mee has three tips to business travelers to consider when packing for a work trip. "1. Don't wear your jacket or third piece while in flight. Gently fold and place on the top of your carry on. 2. Wear lightweight layers to help hide wrinkles and make sure that you're comfortable while in flight. Patterned fabrics also hide the look of wrinkles. 3. Bring a small bottle of wrinkle release spray in your carry on to remove any wrinkles that might have developed on the plane. If you'll have time to check into your hotel, you might also think about bringing a small steamer to freshen up your look." In addition, if you want to be comfortable and fresh for arrival, Mee recommends a change of costume during the travel portion of your trip. "I'd also encourage you to switch up your footwear from flight to meeting. A pair of flats or sneakers are perfect for getting through airport security and keeping you comfortable and can be quickly swapped out for a pair of heels, boots or dress shoes when you arrive at your final destination."