Brilliantly arranged to accommodate multiple generations of Danielle Rollins' family, this wing extending off the back of the home is just for Rollins and allows her to fling open the French doors and go for a swim first thing in the morning. "I swim almost every morning," says Rollins, with the pool just "42 steps from my bed." The wing also affords her privacy; her parents' occupy space in the main house and her children and god-daughter live on the second floor of her home.
For the longest time, seven-son flower (Heptacodium miconioides) has been a plant grown by garden geeks, but it’s now entering the common marketplace. It’s about time. This stunning small tree offers strong four-season interest. Leaves are beautiful as they emerge in spring and develop a twisting appearance in summer. White flowers appear in late summer, beckoning hummingbirds. Blossoms fade to reveal deep rose bracts that linger on the plant well into autumn. Winter showcases peeling, tan bark on the multiple trunks. This is a great choice for a specimen front yard tree or an addition to a planting bed. Size: 6-10 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9.
Getting water to plants is one of the top tasks you’ll tackle. If you grow any container gardens, watering is a daily event in the heat of summer. Invest in a quality hose that’s guaranteed for life, along with some kind of easy-to-use hose storage. Include a hose end watering wand, nozzle with multiple patterns and watering can with a detachable rose (the nozzle part that turns a water stream into a shower). For planting beds and large gardens, choose a sprinkler, or invest in drip irrigation. Last but not least, when buying a hose, pick up a pack of flat washers that fit your hose. Replace washers inside hose ends annually, at the start of every gardening season, to reduce drips and wasted water.