You can’t miss these bright red cottages when you’re out on the water. Their cheery hue is thanks in part to a durable paint mixture that incorporates cod liver oil, a common practice in fishing communities.
Flowering plants provide attention grabbing color, especially when you choose a plant with long-lasting flowers, like anthurium. This tough-as-nails houseplant unfurls red blooms with a waxy sheen and open steadily all year long when plants receive bright light. Give the thick, leathery leaves on anthurium—or any houseplant—a sheen by spraying with a solution of ½ cup milk (skim or reduced fat) and ¾ cup water. Rub the leaves gently with a soft cloth, then dry with a clean, soft cloth. Be sure to spray both top and bottom of leaves.
Consider native red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) for a small tree that looks good through many seasons. It unfurls red flower spikes that are a hummingbird magnet. Typical chestnut-type fruits form in fall with three nuts per hull. Give red buckeye full sun in all zones, with afternoon shade in the South. It will also grow and flower in part shade. Plants need consistent moisture for healthiest leaves. Red buckeye often forms multiple trunks. Prune it to one for a more tree-like appearance. Size: 12 to 15 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 4-8.
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.
Every country cottage has at least one “porch plant” gotten as a start from someone else’s garden. This classic old Pelargonium, often called geranium, is tough, drought resistant, tolerates a wide range of conditions, and is easy to grow from cuttings.
When choosing reds for your holiday decor, take a vintage-inspired approach by choosing weathered reds in brick tones. This jute-covered holiday star made from paint sticks adds a rustic kick to the porch decor. Get the how-to instructions.