Water plants effectively and efficiently by testing different irrigation methods and learning how well your soil holds water. Don’t judge when to water based on wilting leaves. Some plants naturally wilt under the midday sun, and plants also wilt when soil is too wet. Before watering, shove your finger into soil as far as you can and pull it out. If it comes out dry and clean or you can’t even shove it into soil, you need to water. If soil sticks to your finger or feels moist, don’t water. When watering, deliver water directly to soil to reduce the amount lost to evaporation. Soaker hoses, drip irrigation, micro-irrigation and bubblers all deliver water directly to soil. If using a traditional sprinkler, make sure it’s not watering surrounding grass, sidewalk or driveway.
Conserving water in the landscape starts with re-thinking the ways you use and apply water to plantings. Trade in a non-adjustable oscillating sprinkler for one that offers multiple watering patterns. By sliding levers or pushing buttons, adjustable sprinklers let you direct water to where it’s needed—and avoid wasteful runoff.
Use an art brush dipped in piping gel to evenly coat 5 pink berries 3/4 of the way up, leaving 1/4 of the pink coating near the cap exposed. Place the white nonpareils in a cup and dip each berry into the sprinkles. Lightly tap the berry on the edge of the cup to release excess nonpareils. Let the berries stand on the parchment paper until set, about 15 minutes. Transfer each berry to a cupcake liner.
Want an instant party hit? Combine two of the world's most popular ingredients: bacon + cheese. Just mix 8 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup shredded cheddar, 8 chopped, cooked bacon slices, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon. Form into balls and chill. Roll in chopped chives and more chopped bacon.
In addition to the table decor, play up the color scheme of your party with finger foods. Customize easy-to-make almond cookies by adding food coloring to icing and then dressing them up with pearlescent, edible ornamentation.