Bold and Beautiful Alliums for Every Garden

By Melinda Meyers Short or tall, big or small, ornamental alliums are a treat for flower gardeners and for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators. Plant the bulbs in fall and enjoy months of colorful spring and summer blooms—this year, and for years to come. Just like their relatives, onions and chives, ornamental alliums are easy to grow and trouble free. Pests, diseases, and even deer don’t bother them. Most types are reliably perennial and winter hardy in zones three to eight. Alliums prefer well-drained soil and full sun, though they will also grow in partial shade. You can choose flowers …

Battle Weeds, Leaves and Shrubbery with Tech

(Family Features) The same type of technology used in some of the United States Navy’s most powerful ships also powers handheld lawn equipment. A lineup of string trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers from Cub Cadet use an innovative technology to power the units called CORE (Conductor-Optimized Rotary Energy). The sophisticated motor technology generates power equal to gas engines and maximizes pound-for-pound power efficiency, compared to its 25 cubic centimeter gas-powered engines. The technology also features a unique Power-Lok system. This standalone drive unit offers lightweight, high-performance string trimmer, blower and hedge trimmer attachments. It saves storage space and money …

9 Troublesome Weed Zones to Tackle

(Family Features) Weeds are opportunists that take advantage of bleak growing conditions to set root. If you’ve ever seen a weed growing out of a crack in your driveway or other paving, you know that weeds, by nature, can adapt to almost any spot. As you work to get your yard in shape, keep an eye on the following areas that often offer ideal conditions for weeds to grow and reproduce. Pathways. Paths made from loose materials, such as bark mulch, decomposed granite or stones, can act as seeding beds, offering a natural spot for weeds to grow. Underneath shrubs. Areas under …

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens remain high on homeowners’ wish lists, and can range from a simple “plug and play” grill island to a far more complex addition of built ins under shelter designed to take every cooking chore outdoors. Outdoor living and outdoor kitchens are the number one desire for many homeowners, according to Carol Sullivan of Nashville’s Hearth & Grill Store. “The demand for outdoor living has led to the expansion of manufacturer’s offerings,” she says, everything from portable outdoor grills to grills installed in custom islands, with added features such as refrigerators, side cookers, ice makers, smokers from The Big Green Egg, …

Secrets for a Well-Maintained Lawn

(Family Features) Growing a healthy, appealing lawn isn’t about doing one thing right; it’s about doing a combination of things right. Different aspects of lawn maintenance, whether it’s watering, fertilizing or mowing, are interrelated. If you complete one task incorrectly – or skip it entirely – you may increase problems with insects, diseases, and weeds. To help you on your way to manicuring a well-maintained lawn, BioAdvanced lawn and garden expert Lance Walheim recommends these steps: Grow the Right Grass Different grasses grow in different areas of the country. Warm-season grasses, including bahiagrass, Bermuda grass, St. Augustine grass and zoysia, …

6 sure-fire tips that save time and labor on yard work and gardening

(BPT) – It’s summertime, and you’ll want to spend many sun-drenched hours in the great outdoors. But while Mother Nature is flourishing, it feels like you’re wasting too many precious summer afternoons and evenings doing chores in the yard and garden. Give some of these labor-saving tips a try so you have more time for your favorite summer activities. 1. Get organized Nothing wastes time like having to search around for misplaced trowels, seed packets and garden rakes. It’s worth the time and effort to create a zone in your garage or shed that’s just for gardening and yard care …

Easy ways to create your personalized garden

(BPT) – All around the country, first-time gardeners and seasoned pros are jumping into the growing season. No matter where you live, whether it’s in an apartment in the heart of the city or a house with a spacious backyard, vegetable and herb gardening is a fun, relaxing hobby that is easy to enjoy. What makes vegetable and herb gardening such a popular pastime is that each person can make their own space to fit their needs. Whether you’re into growing the most unique plants, a foodie looking for exciting new veggies, or just want more green in your life, …

Permeable Pavers Create Eco-Friendly Outdoor Spaces

In Nashville and beyond, permeable pavers are giving homeowners new reasons to go green. These environmentally friendly products can be spotted around town, and they’re frequently used for driveway hardscaping. But driveways aren’t the only settings where these pavers are taking off in popularity – their durability, price advantages, and even safety benefits mean they have a lot to offer. Permeable pavers are a terrific option for patios, garden spaces, and even less conventional areas like condos’ outdoor spaces. Willow Branch Outdoor Living installed Belgard’s Acqua-Bric permeable paver in Fossil color between condo buildings at Mason Rowhouse for water drainage benefits. There …

3 Ways to set the stage for the perfect summer soiree

(BPT) – The backyard barbecue is a staple of the American summer. Long days filled with sun, fun, family and friends are what make lifelong memories. Now is the perfect time to start planning for your next barbecue, so you, too, can create memories you won’t soon forget. However, before you fire up the grill, you will want to ensure your backyard is prepped and ready to host your friends and family. Here are three tips to help you create the perfect setting for your patio party: 1. Lay the groundwork The first step to setting any stage is to …

Spruce Up Your Outdoor Spaces

(Family Features) Over time, the appearance and function of any outdoor space can dull due to combinations of heat, precipitation, and use. With some careful attention, you can quickly spruce up your outdoor living areas and get them back in great working order for patio season.           Take Care of Textiles Outdoor textiles often take a beating from the elements. Freshen up often-overlooked things like outdoor rugs, lawn furniture cushions, pillows, and umbrellas. A thorough vacuuming may be adequate to remove leaves, bugs or dirt. However, if stubborn spots persist and a deeper cleaning is needed, …