Splashy Colors Spark a Contemporary Guesthouse

This play- and – guesthouse in Arizona works difficult for the entire family. It’s a space where children run around at full throttle, where their parents frequently amuse and where guests sleeping on weekends. “The entire family needed a space that felt fuss free, fun and totally accessible to people of all ages,” says designer Valerie Borden. However, before she could proceed with the last design, she desired the family to trust her instincts when it came into her color options for the 600-square-foot space.

“Many people feel they’ll soon tire of solid colours or strong colors affect the resale value of a house. According to my experience, this could not be farther from the truth. After seeing how the strong colours made the house feel more inviting in addition to helping it stand out from the rest of the package, my clients embraced the solid colours of the space and could not be happier with our choices,” says Borden.

in a Glance
Who performs here: A couple, their 3 children and sleepover guests
Location: Scottsdale, Arizona
Size: 600 square feet

Chimera Interior Design

The play- and guesthouse includes bath, kitchenette, dining space, a TV area and loft. Walls, cabinetry and furnishings in white and light gray provide a neutral foundation for bright, colorful splashes and patterns.

“We went with a palette of teal, orange and lime green, which the clients feel really uplifted the distance. You feel this jolt of energy once you input,” says Borden.

Dining table: custom, Chimera Interior Design; chairs: Overstock.com

Chimera Interior Design

Borden maximized the distance by placing the sleeping loft directly over the toilet and closet (marked with the orange window doors). “This is a new structure, so we designed the space to match their needs entirely,” she states.

The loft is 5 feet wide by 24 feet long. Three sleeping mats fill it, together with a shaggy rug, lots of cushions and reading lights. “It was actually the customer who had the idea to produce the loft, in addition to the fire pole,” says Borden.

Interior paint: Cool December, Dunn Edwards; cabinets: Ikea; sectional: client’s own

Chimera Interior Design

A Kaiser Tile backsplash and a light fixture which casts geometric shadows on the ceiling add visual interest into the kitchen. A concrete counter tops and Ikea cabinets stand up to the wear and tear of both kids and guests. The upper cabinet on the left hides a microwave.

Chimera Interior Design

The layout of the bathroom inspired. “We knew we wanted a psychedelic effect for this little space,” says Borden, who spent hours on hours sourcing the perfect treatment for those walls. “We originally discussed a tiled wall, but it would’ve killed our funding. This wallpaper adds so much drama to the distance without crippling our funding.”

Chimera Interior Design

An Ikea dressing table and mirror, and wall sconces found at the clearance aisle of Lamps Plus, play a supportive role into the high drama of the wallpaper while giving the distance a clean, modern feel.

Chimera Interior Design

Semifrosted glass connects the shower into the outdoor place. Orange and white tiles out of Sicis provide this pool shower a beautiful sheen.

Chimera Interior Design

The designer cut down costs and gave the children ownership of the space with them paint the artwork in the markets using the teal, orange and green color palette. “They shot a few classes at a local art studio and voilà — our Pollock-inspired masterpieces came into existence,” says Borden.

Chimera Interior Design

A peacock feather pattern plays up cushions and a rug from International Views. “My customer absolutely loves peacocks and literally jumped for joy when I discovered them,” the designer says.

The orange doors behind the sofa and dining table open into an adjoining garage workshop, in which the clients work on creative projects.

Chimera Interior Design

Borden used diamond plate on the door’s workshop side, making cleanup easier when the clients get cluttered in their creative space.

“We are working on the rest of this Southwest modern house’s redesign. We are transitioning outside the Southwest and leaning more modern,” says Borden.

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A berm is a mounded or shaped planting feature of a landscape. Berms tend to be curved and are raised from 18 to 24 inches high. They are sometimes placed to add visual interest, to cause proper drainage or to conceal unsightly elements.

Debora carl landscape design

Berms add visual interest and are a handy way to plant species that have similar sunshine and water requirements. There are unlimited design possibilities for a berm.

Jennifer Jamgochian / Multiflora

Berms and island bedrooms are extremely similar, and frequently the terms are used interchangeably. Island beds normally stand alone, nevertheless, whereas a berm can be a more natural part of the landscape. This is a good illustration of an island bed.

LLC, Company & Woodburn Landscape Architecture

Berms can also be described as the strips of lawn with a street, or the flat areas flanking a tube.

Christopher Yates Landscape Architecture

Not all berms have to be flower beds; ornamental grasses planted to a large sloping mound are a modern solution to the berm.

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Look Up to the Attic for a Playful Kids' Bedroom

A kids’ bedroom is a sacred area — it’s among the few areas they could truly call their own, and yet one place they can rely on to get a little solitude in. However, the latter isn’t always a simple thing to achieve, especially in huge households. If your children feel somewhat vulnerable, consider altering your loft space into a distinctive bedroom just for them. A getaway on the floor can make the ideal escape, providing them the space they crave — and making more quiet for you downstairs! Read the professional tips below to initiate the transformation.

Beinfield Architecture PC

Balance brights and whites. You desire the space to feel fresh and lively, not claustrophobic. “Save colour and patterns for the floor or walls, and maintain your ceiling bright and light,” says designer Laura Umansky. “Since the ceiling is often low in attics, leaving them helps to make the space feel bigger.”

Warm with texture. Kids’ rooms could be lively spaces, so have fun exploring with patterns. “Fun patterns and textures can add a lot to a space,” states Umansky. The rainbow-colored rug in this spirited loft bedroom features a polka dot two-tone pattern on the wall.

Laura U, Inc..

Dress your windows. “Do not shy away from incorporating drapery into a dormer simply because your ceilings pitch at either side,” states Umanksy. “Window treatments add both texture and drama to a room.”

Kelly Donovan

Go low. Short furniture pulls double duty in a children’ loft bedroom with balancing the scale of sloped ceilings and producing perfectly sized spaces for smaller children.

Harry Braswell Inc..

Transform sloped ceilings into storage solutions. Do not worry about a sloped ceiling operate with this embarrassing layout to make the most of your child’s storage area. “Pitched ceilings make certain parts of the room uncommon, as you can’t stand up, so use them for storage rather,” states Umansky. This area’s built-in shelving transforms the place under a catchy ceiling into functional space.

Kelly Donovan

Get creative with sloped ceilings. If a built-in or large-scale shelving unit is too big for your room or out of your budget, it is still possible to add additional function simply by hanging a hooks or rack under a sloped ceiling. A small mirror below turns this place into a tiny dressing room.

Soorikian Architecture

Produce a sleeping nook. A sleeping nook can help you take advantage of awkward loft corners. This slanted ceiling feels supercozy, making this exceptional space additional comfortable.

Read more children’ spaces

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5 Glorious Shrubs

Are you discovering your landscape lacking as the dog days of summer give way to fall? With this late-summer twilight zone putting in, are you currently wondering whether there’s anything more which will bloom or bear fruit before it’s all mums and pumpkins? Fear not! Listed below are five uncommon shrubs that wait patiently the last minute to actually do their thing. Shop for them in autumn, while they are in bloom, when autumn rains can help new plants settle in.

You may know it as bluebeard or even blue spirea, but if you are a lover of blue and do not grow Caryopteris x clandonensis (zones 5/6 to 9), you are missing out. Easy to grow in sun or light shade, varieties of this shrub bloom late in a palette of cool blues — a mouthwatering counterpoint to autumn’s warm tones. Chop it down in late winter and it’ll remain a clean 3 feet high.

Find your climate zone

Why is it always see recommendations for bush clover (Lespedeza thunbergii cultivars, zones 4 to 8) in books and magazines, and it’s still so underused?

A true parking lot plant, this one develops anywhere in sun or light shade, and blooms in jewel-tone pinks or whites that are crisp. Like Caryopteris, it could be kept tidy by clipping it to the ground in late winter — unlike this plant, it is going to grow 4 to 5 feet tall in 1 season. It drapes and makes a fantastic cascading accent in bloom on slopes and walls, narrowed down by masses of flowers.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user BotBln

If I had to select a single uncommon plant I recommend many, it would be seven son flower (Heptacodium miconioides, zones 5 to 9). This shrub or small tree is often likened to southern crape myrtle, but frankly I like it.

Assets include: crisp, textural dark green foliage all season which turns to gold in autumn; peeling white bark year-round; and, most important, fragrant white flowers as summer turns to fall, followed closely by red-purple fruits (shown here) which are at least as pretty as the flowers. Seven son flower will grow 15 to 20 feet tall and 8 to 10 feet wide, but it’s easily pruned to a more compact size.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user VoDeTan2

I make no bones about the fact that I enjoy plants which form colonies, and harlequin glory bower (Clerodendron trichotomum, zones 5/6 to 10) is one of my favorites. This shrub is glorious for several reasons, the most prominent being its deliciously fragrant jasmine-scented white-over-magenta flowers so late in the summer that provide way to gorgeously weird fruit such as bright blue BBs, also framed by a magenta mantle.

Give glory blower room (about 10 feet) to spread out, and you will be rewarded with a 10- to 15-foot-tall colony punctually — briefer in colder zones, where it could die back to the ground in winter. Bonus: its own leaves smell like peanut butter.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Jean-Pol Grandmont

If it’s berries you are after, you’d be hard pressed to do better than beauty berry (Callicarpa species and cultivars, zones 5/6 to 8). This beauty’s shiny, purplish fruit doesn’t come into its own until September, and it hangs around after the leaves have fallen. Give it sun and plant multiples for best fruiting. Beauty berry grows to 6 feet tall and broad, and in zone 5, in which it may die back, it may be pruned hard to approximately 6 inches above the ground in late winter. A bit of late winter pruning is a good idea in all zones, because beauty berry flowers and fruits on new wood.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Sten

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Bring Home Buyers Easily With Great Photography

One of the most effective tools you have when marketing your home for sale is amazing listing photography. No matter how fabulous your house is, it won’t sell if the listing photos don’t do their job. Your photos should be bright, light and welcoming so potential buyers jump ahead and schedule a showing. Below are some simple ways to get the most out of those incredibly important home photos.

Brian Watford Interiors

From the listing, include only photos of your most attractive rooms. Include the description and dimensions of the other chambers in the house, but you’re not doing yourself any favors from adding poor photos or staged rooms. Lure potential customers in with lovely spaces; don’t show them anything that may stop them from scheduling a showing.

Grainda Builders, Inc..

Your photos should concentrate on the architecture of the home rather than the decor. The shot taken of this living area captures both the architecture (the paneled fireplace and the bookcases) and the view from the big windows. The sailboat over the mantel brings buyers’ eyes into the focal point of the room — the fireplace. When I had been gearing this room for property photography, the one thing I would add here could be some cushions in on-trend colours and patterns to make the conversation place more welcoming.

Architects, Webber + Studio

Taking photos from the far corners of chambers and low to the ground gets more flooring to the photograph. The more flooring you see, the bigger the room will appear. Removing all rugs from a distance adds square footage — at least in a buyer’s mind. Unbroken floor area makes any room appear bigger, and square footage is king.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

Take photos at one time of day when you have the best natural lighting in the main rooms of the home, like the living area, the kitchen and the master bedroom. Ensure you open every window covering as well as doors to allow more light in. Don’t use a flash if you don’t have to — it’ll distort colours and appear unpleasant.

Jennifer Bevan Interiors

Although most interior photos in magazines are taken with all the lights off, it is typically best to turn all lights for record photos. Meaning every overhead, kettle lamp and light in the room. Those stains of light draw your attention to every corner of the distance, so a purchaser may linger somewhat more on the photograph.

Abbott Moon

Light a fire in the fireplace to create a sense of closeness and hominess. Notice how light is streaming in from the left side of the room? As I mentioned earlier, be sure to open all the windows and doors to allow in lighting so a comfy room like this will not appear dark. For a record photograph, I would also remove the carpet to make the room appear bigger.

BraytonHughes Design Studios

Think about taking a few unconventional photos rather than just the old shoot-from-the-entry standards. Open the French doors, throw open a window or move the chairs out from the dining table to make a photograph that entices and catches the imagination of a prospective buyer.

Taste Design Inc

It is pretty standard to have a photo from the front door to the entrance, right? But try taking a shot of the entrance from the inside toward the front door and open the door, as in this photo. It is much more interesting and may be a better vantage point.

I would really like to hear your own tips for creating great photos for property listings. How can you take photos when selling your home? What is your opinion on the usage of a fish-eye lens for this kind of photography?

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1960s Ranch Redo at Denver

At first, a sister and brother couldn’t envision how to upgrade their inherited childhood home. However, by the time that this whole-house renovation was complete, they understood they needed to sell it to prevent a feud over who got to reside there.

The house sat in a fantastic location with a big, lovely backyard but the siblings’ attempts to receive it sale ready (new paint, new carpeting) were insufficient. “If you strike the proper areas and work creatively within a budget, frequently you can double your investment,” says designer and general contractor Jonas DiCaprio of Design Platform, an architecture and construction company. In this case, the house was worth $240,000 before the renovations, the renovations totaled between $70,000-$80,000, and the house sold for $370,000.

in a Glance:
Who lives here: New owners. During the renovations, the house was owned by a sister and brother who inherited their childhood home from their parents and wanted to make it ready to sell.
Location: Southeast of downtown Denver, Colorado, in the Bible Park neighborhood
Size: 2,639 square feet; five bedrooms; three baths
Scope of this job: Complete house, such as gutting the kitchen and baths, including hardwood flooring, opening the floor plan, decorative changes to all the bedrooms and changing a cellar workshop to a rec room.
Year Built: 1967

Design Platform

“The house had a whole lot of nasty maroon and green onto the facade,” says DiCaprio. “We needed to work together with all the brown roof and gold brown brick, so we went with an easy black and white palette.” The architects also included a bright orange doorway to grab attention, and also added the decorative cement border to expand the very narrow driveway.

Before Photo

BEFORE: Indoors, a entrance cupboard cut the living space away from the dining room, creating chopped-up, dark spaces.

Design Platform

AFTER: The painters removed the cupboard, moved the kitchen in the former dining room space and added a massive beam. Now natural light spreads from one side of the house to another.

Design Platform

The designers stored money in the kitchen intestine renovation using black Ikea cabinets and then adding custom details. “Ikea cabinets are great quality and they cost about a third of the purchase price of custom or semicustom cabinets,” says DiCaprio. “While you can’t refinish them you may just replace the fronts should you ever need a change.” They swapped in higher-end modern Sugatsune handles and pulls.

The wall-mounted cabinet to the best of this stove can be from Ikea. “It is shallower than a standard cabinet, so it does not affect the window,” says DiCaprio. The backsplash works up into the base of the cabinet, reflecting the light.

Glazed ceramic tile in architectural grey: Daltile

Design Platform

The designers dressed the cabinets by adding rift white oak details, wrap the ends of the pantry, cabinets and island in the timber, in addition to creating a custom rift white oak refrigerator surround.

Before Photo

BEFORE: This earlier shot was taken at approximately the exact same angle as the previous picture. The former dining room was transformed into a part of the spacious kitchen. Look to the far left and you will see the fireplace shown in the next picture.

Before Photo

BEFORE: DiCaprio moved the dining room in order to make the most of this fireplace — well, this fireplace using a really dramatic makeover, since this one is not very appetizing.

Design Platform

AFTER: The brand new dining room takes advantage of this previously obsolete fireplace, which failed a significant facelift.

Design Platform

“We covered the instant present encircle in black grill paint that is fire-resistant,” says DiCaprio. “We then covered the facade in El Dorado stone, which is a veneer. We finished it by trimming out it in rift white oak, which we also used in the kitchen.

“We also used 4-inch rift white oak on the flooring,” he adds. “Oak is a frequent ranch aspect, but generally red oak. We chose rift white oak to freshen up things; it casts more brown tones instead of the typical ranch red.”

Design Platform

DiCaprio knocked down more walls and created an open floor plan. The dining room and kitchen open to one another, which divides up everything and allows the person cooking trip with relatives and guests.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The guest bath and its own salmon-colored countertop were, quite frankly, depressing. “I don’t know why the majority of these ranches have these built in soffits using all the awful lights,” says DiCaprio. The room had a grim tub, which he was able to reglaze and keep for only $300. “It might have cost at least $800 to replace the bathtub with a poor quality fiberglass bathtub,” he states.

Design Platform

AFTER: “By incorporating subway tile from floor to ceiling, we brightened up the space,” says DiCaprio. The dressing table is from Ikea; DiCaprio splurged on the custom-built medicine cabinet.

Before Photo

BEFORE: From the master bath, this shower/commode configuration was less than perfect.

Design Platform

AFTER: DiCaprio made a tiny space from another room to enlarge this bathroom. This allowed for a lengthy, curbless open shower which does not require a shower door. Using glass leaves the room look much bigger.

Hint: Placing the faucet handle away from the showerhead, as you see here, makes it effortless to switch it on without getting blasted by cold water.

“It is funny, we get some jobs where the sky is the limit in terms of budget, but somehow functioning within a budget can ignite more creativity,” says DiCaprio.

Rejuvenated Ranch
Cozy and Family-Friendly Space

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12 Ways to Cool Your House Without Air Conditioning

Summer heat waves have everyone looking to cool. Blasting the air conditioner isn’t necessarily a choice, and it certainly uses a lot of energy. Instead of shelling out the big dollars to stay cool, think about several alteratives that can make a difference.

Eileen Kathryn Boyd Interiors

1. Choose light-colored blinds. Installing window blinds or shades is a no-brainer. But light-colored colors tend to be more effective, since they reflect the heat back outside. Close south- and – west-facing drapes during the day.

Consider applying window tint too. “You don’t have any idea how amazing the brand new 3M window film products are — not only for reducing heat, but also for cutting down on the UV variable that can fade your carpeting and substances,” says window designer and expert Cory Jacoby of this Jacoby Company. “This should be your first line of defense.”

2. Use liners with your colors. Bamboo or closely woven shades are just another good way to cut heat. “The trick here is to set up an operational liner as well that can be dragged down for sun and heat control,” says Jacoby. “This is truly the best of both worlds, since you see outside through the weave when you want, then lower the shade behind it for sun protection when necessary.”

Rachel Greathouse

3. Install ceiling fans. “Ceiling fans can make a room feel much cooler, since they circulate the air. And considering they can cost as low as $100, they’re often a investment that’s not only affordable but easy,” says general contractor LuAnn Fabian.


4. Open the windows during the night. Ventilate your home on cooler days or during the night time to reduce any hot air that’s snuck inside. Open windows in all rooms of the house and place window lovers facing the downwind side of your home. Make certain all interior doors are open to keep the atmosphere.

Terra Ferma Landscapes

5. Plant shade trees. Exercise your green thumb by planting shade trees around the house. Design partner Andrew Spiering, previously of Terra Ferma Landscapes suggests casting shadows on the southwestern exposure of the home using large deciduous trees, such as oaks, sycamores and elms. “Other ideas include increasing humidity around the home using layered planting or reducing hardscape,” he says.


6. Allow ivy to crawl up the walls. Ivy provides a buffer between your home and the sun. “Planting a green wall or vines in your home reduces dependence and absorbs heat,” says Spiering.

Exteriors From Chad Robert

7. Cover the south side of your home. Install awnings on south-facing windows to compensate for insufficient roof overhang and provide extra colour in the summertime.

8. Turn off the TV. Maintain heat-generating appliances, like lamps and televisions away or off from your air-conditioning unit or thermostat. The device works harder to respond to nearby heat, believing your home is hotter than it truly is.

Holly Marder

9. Get a hood fan. In case you don’t have a range enthusiast in the kitchen, think about the investment. Cooking can generate considerable heat throughout the house, and a range fan can help considerably with venting that hot air outside.

jessop architects

10. Replace your lightbulbs. Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents — based on Fabian, CFLs can emit up to 75 percent less heat.

NAUTILUS Architects

11. Paint your roofing white. A white roof can help to reflect heat away from your home and help maintain the loft — one of the hardest places to cool — as low in temperature as you can.

12. Update your insulation. Many newer houses must follow certain depth codes for insulation, but older layouts may require an upgrade. “Replacing insulation in older houses will definitely reduce the heat inside,” says Fabian.

More: Cool Architecture for Hot Summers

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Architect or Zombie?

Allow me to be clear. I’m not saying that architects would be the living dead. That would be absurd. Of course architects are not zombies. That would be like saying that Abraham Lincoln was a tall dark, vampire slayer, which he totally was.

I mean, architects do not ramble aimlessly toward a city, in loosely shaped packs, mumbling incoherently, waving their arms around. They are not gradually reanimating and reimagining kinds and thoughts from long-dead architects and designers. No, no. Architects are not darkly clad, pale visages of incomprehensible rage. Ennui possibly, but not rage. Architects do not timber — although allowed, houses are typically constructed of timber.

And architects do look like they never sleep, plus they are pale and weary and angsty and odor oddly of arabica beans and disappointment. But do they intend to feast on our collective intellectual shortcomings to nourish their persistent hunger for knowledge and brains?!

I’ll be in the corner of the basement holding a baseball bat for those who need me.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Why are they all holding out their arms and chanting,”Mies. Mieeeeees! MMMMIIIIEEEEEESSS!!!!” ?

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

They simply keep moaning”expire -ametrically” and”expire -chotomy” and”expire -dactic.” What are they trying to convey?

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Seriously, it’s almost obvious. You really ought to get some sunlight. Unless you are actually a vampire, in which case we need Abraham Lincoln, and he is dead, so we actually need to reanimate him — but he had been a lawyer, not an architect, so we’re screwed. Where was Thomas Jefferson buried again? Get the truck and a shovel.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Catch the T-square. It’s the most deadly tool.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

It smells like French roast and unemployment in here.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

The finish is near. Really? A tie?

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Well, obviously. I believe shopping malls are designed by engineers.

Jody Brown Architecture, pllc

Aw, that’s sweet, actually. Aim for the head.

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Southeast Gardener

July is your prize after many months of gardening from autumn prep to spring preparation — and you now get to reap your rewards with new fruits, vegetables and fragrant flowers. It’s a time of wealth.

July is not the best planting month for Southeast gardens, but it is a good time to prepare and plan. The weeds won’t let you rest, but they may slow down into a manageable pace throughout the dog days of the summer. Rainfall will best determine how long you will spend weeding. Weeds that are fewer , little rain. More rain, more weeds.

Gardening with Confidence®

Cut back annuals: Cut back summer annuals in order that they don’t get leggy. A good time to do this is right before you go on vacation; in this manner, you’ll be gone since the plants get a fresh start. Petunias benefit from this type of summer pinch. This cutback in the ends of the stems encourages branching, leading to a bushier plant.

Gardening with Confidence®

Practice shrewd watering methods: July could be a month with rain. When nature stops supplying routine rain, you might need to supplement. Here are a few pointers to help your backyard during a dry season:
Odds are your container plants need to be watered daily. Check by doing the finger test. If the top inch of soil is dry, it is time to water. Water thoroughly. Small pots will dry out quicker than bigger pots, and containers at sunlight will dry out quicker than those from the shade.Add mulch. A layer of mulch, 3 to 4 inches deep, can moderate soil temperature and reduce evaporation. Organic mulches include: composted leaves, shredded pine or hardwoods, and even nuggets. Mulches will also reduce marijuana creation and keep the lawn looking tidy.First season plants — those fall and spring additions — will need more frequent watering than established ones. Water new additions two or 3 times a week until the plants are created. Established plants usually require watering after a week.Conserve water by simply conducting a sprinkler during cooler hours, typically early in the morning. This can help reduce water loss due to evaporation. When at all possible, set up a drip irrigation system or a soaker hose to minimize waste. Watering in the morning also makes it possible for the water to dry on the leaves, minimizing mould formation.

Gardening with Confidence®

Deadhead and deadleaf spent flowers: Remove hosta flowers after the blossom is invested. They are primarily decorative and not a power source to the plant, so they don’t need to die back completely before removing.

Gardening with Confidence®

Deadhead the spent flowers of daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) , Shasta daisies (Leucanthemum spp.) ,black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia spp. ) and bee balm (Monarda spp. ) to prolong the bloom time.

Gardening with Confidence®

Do these yellow leaves of this daylily allow you to see red? They do to me. Not only do I deadhead my daylilies, but I also deadleaf. I really don’t like the appearance of yellow or decaying daylily leaves.

Gardening with Confidence®

Split irises: Can you have success with your new iris planted this year or two at the autumn? If not, it might be due to several factors: too much shade, too much fertilizer, too deep a planting, or crowding. July is a good time to fix any of these problems by lifting and relocating or repositioning into a more positive location.

Plant the iris high with the rhizomes along the surface of the dirt. They will be coated finely and gently using mulch, but not soil. Make sure that you are able to either see the rhizomes or even have the ability to brush away the mulch exposing the bulb.

With the exception of Louisiana variety, irises need six to eight hours of sun to blossom and require decent drainage. In case you’ve got a damp, partial sun location in your garden, plant a Louisiana iris.

Read on growing irises

Gardening with Confidence®

Harvest summertime edibles: Harvest berries when they are ripe. There’s nothing better than sinking your teeth into a ripe tomato, heated in sunlight. Weren’t plant tomatoes? See your regional farmers market to get a selection of new, field-grown varieties.

Inside your home backyard, keep an eye out for early blight. Blight is a fungal infection which will cause spots to develop on the foliage. The leaves begin to yellow and then drop. Pinch off foliage in the beginning indication. If too severe, there are numerous fungicides which can be used to reduce the symptoms.

Gardening with Confidence®

After the blackberry and raspberry harvest, remove the old fruiting canes to create room for the new canes that will make next year’s harvest.

Gardening with Confidence®

Manage pests: Do yourself a favor rather than explore the “eye” of a bagworm. Bagworms have got to be the most disgusting looking thing ever — to me anyhow.

Bagworms can be treated by removing them by hand and dropping into a bucket of soapy water. In case the bagworm infestation is not within easy access, they are sometimes sprayed with Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt.

Bt is a microbial insecticide that is frequently used to control various caterpillars such as the red-headed azalea caterpillar along with many others, in addition to bagworms.

See more Southeast gardening guides

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Luxuriate in the Calm of a Minimalist Garden

Minimalist design has moved beyond inner layout. In the last several decades, glossy lifestyle magazines have featured immaculate interiors composed of carefully selected decoration, blank walls, practical furniture with transparent work surfaces and no mess.

But the concept of the minimalist garden follows the thoughts of the modernist architecture of the 20th century, when glass and concrete buildings took a unadorned surrounding landscape, and takes leads from your Zen gardens of Japan.

Minimalist gardens have become popular with those who prefer order, with simple lines and prohibitive planting, combined with the advantages of low care.

Let us look more closely at a number of the common themes found in minimalist garden layout — the usage of distance, pristine hardscaping, restrictive planting and formal water features.


A Doorway to Minimalism

The debut of this “rooms outside” style of garden design in the 1960s led us to see smaller gardens in another manner. Rather the garden turned into an extension of the house.

The debut of patio doors with large regions of glass, and later, bifold doors that pare back to remove any barrier between the interior and exterior, has forged the way for the invention of the minimal garden.

By making use of exactly the identical flooring material inside and outside a smooth transition is made between the distances.

To Japan’s Zen gardens, we should look for the supply of minimalism. The perfectly placed rocks set in immaculate gravel, raked into trapping patterns, are pure minimalism.

Japanese gardens are made in the pursuit of spirital equilibrium, but at the West that has become a garden style.


The usage of Space

Space is perhaps more significant in a minimalist layout compared to some of those individual defined features. The equilibrium between the zones or areas is vital in producing oneness with the comprehensive layout, and nothing should be permitted to distract from the invention of minimalistic perfection.


This beautiful illustration of a modern minimalst backyard, by London garden designer Amir Schlezinger, brings together the key features we’ve come to expect from this sort of layout.

The layout is appropriate and easy, upkeep is low, there is little or no ornamentation and planting is restricted. Each area of the garden is nicely defined, be it that the dining zone or relaxing/sunbathing area.

The weed-free and manicured lawn is elegantly straightforward and perfectly flat, with crisp edges.

Grounded – Richard Risner RLA, ASLA

Striving for Paving Perfection

Paving in minimalist gardens has to be easy and straightforward, yet highly engineered. The materials used need to be immaculate in complete — limestone or light sandstone are favorites utilized by designers, though polished concrete also fits the bill.

Although any minimalist garden should be as maintenance free as possible, any hardscaping has to be maintained pristine to acheive the look.

Maintenance tip: Pressure washing needs to keep more absorbent rock, such as limestone and sandstone, free from algae and dirt stains.


If regular pavers are used, they are generally butted with quite tight joints of 3 millimeters or not. The easy planting of boxwood (‘Buxus spp.’) Highlights the apparent lines of this paving.


Where Fewer Plants Can Be

With fewer plants utilized within this manner of layout, each plant needs to be carefully selected to do the job demanded of it — make it a focal point or a visual partition. Restricting the range of plants (such as this case to four species), enables the planting to soften the hardness of the design, but not detract from the line and structure.

Maintenance tip: Plant maintenance should be easy and not time consuming. Minimize watering by adding water-retention granules to planting composts, and use an automatic irrigation system on a timer. Slow-release fertilizer pellets may turn feeding into just an annual job.


The clean lines of this deck — minimalism has brought the use of decking to the maximum echelon — are complemented with all the bold tropical-style planting. This could be anywhere in warmer climes, but this courtyard is set on the banks of the River Thames at London.

The plants have been carefully selected to provide the feeling demanded. Hostas, Ligularias, bamboos and tree ferns have been planted in repetitive groups.

C.O.S Design

Creating a Reflective Atmosphere

Water attributes can change the mood of this style, which may be somewhat sterile or sterile. A reflective pool can help attain a relaxing setting, whereas the soothing sound of a modern waterfall or fountain brings a additional dimension.

The size of any water feature should be kept in scale with the distance and fit to the set geometry — many minimalist water attributes are formal.

The asymmetrical formality of the layout shown here is constructed around the tiled floor pool, linking all spatial regions of the backyard.

Thuilot Associates

This extended pool appears to flow out of the house, its reflective surface echoing the glow on the inside floor.

The pebble floor of this pond gives extra texture to the layout, yet a pure black reflective surface could have been achieved with black pond dye added to the water. This would have the benefit of blocking light, which would help prevent the development of algae and keep the pond at the spotless state demanded of minimalist layout.

Any water feature employed in minimalist designs must be ideal in construction and maintenance, and care needs to taken with water levels, pond hygiene as well as the disguising of almost any pond liner.

Huettl Landscape Architecture

This garden really sums up the ethos of how to create a minimalist design you can live with.
The space is crystal clear and obvious with a generous dining area set on immaculate paving floating over a profound refective pool. The plantings are easy, insistent and easily maintained.

Give Your Little Garden Some Room
Set of the Landscape: Modern Garden Style

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