Browse Month: February 2019

Are There Fruit Trees That Can Grow Flat Against a Wall

For smaller lawns, growing fruit trees against a wall, called espalier, is an alternative. A time-honored technique in Europe, it has been used for centuries to save space and also to present valuable microclimates for trees. It takes time to train a tree, usually three to five years. Apples (Malus domestica), pears (Pyrus spp.) and plums (Prunus spp.) Have supple wood and are easiest to work with. You can espalier many other fruit trees, however, the more brittle wood takes additional care in prep. Choose dwarf trees for espalier.

Apple Cultivars

When you develop fruit trees against a stone or brick wall, then they remain warmer due to this radiated heat. Especially in light winter areas, this heightens the requirement to choose an apple number with low chill hours. Chill hours are the number of hours below 45 degrees Fahrenheit that the tree has to be able to bloom and produce fruit. Examples include “Dorsett Golden” and “Anna,” both of which develop in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 and have chill hour requirements between 250 and 300 hours. They require cross-pollination thus plant a tree of each or get a tree with both kinds grafted onto the rootstock. It’s possible to crop 70 apples from an established espaliered tree.

European and Oriental Pears

Both European (Pyrus communis) and Asian pears (Pyrus pyrifolia) are acceptable for espalier. The Oriental pears “Shinseiki,” “Twentieth Century” and “Hosui,” which develop in USDA zones 5 through 9, have low chill requirements. European pears rise in USDA zones 5 through 8 and also have chill demands of 900 hours. For warm winter area espaliers, think about hybrid low-chill requirement connections involving Oriental and European pears like “Kieffer” (Pyrus communis x Pyrus pyrifolia “Kieffer”), which rises in USDA zones 4 through 9. In common with other fruit trees at the rose family, like apple and stone fruits, espaliered pear gives a showy display of spring flowers to brighten up a wall.

Stone Fruits

Fruits with a large, tough central pit, like plums and peaches (Prunus persica), are called stone fruits. Unlike apple and pear trees, which bear on fruiting spurs that last year following year and require less annual pruning, stone fruits create on year old growth and require more upkeep as espaliers. Pruning involves ensuring that a continuous supply of fresh lateral branches develop from the espaliered framework to maintain year-old growth accessible each year. Plum is an exclusion, fruiting on both perennial agendas and year-old growth. To get a plum, think about Japanese plum cultivar “Beauty” (Prunus salicina “Beauty”), which rises in USDA zones 4 through 10. It requires 250 chill hours and is self-fertile. Peaches rise in USDA zones 5 through 9.

Fig Varieties

A great choice for a south-facing wall, figs (Ficus carica) thrive on heat. Choose a smaller-growing cultivar to espalier, since most figs have vigorous growth to over 20 feet tall and are rooted from cuttings rather than grafted to dwarfing rootstock. Try a more informal, open espalier pattern rather than a formal, geometric structure for fig. 1 candidate is “Brown Turkey,” a smaller tree that accepts pruning well. The large, lobed green leaves and vibrant brownish-purple fruit display nicely against a wall. The smaller-growing “Black Jack ” includes a semi-dwarf addiction and sweet, dark-purple fruit. Both cultivars grow in USDA zones 7 through 9. Since fig is dangerous in some areas, check ahead of planting or be sure you choose a sterile cultivar.

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Troubleshooting a Kenmore Washing Machine Whose Spin Cycle Is Not Working

Kenmore makes washing machine in a variety of models, including top- and also front-loaders and high-efficiency units that save on energy costs and water consumption. But when your washer isn’t working correctly, the loads may quickly stack up. If your washing machine is experiencing a problem with its spin cycle, your laundry will still be soaking wet once you take it outside. Several problems can cause the spin cycle to fail to work, but it is possible to troubleshoot yourself without undermining expert aid.

Check Spin Speed

Your Kenmore washer automatically chooses a spin rate based on the cycle that you choose, but you can change the preset rates if needed. Heavy, bulky things can slow down the spin cycle if the chosen speed isn’t high enough. If you are washing a hefty load, then consult your owner’s manual to pick out a cycle using a medium to high spin rate to ensure that the cycle closes correctly. To change a preset rate setting, select a cycle and apply the Kenmore’s Spin Speed button to manually adjust the spin rate. Keep in mind that higher spin rates can cause more wrinkling in completed loads.

Assess for Jammed Basket

Your washer can neglect to spin if the clothing basket becomes jammed since small things are caught between the tub. If a clothing item, such as a sock, has gotten trapped in the gap, carefully untangle the article and remove it. For smaller things, you might have to use your fingers to achieve under the basket. To prevent the problem, empty the pockets of pants, shorts, jackets, shirts and other clothing before putting them in the washer. Utilize a garment bag to store smaller things from getting trapped beneath the basket.

Adjust Load

Your washer might not spin due to various common loading issues. An overloaded washer might become tightly packaged, which can stop the basket from spinning correctly. Eliminate a few things and restart the cycle. A washer might have trouble spinning if a load is too small, also. Insert a couple of similar things to the basket. In some cases, the load might be the right size but not correctly balanced. Rearrange the moist clothing so it’s spread out evenly throughout the basket to permit for proper spinning.

Utilize Proper Detergent

If there are too many suds on your washer, spinning can be slowed or stopped. In most cases, excessive sudsing occurs since you use a lot of detergent or you have a high-efficiency model and also utilize a non-HE detergent. Always read the detergent’s label to ascertain the proper amount for the load, and read your owner’s manual to make certain whether your version of washer necessitates HE detergent. To remove excessive suds from your washer, run an additional cycle and rinse without inserting any more detergent.

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The way to Kill Night Crawlers in My Yard With Hurting My Grass

Night crawlers, or earthworms (Lumbricus terrestris), gain your dirt by enriching it with their droppings, which are called castings. They also aerate the soil so oxygen and moisture can better reach lawn roots. Sometimes the night crawler population becomes too high and the worms start tunneling near the soil surface, which ends in a lumpy lawn with heaps of castings deposited on top the grass. Grub control pesticides get rid of night crawlers without damaging the grass. However, the University of California Integrated Pest Management program doesn’t recommend pesticides for management of night crawlers. Chemicals should only be used when other methods fail, for serious damage and when the number of worms far exceeds what’s necessary for a healthy lawn.

Fix the tines on a dethatching rake so that the rake scrapes down to within 1/2-inch of the crown of the grass, which is heavy enough to scrape excess castings without damaging the grass. Rake the whole yard, removing the surplus castings along with thatch layer, after the lawn has turned entirely green for the season.

Water after dethatching so the top 3 inches of soil is completely moist and saturated.

Fix a hose-end spray applicator so that it’s set to produce 1 1/2 ounces of a grub control pesticide containing fluid carbaryl per 1 gallon of water, or adjust it to the number indicated on the product label. Fill the applicator into the fill line using pesticide.

Spray the whole lawn using the pesticide, coating the grass evenly so both upper and lower leaf surfaces are drenched. Begin spraying in the furthest corner of the lawn, working backward. Stay off the lawn until the compound has dried completely.

Make another application two weeks later if night crawler damage reappears.

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Fantastic Design Plant: Roselle Tantalizes With Beauty and Flavor

I think it’s high time we brought back this old-fashioned dooryard fruit. It is not technically a fruit, but instead the bright red calyx formed around a seedpod — and unlike other real fruits, roselle is an annual and needs to be planted each spring. It’s more of a candy vegetable than a fruit.

But do not get bogged down by these details. All these hibiscus plants flower in late summer to autumn and are a heck of a lot more attractive compared to pepper and tomato crops (which also need to be implanted each year), and their tart and exotic appearing calyxes are delicious and valuable in the kitchen.

Botanical name: Hibiscus sabdariffa
Common names: Roselle, hibiscus, Jamaica sorrel, Florida Cranberry
Where it will grow: Annual — increase as you’d berries
Water necessity: Drought tolerant once established but gains from moisture
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 7 feet tall and 5 feet wide
Seasonal attention: Appealing broad leaves and red stalks yearlong; blossoms and fruits from late summer to fall
When to plant: In spring after the last frost

Distinguishing attributes. So, why bother with a fruit imposter which needs to be planted each year?

First, ignore the capacity for fabulous flavor and focus on the foliage. You would be hard pressed to find such a stunning and leafy tropical to get a temperate garden, due to roselle’s dramatic upright habit, dark and glossy palmate leaves, and bold mahogany-red stems.

Castor bean crops (Ricinus communis, annual) have long been grown to achieve a tropical appearance in the garden in spite of the fact that they’re poisonous, but roselle is so safe as to be edible and has quite a similar tropical impact in the landscape.

How to use it. Roselle is also very tasty and can be enjoyed in a great number of ways. The calyxes surrounding the seed pod could be eaten directly off the plant as a refreshing treat, or you’ll be able to bring them into the kitchen for all sorts of fun.

The calyxes could be dried to create a tea similar to the Red Zinger tea sold in shops, which is made from roselle. If you can bring yourself to forgo eating them fresh, you can even create some delicious syrups and preserves, due to the calxes’ flavor and higher pectin content.

You can make a Florida cranberry sauce for family gatherings by simmering three cups of the calyxes together with 11/2 cup of sugar and a cup of water.

And then, obviously, there are the blossoms, still another reason that you provide roselle a shot if your climate is too cold for a big harvest.

Just think about it for a little. As opposed to buying a costly hibiscus plant in the nursery which will inevitably die in winter, you might have a tower of exquisitely delicate peach-colored blossoms in late summer, from one seed.

Planting notes. Plant roselle in April or May (regardless of climate), but make sure you provide this vigorous plant a lot of space and perhaps a little support, since the branches may split in the bottom when they are weighed down by a heavy crop.

Stakes or cages should help. When the plant reaches 1 to 2 feet tall, prune the tips of each stem to encourage a fuller and stronger plant.

Fertilizer is not necessary, but a little application may help if your land is poor. Do not use more than half of the usual sum, though, as it could delay flowering. Besides, roselle does just fine without any help.

Simply to give you an concept of how enormous it could become with minimal care, the roselle plant pictured here began from one seed and was not once fertilized. The only irrigation it received in addition to organic Florida rainfall was a occasional watering by hose on the weeks it did not rain — it became so prolific that most of the branches collapsed in a rain bath recently, dividing at the bottom. Oddly enough, the branches continued to bloom and fruit though nothing had happened at all.

Harvest. Roselle plants begin flowering when the days become shorter and will begin fruiting earlier in temperate regions in which the days are shorter, although not all gardeners will have a crop from the first frost. To cure this, prune the plants back after they have reached 1 to 2 feet tall, use fertilizer or choose an early-blooming selection, such as ‘Thai Red’ (Hibiscus sabdariffa ‘Thai Red’, annual).

The calyxes may be harvested and enjoyed before the blossoms even open, but if you abandon them to bloom and mature for a couple of days, you will be rewarded with bigger, juicier and tastier Florida cranberries that signal their ripeness by their own slight parting, showing the seedpod inside.

Pick them in this stage with scissors or pruners before they get hard and woody. To eliminate the seedpods, use either a metal tubing like the ones used to eliminate strawberry tops, or even a knife.

Here’s a picture of some freshly harvested roselle calyxes which have begun parting to show the seed pod inside. I have included a yellow pear tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum ‘Yellow Pear’, annual) plus a cayenne pepper (Capiscum annum CV ‘Long Slim Cayenne’, annual) in my photo simply to show how simple that this plant is to grow from the summer garden. Plant roselle just as you’d plant peppers or tomatoes — with plenty of space — and expect a big crop of Florida cranberries.

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The Chair of the Beautiful Thing About Dad

On a recent weekend day, I awoke out of a much-needed nap to find a curious new addition to our living space: a large, bulky, well-worn, dark blue leather sweater. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief like it was Christmas morning. Funny how you can never understand just how much you actually needed something until it is right there before you.

My wife’s father had simply dropped off the chair. It was a gift from his mom, my wife’s grandmother. I am told that my wife’s grandfather had sat in this chair for many years until he died. I stared in awe at exactly the same thing. I eventually had my first Dad Chair. And then a strange thing occurred.

Neither my wife, son nor I had laid claim to the chair, but in my mind it was immediately obvious that it had been mine. This was for Dad. Me.

I felt territorial and possessive. My mind raced with thoughts of me sitting at the chair drinking scotch and saying sensible things, of reading thick leather-bound literary tomes and, needless to say, watching soccer matches every Sunday. But we do not have a TV. And that I hate scotch. And that I read trashy detective novels and rarely say wise things! What’s?

You can see here that the chair is nothing outstanding. (But man, it is comfy.) Why am I feeling so animalistically “manly” about a very simple piece of furniture?

Turns out, there are a great deal of variables involved with my brutish behavior. “Generally, the Dad Chair is a protected base for the dominant male in a home,” says environmental psychologist Sally Augustin. From “normally,” Augustin is referring to the obvious fact that there are many distinct households, some with no men at all. My psychological behavior relating to this chair is actually a culmination of biological in addition to cultural influences.

Shannon Malone

Let’s look at the latter. “There’s a great deal of nonverbal communication happening with these chairs,” Augustin says. “From the first ’50s sitcoms, dads have had control of the living room recliner, which recliner today screams Dad to us raised in the West.” That might help explain my urge to drink face-contorting malt whisky and see a sport I really care very little about.

And that I really do have lots of memories of my father’s claimed territory throughout multiple houses we lived in when I was growing up. He never actually had a Dad Chair, but he definitely had his spot, marked by an indention at the couch, where he’d sit every night, his knees bent and his feet tucked up under himself, with a small lean from the left armrest so he would reach his glass of wine on the side table. My mom moved to a new location in San Diego about a year before, and sure enough, the couch arrangement is identical, and his spot was recovered.

Holly Marder

Amsterdam art dealer Hyland Mather knows that too well. Nothing was said, but the brown leather chair shown here became the Dad Chair in his household.

“I am unsure how mine turned into mine, besides I am the person who discovered it and hauled it inside,” he says. “I do not care when somebody else sits in my chair, but frankly and for no spoken motive, nobody else does. My father has a chair in his house that nobody else sits, and as far as I know he had made no verbal objections to others sitting inside it, but nobody does”

There are no formal criteria for a Dad Chair, although we have previously provided some helpful suggestions for locating the perfect guy chair. For Mather there’s just something intrinsically different about the older broken-in chair when compared with the midcentury pieces found elsewhere in his property.

“It fits me,” he says. “It smells great. It’s brown. Brown is great. In our house it is the cigar of chairs.” (Of note, he says, is the fact that his wife has her own chair, too. However, for some reason, everyone sits inside)

Sarah Greenman

Many Dad Chairs, but do have a couple things in common. You’ll notice that many have springs that are substantial. From a profound, historical biological standpoint, this is so whoever’s sitting at the chair doesn’t feel threatened about somebody’s sneaking up behind them, says Augustin, who is written about primordial behavior concerning biophilic design.

Sarah Greenman

Another interesting thing you’ll find with many Dad Chairs is that their place. “They are probably positioned so that it has a view of the major door into a space, that’s the ‘power position’ in any area,” Augustin says. (Without considering it, I put my chair directly in view of front door)

There has been research on how we have a tendency to sit over and over again at precisely the exact same chair in classrooms and at precisely the exact same place, which has its own benefits. “It seems we get emotional support from being at precisely the exact same place on multiple occasions,” Augustin says. This runs in combination with needing an individual’s own space and territory in order to modulate emotions.

“Territories are very important to us emotionally. We all need a place that we control and may return to and personalize — it will help keep our anxiety levels down,” Augustin says.

Right. So stay out of Dad’s chair.

Inform us : Can you have your own spot in your property? Please show us in the Remarks section below.

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8 Dream Closets Move Beyond Storing Clothes

Previously the bedroom closet was the place. Now the emphasis will be on producing functional, organized cabinets which double as comfortable places to hang out, play and work.

Giambastiani Design

Spa-like escape. This revived 1910 bathroom, designed by Solomon + Bauer + Giambastiani Architects, has a modern vibe with a definite slant toward pampering. Its generous glass sliding doors display towels and robes while displaying the room’s spaciousness.

MB Jessee

Room with a view. While most cabinets can not offer a view (perhaps there’s no room to bring a window, or it is constructed within an interior area), this closet takes benefit of its own vantage point from within San Francisco’s Millennium Tower.

A seat provides additional shelving to make up for any missing storage space or a dedicated seat to enjoy the sights. The window theme continues through using frosted glass doors and a cabinet topped with glass.


Library effect. Architect Dan Featheringill of Feather & Gill Architects gave this closet the qualities of an elegant analysis, together with bird’s eye maple paneling and hickory floors that were blackened with a stain from PureColor. Wood appliqué ceiling tiles have been selected in a pattern similar to that of their customer’s favourite store: Chanel.

Warm lighting and a comfortable chair provide a cozy spot for getting ready or curling up with a book.

Taylor Hannah Architect Inc

Corner workplace. A sizable closet is a gorgeous thing, although not everybody has the space to devote just to garments. By placing a desk in the closet, like architect Taylor Hannah did in this spacious setting, it is possible to use one inspiring space for 2 purposes.

Martin Perri Interiors, Inc..

Boutique. Martin Perri Interiors created this design as part of a European modern job to emulate a luxury boutique. High-gloss polyester lacquer cabinets set the stage for accessory displays behind half-inch glass doors. Motion sensors turn the cabinetry’s backlighting on when someone enters the space. Additional LED side lighting is provided by manually operated switches. An embossed leather stools sits prominently in order to give the homeowner an opinion of her wardrobe choices. Plush carpeting atop bamboo flooring adds comfort to the dressing experience.

Art gallery. Why should the clothes and accessories receive all of the adulation? Art is a wonderful opportunity to add colour, beauty and possibly a little bit of amusement to the dressing experience.

This cupboard’s rich, monochromatic palette, designed in keeping with the remainder of the sophisticated residence, creates a slick background for an art exhibit that reflects the customer’s nautical fire.

Other chances for any closet include framed photographs of relatives and pets, and inspiring fashion shots.

Cablik Enterprises

Party pad. Wake up and get excited to begin your day by means of a vibrant colour. This closet, part of a whole-house renovation designed by Dencity and constructed by Cablik Enterprises, includes vivacious purple cabinets from Kingdom Woodworks.

The modern chandelier paired with shag carpets and a polka dot love seat would make anybody want to crank up some tunes and have a good time, no matter what time of this morning.

Walker Woodworking

Washing-dressing room. Can you think of a better time saver when it comes to laundry than creating a closet around the laundry room? Or is it? Walker Woodworking designed this clever double-duty space as part of a home renovation to empower good chore flow.

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10 Ways To Give Your Hospitality a Tropical Touch

Why settle for casual hospitality when you can treat your visitors to tropical hospitality? Below are a few very easy and innovative ways to make your guests — not to mention yourself — feel like they’re staying at a bed-and-breakfast amid swaying palms and with a turquoise sea.

1. Put your memories on display. Switch up your screens and bring out a few of your favorite things for a complex game of show and tell. An artful arrangement of tropical memorabilia, postcards or publications is guaranteed to find some fantastic conversations started, particularly if they tell an interesting story.

To keep your shelves from looking too cluttered, stick to a limited color scheme, or pick a color to tie it all together visually. Here I’ve used a printer tray that has been given to us as a present by a friend, who happens to be an authority on tropical drift seeds; a few of those seeds are suitably scattered through the display. The wood tones are repeated with all the shelves and also the shadow box, drawing attention to the shells, vase and art.

2. Display and serve tropical fruit. Unearthly-looking pleasures are exciting for visitors to admire and devour. Head to a local specialty market, farmer’s market or ethnic market and keep a watch for exotic fruits, such as the rambutan and guinep shown here. You will have a great deal of fun tasting some thing fresh, and it’s guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience for your visitors.

Research the fruit so you can make it a safe and enjoyable experience for all. In the minimum, it is going to make you sound smarter. If dragonfruit and snotfruit sound too frightening for you, exhibit a pineapple instead. It is the global symbol of hospitality.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

3. Use bold leaves as striking arrangements. Just a single leaf could be all it takes to make a room say”tropical.” Clip a leaf or two off a houseplant such as the parlor palm (Chamaedorea elegans) or kentia palm (Howea fosteriana) to make your room feel as though it’s shaded by swaying coconut trees. They are sometimes placed in a vase such as the one displayed here, made to a organic table runner or exhibited on a wall, mantel or windowsill. In the absence of palm fronds, the leaves of additional leafy tropical plants will do well.

4. Incorporate tropical art. This painting by my mother, Nancy Asbell, is more than simply art; it’s a window into a cheerful and bright Florida scene painted by somebody who lived life via the strokes of her paintbrush. But perhaps I am biased, since she had been my mother, after all. Regardless, the appearance is made complete with a rattan box plus a glowing wire candleholder.

You do not have to get an original painting to find this appearance, however, and economical alternatives vary from a framed and enlarged picture to a popular tropical print that has been wrapped around a framework such as a painted canvas. You might even roll ink over a palm frond and make a print by putting it onto a big sheet of superior paper, letting it dry and putting it in a mat and frame. You likely have some other neat ideas of your own.

Amoroso Design

5. Bring the houseplants centre stage. Houseplants are often overlooked and awarded the part of supporting actors in the unfolding drama of decoration, but a well-situated specimen becomes a sculptural work of art and ties rooms into the world outside the windows. If you do not possess a houseplant already, you can get massive palms and other architectural specimen plants for roughly the exact same price for a bouquet of flowers.

This chamber uses a muted color scheme, tropical wood textures and a fun zebra print for an exotic appearance that draws attention to the glowing green white bird of heaven (Strelitzia nicolai) in the corner. If you are new to houseplants, follow the directions on the tag or search on the internet for tips. Generally speaking, just make sure you give it plenty of bright (but not direct) light so it is easily admired and healthier to boot.

8 Houseplants You Can’t Kill

6. Create texture with unusual collections. Sleek and minimalist furnishings could be awarded interest and warmth with a little bit of natural feel, particularly if the pieces tell a story, such as the sea beans displayed here. (But since they were meant to begin a conversation, you’ll have to ask about them in the Comments to discover more.)

The most mundane items can dress up a dull table without adding clutter. A flat-woven tray of coffee beans not only appears rich and exotic; it smells fantastic and encourages guests to conduct their hands through the tablescape while they await dinner. While the pinecones or seedpods on your backyard might not technically be tropical in origin, they will still look that way in the right setting.

7. Create the necessary arrangements. If you own a houseplant or possess some tropical bulbs in the backyard, think about combining them with cut flowers to create your own artistic flower structures. Just about any flower would fit right in with the help of large and bold tropical foliage, but nearly all of the flowers (with the exception of the green cymbidium) inside this wedding arrangement were clipped from potted tropical plants on my balcony.

When tropical flowers and foliage are hard to find at your regional florist, head to the houseplant part of the garden centre and begin looking for a plant that could take care of a light pruning. Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum wallisii), split-leaf philodedron (Monstera deliciosa) and anthuriums (Anthurium andraeanum) are all houseplants that may be clipped and additional to flower structures.

8. Collect vacation memories. A postcard can be made to a work of art with the help of a photograph frame, which spiny lobster appears to blend right into the natural habitat of dark wood and interesting beachcombing finds here.

Shadow shelves and boxes create perfect display spots for found treasures like seashells and memorabilia that could otherwise languish away into a darkened cupboard, but the possibilities are infinite. Make your own British colonial curiosity cabinet with whatever treasures you’ve stowed away. Even decidedly’untropical’ subjects are able to appear exotic and intriguing when handled like a museum’s most precious collection. What fun screens can you come up with?

Design Studio -Teri Koss

9. Put flower vases in unexpected places. A flower arrangement on the dining room table is nice, but a display livening up a hallway, foyer or toilet speaks volumes regarding your thoughtfulness and hospitality. At a pinch you can even purchase (or reduce your own) flowers and split them up for two structures to spread cheery tropical taste around the house.

When you have a plant in the backyard with fragrant flowers such as the gardenia (Gardenia jasminoides) or moonflower (Ipomoea alba), consider floating them into a bowl on your toilet sink so they can give their odor into a most unaromatic place.

10. Choose some flowers. You definitely don’t need an whole flower arrangement to bring the tropics to your tabletops; an iconic hibiscus flower in a coral-patterned vase is everything it takes to make you feel as though you’re vacationing in Polynesia. This flower was plucked from my garden in Florida, but hibiscus plants and other trademark tropical favorites such as heliconias and gingers are usually available at the garden centre as seasonal container plants. Purchase one for yourself and use the flowers and foliage all season long.

You do not have to go overboard with tiki kitsch to make guests feel as though they’re staying at a hotel. An artistically organized display of well-chosen items is all it takes to bring a little exotic excitement to your home, and it does not have to cost a dime.

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3 Shower Sound Systems That Beat Your Clunky Old Radio

Waterproof sound systems for listening to radio and music in the shower have existed for decades. First came watertight radios. Waterproof CD players. And, of course, now folks listen via gadgets linked to smart phones within a wireless Bluetooth connection.

Wireless gadgets offer a major upgrade in the quality of both shower-based programming, and for a number of reasons. First, you are able to listen to a much wider range of content, such as live-streaming morning news programming. Second, you won’t miss any phone alerts, alerts or incoming calls. (One merchandise, detailed below, even lets you answer those calls.) And lastly, there’s the continuation variable — the shower sound can be a continuation of whatever you’re listening to before and after your shower. The great thing about Bluetooth is that any Bluetooth-capable device will connect.

Here are three low-cost and advanced options to the First World–est of issues: how to play audio and listen to the information while you’re in the shower.


Moxie Showerhead + Wireless Speaker – $199

The Kohler Moxie is easily the most peculiar shower-based sound system on the market, because the speaker is in the showerhead. The middle part of the mind is a magnetically attached, removable and rechargeable Bluetooth speaker. Should you need a speaker for dryer activities, there’s no reason you can not pop it from the showerhead and take it along with you.

The drawback is there are no controls on the speaker. You’ve got to get all that set before becoming in.

The speaker’s battery lasts more than seven hours on a charge, according to the manufacturer. You recharge it via a USB connector.

The Kohler Moxie is offered in white or chrome.

iShower – $99.99

The iShower is a water-resistant Bluetooth audio system which can connect to up to five phones or tablets streaming audio.

One intriguing feature is that iShower has the capability to connect with phones fairly far away — around 200 feet, according to the manufacturer. You ought to be able to leave your phone on the opposite side of the home playing, then once you turn on the iShower from the bathroom, you are going to pick up the sound flow.

Unlike the Moxie, the iShower has controls for volume, next track, pause and play.

Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Shower Speaker – $69.99

The Hipe Waterproof Bluetooth Stereo Shower Speaker is a cheap, easy-to-use shower speaker. It doesn’t have to be installed like the Kohler Moxie, nor affixed like the iShower. On the contrary, it hooks on the shower nozzle like a clothes hanger. That makes it great for traveling or moving from 1 bathroom to another.

The Hipe’s battery is rechargeable; it lasts 25 hours on a fee, according to the company. The speaker is less watertight than others. It is not meant to be submerged in water but can handle normal shower splashing.

The Hipe does normal Bluetooth streaming of audio and other audio. But it also does something special: It functions as a speakerphone for phone calls.

That is right! Now when the phone rings, you can answer the call and have your conversation while you’re in the shower.

Tell us Can you?

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View a Soothing Backyard Bathhouse Born From a Salvaged Tub

After a lilac tree died in Sloan Schang’s lawn in Portland, Oregon, the summertime, it left behind a blank corner. Additionally, it provided him with a chance. A secluded backyard spa appealed to Schang, a writer and creative director, but the6,000 bill required for the necessary electrical work and a new spa sounded less than agreeable.

So Schang constructed his own yard bathhouse — in under a week and for under 1/6 the price — with a salvaged claw-foot tub. “My wife was appropriately skeptical when I suggested placing a bathtub in the garden,” he states, “but she was pleasant and trusting enough to just let me run with this.” Let’s see just how he did it.

Job at a Glance
What: Backyard bathhouse
Location: Portland, Oregon
Size: 7 by 10 ft
Budget: $750, such as labour and materials

Website Preparation

Schang cleared from the deceased lilac tree in addition to some ornamental grasses to prep the website. He dug a hole 5 feet wide, 7 feet and 6 inches deep, attaching it with pressure-treated 2-by-6s.

He closely packed 1/4-inch-minus gravel into the mat to prevent the cast iron tub from sinking. The tub sits atop the compacted gravel without further anchoring.

The deck is framed with pressure-treated 4-by-4s, resting lengthwise on the gravel. The decking itself is recycled cedar fence boards left over from another house improvement project; Schang cut and nailed them straight to the 4-by-4s. While he states the deck was level and protected already, he also anchored it with foot-long garden stakes, pounded into the ground and bracketed into the deck frame.

Before Photo


The claw-foot tub was a steal at $100, and the catalyst for this backyard project. It was already in great condition, only requiring an application of paint. Because it’s protected from the elements by the pergola, Schang didn’t prep the tub in any other way.

He hired a plumber to install a new outdoor hot water bib, tied into existing pipes in the couple’s basement laundry area. Often it’s possible to substitute an exterior hose bib with one which that may tie into a hot water line, but that was not an option here. Schang was pleased to pass this off section of the undertaking. “If there is something you are uncomfortable doing yourself — like plumbing, for me,” he says, “absolutely hire a professional or request an experienced buddy. The peace of mind is well worth the extra time and cost.”

Schang ran a long rubber hot-water hose 60 feet from the exterior hot water faucet into the tub website. He hid the hose in mature landscaping rather than burying it.

The hose rests on a bamboo bet; the flow is controlled with a single-handled faucet. The water temperature is controlled by the bib at the side of the house. “We rarely ever use the cold tap, except in the summer when we use it as a cool-off pool with our son — and generally just fill it with hot hot water,” he states. On colder nights that the water stays warm for 20 or 30 minutes, longer in summer.

Schang secured the overflow hole and preceding faucet holes so he can fill the tub entirely.

The tub drains into a 15-foot-long ABS drain pipe, extending aboveground out into the planting beds. Like the hose, the pipe is hidden by plants and drains on the vegetation via perforations.

Before Photo


For backyard privacy and shield, Schang built a pergola that’s 7 feet wide, 10 feet long and 8 ft tall.

“If you’ve ever built a fence or a deck, then you can handle this,” he states.

If this is the first home improvement project, though, be cautious, be methodical and do not hurry through it.

“All I will say is measure, measure, measure,” Schang advises.

Here’s how you can construct a pergola how he did:
Measure and dig the locations for the four posts.If you are sloping the roof, cut the rear posts to length.Set the posts and cement in 2-foot-deep holes.Cut and hang the exterior box frame for the roofing. (Schang bolted heavy lag bolts right into the post.) Cut and hang the joists. (Schang utilized using joist hanger mounts) Cut sheets of corrugated metal roofing to the ideal size with heavy tin snips, then attach them to the joists and frame them with screws.

Light Fixture

Schang built and made the lighting fixture himself. He drilled out a area of holes in the base of a soap box he purchased on Etsy and stapled a series of lights to poke through the holes in the box. Schang calls the mild “a cross between an old-timey Lite Brite and a kind of mild shower.” String lights already drape the perimeter of the lawn, therefore Schang only had to attach an extension cable.

“Night soaks are silent and calm,” he states, “and on clear nights we get glimpses of the stars throughout the trees” One of the favourite things about the tub is how drastically the encounter transitions from day to night. “At the morning and late afternoon, the tub gets some choice moments of sun, and birds and squirrels are continuously popping in to see what’s happening.”

“The result has exceeded both of our expectations,” he states, “and that I can’t ever imagine getting tired of the space and the simple magic of an outside soak. It’s all somehow rustic and luxurious at the exact same time, quite Swiss Family Robinson.”


Structure and decking — $225:
Six 10-foot spans of 4-by-4 pressure-treated wood posts for the pergola and deck frameEight 8-foot spans of outside 2-by-6s for the roofing frameSix bags of easy-mix concrete to the postsThree sheets of corrugated metal roofingHardwareBamboo solitude shadeTen 5-foot-long cedar fence boards to the decking20 cubic feet of 1/4-inch-minus gravelDecorative river rockPipes — $475 (including hired labour):
Hose rated for sexy waterFaucet to control circulation at the tub (mounted onto a cedar stake)Faucet to control water at the side of this houseOverflow corksABS drain pipeClaw-foot tubLight fixture — $50:
Soap crateStrand of Christmas lightsExtension cordOther substances:
Clear outdoor protective sealer for all wood that’s not pressure treatedRepurposed materials for bathroom fittings (cedar decking shower caddy, tree stump side table, towel hooks)More: View a trendy office in a greenhouse | More salvage style ideas

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