Sunday, July 20, 2008

Switch on Solar

Now's the time to start investing in solar lighting. If you're interested in energy savings for the long haul, you'll find many replacement options. You can accent any spot and add safety lighting, too. Driveway markers are a big hit as they're low-profile and can be purchased in blue, red, and green.

These are also great for outside steps and decks or patios. Line a pathway with raised solar lights, but be sure the shades focus the light downward. Otherwise, you'll be blinded by the beams, even dimmer ones.

It's also fun to add ambience, especially as all of us are staying home more and enjoying our outdoor spaces. Create dramatic solar lighting in trees or facing upward into the branches. Highlight a fountain or other yard sculpture. Create a grouping and move them as needed when you have guests.

Refrain from adding too much in one spot - it gets a little gaudy.

Best of all, of course, is that there is no wiring and no permits to worry about - on at dusk and off at dawn!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Err on the Side of Caution with Snakes

It doesn't matter which snake you might come across in your area - this is not the time to get out your handy field identification guide. Unless you're an expert, it's best to err on the side of caution. They don't want to see you and you don't want to see them. For many species, bodies of water are their natural habitats. That means around your home if it's on a lake or pond and during vacation.

Cleaning up around a home or cabin presents some challenges. If you're scooping up any type of vegetation, don't use your bare hands. This is a wonderful hideaway for copperheads and water moccasins. The babies of some species carry even strong venom than the adults. Always use a rake or other long-handled tool to get from Point A to Point B. Train kids to be on the lookout and never try to guess which is which when it comes to species.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Tomatoes from Down Under

The Imp is not talking about imports -but about an upside-down growing technique for tomatoes. It's a handy-dandy, hangy-downy tube that you can fill with dirt and tomatoes. The plants grow, literally, upside down. The benefits?

-They're easy to water.
-They fit on patios and any small space, like an apartment deck.
-Plants are less prone to bugs.

Before you buy, however, read customer reviews. Just like any other plant apparatus, results will vary - you just can't control Mother Nature, can you?