If you caught my "When plants attack!" column in Escape yesterday, you know I am not a big fan of yard work - especially in the spring, when every plant in the yard seems to be growing at warp speed. At this time of year, maintaining my yard can blow half of each weekend, not to mention the damage it does to my health, sanity and social schedule.
Stephanie Correnti was busy squashing aphids with her fingers when we stopped by to view her roses. "I get them one at a time," she said, and added that she was trying to protect the environment and her dogs by avoiding the use of pesticides.
They say talking to your house plants is good for them. Maybe that works in your vegetable garden as well. And, why not take it even further? Maybe you could try being a garden cheerleader:
Covering metal outdoor furniture when not in use or storing indoors will help to protect it from the elements and the sun's harmful rays. A regular cleaning and waxing of the painted surfaces can extend the life of your aluminum or cast iron patio furniture.
Yeah, I've got patio furniture - somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 years old. I've got a glass-topped table, dirty but still usable.
If you thought fescue grass was a native Southern California plant species, you could be forgiven. I mean, it's everywhere you turn.
Homeowners associations, or HOAs, act as the rule-setters for neighborhoods across the Santa Clarita Valley. If SCV Off The Grid has its way, HOAs will also become the trendsetters in the environmental movement by using their considerable clout and finances to help homeowners go green.
Over the course of my design career, I have seen many varieties of remodel and new construction projects. However, one thing has remained constant throughout them all - they are resource intensive endeavors.
The dream goes something like this: I step into my dark kitchen in the early morning, snap on the light and - voila - the house-beautiful elves have visited me during the night and totally redone the room. To the sound of angels singing, I observe that the nicked-up linoleum has been replaced by beautiful tile, the crummy counters are now glistening granite, there is a stainless steel sink and matching appliances and the wood of the cabinets - well, it pulses with the very glow of life.