Category: Decoration

Container Gardening – Edible Roses

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As if the rose isn’t perfect enough with its exquisite beauty and seductive perfume, this winsome favorite also produces edible fruit, called hips. Throughout history, rose hips have been used in herbal medicines and in many a family recipe for jelly, jam, soup, syrup and tea.

Hips, also called haws, appear in early fall underneath the spent flower blossom and contain the rose’s seeds. They are typically red, maroon or orange and, just like roses, come in various shapes and sizes, from plump and round to long and skinny. Since roses are members of the apple family, their fruit is often called a “rose apple” and in some species, the hips can be as big as crabapples. Once hips are allowed to form, this stops flower production and signals the plant that it’s time to rest and go dormant.

Extremely high in Vitamin C, hips have as much as 20 times more of this important vitamin than oranges. No wonder ancient cultures used rose hips to treat a myriad of ailments including stress, colds, urinary tract infections and digestive problems. Walk into any health food store today and you’ll find that rose hips are still a key ingredient in many herbal preparations. Sources of Vitamin C have long been staples in both the medicine chest and the diet. In World War II Victory Gardens, rose hips were grown so they could be converted into a Vitamin C-rich syrup to replace the oranges that could no longer be imported into Britain during war time.

If you’d like to experiment with using hips in cooking, be sure they are from a rose that has not been treated with pesticide. Look for disease resistant rose varieties so spraying is not necessary. You can also employ organic controls to manage any pests or diseases. Stop deadheading your roses in August/September (depending on your climate) to promote the development of plump hips.

Many roses produce interesting looking hips. For starters, check out Rosa rugosa ‘Hansa’ which sports double medium-red blooms and then lovely large red hips. R. moyesii ‘Geranium’ has brilliant geranium red single flowers with large, deep orange-red hips. R. ‘Felicia’ is a modern shrub rose in a pink blend and produces large, round hips that slowly turn from green to red. Hips start out hard and green, but the first frost usually turns them bright red or orange and helps to sweeten them. Leave them on the bush until they reach this stage and then collect them. To prepare the hips for cooking, cut off both ends, cut in half lengthwise, remove the tiny hairs and seeds in the center and rinse. Don’t use any aluminum pans or utensils because they will destroy the Vitamin C. Dry the washed hips on a cookie sheet in a low (250 degrees) oven and then store in a cool, dry spot or in the fridge in glass jars.

There are many recipes for rose hip jelly, probably the most common edible use for this fruit. Try this one for something a little different.

Even if you decide not to cook with rose hips, they are still beautiful in the winter garden, adding a dash of color to the stark landscape. And they are also a great source of food for birds and other wildlife. So, no matter how you enjoy the hips, they are really just one more reason to grow this most lovely of all plants – the rose.

If you need tree planting or yard maintenance services for your house garden or yard, be sure to check out Portland TT.

Picking your perfect Roman Blinds

When it comes to pure convenience and simplicity, there isn’t a better addition to your home than a set of Roman Blinds. If you’re redecorating a room from top to bottom, or simply just fancy a subtle change, Roman Blinds are an ideal solution.

You could say that they provide a perfect hybrid between curtains and normal wooden blinds. Whilst the Roman Blinds give the homeowner the aesthetically pleasing features that curtains do, they also provide the operational ease that blinds do.

It may come as a surprise, but for such a useful product, they are actually startlingly cheap in comparison to the competitors. As the blinds are in essence, simply flat panels of material, the cost is very low. In turn this means that even the top of the range products tend to be within the budget of the majority of homeowners.

The two main varieties from which to choose are categorised by the shape or fold they take when raised. The popular choices tend to be the horizontal draw and the teardrop style. The former is the style most people associated with blinds, and it simply folds neatly into itself. Teardrop blinds tend not to lie flat when raised, but in a more curved, teardrop-style shape (hence the name).

Which blind you choose is totally up to you, and different blinds suit different windows. The general assumption is that windows in rooms such as bathrooms and kitchens may well go hand-in-hand with the horizontal blinds to represent the simplicity of the room. On the other hand, rooms with picturesque views may reap the benefits of their settings when fitted with teardrop blinds. Teardrop blinds can combine with scenery to create a picture-perfect view on the right day, so it totally depends on what you want to get out of your blinds.

Another important factor to consider is how well the blinds will match the existing furnishings in the room, especially if you aren’t carrying out a full makeover. No matter how complex your current decoration is, a simple solution is always around the corner. Whilst a custom-made product will cost more than the average set of Roman Blinds, the price would still be extremely competitive when compared to alternative solutions.

Whatever you need – be it a simple blind that stops the neighbors watching you slave over a hot stove, or a quirky teardrop blind that makes a statement and adds a dash of character to your existing view, the solution can be found at Brenda Lee Designs to consult and get the best set of Roman Blinds for your home.

 

The Three Biggest Interior Design Questions

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Before starting any interior design or remodeling project, you need to think about the three biggest areas. Do you know what they are? You’ll find out below along with some interior design tips on how to handle them

 

What To Do With The Walls?

This is perhaps the biggest question and the area that can make the most difference in the outcome of your interior design. Wall color can set the tone of the room, but many people are afraid to paint their walls with anything but white. One way to get around this is to buy small samples of paint that you think you may want on the walls and paint it on a section of the wall. You don’t have to paint the whole wall – just a 1 foot square section. Live with it for a day and see how it looks in all different kinds of light. Be advised, however, that many colors – especially darker ones – attain their true beauty from the look of the entire wall after being layered with several coats of paint.

Don’t be afraid to go ahead and paint the walls – paint is cheap. If you don’t like the way it looks you can always paint over it!

 

What To Do With The Furniture?

Should you buy new furniture? What if your old stuff is still good, should you have it re-upholstered? While budgetary concerns may dictate, you should evaluate the furniture for style and value versus the cost of the re-upholstering. If you are looking for a sleek modern style living room and your old sofa is a country style, you should probably consider buying new. If expense is a problem, take a trip to your local consignment store. You can buy like new furniture for a fraction of the cost and if your old stuff is still in good condition you can consign it and get some money for it to help pay for your new one. To a better result, you can hire an interior design company like Brenda Lee Designs to assist you.

 

What To Do With The Floors?

Decisions about floor designs should be based on your personal taste as well as your budget. Some flooring is extremely expensive and, although it may be the type that will look best with your design it may not be affordable, or even practical. When replacing flooring, you should always consider the use of the room and if the flooring will hold up well. A wood floor might be a bad choice for a kids playroom and will soon show the marks and wear of toys being slid across it. Carpeting might go well in the family room, but if you tend to eat in front of the TV you’ll want to be sure to get a stain resistant type.

 

The Three Main Ingredients to Making Candles

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candle-flame-close-up-backgroundWhen making great candles one should consider not only how they will “smell”, but how they will burn (as the burn will affect the scent throw). Think about what you look for when choosing a candle and give that same quality, or better, when making your own. Each person has their own ideas of what they want to achieve, but here are some fundamentals to help get you started in the right direction:

 

Choose a Wax

 

There are numerous waxes available for candle making. Each differs in their performance with fragrances, appearance, how they receive dyes, etc. Look at the characteristics of the waxes you’re considering and make an informed decision. Your retailer should be able to recommend a wax for the types of candles you are looking to make.

 

Fragrances

 

Fragrance oils can be purchased from candle supply companies, fragrance companies and even hobby stores (I do not recommend the hobby store route, however – they are usually pretty weak). There are probably 1000’s of fragrances available and each company will offer their own variation of a specific one. Here’s the biggest piece of advice I can give you: Order samples (or a small 4oz bottle) first before buying a larger quantity – make sure you like it.

 

Also, when making candles, fragrance is measured by weight, not volume. Also, the amount you use needs to be compatible with your wax for proper mixture. Not all waxes hold the same amount of fragrance. When too much is used you could find some of it sinking to the bottom of the jar!

 

Wicks

 

Choosing a wick is as important as anything else when making candles. A wick not strong enough for your jar will leave wax behind causing the waste that can be so very irritating. A wick that’s too strong will burn your candle too quickly. Like everything else, finding a proper balance is a good thing.

 

Choose a container before purchasing your wicks. Measure the diameter of your container and ask a candle supplier which wick is the proper one to use. They should be able to tell you. If not, trial and error usually does the trick. Just like wax, there are numerous types of wicks that have their own characteristics. I suggest purchasing a sample package of several and decide which one fits your needs.

 

To make the most of your candle making effort, do some research before investing in your supplies. Check what ingredients great companies like The Big Damn Company use for their candles. This will help minimize mistakes, which translates into money spent.