You are currently browsing the archives for 6 October 2016.
Displaying 1 - 5 of 5 entries.

How to Grow Flowering Kalanchoe Plants for Drought Tolerant Gardens or as Houseplants

  • Posted on October 6, 2016 at 10:34 pm

Kalanchoe plants are pretty dry garden bloomers known for their bright colorful flowers. They’re great succulent plants for dry landscapes or as houseplants in container gardens indoors. Kalanchoes are in the Crassulaceae or, Stonecrop family. Most varieties are perennial and evergreen.

One of the most popular form of kalanchoe species grown today is kalanchoe blossfeldiana and its many hybrid plants. Kalanchoe blossfeldiana plants grow up to 2 feet tall and as wide. They have large, leathery leaves about 2 1/2 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. The leaf edges are usually lightly scalloped and may have a slight tint of red or other color. Some hybrid plants have smooth edges and different colors on the leaf.

Flowers bloom in upright, large clusters from 2 to 3 inches across, and are made up of small daisy like flowers of 5 petals. The stamens are usually yellow and can stand out brightly depending on the flower color. Flower colors can range from white, yellow, orange, red, pink and everything in between. Flowers can also be creamy, dreamy pastels, or have flowers with more than one color, but kalanchoe blossfeldiana are mainly known for neon bright colors. These drought tolerant plants make a bold statement in the garden with their glowing, bright flower colors. Bloom is heaviest in spring, but they can bloom all year with a little feeding of fertilizer after the first bloom.

Care of kalanchoes outdoors is easy in mild winter areas. They are hardy to USDA Zone 10b, or 35 degrees, (Sunset Zone: 17, 21-24), These plants can take full sun to part shade in the garden. Outdoors, if it gets over 100 degrees for more than a few days, or your plants develop brown spots it may be getting sunburn. Either move the pots, or provide a little shade during the hottest part of the day. Indoors they prefer a bright windowsill with lots of light. Indoors, place plants near a bright window.

Kalanchoes are popular gifts during the winter and make nice housewarming presents. If you are lucky enough to receive one the first thing you might want to do is see if the soil is dry. If so, give your plant some water and let it drain in the sink. Then move them outside if you are in a mild winter area, or to a windowsill if it is cold outside.

Seeds saved from hybrid plants will not grow out to look the same as the parent plants. It is much easier to propagate kalanchoe with leaf or stem cuttings. Place the cuttings in damp soil, and keep the soil moist for the first two weeks. After that, let the soil dry out between waterings.

Water requirements are low. They can take average garden water, but will also grow well with much less. In my garden a few plants are out in a section with the natives and other drought tolerant plants and they do quite well. To avoid root rot, let the soil dry out before you water them again.

Kalanchoe plants also do well in container gardens. Since they can handle drought, they are a bit more forgiving than other plants if you forget to water them! They look great on the patio or as a focal point on your table.

Architecture Of Yesteryears

  • Posted on October 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm

Shingle style architecture is an innovative form of Queen Anne and it was originated in America during the last two decades of 19th century.This name was given by Vincent Scully, a historian of building architecture.Among the various structures in America that are constructed in this style, The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego is considered as the biggest.The houses that are built in this style are horizontal structures built up on a stone laid foundation.The asymmetrical designs and irregular construction make the building process highly complicated and as a result the cost of construction was far beyond the affordable range for common people.Thus it was considered as a luxury homes design. The roofs are more complex in this type of architecture. Many of such houses have gabled roofs with a tower in the front. A few houses have roofs that are hipped. In the gambrel form of roofs, the third storey of the building will be hidden in the roof so that the building will appear as a two storeyed building. The roof shingles and wall shingles will be in different colors. Most of the houses have towers and if a building is without tower, a part of its wall will be bulged out.

This type of architecture has the provision for more numbers of big and small windows. The windows are mostly double-hung with a single sash below and multiple sashes above. For huge walls, the windows will be in 2, 3 or more rows and there are various designs for the windows. In the most complex designs, large windows are kept in bays with 1, 2 or 3 stories. The more stylish windows will be in square, rectangular or circular shapes.Entrance with spacious porch is characteristic of this architecture.People used to relax in the porches which are supported by balusters, columns or stone supports.

The modern houses that are built in Shingle style architecture offer a host of distinctive features including natural surroundings, energy efficiency and healthy indoor atmosphere. These houses demonstrate how wood, stone and sunlight can be utilized to provide a healthy shelter.There are many holiday homes that are built in this style of architecture. Many wealthy people have constructed this type of homes at famous resorts and also at sea-side plots. Natural colors, exterior covered by wooden shingles and an asymmetric structure are the basic features of this architectural form. The other common features are big porches, irregular roofs, towers, verandas, asymmetric floors, chimneys, huge staircases and fireplaces etc.

Are you looking for Shingle style architects and luxury vacation homes, vanbrouck is the best choice. It is highly recommended from both a design and value standpoint when we were looking to home designs and build our dream home. For more information about Shingle style architecture please visit us.

Top 7 Ways To Feng Shui Your Rv!

  • Posted on October 6, 2016 at 4:00 pm

An RV serves as your home-away-from-home. Therefore, you should consider it to be your palace on wheels. If youre a new RV-owner, you probably have a number of ideas for decorating your road machine. Also, if you have an interest in Oriental culture, you might consider employing some feng shui tactics when outfitting your RV.

Consult a Feng Shui Master

In order to make sure that you get it right, its best to consult a master of the trade. He or she can provide you with helpful guidance when preparing your living space.

Put Your Seating at Right Angles

It has been said that sitting directly side-by-side is unlikely to inspire conversation. If you want to promote harmony with your partner, make sure youre seated at right angles in your gathering space.

Use Posters in Your Dining Area

Posters are pleasant to gaze atespecially at mealtimes. Since, for safety reasons, you cant hang artwork on the walls, consider mounting posters instead. Be sure to keep the posters of your travels away from your RV ranges and cooktops.

Be Sure to Make Your RV Colorful

Color is a wonderful mood enhancer. It can also be quite soothing to you for those long stretches on the road. The more color you can infuse into your decorating, the better.

Park Your RV in an Appropriate Spot

Its best to park your RV in a road adjoining the camping spaces. That type of location will make you feel far more secure.

Be Careful Where You Place Your Bed
Make certain that your bed is not located in a space overlooking electrical poles. Otherwise, the electric fields from the poles could interrupt sleep.
Consult Some Good Books
Another worthwhile option is to consult some books on feng shui. These can offer you a myriad of ideas for improving the livability of your RV. In fact, you might find a number of tips you never thought of before. Another handy book to have on board is your RV cookbook!
Its also a good idea to engage in some experimentation. In other words, find the feng shui tips that work for you. In this way, youll create an atmosphere that you can enjoy season in and season out, all year long.

Rowing Machine Benefits – 3 Reasons Why an Indoor Rower Can Help You Get Fit

  • Posted on October 6, 2016 at 7:02 am

A rowing machine is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a great, total body workout without leaving home. Forget about expensive memberships, long lines to use machines, and searching for parking at the local health club. A good rowing machine can meet all of your primary fitness needs.

Although it common to look primarily at treadmills and elliptical trainers when shopping for home exercise equipment, a good indoor rower might be a better choice for you. Here are three key reasons why you should consider buying one of these machines.

1) Low impact

The rower provides smooth, low-impact exercise that will be easy on your joints. For this reason, these machines are often recommended for prenatal exercise. They offer an excellent way to improve your overall fitness level without the risk of injury.

Key to using a rower safely is proper form. Initiate the movement from your legs, not your lower back. Don’t fully straighten your knees, and pull the handle in a fluid stroke.

Some of the best rowers come prepackaged with instructional videos and manuals, demonstrating correct form and technique. Look for this when you shop.

2) Total body workout

The act of rowing involves several major muscle groups, including your legs, buttocks, arms, and back. It’s as invigorating as any workout that you could complete in a regular gym with multiple pieces of equipment.

Rowers use different resistance methods, each of which stimulates your muscles in a different manner. The four resistance types are piston, air, magnetic, and water.

Air and water rowers provide the most realistic rowing experience and would be a good choice for serious workouts. If you’re just getting started with rowing, look into a piston-driven machine. Piston models still deliver a complete workout and tend to be less expensive, and are easily stored under a bed or in a closet.

3) Cardio

Ever watched the rowing competitions during the Olympics? If so, you’ve seen how hard those guys breathe! A rowing machine provides outstanding cardiovascular exercis; it’ll get your blood pumping and condition your heart and lungs in a way that few other pieces of exercise equipment can match.

Any good machine includes a console display that tells you calories burned, time, distance, and your heart rate. You’ll know precisely how hard you worked during your exercise session.

Kettler, Concept 2, Tunturi, Stamina, and LifeCore manufacture some of the best rowing machines on the market. You can find several quality rowers for under $500, less than the cost of an annual gym membership.

Indoor Water Fountains, Negative Ions, And You

  • Posted on October 6, 2016 at 1:55 am

Interior water features are quickly increasing in popularity in North America. Today, an impressive array of beautiful models of indoor water fountains are showing up in homes throughout the country. However, appearances are not the sole reason for the recent interior fountain popularity. Indoor fountains are also gaining interest for their mood-changing qualities. Interior fountains as a treatment for depression? It might not be as far fetched as it sounds.

Indoor fountains give off airborne particles called negative ions. As you might recall from high school chemistry class, a negative ion is a molecule that has dropped one or more electrons, and consequently has a negative charge. For water fountains the negative ions are airborne water molecules created by the turbulence in an indoor fountain. The negative ions can have some very positive effects. Negative ions, due to their electrical charge, adhere to harmful particles in the environment, eliminating air-borne pollutants such as dust and smoke particles. Furthermore many scientists now believe that negative ions, like those generated by an indoor water fountain, may also have a strong effect on mood.

A scientific study at Columbia University confirmed that inhaling negative ions, like those created by indoor fountains, can increase the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter tied to feelings. Individuals with clinical depression produce abnormally very low levels of serotonin. Because of this, most antidepressant medications counteract the disorder by increasing serotonin levels.

You can easily imagine serotonin as “joy juice”; the more you have, the happier you are. Additional research is necessary, but ion therapy may provide an alternate therapy for depression, by raising serotonin levels without the hazardous side effects associated with most anti-depressant prescription drugs.

As with all preliminary research findings, this one has its limitations. It is unclear what size of an indoor fountain would be required to yield useful levels of negative ions. The research is still in its early stages. What is clear, nonetheless, is that no indoor water feature will hurt. Even a small indoor water feature, with its soothing white noise, is sure to brighten up your surroundings… and perhaps your disposition as well.