Drive-By Gardens: Lushly spiky gardens of Tarrytown

August 13, 2020

Forgetting about the closure of city parks in Austin due to Covid-19, my daughter and I tried to visit Mayfield Park in west Austin a couple of weeks ago. Finding the gates locked, we decided to make the best of it and drove around tony Tarrytown neighborhood to admire pretty front-yard gardens. We found some cool ones!

Silver Fox

I call this one Silver Fox for its massive, silver-blue whale’s tongue agaves (A. ovatifolia) and shimmery groundcover of silver ponyfoot (Dichondra argentea).

Evergreen Texas mountain laurels screen the house from the road. I bet this scene is stunning in early spring when the trees drip with purple flowers. The grassy groundcover at left looks like bulbine, which can get tired in our hot summers and stop blooming. Same.

The agaves were planted well back from the path — and I mean well back — and now you see why. These babies get big! That’s another kind of agave in back, probably Agave americana. Only a few species are planted in this front garden, but they really make an impact.

Corten Dreams

This rectilinear contemporary home is set off by a curved retaining

Read More

Diptyque Candles Are $11 at Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale

Gigantic beauty sales can be overwhelming, I get it. That’s why I’m here to tell you about the one absolute, best, can’t-miss deal from Nordstrom’s Anniversary Sale: $11 Diptyque candles. Considering a single Diptyque candle will cost you $36, that’s a steal.

The bargain comes in the form of a set of five travel-sized priced at $55. It’s a $75 value and includes all of Diptyque’s greatest hits, so you can try them all and then decide which bigger candle(s) you’ll want to expand your home fragrance library.

Set of 5 Travel Size Limited Edition Scented Candles

These are the five scents:

Baies (Berries): A fruity scent made up of blackcurrant leaves and a bouquet of roses. It’s so popular it often sells out on Diptyque’s site.

Feu de Bois (Wood Fire): A cozy, homey smell that evokes a crackling fire

Figuier (Fig Tree): A warm, fresh aroma made up of fig leaves, bark, and milky sap

Mimosa: A dreamy wanderlust-inducing floral that smells like the French Riviera, lined with mimosa flowers

Roses: A classic, timeless scent that is even better than an actual of bouquet of roses because it’ll last you longer.

Doesn’t that all sound

Read More

August 2020 Home Item Recommendations From Monique Valeris

As Good Housekeeping’s senior home editor, I come across tons of home-related products, both good and bad. But there are some special finds that are just too great to keep to myself. That’s why I’m sharing my favorite home items with you—our readers—here on our website every month in the hope that you’ll appreciate them as much as I do.

Summer decorating calls for going bold with color, having fun with prints, experimenting with lightweight fabrics and discovering those one-of-a-kind accents that make a house a home. And now that we’re all spending more time indoors, crafting a cozy interior is even more important. You can take a risk with a boho-chic aesthetic, which continues to be a favorite for many design enthusiasts, or opt for a more traditional approach with refined pieces that can stand the test of the time. Wherever your design sensibilities lie, this product roundup is sure to inspire you.


Fringed Basket

Keep your entryway, living room, or kid’s room in tip-top shape with this pretty braided straw basket featuring a fringe rim.


Pure Silk Pillowcase



Slip pillowcases are popular for good reason. Not only are

Read More

How to Care for Christmas Cactus Indoors

Christina SchmidhoferGetty Images

Christmas cacti bloom just in time for the holidays (hence their name), and they’re pretty stunning too. The hanging branches, which are made up of flat, glossy green segments, can grow to up to 3 feet long. Flowers in red, white, yellow, pink, or purple appear at the tips of these branches and measure up to 3 inches long with several tiers of petals. Each bloom lasts for several days, and the entire flowering period of most cultivars will span several weeks. But in order to keep these plants looking beautiful, you need to follow all the steps involved with proper Christmas cactus care.

There are certain factors that can help — or hinder — your Christmas cactus’s potential. For example, this Brazilian coastal plant (which is also known as Schlumbergera) favors more humid conditions than desert-dwelling species do. Plus, it needs extended periods of darkness before it can begin flowering.

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

So, with that said, here’s how to

Read More

Potted succulents don’t ask for much (and that’s the way I like it)

August 10, 2020

Potted plants green up my patio, deck, and porch, and I often plunk them into garden beds as focal points. But being in Texas, mine aren’t packed with flowering annuals or perennials that require daily or twice-daily watering. Instead they showcase water-thrifty plants like succulents, cacti, even foxtail fern — plants I can leave to their own devices in 100-degree heat and not fuss about them for a week or more.

Here are a few of my faves.

Variegated squid agave (Agave bracteosa ‘Monterrey Frost’) thrives in bright shade, with blue-green sedum (Sedum reflexum ‘Blue Spruce’) frothing at its feet.

A standard squid agave — this one’s at least 13 years old — has spread its tentacles across a 3-foot stock-tank planter, reaching for more light under an exuberant ‘Tiny Fern’ bamboo.

Speaking of tentacles, I adore this Tentacle Pot, and a wavy-armed Tillandsia xerographica is the perfect partner along with a couple of decorative octopi. Indoors, tillandsias require regular misting. But outdoors in the shade in Austin’s muggy summer, mine needs misting only a couple of times a month.

In a blue pot in a mostly shady bed, a ‘Spotty Dotty’ mangave

Read More

78 DIY Christmas Crafts 2020

Danielle Daly

These days, it’s easy to find just about any type of Christmas decoration at your local retailer, but it’s so much more fun to inject your personality and design style into your home. One of the best ways to do this is with DIY Christmas crafts. You can create your own front door wreath to make a good first impression, arrange gift-toppers for your presents, or even assemble your own ornaments to enhance your tree. The options are endless if you’re just ready to be inspired—and put your hot glue gun to work.

And because DIY means affordable, many of the Christmas crafts we suggest make use of common household items you already own. Everything from fabric scraps to basic cardboard boxes can become statement pieces of holiday decor. Get inspired by this roundup of creative DIY Christmas craft projects, ranging from a striking garland card holder to a playful fabric wreath.

1 of 78

Ice Skates Wreath

Ditch the traditional wreath for one featuring fur-lined ice skates filled with greenery. Dress them up with pom-poms and silver ornaments to make even more of an impact.

2 of 78

Christmas Light Napkin Rings


Read More