These simple updates can turn your space into a haven in no time.Read More
October 27, 2020
I was happy to have the opportunity to see the garden of Peter Schaar in Dallas in early October. I know Peter as a palm and agave lover, a rose enthusiast (note the Texas Rose Rustler t-shirt), and an avid cook with a taste for growing herbs and other edibles. He’s also a longtime commenter at Digging (since 2011) who often shares interesting snippets about his travels with his late wife, Julie, and personal anecdotes about Texas’s gardening trailblazers like John Fairey and Pam Puryear.
Peter is reticent about his own work as a garden designer (a second career after 30 years as an applied mathematician) and educational speaker, as I learned when I read a 2006 D Magazine article about him called “The Mathematician’s Garden.” In short, Peter has gardening chops and a wealth of knowledge about gardening in North Texas, which he generously shares with others.
Peter’s garden, located in Dallas’s Lakewood neighborhood, is packed with fringe-fingered palms, strappy crinums, arrowhead-leaf alocasia, and spiky agaves and sotols. Edible herbs, chiles, and even leafy vegetables are stuffed in as well.
Cobalt pots elevating succulents and agaves run a blue color scheme through the garden.
If a full kitchen renovation isn’t on your calendar for the near future, the next best thing is to find simple ways to refresh your cooking space. Believe it or not, achieving an entirely new look doesn’t have to mean knocking down all of your walls. If you settle on the right mix of accessories, whether it’s a stylish set of stools, lighting, or artwork, and even chic cabinet hardware, you can pull off a noticeable transformation that’ll make you love your kitchen even more.
Browse some of our favorite expert-approved kitchen decor ideas that are sure to boost your space’s visual appeal. Plus, go ahead and consider our top paint ideas — yet another easy way to bring more style to your kitchen.
Before you roll your eyes at the idea of adding more to your already overflowing to-do list, consider this: Taking a few beats each day to check off cleaning tasks, says Carolyn Forte, Cleaning Lab Director of the Good Housekeeping Institute, can actually save you time in the long run, not to mention cut down on harmful germs and bacteria lurking in your home. (An absolute must these days!)
Cleaning these important spots as you go with the right tools — soap and water, a broom, or a quality disinfectant like 3M TB Quat Disinfectant Ready-to-Use Cleaner — before you hit the hay each day will make the weekend workload that much less.
There’s a reason this area of your home is a hotspot for clutter, dirt, and germs: It’s an area trafficked by each and every person who passes through your door. You don’t have to bust out the mop every day to make it feel cleaner — just do a quick touch-up. Make sure dirty shoes and muddy boots are in their rightful place and toss any stray items into a designated catchall. While you’re there, quickly spritz
Don’t let those fickle fiddle leaf figs fool you. Not every houseplant requires a natural green thumb and extensive gardening expertise. These hardy indoor species can survive and even thrive despite serious neglect.
“Buy something that likes to live the way you do,” advises Gwenn Fried, manager of the horticulture therapy program at NYU Langone. When you’re working with a dark room, give low-light options like pothos, prayer plants, and dracaena a go. If too many rays has shriveled your plants in the past, opt for sun lovers like yucca, jade, and ponytail palm. Peace lilies and Chinese evergreen can handle the well-meaning over-waterer. If you’re the set-it-and-forget-it type, ZZ plant, kalanchoe, and philodendrons might be more your speed.
Get more plant inspiration and care tips below from horticultural experts, but if you’re looking for true no-maintenance foliage, check out the best artificial plants you can buy. Their plastic leaves will never go brown, no matter how hard you try.
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Calling all black thumbs: This trailing vine has earned the nickname “devil’s ivy” for its ability to withstand nearly pitch-black conditions as well as under-
October 23, 2020
Blackland prairie, a sash of Texas grassland across the center of the state, running southwest from the Oklahoma border to San Antonio, is the most endangered ecosystem in the U.S., with less than 1% remaining, according to Austin environmental designer John Hart Asher in a Wildflower article. One hundred and seventy years ago, bison grazed and fertilized the prairie, and natural wildfires and controlled burns by native peoples kept the land free of trees and shrubs, allowing grasses and perennials to thrive. That ecosystem disappeared when Europeans arrived and claimed the rich land for agriculture and settlement. Today small pockets of preserved Blackland prairie are all that remain.
Encouragingly, however, reconstructed Blackland prairie landscapes are increasingly being created for urban sites, like Native Texas Park, a 15-acre prairie surrounding the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in Dallas. Located on the Southern Methodist University campus, just off a busy interstate and overlooked by glass business towers, the park was designed and planted in partnership with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center and completed in 2013.
I visited for