20 Best Patio Plants – Lush Plants for Decks and Patios

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No matter where you live, you want to make the most of the good weather days. Spending time on the patio is even more relaxing when you add seasonal color and interest with container plants, window boxes, or beds of annuals, perennials, and shrubs. And since many plants attract tons of pollinators, you’ll enjoy watching butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds flit about while you drink your morning coffee or sip your iced tea.

To find the right plant for your conditions, observe how much direct sunlight your patio gets at different times of day: Full sun means more than six hours and part sun is about half that. Full shade means your patio gets less than an hour or two of sun, or only a little morning sun. No matter how much you fall in love with a plant, consider its needs first before buying it: Shade lovers can’t handle the heat, and sun lovers never perform well in the shade. Before buying shrubs and perennials, which return every year, check your USDA Hardiness zone (find yours here) to determine if the plant can survive winter in your region. See our favorite annuals, perennials,

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Cactus flowers and 3D-printed agaves

May 30, 2020

Ka-pow! Colorful cactus flowers are knocking my socks off.

Look at these orange beauties.

And these in satin pink!

Mwah! I love them.

And check out these bamboo-textured agaves my son printed on his 3D printer. Cool, eh? They look especially good displayed on a Charley Harper-illustrated tray.

The big one is for me. The small one is for our Italian exchange student, who is heading home in a few days after spending 9-1/2 months with us. A nice parting gift from him, don’t you think? It will remind her of Austin.

I’m sending her home with my recipes for her favorite dishes (chicken pot pie, homemade broccoli and tomato pizza, stuffed peppers, brownies) and a set of U.S. measuring cups and spoons so she doesn’t have to convert the ingredient amounts into the European system. And she’s leaving us with recipes for our favorites of the Italian meals she cooked for us (several delicious pasta dishes and her special ragù sauce). How fun is that?

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the

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Best Homemade Fly Trap – How to DIY a Fly Trap for Indoors or Outdoors

Every summer, it seems like no matter how hard you try, your yard (or worse, house) becomes infested with pesky flies. These winged creatures are called pests for a reason: they feast on leftovers, crawl on outdoor furniture, and buzz all. day. long. While repelling flies is the recommended first course of action, sometimes it’s too little, too late. When all else fails, attract and kill them with a fly trap. While there are store-bought options that’ll get the job done, sometimes it’s easiest to take the more natural approach by making a homemade fly trap with common household items.

As soon as you see or better yet, hear, them, DIY a few of these fly traps and distribute them throughout your house and yard. That way, you’ll up your chances of getting rid of as many flies as possible.

The Country Chic Cottage

Luring flies to a trap is the hardest part. Luckily, they’re attracted to anything sweet — simple syrup, honey, and fruit — so you shouldn’t have to look too far to find something sugar-y enough to entice them. The Country Chic Cottage uses honey as bait in their fly trap pictured above, but old

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15 Best Bedroom Plants – Plants for Bedroom That Clean Air

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You spend a lot of time in your bedroom (at least eight hours every night, right?), so it’s important that your space is as peaceful as possible. And while candles and CBD can ease your mind before you hit the pillow, adding real plants to your space can also help up your relaxation game. In fact, NASA has found that many popular plants, like Dracaena and Snake Plants, remove toxins and improve overall air quality, which is key for a cleaner night’s rest.

Browse through these bedroom plants until you find the perfect option for your space, no matter how small. Even if your bedroom doesn’t have tons of windows or natural sunlight, you can opt for a tolerant houseplant that can survive in low-light conditions. Or if you feel like you don’t have enough shelf, dresser, or floor space to display greenery, consider hanging any of the vining options in a planter overhead. The end result? A cozier, better-for-you space.

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Snake Plant

Snake Plant’s vertical sword-like foliage is an eye-catching addition to any bedroom. This old stalwart, also called Sansevieria, has been a popular

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10 Easiest Vegetables to Grow

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If you’ve longed envied a neighbor’s lush vegetable garden, it’s time to consider growing your own. Believe it or not, starting a vegetable garden doesn’t have to be a huge feat. There are a number of healthy and delicious vegetables, including crisp cucumbers, lettuce, and carrots, that don’t require a great deal of effort to grow. See 10 of the easiest vegetables to grow even if you don’t have a green thumb.

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It’s no secret that carrots are a good source of vitamin A. In order to grow well, carrots need soft soil that’s well-drained. If your soil is too moist, you can attract wireworms.



Whether you prefer them raw in salads or in soups, radishes are a versatile root vegetable. Like carrots, it’s best not to overcrowd the seeds, and try to aim for loose dirt.



When it comes to cucumbers, know that they thrive with loads of sunlight. They’re ideal for small spaces, since they can grow vertically.



This fast-growing vegetable, which can tolerate a certain level of shade and moderate temperatures, is ideal if you’re short on space.


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Postcards from COVID-era Austin – Digging

May 28, 2020

“You’re not in traffic. You are traffic,” I heard on the radio last year, and it resonated with me. Here we Austinites were, almost a million of us, sitting in traffic jams all day long, insanely frustrated by the wasted time and by our fellow drivers. And then along came the pandemic, and suddenly MoPac is humming at 65 mph at rush hour. It’s not much of a silver lining to grasp for when reading news reports of 100,000 U.S. deaths from COVID-19 and 40 million Americans who’ve lost their jobs over the past 10 weeks, but there it is. You can drive around town and even find a parking spot.

Take the Greetings from Austin mural on S. 1st Street. I’d wanted to take a photo of our foreign exchange student in front of it last fall, but when we drove by there was nowhere to park and throngs of tourists were lined up to pose in front of it. So we passed. Fast forward to yesterday, only days before her scheduled departure, and the street was deserted. We parked, hopped out for the selfie, and I marveled once again at the surreality of quiet streets

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