House Cleaning Tips and Tricks

If you are like me, house cleaning is a job that gets constantly put off. I just don’t feel like there is enough time for me to mop, sweep, dust, scrub, scrape, and polish. Thankfully, there are people out there who have been doing this kind of thing for years. These professionals know the ins and outs of the job, and they will tell us the secrets to prevent it from taking over our lives.

Okay, let’s start in the kitchen. When attempting to scrub and sanitize this massive filth and germ attractor, be sure to start on the right side of the stove and work clockwise around the room. This will leave the stove, typically the dirtiest part of the kitchen, for the last task. By doing this, you are reducing the amount of dirt and grime you spread to other parts of the kitchen during your cleaning process.

While in the kitchen, make sure that you disinfect the sink when scrubbing it. Disinfecting and sanitizing this area regularly is very important because it has been proven that the kitchen sink actually contains more germs than the toilet bowl. Now moving on to the dishwasher, I find myself rationalizing that I can skip this machine because it’s getting cleaned every time I use it. Well, I could not be further from the truth. The dishwasher is home to caked on grime and many nasty germs like e-coli. Because of this, it needs to be wiped out regularly with a combination of baking soda and bleach. This combination will kill those germs while removing old, crusty food.

Modern House Plans

Many people who are considering purchasing a home in Australia nowadays tend to opt for modern house plans. Although traditional homes are still popular, these modern house plans give off a chic and elegant flow for the household which many, especially young couples, are looking for.

Generally, many people are working to tight budgets when planning and building a new home, however, even the smallest homes can look huge simply due to modern house plans. The open space allows for one room to flow into another which means that there are no divisions to make the home look compact. Regardless of your budget, you can find an excellent modern house plan that will meet your needs.

Choosing the Right House Plans

Organic Gardening In The 21st Century

Over the course of the past decade, a significant number of men and women from different parts of the world have taken up gardening. In this regard, these people have found themselves interested both in creating magnificent flower gardens as well as in cultivating thriving vegetable gardens.

A majority of gardeners still rely on what might be considered “mainstream methods” when it comes to the care and maintenance of either their flower or vegetable gardens. In other words, these gardeners tend to rely upon various commercially availabable chemical treatments and products to care for their gardens. Various types of garden-related chemicals — from pesticides to fertilizers — are available readily at garden supply shops and discount retail stores. More often than not, these basic products can be obtained for a fairly reasonable cost.

As a person becomes more involved in the care and maintenance of his or her garden, such an individual tends to become more conscious and aware of how the materials he or she utilizes to tend a garden space actually effects the environment and the plants being grown (particularly vegetables). Consequently, many experienced gardeners (and, in reality, an ever growing number of novices) have turned to organic gardening practices.

Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas To Improve Your Yard

Are you the one who has the yard all the neighbors talk about? Maybe
your yard stands out for all the wrong reasons? If that is true for
you, turn things around by sprucing up your yard. Here’s some great inexpensive landscaping ideas to improve your yard
to assist you in transforming your yard! Sketching out a design of what
you would like your final landscaping job to look like is a good cheap
landscaping ideas that you will benefit from. You’ll be able to get a
clear idea of the results and the materials needed to achieve those
results. It’s way easier to do a drawing than to actually get physically
started.

Use local plants when fixing your yard. Native plants
are a lot easier to care of because they are already comfortable in
your climate and soil.

A softly curving border can give just the
right bit of focus and eye appeal that your landscape needs. The look
of soft curves is more popular now than the look of straight lines and
sharp corners. It does not cost much to cut fresh edges, and doing so
can transform the look of your flower beds and lawn. Another inexpensive
landscaping ideas to improve your yard is to use local plants when
landscaping. Plants which are native to the area are simpler to maintain
because they have are already used to the climate and soil. This means
that they are low-maintenance. Your local gardening store will be able
to advise you about the types of plants that will thrive in the area
that you live.

Mid-sized Epimedium species including Epimedium grandiflorum

Below, I have described the mid-sized Epimedium species including the very popular Epimedium grandiflorum in order to help you select the best plants for your site. There are too many Epimediums to list in a single article so check out the others in the series to see other categories such as small Epimediums or spider-type Epimediums. The most familiar group of epimediums are mid-sized plants that represent what most folks typically think of as epimediums. Plants in this group average around 18″ tall x 18″ wide and are composed of several species and hybrid groups. From smallest to largest, they include E. sempervirens, E. x youngianum (E. diphyllum x E. grandiflorum), E. grandiflorum, E. koreanum, and a series of interspecific hybrids. Plantsman Darrell Probst has interesting theories on these confusing groups and their origin that he will hopefully publish one day. Epimedium sempervirens (Zone 5-8) is a similar Japanese species to E. diphyllum, except for having evergreen (from Zone 7 south) foliage, larger flowers and about 1/3 larger plant size. E. sempervirens produces flower stalks reaching 12-15″ tall with 6-10 flowers each, also in colors ranging from white to lavender. Epimedium sempervirens is usually a tight clumping species, although some forms can spread a bit. Another trait of E. sempervirens is the new leaves often emerge with a lovely red flush. Epimedium sempervirens is represented in the trade by Epimedium ‘Candy Hearts’ (red edged leaves and pale lavender), Epimedium ‘Cherry Hearts’ (red edged leaves and white flowers), Epimedium ‘Mars’ (red-purple flowers), Epimedium ‘Okuda’s White’ (white flowers), and Epimedium ‘Violet Queen’ (red-flushed foliage and light lavender flowers). The major drawback to E. sempervirens is the tendency of the second spring flush of foliage to obscure the flowers. Epimedium grandiflorum (Zone 4-8) is a winter deciduous Japanese species that represents the majority of the epimedium cultivars in commercial trade. Like E. sempervirens, most forms are tight clumpers, although a few may have longer rhizomes. Many of the earlier selections of E. grandiflorum have large flowers produced among or just slightly atop the foliage, usually obscured by the second spring flush. Selections of E. grandiflorum in the trade include Epimedium grandiflorum var. higoense ‘Bandit’ (dwarf plant with red-edged leaves and white flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Benedict’s Violet’ (lavender flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum var. violaceum ‘Bronze Maiden’ (chocolate foliage and light lavender flowers), Epimedium ‘Cranberry Sparkle’ (chocolate new leaves and cranberry red flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Dark Beauty’ (chocolate leaves and white cup and spurs/purple outer sepals), Epimedium ‘Lavender Lady’ (dark purple buds opening to light lavender flowers) , Epimedium ‘Lilafee’ (bronze mottled foliage and lavender purple flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Pierre’s Purple’ (dark purple flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Princess Susan’ (white cups and spurs with purple outer sepals), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Purple Prince’ (dark purple cup with light lavender spurs), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Red Queen’ (carmine red), Epimedium ‘Saxton’s Purple’ (light lavender flowers), Epimedium ‘Silver Queen’ (white flowers), Epimedium ‘Spring Wedding’ (red edged leaves, pale lavender flowers), Epimedium ‘Swallowtail’ (red edged leaves and light lavender flowers), Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Tama-no-gempei’ (white cups and spurs, purple outer sepals), Epimedium ‘Waterfall’ (rose purple flower with white spurs), Epimedium ‘Yellow Princess’ (light yellow flowers), and Epimedium grandiflorum ‘Yubae’ (purple foliage, cranberry flowers). With the exception of E. grandiflorum ‘Swallowtail’, the other E. grandiflorum selections don’t pick up their nice leaf coloration until after flowering. Epimedium koreanum (Zone 3-7) was long considered a subspecies of E. grandiflorum, but was finally split out as a species on it’s own. As the name indicates, it is found in Korea and northern Japan. While most E. grandiflorum outside of Northern Japan where E. grandiflorum var. flavescens resides, E. grandiflorum has flowers of white to purple, while E. koreanum has yellow flowers. Also, the deciduous E. koreanum spreads 6-12″ per year via rhizomes compared to the typically clumping E. grandiflorum. In the trade, E. koreanum is represented by two selections, Epimedium koreanum ‘Harold Epstein’ (light yellow flowers on red stems), and Epimedium ‘La Rocaille’ (creamy flowers). We hope you have enjoyed this discussion of Epimedium grandiflorum and other mid-sized species and that you will read the other articles in our Epimedium series.