Ready to buy some annuals for your yard? Here are four factors to consider when choosing plants that will complement your landscaping.
1. What the plant needs
Check the soil and evaluate the environmental conditions in your yard. The drainage, pH and amount of sunlight available should all be factors when you choose plants for your garden.
2. The size of the plant
3. When the plant blooms
Enjoy blossoming annuals from May to October. Choose plants that flower at different times to have an ever-blooming yard.
4. The color and shape of the plant
Choose annuals that look good together, and aim to get plants in a variety of shapes, colors and textures. Opt for a well balanced color scheme by selecting either cool or warm tones for the entire yard.
If you have perennials in your garden, don’t forget to take them into consideration when choosing your annuals.
Tasty ways to make legumes a lunchbox staple
Legumes such as chickpeas, lentils and beans are a great source of essential minerals, fiber and protein. However, they’re not always popular with kids, so you may need to get a little creative in the kitchen. Here are some ideas for incorporating them in meals, snacks and even desserts.
Hummus and crackers are a classic lunchbox snack. Additionally, you can mix pureed legumes with plain yogurt to make a savory dip for carrot sticks and other veggies.
Another way to nosh on legumes is to roast them. Season chickpeas or edamame beans and then cook them in the oven for a crunchier snack that may become as coveted as potato chips.
If your kids don’t like legume salads or lentil soup, you can add navy beans to stews, chickpeas to couscous and kidney beans to white rice. You can also replace some or all of the meat in spaghetti sauce with lentils or make a legume-infused chili.
A great way to make desserts healthier is to substitute a bean puree for some of the ingredients. Pureed black beans make great brownies, for instance. Thanks to their subtle taste, your kids won’t even notice they’re in there.
With a little creativity, you can make legumes a staple of your children’s diet. With the huge variety available, there’s almost an endless array of possibilities.
Scandicraft: the new Nordic design trend
Do you appreciate the clean lines of Scandinavian furniture but also love unique, handcrafted decor? Combine the two esthetics with scandicraft style. This new design trend has all the minimalism of typical Nordic design but leaves room for the unique pieces you’re drawn to.
A scandicraft home is welcoming and makes judicious use of artisanal pieces that are both beautiful and functional. Furniture frequently plays double duty by offering storage space. Accessories like throw pillows and throws are soft and comforting.
Less monochromatic than other Nordic styles, scandicraft welcomes the use of pastels and jewel tones to create a space that you’ll love to come home to. Scandicraft combines clean lines with eccentric, handmade pieces. Show off your personality with a mobile made from salvaged wood or go bohemian with a rattan headboard.
Natural light is very important in Scandinavian design, and this school of decorating is no different. Big windows with little covering are a priority.
Scandicraft also embraces nature, so choose pieces made from natural materials like wood, leather and wool. Hanging plants will complete the look.
What’s old is new again with scandicraft, so combine your flea market treasures with clean and functional Nordic furniture to create a home that’s truly unique.
Is school too easy for my child?
If your child is getting excellent grades and quickly mastering new concepts, you may have a little genius on your hands. If you think school is too easy for them, here’s what you can do.
• Talk to them. Gifted children tend to get bored in class because they feel that the standard learning pace is sluggish. This irritates many of them, and they’re likely to let you know if you ask them about it.
• Talk to their teachers. They’ll notice both your child’s academic performance and any signs of boredom they may be exhibiting. Teachers may also be able to provide more difficult assignments to keep your child engaged.
• Talk to a professional. A psychologist or neuropsychologist can help determine just how gifted your child is, notably by measuring their intelligence quotient (IQ). They can also help you come up with a plan of action regarding your child’s education.
Gifted children who aren’t challenged can lose motivation and become uninterested. That’s why acting early and coming up with a schooling strategy that works for them is key.
Keep in mind that not all gifted children are high achievers. Psychologists suspect that many aren’t identified because they go directly to the uninterested phase and sometimes get misdiagnosed as having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
4 fence design trends of 2019
A fence does more than provide security and privacy. It also shows off your personal style and can add the perfect finishing touch to the overall look of your home and garden. Here are the top fencing trends of 2019 that you should know about.
1. A modern esthetic
Give your yard a contemporary look by installing a fence that uses horizontal boards instead of vertical ones. Keep the design sleek and simple and avoid incorporating ornate embellishments.
2. Dark colors
3. Including plants
Embrace nature by planting wild-looking perennials that will grow along your fence every year. Or, build small shelves into the fence where you can place potted flowers or herbs.
4. Alternative materials
Wood was once the go-to material for fences. Nowadays, low maintenance vinyl or composite can be just as attractive and more affordable to boot. Other fashionable options include stone, brick and metal.
No matter what type of fence you choose, make sure to talk to your neighbor before you begin building it. Not only is this a matter of courtesy, but they may also be willing to share some of the costs.
Hire a contractor
It may be tempting to save money on your new fence by installing it yourself. However, unless you’re an experienced handyman and already own the necessary tools, this is a job best left to the pros.
A fencing contractor has everything needed to quickly and efficiently build your fence. They’re also better able to deal with challenges that may arise during the installation. For instance, rocky or sandy soil may make it hard for fence posts to stay upright, or there may be buried power lines right where your fence needs to go.
A lot of agriculture in your child’s backpack
Kids are heading back to school ready to learn, but parents should ask themselves, are they learning the most basic things – like where their food originates.
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) encourages teachers and parents to make a game of learning about agriculture. “You can start by hunting for it in the kids’ backpacks,” says former teacher Dr. Jewel Bronaugh, now VDACS Commissioner. “It’s everywhere – in their pencils, their clothing and of course, their snacks.”
You may identify:
· Wooden pencils and paper made from trees
· Chalk or glue made with pig by-products
· Cotton gym clothes and socks, or wool sweaters
· Leather shoes
· Paint brushes that contain hair bristles from pigs or cattle
· Hand lotions with lanolin, which is found in sheep’s wool
· Lunch with fruits, vegetables, bread, meats, cheese, milk or a Thermos of chicken noodle soup
“There’s agriculture in the gas tank as well as the backpack,” Bronaugh adds. “The trip to school may have been in the family car powered by ethanol, a clean fuel made from corn, or a school bus powered by biodiesel. Agriculture is all around them, but they may not know that all of these products and so many more come from Virginia’s farms unless you teach them.”
Bronaugh encourages parents to take children to the farm for those quintessential fall activities like picking apples or pumpkins to learn that agriculture also provides intangible benefits that include recreation, tourism, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, improved water quality and soil stabilization.
To make sure the kids don’t stump you with their “what’s that?” questions, parents can download the Ag Spotter’s Guide from the VDACS website so they can tell a tractor from a combine or corn from soybeans: vdacs.virginia.gov/pdf/agspotter.pdf.
Green: the hottest design color of 2019
Both classic and unexpected, green has quickly become the color du jour. From jewel-bright emerald to calming sage, there’s a green for every room and style.
Forest green walls set a solemn tone in an office or reading nook. If a full coat of paint is too much of a commitment, you can integrate this dark color in subtler ways. Opt for it on a lamp, area rug or curtains.
Emerald green will brighten up a small bathroom or add interest to a utilitarian space like a laundry room. In a kitchen, glossy green cabinets are a refreshing change from white. In a living room or den, a mid-century style sofa in this jewel-tone would be a great focal point.
Sage green is relaxing and calm, and would be ideal for a nursery or child’s bedroom.
Kelly green is vibrant and exciting. Consider painting your chairs and table this hue to add a touch of whimsy to your dining room.
Green is very versatile and can work in almost any room. To keep the look fresh and modern, pair it with cool neutrals, and avoid combining it with warm colors like yellow or burgundy.