There’s not much to be done in our gardens in late July. It’s too hot outside to plant or fertilize or amend the soil. Do plan on making a weekly check of the irrigation systems, making repairs and adjusting timers if necessary-harvesting regularly and cleaning up fallen fruits and vegetables-and monitoring for pest insects, including the fairly recent stinkbug arrivals, the Bagrada bug and the leaffooted bug, both of which suck the juices out of ripe fruits. (Check on the UC Davis website, http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu for photos of the stinkbugs and their damage).
"Conran on Colour," the latest tome from English designer Terence Conran (who has authored more than 50 books) starts by stating the obvious: "Colour is one of the most dynamic elements in design and decoration." But get past the superfluous intro, and you'll find a full palette of inspiring ideas - in both text and especially image. A few takeaways:
Summer is a time for hot weather and hot trends. There are a number of trends this summer in home decor that may appeal to you to help spice up your home. While summer is typically a time of bright colors, it doesn't have to be - many of the current trends this summer area mix trendy and traditional.
When the dog days of summer roll around, heat makes your garden take a break from flowering. Thanks to the late breeder Dr. Donald Egolf at the U.S. National Arboretum, you can fill this color void with two fabulous dog day bloomers in their new and improved varieties. Since the 1950s, Egolf worked hard to breed superior forms of two beloved old plants, shrub althea and crape myrtle. Both are hallmarks of the South, but improved hybrids from the arboretum make it possible to enjoy both just about everywhere.
It may not be a look for all homeowners or even a way to decorate your entire house. But the bohemian style, which first emerged in early 19th-century France when artists moved into less affluent Parisian neighborhoods, offers an artistic, freestyle bent, according to designer, stylist, blogger and DIY-er Justina Blakeney in her recently published book, "The New Bohemians" (Abrams, 2015). We talked with Blakeney from her new home, a Spanish-style "jungalow," in a Los Angeles neighborhood filled with lush plantings and near the Los Angeles River. "It's only 1,100 square feet, and all the rooms are small, but it's my new 'wet canvas,' which allows me to add my sense of color, pattern and plants, the three key ingredients for any bohemian aesthetic," she says. Blakeney shared more about how to achieve the bohemian look in an interview; here are her condensed comments.
Q: Dear Ed, I want to add a steam unit to our master bathroom shower stall. Outside of having the steam unit installed, are there any other issues that we need to think about when adding a steam shower to a bathroom?
Have you ever suffered from art-hanging paralysis? Frozen by a nagging fear that if you try to hang your lovely pieces of art, it will look bad or wrong? You're not alone. For some reason, many of us are afraid to take hammer and nail in hand and get going on those big, empty walls. To my husband's dismay, I have the opposite problem. I just start pounding. If I don't like what I see, I pull out the nail and pound away in a new place. (For that reason, I usually wait until he leaves to hang my artwork - it's easier on his nerves!)
When August arrives, the frenzy of summer activities starts to relax. The summer checklist is beginning to fill up ... vacation - check; summer camp - check; pool parties, sleepovers and playdates - check, check, check. August is the perfect time to relax a little with some good old-fashioned paper crafting at home.