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Hens and Chicks plant

Growing Hens and Chicks
These are fascinating plants, but I have had a tough time keeping them alive, will have to follow your advice more closely next time!


Pink bleeding heart flowers

How to Grow Old-Fashioned Bleeding...
I love these plants, but have not had luck with them. Thanks for the does make more sense now. I do know that they need lots of water and its difficult to keep up with it when drought conditions roll in. Maybe I need a DIY sprinkler system? Here are...


Chicken wire being used in an outdoor garden.

My Frugal Life: Recycling In the Garden
Great the soda water bottle idea!


A brightly colored oriole at a birdfeeder.

Wildlife: Oriole at the Feeder
Love it. Wish we had such fun birds in our yard...just finches and (my favorite) cardinals.


A close up of a white magnolia blossom

Blooming Magnolia
Wow. Yours is huge! We have one that is about 25 feet high and bloomed in the early spring. It is such a welcome sign of warm weather, enjoy!


Planting pansies

Buying and Transplanting Bedding Plants
One thing to be aware of is that nurseries typically stock plants that have been forced into bloom a little early. While theres nothing wrong with this, you have to realize that when you then plant that rose bush in your own garden it wont bloom as early the...


My Backyard Path

Scenery: My Backyard (Chesterfield, VA)
Looks great. Keep up the good work. I know its hard work!


Raccoon on patio, digging in planter.

Wildlife: Fourth Generation Raccoons (Rancho Palos...
They are sort of cute, as long as they dont get too close. We had a mom and her babies take up residence in our next door neighbors tree (big hole in the trunk), fun to watch, but then they got spooked and went away.


Flowering rock garden

Secrets to a Successful Rock Garden
Great tips...I didnt realize it takes so much planning, so this is good to know.


A mini rose garden with fountain outside.

Garden: Mini Roses And Fountain
Love it. So, do they only get to be a certain size and do you keep them in pots the whole time or eventually move them into the ground?


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My Frugal Garden
I have a few plants, brunnera is one, that self seed, so I let the small ones grow a little during the season then move it in the fall to a more organized location. Lots of free plants that way--I even have enough to give away to friends.


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Paint Colors for Room with Red Sofa?
I like Benjamin Moores desert tan, has a little more yellow than a beige or ivory and is nice with red.



Photo of Butterfly Enjoys Sunshine and Wildflowers

Garden: Butterfly and Wildflowers (Graham, KY)
Love it. They are so fun to watch in the garden. We planted three butterfly bushes last year and they are huge! Heres a good link to what plants you can add to attract butterflies:


Wildlife: Backyard Baby Owl
Wow. What a great site. Hope they return! I just saw this interesting link on owls...from a kids perspective.


Garden Center Butterfly

Wildlife: Butterfly In Garden Center
Wow. Ive never seen one like that before.


Photo of Garden

Garden: Daffodil in Early Spring (Ohio)
Love this picture! Our daffodils did not amount to much this year...will have to do some more bulb shopping in the fall. Does anyone have ideas for where to buy good bulbs or what specific type of daffodils to get that are hardy for zone 5 and make a good show...


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How Do I Get Rid of Slugs?
I use Sluggo, but it is expensive. It is more organic than some of the slug killers, though. I also try to clean out all the dead leaves from around plants, as they love to hide there.


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Prepping Older Kitchen Cabinets for Painting?
One other thought is to take the doors off when doing the painting. Some people dont because it adds step, but you can get to so much more when you do.


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Painting Wood Floors?
Just saw this online and it has some cool photos, too. I wouldnt have thought about painting floors, but it looks great. Just take your time.


How To Grow And Care For Burning Bush
We have regular size burning bushes out front and they really are indestructable. We cut them back drastically every year and they keep growing. Great fall color!


Veggies from small garden.

Six Ways To Get Big Yields From A Small Garden
Great tips...but dont forget the herb garden. This cn be added in almost any garden plan-- dont need much room.


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Salt as Patio Weed Killer
Great idea. Has anyone tried this, if so, its on my spring to do list!


Designing with perennials

Designing With Perennials
I agree with simplifying the color makes the whole patio and yard look unified. I try to stick to 2-3 colors and mix in textures to add some difference. Cant wait until we can really go out and buy flowers again!


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Choosing Paint for Living Room Walls?
I would not use semigloss on the ceiling, as it will show any cracks and you want the attention to be on the walls. Semigloss is usually used in bathrooms. For a living room I would go one sheen down and use a pearl or eggshell--easy to wash, but has more depth...



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Using Your Fireplace for Storage When Not in Use?
Ive seen a lot of the decorative candles in fireplaces. On the cat box suggestion, I doubt we could get our cats to go in there, but its worth a try!


A cat that looks like it has been left behind after a disaster.

Disaster Preparedness for Dogs And Cats
Wow. I never thought of this. Great tips.


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Changing the Color of Roman Shades?
I wouldnt try it. I think the color would not be consistent and it might wear off as you go.


Travel: Chicago, IL
Welcome! I live here and it truly is a great place. The trick is getting through the winter. Hope you enjoyed your stay!


raised vegetable garden bed

Directions for Building Simple Raised Beds
I like the raised bed concept. Thanks for sharing these tips.


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Save Your Butter Wrappers
Wow. Are they save to use in the fire?


Wood ash.

3 Ways to Use Wood Ashes in the Garden
Our contractor swears by putting wood dust in the flower beds. I tried a little last year, but couldnt tell the difference. Doesnt mean it doesnt work, of course, but ...


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What Color Refrigerator Will Coordinate With Bisque Appliances?
I would go with whatever color youll choose when its time to replace the other appliances. I know its hard to think that far ahead, but perhaps stainless or white?


Squirrel on a bird feeder.

How to Keep Squirrels Out of Your Birdfeeder
Great tips. I have a bird feeder that will shut its opening when an animal bigger than a bird sits on it. Works great, but it ends up breaking each year from all the squirrels that try to get in. Oh well.


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Wallpaper Removal?
I would check the container, but its about 1/4 remover to 3/4 water. Just dont leave the remover on the wall too long before stripping off the wallpaper or it will get too dry. Heres another view...using water...worth a try:


Peonies in a vase

Cut Flowers on a Budget
I love hydrangea as cut flowers...every week or so I cut some off of ours in the garden.


A homemade stepping stone with glass pieces and rocks placed in the cement.

Inexpensive Stepping Stones
Great ideas...and much better than the kits you buy which have some questionable ingredients that might not be too healthy for kids to work with.



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Paint Color Advice for a Hunter Green and Oak Kitchen?
I like the tan/cream concept if its the same tone, but obviously much more subtle than the green. Another option is to go with a light green that blends but is 3-4 colors down on the paint chart from the hunter green.


Feeding Birds in Snow

Feeding Birds in Snow
Very creative!


My Frugal Life: Pay As You Go
Love the pay as you go motto. If only we could all live by this.


An electric plug in an outlet.

The Electric Bill Battle
I think I need to walk around the house and start unplugging now. Not sure how much it will save, though.


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How Do I Build a Kitchen Island?
Some stores also sell free standing islands on wheels, so you can move them around and fit them into different places. Ive seen them for about $100 or so, but perhaps craigslist might have some.


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Getting Rid of Mildew on Plaster?
First, make sure that the water leak is identified and fixed. It might be from that bathroom or perhaps a nearby windows or running down from an attic. In terms of the plaster, I would cut out the section, but Im concerned that since its coming back you havent...


Pink rose with dark edges.

Garden: Rose
Amazing. I love roses, especially the climbing ones. My new addition for this year is going to be a butterfly garden. Just saw this article and Im hooked!


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Plastic Knife to Label Plants
Great idea. I also have moved and transplanted and lost things. Every fall I swear that Ill write out a diagram on paper showing where everything is, have started it, but dont know that everything is on there. Oh well!


Flooring, Countertop, and Paint Colors to Down Play Pinkish Cabinets?
I agree about keeping the floor, as its not always an easy job to work around cabinets. I would go with a cranberry or sage in the countertop, depending on how dark you want to go. You could always get that in place and then consider the floor if the transformation...


Young woman smelling a lily.

Garden: Lily
You obviously are in a warmer climate than I am. Im looking at 3 feet of snow on top of my lily bulbs!


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What Color Accessories Will Make a Grey Powder Room Look Larger?
The right shade of yellow, not bright, but muted or desert tan from Benjamin Moore. You could also go with teal or a pale blue.


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Paint Color Ideas for Kitchen with Hickory Cabinets and Blue Countertops?
I think yellow or red would be throwing in too many colors, when you think about the adjacent room. Id be tempted to go with a darker cream/golden tan, assuming it would go with the taupe next door. Or, perhaps go few shaded lighter or darker than the blue...


A dishwasher running with wine glasses in the top.

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent
Im about to try the vinegar portion of this to help get rid of the white film on some glasses. If that doesnt work, Ill get more intense with a homemade recipe! Lots of work, though.


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Brightening Cabinet Finish Without Stripping?
Have you thought about painting them? Its a bit of work, but can totally change the room. Heres a good link with details:


Garden greenhouse

Gardening With Greenhouses
Id love a greenhouse, but space is an issue. I wonder how small you can go?


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Hide Cluttered Shelves
Ive done this with curtains and it also dresses up the room. Just make sure youve thinned out your belongings before hiding them, though. Otherwise, youre not getting rid of the overall problem.


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Calculating the Amount of Paint Needed to a Paint a House
One savings tip is to sign up for a contractors discount at your local paint store. Tell them you are doing a lot of painting and you can typically receive 15 to 20 percent off. Youll be buying good paint at a discount.


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Protecting Roses from Winter Temperatures and Wind?
After the first frost, mound about 6 inches of mulch around the base, then put up stakes around the area and put up burlap to make a wind screen. Not to tight, as you want air to circulate, but that will help. Dont cut back roses now, as the canes wont be able...


Help With Furniture Placement?
I would move the TV to the wall on the left of where it is now. Youll free up floor space. Then put a corner storage unit (I realize its narrow, but every little bit helps) in that corner where the TV is now. The area formed by the 99 and 97 walls could be...


Planting bulbs.

Tips and Techniques for Planting Bulbs
I also add a little marker in the soil so I remember what is planted where. You think youll remember, but the winter has a way of erasing your memory! Also, dont forget to divide large bulbs.


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Display Photos Under Glass
Great idea--then the photos dont get all bent from people touching them.


Reporting Errors on Your Credit Card Bills

Reporting Errors on Your Credit Card Bills
Boy, I never thought about a merchant adding a few dollars to the charge. Ill have to check more carefully from now on!


Apple cider vinegar being used as a pesticide wash.

Frugal Uses for Vinegar
Great ideas. I use it in the wash and it does make a difference.


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Pin Sponges to Your Pants
Im assuming you mean dry sponges...just kidding...thanks for the tip!


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Compost Leaves
We started doing this last year and this summer we had the equivalent of about 4 bags of leaf mulch-- for free. Just make sure you turn it over with a rake now and then as that will help speed along the decomposition.


Buying, Storing, and Burning Firewood

Buying, Storing, and Burning Firewood
Also be careful of some of the wood sold at the big boxes. You dont know how long theyve been sitting in the back. Im allergic to mold and put a bundle of wood in my cart and instantly felt a reaction coming on, maybe others wont be as sensitive, but check...


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What Color Should I Paint My Kitchen Walls?
It could work, but youre adding some contrast. I would also consider a tan/cream in the same tones as the cabinets, but lighter, as long as it matches the back splash, though. Thats the tricky part. Get a few samples and paint them on a poster board and live...


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Winterizing Hibiscus?
My neighbor (in Chicago) just brings hers in and put it in a sunny spot and it does fine. I would make sure to spray it off so youre not brining in bugs, though.


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Add Storage By Going Up
Ive seen some cool shelving in bathrooms that follows this concept. Look upward! Also, make sure you divide space horizontally and vertically in closets.


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Use Your Leaves As Winter Mulch
We also make a pile in the back of the yard and let it turn into mulch (by the next summer, takes a while to decompose). Great way to save on the mulch bill!


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Add Vinegar to Plaster
Great idea, but will it affect the long term stability of the mud?


Top Ten Secrets of a Handyman

Top Ten Secrets of a Handyman
Thanks for the vinegar solution! My showerhead needs it!


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Will Painted Countertops and Tile Withstand Heavy Use?
It always comes down to trade offs and how much money is in the budget. If youre looking to stretch what you have for a year, the painting with a poly sealer would do. Perhaps then you start saving for a new countertop so that is in the works.


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Burning Bush Does Not Turn Red?
I just saw a thread on this and their thoughts were that it needed more sun or was a different variety of euonymous. Another thought is to take a few leaves into a local nursery and see what they can tell you.


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Planting Lilac Bushes?
Just remember that they need at least 6 hours of sun to really do well. We had ours too shaded and it just didnt work.


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Paint Advice for Bedroom with Soft Sage Carpet?
I tend to think of sage as a green/gray color, which might not work with blue. If the color has some blue in it, go with a color that is a few shades lighter. Other options are cranberry or cream, which both go well with sage.


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Painting a Faux Finish on Tile Backsplash?
You can, but just realize that the more coats you have, the more it changes the color. Sometimes thats good, but you can take it away from the base color too much. I would try it in one small area, then live with it for a few days and see what you think. Heres...


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Paint and Floor Color Advice for Kitchen?
The main thing is to figure out where you want the emphasis to be. If its the purple color, then go with paint colors that are a shade or two lighter or darker than the cream. For the floor tiles, go with a lighter shade of the cream or a coordinating color...


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Save Excess Water for Houseplants
Great idea. I try to do this when running water in the sink to get it hot, but I only catch a little each time.


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Getting Rid Of Trumpet Vines?
Am I the only one who likes them? I keep mine trimmed back, trim it a few times each year, and it is great. But, if you dont want it, try Round Out, unless you have other plants in the area. Or, put a tarp over it or put an ad on to...


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Hydrangea Leaves Turning Yellow?
You may be overwatering, so I would cut back for a few days to see if it helps. I would make sure you are watering the base of the plant and not the leaves. Is there enough space between the plants for circulation? For the holes, its probably slugs, so get...


Muddy Shoe Station
Interesting idea, but where does it drain and then you still need a rug or something to put the shoes on when they dry?


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Overwintering Potted Plants?
Im trying it with gaura and a few other plants. If you have pets (particularly cats), just make sure that the plants are not poisonous, lilies are a big no-no for cats, as are a lot of others. Heres a list of poisonous plants if anyone needs it: http://www...


Grass seed being put down on top soil.

Spot Seeding Your Lawn
Ive had good luck adding peat moss on top to retain moisture and keep those pesky birds from eating the grass seed!


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Removing Wallpaper?
The trickiest part if getting that thin paper stuff off the back, but keep working on it. Ive used DIF and it works fine as long as you let it sit on the paper for 15 minutes or so, but not too long or it dries.


sample swatch

Paint Color, Curtains, and Rug to Coordinate With New Couch?
I would use the blue/gray or tan/cream for the walls and the other for the sheers, but not necessarily in a singular color. Look for ones that have a slight pattern or texture to them so they have some visual weight to blend with the furniture.


Propagating Lilies From Scales
Worth a shot, anyway. Ive tried planting bulblets, but they havent worked. Perhaps our Chicago climate is too cold for those little things.


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Saving Land That is Being Washed Away?
I agree with the other post, particularly about the rocks. You could try calling a few construction companies, as they sometimes have boulders that they have to haul away and they might donate it to you. Otherwise, call a local extension office or talk with...


Keeping a White Rock Garden Clean?
See if you can find old dry cleaning bags to use as tarps, many people throw those away and this would be a good way to recycle them. As long as you dont have plants growing underneath, youre fine.


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Covering Your Walls With Fabric?
I think it would hurt the paneling.


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Attaching Window Boxes to a Shed?
I would check at a home improvement or hardware store, they sell brackets that should work.


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Skim Coating Walls?
Yes...yes...yes. It is tedious, but well worth it in the end. Also make sure you repair any holes and cracks. Just saw an interesting thread on that:


A butterfly on a flower.

Butterfly On Flower
Fabulous. Weve added butterfly bushes and they really do attract them. Heres more:


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Paint Colors for Bathroom with Harvest Gold Fixtures?
I also think light colors would be best. Coordinate with the shower curtain.


blue watering can and houseplant

How Tap Water Can Damage Your...
Wow. Good to know--thanks!


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Removing Rust From Tools
Not sure if I want to use kerosene, how about just steel wool? Will that do it?


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Paint Color Advice for Kitchen With Light Oak Cabinets?
How about a cream/tan or go into the sage area.


Closeup of several roses in bloom.

Garden: Roses
Fabulous. Is it fragrant?


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