Summer ‘Christmas’ Tree

So it’s not Christmas of course. But who would of thought to use your Christmas tree during the summer. Here the designer used white lights, sunflowers, yellow bulbs and champagne colored ribbons to make garland and little bows. Heck, if you have have the room you should just go for it. The skirt is made from potato sack material and a cinch bag was placed besides the tree to give it a finished appearance.

Summery Backyard DIY Projects That Are Borderline Genius

Source: 70 Summery Backyard DIY Projects That Are Borderline Genius – DIY & Crafts

Flowering Shrubs Guide By Guest Writer FlowersByPost.Org.UK

Flowering Shrubs GuideThere are quite a few flowering shrubs which can make your garden look particularly pretty and any landscape much more appealing. If you live in a temperate region, it’s easier to grow and take care of such a shrub. The following list is based on the seasonal interest of each flowering shrub. This interest is not only based on the blooms of the shrub, but also on their shape, branching pattern and any other striking peculiarity. The blooming times of the following shrubs vary depending on the region they are growing at. Most people purchase flowering shrubs that they can enjoy all year long so this is the main focus of the list as well.

Spring Flowering Shrubs: There are many lovely shrubs which are in bloom in spring, so it won’t be hard to pick one. Forsythia is a shrub with bright yellow blooms which will beautify your garden from the very first days of spring. Some growers even use methods for forcing the flowers to bloom before spring has come. Some of the most famous flowering shrubs are azaleas and rhododendrons, with some of their types being evergreen. Another popular choice is the lilac, which is a late-comer, but it’s one of the perfect heralds of spring. The lilac has a lovely scent, whose aroma floats in the air everywhere around it and it’s quite recognizable all over the world. Its pretty petals will make your garden a true fairytale spot.

Summer Flowering Shrubs: If you live to the south, you can enjoy the blooms of the mountain laurel, a symbol of the transition from spring to the warmest season. In areas Flowering Shrubs Guide2where the laurel is native to, it can be mostly found in the forests. Another flowering shrub for the summer is the Rose of Sharon, which is in bloom in the second half of summer. The shrub is related to the Hibiscus, but its blossoms are not as large.

Some of these flowering shrubs double in fall and winter too – not devoid of interest. With outstanding autumn colours they add beauty to every landscape.

Fall Shrubs: Shrubs may be smaller than trees, but in autumn it rarely matters, as these following types look lovely. The Viburnum shrub produces white blooms in spring and attractive fall foliage too. They also have clusters of bluish berries which makes them even prettier. The Oakleaf Hydrangea is all about its beautiful clusters of white flowers during the summer. In Fall, on the other hand, its foliage turns purple, red or orangey-bronze – the perfect autumn colours for your garden.

Winter shrubs: Perhaps winter is not the best season for plants, shrubs and flowers, but it shouldn’t result in you neglecting your garden. In terms of landscape interest it’s quite poor, so the focus is usually on the unusual branching patterns. One of the examples of a winter shrub with Flowering Shrubs Guide3a peeling bark is the oakleaf hydrangea, thus making the shrub a triple winner – popular in summer, fall and winter. Another shrub worth a mention is Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. Because of its rather unusual branching pattern this shrub is often called “contorted filbert” and “corkscrew hazel”. Many people who have this shrub in their garden his shrub in their garden decorate it for Christmas and New Year’s. It’s a good prop for hanging Halloween lanterns and decoration as well.

Sierra Mist Pink Watermelonade

Found this incredibly tasty looking drink and just had to share. I remember one time when my son and I were at The International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque, NM and we shared a watermelon drink over ice and this reminded me of that occasion. The memories of seeing the hundreds of hot air balloons at the show for the first time and the watermelon drink were fantastic. Now I will surprise him with this drink one afternoon when he gets home from school and see if it brings back the same memories that we once shared.

Going Green – Reinsulation

Homeowners seeking to pad their homes and wallets should consider re-insulation projects that maximize energy efficiency year-round. Simple, energy-saving practices will not only reduce heating and cooling bills every month, but also will result in a higher tax return next year.

The federal government expanded the scope of a tax credit program that rewards homeowners for energy-efficiency improvements, giving homeowners a prime opportunity to increase their homes’ efficiency. Homeowners are eligible to receive a 30 percent federal tax credit up to $1,500 for weatherization improvements in their homes through Dec. 31, 2010. And as far as energy-efficient improvements are concerned, re-insulation is a smart solution for the near and short term.

“Most of the steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency in the cooler winter months are equally as effective in the warmer summer months, when the thermal flows are simply reversed,” said Bohdan Boyko, building science manager with GreenFiber, a natural-fiber insulation company. In most areas of the country, he notes, winter has the greatest temperature differences between inside and outside temperatures, but in either situation — summer or winter — a properly insulated home is one that will help cut energy bills, lower the home’s carbon footprint and help keep a family comfortable.

Homeowners can find information on the benefits of re-insulation, including R-Value education, how to’s and tax credit information from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, at http://www.greenfiber.com.

Older homes or homes where current insulation is inadequate can benefit from attic air sealing, duct sealing, attic insulating and side wall insulating. Because the insulation is literally “blown in” through a tube, it can reach high crevices and deep places in walls.

Whatever insulation you choose, re-insulation is one of the best ways to reduce your home’s energy use.