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Best of Home & Garden 2017

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What’s Trending?: Expert Landscaping Tips

Given the Sunshine State’s generally hot climate for the majority of the calendar year, the start of spring has no real effect on the weather in Orlando—except to make it even hotter. Instead, local landscapers and designers are noticing a wide variety of trends that homeowners are taking advantage of this year. Whether it’s plant life, amenities or hardscaping, the latest... Read More

Growing Up: Vertical Gardening Is Fun for All Ages

Vertical gardens are sprouting up everywhere, from hip retail spaces to restaurant walls. Why is this trend growing so fast? Hanging pots filled with colorful flowers can beautify a bare wall, and stacked planters positioned along a fence or property line can create privacy. This space-saving gardening method also reduces the need to weed and keeps pests away from valuable veggies.... Read More

How Doesn’t My Garden Grow?

“I do not garden! I am not going to help you and I will not referee. If you want a garden, you need to do it alone or figure out a way to work together,” I snapped as I slammed the door in the face of my children’s enthusiasm. Yikes—did I really just say that? And, more importantly, did my words carry over the back fence to the greenthumbed mom with the lovely garden and... Read More

How to Plant a Butterfly Garden

I remember the first time a butterfly landed on my daughter’s hand. She was three years old, and she stood very still and gazed at the beautiful, winged creature. With their multitude of colors and feather light touch, butterflies are magical. How about adding a little magic to your garden this spring? A butterfly garden can create a wonderful opportunity for your children to... Read More

Ready, Set, Grow!

Dig into fun family food with square foot gardens The sunshine-filled days of spring are perfect for burying your hands in the dirt of a garden. Planning a vegetable garden as a family is a great way to reduce your grocery bill, get some fresh air and exercise, and create lasting memories. Square foot gardening  If you’re new to gardening, a square foot garden is a great place... Read More

How to Build a Hydroponic Garden

Hydroponics is a specialized type of gardening that grows plants in soil-free nutrient solutions. An economical, environmentally friendly, and sustainable way to produce food, hydroponic gardens are grown in a controlled environment; therefore hydroponic gardeners only need basic agriculture skills. Try recycling a Styrofoam box into a low-cost hydroponic garden to produce fresh... Read More

Backyards Aren’t Just for Orange Trees Anymore

Worried about citrus greening disease and canker? Cheer up! Though the orange is recognized as Florida’s state fruit, home gardeners have other options when it comes to backyard crops. Citrus is the most common fruit grown in Central Florida, but it’s certainly far from the only choice to produce a home orchard. There are numerous types of delicious, nutritious fruit that can... Read More

From Fairytales to Waterfalls: Unearthing Mother Nature’s Playground

With the school year soon coming to an end, it’s time to spruce up learning opportunities right in your own backyard. Transform an ordinary outdoor space into a captivating, natural wonderland and you’ll harness the curiosity and imagination of your children in a whole new way. With a little ingenuity, you can create a multi-sensory landscape that provides your children with... Read More

Psychedelic Flower-Power Pots


These colorful plant holders are far-out, man! Plenty of summer days left, so there’s still time to plant a pretty petunia in this groovy pot and enjoy some fab flowers. What you’ll need: Terra cotta pot –  use a 6 or 8 inch pot Terra cotta pot sealer – found at the hardware store in the gardening section near the pots Acrylic paints – assorted colors Brushes Clear glass... Read More

Bagel with Seeds…A Treat That’s, Literally, for the Birds!


Make a feeder for your feathered friends. They’ll be all a-twitter. Our backyard birds need a snack too, you know. These bird feeders are cute as can be, and easy for little hands to make! What you will need: ½ bagel 1 teaspoon peanut butter (smooth or crunchy – birds like both!) 1 teaspoon shortening Birdseed in a shallow bowl or plate A small dowel, green plant stake, or... Read More

Get Out and Grow!


Creating a Family Garden – Education and fun in the great outdoors How many times have you begged your kids to go outside and play, only to have them whine, “But, Moooomm, there’s nothing to do…” With Xbox, Wii, and iPods, we can’t deny that our kids are living in a mind-numbing world of digital sensory overload. Are you looking for a way  to unplug them from their... Read More

Going Green with Homemade Container Gardens


Self-Watering, Low Maintenance, and Impressive Produce How would you like to grow fabulous vegetables without having to worry about weeding, watering, or pests? Your kids won’t believe how much fun it is to grow and harvest food that’s fun to eat. We won’t tell them the veggies are good for them, if you don’t. Here’s how to construct a self-watering planter to hold your... Read More