Tagged: Outdoor Living

  • It's summer vacation season here at terrain, and our team is heading out of the office for adventures around the globe. Our latest traveler, Product & Community Writer Caroline L., recently enjoyed a tropical getaway on Hawai'i's Big Island. She says, "I chose the island of Hawai'i-- often called the Big Island-- because it's home to so many unique sights and experiences. You can relax under the palm trees and nap on white sand beaches, but volcanoes are just an hour away! The Big Island has an incredibly diverse landscape; it's possible to visit 10 distinct climate zones in a day, from tropical rainforest to grassland and (believe it or not!) tundra. I stayed on the dry western side of the island, where most of the land is covered in lava flows-- it really looks like the surface of the moon in some places. The lava comes from the island's active volcanoes, Maunaloa and Kilauea. One of the most remarkable moments of the trip was visiting Kilauea's crater in the evening and seeing the lava inside glow."

    On other parts of the island, Caroline hiked through the rainforest for a peek at towering waterfalls, caught a glimpse of sea turtles napping on the black sand beach, sampled coffee from the famous Kona region, and headed to the coast to take in the view at the southernmost point in the U.S. She adds, "There are even amazing things to see after dark! We went for a night swim with giant manta rays, and visited Mauna Kea-- the island's tallest mountain at nearly 14,000 ft.-- for stargazing at the observatory. And of course we ate our weight in pineapple and macadamia nuts. We did so many different things that the trip felt like five great vacations in one!"

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  • With the summer bonfire season well underway, we're enhancing our twilight gatherings with fragrant fire starters made from our favorite dried herbs. These simple and pretty starters make it easy to get a fire going, and add a hint of herbal sweetness to the smoke. Select a bundle of strongly-scented herbs, then wrap it in natural twine that will burn cleanly-- the dried petals and stems will help kindling catch quickly. We used rosemary, sage, lavender, and mint to create our fire starters, then added sprigs of dried hydrangea for color. However, you can use any herbs that strike your fancy-- we're planning to try lemon thyme at our next evening around the fire pit! 

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  • The Dirt | 2014 | week no. 31

    The Dirt is our version of a weekly link roundup, where we share what's currently capturing our interest around the web. Hope you'll enjoy, and feel free to share what you're reading in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

    Headed on vacation? We’re trying out these tips for taking great travel photos. (via Apartment Therapy)

    A stunning Parisian shop we’d love to visit. (via Gardenista)

    This just might be summer’s most refreshing drink. (via The Kitchn)

    A patriotic peek into gardening history. (via Modern Farmer)

    Expand your garden in an instant with a clever DIY. (via Design*Sponge)

    A Japanese artist's plants take flight into the stratosphere. (via T Magazine)

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  • The Dirt | 2014 | week no. 30

    The Dirt is our version of a weekly link roundup, where we share what's currently capturing our interest around the web. Hope you'll enjoy, and feel free to share what you're reading in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

    Free People stopped by our nursery to make a desert-inspired terrarium. (via Free People)

    Since it’s the season for pick-your-own peaches… (via Creature Comforts)

    NYC’s best spots for summer snacking. (via NY Times)

    A gorgeous wedding bouquet filled with unexpected plants. (via 100 Layer Cake)

    A clever way to bring more vegetables into your kitchen. (via The Kitchn)

    Check out these views! (via WSJ)

    The perfect picnic is one click away. (via Saveur)

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  • Now that our exclusive collection of J. Franklin Field Day games has arrived, we're ready for an afternoon of old-fashioned, backyard fun that includes badminton, bocce, croquet, and more! Click the image above to download our printable sign collection, including a set of Field Day pennants and markers for eight classic games.

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  • New in the Nursery: Flowering Maple

    One of our favorite arrivals to the nursery this month is a subtropical plant called Abutilon. Though commonly known as “Flowering Maple” thanks to its leaf shape, it actually isn’t a maple at all! Belonging to the mallow family, Malvaceae, Flowering Maple offers unique and easy-to-maintain beauty when planted indoors or out. From spring until summer’s end, it puts on a show with bell-like blossoms in hues of white, red, yellow, or blue, while attracting hummingbirds and insects that are beneficial to the garden. Flowering Maples also make great houseplants, thriving in containers that can be put outdoors during the summer months in full to partial sun, and brought back inside before the first frost. If left to grow freely, they can reach up to 10' in height! Lower leaves will begin to drop if the plant is underfed, so be sure to fertilize if you notice signs of decline. Water thoroughly when the weather is hot, but allow the soil to dry out before watering in the winter months. 

    Throughout the season, our plant team highlights their freshest additions to the garden with New in the Nursery. Check in at your local store to take home these newly-arrived blooms.

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  • The Dirt | 2014 | week no. 29

    The Dirt is our version of a weekly link roundup, where we share what's currently capturing our interest around the web. Hope you'll enjoy, and feel free to share what you're reading in the comments. We'd love to hear from you!

    We'd love to take one of these design-focused road trips. (via Apartment Therapy)

    A stunning foraged tablescape for high summer. (via Gardenista)

    Botanical destinations in the City of Light. (via T Magazine)

    Summer cocktails from around the world. Which one would you shake up? (via Serious Eats)

    A clever app for identifying any tree that catches your eye. (via Inhabitat)

    Artist and typographer Dana Tanamachi-Williams is joining us for a pair of workshops in August. In the meantime, take a peek at a day in her life (via Design*Sponge)

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  • What could we love more than a succulent? A whole garden of succulents, of course! Lucky for us, it's easy to grow a collection of these hardy, colorful plants at home via propagation. There are several, simple ways to propagate succulents; we're especially excited to try out these techniques with our new collection of aeoniums. We can't wait to see them sprouting in containers around the house and garden all year long.

    Propagating by Division: This technique, in which new succulents sprout from cuttings, works best with plants that have grown too leggy. To begin, carefully remove any leaves on the stem below the rosette-- wiggle them gently from side to side and make sure to keep the base of the leaf intact. Once all the leaves have been removed, use shears to snip the rosette, leaving a short stem attached. Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days in an empty tray until the raw ends have calloused. Next, the cuttings can be rooted in soil or water. 

    Soil: Once the stems have calloused, fill a shallow tray with well-draining cactus/succulent soil and place the cuttings on top. Within a few weeks, roots and tiny plants will begin to grow from the base of the cuttings. Water minimally until the roots appear, then approximately once a week; be careful to avoid overwatering. Eventually, the "parent" leaf will wither-- remove it carefully, being sure to not damage the new roots. Allow your propagated succulents to take root, then they can be replanted as desired. Avoid placing them in direct sun until the plants are established.

    Water: Once the stem has calloused, rest a cutting on the rim of a glass or jar of water, with the end of the stem just above the surface of the water. Choose a sunny spot for your glass. Over time, the cutting will sprout roots that reach toward the water. Once roots have developed, your new succulent can continue to live in the water (as shown above) or be replanted in succulent potting soil.

    Propagating with Offsets: Many species of succulents-- including aloe, hens and chicks, and some cacti-- will produce offsets, or small plants that grow at the base of the main specimen. Once an offset has grown for 2-3 weeks, check for root development and remove it from the main stem with a sharp knife or snips, or by twisting gently. Be careful to avoid damaging any roots that have already emerged. Follow the steps above for propagating in soil or water, allowing the offsets to dry, form a callous over any open areas, and develop roots before repotting. As a bonus, removing offsets also improves the health of your existing succulents, returning energy to the growth of the main plant.  

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