Dog-Scape Your Yard

In the garden and in life, dogs are our best pals, plus, they’re the only ones who ever seem to help us weed! So, thank them by dogscaping and create a yard that’s dog-friendly to keep them happy, healthy and out of trouble.

Create a Landscape of Wagging Tails and Happy Dogs:

  1. Safe Paws, Safe Pets. Dogs love your lush, green lawn. The chemicals used in many lawn fertilizers and products aren’t safe for pets or people for that matter. Keep dogs’ paws safe, happy and healthy by reading and following package directions on your lawn products.
  2. Munching on Mulch. Since dogs often eat mulch, choose one that’s non-toxic and pet-safe. Avoid cocoa mulch, and any mulch that has essential oils, resins or chemical insecticides.
  3. Mend the Fence. Whether you choose electric or wooden, fences prevent dogs from running away and keep them safe. Check for holes, gaps, breaks or broken latches. And, fence off pools, ponds and fire pits to prevent injuries.
  4. Let Them Play! Make a doggy-dream spot by picking an area in the shade and fill it with their favorite toys.
  5. Keep them Cool. Add a pool! A kiddie pool is cheap, loads of fun and protects dogs from the summer heat. Want it a bit more hidden? Dig out an area to create a pseudo in-ground pool, so only the top 1-2” is exposed. You can fence in the area if you please.
  6. Dig It. If your dog is frequently digging up your favorite flowers, create a dog-friendly dig spot. Pick a spot and put a border around it using rocks or bricks. Then, fill with loose dirt or sand. Bury a few toys and bones here to introduce the area. Reward your pup with treats when they dig here.

Do you hear that? It’s the distant, but unmistakable sound of your dog’s tail wagging! Congrats, your dog officially has the coolest, safest yard in the neighborhood.

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Wardian Cases

In the 1800’s what we now call terrariums were very popular. Interest in the hobby faded then returned in the 1970’s, only to fade again. We are now in the middle of a renewed interest in indoor gardening. This article from 1883 proves that the old saying “everything old is new again” still rings true. If you look at the original pjicture that came with this story, you will notice that it is very similar to a fish tank. Now that the fish have died you have something to use that tank for.

Excerpt from Gardening for Pleasure, a Classic Reprint from Algrove Publishing Ltd. (originally published in 1883).

Plant cases for the growth of plants that require a moist, still atmosphere are numerous. The form commonly known as the Wardian case has glass all around the sides and top, the top being hinged to allow the escape of excess moisture.

The plants grown in this way are of kinds valued for their beauty of foliage rather than for their flowers, and should be of a slow growth. All rampant growing plants, such as coleus, are unsuited.

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A Pumpkin-Carving Primer

Nothing embodies the spirit of Halloween better than a brightly glowing jack-o'-lantern. Whether you opt to carve an elaborate design, or a simple — yet equally charming — pattern, here are some tricks on how to do it easily and safely.


While many people are adept at using their own kitchen utensils, you may consider wearing inexpensive slash-resistant gloves while carving, especially if you have a young assistant. Once the carving begins, the pumpkin surface can become quite cheap generic Cialis slippery, which increases your risk of injury. You may also choose to give young carvers saw-toothed plastic knives instead; these should slice through the pumpkin with ease.

Some craft and department stores carry pumpkin-carving kits in a range of prices at this time of the year. With their short blades, craft knives work well and are more easily controlled than a kitchen knife.

Read more: A Pumpkin-Carving Primer

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Freezing Summer Favorites

Tomatoes can be stewed or cooked down into sauce before freezing, but the easiest thing to do, when they are overflowing from the veggie patch, is to freeze them whole. Wash and core ripe, firm, un-bruised tomatoes of uniform size then place them, in a single layer, on a baking sheet in the freezer and leave until frozen solid. Once frozen, transfer them to freezer bags. To use for cooking, simply shower them with a spray of warm water to thaw and slide the skins off. Stuffed tomatoes can be prepped and baked in quantity and then frozen for later use; see recipe below. Gently washed herbs can also be freeze-dried on baking sheets, and then bagged for freezer storage. For herbs that you will likely add to sauces or soups, freeze them in ice cube trays. This can make for even more convenience later if you measure a set quantity, say one teaspoon, into each compartment of the tray. Fill the remaining space with water then freeze. When frozen solid, place the cubes into freezer bags or containers, being sure to note the quantity of herb per cube. For basil lovers, try making pesto and then freezing it - with 1 tablespoon per cube - no water needed. Pesto cubes, like the herb ice cubes, are perfect for tossing one or two at a time into soups for a burst of fresh flavor or for thawing in larger quantities for pasta or pizza topping.

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