Home & Garden Green Living

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    Do you ever look over your garden in the summer and wish you could bring it all indoors for the winter? I miss the green like crazy once it gets cold out. Of course, there are house plants. But if you're feeling like you may miss some of your favorite outdoor plants, good news. Many plants are fairly flexible about living indoors or outdoors. 

    To thrive indoors, most of these plants will need full sun. If you don't have a large window space, especially a south- or west-facing window, special florescent plant lights will work, too.

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    You've heard composting will save the world -- or will save us all from our garbage and feed our gardens, anyway. But isn't it smelly? Doesn't it attract pests? Isn't it just a complicated hassle for hippies? Well, maybe I'm kind of a hippie, but I've been composting for over a decade. And if a flake like me can do it right, anyone can. It's actually easier than you think.

    Here are 7 tips for turning your kitchen scraps into a rich, nutrient-dense fertilizer your garden will love.

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    A garden is an amazing wonderland for children. There's so much to learn from plants, from smelling, touching, growing, and even tasting them. But not all plants are friendly to kids. Especially if you have a curious baby or toddler exploring your yard, you'll want to be extra watchful of them when they're near plants that are poisonous. 

    Keep in mind, nature has its own defense mechanism to help protect your kids. Babies and children are extra sensitive to bitter tastes and will usually spit out toxic plants they taste, says landscaper Lisa Cangialosi of When In Bloom

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    Nobody starts out wanting their garden to die on them over the summer. But somehow it just ... happens. You begin with the best intentions, watering regularly and making all your plants happy. And then all hell breaks loose. The kids are out of school, you're always out at some activity, you go away on vacation, and it's just too hot to work in the yard. By summer's end your paradise is a disheveled graveyard where beautiful botanical dreams go to die.

    I know. It's happened to me. But there's hope! Here are 8 clever hacks that make summer gardening so much easier. This is how to not let your yard die on you this year.

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    Walk into any garden store and you may notice something: Most plants are divided into two groups, annuals and perennials. So what's the difference between the two? Is one better than the other? And with so many different kinds of flowers, how on Earth do you pick any?

    The main difference between the two groups are as follows: Perennials usually come back every spring or summer without having to be replanted. Annuals usually die once temperatures drop in the fall or winter. There are some exceptions -- an annual in a cooler region may be a perennial in a warmer region. Plants come with tags that tell you what to expect.

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    So! You've been admiring your neighbors' beautiful gardens for years and decided this is the year: You're going to take up gardening. Hooray, you're going to love it! I hope? I love gardening, anyway. Your green-thumb happiness level depends on what kind of start you get, though. First thing to keep in mind is to start small your first year. You can get more ambitious each year as your build your expertise and confidence. Let's get you going with some simple guidelines that will hopefully minimize frustration and maximize your efforts.

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    When I initially saw seedlings sprouting from eggshells, I thought they looked cute, but I wasn't sure why someone would go to the trouble of planting seeds this way. Growing plants inside eggshells seemed a little over the top, but once I realized people were doing this as a clever way to transport sprouting plants into their garden, it made perfect sense. Once transported, the eggshell actually feeds your garden!

    It's also helpful for people interested in growing herbs indoors, but don't have a garden. Growing them from an egg carton is a space saver and it's ecological and it can make for a lovely centerpiece.

    With this in mind, I grabbed a carton of eggs, top soil, and seeds and started my project!

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    Home decorators and ordinary mortals who just love to jazz up their rooms are going bonkers for vintage-looking, slightly distressed wood furniture that has the added bonus of being eco-friendly. The phrase on everyone's lips is "reclaimed wood," which appears in so many luxury furniture catalogs that it has become really difficult to distinguish between this type of lumber and every other wood on Earth.

    So, what exactly is reclaimed wood? And why is it so darn special?

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    Imagine a cabin made of glass in the woods where you can watch the sunset blaze with glory every single night. A young artist couple made that dream come true. Nick Olson (27) and Lila Horowitz (23) built a cabin with one wall made entirely of windows. They made the whole thing by hand for only $500. It's their warm-weather retreat, not their primary home, and there's no electricity or plumbing. But it's a marvel. The best part is how they got all those windows.

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    How far will you go to save money at home? Probably not as far as this couple is going. Karissa and Rick Parran share a level of intimacy that goes beyond even that of Aaron Paul and Lauren Parsekian, and it's a whole lot less sexy, too. As you'll see in the clip from TLC's Extreme Cheapskates show, they share everything, including dental floss. I don't mean that they share the same box of dental floss -- I mean Karissa uses a string of floss and then hands it over to Rick to re-use.

    You may now commence writhing in disgust. Eww! Wait, there's more ... 

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