Thứ Năm, 31 tháng 8, 2023

Will Wildfire Smoke Harm Your Outdoor Plants?

As wildfires and their resulting smoke become more prevalent in various parts of the United States and Canada, garden enthusiasts might be wondering about the effects of wildfire smoke on their outdoor plants. We've gathered advice from horticulture experts on how to keep your garden safe from wildfire smoke, both before it arrives and after it dissipates:

Before Wildfire Smoke Arrives:

1. Re-Hydrate Plants Post-Smoke:

  • Wildfire smoke can scatter light, reducing the amount that reaches plants and slowing their photosynthetic process.
  • Ensure your plants are well-hydrated before the smoke arrives; it helps them cope with the stress from the extra heat and smoke.
  • Container plants might need more water, especially in hot and dry weather.

2. Give Your Garden a Rinse:

  • If your plants collect dust or ash from heavy smoke, use a hose to rinse them off.
  • This will reduce stress and provide your plants with extra moisture.

3. Keep an Extra Eye on Precious Plants:

  • Use floating row covers or frost cloth to protect sensitive plants like fruits, vegetables, and annual flowers.
  • However, be cautious not to keep these covers on for too long, as they can compound the reduced sunlight exposure.

After Wildfire Smoke Clears:

1. Re-Hydrate Plants:

  • If your plants look dry after the smoke has cleared, give them a little more water to help them bounce back.

2. Give Your Garden a Rinse:

  • Continue to rinse off plants that collected dust or ash during the smoke.

3. Keep an Extra Eye on Precious Plants:

  • If you used row covers, remove them once the smoke has dissipated to avoid prolonged light reduction.

Additional Tips:

  • Artificial Light: Adding artificial light can counteract the lack of sunlight caused by the smoke, especially for more delicate plants. Consider using supplemental LEDs in greenhouses or for indoor plants that need the extra light.

  • Pollinators: Pollinators like bees won't face long-term harm due to smoke. Although they may temporarily disappear during heavy smoke, they'll return once the air clears.

Remember that while wildfire smoke might stress your plants temporarily, they will typically bounce back once conditions improve. Ensuring your plants are well-hydrated and providing them with appropriate care can help them recover and thrive after exposure to smoke.

9 Ways to Make Your Home Feel Like a Modern Resort

To bring the tranquil ambiance of a vacation to your home, Newport Beach interior designer Raili Clasen suggests a range of ideas that can transform your living spaces into a modern resort. Here are her tips for creating a relaxing and inviting atmosphere:

1. Get Away in Your Own Backyard:

  • Designate a special outdoor space that feels like a magical getaway.
  • Hang paper lanterns or woven pendants under the patio to create a whimsical atmosphere.
  • Consider placing a dining table in the most lush part of your garden and stringing lights for an enchanting setting.

2. Bring the Outdoors Inside:

  • Install bi-fold windows and doors to seamlessly connect indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Open up a wall of doors to a patio or garden to make your home feel brighter and breezier.
  • Use bi-fold windows in the kitchen to create a link to the backyard, and place an outdoor bar under the window for easy access.

3. Plant a Picture-Perfect Garden:

  • Transform narrow spaces between windows and fences into captivating views.
  • Opt for tall cacti, blooming succulents, native flower bushes, or even trees to enhance the view.
  • Create a green backdrop that adds depth and beauty to your indoor space.

4. Open Up the Bar:

  • Make your bar a focal point in the living or dining room, reminiscent of a hotel lobby.
  • Dedicate one side of the wall to open shelving for displaying bottles, glassware, tools, and garnishes.
  • Incorporate color or pattern with painted shelves or graphic wallpaper behind the bar area.

5. Layer in Some Stripes:

  • Infuse your space with a coastal resort vibe by adding wood siding with alternating blue stripes.
  • Achieve the look affordably using MDF panels or plywood planks.
  • Consider installing striped wallpaper for a similar nautical feel.

6. Add a Warm Welcome:

  • Create a friendly atmosphere with welcoming greetings on floors, decks, or walls.
  • Paint words onto surfaces using stencils and durable oil paint for a lasting effect.
  • Personalize your home's exterior with metal house letters or framed posters with fun messages.

7. Make a Wall Feel Magical:

  • Incorporate oversized art, such as a mural or blown-up photograph, for a resort-like ambiance.
  • Choose high-resolution images that evoke the location or destination you want to emulate.
  • Transform a photograph into a captivating focal point using printing services like Canvas Champ.

8. Take a Dip in a "Spool":

  • Consider installing a "spool," a compact spa-pool hybrid that can be heated or cooled.
  • Utilize pool floats, lounge chairs, and umbrellas for a complete resort experience.
  • Enhance your outdoor space by adding an outdoor shower with hot water and towel hooks.

9. Don't Skimp on Seating:

  • Create a comfortable and inviting atmosphere with ample seating options.
  • Opt for soft, light fabrics and consider wall-to-wall sectionals and sofas.
  • Include flexible furniture like ottomans and poufs for intimate conversations and versatile arrangements.

With Raili Clasen's expert advice, you can transform your home into a vacation-inspired retreat that offers relaxation, beauty, and functionality for both residents and guests.

Creating a child-friendly garden design

Designing a child-friendly garden involves creating a space that caters to the needs and interests of children of all ages. Here are the key elements and tips for designing a garden that is safe, enjoyable, and inspiring for children:

1. Space to Run:

  • Design pathways and open areas that encourage running and movement.
  • Consider circular or winding paths that provide a fun and engaging experience.
  • Incorporate plants as screens to create hidden corners for imaginative play.
  • Use mown paths or recycled materials for unique textures underfoot.

2. Space to Hide:

  • Create hiding spots that evolve with a child's growth.
  • For toddlers, hideaways should be visible to adults but feel secret for children.
  • Consider options like dens, tree houses, canopy tents, or platforms tucked behind trees.
  • For teenagers, design spaces that offer privacy, comfort, and a place to socialize with friends

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3. Space to Share:

  • Include a shared space where family members can gather after spending time in their individual areas.
  • This could be a dining space or a cozy corner with seating around a fire pit.
  • Involve family members in decorating the shared space with outdoor cushions, bunting, candles, and flower arrangements.

4. Space to Learn:

  • Create opportunities for creative learning in the garden.
  • Provide a blackboard, covered sand tray, or outdoor art easel for artistic expression.
  • Foster creativity with areas for digging, planting, and decorating.
  • Introduce children to planting from a young age to engage them with nature and encourage responsibility.

5. Space to Discover:

  • Allow children to safely explore and interact with the natural environment.
  • Provide opportunities for observing wildlife, such as creatures in ponds and insects in grass.
  • Exposure to natural non-pathogenic microbes in the soil can support their immune system development.
  • Encourage hands-on experiences like gardening, discovering insects, and watching plants grow.

Designing a child-friendly garden involves balancing play, learning, and exploration. By incorporating these five key principles, you can create a garden that nurtures children's physical, mental, and emotional well-being while fostering their connection with nature.

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