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Curb Appeal Tip: Flanking doors and pathways is a simple way to play up your home's architectural features.

Father’s Day Gifts with Curb Appeal

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and you know what that means – it’s time to get shopping! But it seems that men, and especially dads, are notoriously hard to shop for, which makes Father’s Day gifts hard to come by. Forget the necktie or barbeque ties, this year give dad a gift that will keep on giving by improving his home’s curb appeal. Here are three gift ideas for him to spruce up his front garden and curb appeal.

Your mailbox is just like your cover letter - it's the first impression your home makes!

Your mailbox is just like your cover letter – it’s the first impression your home makes!

Outdoor Planters

Add structure and architectural elements to your father’s home with the help of garden planters. Planters come in all shapes, sizes, and materials, so choose wisely to find the planter to meet your dad’s style, environment, and plants. As a general rule of thumb, tall planters are best by an entryway or garage door, and longer planters work well to outline a space or run underneath a window. Composite, or PVC planters, are best for the low-maintenance dad because they provide the look and feel of wood without requiring upkeep for the long haul. With a few new planters, your dad’s front garden will look better than ever.

Decorative Mailboxes

Help your dad upgrade from the standard mailbox to something more eye-catching. Decorative mailboxes are an easy way to extend a home’s style all the way to the curb. This black aluminum mailbox is a classic option that will add a touch of sophistication to any home. For a more contemporary look, this vinyl double mailbox will tie in strong lines with sleek style. And for the dad who likes to garden, give him the mailbox with planter for the best of both worlds. And don’t worry about installation-decorative mailboxes are easy to install over a wood post. You can even give your dad the gift of construction and let him put it together himself!

Curb Appeal Tip: Flanking doors and pathways is a simple way to play up your home's architectural features.

Curb Appeal Tip: Flanking doors is a simple way to play up your home’s architectural features.

Plants

Help you dad establish the colors and style of his home with a fresh batch of plants. Adding plants and flowers to a yard can make a huge difference and breathe a sense of life into a home. When buying plants as a Father’s Day gift, consider the location of the garden and of the home, especially the amount of sun and shade available in the front garden. Choose plants that will thrive in their designated area. Pick plants that will match the style and color scheme of the house and that will look good and grow well together. And of course, don’t forget about your dad’s green thumb-be sure to choose plants he can keep up with and keep thriving.

Cool DIY Projects for Spring Gardening

It’s that time of year again, dust off your shovel and rake and break out the gloves, its time to start planning your spring gardening projects. Whether you plan to plant a few potted flowers to brighten up the front of your house, or grow enough vegetables to feed your family for the year, spring is always a busy and exciting time for gardeners.

The most important lesson to take with you, is that you've just got to get outside in the garden and do something! Photo Credit: M. Dolly

The most important lesson to take with you, is that you’ve just got to get outside in the garden and do something!
Photo Credit: M. Dolly

Planning your Spring Gardening Projects

The key to any DIY garden project is planning. In any space the largest pieces draw the eye immediately and demand your attention. A great idea for the anchor piece in a small garden is a dwarf fruit tree planted in a Cedar Planter. Imagine orange juice fresh from your backyard, or juicing your own limes to liven up some homemade salsa. If you live in a cooler climate planters have a undeniable benefit. Some of the more delicate fruit trees can’t handle harsh climates, but a tree in a mobile planter can easily be moved inside when the mercury starts to drop.

Cedar planters are the easiest to paint, plus it's a fun DIY project that will get the kids in the garden too!

Cedar planters are the easiest to paint, plus it’s a fun DIY project that will get the kids in the garden too!

Not a fan of citrus? No problem, try arranging multiple planters around the perimeter of your patio or deck to create separation from the rest of the yard. Fill these barrier planters with flowers, vegetables, or perennial shrubs. Do you have a creative friend of family member? Provide a few cans of paint and some brushes and that row of planters will become a canvas allowing infinite options for customization of your outdoor space.

Gardening in Small Spaces

A living wall is an excellent addition to any small gardens décor. If your garden is limited to an enclosed area try hanging a Living Wall Planter on any wall to add life to a once dead space. An absorbent mat set behind this durable planter protects your walls from any water damage. Let your creativity run wild and arrange several planters on a large wall to add a custom touch to your garden. If your felling ambitious try covering a large vertical space with planters, then use a variety of colored flowers and plants to make a design, or even spell your family name.

For small space gardening, check out our living wall planters. They're modular, so you can make your project as big or small as you want!

For small space gardening, check out our living wall planters. They’re modular, so you can make your project as big or small as you want!

Enjoying the Results of Your DIY Garden Projects

After all your hard work be sure to sit back and enjoy the results. If you have grown vegetables you and your family will surely enjoy a few meals from the garden. Flowers with large and fragrant blooms can be cut fresh and arranged in a vase as a thoughtful gift for the neighbor who is always there for you, or kept on the dining room table as a DIY centerpiece straight from your garden. On the other hand, if you have grown some smaller succulents or flowers, glass pendant terrariums hanging in your home or office are the perfect way to display the product of all your hard work.

As with any hobby the key output of your spring gardening this year should be joy. The time spent planning, planting, and caring for your garden this spring will pay dividends throughout the summer and fall. Dream big this year and make your garden the talk of the town!

What are your spring gardening ideas? Share them in the comments below!

Photo Courtesy Brenda B.

Hanging Year Round Containers

Photo Courtesy Brenda B.

Year-Round Gardening Tip: Rotate flowers throughout seasons for uninterrupted splashes of color!
Photo: Brenda B.

There is something about a hanging basket that is simply magical – the overflowing branches, the bright flowers, and the charming containers make for a perfect combination and a great addition to a yard or garden oasis. Add some height and pizazz to your home with beautiful hanging baskets in year round containers. You don’t need a lot of space to instantly increase your curb appeal and green thumb credentials.

Find the Best Basket

Photo Courtesy Brian W.

12 inch Hanging Baskets are the perfect size for this small shed. The decorative wall brackets are a nice touch!
Photo: Brian W.

Start at the beginning by picking the right basket. Outdoor hanging baskets come in lots of styles. An important factor is the size. A too-small basket means watering more often and a too-big basket can get heavy. For beginners, opt for a medium sized basket that will allow room for your plants to grow and also retain moisture. The biggest piece of the basket puzzle is picking the right liner. This English Garden Flat Steel Hanging Basket comes with a coconut coir liner to keep plants moist and promote lush growth. Other liner options include burlap or moss. For a truly unique look, combine the liner with the basket for a show stopping moss planter, like this Ashton Moss Vine Hanging Basket.

Pick the Perfect Plants

Now that you have your year round containers, what should you put in them? Hanging baskets can be used year round with a variety of plants. For a longer lasting look, go for hardy classics like pansies or cyclamen. Otherwise, you can rotate through flowers with the seasons or choose plants that will bloom during your favorite part of the year. Popular spring and summer options are fuchsias, geraniums, and trailing lobelia. In the fall and winter, viola ochre and other solanum plants are great choices. For a colorful look year round, go for an evergreen plant like buxus or ivy.

Photo: Darrell N

This lamppost and 22-inch hanging flower basket combination are truly a curb appeal home run! Brackets are custom-made for the perfect fit!
Photo: Darrell N

A typical outdoor hanging basket features trailing plants, mid-level plants, and tall plants. Pick a few blooms for each section so you don’t overwhelm yourself or your planter. Match the look of your plants to the style of your hanging basket. Earthy colors and textures are a great compliment to a moss planter.

Put It All Together

Dressing up a boring wall is easy with a decorative scroll bracket and a hanging basket with trailing vines.

Dressing up a boring wall is easy with a decorative scroll bracket and a hanging basket with trailing vines!

Once everything is in place, you are ready to plant your hanging basket. Fill your basket half full of potting soil and mix in a quarter cup fertilizer. This ensures your plants have nutrients even after the water drips out. Press the base layer of soil to create a solid foundation for your plants. If using a deeper basket like the classic Scalloped French Wire Basket, make sure your plants have enough room to grow roots. To maximize space, place hanging plants around the outside of the container, then work your way towards the middle with the taller plants. After the quick and simple process is complete, your outdoor hanging basket is ready to be hung anywhere around the yard and enjoyed all year long!

Early Spring Flowers and Window Planters that You Will Love

hayrack-window-box-purple-flowers

Shown: Mariposa Hayrack Trough Window Box with Coconut Liner and beautiful purple flowers; sent in by Alissa D.

Spring is just around the corner and with the change of seasons comes the opportunity to spruce up your spring garden. Whether you plan on planting a flower bed or are looking for other alternatives, learn more about your available options before spring finally arrives. Keep reading and you will discover early spring flowers and window planters that you will fall in love with.

Planning Your Landscaping

Before you start picking out your early spring flowers, it is a good idea to come up with a plan. Take a moment to think about the layout of your yard. For those with a patio, add life to your yard by placing standing planters around your patio. A tall tapered patio planter and other planters will brighten up your patio. To match wrought iron fences and other black trim around your yard, a standing planter with a metal frame is both elegant and convenient. There are plenty of ways to decorate the outside of your home, make sure that you consider some of the following options:

  • Window boxes and planters
  • Flower stands
  • Hanging planters
  • The flowers that you would like to plant
xl-catalina-pvc-window-box-BettyG

Betty G. painted her XL Catalina PVC Window Planters to match the exterior house paint. Her container garden continues to flourish!

When planning the arrangement of your flowers and garden, do not forget about the outside of your house. Window sills are a great way to add charm to your home. Planting a flower bed is one thing; though, why not work your way up your home by installing planters along your window sills.

Choosing Where to Place Your Flowers

medallion-decora-pvc-liners-KaraC

Kara’s successful balcony garden of early spring flowers has Medallion Decora Window Boxes to thank!

Just because you have a small yard does not mean that you are out of options for your spring garden. Many people forget about decorating their actual house when planning their home gardening projects. Planters and flower boxes will hang on the outside of your windows, requiring no yard space. This is a beautiful way to add to the appeal of your home. No matter what style of home you have, there is sure to be flower boxes that will match the look of your house. For example, for a modern home, consider purchasing contemporary window boxes.

With hundreds of options to choose from for your plants and flowers, spend some time browsing your options to match the aesthetics of your home. To go along with your black shutters, you can purchase wrought iron flower cages. Using simple curves, an iron flower cage makes a beautiful showcase for the plants that you have chosen. Other options include wooden boxes, such as red cedar plantersNo matter what you choose, you are sure to add to your curb appeal.

Another spring flower success story thanks to Royal Vinyl Window Boxes.

Another spring flower success story thanks to Royal Vinyl Window Boxes.

Your window sills are not the only location that you can install bases for your flowers. They can also be installed along fences and even the side of your home. When you are deciding on your planters or boxes, think outside the box and consider the outside of your home one large canvas.

While the flowers that you plant may not last through the winter, the durable window planters that you install can be used year after year. Always choose quality material that can resist weather conditions. Being outdoors, they will have to deal with plenty of rain and wind. Once you start populating your garden with your selection of flowers, you will truly enjoy spending more time with your family outdoors.

Hooks & Lattice now offers consultation for those of you who aren’t sure what to get. Call toll free 888-896-0978 to speak with our Design Department today about which window boxes fit your home’s architectural style.

Our Favorite Plants for Terrariums

The venus fly trap grows well in terrariums, like this Crosswinds tabletop terrarium. Image from Exotic Plants.

The venus fly trap grows well in a tabletop terrarium. Image from Exotic Plants.

Terrariums are all the rage. Pinterest is full of the most popular and clever combinations in an endless assortment of clear glass containers, ranging from re-purposed jars to the newest in commercially-available designs. Big or small, everybody loves a terrarium! Choosing the best plants for terrariums can be tricky for a first time indoor gardener, but those species that thrive in containers have a few common features, narrowing your choices a little.

Small Size: Selecting miniature plants for terrariums may seem like a no-brainer, but because many greenhouse plants flower or appear fully grown long before they’ve reached their full potential, it’s important to understand the size of that plant you’re considering before purchasing it. Terrariums can last many years if properly sized plants are chosen, but if the second-season growth of one of your plants is explosive, a small terrarium will be overwhelmed.

Humidity Tolerance: Terrariums are often very humid places because air circulation is poor in these mostly-closed vessels. Although a variety of semi-aquatic and rainforest plants prefer these conditions, other plants, like desert cacti, can’t handle this weather inside a terrarium over the long-term. Before you take that new plant home, make sure it loves humidity, or else start a dish garden for it and some friends that need a more arid environment.

Air plants are popular choices for hanging terrariums.

Air plants are popular choices for hanging terrariums.

Thermostat-Friendly: Even though most plants will grow at room temperature, not all will be at their best. Many species require very cold or very hot spells to induce dormancy or flowering. Without completing their natural cycles, these plants will slowly decline, forcing you to tear your terrarium apart to replace them sooner than their companions. If your initial selections can’t flower or rest at room temperature, you should keep shopping.

Shade Lovers: Unless you intend to artificially light your new terrarium with very bright florescent bulbs, the chances are that your plants will have to manage under low lighting conditions. Terrariums don’t do well directly in windows, all that glass can magnify ultraviolet rays and cook your plants! Lots of plants thrive in lower lighting conditions, just make sure to purposefully choose the ones that don’t need a daily sun bath.

Low Care: Some plants are prima donnas, demanding extra special care and purified water in small doses each day. One of the best things about terrariums is their ability to be somewhat self-sufficient – adding needy plants is right out. Forget the mini roses, the tiny orchids or anything else that needs to be pampered and stick with hardy, tough plants that complement your terrarium’s overall design.

With these factors in mind, here are some of our favorite terrarium plants:

Plants for Terrariums
Common Name Scientific Name
Rosary Vine Ceropegia woodii
Spider Plant Chlorophytum comosum
Earth Star Cryptanthus bivittatus
Venus Flytrap Dionaea muscipula
Gold Dust Dracaena Dracaena godseffiana
Sundew Drosera spp.
Creeping Fig Ficus pumila
Hawthornia Hawthornia spp.
Shamrock Oxalis spp.
Watermelon Peperomia Peperomia sandersii
Dwarf Pomegranate Punica granatum nana
African Violet Saintpaulia ionatha
Strawberry Begonia Saxifraga stolonifera
Irish Moss Selaginella spp.
Airplant Tillandsia stricta