Tips Growing Blueberries that Outshine Store

Growing blueberries takes planning, but it pays off with yummy, good-for-you fruits. Learn how to grow juicy, delicious berries no matter where you live.

Choose the Right Blueberry Bush

Some people call them blueberry trees, but blueberry plants grow as bushes. Variations of wild North American natives can grow in a wide variety of climates and conditions.

When you grow blueberries, begin by choosing the right plant. Consider its chill hours, the number of hours it takes for plants to stay in cold dormancy below 45 degrees F; how cold/heat tolerant it is; how you want to use the berries (fresh, baking, landscaping, etc.); and how many days it takes to set and mature fruit.

Although most people grow blueberries for the fruits, the bushes are terrific landscape plants with outstanding red fall leaf color.

Here are the four basic types of blueberry shrubs, with many choices within each type.

Highbush Blueberries
Vaccinium corymbosum plants grow 4 to 12 feet tall and wide, depending on the type. Many cultivated varieties accent specific traits, such as how many days the fruits need to mature, size of the fruits, and size of the mature bush. They’re generally less cold-hardy than lowbush blueberries but are more heat-tolerant.

Northern highbush blueberry

Tips to Care for and Choose Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas can generally be broken down into two main groups: mopheads and lacecaps. Each group contains a gorgeous assortment of species and varieties. We’ll discuss some of our favorites and give you ideas about how you can use them in your garden. We’ll also show you some other great selections in the hydrangea clan, including oakleaf, paniculata, and climbing hydrangea so you can pick the best ones for you, and give you tips on how to care for hydrangeas, too.

Learn more about hydrangeas in our Plant Encyclopedia.
Video: More on Hydrangeas
Watch our video on hydrangeas to learn more about these beautiful flowering shrubs.
Mopheads
Mophead hydrangeas offer big dome-shape clusters of flowers in blue, pink, or white. Most mopheads bloom in late spring or early summer but make their flower buds the year before you see them. As you care for this type of hydrangea, know that it is best to prune them is in early summer, right after the flowers fade.

Most mopheads grow best in a spot with moist, well-drained soil and a bit of afternoon shade.

Order mophead hydrangeas now for your garden.
Learn more about getting your hydrangeas to bloom.
Big Daddy
One of the showiest mophead

Best Small Garden Ideas

Create an Outdoor Room
Turn a tiny patio into a gorgeous outdoor room by adding a freestanding pergola. Here, a small wooden pergola was constructed over a gravel patio and enhanced with a teak seating arrangement. The pergola creates a sense of enclosure and makes the patio seem a lot larger then it actually is.

Go Gravel
Crushed brick or gravel is a beautiful and low-maintenance paving option for small gardens. It’s also easier to use and less expensive than brick or flagstone. Just be sure to spread a layer of landscape fabric underneath the gravel to keep weeds from popping through. On this California hillside, the gravel also allows rainfall to percolate through to the soil instead of running off down the hillside.

Capitalize on Trees
If you have large trees with bare spots underneath them, why not put the barren ground to use by creating an outdoor living space? In this small garden, several trees made growing a lawn or flower border impossible. So, the homeowners paved part of the area with flagstone and added a table and chairs.

Add a Pond
You don’t need a huge backyard to have a water garden. In fact, installing a water garden is a

Tips To Choose the Top Hydrangeas for Your Garden

Hydrangeas for Sun

While most hydrangeas do best in shade, varieties of Hydrangea paniculata prefer sunny spots. Most selections have large clusters of white flowers in summer. The showy blooms fade to shades of pink or red before drying to beige. In many areas, they dry right on the plant in fall and stay looking good through most of the winter.
Learn more about specific hydrangeas in our Plant Encyclopedia.

Growing
While Hydrangea paniculata likes full sun, it also does well in part shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soil rich in organic matter, so it’s helpful to amend your soil with compost, peat moss, or other similar materials before you plant it. Hydrangea paniculata is one of the hardiest varieties; it thrives in Zones 4-8.

Pruning
Because this hydrangea blooms on current year’s growth, the best time to give it a trim is winter or early spring.

VANILLA STRAWBERRY HYDRANGEA
Standout Varieties
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Bombshell’ is a dwarf selection that grows 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It bears clusters of white flowers from midsummer to autumn.
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’ is sometimes called peegee hydrangea. It’s a large shrub or small tree to 20 feet tall.

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ bears light lime-green flowers from

Top Plants That Will Grow Better in Your Bathroom

There’s a trick to keeping houseplants thriving in dryer climates: It’s the bathroom. The typical low light, high humidity, and warmth of the bathroom is exactly what most tropical plants are missing in their lives. So if your houseplants are struggling, gather them up and put them in the tub.

1. Orchids

Orchids, while a tad bit on the temperamental side, pack so much tropical punch — after all, they keep their gorgeous flowers for months on end. The damp, warm conditions in most bathrooms are a perfect environment for these pretty plants, which grow in bark instead of soil and prefer for that material to be damp but not wet. Some easier-care varieties of orchids include Dendrobium, Phalaenopsis, and Paphiopedilums, which will all do well with bright, filtered bathroom window light.

2. Golden Pothos

One of the most popular indoor vining plants is pothos, or Epipremnum aureum. It comes in a variety of leaf sizes, colors, and variegations. As long as it stays out of direct sunlight and its soil doesn’t dry out (it doesn’t care for overwatering either), it is a low-maintenance beauty that is exceptionally pretty in a hanging basket or on a high shelf where it can trail to its

Top Furniture Choices For Your Home

Are you setting up your first home? If you don’t know what you’ll really need, read our list of Top Picks for first-time furniture buyers.
1.  A Bed to Last a Lifetime

You’ll spend about 1/3 of every day in bed, so you should one that’s comfortable and well constructed. Choose the best quality one you can afford. After all, you’ll probably have it for 10 years or more. And keep in mind that the most expensive bed might not be the best bed. If you can’t invest in a great bed right away, buy an air bed for a short time. It will go into your guest room later. When you’re shopping for a bed, think about the proper size, firmness, and surface.

2.  A Table to Eat On

Most dining tables are round or rectangular, but you might start out with a square or round that extends to seat more. With leaves installed, your table might stretch through a doorway. Before you invest in a table, you might get a plywood tabletop on top of a sturdy base and cover it with a decorative floor-length tablecloth.

3.  Classic Dining

Tips to Learning Basic Home Decorating

Not everyone has the time to go to school to learn the basics of decorating. And depending on what you’d like to do as a decorator, not everyone has the need. But for those of us who have the eye, but not necessarily the know-how to design the interiors that we’d love to live in, there are numerous online resources that can give you more than enough information to get you on your way. With these great online sources, anyone can learn about the basics of decorating while finding wonderful inspiration for their first design project.

If  you have no clue about choosing furniture, selecting color, or what style of decorating you like, help is at your fingertips.

If you know just what you like but not how to bring the look to your home, you’ll find photos, tutorials, and helpful advice about decorating for just the right look.

Sitting at your computer, you’ll find loads of information without ever setting foot inside a classroom.

Whether you need ideas, color suggestions, or instructions on ways to do things, just get “web surfing.”

  • About.com’s site for Interior Decorating
    Of course, we think you’re

Make Your Favorite Decorating Style

Do you have any idea about what decorating style you like? It’s a simple enough question, but the answer isn’t always so easy to come up with. Of all the things that we learn while going through so many years of school, what decorating style we’d like to see in our living room or what era of furniture would best complement the layout of our bedrooms usually isn’t one of them. Go figure. Whether you’ve been to school for design or not, decorating is always a very personal process. That doesn’t change whether you’re doing it for yourself, working with a designer, or designing for someone else. When it’s your home, everything hinges on what you like and in the end only you can say whether the result is something that you’ll be happy living with. It’s always easy to tell whether or not you like something but sometimes it can be very difficult to say for sure what you like or why. That’s one of the reasons why designers emphasize an understanding of different styles when approaching a project.

It’s not that these are hard and fast categories that you have to fit

How To Avoid The Decoration Mistakes

One of the things that makes decorating so much fun is the huge amount of resources that we can go to to learn more about how to make a beautiful room. We can readbooks and magazines, watchTV shows, read onlinearticles, and visit decorating showhouses to find all sorts of wonderful advice on things to do to get a beautifully decorated room.

But even with so much advice and inspiration on what to do, it can still be hard to learn what not to do or what mistakes you can avoid even before you even start a decorating project.

So to help fill in a few of those gaps, here is our list of the 20 easiest decorating mistakes to make and the best things not to do in order to get around them.

1. Don’t Let Someone Make Choices for You
Your home is your personal space. Don’t let someone else tell you what you should do. If you need help, ask for suggestions.

But when the time comes to make decisions, they should be yours. It’s your home and you should feel comfortable with the choices.

2. Don’t Paint First
You can buy paint in

Home Decorating Project Tips

The thought of starting a decorating project is exciting or scary, depending on your experience, your budget, your taste, or your time.

If you’ve never done any decorating at all, you might feel that you don’t know how or where to start. If this is old hat to you, you might not know where to end. But when all is said and done, you want a new look and want to get started.

There’s very little question about what element to choose last, but there are lots of things you can select first.

Because paint is a very inexpensive part of the project and because paint is available in an almost infinite varity of colors, you should hold off buying the paint until you have other things identified.

But just what should you do first? Should you buy a whole roomful of furniture or choose a rug that you love?

Have you chosen an elegant wallpaper or luxurious fabric that you want to use?

You really can start wherever you want and work it all together into a plan. But it really does help if you

How to Look Bigger For Your Home

Some people live in a small apartment or home because they’re tired of taking care of a larger place and want to “downsize.”

Others just don’t want a large home.Small is beautiful! And easy, and practical, too!

But no matter what your reason for living in a small space, you’ll undoubtedly have to make some compromises in your decorating, get really organized, and make some adjustments to your lifestyle in order to make everything fit and not feel cramped.

If you’re looking for a cozy, intimate space, you’re in luck. By using soft, snuggly upholstered pieces, dark, warm tones, and dramatic lighting, your tiny corner can become a wonderful private space.

But if you really feel the need to stretch out in your small space, you can make somedecorating changes to make the area look and feel larger without moving any walls!

With color, furniture arranging, and interesting lighting, your space won’t feel so cramped.

  • Clear Out the ClutterThere’s nothing that makes a small space feel cramped more than having too much stuff. Work out ways to get collections out of view, organized behind doors, table skirts,

Eco Natural Interior Design Tips

It just doesn’t look finished! What to do? Read on.

Once you have the shell of your room just the way you want it, you’re not done with the job.

There are lots of finishing touches that you can add to make the room look finished and welcoming. Some decorators feel that decorating a room or home should always be a work in progress.

Whether it takes a week, a month, or a whole lifetime, finding just the right finishing touches for a room is really the fun part of decorating.

You’ll be adding the jewelry to the room, the personality that makes the room reflect who you are, what your interests are, and where you’ve been.

Get some ideas from our list of finishing touches for decorating a room. Remember, you may never be finished, but you’ll have fun along the way.

  • Plants and Flowers
    It’s amazing what a quick transformation can be made with fresh plants and flowers. You don’t need to find something dramatic and expensive. A simple plant potted in a decorative pot set on a coffee table, bookshelf, on top of

Decorating Mistakes That You Should Know

We’ve put together a list of the top things you should never do when decorating a room, whether it’s in a casual decor, atraditional setting, or in a child’s room. Are you guilty?

  • Choose Furniture That Doesn’t Fit
    You wouldn’t wear clothes in a size that’s baggy or skin tight, so why would you choose furniture that doesn’t fit in your room? Before you shop for furniture, whether you’re buying new or at a garage sale, measure your space, think about where you’re going to put the piece, and write down notes. Resist the temptation to buy a too-big sofa, thinking you can put it on an angle if it doesn’t fit. Write down the measurements an stick to it.It’s just as bad to buy pieces that are too small, thinking you can add more pieces to fill the space. Plan out your arrangement, think it over, and then find the pieces that are just right.
  • Use Too Many Patterns and Prints
    Don’t pick up just any fabric or piece of furniture you like, thinking you can work around it. Plan your color scheme, select a main pattern, then find coordinating stripes, small prints, and