Weekly home and garden rail, with tips for attracting blue jays to your yard, how to grow moss, mildew-control tips and more.
Blue jays are one of the most colorful backyard visitors, and you can attract them to your yard following a few tips, these from www.birdsforever.com:
- Just add peanuts. If you put out whole, raw peanuts, they will draw the jays in your area like a magnet. Offer whole peanuts in a large platform feeder or on the ground or another flat surface.
- Jays also enjoy whole or shelled black oil sunflower seed and striped sunflower seed. Because jays are large birds, offer their favorite foods in a platform feeder or feeder with lots of perching space.
- Suet is also a favorite backyard feeder food of jays.
- Plant an oak tree. This will not only attract jays but many other birds that rely on this popular tree for food.
- Don't forget to offer a source of water for drinking and bathing. The jays are fun to watch displacing lots of water in your birdbath.
How To Maximize Your Enjoyment of Fresh Flowers, Part II
Martha Stewart and the professionals at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM offer some simple tips on displaying your flowers:
A bouquet's vase should be carefully considered. The scale and material of the container must captivate the eye and showcase the flowers. In addition to traditional vases, Stewart uses everyday objects such as sugar bowls and creamers, measuring cups, metal buckets, compotes and teacups to display her favorite blossoms. Vases and other containers can be divided into six basic forms:
- Trumpet: Fluted at top. Blooms fall and arch outward naturally, echoing the flare of the vase.
- Cylinder: May be tall or short. This type of vase is good for stems that need support or flowers with long very straight stems.
- Sphere: Perfect for any flower that grows in clusters. Cut stems short so blooms will mound in a dome.
- Bottle: Similar to cylinder but works well for exotics or slim-stemmed flowering branches, arranged in individual bottles which can be clustered or displayed in a row.
- Low pan: Wonderful to display one or two floating flower buds.
- Pail or urn: A shape that opens slightly at top. Flowers will have room to fall away to the sides, great for larger blooms. (ARA)
Home Improvements: Know Your Glue
There are different types of glues for different surfaces and different applications. Using the wrong one may mean your project won’t hold together or, worse, you ruin what you were trying to repair. So how do you know what type of glue is right for your project? James and Morris Carey, home-improvement gurus and hosts of the nationally syndicated radio program “On the House with the Carey Brothers,” offer the following cheat sheet:
Best for: Bonding dissimilar surfaces, both indoors and out
Clamp time: 30 minutes - 2 hours
Outdoor use: 100 percent waterproof
Use on: Wood, metal, stone, ceramics, glass, some plastic, PVC brick, concrete, foam, fiberglass
Cleanup: Wear gloves
Projects: Cracked fountain, broken lamp post, bricks, stripped screws, wobbly chair legs
Best for: Building carpentry or hobby projects using any type of wood
Clamp time: 20 - 30 minutes
Outdoor use: Water-resistant ANSI/HPVA Type II rating
Use on: Wood
Projects: Furniture, dollhouses, cabinets, cutting boards
Instant “super” glue
Best for: Instant repairs on small indoor projects
Clamp time: None
Outdoor use: Not recommended
Use on: Wood, metal, stone, ceramics, glass, some plastic, PVC, paper, rubber
Cleanup: Acetone-based nail polish remover
Projects: Broken shoe, picture frame, vase, costume jewelry, ornaments and collectibles, decorative tableware (ARA)
Did You Know …
If you have a mildew problem in your bathroom, one solution is to spray down the tub, curtains, etc., with vinegar after every shower. Not only will vinegar fight mildew, it also is an odor remover.
Want to add moss to your landscaping? Here’s a recipe from www.ehow.com that will help your grow moss quickly:
- Handful of moss
- One can beer (or buttermilk)
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
Put a handful of the moss you want to grow into a blender. Add 1/2 tsp. sugar and one can of beer (the cheapest brand). Blend just long enough to mix the ingredients and break down the moss. Spread the soupy mixture with a spatula over the ground or rocks where you want the moss to grow.
Tips: Remove as much dirt from the moss as you can before you start; moss grows best in shady areas; once you've spread the moss mixture, don't get it wet or you will wash the mixture away.
GateHouse News Service