Fresh and white for summer
Here's a summer flower suggestion from Bridget Behe, a horticulturist who offers advice at flower
possibilities.com. "Time to try refreshing some summer whites. White carnations impart a sweet fragrance. White mini-carnations add a touch of freshness to a dreary desk. White roses are fresh and cheery. Want some color with your summer 'whites'? Add a splash of hot pink mini-carnations or purple statice to punch up the color contrast."
Flaunt your water conservation
You have until Saturday to enter the 2008 Community Water-Wise Awards presented annually by Tampa Bay Water. If you've created a landscape that "exhibits the best in design and use of water-conserving techniques," you could be a winner. Details and entry form: tampabaywaterwise.com.
A softer, gentler turfgrass
No watering, no mowing, no maintenance: That's the promise of ForeverLawn synthetic turfgrass. Look for the company's exhibit if you go to the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, which ends June 1. The synthetic grass is said to feel far softer underfoot than the scratchy AstroTurf of yesteryear. (The "Select LX" grass even includes dead-grass thatch for the ultimate in realism.) You save on watering, but the turf is made of polyethylene blades and monofilament, so it's not totally eco-friendly (what are those blades made of? Petroleum!). Cost: roughly $8 to $12 a square foot, one dealer estimates. Details: foreverlawn.com.
A fun measure of your 'yard smarts'
Briggs & Stratton's free "yard smarts" hotline is ready to take your toll-free calls at 1-866-927-3847. Or go to www.yardsmarts.com for answers, tips and a quiz.
Give scraps a chance to grow
Don't throw out those kitchen scraps, grow something. That's the thesis of Don't Throw It, Grow It! by Deborah Peterson and Millicent Selsam (Storey Publishing, $10.95). The pits, seeds and roots that might be headed for the wastebasket or the compost pile can turn into potted plants, some of which eventually turn up on your plate. From carrots to cherimoya, give it a whirl, or think of this as summer fun for the kids.
Compiled by Times homes and garden editor Judy Stark