Considerations for plants overwintering indoors

There are several things to be aware of for your tropical plants spending the winter indoors. First is good light.

I can provide most of my plants with very good light since I have both a sunroom and a greenhouse. However, for most folks getting adequate light to plants in the house during winter is difficult. Less light and generally dry conditions from our heating systems place stress on these plants.

Depending on the plant and its size, artificial light can sometimes be provided to help indoor plants by using florescent or other light fixtures. This often takes quite a bit of room and is something that many people cannot or do not want to do. Rotating plants to a bright window can help including in the garage if it is warm enough.



Likewise, the humidity level can be increased somewhat with humidifiers, by bunching plants close together, and by setting plants on trays of water – elevating the plants above the water so that they are not sitting in it. This also can be difficult.

Fertilizing and overwatering plants in winter are two of the most common mistakes. Because plants are growing slowly, if at all, they cannot utilize fertilizer and they do not need as much water.

Unless the plant is one that can thrive in the conditions in your house, stop all fertilization until late winter/early spring. If fertilizer is needed for some plants, use ½ or less of the recommended strength. Water only when plants are dry. If you forget to water, they will tell you they need water by wilting. For most plants, too little water is better than too much.

Weakened plants under stress are more susceptible to problems. The three most common pests I confront inside are fungus gnats, whiteflies, and

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Gardening with Dave Allan: Grow all year round

And the strength and length of daylight is important for photosynthesis. The colours of a rainbow, jointly known as the visible light spectrum, combine to form this light. Its strength or quality is measured in what’s known as spectral wavelength.

Plants need light’s spectral wavelength to lie between 400 and 700 to grow successfully and armed with this knowledge, I took my light meter into the garden just before writing this. At 12 noon on a sunny day the reading was 420, but within a couple of hours it had slipped to 170. Even in the greenhouse the levels ranged between 150 and 650. So although I can grow salading, it’s a long slow process.

Fortunately grow lights have come to the rescue. The LED system I established last year reads a steady 650 for the necessary 16 hours per day, and we enjoyed a fine leafy harvest. The glaring pink light, often associated with a different crop, was none too pleasant to the eye.

But white low energy 20 watt LED grow lights are now readily available, and they also generate 650 light for the required 16 hours. So, even in a flat, you can get into the GYO act and grow leaves and herbs such as basil, coriander and parsley, all-year round.

The new systems developed by the likes of IKEA and AeroGarden are attractive and easy to use. At least I hope so, having invested in an elegant IKEA unit. I’ll let you know later how I get on and will post updates on Twitter.

Both systems use the hydroponic method. Plants are grown in water with nutrients added according to size. I realise organic purists may disapprove of this technique as it is not soil-based and I have every sympathy with them. But it lets many

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Fence experts share colours that will make a garden look bigger and more spacious

While it is true that certain fences could easily make a garden appear smaller than it actually is, the reverse is also true. 

If gardeners choose the colour of their fencing wisely, they can actually use the fence to make their garden “appear bigger”, according to experts at Barnard Fencing Supplies.

They explained: “By choosing your fence colour strategically, you can actually make your garden appear larger and more spacious.

“It’s all about cleverly tricking the eye – by making the borders of your garden less immediately obvious, you can create the deceptive effect that your garden actually stretches out to cover a wider area.”

So, for those looking to make their garden appear larger, the experts recommend choosing a fence in one of the following “most effective” paint colours.

1. Neutral colours 

These neutral colours include different sorts of shades of greys, light browns and taupes. 

By opting for natural colours, households can achieve a “more seamless visual transition” between their fence and the surroundings. 

In this way, the barrier of the fence becomes much more subtle. As a result, it helps to “make the garden look larger”.

2. Greens 

Similarly, green colours also blend in with the natural surroundings far “more effectively” than most colours. 

So, this allows a fence to sit amongst the grass and trees in a much less obtrusive way. 

As a result, this colour choice helps a garden to feel “more open, airy and expansive”. 

The fence pros said: “If you are choosing green for your fence, we would recommend trying to work with the plants and greenery that you have in your garden, to make this effect as successful as possible.”

3. Light shades 

Light colours are fantastic as they reflect far more light than darker colours and that’s what’s needed

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Nitpicks And Whines: Dining Annoyances

I was excited to go to one of my favorite upscale eateries recently. I was full of happy smiles until I sat down at our table and picked up a menu, ready to peruse its tasty delights.


Thanks to an overhead light that blasted down from behind my head like an airport runway beacon, much of our table was bathed in harsh light. But that light was placed above and  behind me so everything in front of me was lost in dark shadow. 

It was hard to read the menu. It was a struggle to see the food on my plate. And it was really tough to get Instagrammable photos of my food.

I’m not naming or shaming the restaurant. Everything else was great. And I’m pretty sure the bad lighting came from a previous occupant.

So why am I bothering to complain about something so small? That, my friends, is the point of today’s dissertation. When we go out to dine, our expectations are high. An unpleasant surprise – even a relatively trivial one – ramps up the disappointment.

Or maybe I was just being a pill. 

To get a reality check, I sought the advice of the social-media hive mind. How do others feel about minor annoyances that spoil the restaurant mood? What little things harsh your dining mellow?”

Much of our table during a recent dinner was bathed in harsh light. But that light was placed above and behind me so everything in front of me was lost in dark shadow.

More than 200 replies later I had my answer: It’s not just me. Let’s talk about this.

Let there be light, but not too much

Let’s begin with lighting annoyances, since that’s what set me off. My usual heartburn starts when a romantically dim

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Home Decor: 12 easy ways to add a touch of luxury to your home – News

Here are some ideas to consider

By Reenu Mohiindrra

Adding a touch of luxury to home furnishings can enable you to create a space that feels comfortable, elegant, and personal. By incorporating high-quality materials and statement pieces, and unique touches, you can create a space that feels both luxurious and welcoming.

1. Using the white surrounding for a more welcoming ambiance with the oatmeal and beige wood finishes. An in and out design that allows natural plants to become the main décor and feature.

2. Loving the harmonious meld of masterful embroidery art, paintings, and captivating colours in this cosy museum of art that showcases contemporary elegance with semi-classical furniture and a wonderful balance of neutrals and strong colours.

3. A gorgeous combination of white and gold, the high-end living room loft tops it off with a stunning chandelier. Like golden raindrops falling from the sky, it adds opulence to the room.

4. When you’ve got luxury written all over a space, the next best thing to do is to add feature walls for the eyes.

5. ‘Orange is the new black’ and we couldn’t agree more. The tangerine hues pump up the space while settling it into a moody yet optimistic atmosphere.

6. To showcase the wall gallery collection, the adjacent spaces utilise an elegant glass wall. Not only does it provide an interesting interior décor, it allows light and visual space to pass through, making the interior seem more spacious.

7. Greys and beige are the most loved neutrals in interiors and stretched out in this spacious lounge area is a convergence of the shades of them. One would enjoy hanging out for hours in this comfy zone while enjoying the bespoke creativity.

8. Nothing beats natural light,

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