After spring cleaning, some households will venture into summer decluttering. It’s one thing to polish and dust a home, but recognizing that you’re cleaning something you really don’t need or want that’s taking up valuable space brings on a new level of cleaning.
Q: In my morning walk around the garden, I found an unusual pattern on the leaves of my Arabian jasmine. Do you have any thoughts on what might have caused this?
Dear Gail: I just had bookcases built on each side of my fireplace where the builder had what I call “open holes.” In the past my bookcases always became junked up with just piles of books, as I have a lot. So how do I go about decorating them so they look nice? — Tony
Say the word desert and what comes to mind is an area of little rainfall, extreme temperatures and sparse vegetation. Sounds a lot like Las Vegas, doesn’t it? Well, it should as the city is in the middle of the 22,000-square-mile Mojave Desert. Yet this desert is home to more than 1,800 species of plants.
Q: The leaves on my fig tree appear burned after this rain. I foliar sprayed it with neem oil and soap and fish protein isolate. These trees were planted last fall and mulched with 1 foot of woodchips and looked amazing until now. They are watered three times each week in the summer.
Q: I recently moved into a new house and would like to get the locks changed, as I don’t know how many people have keys to my home. Rather than pay a locksmith, I saw a do-it-yourself kit that I would like to try. Are these kits any good?
Years ago, about the only time you saw ceiling fans whirling away were in romantic movie flicks such as “Casablanca” or in exotic island hotel lobbies where guests would be seen lounging about on overstuffed couches reading newspapers and sipping espresso. Today, these little mechanical wonders are as common in homes as dishwashers and garbage disposals.
Q: We’ve noticed leaf damage this year on our rose bushes and apple and pear trees. More than previous years. But, peach, apricot and pomegranate seem unaffected. Some of our roses were decimated. Any idea what pest causes this and how to control it?
Home decor designers are embracing macrame in bulk. The humble fiber creations are making a sleek and modern comeback from their 1970s roots with artists creating contemporary pieces in unexpected scales, shapes and colors for home decor use.
Q: I’m going to replace my countertop with ceramic tile and so I have removed my old laminate one leaving nothing but the cabinets below. I have done some small floor tiling projects but never a countertop. I’m going to reuse my drop-in sink and faucet, but how do I go about building the base that the tiles will sit on?