Head-turning ornamental grass, and treating ironweed seeds
of a fox head in nickel silver, brass or oiled bronze. He has little alligators, frogs and palm trees, and a monarch butterfly hand-cast in bronze and brass, with its wings a rich green patina
Ready to go high-tech with your entryway?
Having a “smart” doorbell, with video, allows you to keep an eye on your front door area, not only for visitors but for packages. With many of these units, you can speak with the person ringing your bell, chatting directly with the FedEx or UPS driver, for instance, about where and when to leave a box.
According to Consumer Reports’ Eric Hager, the smart doorbell business has grown enormously in the last several years. He acknowledged concerns about systems’ vulnerability to hackers, but said homeowners seem willing to take on those risks for the convenience and safety features of smart doorbells.
Adorne’s wireless video intercom kit includes an outside doorbell camera and an inside intercom
Homeowners can see who’s at the front door from different locations in the home. The unit can be powered by a long-life battery, or you can hook it up to existing doorbell wiring.
NuTone’s Knock video doorbell has a motion sensor, night vision and optional alarm
It lets homeowners traveling anywhere in the world speak with visitors at their door. It’s also touted as rugged enough to withstand extreme weather.
The Ring doorbell has HD video, infrared night vision, and two-way chat from your phone, tablet or PC ( Added features: customizable faceplates, and an optional plan for video cloud storage, video sharing and cellular backup if your internet goes down.
You probably have a custom ringtone on your cellphone, so why not a custom sound on your doorbell? A digital doorbell by iChime
lets you record your own greeting or choose from its sound library.
Pink muhly grass can cause traffic jams. It will turn heads for 6 to 8 weeks in the fall, especially when sun and morning mist turn the airy inflorescence into pink/purple pyrotechnics. Muhlenbergia capillaris is a soft clumping grass, growing to 3 feet tall and just as wide. The most ornamental of the many muhly species, its basal foliage is dark green and glossy. It does best in full sun. Light shade can be tolerated but reduces flowering. Muhly also tolerates many soil types, moderate drought and salt spray. This native U.S. grass occurs from the Gulf to Massachusetts, but grows best in zones 6-9 of the USDA Plant Hardiness map.
Some seeds need a period of chill/cold, called stratification, to improve germination. It mimics a cold winter period. This is a plant’s survival strategy, so that its seeds are not fooled into sprouting during a temporary warm spell and then perish in returning winter temperatures. You can provide this cold treatment artificially by putting the seed packet in a zip-lock bag and storing it in your refrigerator for a minimum of 2 to 3 months. You can also plant directly into the ground in the fall and let nature provide the usual cold treatment. Sow ironweed thickly; germination rates for this native wildflower are relatively low.
Pink muhly grass, which grows from the Gulf to Massachusetts, blooms strikingly for six to eight weeks in the fall, especially in conditions of sun and morning mist.