Save Money and Have a Bigger Home Garden: Have Lasting Flowers and Plants with Perennials

A successful yearly flower garden adds to the value of a home esthetically and economically. The cost of replacing plants yearly can be a large budget item. Fortunately there are plants that bloom for many years with no replacement costs. These are classified as perennials and include plants like mums, asters, coreopsis, Echinacea, daisies, and many others.

Expand the Home Garden with Bulbs and Other Perennials

All perennials do not require the same treatment. The wise gardener will know about hardiness zones as zone numbers are often used to offer advice on times regarding planting and other care. Also, one may want to become familiar with the different types of rooting systems of plants. Different rooting systems have different requirements for division. Some perennials grow best when not divided. Others produce enough plantlets for an entire neighborhood.

Not only can perennials last for years, but they generally produce more plants for expanding a garden or trading with neighbors. Some — like tulips and amaryllis — can be grown in the middle of winter in containers. There are perennials that grow in all the seasons, so that fresh flowers can add to home gardens all year.

The dead growth might be unsightly and can generally be trimmed off after the first freeze. With some plants — like mums – it is best to leave a few inches of stem above the ground. Do not try to divide plants until they have had six weeks of real winter. They will need the time to generate new roots.

Dig up summer bulbs that might freeze or bloom too early if the climate is warm. Empty containers or plant them in the ground where desired for next year. Plant the containers so that the same soil level is maintained. Covering the dormant roots with extra mulch will help protect them from severe cold, but remove it once the weather is warm enough to encourage new growth.

If the winter is dry provide water. Check to see if the soil is damp by poking a finger beneath the mulch. With normal rainfall watering should not be needed. Don’t fertilize dormant plants.

Mums are a Good Flower of Choice for the Home Garden

The amount of effort required is up to the individual. Starting with a single plant that is usually discarded might give confidence for expanding the practice. Mums are an easy choice particularly in warmer climates.

Divide the plants after danger of frost has passed and growth has begun in the cool days of spring. Use a shovel to dig up the entire root system. Placing the root ball in water will loosen the soil and make division easier. Take out only the healthiest plant with well-developed roots. Place them in water until they can be planted later the same day. Water the new plants daily for a week or so, as the division process will cause damage to roots which will need time to heal.

Of course, division is a choice in most cases. Mums can be attractive in a variety of sizes and can be allowed to increase in size each year. Eventually they tend to become top-heavy and collapse under the weight of the thick flowers, so periodic division is a good practice. Some can be transplanted to enlarge the garden. Others can be potted and placed strategically around the yard. Mums will enliven the garden with attractive greenery long before they bloom in the fall.

Gardening is a visually rewarding hobby. It is gratifying to know that it can be financially rewarding as well. Large mums can cost $40 for twelve-inch containers. The practice of dividing provides a great way to increase plant numbers with a little enjoyable effort. Dividing also provides an opportunity to learn much about plant care in general

Porcelain: where you should and shouldn’t use it

When it comes to choosing a type of dinnerware, more often than not, people get confused with which one to buy. There are many varieties available and due to lack of information about different types, they often chose not to buy even. While buying a set, you’ll look at whether it is microwave safe or not. Or you will look for whether it can be put in dishwasher or not. Different types of dinnerware come with its own advantages and disadvantages. The stoneware has advantages which bone china may not have and bone china have those advantages which stoneware may not have. So it boils down to, use the right tools for the right purpose.

Excluding the bone china and stoneware, there is another type of material from which, dinnerware, and tea pot are made. And that is porcelain. Porcelain is somewhat similar to bone china and manufacturing is somewhat similar too. But there’s a key ingredient that separates the two. Bone china includes the bone ash while the porcelain doesn’t. Rest of the elements, feldspar, quartz and kaolin is same for both bone china and porcelain. It is less expensive than bone china. And it comes in two types, hard paste which is non porous and soft paste which is somewhat porous.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of porcelain dishes

Advantages:

When it comes to cost, porcelain is a better option than bone china. Because bone china is a bit expensive, the price factor comes in strongly. Porcelain is somewhat priced around mid ranged. It is costlier than stoneware but also cheaper than the bone china.

Durability wise, porcelain is fired twice under very high temperature. Hence though it is often thought that, porcelain is brittle, it isn’t as brittle as you may think of and it can indeed withstand the shocks that may come in while using it in day to day life. The strong build is what makes porcelain desirable for day to day use. The cheaper price makes it more attractive choice for the buyers so that they can use it daily.

Porcelain is an ideal option for daily use. It’s strong nature, and cheaper price is what people looks for. Bone china indeed has more appeal but it is the most expensive so most people avoid using it for day to day life. On the other hand, porcelain makes the perfect companion for day to day life.

Disadvantages of using porcelain

Since porcelain and bone china has almost the same ingredients, similar disadvantages appear in both the cases. Thare are other, more modern looking plates.
Porcelain too is somewhat where you wouldn’t want to put something to keep it warm for a longer period of time. The heat insulation property of porcelain is somewhat weak and hence, if you put foods there, chance is, you’ll need some extra bit of covering to keep it warm as the porcelain will radiate the heat thus making the cool process more rapid.
Also from price point of view, it is cheaper than bone china but costly than stoneware.

European Culinary Star, Simon Smith Launches The Ultimate Balkan Recipe Book

Athens, Greece, ATH – 20 April 2017

The world famous European chef, Simon Smith, the owner of the Smith chain of restaurants across Europe has launched The Ultimate Balkan Recipe Book. The book consists of all the local recipes from the Balkan countries of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, Romania, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, and Turkey.

Simon Smith, the star of the popular long-running travel-cookery show “European Delicacies Galore”, the most famous travel-food show of the century, launched his Ultimate Balkan Recipe Book on 20 April at a gala hosted by his channel CBC in Athens, Greece. The event was attended by the who’s who of the travel and culinary world alike.

Before his travel-cookery show arrived, Simon had been the head chef at a five-star restaurant in Paris. Using the money inherited from his great grandfather, Lord Smith, and in collaboration with a Greek billionaire turned investor, he launched his chain of restaurants, “The Smith Chain of Restaurants” across Europe. Then came his cookery show, the first travel-cookery show of its kind, wherein he traveled through small local areas and cooked with the locals, bringing new European recipes to the fore.

Smith said at the book launch, “European Delicacies Galore was an immensely educational experience for me. I learned about European culture that had been hidden away in small villages across this magical land. The locals taught me about various local ingredients, cooking techniques, and dishes I had never known existed. I have been a chef all my life, and yet what I learned in the five years I worked on my show, is a knowledge of a lifetime.”

Smith has written his book on the Balkan food with the focus to introduce this rich cuisine to the world in ways more accessible than ever before. “I have explained every recipe in grave detail. There is a complimentary DVD where the users can watch me cook every recipe I have documented. You can also purchase certain exotic ingredients that may be hard to find in the market on my website. I have tied up with the local Balkan people to supply me with those ingredients.”

Simon Smith will be holding weekly Facebook Live sessions with his fans and answering any questions they may have regarding his new cookbook. All the documented dishes can also be had at his chain of restaurants. Smith plans to launch his next book on the Scandinavian Palette coming September.

About Simon Smith

Born in Athens, Greece, Smith belongs to a royal lineage of ancestors. In love with the culinary arts since childhood, he decided to choose a different course for his life and went on to become the head chef at the Ritz, Paris. Today he lives with his French wife Pauline, and two beautiful kids Andrew and Nicole in Athens.