Summer Fruits and Vegetables

How to Grow Your Own Peaches and Nectarines

Peaches are fuzzy and nectarines are eloquent. For many people, that’s the only difference. And since nectarines are actually a variety of peach, fuzz or absence of it is a good way to tell them apart. This also suggests that if you can grow peaches, you are able to grow nectarines.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that as soon as you’ve decided to grow peaches, nectarines or both, your decision making is over, especially given the vast array of peaches and nectarines available. It’s not just a question of if you want a fruit with white or yellowish flesh. Would you desire to have an early, midseason or late crop? How about a cling variety, the ideal option for canning, or a easy-to-eat freestone? What about the semifreestone? Maybe you want something really unusual, like a cherry which isn’t even round.

And if this isn’t sufficient, you have the option of having a standard tree, pruning a standard tree to a height which makes for easier picking or developing a true dwarf, a few of which are even small enough for a very large container.

But do not worry, whatever you choose, the end result will be delicious, tree-ripened fruit which can not be beat for taste and juiciness.

Where to grow: Peaches and nectarines are fairly fussy. They enjoy winter chill but not long freezes or late-winter frosts. They also favor it hot and somewhat dry. It’s no wonder that California has great peach-growing areas, though peaches can be seen growing throughout the U.S. in USDA zones 5 through 8 or 9.

Favorite berry: Arctic Supreme, Bonanza II, Early Elberta (Lemon Elberta, Improved Elberta), Earligrande, Elberta, El Dorado, Frost, Gleason, Harken, Indian Blood Cling (Indian Cling), Indian Free, June Pride, Loring, Nectar, O’Henry, Pix Zee, Redhaven, Redskin, Reliance, Snow Beauty, Strawberry Free, Suncrest, Tropic Snow, Vulcan, White Lady

Favorite nectarines: Arctic Fantasy, Arctic Glo, Arctic Jay, Arctic Rose, Arctic Sun, Fantasia, Goldmine, Harko, Juneglo, Mericrest, Nectar Babe, Nectar Zee, Panamint, Snow Queen, Southern Bell

Aaron Jerad Designs

Planting guidelines: select a spot in sunlight with well-drained soil; amend if your soil is heavy or overly muddy. Bare-root trees are the most common and should be planted in late winter or early spring when the ground is achievable and the frosts are over. Container plants may be planted from autumn through spring.

Care requirements: Fertilize per week after planting using a complete fertilizer, then fertilize heavily with a complete organic fertilizer each spring. Nitrogen was added by provide if needed.

Water frequently. Adding compost around the tree (but not touching the back) will help preserve moisture while keeping the earth soft so decreasing fruit doesn’t get bruised.

Most peaches and nectarines will naturally drop fruit in early summer, but you are going to have to supplement which organic thinning with more rigorous thinning in your to space out fruits and prevent branches from becoming overloaded and breaking.

Leave 3 to 5 inches involving meals. Also, remove fruit in the ends of smaller branches to keep the branches from breaking.

Pruning: This is a necessary chore for any cherry variety. On the other hand, it encourages other side effects also, consequently, more fruit. Prune when the tree is dormant in winter or early spring. Start with removing dead and diseased branches and anything that crosses through the middle.

If you have pruned when planting, the following spring choose three to five branches which are ideally evenly dispersed to form the most important shape of the tree. An open centre is perfect, since it allows air to circulate and provides easier access to inside fruit. Remove any surplus branches to encourage the growth of these principal shoots.

In the next years, cut back about two-thirds of the previous year’s growth. For ease of care and harvesting, keep even criteria under 12 feet tall. To keep them even smaller, especially in the event that you don’t possess a dwarf variety, prune in summer too. If you are more experimental or just have limited space, try espaliering your tree from a wall.

Pests and diseases: The dreaded peach leaf curl is your cherry grower’s nemesis. It appears just like it seems, together with the leaves curling upward and becoming stained. It may hit anywhere, but the wetter the weather, the more likely it will happen. Other problem diseases consist of brown rot and peach scab. A spray program in autumn and winter using a dormant spray of lime sulfur or fixed copper can help. When the tree blossoms, spraying won’t help.

Problems like gummosis, or oozing sap, can be avoided by keeping the region and some other backyard resources utilized on the trees clean and by eliminating dead fruit and diseased branches instantly. Don’t forget to dispose of them someplace other than your compost pile.

The most frequent pest problems are cherry tree borers, which render a jelly-like substance coming out of the holes they create. Methods for controlling them differ from region to region, so check with a nursery or extension service for advice. For different problems like aphids and earwigs, a tacky barrier wrapped around the bottom of the branches will out them.

Then you will find animals, especially birds, which love the peaches as much as you do. You can net a tree a few weeks ahead of the fruit is ripe, something that is a lot easier to perform when the tree is modest. Or hang shiny objects from the branches — today you know what to do with all those old CDs. Or try a fake owl or hawk. Don’t forget to move them around, or even the birds will probably catch on that they are not real.

Harvesting: Decide when the fruit is fully ripe, with no green skin. It will be slightly soft to the touch, but be careful when checking, as peaches and nectarines bruise easily. Twist off the fruit at the stem. The crop season is short for an individual tree — a good reason to plant more than just one — but you will have tons of fruit when it is in full production.

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Tropical Style

6 Great Ways With Garden Ground Covers

Ground cover crops play an important function in the garden. Characterized with their low-growing forms and capability to strangle weeds with a carpet of vegetation, soil covers provide several benefits to almost any outdoor space. There are an enormous variety of ground cover plants readily available, often with unique growing requirements which range from full sun and dry conditions to moist soil and color. Pay attention to choosing a variety that is employed on your location and hardiness zone.

Some soil cover plants can be vigorous growers in certain growing conditions (borderline invasive, really), so be certain to do your homework and choose the necessary precautions. This can indicate segregating areas of ground cover and lawn, since voracious ground cover plants can migrate into the bud and take over. That said, as soon as you select the right floor cover and establish the right site, the opportunities to create a truly striking landscape appear.

Listed below are some of my favourite ways to use ground covers in the garden.

Plan-it Earth Style

Between pavers. This is most likely the most frequent use of floor covers, and rightly so, since it’s very effective. Whether it’s a casual approach with irregular stone slabs or a modern high-contrast aesthetic with modular pavers, floor covers fill in the spaces between stonework and generate a surface that is visually appealing and functional.

When selecting a floor cover to your paving project, be certain to choose a specimen that can handle traffic. One of my favorites is brass buttons (Leptinella squalida, USDA zones 4 to 10). As can be found in this case, Leptinella is a vigorous grower and forms a dense carpet of miniature fern-like foliage that is evergreen in temperate climates.

More: Plants to Your Pathway

About trees. Many trees have a unique form to their branches and trunk — a feature that should be emphasized. Rather than planting shrubs and perennials around the bottom of a feature tree, try integrating a carpet of ground cover that will enable the main form to be valued. Mosses such as Irish moss (Sagina subulata, zones 4 to 8) also form interesting mounds that bloom with tiny flowers in midsummer.

Garden Mentors

In rock gardens. Rock gardens are unique growing surroundings, and not all plants will appreciate the arctic conditions. Besides alpine plants, there are a number of ground covers that flourish in these conditions and can create interesting, low-maintenance and mini gardens.

Knawel cushion (Scleranthus biflorus, zones 9 to 11) is a truly fascinating noun which will likely become a feature in your rock garden. This slow growing, mound-forming plant gives a dense carpet of green foliage that will slowly creep over the surrounding rocks. Ensure the soil is well drained, as knawel cushion is prone to rotting with an excessive amount of water.

Meissner Landscape, Inc

In acidic soil. Planting around the foundation of large conifers can be hard due to the acidic, depleted soil and low-light conditions. Most ground covers won’t do nicely in this situation, but there are frequently significant distances between shrubs and perennials that will gain from floor cover.

One plant that is up to the challenge is bugle weed (Ajuga reptens, zones 3 to 10), a rapidly spreading evergreen ground cover that makes a tight mat of leaves with flower spires in the early spring. It’s worth noting that Ajuga can be somewhat invasive and should be sited only in locations where it can be included.

Matt Kilburn

Around partitions and hardscape features. Some floor covers are nicely suited to areas of a site where the standard change is characterized by walls and other hardscape features. It can be difficult to incorporate these features into the landscape, due to their hard outlines comparison the aesthetic of the surrounding softscape features.

Baby’s tears (Soleirolia soleirolii, zones 9 to 11) is a versatile floor cover that is well suited to this situation, since it flourishes with hardly any soil present and develops over hardscape features with little or no assistance. Brick walls take on a very different appearance when they are blanketed in baby’s tears, also it’s likely to create the impression they have been there for centuries.

Matt Kilburn

As standalone capabilities. Every once in a while, you come across a very creative use of ground covers that makes for an interesting conversation piece in the garden. Last year I toured England, seeing some of the very influential gardens in the country and soaking up the layout inspiration.

Whilst exploring the various garden rooms in Sissinghurst Castle, I came across an intriguing feature tucked into the hedge lining the herb garden. A stone bench was adorned with a carpet of chamomile, forming a chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile spp) seat.

This type of feature was common in medieval gardens, and it can offer inspiration for aromatic floor covers in your own yard. Try Roman chamomile or English chamomile to get the best outcomes (they are equally low-growing varieties), or experiment with different varieties of low-growing floor cover, such as creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum, zones 4 to 8).

Read about some other Fantastic floor cover: Golden Creeping Jenny

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Tropical Style

Bid Usher In the Good and Garden Bugs Goodbye

Summer’s long days and hot nights are fantastic for going outside and enjoying your garden. Finally, all of the work you have put in over the past season will be paying off, and you are able to relax and revel in the fruits of your labour. Unfortunately, you are likely not the only one who would like to appreciate your plot — there’s a veritable legion of nasty creatures waiting to spoil your outdoor plans and send you to the protection of your home.

In addition to all these unwelcome guests, but there are a range of beneficial garden insects. But how do you eliminate the bad guys and welcome the good guys? With just a little preparation and old-school understanding, you can accomplish this without pesticides or other substances that can damage you and your garden.

Below you will learn some of the more common insect threats to your garden and how you are able to persuade the bad bugs to depart on their own volition.

Rossington Architecture

4 Garden Pests and How to Remove Them

Mosquitoes. In many regions mosquitoes are a major issue in the summertime and can hinder outdoor activities. They thrive in regions with a normal water source and can multiply very quickly into big numbers if left unattended. All of your lawn’s water attributes should have motion on the surface of the water. Mosquito larvae can survive just in stagnant water, so if a pump is installed in a water feature, mosquito colonies are not as likely to survive. Adding fish into a pond is also a excellent way to fight mosquitoes, since they consume the larvae until they hatch. Goldfish, minnows and betta fish (also called Siamese fighting fish) are great options for controlling mosquitoes.

Ultimately, there are lots of plants you can add to your garden to help repel mosquitoes. Catnip is a natural mosquito repellent which develops in most regions within an easy-growing perennial. Marigolds also have a distinctive odor that is unbearable to mosquitoes. Try planting these annuals in pots around your patio and next to windows, and the odor will prevent mosquitoes from hanging around.

Kim Gamel

Wasps. As the summer winds on, wasps can turn into a major issue in the garden. These competitive carnivores have ruined many an outdoor dinner. Regrettably, vibrant-colored blooms can attract themso place plants which bloom in summer time away from sitting and dining areas. You could even deter wasps by placing out a bowl of crushed cloves on the table — the odor is offensive to wasps, and they will find someplace else to spend their time.

Ants. Depending on your geographical area, there are lots of types of ants that could make a home in your garden. Some ants are more difficult to eliminate than others. Luckily, the ants in Vancouver, where I reside, are rather simple to control.

As a guideline for many ants, concentrate on where they live and what they feed on to dissuade them from the garden. Ants don’t like the odor of cinnamon or mint, so if you are able to find the mound where the ants are coming from, sprinkle some cinnamon or go a potted mint plant to the region (mint should always be contained, since it’s an aggressively invasive plant) to make the region less hospitable to those little pests.

But ants are tenacious critters, and they might just move their home elsewhere in your garden. That’s why it’s also important to concentrate on their food resource. Among the means that ants gain sustenance is by”farming” the honeydew secreted out of aphids. They will even go so far as to move the aphids onto prime real estate on fruit trees and create elaborate methods for aphid farms to produce honeydew. And this leads us to our very last insect:

Aphids. Aphids can be tricky to eradicate, and the solution generally comes down to a combination of strategies. I’ve found blasting them off leaves with the hose are the most successful once they’ve infested a plant (versus soap-based sprays, which can often damage leaves), but there are also beneficial insects which can be introduced to your garden to manage an aphid problem.

The New York Botanical Garden

Two Beneficial Garden Insects and How to Welcome Them

Ladybugs. As mentioned before, aphids are a major issue in the garden. Ladybugs are a natural predator of aphids and can make a big difference to the health of your garden. An adult ladybug can eat around 1,000 aphids a day, so it’s easy to see how introducing this little helper can be useful. It is possible to buy ladybugs in many garden centers, but before you spend the money, be sure you take appropriate steps to help them stay around rather than flying away to your neighbor’s garden:
make certain there is not any insecticide on your crops, and scrutinize the leaves to see if there are aphids. Publish the ladybugs at night (they do not fly at night, so they’re more inclined to get established in your garden immediately) near the aphid-affected plants.Provide food resources other than aphids to make them feel at home. Ladybugs also eat pollen and love many flowering plants, such as marigolds, fennel, dill and geraniums.

Le jardinet

Mason bees. Bees and wasps frequently get thrown in precisely the same category of garden pests, but in reality, bees play an important role in the life cycle of crops. They also have more important things to concentrate on than you and your garden visitors, so that they aren’t going to bite or be a nuisance. Bees are avid pollinators and a crucial part of food crop production. International honeybee populations are in decline, so it’s more important than ever to help different types of bees take hold of their pollination jobs at hand.

That’s where mason bees come in. Introducing mason bees in to your scheme is as simple as sourcing a mason bee house and a few bee cocoons. Make sure there is also a water supply available so the bees can produce mud to package their cocoons into the mason bee house.

The cocoons hold dormant mason bees which come to life when the temperature warms in the spring (optimum conditions are if the noontime temperature is a minimum of 57 degrees Fahrenheit or 14 degrees Celsius). They can be kept in the refrigerator until the time is right to release them. Mason bees do not kind hives and live brief lives. Given the right conditions (flowering plants, a water supply and a home to put eggs in)they will work hard to pollinate your plants throughout the summer, along with the cocoons which are left behind in the mason bee house can be placed in containers in the refrigerator in the autumn and saved until next spring.

More: Porch Life: Banish the Bugs
4 Good Ways to Get Rid of Mosquitoes in Your Lawn

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Garden Alert: 22 Plants to Eliminate Pets

Plants and pets aren’t always a perfect mix. A surprising variety of crops, such as landscape and houseplant favorites, are toxic and even deadly if Rover or Fluffy decides they are edible. Below are only a couple of the more than 300 plants which can result in problems. Speak to your vet or see the ASPCA’s website for a complete list.

That isn’t to say that these crops and your pets can’t coexist. Many cats and dogs won’t give these plants a second look. And even if they do get into them, the toxins may not bother them. I’m personally acquainted with a puppy who dug up and ate daffodil bulbs, the most poisonous part of the plant, and didn’t even suffer a stomachache.

Nevertheless, it’s far better to be safe than sorry. Keep an eye on your pets and their chewing tastes, especially puppies and kittens who can, and will, chew on everything. Consider using bitter apple or sour orange spray to discourage leaf chomping, installing ornamental fencing or wrap netting around larger specimens, and placing houseplants out of reach. And should you suspect that your pet has gotten into something it should not have, contact your vet or an emergency clinic straight away.

Remember that some of these very same plants are toxic to humans. While adults generally do not chomp their way through a nonedible backyard, it’s sensible to keep an eye on little children, especially if they explore the world by putting everything in their mouths.

Filmore Clark

The amaryllis (Hippeastrum) is a favorite holiday bloomer, but for cats and dogs it can cause a selection of issues, from gastrointestinal issues to tremors as well as anorexia. The botanical Amaryllis, more commonly called Naked Lady, is both toxic.

Amy Renea

Autumn crocus appears benign, but vomiting, diarrhea as well as organ damage can be the result of ingesting this innocuous-looking plant. Interestingly, creative mystery authors have used this as a poison of choice for people (see also foxglove below).

J. Peterson Garden Design

Azaleas as well as other rhododendron species can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, general weakness and, even if the dose is powerful enough, even death.

Barbara Pintozzi

The pyrethrins at chrysanthemums may help ward off pests, but they can also cause problems from the gastrointenstinal system.

Exteriorscapes llc

The most likely effects from nibbling on coleus are vomiting and diarrhea, but depression and anorexia can also result.

Le jardinet

Consuming cyclamens can lead to vomiting. The most toxic parts of the plant are the roots, but it’s ideal to maintain all parts from the mouths of cats and dogs.

Laughlin Design Associates, Inc..

A springtime display of daffodils and tulips is always welcome. However, the bulbs are a source of toxins which can cause everything from drooling to convulsions and circulatory issues.

The New York Botanical Garden

Dahlias can cause both gastrointestinal and skin problems, so they should be outside of the range of sensitive pets.

Kim Gamel

English ivy is famous both for landscaping and as a houseplant, but if digested it can cause vomiting, diarrhea, pain and excess salivation.

environmental notion

Considering that foxglove goes from the botanical name of Digitalis, also the title of a commonly used heart medication, it’s not surprising that it can lead to cardiac problems in people and pets. Other symptoms include gastrointestinal issues.

Le jardinet

Hellebores, a winter-garden favored, can cause abdominal pain, colic and depression in both dogs and cats if ingested.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Although hydrangeas are backyard showstoppers, symptoms vary from oral irritation to gastrointestinal distress to depression for pets who eat them.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Numerous members of the lily family, such as Asiatic hybrids like those shown here, are highly toxic to cats, resulting in acute kidney damage even if just a little amount is consumed.

Barbara Pintozzi

Daylilies, although a member of a distinct botanical family, can also be toxic.

MTH Design Group

Oleanders are toxic to both people in pets. Problems vary from gastrointestinal troubles to compromised cardiac problems and death.

D for Design

The peace lily is an ideal houseplant. It’s happy in reduced light and is hard to kill. Regrettably, it can result in significant oral problems along with vomiting if swallowed by a cat or dog.

Scheer & Co..

While chewing consuming and on the leaves can cause swelling and irritation, the fantastic news is that most pothos look better when grown as hanging plants, from the reach of pets.

Constantine D. Vasilios & Associates Ltd

The sago palm is a dramatic houseplant and a favorite outdoor pick for temperate landscapes. The downside is that it’s toxic to pets. While the leaves can cause problems, the seeds, also called the nuts, are the most debatable and can lead to seizures and liver failure.

RLH Studio

The favorite umbrella tree, of the Schefllera genus, can cause intense oral irritation and vomiting if ingested.


Keep delicate sweet peas from experimenting pets, as they can cause tremors, seizures and, in acute cases, death.

Heffernan Landscape Design

The taxine at yew affects the central nervous system. Additionally, it can lead to cardiac failure.

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Small Bathroom

From Dated Southwestern to Serene Minimalism in a Cleveland Bathroom

When a Cleveland couple saw the house, their imaginations ran wild … nevertheless minimalist. Its original style has been Southwestern, not for their tastes that are modern , but it had bones. The renovation, designed by architect Ryan Duebber, included a toilet that inspires minutes of Zen (in actuality, a wall-mounted TV near the tub means that the homeowners may enjoy that section of The Daily Show whilst carrying a spoonful).

Natural materials, a simplified colour scheme with powerful textural contrasts, an elongated vaulted ceiling, additional storage and a new design add up to a minimalist retreat created for 2. Sneak a tiny break from whatever you’re working on and allow this toilet daydream take you away.

Bathroom at a Glance
Who lives here: A few and their blended family
Location: Cleveland
Size: About 192 square feet

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

The present vaulted ceiling and large window make the room feel spacious, which Duebber enhanced using a minimalist approach along with a thoughtful design. By putting the bathtub in front of the 18, he made the the majority of the view.

The bathtub sits on a stage made from Brazilian massaranduba timber. “The stage elevates the tub so they may enjoy the view, and creates a moment of comparison between the stone and wood,” Duebber says. Massaranduba is used for decking and can resist water splashing on the sides.

Before Photo

BEFORE: A dated garden tub and surround clunked up the area. I’m relieved that the owners upgraded the TV choice, since this scenario looks like a setup for the first two moments of a Six Feet Under episode.

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

AFTER: For all those of you worried about looky-loos, the bottom of the window will be at least 7 feet above the ground, and there are no nearby houses beyond.

Duebber found that the river stones at a landscaping yard for about $5. The tile ends where the stones start, leaving a 3/4-inch recess for placing them in place beneath black concrete board. In addition to the stones, Duebber used natural cut limestone tile onto the ground and at the shower to bring in a warm, natural texture. The stage has been stained to match the vanity, which you’ll see next.

Faucet: R10 Series 3FRTL, Rubinet; bathtub Barcelona, Victoria and Albert; floor tile: Arctic Gray limestone, Daltile

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

The custom vanity that is floating is stained maple.

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

The mirror includes his-and-her medicine cabinets on each end, with recesses built into the wall behind them for added depth.

Straightforward clear glass tube pendant lights continue the clean lines and play the crystal clear glass shower surround.

Pendant lights: Top-si Coax Pendant, clear, LBL

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

The sink is incorporated into one piece of concrete and has faucets. The countertop with all the built-in spout included cost about $2,500.

The previous design had two sinks (see floor plan, next). Applying a long trough-like sink increases the area’s minimalist aesthetic. “The finish is amazing, and the colour blends really well with the limestone,” Duebber says.

Faucets: R10 Collection 1BRTL, Rubinet

You can observe the adjustments to the design on this program; Duebber made a tiny space in the walk-in closets for the whirlpool bath.

Before Photo

BEFORE: The bathroom had a separate toilet room, along with the vaulted ceiling finished at the wall that separated it in the rest of the room.

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

AFTER: Duebber gained space by tearing down the individual bathroom room wall, and he extended the vaulted ceiling from end to end. The bathroom is tucked past the partial wall in the front end of the shower stall.

Intelligent lighting is also an important part of the plot; LED tape beneath the vanity and the bathtub platform illuminate the river stones.

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

He also borrowed a tiny room from present walk-in closets to make a large shower stall for 2. One side includes a rain showerhead, while another has a one; there’s a shower seat between the two.

A 4-inch-wide ledge along the entire wall provides space for bath solutions. Clear glass produces an open texture.

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

The clients saved money by edging the shower with 12- from 24-inch limestone floor tiles rather than a slab. Limestone tiles , 2 by 2 inches, were used on the shower floor.

Ryan Duebber Architect, LLC

A track door separates the analysis from the toilet and closet corridor; the door on the other side opens to the bedroom. Both rooms have doors to the family room, so this isn’t the only way the master along with the analysis connect.

Duebber reiterates what I’ve been hearing a great deal from architects recently: Many clients these days want track doors. He advocates Grainger and Stanley for track options that are inexpensive.

See the rest of the renovations in this home

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11 Tree Houses Around the World

Why do we travel? An individual might argue that we do this to leave our comfort zones and try something fresh — understand and emulate another culture, its food, its customs etc.. If that is the situation, oftentimes it is where we choose to sleep that is going to have the biggest impact on attaining this perfect experience. It’s where you’ll call home, even if it’s only for a night.

That’s why many savvy travelers are taking to the trees, where sky-high tree house hotels, lodges and bed-and breakfasts have become de rigueur for open minded adventurers looking for that one-of-a-kind experience.

But make no mistake: While there are plenty of amazing Swiss Family Robinson–kind tree homes created from tree trunks and decoration rope, they’re not all rustic. Many architects have turned the notion on its head, including amenities and materials with design flair. But regardless of what your style taste, you are guaranteed never to forget your trip.

Here are 11 tree homes worth the climb.

1. Hapuku Lodge, New Zealand

This spacious property includes exquisitely designed tree homes on a vast New Zealand deer farm. Owner Tony Wilson and his family are enthusiastic about architecture, so much so that WIlson’s daughter, Julia, will become the fifth-generation Wilson architect following year.

The vertical batten outside is New Zealand redwood over Canadian cedar. The siding is aluminum.

The owners moved to extra lengths to guarantee a quiet and cozy stay. Soundproof windows maintain the stag roar out during mating season, while thick cushioning under the carpets reduces foot noise.

All of the beds have custom-made mattresses. The furniture is made by hand from North American hardwoods.

Price: About $668 per night for two guests

Photos courtesy of Hapuku Lodge

2. Treehotel, Sweden

Deep at a Swedish forest, some of Scandinavia’s most talented architects have created game-changing, uniquely themed and designed tree house hotels.

The Bird’s Nest area is just what its name suggests: Chaotic and complicated interlocking shrub branches mimic a bird’s nest on the outside.

But the interior is a wood-clad modern resort suite with small lookout windows.

Price: About $677 per night for two guests

Treehotel’s Cabin area, on the other hand, is a two-person capsule in the trees with a double bed, bath and terrace.

Indoors, a contemporary bedroom appears toward the Lule River valley.

Along with a small sitting nook close to paned windows allows guest truly connect with residing in the trees.

Price: About $677 per night for two guests

Treehotel’s Mirrorcube is possibly the most head turning, or reflecting, for that matter. Mirrored walls display the surrounding woods, developing a modern world. And don’t worry: Infared film on the panels prevents birds from flying into it.

The interior, made from plywood with a birch surface, is clean and cozy at once, with six windows to get a panoramic view.

Price: About $708 per night for two guests

The company’s UFO tree house cuts a striking alien experience scene. The composite material design allows for a lightweight yet durable design.

The two-story, contemporary area can sleep four people.

Price: About $677 per night for two guests

Photos by Peter Lundstrom, WDO

3. Tree Houses Hotel, Costa Rica

This bed-and-breakfast is located on 8 acres surrounded by a 70-acre wildlife refuge with a waterfall, swimming pools plus a winding river. The land is thought to be a “bird watcher’s paradise and wildlife lover’s dream” Guests regularly catch sight of sloths, monkeys, toucans, armadillos, hummingbirds, parrots and motmots. The tree houses are air conditioned and have warm-water showers and refrigerators.

Price: From $98 per night for two guests

Photo courtesy of Tree Houses Hotel Costa Rica

4. Sanya Nanshan, South China Sea

These vacation rentals sit in the tamarind trees along a sand dune in an isolated shore near a vast Buddhist and ecological theme park with temples, pagodas and botanical gardens.

Price: Contact for rates

Photo courtesy of Sanya Nanshan Treehouse Resort and Beach Club

5. Reserva Amazonica, Peru

In the Peruvian southeastern Amazon, 90 feet above the forest floor, sits this rustic tree house.

Guests can go for a wander without ever setting foot on the ground by means of a set of bridges that connects half a dozen trees and platforms.

Price: About $460 each night at the summer for two individuals

Photos courtesy of Inkaterra

6. Tree House Lodge, Costa Rica

Deep in the thick Costa Rican woods, an all-wood lodge sits in the trees.

All of the furniture in these split-level tree homes is hand carved from renewable wood. Scarlet birds of paradise include just the correct pop of tropical colors.

Meanwhile, screened windows let fresh air in while keeping bugs out.

Price: $300 per night for two guests

Photos courtesy of Tree House Lodge

7. Green Magic Nature Resort, Kerala

You’ll need to take a cane lift using a water counterweight up 115 feet to the trees to say goodnight in this bamboo hotel room, located on 30 acres of tropical rain forest. How they can obtain a functioning ceramic-tiled bathroom with running water up there, we will never know.

Price: Contact for rates

Photo courtesy of Tourindia

8. Tsala Treetop Lodge, South Africa

Nestled in the boughs of a native African woods, the homes of Tsala Treetop Lodge are far from your typical tree house layout. Guests enjoy a large lounge area with a fireplace and a grand private deck with an infinity pool.

The design and architecture were performed by Bruce Stafford along with the Hunter family, who have Hunter Hotels, which operates the Tsala.

Guests enjoy dinner on a deck hung above the forest floor.

Price: Contact for rates

Photos courtesy of Hunter Hotels

9. Vertical Horizons, Oregon

This cozy bed-and-breakfast can be found near a redwood forest in southern Oregon. Guests have access to caves, the Pacific coast and much more.

Each tree house features its own theme. This one, called the Shiitake, embodies an Asian aesthetic.

Price: Contact for rates

Photos courtesy of Vertical Horizons Treehouse Paradise

10. Treehouse Cottages, Arkansas

Originally from Miami, owners Terry and Patsy Miller moved to Eureka Springs in 1976. Fifteen decades later, they found Treehouse Cottages. Terry custom designed and hand built each tree house; they’re suspended on wooden rods about 25 feet off the ground.

But if they exude a certain rustic vibe on the outside, inside they’re packed with luxury handmade upgrades. In reality, what’s handmade: the cedar railings, the cabinets and even the doors.

Patsy created the wheel-thrown-pottery kitchen dishes.

And her handmade tile is featured throughout the tree homes, such as around this heart-shaped tub.

Price: From $149 per night for two guests

Photos courtesy of Treehouse Cottages

11. Hamanasi Adventure & Dive Resort, Belize

Take into the trees along the coast of Belize, where Luxurious tree homes have wraparound porches, outdoor hot tubs, kitchenettes and separate living rooms. The tree houses are created from all Belizean forests — mahogany, barba p holote, rosewood, Santa Maria and much more — and most of the furniture has been created on the property. Plus, the bird-rich woods surrounded you and near the second-largest barrier reef on earth.

Price: From $369 per night for two guests; minimum of three nights

Have you stayed in a tree house? We would really like to see a picture below.

More: Tour a shrub home-away-from-home in California

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Eclectic Homes

Must-Know Modern Homes: Gropius House

Along with Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright, Walter Gropius (1883–1969) is considered one of the masters of modern architecture. His buildings aren’t as widely known as among the other three architects, however his role as a teacher at the Bauhaus School in Germany, also at Harvard University after immigrating to the United States in 1937, cemented this status.

Gropius founded the Bauhaus School in Weimar in 1914, at the start of World War I, penning a manifesto five decades after when the school began in earnest. In it he called for people to “desire, conceive, and create the new structure of their near future, which will embrace architecture and sculpture and painting in 1 unity.”

These words indicate the contemporaneous De Stijl manifesto, but the conclusion of the Bauhaus’ new dwelling in 1926 in Dessau is a different direction than buildings such as the Rietveld-Schröder House. Considered Gropius’ masterpiece, the Bauhaus is an asymmetrical complex with all-glass exterior walls that he described as “accommodated into our universe of machines, radios and fast cars” and aligned “with all the new audacity of engineering.”

But seven decades after the Bauhaus closed under pressure from the Nazi regime, and Gropius, working on his own at the moment, fled to England. Four years later that he put out for the United States (as did Mies van der Rohe, to Chicago) at the invitation of the dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Design to direct the Department of Architecture, shifting it from a Beaux-Arts college to a concentrated on the “new architecture.” Close to Cambridge, Massachusetts, Gropius constructed a house for himself, an expression of his ideals in a foreign land. As we’ll see, the house shows how modern architecture, often seen as universalizing, actually responds to particulars of location.

Gropius House at a Glance
Year constructed: 1938
Walter Gropius
Location: Lincoln, Massachusetts
Visiting information: Self-guided tours accessible
Size: 2,300 square feet

More: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

Gropius managed to create the home for his family through the generosity of Helen Storrow, a wealthy Boston matron, who provided him the land and a loan. Gropius worked on the house using Marcel Breuer, a colleague from the Bauhaus; the two would work together before the early 1940s.

Here we view the north elevation, with the front door beneath the canopy and supporting the glass block wall. A spiral stair leads to a second-floor terrace.

The land that Gropius was provided is near Walden Pond — Historic New England, which currently administers the house, gives this direction to it : “Route 126 South past Walden Pond.” The immigrant architect supposedly discussed Thoreau in writing concerning the house when it comes beyond physical closeness to the pond.

The house is surrounded by an apple orchard and other trees. It takes advantage of the circumstance through large windows and terraces, possibly a modern interpretation of Thoreau’s communing with nature.

Architectural historian Kenneth Frampton explains the house in his analysis: It is “more sculptural than most photos suggest. … [It] is a dynamic spatial article.” We’ve seen the primarily closed north (entry) side of this house; here we see that the south side, which invites the sun in through bigger windows and can be carved for the second-floor terrace.

The west side is anchored by a brick wall that contains the fireplace for the first-floor living room. The home’s sculptural attributes are most conspicuous in this view, where we view that the roof overhang propped upon slim pilotis as well as the trellised patio and a screened porch on the back of the house.

The solution to the house is via a driveway that comes in the northeast. This angle presents an extremely International-style appearance of the home’s planar white walls, ribbon windows and asymmetry. Yet some vertical lines can be felt when looking carefully at the bright east facade. Rather than whitewashed concrete block partitions — as was the norm with many modern buildings in Europe — Gropius utilized white vertically lapped siding on a wood balloon framework. (The steel columns in the previous photograph reveal that the structure is a hybrid vehicle in components.) Gropius found inspiration with the standard building methods and materials of the region, all of the while creating something different from the norm.

A canopy reaches out in the north facade at an angle, as if to catch people from the driveway. About halfway up the road to the front door is a glass block, a primitive separation from the vernacular substances that Gropius utilized. A glance round the wall shows the spiral stair leading to an opening in the exterior wall, what’s one of the most intriguing aspects of the design. (A spiral stair around the front of a house? Where does it lead?)

The glass block wall straddles inside and outside, making some refuge on the exterior and bringing a few indirect natural lighting to the interior.

A few steps inside the entryway and one is faced with a spiraling stair leading to the second floor. Again, there is something of a balance between new and old happening. Architect Alexander Gorlin explains how “the plan can be interpreted as a modern variant of the typical Colonial, using a central stair hall and also the living area to a side, the kitchen on the other, and the bedrooms over.” From that view toward the front door, the living room is about the left and the kitchen is behind us to the right.

Off the entry hall is Gropius’ study, which appears north through a large window. A doorway from the analysis into the front door also leads to the spiral stair outside; this doorway and the stair are due to how the second-floor access to the patio is through the children’s room. (See the floor plan below.)

Opposite the plate glass wall is just another glass block wall, separating the study from the dining room and living area.

Here is a view of the dining area from the living room; the two are basically an L-shaped open space wrapping around the analysis through the glass block wall. The furniture pieces in the dining room are Bauhaus originals made by Marcel Breuer that Gropius attracted from Germany.

Access to the bedroom in the master suite is by way of the dressing room of Gropius’ spouse, Ise. (The cupboard and toilet are on the left.) This special and possibly inconvenient situation is remedied by a transparent glass wall having a mirror mirror separating the two spaces.

Our final view of the house is of this second-floor terrace, looking west; the opening out of the spiral stair is just out of frame to the right. Here we can find a better glimpse of this timber siding that covers the house. We can also see a house that Gropius and Breuer made for Breuer on precisely the same land from Helen Storrow.

Gropius expired in 1969, and his wife decided 10 decades after to donate the house to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, currently Historic New England. The Gropius House opened as a museum in 1985, two years following Ise’s passing. In 2002 the house was designated a National Historic Landmark.

Forty-five decades of attention by the Gropiuses and regular restorations by Historic New England mean the house and its original furnishings are in fantastic shape and worth seeing in person.

Conrads, Ulrich, ed. Programs and Manifestoes on 20th-Century Architecture. MIT Press, 1994 (first published in 1964).Curtis, William J.R. Modern Architecture Since 1900. Prentice-Hall, third edition, 1996 (first published in 1982).Frampton, Kenneth and Larkin, David. American Masterworks: The Twentieth Century House. Rizzoli, 1995. Gorlin, Alexander. Tomorrow’s Houses: New England Modernism. Rizzoli, 2011.
Historic New EnglandMore: 10 Must-Know Modern Homes

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Coastal Style

New Classics: The 9093 Teakettle

In 1985 The Cosby Show was number one in the evaluations, the Live Aid concert happened, Back to the upcoming was the highest-grossing movie, I was wearing a very short, asymmetrical New Wave hairdo and Michael Graves became the first American designer to create an object for Alessi. It was a smart teakettle designed for mass production, and thus far it’s outsold every other Alessi item. It is a slick design with a whimsical bird whistle at the end of the spout. You’d be amazed at the selection of kitchen fashions it fits right into; have a look below while I do the math on how many poor hair trends its own style has outlasted (really big perms came next) …


Alessi 9093 Kettle – $184

The teakettle’s layout gives a postmodern wink; it’s a slick mirrored-steel kettle of quite careful geometry and proportions, but then it’s this practical blue plastic handle letting you know that it’s OK to touch this part, along with a red cartoonish bird that screeches at you if the water is prepared. I wonder if those colour choices were Graves’ way of injecting a small bit of USA to the iconic Italian company’s product lineup.

Old World Kitchens & Custom Cabinets

This kitchen seems as if it could have been inspired by Graves’ kettle, with its stainless steel elements and gorgeous use of blue.

A+B KASHA Designs

The kettle is right at home being one of the only cosmetic objects in a kitchen that is minimalist.

Mal Corboy Design

Holly Marder

The kettle consists of 18/10 polished stainless steel and measures 8 1/2 inches in diameter and 9 inches high. The tapered design is efficient for boiling water fast.

Mauricio Nava Design, LLC

Ronan Rose Roberts Architects

Additionally, it works well in modern kitchens filled with warm wood accents.

Kindred Construction Ltd..

A shiny steel backsplash reflects the kettle here. Another new classic we’ve explored recently will be the chairs in this kitchen. They’re Hat Trick Chairs with a starchitect and product-designer colleague of Graves, Frank Gehry.

Rusk Renovations

The 9093 also adds a pop of charm charm to transitional kitchens.

Archer & Buchanan Architecture, Ltd..

Reico Kitchen & Bath

The kettle holds its own at a country-style kitchen perhaps as it’s a tiny critter atop its spout.

Ike Kligerman Barkley

Birdseye Design

The holding-its-own statement is true whether the kettle is in a room with full size country charm or a single with subtle country touches, such as this one. Chances are, one of these would work in your kitchen also; at 28 years old, it’s the most popular teakettle found in kitchen photographs.

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Eclectic Homes

Ocean Views Exhilarate on the Sunshine Coast

British Columbia is one. So it makes great sense that just a short ferry ride from Vancouver, a coastal house will wrap its arms around its own environment. “The owners wanted some wood frame and natural components to tie it in with the site and felt it should be a low-profile structure from the street,” says architect Kevin Simoes of Streamline Design. “They desired a beautiful house on the inside but did not feel the need to showcase that from the road”

They moved with an easy A-frame and incorporated timbers for most of the structural components. Simoes’ layout was limited by the bunch, which has setbacks on three sides, for example, sea side. “The site really ordered what we can do in regard to the footprint and layout of the house,” he says.

Working with designer Jonalyn Siemens, he made a minimalist yet charming getaway that’s beautiful inside and outside.

at a Glance
Who lives here: This is a weekend retreat for a designer and her husband.
Location: Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia
Size: 3,400 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms
That’s interesting: The house was constructed with a sustainably harvested Douglas fir wood frame and has a metal roof and a rainwater collection system.

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

An open living room, dining area and kitchen features a big portion of the most important level. “It is very popular with us to design such a manner and join all these open spaces,” says Simoes. “In this specific house, it allowed the great room and dining area to be slightly smaller than we would normally make them still feel as though they have more volume than they really do.”

Dining table: Restoration Hardware; chairs: Another Room; chandelier: Halo, Roost; sleeper couch: Willow Studio; mermaid sculpture: Alisa Shebib; fireplace: handmade Updated tile, Solus Vancouver

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

Seven doors open the space to the outside up . The floors throughout are engineered walnut from Lauzon.

Bar stools: Pier 1 imports, draped with sheepskin; pendant: Hudson Valley lighting, Luminosa Light Design; windows, doors: Dynamic Windows

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

An aggregate concrete route leads to the entry. There is into the mudroom A doorway off to the best.

The exterior is Douglas fir wood frame made without the wood’s heart. Simoes explains that because timber shrinks and expands, you don’t wish to work with the heart, or centre pith, of the timber. Nonheart timber is not as likely to expand, contract or spin over time.

Timber frame: West Coast Log Homes

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

The beams and posts are Douglas fir timbers. A floating staircase is Douglas fir and has a steel and cable railing. A similar railing leads to the reduced level, which contains two bedrooms, a rec room, a wine room and a media room.

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

Moveable portholes are fun features that help provide venting, since there aren’t many operable windows on the front part of the house.

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

The kitchen includes high-gloss white Euro cabinetry with Merit Kitchens, a stainless steel square tile backsplash from Custom Flooring and KitchenAid appliances (with the exception of a Miele dishwasher).

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

The homeowners plan to make use of the upstairs attic as a sitting area and library. Another area of the room contains a wall of bookshelves.

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

“Normally we wouldn’t place this kind of beam construction at a space where only the vertical post is required,” says Simoes. “But we wanted to add additional visual interest, as well as the beamwork helps to specify the kitchen space, not only when you’re down below looking up, but also when you’re up in the attic looking down”

He integrated the structural post which supports the ridge beam into the kitchen island. “Rather than have a stand-alone post, we wanted to integrate it in the island to give it a tiny bit more mass and to floor it.”

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

The master bedroom is on the main level, and you can see through the two-way fireplace into the excellent room.

Custom bed: Vincent Lang Furnishings; bedding, cushions, carpet: Designers Guild; pendant lamps: Luminosa Light Design; standing lamp: Adesso; couch, ottoman, draperies: custom by Jonalyn Siemens

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

We desired the master bath tub to be the focal point of the space,” says Simoes. “The owners love to sit here and feel as though they’re about the sea.”

Bathtub, sink: Ravello, Victoria and Albert; tub fixtures: Axor Massaud, Hansgrohe

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

The simple yet lavish finishes at the master bathroom comprise polished travertine tiles atop the vanity.

Mirrors: Restoration Hardware; sconces: Hudson Valley lighting, Luminosa Light Design; faucet fixtures: Axor Massaud, Hansgrohe

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

The homeowners wanted to maintain the master bathroom as spacious as possible. Sliding doors open into the bedroom, and picture windows provide a view of the sea from the shower.

Shower walls: limestone; flooring: pebble tiles, Ecolfor; fixtures: Axor, Hansgrohe

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

Practical and visually attractive, the mudroom with laundry has a countertop and loads of storage.

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

This is only one of two guest bathrooms on the lower level.

Shower tile: polished ceramic, Olympia Tile; sinks, sink fixtures: Ronbow; mirrors: Home Depot; sconces: Hudson Valley lighting, Luminosa Light Design; shower fixtures: Hansgrohe

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

The cedar rear deck runs the entire 45-foot span of the house.

Deck furniture: Costco; fire pit: Solus Vancouver

Streamline Design Ltd. – Kevin Simoes

A log staircase from the main floor deck brings down into a gazebo and a route into the sea.

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Finish Your Flooring to Perfection With Parquet

Parquet flooring can bring amazing timber floors up a notch with its incredible detailing. So many designs are now available, in the traditional brick or basket appearance to upgraded chevron and herringbone designs. Each beautiful and intricate design can add interest and value to your property.

Originally a French feature dating from 1684, parquet flooring is made of solid blocks of hardwoods, laid over tie pubs in square, triangular or lozenge layouts, then nailed in place. This manner of flooring became increasingly popular with the wealthy, as it did not trap moisture and encourage rotting joists the manner marble flooring did. Today this elegant design can add historic interest to modern, modern or traditional homes.

Hendel Homes

Definitions. Purists use the term “parquetry” to reference wood flooring or furniture using angular and geometric patterns, while “marquetry” identifies curved shapes. “Parquet” is the expression used for flooring. These days any kind of woodblock floor layout can be known as “parquet flooring”

Shown: This timeless basket-weave, panel parquet flooring remains is one of the most popular designs. Within this sophisticated setting it grounds the room when harmonizing with the glazed French paneling.

Designed To Appeal

Selecting your wood. Shop around to your parquet flooring. Timber choice is just as important as design.

Is the timber domestic or exotic? Is it solid or engineered? What’s the overall thickness and length of the wood? Will the wear coating work for high-traffic locations? Is the wood finished in gloss, semigloss or wax? Choose the materials and finish you need before settling on your own design.

The most important issue when choosing your flooring is the wear coating. Every other detail is about personal choice. If you know you can repair and refinish your parquet flooring again and again, you’ll have spent your money wisely.

Shown: The brick layout used within this parquet flooring instantly informs us this is 21st-century architecture.

Global Hotel Resources LLC

Utilizing engineered timber. In case you choose to use engineered hardwood to your parquet floors, keep a few things in mind. The thickness of the floor can range from 10 to 20 millimeters complete. Since the surface is actual wood, it should be as thick as you can. When the surface is thinner compared to .6 millimeters, it makes it very hard to refinish after harm. Aim for the top layer of the veneer to be between 2 and 6 millimeters.

The layers under the veneer also matter. There can be three to 12 layers of plywood and unfinished wood, so request as many layers as your budget can handle for the best strength and durability.

Shown: The panel parquet floor within this Scandinavian-inspired area has a lozenge (diamond) design accomplished in a modern manner.

Cravotta Interiors

Block versus panel. Should you decide on solid wood at a block or plank design for parquet flooring, it is worth buying a business that does technical installations.

Panel parquet flooring uses preassembled squares in prearranged patterns; block parquet flooring has individual pieces of parquetry, precut in custom lengths and widths. In both methods, each individual block or panel is glued and pinned to a plywood substrate onsite. The pieces are then coated and finished with all the desired lacquer.

Shown: At a highly conventional setting, parquet flooring contrasts with tiles may help divide darker timbers.


Finishing parquet flooring. The finish you select requires careful thought. A film-forming product such as varnish works good for high-traffic areas. Polyurethane varnishes in matte, satin or gloss finishes are normally the most frequent — all need around two to three coatings. Penetrating oils, such as a wax finish, improve the appearance and texture of natural timber and dry to a satin matte sheen.

In case your parquet flooring is constructed from unfinished solid hardwood, allow at least 36 hours for the glue to cure before applying clogs or clogs.

Shown: Increasingly popular, this totally modern chevron (also called a stage de hongrie) design is simple but highly effective.

Tuthill structure

Gluing. The glues used for placing parquet flooring can vary in quality, so it is best to take advice from the installer. If parquet flooring is applied directly over a concrete slab, then make sure to use two coats of epoxy membrane so the wood doesn’t buckle from moisture later on.

Both panel- and – block-style parquetry pieces will need to take a seat in the room for at least 72 hours before installation so the wood can adapt to the room temperature.

Shown: The different tones of this Brazilian walnut block parquet flooring pop in a herringbone design. The border defines different spaces at the long hall.

Anthony Baratta LLC

Figuring out the design. When a parquet design is highly complicated, the most important purpose is to keep the parquet squares symmetrical with all the walls.

In this photograph, the staircase functions as the focus of the room, hence the pieces necessary to be lined up using the staircase rather than the walls. A boundary was inserted into the periphery of the floor, to assist with this.

Shown: The high-gloss varnish on this floor makes for an extremely hard-wearing surface — great in an entry hall which sees a lot of traffic.

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