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Tips for a Beautiful Thanksgiving Tablescape

The holidays are a time for family, friends and food… but we can’t forget about the festive decor! Whether you like to go the traditional route, or feel like mixing it up this year, here are a few tips for fun, budget-friendly ways to make your table one guests won't soon forget.   

Personalized Place Settings

This Thanksgiving, get inspired to break out a fancy calligraphy pen or a pretty marker and write down the name of each guest in your best script. Everyone at your gathering will feel special, and might even take theirs home at the end of the night. Mini pumpkins can duel as a place setting and napkin weight!   

DIY that Floral Centerpiece

For a budget-friendly AND therapeutic option (who doesn’t need that right now?) create a do it yourself centerpiece using elements from your own garden or a store known for its great floral section to help spur your imagination. Want to create one you can keep around year after year? Use faux florals instead!   

Focus on the Candles

Candles are a wonderful, inexpensive way to make a big statement- especially after the sun goes down. Taper candles (colored ones are trending!) or pillar candles of assorted sizes with some simple greenery around them sometimes are all the centerpiece you need. Talk about ambience!   

Bring the Outside In

Sometimes the most budget-friendly and beautiful Thanksgiving table decor is right in your own backyard! Take a stroll outside and gather some branches, fallen leaves, berries, dried flowers and pinecones to adorn your autumnal tablescape. Eucalyptus is also a fool-proof way to add an organic touch of elegance.   

Reflect the Landscape 

If you live in a more temperate climate, you can use lots of neutrals such as rattan and fresh produce like pears, artichokes or persimmons as decor instead of the traditional pumpkins. Another fun option is apples, which immediately remind us of a crisp fall day in New England. Out west? Reach for the wheat and corn!   

Set the Mood

Create a more moody palette using lots of blues, dark teals and purples to follow the jewel tone trend this year. Colored glassware and taper candles (as previously mentioned) are breaking the mold for the “traditional” tablescape! Think plush velvet pumpkins, plum colored linens and gold votives to set the mood for a more intimate gathering.

Keep it Eclectic 

Create an unexpected Thanksgiving table by raiding the china cabinet and experimenting with decor in a mixture of patterns and place settings.  It’ll be a great excuse to use your grandmother’s vintage china while still incorporating the new pieces you love. Keep it cohesive by using complimentary colors.  

Go Bold Instead of Same-Old

In lieu of the typical white linen, opt for a fun black and white buffalo check or fall-colored plaid tablecloth instead. Paired with jewel tones, or amber glass and copper accents, the tablecloth will bring in an unexpected element while still letting the centerpiece pop.   

Don’t Forget the Gold! 

From the tablecloth, metallic chargers, gold flatware and candlesticks, there’s always an opportunity to add a little more flare with the metallics on the table. Another fun way to add some gold? Have a glass of champagne or sparkling apple cider waiting for each guest as they take a seat.     

Arrange Your Outdoor Living Area for Autumn Activities

Earlier evenings, cooler weather, and warm hues signal the arrival of the fall season. The slight chill stimulates loved ones to draw closer together for occasions of thanks and celebration. Make your outdoor living space the place to be with these ideas for converting your yard from a spot for summer socializing to a cozy atmosphere for autumn activities.

Accessorize Around the Fire Pit

A bonfire is one of the best parts of fall's dropping temperatures. Optimize your space with chairs around a fire pit, and don't forget the skewers for the marshmallows and weenie roasts. A large log or stone is a seating option with rustic appeal. Add to the woodsy feeling with a metal log holder nearby for kindling to keep the fire crackling.

Add Throw Blankets and Pillows

Keep throw pillows and blankets to relax in when you want to cozy up with a good read or sip on a delicious hot beverage on breezy afternoons. A woven basket is perfect for stowing extra blankets while complementing the fall look. Drape a couple over your patio furniture for a chic accent. If rain or snow threatens your throws, your basket or another stylish container is convenient for quickly bringing your fabrics inside. Consider covers for your furniture cushions and pillows to protect them from inclement weather so you don't constantly have to drag them in and out. Contribute to your autumnal outdoor homemaking by selecting pillows and blankets with seasonal images. Designs featuring harvests, turkeys, acorns, and falling leaves are always winners. Select a few items with inspirational phrases that remind you to express gratitude and enjoy fall activities.

Enhance Lighting To Improve Outdoor Living

As darkness falls earlier in the day, keep your area safe and open for lounging with extra illumination. Set up some soft path lighting so you can navigate securely back into the house when cleaning up after sundown. Wall sconces add visibility to recessed areas, giving you full access to the yard during the evening. Lanterns create a lovely rustic feel. Mix and match finishes and sizes for variety. Battery-powered lanterns on tabletops allow for softer lighting while entertaining, minimizing the need for overpowered and distracting bulbs overhead. Translucent glass gives a glare-free experience that doesn't detract from the rest of your lighting. You don't have to reserve string lighting for winter festivities. Tiny twinkling bulbs or cafe lights work year-round to preserve a natural feel to your yard's nightly glow. Keep a casual and relaxed look by looping lights over your fencing or draping them in bushes and trees. If you desire more orderliness, hang the lines parallel over spots where folks associate.

Change the Flora 

As nature bursts with lovely reds, oranges, and yellows, refresh your planters with flora to match the seasonal shades. Use pots of different sizes, which preserves a natural and spontaneous aesthetic to the outdoor living space instead of a cookie-cutter monotony. The variety also allows you to put plants in pottery of appropriate dimensions for their health. Decide on a color palette and choose plants that complement your selected tones. Consider these possible choices:
  • Garden mums pop in gold, orange, bronze, and burgundy.
  • Beautyberries bring a bright purple that draws birds.
  • Goldenrod (unsurprisingly) adds gold that attracts butterflies and bees.
  • Add autumn crocus for a dash of light violet.
  • Blue star amsonia is a perennial that offers a brilliant gold backdrop for fall flowers.
  • Pansies come in various colors and are resilient against light frosts.

Switch Seasonal Decorations

Pumpkins and gourds are a delicious accent to a porch. Artificial options remove the worry about cleaning up rotting fruit. Don't restrict yourself to the customary orange and yellow options- white, green and pinkish pumpkins provide a unique touch. Usually, these varieties have a flattened shape, allowing you to stack them for an eye-catching display. Musquee de Provence pumpkins come in a rich earthy brown. Blue and white pumpkins are unusual species that draw attention as a talking piece and mix well with the traditional orange. Hay and corn stalks on the sides of your door fit well with your autumn plantings. Garlands and wreaths are other inviting outdoor homemaking decorations. Plastic leaves last the entire season and can be reused year after year. Wreaths can be fashioned out of all sorts of materials, so get creative. Search for or make a wreath yourself out of:
  • Hemp cord and faux flowers
  • A small wagon wheel with decorative pine cones
  • Plastic or wooden red delicious apples
  • Dried wheat or cornstalks
  • Wood in unique shapes like hexagon or spiral for a modernistic feel
  • Magnolia leaves and pine cones
Place a chalkboard in the center of a wreath so friends and family can leave memories of a visit with funny and heartwarming messages or drawings. Get ready to spread autumnal cheer by sprucing up your property. Red's Home & Garden has all the needed items to adorn your outdoor living area, from garden supplies and decor to landscaping needs and artificial plants. After you've transformed your space for the season, your guests will surely delight in your home's charm.

Tips for Updating Your Home With Each Season

When summer’s greens give way to autumn’s oranges and golds, you might also feel a desire to update your home’s look and feel to reflect the season. After all, the great outdoors is often a wonderful source of inspiration for your interiors. The good news is that you don’t have to do a top-down renovation every time the weather changes. When it comes to seasonal home decor and design, little changes can make a big impact. Consider these tips for transitioning your place from season to season.

Celebrating the Season

Seasonal displays are reliable when it comes to updating your interiors. It’s common to see brightly decorated trees or wreaths for Christmas. Consider similar displays for other times of the year. Use the upcoming season to inspire the colors and themes for flat surfaces such as dining tables, coffee tables, sideboards, and entryway cabinets. Swap out wall decor, including framed artwork and sculptures, to refresh your rooms with each season.

Switching Out Fabrics

Changing the fabrics in your rooms is a great way to bring your home into a new season. From window treatments to bed linens to throw pillows, fabric choices have a big impact on the look and feel of a space. Think carefully about colors, textures, and weights when planning for the upcoming season. Lighter and brighter fabrics help usher in the spring and summer, while darker and heavier textiles welcome autumn and winter. The outdoor temperatures can also point you in the right direction. When it’s warmer, go thinner, and when it’s cooler, go heavier. When putting your spaces together, think about the ease of changing your look. For example, replacing furniture every few months is neither practical nor feasible; however, slipcovers, throw blankets, and throw pillows can be switched out easily and affordably. In bedrooms, bed linens and pillows can be coordinated and changed out in accordance with the season. Decorative towels can also bring the look of the season to your kitchens and bathrooms.

Blooming When You’re Planted

Florals and other plant-based elements can instantly bring a space into the upcoming season. Flowers, in particular, are commonly associated with springtime, but other botanical and natural elements are ideal for changing home decor with season changes. Elements such as holly, mistletoe, and pumpkins are symbolic of certain holidays and times of the year. Flowers and other natural elements can evoke a seasonal mood based on a color scheme or motif. Fruits and vegetables also expand your options for seasonal home decor. Faux items are best for merging a realistic look and feel with the durability needed for the season.

Delighting the Senses

While the feel of a space depends heavily on the visuals and textures, consider scents when it comes to setting a mood based on the season. Candles, soaps, wax melts, and reed diffusers come in a variety of fragrances, especially seasonal ones, that are appropriate for the time of year. Warm scents inspired by holiday desserts are great for autumn and winter. Brighter, botanical aromas put you and other occupants in a warm-weather mood. You can also play with intensity to strike the right touch for the season.

Grounding in Goodness

When it comes to changing home decor with the season, don’t neglect your floors. Switching out flooring several times each year isn’t doable for most, but rugs can be a part of your seasonal decor changes. Area rugs anchor the look of a space. Depending on the size and room configuration, you can easily change out your rugs as appropriate. Runners, entry mats, and bath mats also contribute to the seasonal mood of their respective spaces. Play with rug designs, shapes, and thicknesses, as appropriate for the room function.

Including the Outdoors

Your exterior spaces are also a part of your residence’s look and feel. Don’t forget to include them in your design plans. Yard flags, door mats, and paint colors are ways to transition your seasonal home decor. Be mindful of any deed restrictions or homeowners’ association rules when planning. A fresh coat of paint on your front door, window shutters, or planters helps to bring in the new season. As the seasons ebb and flow, you may be inspired to update your home’s spaces accordingly. You don’t need a big budget or a team of designers and contractors to make the transition, just a few helpful hints and the right elements. Red’s Home & Garden is here to help make your seasonal home decor dreams a beautiful and timely reality. Contact us today for ideas, items, and inspiration.

6 Tips To Keep Your House Plants Alive During Summer

Summertime is a great season for houseplants and people. Both can enjoy warmer days and more hours of sunlight. Just as you do things to protect yourself from the heat and sun, your plants need that type of care too. Here are six summer plant care tips to keep your house plants alive during summer.

1. Make Watering Adjustments

Water is important for the survival of your plants. Like you, they also need more of it during the summer months. So, water your plants weekly and try to do it early in the morning or in the evening when it’s cooler. And if you know that a heat wave is coming, water them well so they won’t dry out. Also, don’t water too fast and make sure they absorb it all. Since water evaporates faster in hot weather, check your soil often. If it feels dry an inch or two down into the dirt, your plant needs water. If you notice dirt pulling away from the sides of the pot, that's a sign too. You can place rocks or mulch on top of the soil to help keep the moisture in.

2. Prevent Exposure To Direct Sunlight

Although bright sunny days are beautiful, too much sun can be harmful to your plants. Direct sunlight, especially midday, can burn their leaves and dry them out. To avoid this, angle window blinds away from your plants. You can use a sheer curtain to cover windows and provide some shade for them. Moving plants away from windowsills and more towards the inner part of the room also helps.

3. Maintain a Stable Environment

For indoor plants to survive, they need a stable environment. Extreme temperature changes are never good for them. Most houseplants originate from tropical areas and thrive in humidity. Be mindful of this while running your air conditioner, especially since they tend to dry the air out. You can combat this and provide the humidity your plants need by placing them near each other, misting them, turning on a humidifier, or placing pebble trays under their pots.

4. Look for Signs of Stress

It’s important to check your houseplants often for early signs of stress. This can show up when leaves wilt or fall off. They may also turn pale, and sunburned leaves will start turning yellow or brown. All these issues could be the result of too much heat, not enough water, or a bug infestation. By noticing these things early, you can correct the problem and protect your plants.

5. Fertilize, Prune, and Repot Carefully

Part of caring for your plants includes fertilizing, pruning, and repotting. But another one of the summer plant care tips is knowing when to do this. You should never fertilize, prune or repot a plant during extreme temperatures since your plant may be experiencing stress from the heat. All these activities can add to that stress, so it’s better to wait until it's cooler and your plant has recovered.  

6. Dust Your Leaves Often

As air pollutants increase in the summertime, so does the dust on your leaves. This can decrease the amount of light your plants can absorb and convert to food. Be sure to wipe your plants off every few weeks with a damp rag or wet paper towel.

Take Care of Your Plants

Your houseplants are living things and depend on you. Use these summer plant care tips to give them the care and protection they need. Are you looking for plant supplies or new plants to add to your home? At Red's Home & Garden we can help you find what you need. Come by and visit or call us at (336) 973-5521 and we will help you.

How To Alter Home Decor To Improve Your Health and Happiness

Sometimes, decorating the interior of your home may seem like an afterthought. After a long day at work, cooking, and doing chores, rest and relaxation may be at the front of your mind; changing the walls and fixtures around you, less so. However, it is important to remember that the decor in your home has an enormous influence on your well-being. From wall colors to lights to object placement and more, home decor benefits play a major role in how you feel from day to day. Sometimes, this means a change can offer a major boost to your well-being. To learn more about how and why, read on.

Let the Light In

It's intuitive, but bears repeating: There is no substitute for natural light. A home that allows in more sunlight will feel more open, healthier, and airier. Sunlight has positive effects on our body, improving health and well-being, as well as levels of Vitamin D. Receiving proper amounts of regular light also helps to keep our bodily rhythms regular. Do what you can to open up space in your house to let light in. Try to move furniture or other objects that are blocking windows — and make sure windows are clean and are fully allowing light to pass through. If you have curtains or blinds, ensure they are opened regularly to let light in. If you have the time and budget, adding extra windows or skylights to your home can also help.

Consider Color

Color, in addition to sunlight, plays a major role in our bodies' perceptions of the world around us. Take a good look around your home, noticing the color of paints and wallpaper. Is there a way to change these to brighten your home? Naturally, brighter colors can help rooms feel airier and more open than darker colors. Color can even affect our bodies' sense of temperature; certain colors (like red) can help us to feel warmer. Other colors can have a role in boosting productivity.

Add Houseplants

A great way to add freshness to your home is through houseplants. The presence of living plants can have a palpable effect in the rooms in which they sit. Houseplants can freshen the surrounding air, filtering it and making it cleaner to breathe. They can also add a touch of "naturalness" to rooms that helps you feel more at ease. In some cases, plant fragrances can help brighten and freshen rooms as well.

Be Mindful About Electronic Devices

Numerous studies demonstrate the ways that electronics, screens, and electromagnetic fields can affect the spaces around us. Blue light — which emanates from digital screens — can affect mental processes, particularly sleep. Consider removing televisions or other electronics from your bedroom to ensure you sleep well. Also be mindful of other devices that give off electromagnetic radiation, like computers and cell phones. There is some evidence that these can affect bodily functioning as well; keeping them confined in specific parts of the home — like your office, for instance — can help limit their effects on your well-being.

Reorganize the Furniture

Sometimes, simply shifting around the placement of objects in the home can give spaces an entirely new feel. If your home is feeling stagnant or less fresh than you would like, try moving around furniture or putting up new wall art or objects. The change itself may inspire new feelings of creativity or productivity in you.

Get What You Need for the Home & Garden

If you are looking for a change or something new, Red's Home & Garden has all you need for the best in home decor. For more information, visit Red's Home & Garden online, or call (366) 973-5521.

7 Mistakes New Gardeners Make – And How To Avoid Them

Everyone is trying to find ways to save money on their food bill these days. Gardening can be a wonderful way to add variety and flavor to your menu. If you’re just starting a vegetable garden for the first time, watch out for these mistakes.

1. Planting Too Far From the Water Source

Water is the key ingredient you’ll need to add to your garden again and again. Make sure your garden beds have easy access to the hose. If you need to, get longer hoses or install a rain barrel near your garden to make it easy to keep the soil moist.

2. Planting in a Place Without Enough Sun

Water and sun are the two most vital elements to growing vegetables. When you’re planting your garden, it’s early spring, so the leaves on the trees may not be fully developed. That could mean too much shade once the leaves do fill in. You also may not realize that the sun’s trajectory may change over the summer. Check the plant tags to see how much sunlight they need. If you’re concerned about a shady garden, set your plants in containers that can be moved around to ensure they get enough sun.

3. Crowding Plants

When starting a vegetable garden, you get excited and want to plant everything you can imagine growing. However, putting too many plants in your space can reduce your harvest when vegetables don’t have room to expand. Check the space that each plant needs and make sure to give them plenty of room in your garden bed. A gardening guide can help you plan out your space more effectively.

4. Planting Your Garden Out of the Way

Putting your garden in a hidden corner in your yard might make you feel as if the clutter is out of the way, but it’s very easy to forget about it. Instead, plant your vegetables where you can see them when you sit on the patio or look out the window. A garden is a commitment, and putting it somewhere accessible helps you keep up with the day-to-day chores.

5. Not Checking the Soil Before You Plant

Plants need to be in healthy and nutritious soil. You can add fertilizer and other nutrients, but you have to know what your plants need and what is lacking in the soil to have healthy growth. Get your soil tested at your local university extension office or get a home garden soil test kit. Use a nutrient-rich soil additive to improve your dirt. You should probably check your soil annually to have the information you need each year to get a better yield from your garden.

6. Planting Too Soon

Even seasoned gardeners get cabin fever and want to get their seedlings into the garden. Many gardeners plant too soon because the warm, spring-like days make us want to get started growing. Unfortunately, the nighttime temperatures have to be warm enough to avoid a frost that can kill new plants. If you’re anxiously awaiting the day you can get your hands dirty, instead of setting out plants, keep yourself busy getting your garden beds prepared by aerating the soil or installing irrigation.

7. Forgetting to Harvest Plants

Beginners often want to wait to pick their harvest to ensure ripeness. Unfortunately, waiting too long to pick that cucumber or squash can lead to unsatisfactory produce. Some plants turn bitter and flavorless as they grow bigger. Those smaller zucchinis may not look impressive, but they will taste wonderful. Check your garden daily. Harvest vegetables and learn from your mistakes, whether it's picking too soon or too late. Your garden can enhance your meals. Let Red's Home & Garden help you get your garden started right. We have annuals, vegetable plants and potting soil to make your garden more successful. Shop today for unique greenhouse selections.

Landscaping To Beautify Your Yard

A backyard is a great place to relax or entertain friends and family on a nice day. There are many ways to enhance the appearance and functionality of your yard to make it an even nicer location to spend time all year-round. This includes long-term projects as well as projects that a homeowner can complete over a weekend. Here are some landscaping ideas to help beautify your backyard.

Install a Fire Pit

A fire pit is an excellent addition to a backyard and can make the outdoor space a more enticing spot to hang out when the weather is cold. Fire pits come in many sizes, so consider how many people would be using the fire pit at one time, as well as how much time you are willing to put into its upkeep. Four common types of fuels used in fire pits are propane, natural gas, gel fuel, and wood. Each of these options comes with pros and cons, such as price and ease of use. For example, some people like the authenticity of wood-burning fire pits, while others prefer gel fuel because it does not give off any wood smell or smoke. There are also a wide variety of blocks that you can purchase to build a fire pit that looks nice in your backyard.

Build a Patio

An outdoor patio can seem like another room and is a great addition to both your house and your backyard. Many patios can be enclosed or semi-enclosed with large windows, allowing you to enjoy the ambiance of the outdoors without being exposed to the elements. If you choose to have a full outdoor patio, you can still opt to put a covering over the space to shield you and your guests from harsh sun and rain. Outdoor patios are an especially good option if your backyard is uneven, since patios provide a flat surface for tables and chairs. In addition to adding furniture, other ways to make your patio look pleasant and integrated with the rest of the yard include:
  • Placing plants and flowers around the patio space 
  • Installing lighting throughout the area
  • Hanging curtains for ambiance and additional privacy
We can help you decide on the materials you need to build the perfect patio for your backyard.

Create Pathways and Steps

Especially important if you have a large backyard, creating pathways can significantly improve the appearance and functionality of your yard. Some simple materials to use are gravel and wood chips. To make more permanent and elegant pathways, you can use stone, wood, brick, or concrete. With paths, people can enjoy walking through your backyard without worrying about stepping in mud or getting their shoes dirty. If you decide to use wood to build a trail, make sure it is of a variety that will not rot quickly due to dampness or other factors. If you prefer something more natural, there is the option to create a green pathway. This involves making a grass path and ensuring that it is mowed and well-maintained. You can always add stones or other markers on the side of the path to distinguish where the walkway ends. If your backyard is uneven, consider building steps to further add to the ambiance and make getting around the yard easier. Like pathways, steps can consist of stone, wood, brick, or even old car tires. Ensure that the material you use for the steps goes well with the materials you use to build any pathways on the lawn.

Let Us Assist You

The professionals at Red's Home & Garden can help you with all of your landscaping needs. Give us a call today if you need assistance with purchasing materials or have any other questions.

Update Your Home With 2022 Decor Trends & Themes

The new year is in full swing, and contemporary design themes for the home are freshly trending. Whether you’re in the market for a brand-new look or want to add a few finishing touches to finalize a project you’ve already been working on, Red’s Home & Garden has both interior and exterior products that are on trend and affordable. Learn about the new 2022 design trends and discover how Red’s selection can help make your design dream a reality. 

Implement Comfortable Design Over Everything 

When you visualize what comfort means nowadays, it may be necessary to rethink previously held ideas. No longer do you have to reside in an English cottage a la “The Holiday” for your home to be a cozy haven.  Imagine well-worn couches that still have their shape and a dining table made entirely of hand-hewn wood. Plush pillows and chunky throws add a warm layer to your living spaces. You have plenty of soft bedding, both on the bed and nearby in stylish round woven baskets for storage. The lighting can be drawn primarily from lamps with warm bulbs, but candles and a fireplace are also at your disposal. These details match the cottage design trending in 2022; comfortable and cozy is the name of the game. 

Bring the Outside Indoors

Building on the idea of cottage coziness, nothing adds an organic touch to a space like living accents. Greenery, dried florals and potted plants really help to ground a space while adding life and personality.  Floral additions from the outside garden can help brighten the indoors no matter the season. White-washed lanterns or decorative boxes in varying sizes can be filled with bouquets of fresh or faux flowers to add accents to the room. 

Brighten and Warm Spaces With Soft Colors

To help add even more depth to your space, compliment white-washed wainscoting to the walls with elements of delicate patterns and light-colored greens and greenery.

Blues 

Light blues used in transitional spaces, like bathrooms and hallways in your home, create a palate-cleansing effect for movement between busier and more decorated areas. Light blue colors are calming and mimic the outside air, and we will continue to see them being used frequently in 2022. When used in a pattern combined with neutrals, blue can be either light or dark and is efficient at adding movement to a space. 

Materials 

While cottage flair is soft and relaxed, there’s still room for a little metallic accenting. Gold and brass pair well with light greens, peaches, pinks, and neutrals. Wood and metallic votive centerpieces can provide warm lighting while showcasing fresh eucalyptus that emits a soothing fragrance as it dries. 

Incorporate Patterns and Natural Elements 

Create a more authentic feel to your version of cottage comfort with patterns and natural elements in your home. Delicate designs subtly move the space and add interest. Earthy additions create a balance between the soft patterns of the interior and the rustic outside world. Common natural-material accessories include:
  • Speckled containers  
  • Dried botanicals 
  • Rattan furniture 
  • Terracotta 
  • Ceramic pottery
  • Wicker bowls 
  • Galvanized accents
  • Plumes and feathers 
  • Wooden carvings 
  • Oil paintings and prints 
  For more information on bringing more outdoor elements inside your house or adding your finishing touches to the 2022 design trends, visit Red’s Home & Garden for inspiration and unique pieces that can change the look and feel of any room. 

6 Tips To Keep Your Indoor Plants Happy All Winter Long

During the cold, dry months of winter, you've probably noticed that your houseplants struggle. Thanks to low-light conditions and a lack of humidity, it can be a challenge to keep your leafy friends looking their best. However, the following indoor plant tips can ensure that your plants look green and healthy throughout the winter season.

Increase Humidity

When the temperatures drop, you turn your home's heater on, which is good for keeping you warm and toasty but bad for the health of your plants. Your heating system dries out the air in your home, and most houseplants are tropical and prefer humidity. If you notice droopy or limp leaves, you need to find a way to increase the humidity in your home or at least in the vicinity of your plants.   There are a couple of ways you can do this. You can run the heat less often and utilize a humidifier, or you can place your plants' pots on a tray of pebbles covered in a shallow layer of water. As the water evaporates, it creates humidity that your plants will love.

Avoid Repotting

During the winter, your plants are working hard just to survive, so they become stressed and stop growing. This is normal and not a cause for concern, but you should avoid repotting your plants until the spring. Repotting in the winter adds even more stress and can be too much for even the hardiest of houseplants to handle. If you find a new pot at the store that you just have to have, either slide the plant, existing pot and all, into the new one or simply wait until conditions are better to repot.

Wait To Fertilize

In a similar vein, houseplants do not need fertilizer during the winter, since they are not pushing any new growth. Most plants that are kept in homes are native to other parts of the world and have adapted to conditions in which they do not have access to nutrients during a portion of the year. It can be tempting to want to feed your plants in the winter, especially if they start looking a little sad. However, be sure to hold off until spring when they're ready to take off again.

Check for Drafts

If you have plants on a windowsill or shelves near a window or door, be sure to check for drafts. The cold air can damage the plants and cause them to lose leaves or even die altogether. Remember that glass gets very cold in the winter as well, so make sure that no leaves are touching a window.

Cut Back on Watering

Overwatering your plants is just as bad, if not worse, than not watering enough. Excess water can lead to root rot and a mushy, dead houseplant. During the winter, your plants do not need nearly as much water as they did during the rest of the year. A good rule of thumb is to water your plant thoroughly and then wait until the top inch or so of soil is completely dry.

Find the Light

Because the days are shorter and your plants will have less light during the winter, you may need to move things around to give them as much light as possible. If you normally have them near a north-facing window, move them to a south or west-facing window so that they can soak up the sunlight and stay happy. These indoor plant tips should be enough to keep your collection of houseplants happy all winter long, whether you have one plant or 50. You'll be glad that you have something green to look at when it's cold and gray outside, so take good care of them! If you need a new plant, check out the selection at Red's Home & Garden.

What Makes a Retaining Wall Work?

Allan Block retaining walls make it possible to build homes and achieve landscaping projects in some of the most unlikely places. These walls can support foundational structures and significantly reduce soil erosion. Builders have relied on them for millennia, but how exactly do they work?

What Are the Main Types of Retaining Walls?

Before determining the secret to how a retaining wall works, it’s important to understand the two main types. These types bring different structural components and mechanics to the table.

Gravity Walls

Gravity walls require a precise weight and setback to work properly. Setback refers to the angle at which the wall leans to keep the soil in place. The weight of the wall and the degree of leaning from the vertical upright position are the two secrets behind how this type of retaining wall works.

Reinforced Walls

These walls are a little more complicated and require three components: weight, setback and geogrid. The geogrid refers to woven material used to weave soil and other materials together. Geogrid makes it possible for the walls to push back against the strong forces of the heavy soil bracing against them.

What Are Additional Components of Retaining Walls?

Weight, setback and geogrid serve as the core factors behind how these walls work. As well, there are additional components to consider.

Positive Interlock

In a retaining wall, the strength of each component is essential for the overall strength of the wall. To ensure full strength, Allan Block uses a rock-lock connection. Years of experience and experimentation have proven that this is the most stable and reliable block-to-grid interlock. It provides additional strength beyond the materials used to hold each component together.

Internal Stability

The soil and the retaining wall work together to create internal stability. When built correctly, the soil and the retaining wall function together like one cohesive unit. When the internal stability of a retaining wall fails, it can manifest as bulging, pullout or grid rupture.

External Stability

External stability depends on how well designers calculated the force of gravity and the weight of the soil. Proper analysis and accurate execution allow the soil and wall to function as one unit. Engineers achieve external stability by satisfying sliding, overturning, bearing capacity and global stability considerations.

What Are Crucial Design Considerations?

When building a retaining wall, Allan Block must review several factors and how they might affect the strength and functionality of the wall. Planning for these in the initial design phase ensures your retaining wall stands the test of time:
  • Water Drainage: Water can move more than just soil. It can also move walls and foundation structures, so drainage is crucial to maintaining stability.
  • Embedment: Engineers need to determine how deep the grid length should extend beyond the wall. This is crucial for meeting gravity mass requirements.
  • Layers: Retaining walls require enough layers to ensure the internal strength can handle the load created by the soil mass. Layers also need proper spacing to distribute internal forces.
Our home and garden center has everything you need to build a beautiful and functional retaining wall for your home. Find out more about how our trusted partners at Red's Home & Garden, such as Allan Block, can help you achieve your vision.

Make Christmas Easy: Browse Our Hand Selected Themes That Make Decorating a Breeze!

If you're ready for top gift-giving ideas for friends and family this year, why not make it easy and browse by theme? In this article, we share the top picks from our seven seasonal themes this year. 

1. Christmas Eve

The magic and anticipation of Christmas Eve light up Red's Home & Garden in the “night-before-Christmas” category. Ornaments, hand towels, figurines, and stockings are the hallmarks of this popular category.   Stock up on various sizes of posable elves! Position them on fireplace mantels, library shelves or kitchen spice racks and add a dash of seasonal whimsy to any flat surface with these adorable figures that have a rich Christmas history. If you're looking for tree ornaments, consider red pine cones that add a festive punch of color and texture to any real or artificial fir tree.

2. Gnome for the Holidays

There really is no place like gnome for the holidays! All things gnomes dominate this beloved Christmas store category, including free-standing gnomes and Santa gnomes and hats.   Perhaps you need a 30-inch standing gnome for your entryway? How about a set of reclining gnomes that can brighten up any flat surface, from stair treads to TV consoles and mantelpieces?

3. Have a Beary Christmas

Rustic is the name of the game when it comes to having a very beary Christmas. Pine cone, sledge and ski lodge ornaments are just some of the goodies you can expect when you browse this winter wonderland category.   Small or large wood and metal sled candleholders are a great way to add whimsy and spirit to any dining or coffee table. Add festive votives to the candleholders to imbue your living space with festive spirit, color and warmth. Resin pine cones are another great way to bring the outdoors indoors. Choose from 9-, 11- and 13.5-inch free-standing options. 

4. Holiday Homestead

All the comforts of home and life on the farm inform the Holiday Homestead category. Browse ornaments, kitchen towels, prints and crates, and find the pieces that lift your seasonal spirits.    Bright red cardinals, the state birds of North Carolina, make naturally stunning Christmas tree ornaments. Choose from a cardinal on a branch or with a wreath ornament. If you love adorable farm animals, put a furry baby goat ornament or a doorstop Christmas donkey in your shopping cart.

5. Juniper Grove

The Juniper Grove Christmas theme pays homage to the great outdoors with this line of tree- and animal-adorned products. In addition, many of the ornaments and decorations feature natural materials.   Choose from various sizes of a cement planter with pines, an earthy and robust way to display your tree or poinsettia. If you seek a touch of whimsy for your tree, go for an animal in a birch bark tree ornament. Choose from an owl, raccoon or squirrel.

6. Merry & Bright

Red, white and green products dominate this Christmas theme that allows you to instantly add vibrant color and shine to your home or office.  Add a cheery 30-inch Santa portrait to your home's entryway and include Saint Nick in your family and friends' events. If you're interested in adding more subtle dashes of color, buy some cedar or berry sprays for your mantelpiece or front door. 

7. Snow Much Fun

Let it snow outside and inside your home! Browse this popular theme to find the winter wonders that bring energy and joy to your festive season. Toss an 18-inch Let It Snow pillow on the couch and stay comfortable when it's time for the post-Christmas dinner nap, or add a snowman with skis ornament to your tree for color and humor. Have these delightful Christmas themes given you a festive feeling? Visit Red's Home & Garden and stock up on Christmas gifts in Wilkesboro. 

Pansies or Violas? Key Differences & Planting Advice

Flowers that are tolerant of cold weather are not that plentiful, but luckily both pansies and violas offer a range of colors when the weather cools down. They can even be mixed and matched in a garden to create a wider spread of color across your early-blooming flower bed. The two flowers look so much alike that many people mistake one for the other. Some even think they are the same flower.

Pansy Flowers Are Violas... of a Kind

It's understandable why some people would think the two flowers are the same because pansy plants are scientifically known as Viola wittrockiana. They are a species of the viola family, but not the same as the plants commonly labeled violas at flower nurseries. Pansy varieties started as a cross between the common viola and the wild viola. There are a few notable differences.

Identifying Pansies vs Violas

Both flowers have five petals, but the telltale difference between species is the orientation of the flowers. The pansy flower has four petals pointing up, with one that typically dips down toward the ground like the flower has a little pout. Violas, by contrast, have two petals that stretch up and three that stretch down, giving it a little more horizontal balance in its visual presentation. There are also differences in the colors available. Lastly, pansy flowers run between six and 12 inches tall. That makes them significantly taller than most viola varieties.

Planting & Care Instructions

Since the two plants are cousins, they have very similar care and watering needs. Pansies tend to be a little more cold tolerant and will even bloom during winter in some locations. Violas are also very tolerant of the cold compared to most flowers, but not quite as much as the average pansy. This is because of the pansy's relationship to the hearty wild viola. Depending on the type you choose to plant, you may need either coarse or normal soil, so check the instructions and make sure you pick plants with similar soil needs if you are mixing and matching. Here are a few other basic care requirements:
  • Both flowers need soil that drains well, making raised beds or containers ideal
  • They can thrive in sun when the weather is cool, but prefer sites that provide full, direct morning sun, yet shield them from intense afternoon rays
  • Both die off as the spring turns to summer heat, so shade during the hot part of the day extends their blooming times
  • Plant them at least six inches apart, but no more than ten, to avoid empty patches in the bed
  • Put violas in front when mixing flowers to make sure they are visible next to their taller cousins
Plant either flower for the first time after the danger of snowfall has passed when there are no longer hard freezes at night. They will bloom as long as the temperature stays cool.

Popular Varieties of Pansies

There are so many types of pansies to choose from that it is not possible to list them all, but there are a few common series they are organized into with telltale traits. Violas come in a wide range of varieties including tri-color options, but do not have the same set of definitive series lines.
  • Delta series pansy flowers have many presentation styles and 32 colors, making them the broadest category
  • Majestic giants come in as extra-large flowers, over four inches across, with most types presenting with a dark center blotch and only a couple of solid colors to choose from
You will find the popular and novel colors when they are seasonally available, so it is a good idea to check out your options when you know replanting is due soon. You may find something new that you want to add to your beds. Learn more about what you will find in stock at Red's Home & Garden when you visit and then plan your supply run to take advantage of the current planting season.
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