Give boring planters the boot. I mean, plant your herbs or flowers in a boot. That’s an idea from a book appealing to city dwellers with big plans and tiny spaces.
Vertical gardening means saving space and water with vines growing up, but “Urban Gardening for Dummies” reminds us it can mean growing down, too. Consider an apartment dweller who can drape sweet potato vines over a balcony.
Clever tips for rooftop and community gardens fill this book designed for beginners. Here are a few ideas:
* Think of the Rule of Three for your balcony garden and select a tall, spiky plant; one that flowers; and another that sprawls or crawls.
* Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, carrots, beats and herbs do well in container gardens.
* Sun-loving perennial flowers include bee balm, aster, coneflower and daylily.
Hibiscus, matte, chocolate and orange herbal teas have been part of my evening ritual since the day my Trudeau tea maker arrived. I’m up to two pots a night and the warm brew has helped my disposition and kept the scale numbers in a good range. A stainless steel filter keeps the leaves out of a little see-through canister you can keep on the coffee table to re-fill you cup. Tea service has been around for centuries, but a look at this cylinder gives a modern glint on hydration. To have is to brew.
The title character in “The Mentalist” doesn’t go long without his tea and I’m keeping up with him from my couch.
Put a lid on it
CapaBungas creators Walt Averill and Maire Murphy met and married through their wine industry careers and their like minds created a clever way to reseal Rua, their wine line. The seals became the deal, with colorful and funny messages to suit the mood for a princess, girl’s night in and “me time.” Sure the holiday “naughty and nice” set or Valentine heart messages of “be wine” and “drink me” are designed to bring a smile, but the sturdy lids that won’t let your fine wines leak in the fridge are designed for reusable efficiency. CapaBungas also promotes another virtue I’m fond of: savoring. With such a seal in you house, you can save some wine for later. My pick: the Wine Safe model that looks like a combination lock, over a bottle of merlot.
This wise couple noted the silicone bung seals for oak barrels and designed the wine bottle seal for consumer use. One more virtue to discuss: recycling. If you turn your beautiful wine bottles into vessels for vinegars, oils, vanilla, etc., a decorative Capabunga will offer even more personality.