With cold winter weather in full swing, many gardeners are getting their “fix” by growing plants indoors. However, indoor planting can be a little trickier than growing plants outdoors. In order to properly care for your houseplants, you must begin with compost that will provide the necessary nutrients. If you go to a nursery or garden center, there is an overwhelming array of potting mixtures so it can be difficult to decide which is right for your plants. These tips will help you take the guesswork out choosing the right compost and find a mixture that will keep your plants healthy.
What is the purpose of potting mixtures?
The purpose of a potting mixture is to supply your indoor houseplants with the nutrients and water that their roots would find if they were growing naturally in the ground. With indoor houseplants, they are planted in containers so their roots are in confined spaces. This means that all of their nutrients and water must come from the compost, or potting mixture.
What kind of mixture works best with indoor plants?
For starters, do NOT use garden soil for indoor planting. It would require sterilization to kill pests and diseases and this can be very expensive. Instead, choose a mixture that holds moisture, but is free-draining. You also want to be sure you choose a mixture that is nutrient rich and will allow the plant’s roots to grow strong. Potting mixtures are available in two types: soil-based and peat-based. Different plants do well with each of these mixtures.
Which plants like soil-based mixtures?
Soil-based mixtures are rich in plant food so they are great for plants that require a large supply of food. This includes large houseplants and plants whose leaves are a heavier weight. It can also be useful for bulbs. Some examples of plants that would benefit from soil-based mixtures include Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Amaryllis, leafy palms, and various cacti.
Which plants like peat-based mixtures?
Peat-based compost is light and retains moisture so it is ideal for plants which like moist, airy conditions. It is also ideal for tropical plants which require plenty of air as well as moisture. Some examples of plants that would benefit from peat-based mixtures include African Violets, Begonias, Christmas Cactus, and ferns.
In order to grow and care for indoor houseplants, you must understand which compost is needed to provide optimal growth. Become familiar with the houseplants you purchase and get to know what kind of nutrients they need. Then, you will be able to choose a compost that is ideal for that particular plant.
You do not have to go out to a fancy restaurant to enjoy dining in style. You can make quite a statement in your own dining room by coordinating your dinnerware with elegant serveware. Whether you are preparing a holiday celebration or a dinner party with family and friends, the items you choose to serve your food and beverages make entertaining fun and enjoyable while making a lasting impression on your guests.
If you are looking for serveware that is beautiful, functional, and truly one-of-a-kind consider the gorgeous pieces in the IMA collection. This set of handmade Italian ceramics combines style and beauty with pure elegance. This collection includes hand-painted pitchers, oil and vinegar bottles, and a complete set of serveware for your table.
Make your guests feel as if they are at a formal restaurant by serving beverages with a gorgeous pitcher. The rich colors and delicate artistic designs in the IMA collection will make an elegant statement at your dinner table.
Don’t just serve bread and butter at your dinner party. Dress up this favorite appetizer with a gorgeous hand painted oil bottle from the IMA collection. You can select a piece that will match your beverage pitcher, making a stunning statement at your table.
Serving platters can be used for everything from meats to veggies or even desserts. You have worked so hard to prepare a special meal so don’t just serve it on any dish. The IMA collection offers a variety of unique and elegant serving platters that can turn your meal into an eloquent dinner.
When it comes to entertaining and hosting an elegant dinner, you should plan ahead for more than just the food on the menu. Prepare your table setting ahead of time and decide which pieces you will need. The gorgeous and colorful pieces in the IMA collection will enhance your menu, complement your table setting, and turn your dinner into a truly elegant affair.
Pots are a decorator’s dream and a gardener’s delight because they combine style and elegance with earthy and natural beauty. Pots can be added to entryways, balconies, patios, and walkways to enhance the space with a systematic look that is polished and orderly. That said, many pots can be extremely heavy and difficult to carry. Take the load off by using lightweight pots instead. You will not sacrifice quality and beauty and you will have the freedom to move the pots around as needed. Here are just a few reasons why lightweight pots can be an excellent choice.
You can handle them with ease.
Part of what makes lightweight pots so desirable is that anyone can handle and carry them. You do not need have a strong shoulder or multiple people to lift them. They can easily be lifted and handled by just about anyone.
You have the ability to move them.
Over time our tastes change and it can be very useful to have lightweight pots that can be moved easily. You can enjoy the freedom to rearrange your pots according to your style. If you are entertaining, you might also want to move pots to allow for more space or to add décor to a certain area. Lightweight pots allow you to reposition your plants with ease.
They are more affordable.
Most lightweight pots will cost less than your heavier giant pottery. Heavy pots might also require a method of transportation in order to move them which can add to their expense.
You can enjoy the same quality as heavy pots.
Do not confuse less weight with less durability. The materials used to manufacture lightweight pots are highly durable and are not susceptible to cracks or damage. They can also withstand extreme temperatures and weather conditions.
They are just as attractive as heavy pots.
Lightweight pots come in a variety of styles, shapes, colors, and sizes and can be just as beautiful as heavy pottery. Their quality design and structure will add elegant charm to your patio.
They are ideal for balconies.
Heavy pottery is not ideal for balconies. Lightweight pots offer a great solution for gardeners who want to enjoy the beauty of plants in a smaller space.
If you are looking to add an element of design to your garden or patio consider using lightweight pots. You can achieve the same beautiful look as heavy pottery with much more ease and convenience. With so many styles and colors to choose from, lightweight pots offer a perfect solution for adorning your garden.
A fireplace can be one of the most decorative and enjoyable aspects of your home. It can be a relaxing way to spend a cold evening and a great way to warm up on these cold winter nights. While they are certainly cozy and comfortable, fireplaces can also pose certain safety hazards if proper precautions are not taken. One of the best ways to protect your home and your family from potential safety hazards is by placing a screen in front of your fireplaces. Fireplace screens are often seen as decorative furnishings, but they actually serve a very important purpose as well. They are extremely useful in protecting your home from potential dangers that can be associated with a wood burning fireplace.
Fireplace Screens Prevent Embers From Flying Into Your Home
One of the main functions of a fireplace screen is preventing embers and other debris from flying out of your fireplace and into your home. Not only can these hot embers burn anyone who is sitting close to the fire, but they can cause damage to your floors or carpet. A screen will prevent embers from flying out and will leave less mess for you to have to clean up.
Fireplace Screens Help Contain Rolling Logs
As your fireplace burns, logs tend to move and roll around. This can be dangerous if there is nothing in front of your fireplace. A screen will prevent these hot logs from rolling out onto your hearth and causing damage.
Fireplace Screens Protect Pets And Children
A fireplace screen acts as a barrier between your home and your fireplace. This can be an important safety feature for children and pets. The screen will keep pets and children from getting too close to the hot fire.
Fireplace Screens Can Add A Touch Of Elegance
Aside from their many safety uses, fireplace screens can also add an elegant look to your hearth. Many screens are beautiful and ornate and can accentuate the beauty of dancing flames in your fireplace.
Fireplace screens serve a very important purpose when it comes to fireplace safety. They keep your home and your children safer while making your hearth attractive and elegant. They are a must have accessory for any fireplace.
For some, the idea of having turkey, ham, stuffing and pecan pie for the holidays does not exactly whet their palate. After all, it has only been a few weeks since Thanksgiving. If a traditional holiday meal is not on your wish list this year, there is no need to fret. Instead try dishing out an authentic Italian meal that will wow family and friends. From the delightful aromas to the first bite, a traditional Italian meal will have everyone in the family smiling around the dinner table and will be a fabulous way to ring in the New Year. Here are a few delicious Italian recipes that will give you a fresh take on holiday cooking.
Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Bruschetta (Appetizer)
1 (32oz) can whole tomatoes, drainedKosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh basil leaves2 large French baguettes, sliced 1-inch thick
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil1 ½ lbs fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced ¼ inch thick
6 cloves garlic, peeled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In the bowl of a food processor, add drained tomatoes, 1 cup basil leaves, olive oil and 2 cloves garlic. Pulse until smooth, but somewhat chunky. Season with salt and pepper.
On a baking sheet, line up baguette slices. Toast in oven for about 3 minutes or until light golden brown. Working quickly, rub the remaining garlic on the toasted side of each slice and then lay a piece of mozzarella cheese on top. Place bread back in oven and spread one tablespoon of the tomato mixture on each piece.
Place bruschetta on decorative platter and garnish with basil leaves.
Rigatoni with Lamb (Main Course)
salt and pepper2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 lb rigatoni pasta1 tsp dried oregano
1 ½ lbs ground lamb1 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling ¼ cup tomato paste
1 tsp fennel seeds2 cups chicken stock
1 fresh red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped ½ cup dry red wine
1 small carrot, grated or finely choppedchopped parsley for topping
1 large shallotgrated pecorino-romano cheese
3-4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking water. While the pasta is working, pat the lamb dry with paper towels.
In a large dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the lamb and cook, breaking up the meat, until browned; season with salt, pepper, and fennel seeds. Stir in the carrot, shallot, garlic, rosemary, oregano, and orange zest. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute, then the chicken stock and wine. Bring to a bubble, then lower the heat.
Toss the pasta with the sauce and reserved cooking water for 1 minute. Top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and the parsley. Serve with cheese.
Italian Cheesecake with Cranberry Compote (Dessert)
1 5.3 ounce package shortbread cookies, broken up1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted and cooled ½ teaspoon salt
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled1/3 cup flour
2 pounds ricotta 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
8 eggs, separated, at room temperature ½ teaspoon confectioners sugar
1 ¾ cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 2-by-10 inch springform pan. Using a food processor, finely grind the cookies and almonds. Drizzle the melted butter over the crumbs; pulse briefly to mix. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake the crust until golden, about 12 minutes. Wipe out the food processor.
In the food processor, combine the ricotta, egg yolks, ½ cup granulated sugar, lemon zest, vanilla, and salt; pulse to blend. Add the flour and pulse until just incorporated. Do not overblend.
Using an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Continue to beat, gradually sprinkling in ½ cup granulated sugar, until glossy and stiff but not dry. Add one third of the ricotta mixture to the egg whites and fold in gently with a rubber spatula until half blended. Repeat with remaining ricotta mixture in 2 more batches.
Pour the batter into the prepared crust and bake until the top is brown and puffed, about 1 hr and 15 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely.
In a small saucepan, simmer the cranberries, the remaining ¾ cup sugar and ½ cup water over medium heat until the berries burst, about 5 minutes. Transfer the cranberry compote to a bowl and let cool completely. Dust the top of the cheesecake with the confectioners sugar and serve with compote.
Few things in life compare to the crackling sound of a cozy fire on a cold winter night. The warmth of a fireplace along with the ambiance of the dancing flames can turn any living room into a place of comfort and relaxation. When it comes to the enjoyment of a soothing fireplace, many people prefer the ease and convenience of a gas log fireplace over a wood burning fireplace. Although a wood burning fireplace gives off a little more heat, there are several advantages to gas log fireplaces that make them a popular choice among homeowners.
Simple and Convenient
We are constantly busy with the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives so there is truly something to be said about the simplicity of a gas fireplace. With the simple flip of a switch, you can enjoy the warmth and beauty of a fire without any of the hassle. No more hauling wood and replacing logs. Gas log fireplaces make starting a fire as easy as lighting a match and pushing a button.
Ambiance and Beauty
Today’s gas logs are intricately designed and painted to look just like real wood. The flames are also very realistic and give the impression of a wood burning fire. You can add ambiance to your home with the beauty of a dancing fire in just seconds.
Wood burning logs produce a great deal of ash and require cleaning after each use. In addition, real wood fireplaces can cause creosote buildup in the chimney so they require chimney inspections each year. Gas logs fireplaces provide the same cozy fire without the mess. You can say goodbye to sweeping that fireplace ash. With so many other chores around the house, who wouldn’t enjoy one less thing to clean?!
Wood logs pose a variety of safety hazards including flying sparks, rolling logs, and chimney fires from creosote buildup. Gas log fireplaces on the other hand, require very little maintenance and do not pose the same safety hazards.
Efficient and Cost Effective
Aside from the initial installation, gas log fireplaces are a fraction of the cost of wood burning fireplaces in the long run. With proper care, the logs will last for many years so you will not have the expense of constantly replenishing firewood. In addition, gas is less expensive and more efficient than wood per BTU burned.
There is nothing as inviting as the warmth and beauty of a fire. With a gas log fireplace, you can enjoy relaxing by the fire with the simple touch a finger. With so many great benefits, it’s no wonder homeowners prefer the ease and convenience of a gas log fireplace.
One of the most enjoyable things during the cold winter months is curling up in front of a warm fire. The crackling sounds of a wood burning fireplace allow friends and family to gather in a comfortable and relaxing setting. While a wood burning fireplace can be a beautiful and functional element to your home, it is important to have the essential tools needed to allow you to enjoy it with ease. Proper fireplace tools will help you to care for your fireplace and avoid stressful and hazardous situations. Here is a list of some important fireplace tools that can help to safely enjoy your fire.
Bellows are used to deliver controlled amounts of air to a specific part of your fireplace and can help you get your fire started. They are helpful in increasing the flames in your fireplace by blowing air on them.
A fireplace poker is a tool that is used to keep the fire from burning out by poking on the logs. It is used to move the logs around in order to allow oxygen to flow into different areas of the fire and helps keep the flames burning.
The grate is what holds the wood up allowing air to circulate all around the logs. It also provides a space for the coals to fall and will keep the logs from rolling out onto the hearth.
A shovel is an important fireplace tool as it allows you to scoop up ash and embers. Even when the fire is not burning, the ash can remain hot for a long time. A shovel is useful for keeping you safe and keeping your fireplace clean.
Log tongs are a great tool because they allow you to safely grab burning logs and move them around. They allow you to get a better handle on the logs and rotate them more efficiently.
Screens are a very important safety tool because they keep sparks and embers from flying into the room causing damage to the floor. In addition to safety, screens also add aesthetic value to your fireplace.
Enjoying your fireplace can be easy when you have the right tools. A good tool set is both functional and decorative and will help you to create a fire that is cozy, warm, and safe.
The weather outside is cold but you are probably dreaming of some warm savory dishes made with fresh herbs. No need to fret about that winter frost because you can bring your garden indoors! These delightfully delicious herbs are easy to grow indoors and will make your home fragrant and cozy as you prepare those winter warm-up meals.
This is probably one of the easiest herbs to grow indoors because it does not even require soil! You can purchase a stalk at your local market and be sure to look for a stalk with plenty of stem and a base that is intact. Simply trim the top and place it in a couple inches of water. The stalk will produce roots and plenty of new shoots. Lemongrass is commonly used in a variety of Asian cuisines and offers a sweet lemony flavor.
Chives are another herb that can be easily grown indoors because they do not require much sunlight and produce a great deal of flowering. The easiest way to grow chives is to start from an already established plant. Pull a bunch from the plant including the roots and place in a small pot that is half-full of potting soil. Cover the roots with more potting soil and cut about one third of the growth off the top to stimulate new growth. They make an excellent garnish for baked potatoes, soups, eggs, and chicken dishes.
Peppermint is a very hearty herb that grows very quickly. You can start your peppermint plant by planting seeds in a small pot of potting soil. It does best in shade but should be in a spot where it gets at least a little sunlight each day. Fresh mint leaves will cool and refresh anything from cocktails to salads.
Parsley is perhaps the most commonly used herb and is very easy to grow as well once the seeds germinate. That process could take up to two weeks, but once they get started parsley plants require little maintenance. Parsley can be used to marinate steaks or chicken and can also be used with rice, hummus, omelettes and the list goes on!
Oregano definitely loves its sunlight, requiring about 6-8 hours of light each day. That said a nice window is definitely the best home for an oregano plant. This popular herb is commonly used in Italian dishes but also works well with hearty soups, stews, or even burgers.
As you prepare to get in the kitchen and cook up your favorite warm and hearty dinners, you can enjoy the garnish and flavoring of these fresh herbs. They are among the easiest to grow indoors and will definitely be an enjoyable project for anyone who loves gardening.
Some of the most popular Italian activities include outdoor dining, sipping coffee, and enjoying family gatherings. Italians seem to have an exceptional way of creating beautiful and comfortable outdoor settings. They have learned the art of slowing down and taking time to relax and enjoy their surroundings with friends and family. You, too, can transform your backyard into a Tuscan courtyard by adding some gorgeous pieces of handcrafted Tuscan pottery from Jackson's Home and Garden. Our Tuscan terracotta is handcrafted by artisans who are inspired by the ancient art of authentic Tuscan style pottery.
Terracotta planters have been used to decorate Italian and European gardens for centuries. Their natural look combined with elegant scrollwork makes these terracotta planters a gorgeous embellishment for any garden. The earth colored Tuscan palette adds just the right touch of beauty to your patio or garden while giving the feel of a true Tuscan landscape.
One of the most popular artistic elements of Italian design is stone. Known for its aesthetic value, Italian style pottery provides a rustic yet elegant look that can transform your backyard. The old world stone look is oftentimes complete with curves, decorative scrollwork, tiles, or ornate columns. Our collection of Tuscan pottery is reminiscent of this old world style and our pottery can be placed strategically around your backyard to make you feel as though you have been swept away to Italy!
When you think of Tuscan scenery you think of beautiful hillsides that are rural, natural, and rustically charming. You can create that same feeling by using Tuscan style urns and pottery adorned with evergreens and vivid flower arrangements. This will create a striking look that will turn your backyard into a Tuscan inspired setting.
Your backyard should be a place where you can escape and relax in the beauty of the outdoors. With our stunning collection of Tuscan style pottery, you can create your own Italian courtyard where you can enjoy the company of family and friends.
The holiday season is in full swing and with only a few shopping days left you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed about finding the perfect gift. This year, you can take the stress out of gift giving with a thoughtful and beautiful gift from Jackson’s Home and Garden. We have everything you need to finish your last minute shopping. With so many gifts to choose from, there is sure to be something just right for each and every person on your list. Here is a list of our Top 10 gifts for the holiday season.
1. Fire Pit Bowl
Looking for a cozy gift that will keep on giving? Fire pit bowls are the perfect pairing for anyone’s patio. For those that love to entertain or those that just love a relaxing evening with family and friends, a fire pit bowl is a great gift that can be enjoyed year round.
2. Yeti Rambler
The Yeti Rambler is great for anyone on your list. This must have cup will keep beverages hot or cold for hours and is the perfect way to enjoy your favorite beverage on the go. It is a great stocking stuffer!
3. Yet Cooler
If you need something for the tailgater, hunter, or fisherman in your life, a Yeti cooler is just the thing. Available in a variety of sizes, these are the most durable coolers and are guaranteed to keep your drinks cold for hours.
4. Big Green Egg
Are you looking for the perfect gift for someone that loves to cook? The Big Green Egg is the ticket to the ultimate cooking experience. This outdoor ceramic charcoal grill is a culinary lover’s delight! Get ready to prepare (and enjoy) some of the most delicious foods cooked to perfection on the Big Green Egg.
5. Wine Cooler
For the wine enthusiast in your life, a wine cooler is the perfect gift. It is a great way to store your favorite wines at just the right temperature so they are ready to enjoy whenever you are.
At Jackson’s Home and Garden, we have a large selection of gorgeous handmade pottery. We offer pottery in a variety of colors and styles so there is sure to be a piece that will suit your tastes. Whether that special someone is an avid gardener or just enjoys adding a little a beauty to their home, a piece of our gorgeous pottery is gift they will remember.
Our collection of elegant, hand painted dishware will make your holiday shopping a breeze! With so many gorgeous pieces to choose from, you can be sure you are getting a gift that is as thoughtful as it is beautiful!
8. Grilling Tools
For that outdoor cook in your life, don’t forget to pick up a set of our high quality grilling tools. Make their day, and their outdoor cooking experience, with a set of our high end grilling tools.
9. Door Mat
Our elegant doormats are the perfect way to dress up any entryway. Perfect for family, friends, neighbors, or coworkers, these doormats are a great gift that anyone can use!
10. Ceramic Garden Friends
For the gardener in your life, check out our selection of ceramic garden friends. These adorable little creatures will add whimsy and even a little humor to their garden.
This holiday season, find a memorable gift they will truly appreciate with something special from Jackson’s Home and Garden.