Gardening tips & tools for newbies


Whether for the joy of raising your own food and flowers, for increasing your home’s curb appeal, or just for the love of getting close to nature, gardening is a great seasonal pastime. If you are a beginning gardener, the trusty Farmer’s Almanac is a great source for gardening resources, from planners, calendars and videos to gardening tips by month for your location.

Even if you don’t have a lot of space – maybe only a balcony – you might try vertical gardening. The LA Times features a variety of kits and containers designed to help you maximize space and still yield beautiful greenery, flowers and even a crop of veggies.

If you don’t have a garden yourself, New England has a wide range of gardens that make for great seasonal outings. VisitNewEngland.com offers a garden guide, noting:

Public gardens of all types are found from one end of New England another. They range from formal and traditional, like the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden in Hartford, Connecticut, to the wide and whimsical, like the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. Rhododendrons bloom wild at a park in southern New Hampshire and butterflies have their own garden habitats in parts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In all the warm months, garden clubs host local garden tours of places as private and lavish as the homes of Newport, Rhode Island, and elsewhere.

Beginning gardeners – and even some pros – may find this infographic from TheFix.com on Essential Tools for Beginner Gardeners very helpful. The Be sure to click through for many helpful tips in the accompanying blog post.


Source: Fix.com Blog

How to stop a runaway horse & other vintage life hacks from days of yore


We thought we’d ease you back to the work week with a fun post on vintage life hacks. The Internet loves “life hacks” – tips, tricks and shortcuts to solve everyday problems or help you increase efficiency. We’ve carried some previously here on this blog – see Handy household hacks: creative uses for everyday products and Everyday products you’ve probably been using wrong.

Back in the olden days (yes, there was life before the Internet, kids), “life hacks” were often called “household hints” and were often featured in newspaper and magazine columns. But before that, in the Victorian era, there were “trade cards.” Trade cards were typically two-sided cards with art on one side and information on the other side. The content could be fun, humorous, useful or handy. They were an important part of pop culture of the day. The goal was to carry an advertiser’s brand and get people to collect the entire series. Cigarette manufacturers eagerly seized on trade cards as a way to spark repeat purchases.

Here’s a link to a gallery of vintage household hints from Gallaher’s Cigarettes of Belfast & London on such useful topics as how to make a fire extinguisher, how to extract a splinter, how to clean real lace and how to stop a runaway horse. We’ve excerpted a few below.

Other advertiser’s also produced “how-to” trade cards of household hints. Check the site’s sidebar to explore more topics.

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How to blow a brick over

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How to treat squeaky boots

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Handy household hacks: creative uses for everyday products


Here are some video clips of great money-saving hacks for household products you probably already have in one of your your cabinets. Learn some of their less-well known uses and save on expensive alternatives.

10 Awesome Vinegar Life Hacks you should know

6 Uses for Windex You Should Know

25 Creative Uses For Common Household Items