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Posted by & filed under Insects, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson   One of the more unusual species of the insect world, scale insects are both fascinating  and frustrating.     Ranging in size from microscopic dots when hatched up to a half of an inch as adults, all of the 8,000 described scale varieties share some common characteristics. As juveniles, scale …

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Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Nature and Stress Reduction, Outdoor Living, Uncategorized, Water features

By Sandra Nelson   So you’ve been considering adding a water feature to your backyard, but haven’t quite decided if it’s the right decision for you. Having enjoyed ponds and streams, waterfalls and fountains in my yards for decades, I can give you lots of reasons why adding water to the landscape is a great …

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Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Cicadas, Insects, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson   Throughout my childhood, this was the defining (and to be perfectly honest, somewhat creepy) sound of summer to me… …the raucous calls of hundreds of emerging cicadas.   But the noise wasn’t the whole story  —  the crunchy abandoned shells scattered all over the place repelled me; I couldn’t wait …

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Posted by & filed under Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Pergolas, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson   One of the joys of a truly functional outdoor living space is the fact that inclement weather  —  days that are too hot or too cold  —  don’t force you back inside. Instead, these carefully designed spaces let you decide where to spend your days and nights.    CLIMATE CONTROL …

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Posted by & filed under Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson   Have you ever noticed that every season we have new marketing buzzwords directed toward us? Most of the time they seem so contrived to me  ( I must be entering the curmudgeon stage of life ) but this year one did catch my eye. Almost every design article I’ve read …

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Posted by & filed under Grubs, Insects, Japanese beetles, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson   I honestly thought that they had passed me by.  Then, this happened and I knew that my time was coming….Japanese beetles had arrived.     Accidentally introduced in 1916, the Japanese beetle has become one of the challenging of the insect pests to eradicate from the home landscape. Currently found …

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Posted by & filed under Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Pavers, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson   July 1959 was an exciting time for my family; It was the year that my father made his mark on our neighborhood. He became a local celebrity by turning our backyard into what was then considered a lavish outdoor living space. Fired up by pictures he saw in magazines, my …

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Posted by & filed under Insects, Spider mites, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson     Technically not a spider or an insect, the spider mite is a member of the arachnid family. (In case you’ve forgotten your grade school science, arachnids are invertebrates with exoskeletons, segmented bodies and at least three pairs of jointed legs.)  World wide there are literally thousands of varieties of …

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Posted by & filed under Edible gardens, Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Living, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson   While outdoor kitchens have been at the top of homeowners’ wish lists for the last few years, ideas about what those kitchens should look like are beginning to change. No longer just a spot to grill, outdoor kitchens today are fast becoming the heart of outdoor living. They include options …

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