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Hello FALL! …or is it AUTUMN?

Hello FALL! …or is it AUTUMN?

The trees are turning; the weather’s getting cooler; Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back—it’s finally FALL!  No! -exclaims that one friend

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SHOP NOW and HERE for all your DIY Projects!

SHOP NOW and HERE for all your DIY Projects!

I am SO excited and honored to introduce you to my existing and new merchant affiliates and their incredible products! 

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What is Your Plant Hardiness Zone?

What is Your Plant Hardiness Zone?

To find your zone, use this interactive Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM) -click here.  This map is generated and kept

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DIY Plant Stakes

DIY Plant Stakes

One of my favorite DIY mentors is Joanna Gaines.  You may know her and her husband, Chip, from their home

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Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of SUMMER are HERE!

Those Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of SUMMER are HERE!

[audio mp3="http://www.diyhomeandgardentips.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Those20Lazy20Hazy20Crazy20Days20Of20Summer20-20Nat20King20Cole-1.mp320Mp3goo.com_-1.mp3"][/audio]

Please NOTE that this great classic summertime song starts up automatically.  If this is annoying or you are in

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The Joseph’s Coat Rose – A New Unique Beauty

The Joseph’s Coat Rose – A New Unique Beauty

Dedicated to my sister who was looking for a unique new rose as a Father’s Day gift for her husband

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Your Spring Flowering Bulb Garden

Your Spring Flowering Bulb Garden

When the cold winter nights turn into fresh cool crisp mornings and you find yourself gazing out your window to

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Grow Vibrant Violas for Visual Energy

Grow Vibrant Violas for Visual Energy

Violas (wild violets, pansies, etc.) are perennials (plants with a long life-cycle); and are typically the first bloomers in Springtime

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The trees are turning; the weather’s getting cooler; Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back—it’s finally FALL!  No! -exclaims that one friend who cares deeply about proper English (language), it’s AUTUMN!!

I love all four seasons for each has its own unique beauty and style. I am so thankful to live in an area that allows me to fully embrace each season’s soul gifts. As I think about these seasonal gifts, I began to wonder why some call this time of the year FALL and others refer to it as AUTUMN. Have you ever wondered about this?

How did the two completely unalike words come to refer to the same season? As it turns out, both ‘autumn’ and ‘fall’ originated in Britain. So why is ‘fall’ primarily used in America?

The older of the two words is autumn, which first came into English in the 1300s from the Latin word autumnus. (Etymologists aren’t sure where the Latin word came from.) It had extensive use right from its first appearance in English writing, and with good reason: the common name for this intermediary season prior to the arrival of autumn was harvest, which was potentially confusing, since harvest can refer to both the time when harvesting crops usually happens (autumn) as well as the actual harvesting of crops (harvest). The word autumn was, then, a big hit.

Names for the season didn’t just end with autumn, however. Poets continued to be wowed by the changes autumn brought, and in time, the phrase “the fall of the leaves” came to be associated with the season. This was shortened in the 1600s to fall.

Around this time, England’s empire was fast expanding, which meant that the English language was going places. One place it went was to the New World, and it set up shop in North America in the 1600s. As time went on, the English spoken in America and the English spoken in Britain diverged: there wasn’t as much contact between the two groups of English speakers. Throw into the mix the independence of the United States, and the fact that the type of English spoken in America became part of our early national identity, and the gulf between the two dialects of English widened.

A handful of words got caught in the identity crisis, and fall was one of them. Both autumn and fall were born in Britain, and both emigrated to America. But autumn was, by far, the more popular term for quite a long time. In fact, the “autumn” sense of fall wasn’t even entered into a dictionary until 1755, when Samuel Johnson first entered it in his Dictionary of the English Language.

By the middle of the 1800s, American English and British English had diverged, and so had fall and autumn. One early American lexicographer, John Pickering, noted in his entry for fall:

A friend has pointed out to me the following remark on this word: “In North America the season in which this [the fall of the leaf] takes place, derives its name from that circumstance, and instead of autumn is universally called the fall.”
—John Pickering, A Vocabulary, or Collection of Words Which Have Been Supposed to Be Peculiar to the United States of America, 1816

We aren’t sure why Fall flourished in the United States—Pickering’s friend gives us no further particulars—but by the mid-1800s, fall was considered to be entirely American by American lexicographers. Fall is still occasionally used in countries where British English is spoken, but usually only in a handful of fixed phrases, like spring and fall.


Merriam Webster- Why does this season have two vastly different names?

To find your zone, use this interactive Plant Hardiness Zone Map (PHZM) -click here.  This map is generated and kept current by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

When you are selecting the types of trees, scrubs, or flowers to be used for your landscape, you will need to know your Plant Hardiness Zone to ensure that you achieve the long lasting beauty that works well in your particular location.

Plant Hardiness Zones specified by the USDA are based on the average annual extreme minimum temperature during a 30-year period in the past, not the lowest temperature that has ever occurred in the past or might occur in the future. Gardeners should keep that in mind when selecting plants, especially if they choose to “push” their hardiness zone by growing plants not rated for their zone. In addition, although this 2012 edition of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is drawn in the most detailed scale to date, there might still be micro-climates that are too small to show up on the map.

Micro-climates are fine-scale climate variations which can be small heat islands—such as those caused by blacktop and concrete—or cool spots caused by small hills and valleys. Individual gardens also may have very localized micro-climates. Your entire yard could be somewhat warmer or cooler than the surrounding area because it is sheltered or exposed. You also could have pockets within your garden that are warmer or cooler than the general zone for your area or for the rest of your yard, such as a sheltered area in front of a south-facing wall or a low spot where cold air pools first. No hardiness zone map can take the place of the detailed knowledge that gardeners pick up about their own gardens through hands-on experience.

In addition, many species of plants gradually acquire cold hardiness in the fall when they experience shorter days and cooler temperatures. This hardiness is normally lost gradually in late winter as temperatures warm and days become longer. A bout of extremely cold weather early in the fall may injure plants even though the temperatures may not reach the average lowest temperature for your zone. Similarly, exceptionally warm weather in midwinter followed by a sharp change to seasonably cold weather may cause injury to plants as well. Such factors are not taken into account in the USDA PHZM.

Other Factors

Here in our Idaho location, the Plant Hardiness Zone is 6a.  However, I have discovered that very few plants specify a unique hardiness zone such as 6a. Instead they list a range such as 5-8.

Therefore, in addition to hardiness zones, you will also need to consider other environmental factors that contribute to success or failure of plants. Wind, soil type, soil moisture, humidity, pollution, snow, and winter sunshine can greatly affect the survival of plants. The way plants are placed in the landscape, how they are planted, and their size and health might also influence their survival.

Light: To thrive, plants need to be planted where they will receive the proper amount of light. For example, plants that require partial shade that are at the limits of hardiness in your area might be injured by too much sun during the winter because it might cause rapid changes in the plant’s temperature.

Soil Moisture: Plants have different requirements for soil moisture, and this might vary seasonally. Plants that might otherwise be hardy in your zone might be injured if soil moisture is too low in late autumn and they enter dormancy while suffering moisture stress.

Temperature: Plants grow best within a range of optimum temperatures, both cold and hot. That range may be wide for some varieties and species but narrow for others.

Duration of exposure to cold: Many plants that can survive a short period of exposure to cold may not tolerate longer periods of cold weather.

Humidity: High relative humidity limits cold damage by reducing moisture loss from leaves, branches, and buds. Cold injury can be more severe if the humidity is low, especially for evergreens.


United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) -links are provided within content above

One of my favorite DIY mentors is Joanna Gaines.  You may know her and her husband, Chip, from their home renovation HGTV show and from their Magnolia website. On that website, Joanna has a blog called “AT HOME” where she posts some great DIY projects.  Here is one of them from her archives on creating simple plant stakes to easily identify your garden herbs.  This can be a fun and educational summer project for your children that will help them identify the herbs that you cook with.  I also like this as a great summer gift idea.

I love herbs. They’re probably my favorite thing growing in my garden because they’re a little easier to maintain than other plants, and I love using fresh herbs in my recipes. Since my children help me in the garden, I found that it was helpful to have my herbs labeled. Sometimes when the girls are helping make pasta, I have them run out to the greenhouse to grab basil or Italian parsley. These clay herb stakes make it easy to find and are a pretty detail at the same time.

Today we’re going to teach you how to make these yourself so you can label your own herbs for your garden or indoor plants.

Here’s what you’ll need:


  • oven baked clay -you can get this at your local craft store. NOTE that each block of clay makes approximately 6 stakes
  • rubber alphabet stamps -get this at your local craft store
  • ink / ink pad -use any ink color(s) that you like -the ink pad is optional
  • clay working tools -again, get his at your local craft store
  • cookie sheet
  • rolling pin
  • parchment paper

Here are the Steps:


  1. Lay out your clay and cut strips using existing grooves, if your clay has them. If your clay does not have grooves, just cut your strips approximately 6” long and 1” wide.
  2. Using the rolling pin, roll out your clay strips as long and skinny as you want them, keeping in mind that you don’t want them any thinner than about two quarters stacked to ensure they don’t break.
  3. Using your clay tools, cut the shape you want in your clay strips. We cut a few different shapes, but be sure to always leave one end pointed so it can easily stick into the soil.
  4. Use alphabet stamps and ink pad (ink pad optional) to stamp your herb’s names into the clay stakes.
  5. Lay your parchment paper down on the cookie sheet so your stakes don’t stick to the pan. Follow baking instructions from your packaging.
  6. Right after your stakes come out of the oven they’ll still feel a little soft.
  7. Allow to dry and harden for one hour.

That’s it! These also make a sweet housewarming or hostess gift. Wrap a set of plant stakes in baker’s twine and give them to your friend with a potted herb.


If you try this out in your own home, be sure to tag @magnoliamarket on Instagram!

From Magnolia -AT HOME Blog: DIY Plant Stakes

To transform your house into your HOME, check out the Magnolia collection for beautiful, simple, and durable products.

I am SO excited and honored to introduce you to my existing and new merchant affiliates and their incredible products!  I have specially selected these merchants and deals for YOU and I keep them regularly updated.  So, please use this site to shop for all your DIY Home and Garden projects.  Go to my SHOP NOW tab.  Here you will find the best and most credible merchants who regularly have amazing sales and special offers.  Here are some examples.

Like me, you probably use AMAZON as a trusted online source to make purchases.  I have never been disappointed with these online purchases. So, I am betting that you have also been very pleased with their product quality, prices and delivery efficiency.  Because of that, I am very proud to offer you direct access to Amazon who was my very first merchant affiliate. Amazon’s product line includes just about every item you could need for both gardening and home improvement projects.  For example: check out this great source for wide variety DIY project ideas and solutions: Amazon’s collection of Home Improvement publications.

If you love your backyard birds as much as I do, AMAZON is another great source for Backyard Birding and Wildlife products. If you don’t find the birding product you are looking for at Amazon, you really need to check out the birding professionals at DUNCRAFT’s Wild Birds Superstore.  Duncraft is one of the best and most interesting bird product sources you will find.  And I know you will enjoy their quality products and pricing. Currently, they are clearing out their summer inventory to make space for new Fall merchandise –and have reduced over 140+ items to give you amazing savings! Plus, new markdowns are being added weekly, so check back often. Quantities are limited so if you see something you like–buy it now before it’s too late! These online deals include essential feeders, baths, houses and more! Click on the following banner to find just what you have been looking for at a GREAT price!
Shop over 140+ Sale Items--New Items Added Weekly.

For landscaping and gardening products, tools, and plants -I searched for the most reliable and highly rated merchants; and have now become affiliates with some of the best across the country. Here is one of them: PLANTS Express -they have some incredible plants and deals that I know you will enjoy.

One of my newest merchant affiliates is Pier 1 Imports!  I just LOVE shopping at this store!  Do you?  I am so happy to be able to provide you with this great online merchant. I know that you will love browsing through all the unique items and finding just the right ones for your home… at great cost savings. Check out this site for great deals and Outdoor Inspirations.  While you are there, take a look at the Magnolia Home collection by Joanna Gaines for some simple thoughtful designs that compliment any home decor.

To quickly access these merchants and many more and to find current and seasonal sales/deals, HURRY and go to the *NEW Merchants and Special Offers! page listed under my website’s SHOP NOW tab right away.


Please NOTE that this great classic summertime song starts up automatically.  If this is annoying or you are in a public place, you can stop it by turning your device’s sound off, or you can lower the volume by moving the above sound bar to the right, or you can press the Play/PAUSE button on the recording’s bar above.  Start it up again when you are in the right environment and mood for this cheery music. ENJOY!


Around the world, SUMMER is mostly known as the time for “fun in the sun”, outdoor sports, vacations, holidays, festivities, and relaxation. To our farmers and gardeners, it is also a time of harvesting early crops and the time to plant the Fall/Winter crops.  In case you are curious about these days that we call SUMMER, here is a little scientific information about this season.

Summer Solstice is the solar event that defines the first day of Summer. The timing of the solstice is not based on a specific calendar date and time. It depends on when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator. This is the time at which the sun is at its northernmost point in the sky and the southernmost point in the Southern hemisphere.  At noon of the first day of Summer, the sun appears at its highest altitude above the horizon.

In the U.S., the 2017 SUMMER season officially begins with the Summer Solstice at the end of June -depending on the time zones listed below; and ends with the Fall Equinox on September 22nd 9:54 P.M. EDT.

EDT: Wednesday, June 21, 12:24 A.M.
CDT: Tuesday, June 20, 11:24 P.M.
MDT: Tuesday, June 20, 10:24 P.M.
PDT: Tuesday, June 20, 9:24 P.M.

This date marks the longest day of the year.  After this date, the days start getting “shorter”. That is the daylight hours start to decrease. Use the handy Farmers’ Almanac’s Sunrise – Sunset Calculator to determine how many hours of sunlight you get in your location.

In other parts of the world, the Summer period varies. For example, in Great Britain, the Summer season is from the middle of May to the middle of August.  In the Southern hemisphere, Summer begins around December 22.  June 21 is the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Wherever you live, SUMMER is the period of the year that is the hottest, has more sunlight hours, and falls between the Spring and Autumn seasons. Summer is a season of growth and that comes alive with butterflies, birds, wild flowers, bees, and insects. In this season, we landscape our lawns and spruce up our homes with both indoor and outdoor projects.

With the Summer sun comes a higher level of energy and inspiration for all sorts of play and work activities. So, it’s a great time to get some of those DIY projects done. Paint your house, landscape your backyard, finish that deck, or build the much needed fence.  So many possibilities!


Then, just RELAX in your lawn chair or hammock.  Celebrate those summer improvements with an ice-cold glass of lemonade.  Close your eyes and SMILE big about your accomplishments!