Derrick Green's Blog
Create a flower garden you love coming home to after a long day at work that is bursting with color.
Sweet peas are a stunning annual that quite literally descends from the pea plant! They do best with the sun on their petal and shade protecting their roots so do well with a shorter plant nestled in front of them. The April in Paris variety offers yellow and purple tinted petals while the aptly named America boasts red and white stripes.
Snow Princess is sweet but tough - incredibly resistant to drought and heat. These blooms will sprawl out with its tiny white flowers making a perfect base for brighter colors to pop. It also makes for a stunning cascading plant when potted. Put this beauty in full sunlight with occasional shade.
Cinderella stock is another annual to add to your wish list. Unlike the snow princess, it prefers the cooler temps just before full summer heat hits. But it will thrive in full sunlight. You can find varieties in pink, blue, red and white so whatever your colorway, these guys are sure to fit right in.
Blue Cornflower is a distinctive color that’s found its way of naming everything from crayons to nail polish shades. This annual is easy to grow and so a great starter for beginners. A fairly long stem length, cornflowers can be placed towards the back of your garden as not to shade out shorter blooms.
Nasturtium adds warmth to your garden with shades of red, orange and yellow. Not only are these easy to grow but they’re edible! Perfect for the culinarily adventurous and beginners alike. There are so easy to grow, in fact, that they can grow perfectly happy in less nutrient-rich soils.
Begonia comes in every shade and size you could possibly need. They’re a step up from a true beginner plant in that they will need at least a little attention. However, these will look beautiful in a container garden or in a setting they are allowed to sprawl.
Marigold Signets add a pop of cheery warmth to your colorful garden. With stunning fully rounded “globe” of flowers these will happily fill up your garden. The “gem” hybrids are the most popular variety in shades of lemon, orange, red, and tangerine. These are another edible bloom with a slight lemony flavor to add to a dish.
Pansies are perhaps the most well-known for the bright and varied color palette. They come in varieties that offer blooms with a single color or petals in alternating colors. Like sweet peas, they prefer sun but the cooler temps of the spring and fall. These are a ground cover plant that also does well (and are incredibly popular) in container gardens.
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Once you move in with a partner, you know you have reached an important milestone in your relationship. For the first time, you could be talking about money with your partner. Whether you’re moving into an apartment or buying a home together, it’s important to break down how you’ll merge your finances together.
While it’s one of the least romantic conversations that you’ll probably have as a couple, sharing your financial situation is one of the most vital. Below you’ll find some tips on starting that conversation and making it a smooth one.
In any relationship, honesty and communication are key. This is especially true when it comes to finances. There’s a lot that goes into your own financial picture, and it’s important that you share that with your partner. This is important for everything that will happen in the future including purchasing a home. Some things that your partner should know:
- How much loan debt you have
- A rough idea of your credit score and history
- Your income
- Your spending habits
- Your saving habits
It’s important to know how another person’s habits will affect you as a whole when you’re thinking of making an investment together like a piece of property. Everyone handles money differently, and you should know how someone’s spending habits meshes with yours. Do they live paycheck to paycheck? Do they save money regularly? Are they financially strained? All of these questions help you to understand where you are similar and where you are different when it comes to money.
Have A Plan For How You’ll Divide Expenses
It may seem like a 50/50 split on expenses makes the most sense. For many couples it does. In other situations, if one person makes more money, they may need to pay a bit more of the costs. Some couples have one person pay the rent while the other takes the utilities on as an expense. Take amounts and percentages that you feel comfortable with and do what wrks best for the both of you.
Remember that chores count too when it comes to dividing up the “expenses.” This is just an extra tip that will help you to build a stronger relationship in the long term and help to save arguments.
Use A Joint Account For Expenses
You should still keep your own bank accounts when you move in with a significant other. All of your money shouldn’t be funneled into one singular account. Create a separate bank account for your expenses like rent or mortgage and utilities. All of your personal expenses should come out of your own respective accounts.
No matter how much you feel that you can trust a person, it’s always good to put everything in writing. This way, if there are any disputes in the future, you’ll always have a contract that you can refer back to. It’s also important to have these documents for things like security deposits or down payments. If the relationship ends at any point, it’s important for the person who paid for certain things to get their money back.
Planning and tracking your finances when you move in with a significant other is important. It will certainly make your life easier if you have these conversations beforehand.
In a not-so-distant future, American homeowners may not have to worry about blackouts any longer. Tesla’s giant battery recently powered up Australia’s grid after a power outage in just milliseconds. And, with new, green technologies, constantly being pursued, it could be within reach to say goodbye to blackouts once and for all.
However, we’re not quite there yet. And, if you live in the colder areas of the country, you’re also at the beginning of the worst season for snow and ice that can wreak havoc on power lines.
So, to help get you prepared, I’ve written this list of things you can do to start preparing yourself, your family, and your home for your next power outage.
Read on for the list.
1. Emergency supplies list
It’s vital to have the supplies on hand before a power outage hits so that you don’t have to be wandering around your home in the dark fishing for things you might not even have.
To avoid this, it’s a good idea to keep a supplies bag packed and tucked away somewhere safe. It’s also important that your family knows where this bag is located in case you’re away when the power goes out.
Now, let’s make your list:
Flashlights and batteries - Two quality flashlights with batteries should be on everyone’s emergency list. Make sure your batteries were recently bought and that they are of high quality that won’t run out of juice in just a few minutes. Also, consider including a wind-up flashlight that doesn’t require batteries for use in case you forget to replace your old batteries.
Radio - Most of us keep our cell phones charged up, but we’ve all been guilty of letting them get too low on charge. In these situations, it’s good to have a battery-powered radio to listen to the news.
Power bank - Speaking of cell phones and their poor battery life, consider buying a power bank and keeping an extra charging cord in your bag. Make a note to charge up your power bank every few weeks to ensure it will be charged when you need it most.
Cash - If the blackout effects more than just your neighborhood, many stores’ ATM and credit card machines may be down. It’s a good idea to have a stash of cash for emergencies.
Optional: generator - while you don’t need to buy a generator for your average power outage, it can help if you live in an area that experiences them frequently.
2. Familiarize yourself with your home
Find out where the shutoff valves for water are, learn the layout of your circuit breaker, and learn how to use the manual release on your garage door.
If you have an electric stove, consider purchasing and learning how to use a small propane grill for emergencies.
3. Best practices during a blackout
If you have children, make sure they know what to do if the power goes out when you’re not home. Especially during the winter months, it gets dark out early enough that many parents haven’t even arrived home from work yet. So, be sure your kids know not to start lighting candles in dangerous places and keeping the refrigerator open for extended periods.
Finally, it’s a good idea to turn off power strips and unplug appliances that were turned on when the power went out. This can stop surges from damaging your appliances and save you money.