*** A highjacking from me, Emily, real quick. Today is Jess’ six-year workaversary and I literally couldn’t be luckier to call her my #2. She brings and gives so much leadership, creativity, insight, innovation, compassion, loyalty, love, organization, ease, and FUN – I’m just constantly grateful and impressed. She has talked me up when I’m been so low, and effectively helped save the company when I was at my lowest. This blog would absolutely not be as great as it is without her steering this ship through the incredibly difficult waters of digital media. So let’s show Jess so much love in their comments. WE LOVE YOU JESS AND THANK YOU FOR SIX WONDERFUL YEARS. Love, Emily.

6 years. I can and also very much can’t wrap my brain around it. All I can think about when I see that number is how when I was living in New York …

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Partner Post


You’ve finally found your dream home. Like other diligent home hunters, you’ve checked out the yard, the home’s exterior, and the bathrooms. But like most people, you’ve given little thought to the home’s water quality. 

That’s not surprising. Most home buyers are too distracted by how great the place looks to think about water quality. Overlooking the kind of water your potential home has could lead to huge and uncomfortable problems down the line. Following are the various water issues you might face in your new home and how best to manage them.


Most people pay more attention to the pipes and plumbing than the water coming from them because they believe the water authorities in the area have covered it.

While the water utilities may have filtered your water, there’s a high chance of running into two types of water problems in a new home — contamination

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Just when the heat and dryness of a Southwestern summer are starting to get to you, fall brings some respite. The plus side of living in such a warm region is that we have a multitude of plants that look good at every time of the year. The following are some of my favorite shrubs with fall interest for our region; these plants offer beautiful flowers, interesting seed heads, or fiery fall foliage. Best of all, these three shrubs are native and perfectly adapted to our climate.

Golden-yellow rabbitbrush next to Russian sage
Golden-yellow rabbitbrush flowers look enchanting next to the purple ones of Russian sage (Salvia yangii syn. Perovskia atriplicifolia, Zones 5–9). Photo: Charles Mann

Rubber rabbitbrush

Ericameria nauseosa subsp. nauseosa var. glabrata, Zones 4–9

Rubber rabbitbrush, also called chamisa, is an excellent fall-blooming plant. This shrub is extremely drought tolerant, with very low water requirements. It’s also hardy up to 8,500

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September 4th, 2022
Posted In: Gardening know how

Drought tolerant plants are at the top of the list if you have gaps to fill in your garden.

The record-breaking heat and drought in the UK this summer left our gardens fried and frazzled. And there are predictions that future years will also hold droughts and hotter temperatures.

But however hot or dry the long-term trend is, we can still have unexpectedly wet summers. Last summer there was twice the normal level of rainfall in my area.

So we don’t want to fill our gardens with drought tolerant plants which will struggle or die next time we have a wet summer.

So I’ve checked with some gardens I’ve known for some years, including my own, to see which plants did best in this year’s drought- but also looked good in last year’s unusually rainy summer.

Former garden designer and baking influencer,

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No matter how well you build a wooden fence gate, they all share a common problem over time — the tendency to sag over time. 

A sagging gate doesn’t just make your fence look old and unattractive — it’s also a hazard for children and pets.

Wide gates are no exception, and possibly are more susceptible to sagging. For example, this fence gate is five and a half feet wide, and I’ve tried everything over the years. I replaced the hinges with larger hinges. I installed the steel braces in each corner. Still, it didn’t work. 

Instead of fighting gravity, prop the sagging gate up when it’s closed or open with a caster.

The caster is made from a simple two-by-four pressure-treated block. Here’s how to build it:

Hand using a wood scraper to smooth a notch out of a two-by-four pressure-treated board
A wood scraper smooths the edges of the two-by-four so it rests neatly against the horizontal fence gate support board. (3
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