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Because my hands are always in the dirt, manicures are reserved for special occasions, but I always take time to schedule a monthly pedicure.  Tiffany at Tiffany Nail Spa has been doing my nails for as long as I can remember, and she really knows her stuff.  Looking for a creative embellishment for a holiday or special occasion?  She can do that with artistic flair.  Do you have problem nails?  She has a solution!  Her space is impeccably clean, with each client receiving a new, disposable liner in the spa tub, and she sterilizes her instruments.  Tiffany is a professional and an artist, so she’s busy.  Make sure to call for an appointment.  Tiffany Nail Spa is in BLH Salon, 241 Town Place, Suite 112.  469-766-9918.

Rain gauges provide an accurate measurement of the amount of rain that fell in your yard, which is helpful when deciding when to water.  They are available in minimalist, industrial forms, as well as whimsical styles made of all types of materials.  If you place several rain gauges in different locations in your yard, it’s interesting to see the variance in the amount of rain collected in open areas as opposed to those areas under trees.  To measure the gully-washers we sometimes have, choose a rain gauge that can measure up to 5”.

Perlite is a lightweight, non-organic additive made out of heated volcanic glass that is used to aerate and modify soil structure so that it is loose and well-draining.  I add it to my favorite container potting mix (the recipe is one part potting soil, one part peat moss and one part perlite) and on its own it is an excellent medium for rooting cuttings.  Work in a ventilated area and avoid inhaling the dust that can arise whenever possible.

Garden clogs are the best for keeping your feet dry and comfortable when working in the garden. Most reputable brands have good arch support and soles that provide traction.  I prefer the clog type so that I can kick them off easily before going into the house, but there are many styles to choose from.  The newer models are available in spiffy colors and fun patterns.  As you can see, mine have been well loved and I might just check out some of the newer offerings myself.

Traditional soil scoops are usually too small and can make projects such as filling large containers or adding amendments into a soil mix tiresome.  My solution was to visit the dollar store and purchase several large measuring cups with handles.  I keep one in each ingredient so that I don’t have to search when I need one.  Using a consistent measure also comes in handy when a recipe calls for a “part”; just use the same scoop and the parts will be measured accurately.  My favorite size is this four cup, but I also like the two cup for smaller jobs.

Companion planting is any plant purposefully planted next to another (or within close proximity) to enhance growth, protect from pests, or enhance beauty or flavor.  It’s an interesting subject to explore and experiment in your vegetable and flower gardens.  These two books by Louise Riotte: Roses Love Garlic and Carrots Love Tomatoes are two of my favorite.  They are easy and fun to read and you’ll be surprised at what you’ll learn.

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