Useful Ways to Create a Better Home and Garden

In areas where the cold has begun to thaw out and there are dry sunny days, you know that it is that time of the year again when it is time to rake snow mold off lawns. If the soil is too wet, do not venture out as this may damage the soil. Before starting work in the garden make sure, the soil is crumbly and not sodden. Air out your home and start getting ready for spring. Make a checklist of the gardening equipment required, empty out window boxes and birdbaths and get them ready for re-potting and watering. Be innovative and create a garden trellis for a new look.

Brighten the first weeks of spring

Make a checklist of what seeds you would like to plant. Flowers and vegetable seedlings are available in packets at many home stores. Towards the end of March and early April would be the ideal potting time but preparations require time and it is a useful home and garden tip to plan sensibly a vegetable patch apart from the usual flowering beds, which highlight the garden décor. It is a good idea to plant some bare-root woody plants first. Remove all dried grass and shrubs, piled under snow. Check if mulches are in place or if they have been heaved. Protectors like burlap etc., aid in protecting the soil from unnecessary plants shooting up.

Record bloom times as part of the plan

Select flowers and vegetables that grow well in this cool season. A good choice of garden vegetables would include cabbage, broccoli, kohl-rabi, brussel sprouts and even broccoli. A useful home and garden idea is to start planting small compact seedlings like leeks and onion indoors at this time. Transplant them outdoors when they start sprouting and the weather gets warmer. Flowers that do well at this part of the year would be ephemerals. These little flowers rear their pretty heads between March and early April and disappear when the heat comes on. Depending on the area one is in, one can plant flowers like hydrangeas, peonies, pansies, daffodils and roses.

Look out for those pests

The wet soil gives rise to a host of pests like the mealy bugs, spider mites and scale insects. Several useful home and garden insect repellents and sprays are available in home stores that take care of these mites successfully. Preparing your own compost in one corner of the garden is a good idea as it provides manure to your plants. Make your garden bloom this season.

Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Software

The magazine staff and editors of Better Homes and Gardens have come with a design solution for the intrepid homeowner wanting to realize his/her dream house. The Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 is the latest edition of that effort that started years back and has become popular among American novice designers and even professional architects and home builders.

Getting to see your dream house with uncanny 3D realism on your PC has never been as easy with a software application tool that can make just about anyone a home designer. You just need to make sure your desktop or laptop PC is powerful enough to render 3D modeling. Not to worry, the software package comes with the recommended PC configuration you need.

Indulge your Imagination

The Better Homes and Gardens Home Designer Suite 8.0 gives reign to your innate design skills the better for you to visualize your dream home on the PC. But even people without artistic talent can to it.

  • Automatic Designing Tools. The Suite has 5,000 competent and easy to use building blocks and tools to simplify getting your design looking real. For starters, you design your lot and backyard terrain with the Automatic Build Terrain and Terrain Perimeter tool that can be aided with a GPS terrain elevation data. Add pools and other landscaping details like fences and driveways from its landscaping library. Generate house roofs, ceiling beams, floor patterns, dormers, stairs, framing and house foundation automatically.
  • Design Templates. There are over 1,500 sample house floor plans as well as a Design Inspiration Gallery with photos by house designs categorized by type that can inspire you with your own unique design ideas. It has a library of home-style templates you can start with or create own customized house designs. There’s also the House Wizard that can automatically generate a house design for you based on information you supply.
  • Design Libraries. There are over 6000 design elements like furniture and electric fixtures, windows and doors, wall paper and floor designs and appliance, just to mention some, in its built-in library that you can just drag and drop on your design work area, or you can design your own. There’s even a Plant Encyclopedia on the side containing 1,500 popular plant species you can learn about that’s suitable in your country as indoor plant ornament in your design.
  • Online Advice. You can get free online design expertise from the Design Planning Center of Better Homes and Gardens as well as download additional design elements from the Home Designer website.
  • 3D Rendering and Virtual Tours. Once you’re done with hour house and interior designing, remodeling, landscaping, and floor planning, go into 3D simulation of light and shadows and a virtual walk-through of your dream house.
  • Project Cost Estimating. Once you’re happy with the look of your new house complete with interiors and landscaping, the Suite will estimate the cost of making your design happen, generating a spreadsheet where you also get material estimates on how much lumber and concrete is needed which creates the basis for the costing.

Better Homes and Gardens Magazine

Today, “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine is one of the most popular home magazines sold. For years it has been showing people everything from how to get clutter out of a house to which plants can be grown in doors. It also has shown countless recipes and quick-fix meals. Various crafts have also been show cased.

History

This magazine actually started off under the title of “Fruit, Garden and Home” in 1922, and was published by the Meredith Corporation. This was a family and home service magazine. Then in 1924 the name was changed to “Better Homes and Gardens”. When it first hit the newsstands one could buy it for $.10 a copy. The price for a subscription for a year was only $.35

Several years later in 1930 to be exact, a cookbook under the same name of the magazine was published. Building Ideas was published as a special interest publication under “Better Homes and Gardens” in 1937.

Then in 1978 a real estate service was launched under the Better Homes and Gardens name. Also the Australian version of the magazine was published. A quilting magazine under the Better Homes and Gardens name came out in 1993 offering even more information for people on home activities.

Circulation

The latest circulation figure for this magazine is a whopping 7,688,000 people. Now that is quite a following!

Content

Since early in the publication of the magazine the content has been based on the home and its garden areas. Included in the topics for the home have even been craft ideas people can make on their own. Also various ideas on home décor have been included to help one decorate their house. Tips on planting seeds and taking care of plants are even included in one current issue of this magazine.

From a 1940’s information on how easy ironing was then to January 2010 article on how to cut down the clutter in the house among other things, this magazine strives to be of help to people. This magazine has had recipes on various items from cookies to bread puddings.

The recipes are all kitchen tested to make sure they work. This magazine has offered even a food guide in the past. It is quite a job to plan meals for a family and magazines like this one make the job much easier.

In the July 1963 issue had an article “How to Stay Young and Look Great”. It seems like the public does not change in what they need to read since many articles are written today on that same subject. In 1965 an issue came out showcasing which campers were the latest on the market.

Where to Buy

The Better Homes and Garden magazines are sold in most bookstores that carry magazines, grocery stores, drugstores, and on a home subscription basis. The subscription price today is $5.99 a year with 12 issues. That is only $.50 a piece. In stores the price is $3.99 an issue in the USA. You can also order a Better Homes And Gardens magazine subscription online.