Category: Charlene Marcum

A rose by any other name …

Where do those paint names come from and how are they selected? Each year the leading paint manufacturers list the top paint color of the year. How is this selection process achieved? Each fall the manufacturers release their “Color of the Year” usually with advice on how to completely renew your home with a fresh coat of paint. According to Benjamin Moore’s color and design expert, Andrea Magno, “We spend months researching and traveling around the world, attending design shows and picking up cues and influences from different industries, including fashion, art and even politics. “Then the next step is bringing that information back and determining what the common threads are between these different disciplines and areas of the world.” Over the past few years Sherwin-Williams spent months studying sleep patterns and spirituality before showing its “noir” collection. This collection included such hues as Black Swan, Anchors Aweigh and Poised Taupe. The selection process is very involved and can take up to a year. According to Diana Olvera, color marketing manager at Behr, “Names can typically be sorted into four descriptive categories: visual, geographical, emotional and experimental.” Inspiration can come from nature, fashion, or pop culture. “We have a lot of fun creating experiential names like Strike a Pose, LOL Yellow, or Almost Famous, which give an abstract sense of a certain attitude or trend,” Olvera says. Larger societies...

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Beware: Boxwood blight is here!

The Maryland Department of Agriculture urged residents to use caution when buying fresh holiday decorations and greens containing boxwood this past season, noting that using boxwood greens could potentially introduce a serious fungal disease called boxwood blight to surrounding boxwoods. Heading into the spring and summer months, the disease can easily move by attaching to gloves, clothes and tools so even though holiday decorations are down, it’s still something to watch out for. Boxwood blight is caused by a fungus called Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum. Symptoms begin as leaf spots followed by rapid browning and leaf drop starting on the lower branches and moving upward in the canopy. The key symptoms that make Boxwood Blight different from other boxwood diseases are numerous thin black streaks that develop on the green stems. Boxwood blight infects all above ground portions but does not appear to infect the roots. Fungus can remain alive in fallen leaves, which may serve as the source of infection for subsequent years as infected plants are exposed to moisture and temperature, severe blight and decline can occur. This fungus also produces sticky spores, which can be easily transported by human activities. The major means of transmission for boxwood blight is through moving plants and contact with contaminated clothing, tools or equipment according to the MDA. Sanitation is essential. Keep all tools clean and change clothing when working in the...

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Caring for orchids in winter can be a delicate balance

Considered to be the aristocrat of flowers, the orchid exemplifies the essence of sophistication and elegance. English merchant seamen brought the orchid home during the 19th century. The exotic colors and unique fragrances made them extremely popular among Britain’s wealthy, who were willing to pay extreme cost for these lovelies. Luckily, these flowers are now available to all at affordable costs. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture more than $123 million worth of potted orchids are sold in the United States annually. The most popular season for these sales is between October and Mother’s Day. Orchid sales are second only to poinsettias. The Physics Factbook reports that there are approximately 20,000 species and 900 genera known making orchids the largest family of flowering plants in the world. All orchids are not created equal and therefore require slightly different care. Orchid classification is based on winter temperature needs for the plant. The orchid is usually classified as warm growing, cool growing and intermediate. • The warm-growing orchid needs 65 degrees at night and a range of 75 degrees to 85 degrees during the day; • The cool-growing orchid needs 50 degrees at night and daytime temperatures under 70 degrees; and • The intermediate growing orchid needs a night temperature of 60 degrees and daytime temps of 70 degrees F to 85 degrees. The intermediate-growing orchid is the most suited...

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Plan now for good times on vacation

Some days you might not know what you are fixing for dinner that evening, but you know which speciality drink you are going to order at an exact restaurant in seven months when you are on vacation. Planning ahead for vacation is not only great for giving you something to look forward to, but it can also help your budget and help travel go more seamlessly. After you’ve decided the “where” of the place you’d like to visit, spend some time figuring out the when, what and how long part. When? Picking your destination is a good part of the planning, but equally as important is when. Check out the city and county’s tourism sites for the area — there’s nothing like finding out you missed a unique and popular festival by a week. … Or, if it is not something that interests you, plan on being there when the crowd of the event is not. You may also come across “off-season” deals which can be very tempting. Before you save a few dollars, make sure it doesn’t hinder the purpose of your trip. For example, if you are going on a beach trip you may not want to plan it in a month where it won’t be warm enough to get in the water regardless of the savings! Or if you are heading to a quaint little town,...

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Let color help create a home sanctuary

Are you looking to escape the pressure and stress of today’s society? Spas offer a temporary respite from the chaos. For a consistent, long-term solution, create a comforting, healing, secure environment at home. Begin with color. In prior years, design gurus selected a “color” for the year. An atypical change happens this year. The major paint manufacturers have selected a variety of new shades from soothing neutral hues to bold, vibrant shades. The theme is personal reflection, change, tranquility and healing. Benjamin Moore showcases “Metropolitan” a warm gray/tan neutral hue. It is soothing and provides peace and tranquility. “Metropolitan...

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