plants

4 Ways to Enhance Your Backyard for Summer

by Shea Homes Northern California on July 8, 2015

 

Tired of your boring back yard? Spruce it up with these 4 fabulous ideas from Modernize.com guest contributor Bryn Huntpalmer! Enhancing your backyard will create an oasis for you, and a great gathering place for friends and family. Check out these great ideas, then leave us your idea in the comments!

Add a Natural Pool
Natural pools are a recent phenomenon or an ancient one depending on how you look at it. The basic idea is that you can have a swimming hole in your backyard that doesn’t require any chemicals or weekly maintenance. Natural pools use a gentle filtration (gentle enough that a frog can pass through safely) and the proper placement of plants that are suited for water. The plants are actually what keeps the pool clean by naturally filtering the water and balancing the pH of the whole system. Not only are these pools a really cool water feature to add to your backyard but they are also a great place to cool off if you live in a hot climate.

Nature Pool

Via Modernize [read more…]

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Beyond the Philodendron: Your guide to indoor greenery

by Shea Homes Arizona on August 5, 2014

This is the Split Leaf Philodendron:Philodendron01

While this particular plant is growing outdoors, it is one of the more common plants found indoors all over the world. All variety of Philodendrons are fairly easy to take care of, but not too thrilling. As interior design continues to evolve and incorporate many different styles, even the plant life indoors can be trendy and exciting. And with some of the hottest of summers around in Arizona, it’s especially necessary to have some refreshing greenery within the bounds of that sweet, sweet air conditioning.

Many plants thrive indoors and can offer home owners a lush indoor paradise. And better yet, some plants can even increase the air quality inside your home! Here are some of the plants and arrangements that are trending right now. Check it out:

indoor plant 1Check out these simple but gorgeous Plant Pods from Domenic Fiorello (left). The perfect size for herbs, succulents, and itty bitty blooms (think pansies or baby’s breath), these pods can be the star in a small room or compliment the décor of a larger room as well as bring some homey warmth.indoor plant 2

If you want to refresh your kitchen window, try this idea for growing a small indoor herb garden (right). Using tea tins, mason jars or small ceramic pots, you can grow a large variety of herbs successfully and always have fresh seasonings to cook with! The best herbs to start with are the ones you use the most such as basil, cilantro, oregano, parsley or mint. Here’s a great resource for learning how to plant and care for your indoor garden.

indoor plant 3Do you have a table or book shelf that gets a lot of sunlight? We love this mini greenhouse from IKEA (left). An arrangement of vining plants such as Black Eyed Susan or Morning Glory in small containers can bring a pop of color to any part of the house.indoor plant 4

String of Pearls (right), a succulent with attractive cascading strings of spherical leaves, does well indoors and is low maintenance. Try planting this beauty in a container on a high placed shelf or niche and allow space for its unique leaves to drape below.

Whether inside or as part of your outdoor living space, a splash of desert greenery can brighten up any area. We love this coffee table (below) with space below for a collection of small succulents from Better Homes and Gardens. Succulents are particularly easy to care for as they generally only need to be watered 1-2 times per week.

indoor plant 5Did you know that most citrus trees are available in miniature form? Indoors, they don’t always produce fruit, but these little beauties have a refreshing scent, especially when in bloom. On average dwarf lemon, orange and tangelo trees can grow to about 6-5 feet tall, but can be trimmed back to the height you desire. Here’s a great resource for caring for a variety of dwarf citrus trees.indoor plant 6

Want some more houseplant inspiration? Check out our Pinterest Board “Indoor Greenery and Foliage” for great indoor planting ideas as well as info about caring for houseplants!

For more information about Shea Homes’ communities across the Valley, visit our website or you can call us toll free: 1-866-696-7432. To watch our informational videos, please visit our YouTube channel. For more information on Shea Homes and what we’re up to in Arizona, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and join us for some inspiration on Pinterest.

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