Get Your Outdoor Space Ready for Summer!

Are you looking to make a statement this year with a beautiful patio or balcony full of flowers? Here are some of the best potted flowers that not only look great, but are easy to maintain.


Coral Bells have a whole lot of foliage with small flowers that sprout out over the leaves. It comes in a large variety of colors, ranging from a light peach to a deep red. It is best to keep Coral Bells in partial sunlight.

Angelonia is a tall growing plant that does well in the summer, because it needs full sun to thrive. It comes in pinks, mauves, deep purple, dark blues and white. Angelonia is very low maintenance as it continues to bloom all season without any attention.

Coleus is a warm climate plant. In tropical places, it can thrive year-round, but in most places, it is grown as a perennial. There are different varieties that come in countless colors and it’s important to “pinch” the old flowers to allow new ones to grow.

Hydrangea is a popular, timeless plant that is actually a type of shrub. The smaller varieties do really well in pots and get no taller than two or three feet. These flowers are great because they don’t require much sun and they come in many different bright colors!

Roses are often used in landscape planting, but many varieties do great in pots as well. Most modern roses don’t require a ton maintenance and are a great focal point for your patio or balcony. They should be kept in full sun if possible.

Begonias are sturdy flowers that do well in a pot or hanging planter. These flowers have a variety of leaf shapes and colors to choose from. They should be kept in partial sun with damp soil. Indoors, they will continue to bloom all year.

Euphorbia is a very tough plant, despite its soft, white appearance. It should be kept in a partly sunny to sunny location and can survive high heats or drought. It is a great low maintenance flower to add to a mixed pot.

Ornamental Peppers are a taller, fuller plant that maintains its color and has small peppers that ripen from black to red. They are great if you want to add some texture to your potted flowers. Be aware that although the peppers are edible, they are HOT and should be kept away from children and pets.

Nemesia can grow anywhere from six inches to three feet tall. They should be kept in partial to full sun and are generally a low maintenance plant that require an even amount of moisture to thrive. They come in a variety of colors like blue, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow!

Pansies come in a variety of colors and bloom mainly in the spring and fall. They grow to be about six to nine inches tall and come in many colors. They tend to do really well in places with more mild climates.

*Depending on your region, pots must be brought inside before the first frost to survive the winter.

The Scoop on Sunscreen

Any sunscreen will protect your skin from the sun, right? – Wrong! There are several factors that play in to how well a sunscreen will protect. Consumer reports tested over 60 sunscreens ranging from lotions to lip balms and found that there are more important factors than just the SPF number. The sun protection factor (SPF) measures how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. This radiation is the main cause of sunburn and it also contributes to skin cancer. They also tested for protection against ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, which tan and age your skin, but can also contribute to skin cancer.

In order to get the most out of your sunscreen, Consumer Reports suggests using a broad-spectrum sunscreen that provides protection from both UVB and UVA rays. It is recommended that you use a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and is water resistant. It’s important to apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going outside. If you’re using a lotion sunscreen, a teaspoon per area is a good amount to ensure full coverage. If you prefer spray-on sunscreen, apply a thick layer that can be rubbed in (rub it in) and repeat it one more time. Consumer Reports stresses the fact that sunscreen, no matter which type, is to be reapplied every two hours as well as after swimming and sweating to get the best results.



To find out more about sun protection and to see the top-rated sunscreens by Consumer Reports, go to www.consumerreports.org and search for “sunscreen buying guide”. Below you will find some other helpful tips on keeping your skin protected from the sun this summer.


CLOTHING: Wear clothing that covers your skin when in direct sunlight for a long period of time. Hats also help to shade your face.

SHADE: When spending an extended amount of time in the sun, be sure there is a shaded area or bring something like an umbrella or canopy to create a shield from the harmful rays.

SUNGLASSES: Not only are sunglasses an easy way to make a fashion statement, they also are essential for protecting your eyes from UV radiation.

TIME OF DAY: It’s a good idea to spend your time outside when it’s earlier in the morning and in the evening when the sun isn’t as high in the sky.

NO BURN: Try your best to prevent any red, sore or blistered skin and use sunscreen as a last resort. It is best to avoid the damaging rays if at all possible.

UV INDEX: Be sure to check the UV Index to help plan your outdoor activites and avoid sun exposure.

 

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/sunscreens/buying-guide.htm
http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/?gclid=CLrjydWy5dMCFQa4wAod8LICew

Spring 2017 Fashion!

Is it getting harder and harder for you to find something to wear every day? Does your closet need a bit of refreshing? Then it’s time to say out with the old and in with the new! Here are some of the latest trends when it comes fashion this Spring.

Before you hit the stores, be sure to go through your closet to make room for the incoming additions. An easy way to get rid of clothes is to look at each piece individually and decide whether-or-not you have worn it in the last six months. Chances are, if you haven’t worn that shirt in six months, you’re not going to wear it again.

Once you’ve made a nice sized pile of items, the best thing to do is donate them to those less fortunate. If you want to donate your clothes, you are better off taking them to a local homeless shelter or other non-profit charity ensuring that they won’t be sold for profit.

Now that you’ve done some good and made space in your closet, you can search the racks for some new pieces you’ll love! Here are some of the hottest trends this Spring.