800px-Bougainvillea_FlowerPresenting spectacular masses of brilliantly colored bracts, bougainvillea is an outstanding addition to most any home landscape. The ornamental plant is celebrated worldwide for its utility and beauty, adorning gardens in the subtropics and tropics. A hardy shrub tolerant of most any soil or climatic condition, bougainvillea is a useful background planting for along fencelines or walls.

If you live in United States Plant Hardiness Zones 7 through 11, you will find a diverse array of bougainvillea varieties that will flourish in your locale. A common ornamental plant, bougainvillea is cultivated worldwide. You can let bougainvillea grow rampant and uncontrolled in a wild display of color, or trim and prune as a small tree or shrub. When bougainvillea is allowed to grow as it may, it will climb a tree or creep over a fence or rocky surface as a creeper or climber. Bougainvillea is easy to control, and it is no problem to direct growth over unsightly areas in the garden that you would prefer to hide such as a utility shed or rocky or barren patch of soil on a hillside. Bougainvillea plants are available for purchase online or from local home and garden supply stores and nurseries. Plants are available in shades of red, plum, pink, orange, burgundy, and purple.

Native to South America, bougainvillea was first discovered and introduced to Europe in 1880 by French botanist Commerson, who located the plant in Brazil. Commerson named the plant after Louis Antonine de Bougainvillea, a famous French navigator that Commerson accompanied on a voyage around the world with during 1766 through l769. Most garden bougainvillea cultivars have been derived from mutations and hybrids brought to Europe and North America from Central and South America.

Bougainvillea Cultivation

What’s not to love? Bougainvillea is disease free, easy to grow and propagate, presents a magnificent display of color for up to nine months out of the year, and can grow in poor soil subject to drought conditions. Bougainvillea can be pruned and trimmed into any shape or size, making it an ideal windbreak or patio screen as well as a cheerful foundation plant.

A fast growing shrub, bougainvillea varies in height and width dependent on the variety of species and cultivars. While there are single and multi-bracted bougainvilleas, garden experts prefer the single petal variety over the double for two main reasons. Single petled plants tend to be more prolific and dry, and dead flowers fall off the plant immediately. Doble petled plants retain the dead or dying flowers, presenting a less than a tidy appearance in the garden.

Although bougainvillea will survive in less than ideal growing conditions, it does best in a sunny location with nutrient-rich soil and good drainage. Bougainvillea does not like to have “wet feet” and has a tendency to decline if planted in an area subject to standing water. Like most other ornamental shrubs, bougainvillea will benefit from a twice yearly application of well-aged herbivore manure (sheep, goat, horse, cow). Work manure well into the top soil and water well. When a mass planting of one color of bougainvillea is established, it forms a perfect backdrop for special planting of smaller plants with flowers of a contrasting color. Try white day lilies showcased by a planting of scarlet bougainvillea or combine sunny yellow annuals such as marigold around the base of your bougainvillea shrubs.

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Stopping by local garage sales in search of bargains and treasures is a lot like panning for gold. Some days you’ll be sifting through a lot of rubble before you discover the hidden gems. Other days, you’ll hit the mother lode, right away! Whether you’re looking for cheap books, antique furniture, unique jewelry, retro clothing, statues, gardening tools, or gently used toys, you can expect to stumble upon some very interesting and worthwhile items — usually at extremely low prices.

Keys to Bargain Hunting Success

Many people who attend garage sales on a regular basis seem to have developed a system to ferret out what they’re looking for, spot bargains, and negotiate the lowest possible prices. They often don’t even get out of their cars if the items displayed fail to catch their interest.

Yard sales attract a wide variety of people, but the ones who find the best stuff at the lowest prices know the value of persistence, getting an early start, and advance planning. Many are quite adept at surfing the Web, clippings ads, and using social media to find promising yard sales to check out.

The Seasoned Garage Sale Hunter

In addition to a natural curiosity about the unexpected treasures they might find in their travels, they recognize the following underlying truths about garage sales.

  • There are two main reasons that people hold garage sales: to make extra money and to get rid of things they no longer need or want. In most cases, they’re highly motivated to make sales and do not expect to rake in boatloads of money. If they happen to be in the process of selling their house and getting ready to move, they should be especially motivated to clear out all their garage sale inventory. The last thing they want to see is an interested customer with a wad of cash in their hands walk away because the price wasn’t right. If you make a reasonable offer, chances are they’ll either accept it or make a counteroffer. By cultivating some basic negotiating skills and learning to have fun with it, you can pick up some amazing deals in your neighborhood.
  • At first, going to garage sales may seem like a hit-or-miss proposition. However, persistence pays off. Good timing, a little bit of luck, and being in the right place at the right time will eventually work in your favor. It’s sort of a “numbers game,” so if you plan to visit a few different yard sales in one morning, you’re bound to find all kinds of worthwhile treasures and bargains.
  • If you know what you’re looking for and have a pretty good idea of what its worth, you’ll be in a good position to make reasonable offers and walk away with exceptional deals.

Whether you’re looking for a used guitar, an inexpensive desk for a college student, or some hard-to-find first-edition books, you never know what you’re going to discover when you dedicate a Saturday or Sunday morning to some serious garage sale shopping!

Downsizing for Seniors

On November 3, 2016 By
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