Nothing says it’s fall garden time like classic chrysanthemums, which come in many hues |

If you would like to add some color to welcome the fall season, you can’t beat chrysanthemums.

It seems that everywhere you look in October you see chrysanthemums blooming. Widely available and relatively inexpensive, they are almost indispensable for providing quick color to the fall landscape. Whether you plant them into beds or feature them in containers, these cheerful plants covered in yellow, gold, bronze, purple, lavender, white, pink or burgundy flowers are a delight in the landscape.

Chrysanthemums, also called mums, are hardy, long-lived perennials that bloom in the fall. Chrysanthemums are triggered to bloom only when the nights are long enough. During the summer, when days are long and nights are short, chrysanthemums in the garden grow vegetatively. As the period of nighttime darkness increases in late summer and early fall, flower bud initiation occurs. This takes place here in August and September, with flowers of chrysanthemums growing in gardens opening from October through December. Blooming container-grown plants are available at nurseries as early as September. Plants generally stay in full bloom for about two to three weeks.



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When purchasing chrysanthemums at the nursery, it is important to choose the right type of chrysanthemum for your landscape. You may find three different types of chrysanthemums offered at the nursery — cut-flower mums, pot mums and garden mums.

Cut-flower mums are selected for their ability, when cultivated properly, to produce spectacularly large flowers with long, strong stems suitable for cutting. Typically, cut-lower mums grown in pots will have a number of stems, each one terminating in one large, showy flower.

Pot mums were developed to produce a beautiful container plant with large flowers. They are grown in greenhouses and must be pinched, disbudded and even treated with growth regulators to produce a shorter, more attractive finished product. By manipulating the greenhouse environment, growers can produce blooming pot mums all year. These are the mums commonly available in pots at florist shops, but you also see them in nurseries this time of year. The plants are more upright and produce larger flowers than garden mums.

Neither cut-flower mums nor pot mums are generally suitable for the flower garden. Both tend to grow tall and leggy in the garden, resulting in plants that are floppy and unattractive, even though the flowers may be pretty.

The best chrysanthemums for planting in the landscape are garden mums. These mums are bred and selected for growing in the garden. They are short, bushy plants about 12 to 18 inches tall that literally cover themselves with clusters of small one and one-half inch flowers in virtually every color except blue. This type of mum is available now at nurseries and garden centers in 4-inch, 6-inch and gallon-size containers.



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This Year’s Best Halloween Decor, From Classic to Frightfully Over-the-Top

With the CDC advising against trick-or-treating, Halloween looks a little different this year. At-home celebrations have become even more important, and that means that Halloween decorations (along with all the Halloween-themed movies Netflix has to offer) are essential to helping us get into the spirit of the season. If you’re crafty, consider conjuring up your own DIY Halloween decorations, but for those who prefer not to tackle homemade projects, we’ve curated a list of the best Halloween decor you can order online. No matter if your style is subtle and sophisticated or full-on haunted house, we’ve found the indoor decor and yard decorations to set the scene.



a room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table: Crate & Barrel


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Crate & Barrel

RELATED: No, Halloween Isn’t Canceled This Year—Here’s How to Celebrate Safely

Antique Glass Pumpkins

For a sophisticated spin on traditional pumpkins, order Terrain’s everlasting antique glass gourds. Set them on a shelf, side table, or mantel  to instantly make your home feel like fall. 

From $18, shopterrain.com


Antique glass pumpkins


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Antique glass pumpkins

Fall-Themed Mugs

If you want an inexpensive way to bring “fall feels” to your home, order a couple seasonal mugs. Adorned with colorful leaves and pumpkins, they’ll make your pumpkin spice latte feel even more festive. 

$12, anthropologie.com


a coffee mug: mugs with


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mugs with

Shatterproof Halloween Ornament Wreath

If you’e going to decorate just one spot in your home this year, deck out the front door. This Halloween ornament wreath in the classic orange-and-black color scheme brings a festive touch to your home’s curb appeal. 

$20, target.com


a necklace on a table: Halloween themed ornament wreath in orange and black


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Halloween themed ornament wreath in orange and black

Jack-o’-Lantern String Lights

No, string lights aren’t just for Christmas—these Halloween-themed lights will lend a magical glow to your home. 

$10, michaels.com


an orange hanging from the ceiling: Pumpkin lantern string lights


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Pumpkin lantern string lights

Spider Doormat

When you’re searching for Halloween decor that’s simultaneously scary and chic, check out Crate & Barrel. This spider-adorned doormat balances simple design with a creepy-crawly motif. 

$30, crateandbarrel.com


a close up of a rug: Spider Halloween Doormat


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Spider Halloween Doormat

French Bulldog Skeleton

Equal parts scary and cute, this French bulldog skeleton can greet guests at the front door or bark at those passing by from the front window. 

$15, target.com


French bulldog skeleton decor


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French bulldog skeleton decor

Inflatable Lawn Decor Pumpkins

When it comes to the best places to buy Halloween decor, Michaels always lands near the top of the list. For those who plan to DIY decorations, it’s a one-stop-shop—but they also have ready-to-display decorations and last-minute costumes, too. 

Love Halloween and want to make sure the entire neighborhood knows it? Order some inflatable lawn decor, like this 7-foot-tall stack of pumpkins. 

$65, michaels.com


a lamp that is on top of a grass covered field: Pumpkin stack lawn decor


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Pumpkin stack lawn decor

Life-Sized Posable Skeleton

If your Halloween style is more scary than sweet, opt for this 5-foot-tall posable skeleton. Set it in its own chair at the dining table—then just wait for your family to notice the new dinner guest. 

$30, homedepot.com


Home Depot Skeleton decor


© Provided

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Local Eats: Nipote’s Italian Kitchen offers 24 Italian wines to pair with classic food

MUSKEGON, MI – Jeff Church says that visitors to his restaurant often tell him that it’s a ‘hidden gem.’

“But we’re a bright yellow building in a shipping container, so I don’t know,” the owner and chef at Nipote’s Italian Kitchen told MLive in a recent interview.

The unique downtown structure opened to the public in July, 2019, offering a range of Italian favorites, from appetizers like bruchetta, caprese salads and garlic shrimp, to salads, soups, paninis, chicken cacciatore, eggplant parmesan, and, of course, pastas.

There is also a full bar, including a rotating list of 24 Italian wines.

It has been a year full of “ups and downs” for the business, located at 98 W. Clay Ave., Church said, as they went from bright and busy beginnings to shutting down for three months during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Shipping container restaurant ‘swamped’ during 1st week in downtown Muskegon

Business is picking back up, Church said, and while it’s “not back to where we should be,” he is optimistic after a beautiful summer that saw many customers out on the patio, even after plans to hold an anniversary celebration in July were dashed.

“Social distancing isn’t ideal for a social establishment, but there’s nothing we can do about it, so we’re rolling with the punches,” he said.

Church, a Reeths-Puffer grad and Muskegon native, said he’d opened the business – his first brick-and-mortar – inspired by family trips to Italy. He wants prospective customers to know that they are welcome regardless of whether they’ve had Italian food before, or whether cacciatore trips easily off their tongue.

“I get fresh food in every day, keep everything fresh, fun and approachable,” he said. “(I want customers) to not be intimidated by any Italian words that they might not be able to pronounce…we’re very casual.”

The restaurant can be reached at (231) 725-5100. It is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and is closed on Sunday and Monday. Check out the menu here.

Visit the website for wine and dine events and other information.

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The Secret Garden classic has been remade and can explore the stunning film locations

For over a century, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden — about Mary Lennox, an orphan sent to live with her uncle, only to find a magical garden on his estate — has enchanted children. 

The latest film version with Colin Firth and Julie Walters will wow a new generation. 

Director Marc Munden used some of Britain’s idyllic locations to create a magical world. 

And you can visit them, too . . . 

The Laburnum Arch in Bodnant Garden, North Wales. The vibrant yellow flowers usually attract 50,000 visitors when they bloom for just three weeks each spring

The Laburnum Arch in Bodnant Garden, North Wales. The vibrant yellow flowers usually attract 50,000 visitors when they bloom for just three weeks each spring

A glorious arch of golden laburnum

Bodnant Garden, North Wales

Julie Walters and Colin Firth walk under a stunning arch of flowering laburnum in this scene filmed at Bodnant Garden.

Described by the National Trust as ‘the height of spring’, the Laburnum Arch is 180ft long and was created in 1880.

Julie Walters and Colin Firth walk under a stunning arch of flowering laburnum in this scene for The Secret Garden (2020) filmed at Bodnant Garden

Julie Walters and Colin Firth walk under a stunning arch of flowering laburnum in this scene for The Secret Garden (2020) filmed at Bodnant Garden

The vibrant yellow flowers usually attract 50,000 visitors when they bloom for just three weeks each spring. 

So while you will have to wait to see the arch in its full glory, the rest of the garden — featuring manicured lawns, flower-filled terraces, meadows and water gardens — is currently open, with adult tickets for £8 (half-price for children).

  • 01492 650460; nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden
Built in 1758, Helmsley Walled Garden in North Yorkshire has a starring role in the new film

Built in 1758, Helmsley Walled Garden in North Yorkshire has a starring role in the new film

The big star of the show

Helmsley Walled Garden, North Yorkshire

Nestled at the foot of the North York Moors and built in 1758, the walled garden has a starring role in the new film. 

It was originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers to the Feversham family, who lived at nearby Duncombe Park (which appears as Misselthwaite Manor in the film). 

It was originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers to the Feversham family, who lived at nearby Duncombe Park (which appears as Misselthwaite Manor in the film). Pictured: Filming at Helmsley Walled garden for The Secret Garden

It was originally designed to provide vegetables, fruit and flowers to the Feversham family, who lived at nearby Duncombe Park (which appears as Misselthwaite Manor in the film). Pictured: Filming at Helmsley Walled garden for The Secret Garden

Tickets for the garden cost from £7, children go free. It’s open from Thursday to Sunday.

  • 01439 772314; helmsley walledgarden.org.uk
Triffid-like Elephant’s Rhubarb plants tower over two children at Trebah Gardens, Cornwall

Triffid-like Elephant’s Rhubarb plants tower over two children at Trebah Gardens, Cornwall

Fun among giant triffids 

Trebah Gardens, Cornwall 

Actress Dixie Egerickx (who plays Mary Lennox) peers through the twilight world of Gunnera Passage at Trebah Gardens.

Actress Dixie Egerickx (who plays Mary Lennox) peers through the twilight world of Gunnera Passage at Trebah Gardens

Actress Dixie Egerickx (who plays Mary Lennox) peers through the twilight world of Gunnera Passage at Trebah Gardens

Its huge, Triffid-like Elephant’s Rhubarb plants are native to the mountains of south-east Brazil, with leaves up to 2.5m wide and stems as thick as a man’s wrist. 

Open Saturdays to Wednesdays, tickets from £11.

  • 01326 252200; trebahgarden.co.uk
Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire was established by monks almost 900 years ago

Fountains Abbey in North Yorkshire was established by monks almost 900 years ago

Today, the atmospheric ruins provide the backdrop to elegant water gardens with mirror-like lakes and ponds. Pictured: A still from the latest film version of The Secret Garden

Today, the atmospheric ruins provide the backdrop to elegant water gardens with mirror-like lakes and ponds. Pictured: A still from

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Wuthering Heights: House that inspired Emily Bronte classic for sale

Ponden Hall

image copyrightStrutt and Parker

image captionPonden Hall has traditionally been identified with the Lintons’ home Thrushcross Grange in Wuthering Heights

A house thought to be the inspiration for Emily Bronte when writing 19th century classic Wuthering Heights is on sale for more than £1m.

Ponden Hall, in Stanbury, West Yorkshire, dates back to 1541 and played host to Bronte and her family during their childhood.

Several features of the property are said to have inspired her work.

In 2014, it was converted into a bed and breakfast which is currently run by owners Steve Brown and Julie Akhurst.

image copyrightStrutt and Parker
image captionIt is also believed to have inspired Anne Brontë’s novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Sisters Emily and Anne, who began writing as children along with their sibling Charlotte, first came across Ponden Hall during the Crow Hill Bog Burst, a mudslide that occurred following heavy rainfall in September 1824.

While this was the girls’ first encounter with Ponden, they continued to visit, with the house providing inspiration for both Wuthering Heights and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall.

The library at Ponden, considered one of the finest in West Yorkshire and which boasted a Shakespeare first portfolio, was particularly appealing to the Brontes, who would often stop by to use it.

The Bronte sisters

  • Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte were 19th Century novelists who formed one of the world’s most famous literary families
  • Often left alone together in their isolated Haworth home, all three sisters began to write stories at an early age
  • Charlotte’s Jane Eyre and Emily’s Wuthering Heights are hailed as British classics. Anne’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was a bestseller
  • Tragedy struck the family when Emily and Anne both died of tuberculosis within six months of each other between 1848 and 1849. It also killed their brother, Branwell
  • Charlotte continued to write and later married, but she too was killed by the disease in March 1855

Mr Brown said it was a request from a Bronte enthusiast to stay over in the old library that prompted the couple to turn Ponden into a bed and breakfast.

The couple moved into the property in 1998 and undertook extensive restoration work.

image copyrightStrutt and Parker
image captionThe house, which overlooks Ponden Reservoir, is a Grade II listed building

The main guest bedroom features a small, single-paned window within a wooden, panelled box bed which bears similarities to the window that appears in Wuthering Heights.

  • Read more stories from across Yorkshire

Ms Akhurst said: “This is the room in the old end of the house which has a tiny window in it which inspired Emily to write the story of Cathy’s ghost.

“There is the scene in which Mr Lockwood is asleep in the bed and he has a nightmare where he believes the ghost of Cathy is coming through the window to get him.”

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Bathroom Appearance Made Classic With Modern Bathroom Vanities

In today’s world, the modern bathroom vanities are important to match the modern house atmosphere. It is an element that makes a typical house look classic and modern by how it impacts the appearance of the bathroom. Just like any household vanity, it is made up of styles and designs that suit the theme of the space.

Modern bathroom vanities come in various materials. The materials include wood, steel, ceramic, granite, aluminium, fibre glass and plain glass. Aside from materials, there are also the kinds of furniture for the bathroom vanities such as the basin sink bathroom cabinets, mirrors, stand-alone shelves, mounted wall shelves, and vanity cupboards. These wide selections make the bathroom vanity fit any type of lifestyle and preferences of modern living.

To give you idea of what to look for in bathroom vanities, below are the lists of bathroom vanities to consider:

o Glass and lighting vanities – There are two choices of glass vanities: Venetian mirrors or designer glass. The Venetian mirrors can be mounted independently on the wall of the bathroom or can be attached in vanity basin sinks. It can also be attached behind cabinet doors, within the shelf or behind the bathroom door. For the designer glass, it could be incorporated as cabinet door, vanity basin sinks and shelves. Glass and lighting vanities create an overall classic and grandeur appearance of the bathroom.

o Cabinet and shelves vanity – The wood bathroom vanities are almost always referred to the cabinets and shelves of the bathroom. It comes either with attached mirror or in plain wooden materials. Some vanity bathroom cabinets, though comes in steel which is actually cheaper. Whether steel or wood, the vanity cabinets and vanity shelves are used if there’s more space in the bathroom. If there is limited space, vanity wall cabinets can be suitable as it is merely mounted on the wall and does not require floor space.

o Basin sink and bath tubs vanity – These two items are essential items in modern bathroom vanities. The materials that provide high durability for basin sinks and tubs are stone bathroom vanities. It can be in granite or marble which is enduring in bathroom heat and chemical actions. There would also be no problem if you choose wood bathroom vanities for the basin sink since it is usually quoted with some chemicals so it won’t easily be scratched. The chemical coating also endures the various temperatures in the bathroom surroundings. As for the bathroom tubs, the usual materials used are ceramic, granite and marble. All these materials are durable and it’s up to you to choose among the various styles and colours that suit the theme of your bathroom.

All in all it is best to get bathroom vanities that compliment the overall appearance of your bathroom. Aside from the appearance, other factors such as the costs, durability and low maintenance requirement should also be considered. You can usually get tips and ideas from friends and relatives with their experience …

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