From Halloween to Thanksgiving, these versatile fall decor pieces will see you through | Home/Garden

Spiff up your space with versatile fall decor.

Season opener

Dress up this classic autumn wreath with something black and spooky for Halloween, followed by something abundantly golden to celebrate Thanksgiving.

The Plant Gallery, 9401 Airline Highway, New Orleans, (504) 488-8887, theplantgallery.com. Handmade 16-inch orange pinecone wreath, $98.



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Bugging out

Because Louisiana mosquitos don’t have an offseason, an all-natural citronella candle is a must for alfresco family dinners. Tie an orange ribbon around it and you have an instant Halloween decoration.

Phina, 3717 Veterans Blvd., and 2561 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 827-1605, phinashop.com. 12-ounce insect-repelling citronella eucalyptus candle with 90-hour burn time, $32.



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Leaves at home

For anyone foregoing a fall foliage pilgrimage this year, this leafy, welcoming mat might just make you happy to be safe and sound in your Southern home.

Lucy Rose, 3318 Magazine S., New Orleans, 600 Metairie Road, Metairie, (504) 895-0444, shoplucyrose.com. Falling Leaves doormat made of natural coir and grass, $36.



Cool fall skulls

A living reminder

Memento mori desk decor with living plants inside? A healthy reminder of one’s mortality never looked so fresh. Display these geometric skull planters more prominently — perhaps by candlelight — as chic Halloween accents.

Etsy, etsy.com. Handmade geometric skull concrete planters (available in six colors) by You Concrete Me Shop, $29.74 each.



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Fall, softly

If you’re on the hunt for understated autumn accessories, this velvet throw pillow is top-notch. It features designer Lasse Kovanen’s Aspen autumn leaves pattern embroidered with shimmering gold thread.

FinnStyle, finnstyle.com. Pentik Haapa velvet throw pillow (17.75 inches) in mustard yellow, $45 for pillow cover only, $55 for cover with insert.

For local stores, call to check availability before you go.

Multilevel and nesting pieces offer built-in variety and flair.

Keep things interesting with colorful patterns and prints.

Functional decor for seating, storage and more

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Make it a tasty fall by planting your own veggie garden with root crops, garlic and greens | Home/Garden

Now that we are moving into the cooler weather of October, it’s time to start seriously thinking about your fall vegetable garden.

If you don’t keep your vegetable garden productive through the winter, you are missing out on some of the most delicious vegetables we can grow. There is an amazing selection that can only be grown here during the cool season from October to May.

Another reason for putting in a fall vegetable garden now is the mild weather. No matter how much you love gardening, you have to admit that it’s more enjoyable when the daytime highs are in the 70s rather than the 90s. And during the cool season, we generally have fewer insect, disease and weed problems to deal with compared to summer gardens.

Make your bed

Whether you are planting into an existing vegetable garden or starting a new one, you must pay careful attention to bed preparation to ensure success. Before planting, do a thorough job of removing any weeds that may have grown in the bed, or remove existing turf if this is a new bed. Spray existing weeds or turf with glyphosate herbicide to kill the weeds before removing them. Check the label for waiting periods between treating and planting.

Turn the soil to a depth of 8 inches and spread a 2- to 4-inch layer of organic matter over the bed (compost, composted or processed manure, soil conditioner, grass clippings). Sprinkle a general purpose fertilizer over the organic matter following package directions. For more specific information on what fertilizer to use, have your soil tested through your local LSU AgCenter Extension office. Finally, thoroughly incorporate everything into the soil of bed.

If you prefer to garden in raised beds, which are generally less labor-intensive and easier to manage, kill and remove any weeds or lawn grass growing (use glyphosate) where the beds will be built. Build the raised beds about 8 to 12 inches deep and 3- to 4-feet wide (your choice of materials, pressure treated lumber, brick, cinder blocks, etc.). The length is up to you.

Fill them with a blended topsoil or garden soil mix you purchase in bags from local nurseries or in bulk from local soil companies. Incorporate fertilizer into the soil, but you generally will not need to add organic matter to a typical topsoil or garden soil mix.



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It’s time to plant broccoli into the fall vegetable garden. Related vegetables include cauliflower, kale, romanesco, kohlrabi and collards.




Cole crops

Cole is the old term for cabbage (as in coleslaw — cabbage salad). Cole crops include cabbage and several other related vegetables.

Broccoli is an easy-to-grow and productive fall vegetable. Transplants available at area nurseries may be planted now through late-October, spacing plants 12 to 18 inches apart in rows or beds. The 12-inch spacing will produce smaller heads but total production is greater.

Broccoli heads are harvested when the largest flower buds in the head are about the size of the head

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1920s complex built to house orphans offers a taste of Spain — in the middle of Marrero | Home/Garden

Some buildings are eye-catching because they’re so grand. Others are eye-catching because they’re unique. Still others stand out simply because they feel somehow out of place.

Reader Brian Gros recently came across one that fits all three of those descriptions.

“Can you tell us about the white Italian villa on Barataria Boulevard in Marrero?,” Gros recently wrote.

Architecturally speaking, it’s Spanish, not Italian — but if you’ve seen the complex about which Gros writes, chances are you remember it.

Covering an estimated 10 acres and including several buildings in the Spanish Colonial Revival style, it looks like the sort of mission complex you’d come across in San Antonio or a Clint Eastwood movie.

It is Hope Haven, founded in 1916 as an industrial cooperative farm by the Rev. Peter Wynhoven to serve as a home, school and source of practical training for orphaned boys who had aged out of the system.



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SUSAN POAG / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Bill Curtis and Craig Guillory of Duff Waterproofing worked their way top to bottom pressure washing the Chapel of St. John Bosco on the Hope Haven campus in Marrero Tuesday, September 13, 2011. The ornate chapel was built in 1941. The pressure washing is part of the ongoing renovation of the buildings on the historic campus, one of which currently houses Cafe Hope, a non-profit restaurant program which trains young adults in both the kitchen and dining room skills.




“The orphan asylums can care for these boys only until they are 12 years of age, and that is too young for them to be thrown on their own resources,” Wynhoven told The Times-Picayune. “It seemed to me that they could be taken away from the evil influences of the city, taught some useful trade, given proper guidance and be self-supporting at the same time.”

Early on, Wynhoven’s “school farm,” as he called it, was simply a dream, but it was one that enjoyed wide community support. Over the years, newspaper reports covered a litany of fundraisers to benefit it, from movies and dances to vaudeville shows. There were at various points a euchre and lotto party, a newsboy parade, an auto race and — a true novelty at the time — an air show, all to will Hope Haven into reality.

Once that seed money was secured, the next order of business was to find a suitable site. Wynhoven found it in a stretch “overgrown wilderness” just a few miles outside the city. With a number of dairy farmers and other craftsmen summoned from Wynhoven’s native Holland to offer their expertise, the project was humming along by 1921. By then, some 250 acres had been cleared for cultivation of crops, as well as for the raising of pigs, sheep and dairy cows. A handful of humble, utilitarian buildings went up to house its young farmers.



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Hope Haven in Marrero. 2000 file photo BY SUSAN POAG 




The ultimate dream, though, was to build a proper school on the

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LSU Garden News: Those tiny moths you see are producing webworms that are killing your lawn | Home/Garden

Across the state, lawns are in trouble.

Sod webworms are the main culprit this year, said LSU AgCenter Extension specialist Ron Strahan.

“The numbers are biblical,” Strahan said. “We have observed nearly every house on a single street with damage in the lawn.”

The first sign that your lawn might have a problem are small moths that are light brown to dark brown with striping on the wings. They fly around as you walk through the grass or around outdoor lights at night. These moths lay eggs on grass blades.

Larvae hatch a week or so later, maturing into adult moths in three to five weeks. There can be two or more generations each year.

Larvae are amber in color but become greener as they feed on the blades of grass at night, causing damage to the lawn.

Another sign of sod webworms are yellowing and browning patches of dead lawn. Look at individual grass blades for a chewed appearance, with pieces of missing or chunks bitten out. The caterpillars are making a feast of your lawn.

Worm castings (caterpillar poop) in the ground are another clue. The castings, which are digested grass, appear as light beige pellets at the base of the plants just above the soil level.

In the early morning, when the dew is still on the ground, water droplets from the dew will be trapped in the webbing, and this is where sod webworms get their name. If you dig thoroughly in the soil, you can usually find a tiny caterpillar about ½- to 1-inch long.

Sod webworms seem to especially love St. Augustine grass.

If you see birds going into a feeding frenzy, pecking around in the grass, that’s usually an indicator sod webworm caterpillars are there.

Heavy infestations can lead to stress, causing your lawn to be more susceptible to fungal diseases such as gray leaf spot and to other insects such as chinch bugs and armyworms. A combination of these problems can lead to the death of turfgrass.

To help control sod webworms, use an insecticide with the active ingredient bifenthrin.

LSU AgCenter entomologist Sebe Brown recommends liquid rather than granular applications for better control. You will need to retreat the lawn again in seven days to kill any newly hatched eggs. Spray will not control the moths. It is most effective on the main culprit doing the damage — the caterpillar.

Treat the infested areas and extend 3 to 4 feet past where you see browning. Moths will continue to lay eggs, so continue to monitor the lawn. Eggs hatch every seven days.

The cooler weather of fall will slow down the generation interval but not kill the worms already in the lawn. Last year’s mild and short winter is likely the cause of the large populations this summer.

The good news is that in most cases your grass will recover. Water your lawn during extended periods of drought that are especially common in October here to help the grass recover before

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A time for waiting in the garden: Evaluate caladiums, watch camellias and order bulbs | Home/Garden

EVALUATE CALADIUMS: When the plants begin to look tired and less attractive, and about two-thirds of the leaves have fallen over, it’s time to dig the tubers. Caladiums may return the next year if left in the ground, but it is more reliable to dig them and store them indoors over the winter. Dig the tubers carefully, leaving the foliage attached. Spread out in a well-ventilated area to dry. When the foliage is dry and brown, remove it from the tubers and store them in paper or net bags indoors over the winter.

WAITING FOR CAMELLIAS: Camellia flower buds are starting to swell but generally will not bloom until November or December. Water now if weather is dry to prevent problems with blooming later on.

ORDER BULBS: Order spring bulbs in time for them to arrive in November. The best selection of bulbs is found at mail order companies online. A good selection is also readily available now in local nurseries. You can purchase them while the selection is still good, but there is no hurry to plant them. November is the month we plant most spring bulbs here.

WATER: September weather has been relatively dry, and October is often one of our drier months. Be sure to check lawns, shrubs, flowerbeds and vegetable gardens regularly. When the soil is dry down several inches and/or plants show slight drought stress, water deeply and thoroughly as needed.

We’re fortunate that predicted high winds and rainfall from Hurricanes Laura and Sally did not materialize. We can’t let our guard down now, h…



Dan Gill's mailbag: It takes a little work to keep composting pile in balance; don't eat palm fruit

I am doing my best to compost, but the materials I have available are oak and maple leaves during the fall and spring and plenty of grass clip…



Weeds dropping seeds; trees and shrubs dropping leaves as weather starts to cool a bit

WEED SEEDS: Many summer weeds are setting seeds now. Do not let this happen! Pull these weeds and dispose of them to reduce weed problems next…

Dan Gill is a retired consumer horticulture specialist with the LSU AgCenter. He hosts the “Garden Show” on WWL-AM Saturdays at 9 a.m. Email gardening questions to [email protected]

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LSU Garden News: Go for the pinks in plants for breast cancer awareness month | Home/Garden

October is all about pink in support of breast cancer awareness. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, one in eight women in the United States will develop breast cancer. Men also can get it.

What does this have to do with gardening and why are we talking about it in September? Our landscapes are an extension of our homes and a statement to those around us.

Why not honor breast cancer patients and survivors by going pink in your flower beds and getting a head start this month? That way you can show your support and bring awareness to this devastating disease.

Luckily, when it comes to pink, we have many options from which to choose, including plants with pink foliage. Many Louisiana Super Plant selections come in shades of pink.

If you don’t want to make a long-term commitment, place plants in small containers or try planting annuals that can be changed out as the seasons turn. 

Both Amazon and Jolt dianthus are excellent Louisiana Super Plant selections for fall that come in an array of pinks. Amazon comes in Amazon Rose Magic and Amazon Neon Cherry, and Jolt comes in Cherry, Pink and Pink Magic. Ranging from delicate pink to hot pink, both can make quite a statement.

These plants have dark green foliage, perform best in full to part sun and are great for attracting butterflies in late fall and early spring. They make great cut flowers that you can share with friends or family members fighting the disease and to help celebrate survivors.

Do you want to go all-in and show your support? Make a big impact with another Louisiana Super Plant, the bright, prolific Supertunia Vista Bubblegum. This mighty petunia is known for its long-lasting bloom season. It spreads, growing up to 3 feet in all directions, with a height of 16 to 24 inches. It prefers full sun to produce the maximum amount of flowers.

If you want something more permanent, try shrubs. Three fall-blooming Louisiana Super Plants with pink flowers are Conversation Piece azalea, Aphrodite althea (rose of Sharon) and Luna hibiscus. All three make excellent shrubs for sunny areas in the lawn and will bloom in the fall, year after year.

Dream roses and Belinda’s Dream roses are both Louisiana Super Plant selections that produce pink blooms in the fall. Belinda’s Dream is another superb cut flower to share with family and friends.

Penny Mac hydrangea is also a Louisiana Super Plant. It’s a repeat-blooming hydrangea that can produce large flower clusters of pink or blue beginning in late spring and continuing to bloom on new growth into the summer and fall. To influence flower color, treat the soil around the bushes with lime and superphosphate in March and again in October each year. Your soil should be a pH of 7-8.5 to achieve the pink color. It may take years for the shift to pink to occur if your plant typically blooms blue.

Many warm-season flowers planted in late spring

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Bold interior paint colors are back, offering vibrancy to indoor life that neutrals can’t provide | Home/Garden

 

When Christine and Robert Casanova moved into a century-old Victorian side hall in New Orleans in 2017, the home’s central, windowless room was a blank slate, a design challenge and a point of contention.

Robert wanted a “warm, dark, cocoon-y” library with heavily saturated blue walls. Christine believed the hue would be intense and claustrophobic.

“I thought it would be too much of a contrast, like it didn’t belong in the house,” Christine Casanova said.

The couple hired interior designers Penny Francis and Casi St. Julian, of Eclectic Home, to build out the space with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a rope-wrapped chandelier and a grass cloth wallpaper accent wall. The result is a snug, intimate room where guests inevitably congregate during parties.

“I had trepidation about the bright, clean, crisp house and the dark, intense room,” Christine Casanova said. “But the dark, intense room is the place everyone wants to be because it feels cozy and safe.”

Francis says the Casanovas are among many clients who are making bolder decisions when it comes to color. “People have finally opened up to the richness of color and are not as afraid,” she said.

Bold colors are trending

Sherwin-Williams’ 2021 paint trend predictions include intense blues, muted greens and reds, vibrant pinks and warm whites. Jewel tones like emerald greens and cobalts continue to be a mainstay.

“Emerald green was Pantone’s color of the year in 2013,” said interior designer Maureen Stevens. “Ever since, it has that longevity. People are saying it’s a classic now. It’s considered neutral to do a blue wall — I think emerald is as well.”



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Jaipur Pink makes a bold debut at Sherwin-Williams.




While blush or “millennial pink” was ubiquitous in recent years, designers say this trend has given way to more saturated versions of the color.

“Sherwin-Williams came out with Jaipur Pink, which … is very reminiscent of Old World architecture. It’s definitely deeper than a blush,” Stevens said. “Millennial pink is out because it is a more muted pink. Now people are like, ‘Let’s embrace pink for its entirety.’”

Beige and gray are out

According to interior designer Nomita Joshi-Gupta, the more time people spend quarantined in their homes, the more they long for color. Although white walls remain soothing to the eye, there’s a movement away from neutral palettes of beige, white and gray.

“Your eye needs stimulation,” Joshi-Gupta said. “Just like one needs different tastes in food, your eye also needs visual cues and excitement.”



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Alexandrite is an updated take on the classic emerald green.




“Gray was a mainstay for a long time, but now grays and gray taupes are on the way out,” Stevens said. “People are opting for a clean slate of white or something more bold as far as more jewel tones and going crazier.”

Back to black

Once considered the ultimate signifier of teenage rebellion, black walls are a valid design choice — and one that’s trending. Black can make a room feel intimate and expansive because

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With some signs of cooler weather creeping in, it’s time to start planning your fall garden | Home/Garden

We’re fortunate that predicted high winds and rainfall from Hurricanes Laura and Sally did not materialize. We can’t let our guard down now, however; we still have months left in hurricane season. But we can at least allow the extreme anxiety produced by Sally to subside.

One factor that might help to soothe us is that, in the middle of hurricane season, we are also seeing a gradual transition to milder temperatures. Cool fronts begin to move through the state this month, bringing welcome relief from extreme heat and humidity. A cool front was expected to moved in Saturday to produce nighttime temperatures in the upper 60s and low 70s and daytime highs around 80 over the next few days.

Summer is not ending — we will likely see more days in the 90s, and temperatures in the 80s linger well into October. But we are through the most intense heat of the summer.

For the next six weeks we will experience a gradual shift to milder weather. There will be cool spells followed by decidedly summerlike weather, but as we move into late October, cooler weather will begin to dominate. Generally, not until mid- to late-November do we experience the frosty cold weather and changing leaves that tell us that fall has finally arrived.

Much of what we do in the garden over the next couple of months is influenced by the coming changes.

Watering

Because we have had so much rain this summer, you may not be in the habit of watering your landscape regularly (hasn’t that been nice). We saw record amounts of rain in July, and abundant rain also fell in August. With high temperatures and rain keeping the soil wet, however, root rot was fairly common and led to the loss of fruit trees, young shade trees and shrubs.

Since late August, however, conditions have been relatively dry, and irrigation is needed now. When watering a landscape, you must apply the water slowly and over a long enough period of time to allow it to penetrate at least 4-6 inches into the soil. You can best accomplish this by using sprinklers, soaker hoses or even drip irrigation.

After a thorough irrigation, don’t water again until the soil begins to dry out. You can even wait for the plants to show slight drought stress. Deep watering should be necessary for established plants only once or twice a week, even during very dry periods.

Newly planted bedding plants and vegetable transplants will need more attention and will likely need more frequent watering. Irrigating two or three times a week, possibly more frequently, may be necessary while they get established.

There are a few other things you may need to attend to this time of the year.

Flower beds

Here at the end of the summer growing season, it might be a good idea to impose some order on those overgrown flower beds. In addition to cutting back plants where needed, groom the planting to remove dead flowers

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Fall is coming: Prep now for the veggie garden with a mix of transitional and cool-season plants | Home/Garden

When it comes to vegetable gardening, understanding the seasons and the proper time to plant various crops is so important to success. Although it certainly doesn’t feel like it, we are gradually transitioning into fall — and that affects what we can plant.

Cool fronts may begin to make their way into our area this month, bringing welcome relief from the heat. Still, daytime highs regularly reach the 80s and 90s well into October. During this transition period, warm- and cool-season vegetables rub elbows in the garden.

September is almost like a second spring when it comes to the vegetables we can plant now. Familiar crops planted back in March and April, like summer squash, winter squash, cucumber, tomato, pepper and bush snap beans, can be planted again now. While bush snap beans can be planted through September, the rest of the crops need to be planted immediately to give them time to produce before freezes hit. This applies to south shore gardeners — for north shore gardeners, planting this late is riskier.



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Plant now to grow a fall crop of peppers and tomatoes.

Cindy Camp, left, who co-owns Clinton’s Happy Hills Farm with husband Roger Camp, makes a sale to Baton Rouge’s Anne Maverick, right, as they do business amidst a colorful display of the farm’s vegetables early Saturday morning at Big River Economic and Agricultural Development Alliance’s (BREADA) weekly Red Stick Farmers Market, August 24, 2019 on Main Street. The farm grows all-organic produce– ‘in the dirt,’ laughed Cindy, ‘people ask.’ ‘ Their crops include yellow squash, tomatoes, zuchinni, a plethora of peppers, some sweet, some spicy, and eggplants including a tiny ‘Fairytale’ variety picked when just several inches long. In the coming weeks, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower will begin to show up on their table, she said.




While we generally plant squash and cucumbers seeds directly in the garden, at this point, it would be best to plant transplants if you can find them at local nurseries, garden centers and feed and seed stores. Definitely use transplants to plant your tomatoes and peppers.

We also begin to plant cool-season vegetables this time of the year, like broccoli, Swiss chard, mustard greens and bunching onions. But this is still quite early in their growing season, and there is no hurry to get them planted right away.

STARTING THE GARDEN

If you don’t have a vegetable garden, now is a great time to start one. Site selection is critical. All vegetables produce best with full sun, so the site should receive a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight. All-day sun is preferable,

Be sure to prepare new or existing beds properly before planting. Clear the site of all weeds or old, finished vegetable plants. Turn the soil with a shovel or tiller to a depth of at least eight inches, and spread a two- to four-inch layer of organic matter over the tilled soil — chopped leaves, grass clippings, composted manure or compost

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