Gardening: Is your garden hose water safe?

You’ve been picking peas, harvesting herbs and watering watermelons all day.

Really? It took you all day to do three simple tasks?

It probably was the 100-degree heat — slows me down too.

Clarence Schmidt

Anyway, you’re dehydrated and need a drink of water. The house is 219 steps away. The garden hose is in your hands. Easy decision?

It could depend on the quality of your hose.

Gardeners want to grow crops as close to toxic-free as possible. Organic seeds, healthy soil, organic fertilizers and avoiding harmful herbicides and pesticides are all essential. However, one important item deserves more attention. Garden hoses.

Better known as agricultural streaming devices (actually, nobody ever called them that), garden hoses were not designed to supply drinking quality water.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Ecology Center (ecocenter.org) tested over 200 garden hoses for water leaching and hazardous metals. “Municipal drinking water held in certain hoses for 48 hours was found to contain phthalates, BPA and lead, none of which were detected in water directly sampled from the tap.”

In June 2016, the center tested 32 garden hoses and their fittings for antimony, bisphenol A (BPA), bromine, cadmium, lead, organotin, phthalates, PVC plastic and tin.

If I had paid better attention in my chemistry class, I could tell you what those words mean. But there was this cute, red-haired girl …

OK, moving on …

For hoses tested for leaching, “municipal drinking water was held in the hoses for 48 hours, then the water was sent to a certified lab. A ‘faucet blank’ sample containing fresh tap water was also collected and tested for comparison.”

According to the center, “PVC hoses often had elevated antimony, bromine, lead, and phthalates. Non-PVC hoses did not have these contaminants.

“The hoses labeled ‘drinking water safe’ were free of significant lead, bromine, antimony and tin. However, 30 percent of them contained potentially hazardous phthalates.”

These chemicals and metals have been linked to birth defects, cancer, diabetes, hormone disruption and infertility, among others. Possibly even cyberchondria (worrying about all the worst possibilities after reading the internet).

Repeated exposure of even low levels may cause health problems, especially to children and pregnant and nursing women.

But it’s not just about safe drinking water for your kids, livestock and pets. What about your vegetables?

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Kansas State University, and funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, plants absorb very little lead in their stems and leaves. Also, “high levels of phthalates are occasionally found in organically grown vegetables, but phthalates are so common in our environment that it’s hard to prove they are due to the use of a garden hose.”

Always recite the alphabet while washing your vegetables. And hands.

Surprising to me was that half of the PVC hoses tested contained electronic waste (e-waste) vinyl contaminated with toxic chemicals. I’m delighted my old laptop has an afterlife and a future in cloud computing.

Be aware of hoses with the

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2021 Ford Bronco Has Ten Interior Drain Plugs To Help Drain Water



a car parked on the side of a dirt field: 2021 Ford Bronco Four-Door


© Motor1.com Copyright
2021 Ford Bronco Four-Door

Easily hose out the inside.

Part of the joy of driving an off-road-oriented SUV is getting it dirty. It’s the nature of the game, but some models, like the new 2021 Ford Bronco, let you remove the roof and doors, exposing the interior to the dirt, grime, and muck of off-road fun. Cleaning it out will be a breeze thanks to the solution Ford engineered right into the floor – drain plugs.

We knew the new Bronco came with them, though we didn’t know with how many. A new report from Ford Authority tells us the SUV has a total

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‘A place to get away’: Huge water feature coming to Tulsa Botanic Garden | News

The water garden’s name comes from John and Mary Ann Bumgarner of the Bumgarner Family Charitable Foundation, which made the “major gift” to make the project possible.

At Wednesday’s announcement, John Bumgarner said he is excited to see the garden develop further and thrilled to forever be a part of it.

“This garden’s special to Tulsa,” Bumgarner said. “It’s growing, as most gardens do, and it’s expanding and it’s future is going to be very bright.

“It’s a good effort, a good project, and we’re most happy to support it.”

A spokeswoman for the Botanic Garden said that while the Bumgarners declined to announce the exact amount of their donation, the entire project cost is about $1.25 million.

To make the water garden, crews will raise the pool at the seven-acre lake’s north end 18 inches to create a waterfall at the southern end. Opposite this feature at the Sunrise Bridge, water will flow into the garden over natural rock with a view to the floating gardens on both sides of the pool.

Those floating gardens will include water-loving plants like iris and hibiscus while the lilies take up the standing water in between on the southern end. The walking path will take visitors past the overlooks on the pool’s eastern side, with each platform offering a closer view at the lilies and floating gardens below beneath the cypress trees’ shade.

Source Article

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Water Cooler: Fall decor ideas for your home

Now that fall is officially upon us, it is time to spruce up the home with cozy accents, colors and decor. Pumpkins don’t have to be your only source inspiration. Fall decor can have a lot of unique personality while drawing ideas from the season, so here are some ideas to help you brainstorm the perfect autumnal aesthetic for your personal taste.

Fall color palettes

Classic autumn – Pair warm browns with deep orange-reds, bright, golden oranges and golden yellows with accents of light wheat.

Rustic fall cottage – Pair warm grays with auburn, rust orange and Oxford blue accents.

Mulled wine – Balance deep wine purples with lavender and pair with dark amber and apricot.

Victorian autumn – Pair olive with ocean blue and add punches of plum, oxblood and ecru.

Retro harvest party – Golden orange and yellow work as the base with accents of chocolate brown and avocado green.

Sunny fall day – Use crisp sky blue, sunflower yellow and carrot orange to pair with apple green and scarlet.

Autumn glamour – Pair spice orange with currant, metallic gold and sage.

Decor items

Pumpkins and squash – They’ve already started popping up at grocery stores everywhere. Pumpkins and squash of all sizes can be excellent for decorating stairways and tabletops. To add a decorative pop, paint black vertical stripes or black squares for a checkerboard look.

Garlands – Leaf gardens are most popular, but you can add in dried wheat grasses for a rustic look or sunflowers for a bright harvest aesthetic.

Lighting – Ambient light for the shorter days is a must have for the fall and winter. Stock up on candles, either real or battery operated. Lanterns work excellently for an antique and almost spooky atmosphere. Wooden candlesticks and holders create a cozy, pastoral character. Use strands of light to intertwine with garlands and other decorations so you can enjoy them at night as well.

Dried corn – For an old world, cornucopia-inspired look, dried corn is a wonderful addition to fall decorations. The rich tones of yellow, brown, red and white evoke the atmosphere of a plentiful fall harvest of a crop that is native to the Americas. Use full cobs for larger pieces or corn kernels for accents to hurricane jars.

Wooden crates and weaved baskets – Not only do these items also evoke thoughts of fall harvest, they are an excellent way to shape spaces and provide more vertical dimension to decoration arrangements.

Wood signs – Wood signs are a popular item for every season, but they work especially well for the fall because of their inherent rustic look. Paint them with your favorite fall images or warm autumn greetings for guests.

Throws – Now that we’re out of the warm weather, it is time for accent throws galore. Not only do they add a wonderful dose of cozy texture and rich color, but having extra throws and blankets around is also a must for adjusting to the colder temperatures.

Edible decor

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‘A place to get away’: Huge water feature coming to Tulsa Botanic Garden | Local News

The water garden’s name comes from John and Mary Ann Bumgarner of the Bumgarner Family Charitable Foundation, which made the “major gift” to make the project possible.

At Wednesday’s announcement, John Bumgarner said he is excited to see the garden develop further and thrilled to forever be a part of it.

“This garden’s special to Tulsa,” Bumgarner said. “It’s growing, as most gardens do, and it’s expanding and it’s future is going to be very bright.

“It’s a good effort, a good project, and we’re most happy to support it.”

A spokeswoman for the Botanic Garden said that while the Bumgarners declined to announce the exact amount of their donation, the entire project cost is about $1.25 million.

To make the water garden, crews will raise the pool at the seven-acre lake’s north end 18 inches to create a waterfall at the southern end. Opposite this feature at the Sunrise Bridge, water will flow into the garden over natural rock with a view to the floating gardens on both sides of the pool.

Those floating gardens will include water-loving plants like iris and hibiscus while the lilies take up the standing water in between on the southern end. The walking path will take visitors past the overlooks on the pool’s eastern side, with each platform offering a closer view at the lilies and floating gardens below beneath the cypress trees’ shade.

Source Article

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Tulsa Botanic Garden announces new water garden construction to begin in January | Local News

The water garden’s name comes from John and Mary Ann Bumgarner of the Bumgarner Family Charitable Foundation, which made the “major gift” to make the project possible.

At Wednesday’s announcement, John Bumgarner said he is excited to see the garden develop further and thrilled to forever be a part of it.

“This garden’s special to Tulsa,” Bumgarner said. “It’s growing, as most gardens do, and it’s expanding and it’s future is going to be very bright.

“It’s a good effort, a good project, and we’re most happy to support it.”

A spokeswoman for the Botanic Garden said that while the Bumgarners declined to announce the exact amount of their donation, the entire project cost is about $1.25 million.

To make the water garden, crews will raise the pool at the seven-acre lake’s north end 18” to create a waterfall at the southern end. Opposite this feature at the Sunrise Bridge, water will flow into the garden over natural rock with a view to the floating gardens on both sides of the pool.

Those floating gardens will include water-loving plants like iris and hibiscus while the lilies take up the standing water in between on the southern end. The walking path will take visitors past the overlooks on the pool’s eastern side, with each platform offering a closer view at the lilies and floating gardens below beneath the cypress trees’ shade.

Source Article

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Plant, weed and water: Garden Club beautifies the gateways to Old Greenwich


Old Greenwich

The Garden Club of Old Greenwich, which is now in its 96th year, has been busy at work throughout 2020.

The club spent the spring and summer working on projects, including planting brightly colored flower beds along both sides of Sound Beach Avenue and putting in flower pots and containers along Sound Beach Avenue and Arcadia Road down to the Post Office and along the fire house.


This team effort involved all 65 active club members who have “made beautifying the village a priority,” the Garden Club said in a statement. The work also includes weekly trips for watering, weeding and deadheading plants in the village gardens and at Greenwich Point.

Garden Club members also contributed their own plants from their gardens to help with the beautification efforts.



“They worked to beautify the ports of entry into Old Greenwich by planting beautiful flower pots at the train station and by completely refurbishing the Gateway Garden at the corner of the Post Road and Sound Beach Avenue,” the club said. “Members also weeded, watered and maintained the butterfly garden at Greenwich Point, an important Monarch butterfly waystation.”


Efforts went beyond just beautification. Club members sewed and distributed hundreds of face masks for front-line workers during coronavirus pandemic. The club has also worked closely with Girl Scouts to plan and maintain a “secret garden” at Old Greenwich School.

Coming up, the club will sell bulbs for resident to plant and enjoy. To place an order, visit www.gardenclubofoldgreenwich.org.


Old Greenwich

A public meeting has been scheduled to discuss replacing the Wesskum Wood Road bridge that goes over Binney Park Brook.

According to the Department of Public Works, the preliminary design of the bridge

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Garden and Patio Outdoor Water Fountains

The Japanese have for years used outdoor fountains as a focal point in gardens creating a scene of beauty and sense of calm. As well as the Romans, farther back in our history, used water fountains to offer drinking water and for bathing.

Today, there are many types of water fountains on the market. When choosing a water fountain for your garden or patio, there are few things to consider.

The first thing to consider is space. Too large a fountain can be overbearing in your garden or patio if the space is very small. Sometimes, smaller is better. However, fountains are available in as many shapes and sizes as you can wish.

The next thing to consider is style. What is the look you are trying to make? Your fountain can have a whimsical effect, which can include fairies, gnomes, animals, birds or people. Or, sophisticated and statuesque. The choice is definitely personal preference.

The next thing to consider is the composition or the materials you would like for the effect you want to create. There are as many types of materials for outdoor water fountains as you can imagine.

There are fountains constructed of heavy stone or concrete, for a permanent outdoor fountain in your garden or patio. These outdoor fountains are not intended for moving or stored indoors in cold or harsh winter months.

Other construction materials could be fiberglass, pottery, copper, metal, aluminum, glass, wire, poly resin, steel, iron stone, brick, tile, bamboo and the list is only limited by your imagination. However, a very popular material for outdoor fountains is fiberglass.

Fiberglass can be manipulated into many forms, shapes, sizes and dimensions. It can take the appearance as to look vintage, as perhaps, and old water wheel with water cascading through it. Or, it can be painted in a shinny color as a statue of some kind.

Fiberglass is a very lightweight material affording the ease of moving the unit into different locations in your garden or patio. The fact that it is lightweight, provides the ability to clean the unit, dry it and store it indoors. In regions of the country that have particularly cold winters, protects it from damage.

Other types of outdoor fountains are sometimes constructed with iron as a stand to support pots, bowls, leave, old shoes, or any object that can help create a cascading effect. For the do-it-yourselfer, outdoor fountains are made of anything that will hold and support water.

Some water fountains have LED lights that glow when it gets dark enough to see them. Others use LED lights in the cascade to highlight the water flowing from item to item.

There are so many water fountains on the market today, that we have barely scratched the surface. One more thing to note, some water fountains have a switch for sound for on or off. Some prefer to see the water and not hear it, while others like the sound and the motion. It is just personal preference.…

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Water Garden Ideas and Advice

Water Garden Ideas

Many beautiful and unusual plants can be grown in a water garden, and the making of such a garden is an adventure within the reach of everyone. Almost any receptacle capable of holding water is a potential pool, and there are water-lilies small enough to live and flower in an ordinary sized washing-up bowl.

If a pool is well constructed, if care is taken with the planting, and if the right planting compost material and aquatics (water plants) are chosen, water is easier to manage than grass. But with no other feature in the garden is the margin between success and failure so delicately poised. Great care is needed to hold the balance between clear water and a well-managed pool on the one hand, and smell, slime, green water and rank aquatics on the other.

Ideas for Siting a Water Garden

The position of a water garden is very important, for water-lilies and most aquatics love the sun. The warmer the water, the more luxuriant the growth and the greater the number of blooms will be. The best position for a pool, therefore, is in the open, as far as possible.

The shelter of trees or a hedge to the north or north-east of the water garden can break the force of driving winds and will considerably extend the flowering season, but be sure to build the pool some distance from the trees or hedge, so that dead leaves do not fall into the pool and foul the water. Alternatively, if your water garden is close to trees or a hedge, you can spread wire-netting over the surface of the pool during the few weeks of the autumnal leaf fall.

A very deep pool can be a disadvantage since depth controls the temperature of the water, but the water must not be too shallow or it will freeze up in winter. Fifteen to 18 inches of water above the crowns of plants is shallow enough to induce free-flowering and yet sufficiently deep to safeguard the roots in winter. Rock garden pools are often only 1 foot or even less in depth, and should be protected during very bad weather, but such precautions are impracticable for larger pools.

Water gardens are either formal or informal, and should fit in with their surroundings. The formal water garden is usually the dominant feature of a garden – in a central position or perhaps the key point of an area to which all paths-lead. It is regular in shape (a circle, square, oblong or some geometric form) and its outline is defined with a raised kerb or flat, paved surround. Fountains can be placed in the water garden, but as a general rule running water is not desirable, especially if the water supply comes from a natural spring or similar low-lying source, because it will constantly lower the temperature and also destroy the calm on which water-lilies thrive.

Formal pools look better in conventional surrounds and do not blend with natural …

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Garden Water Features

Garden water features are of course water features for your garden and this means things like waterfalls and fountains that you can use to add atmosphere and scenery to your garden relatively easily. When you add a water feature to your garden there are many types to choose from, from natural looking rock pools with built in fountains that will blend into the fauna and greenery in your garden, to more modern looking arrangements using stone balls and other features.

There are many benefits of water features and if you choose a good one for your property then you will find that this not only gives you a great feature to look at, but that it also transforms the feeling of your garden environment in other ways too. Here we will look at just a few of the benefits of garden features and what they can offer you.

Appearance: A garden water feature is a great looking thing to have in your home and one that will create a very natural feel in your garden. Often these will be made to blend into the appearance of your garden with natural looking rocks and the appearance of a small waterfall or rock pool. This can make a great feature for a garden and can take center stage, or it can be a smaller side attraction in the corner that shows attention to detail in your garden layout – something to find for those who are looking for it.

Sound: A garden waterfall doesn’t just look good though it also sounds great, and it’s highly relaxing to listen to the trickling noise it makes which can be likened to a babbling brook in a river giving your home the feeling of a natural setting. If you’ve ever listened to one of those relaxation CDs then you’ll not that they tend to feature trickling streams quite highly. This then is a sign of just how relaxing and calming a stream really is and how we are almost ‘programmed’ to enjoy that sound. If you enjoy sitting outside and listening to the birds for a moment’s respite from the busy pace of modern living, then this is the perfect way to get to enjoy that even more.

Light: Another great thing about a fountain is the way it refracts and reflects light. Here the sunlight will sometimes catch on the glass and reflect off of it, while at other times you will get to enjoy the lighting included in it. Usually this will be in the form of LEDs lighting the water from underneath and this will tend to be an electric blue or a neon green. In the evening then this serene lighting will be refracted and will dance around the garden in a similar way to the way in which a flame dances in the light – it can be completely hypnotic.

Wildlife: A garden water feature will also draw to your garden a host of wildlife and particularly birds that can …

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