If you have every thought that you would like to get more out your flower beds than brilliant colors, bird, bee and butterfly attracting scents, and a burst of color in the landscape, consider adding edible flowers to your landscape. By integrating edible flowers into the garden, you will have flowers that not only look great; they smell and taste great too. Even if you lack space in the garden plot or landscape flowerbeds, you can plant a few edibles to use for cooking or plate garnish in spots and containers on the windowsill, patio, or porch. Edible Flower Cultivation The number one rule when growing edible flowers for the table is to avoid all chemical pesticides and herbicides. Use only organic, toxin-free products to enhance soil and fertilize plants. Edible flowers grow best in a full-sun location in nutrient-rich soil with good drainage. Water as required. If soil quality is lacking, supplement with aged herbivore manure (cow, horse, sheep, goat) or well-aged garden compost. Squash Blossoms All varieties of garden squash produce edible flowers. Flowers can be dipped in a thin egg and flour batter and deep-fried. The taste is addicting, and the squash blossoms make an attractive side dish or garnish to a pork roast or leg of lamb. Nasturtiums Bright and cheerful, nasturtiums are a delightful and colorful addition to any garden effort. Nasturtiums present boldly colorful flowers in shades of lemon yellow, sunshine yellow, orange, red and burgundy. The entire plant including the roots, flowers, stems, and leaves of nasturtium are edible; adding a peppery, spicy crunch to salads or when used as an appetizer or plate garnish. Calendulas And Marigolds Calendulas and all varieties of marigolds are edible, Add flower petals to salads, soups, and pasta. Known as a poor man’s saffron, calendula and marigold flowers impart a beautiful deep yellow color to culinary dishes. Pansies Looking like miniature “happy faces”, pansies are one of the first flowers to appear in spring. The entire flower is edible and adds a dash of color to any food presentation. Like violets, pansies can be coated with granulated sugar and make an attractive ornamentation for cakes, cupcakes, and cookies. Roses Rose petals are edible and add a festive touch to cake decorations. Rose hip jams and jellies are farmers market favorite while a cup of rose hip tea is an excellent and flavorful beverage with more vitamin C content that an orange. Edible Herbaceous Plants Edible herbs include hyssop, basil, chives, anise, cilantro, fennel, thyme, dill, and garlic, to name a few. Other edible herbs are rosemary, lavender, horehound and all varieties of mint. Herbs typically have small flowers and dense foliage. The essential oils that hold flavor are contained in stems, flowers, and leaves.
Many people find themselves repeatedly shocked by the price of their groceries at the checkout line. The price of food seems to go up every week and most people feel like there's little they can do about it but cut corners in other places. There are, however, many frugal eating habits you can build that will save you a ton of money on food, whether it's on groceries or eating out. Follow these frugal eating tips to start saving this week.
Buying your dream home should be simple. Unfortunately, challenges may arise during the homebuying journey, particularly for those who fail to budget accordingly.
Establishing a budget before you begin your home search is paramount. With a budget in place, you can explore houses that fall within your price range and move closer to finding a great residence that you can enjoy for years to come.
Ultimately, creating a homebuying budget can be easy – here are three tips to help homebuyers establish budgets.
1. Consider your utility costs.
Although you may be able to get pre-approved for a mortgage and determine exactly how much you'll need to pay for a house, you'll still need to account for utility expenses month after month.
Electricity, heat and other utility costs can add up quickly. However, a diligent homebuyer should have no trouble estimating his or her monthly utility fees.
Examining your current utility expenses can help you understand how much you may wind up paying in utility charges at your new address. Also, don't forget to consult with your real estate agent, as this professional may be able to provide details about the average utility costs associated with a particular residence.
2. Manage your debt.
If you decide to purchase a "fixer-upper," i.e. a home that requires extensive home repairs, you'll likely need to commit substantial time and resources to complete home renovation projects. Thus, you'll want to consider any home repair tasks that you may need to complete at a new address and budget for them before you make an offer on a house.
In addition, knowing your credit score can help you understand your debt. You are entitled to a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion), and each report will provide information about any outstanding debt. That way, you can learn about your debt and find ways to minimize it prior to purchasing a residence.
3. Account for closing costs and miscellaneous expenses.
Home closing costs will include your loan origination, title insurance and appraisal fees and often range between 3 percent and 7 percent of your total loan amount. You'll want to account for these expenses as you establish a homebuying budget to ensure you can secure your dream house without delay.
Spend some time learning about all of the expenses that may impact your monthly home expenses too. For example, if you purchase a condo, you may face monthly homeowners association fees in addition to your mortgage costs. Or, if you plan to have a baby in the near future, you'll want to consider how the costs of raising a child may impact your ability to cover your mortgage expenses.
If you ever have concerns or questions about establishing a homebuying budget, be sure to consult with your real estate agent. Remember, your real estate agent is available to help you in any way possible and will do what it takes to ensure you can establish the right homebuying budget.