I set about this article with mid-October in mind: fall flowers, bulb planting… but as I write in late September, the temperature is still rising into the 90’s — certainly not a Master Gardener’s usual weather alert to “Bring on the pansies!” So I’m playing it safe. As we gear up for fall, let’s instead make note of a few assumptions that might need revisiting while we wait for the cool.
Let’s talk about size. You have your planting area ready and rush to stuff it full of whatever has caught your fancy at the nursery. I am so guilty of this! In my desire to see a “finished look,” I put in too many shrubs. And then they grow, not only tall, but into one another, forming a mass. I tell myself I will simply prune them back. But not only is that time- and labor-consuming, it’s just not right. Plants will do their darndest to reach their mature size. Look at the nursery tags for height and spread. Plant accordingly. If you can’t stand the look of open mulched areas, add annuals, or bulbs—something easily moved when overcrowding starts. You cannot convince a six foot shrub that it wants to be a three foot shrub.
Be aware, too, that whatever you plant here in the South — including any lawn — will have to be watered, or you’re wasting your time and money. With global warming our temperatures are rising, and our weather has become more erratic, weeks of rain followed by weeks of drought. You will need to invest in some sort of system: research the kind you will need.
Trees face their own problems with anxious property owners. It can start with a landscaper who installs a tree, carefully staking it to stand upright. You reason, well, the landscaper knows his business — I’ll leave it staked. Big mistake. The staking is there to steady the tree until it settles in and its roots begin to spread beyond the root ball. Typically, a tree planted in the fall will show some growth in its crown the following spring. Time to take away the staking. It is far better to allow the tree to bend with the wind than to have it snap in two where it has been staked too long.
While we’re at it, let’s consider where you plant that tree. Like those shrubs in the second paragraph, your tree is going to grow. That nice oak sapling is going to be a 50-foot tree. Check for power lines. Yes, they tell you to “call before you dig,” but that’s to avoid underground wiring. Look up! Are there power lines connecting your home to the road? What about the lines along your property? So often people have to resort to topping their trees because they didn’t consider their ultimate height. Trust me, if you don’t do it, the powerline people will.
Then there is county maintenance. Yes, I truly understand the need for roads to be unobscured for safe traffic, but it breaks my heart every time workers come down my street, slicing off branches that have intruded into street space. Granted, I am talking about a patch of woods that I didn’t plant, but the result is the same. Be careful that your trees don’t extend too far outward.
That reminds me of another pet peeve that is usually a landowner’s negligence: overgrown plantings at street corners. These should be kept at 18 inches high or have a canopy above 6 feet. Obviously the question here is safety; anything that obscures a motorist’s view puts everyone at risk — be it children walking or bicyclists or other vehicles. When I first moved to my present location, a house on the corner had been vacant long enough for vegetation to grow unchecked. Accelerating out onto the busy highway was a daily blind leap of faith! Have you checked your corner lately?
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The city of Lima will get two new IHG properties by 2022 (Picture: Twenty20)
Trendy Miraflores neighbourhood in Lima to get two new IHG properties in 2022
Designed by some of the most prestigious firms in South America, the two properties will be in the bustling neighbourhood of Miraflores.
We find out more.
IHG is setting its sights on one of South America’s fastest growing emerging markets, Peru, with the announcement of two new properties in the country’s capital.
The InterContinental Lima Miraflores and the Hotel Indigo Lima Miraflores will be beside each other in the capital’s vibrant Miraflores neighbourhood and mark the first foray for these two IHG brands into the Peruvian hospitality market.
These stunning new hotels will provide guests with breath-taking views of the Pacific Ocean and are conveniently located close to Larcomar, the capital’s commercial and entertainment epicentre. Peru is a fitting location for these two brands, as it continues to see strong growth in the tourism sector.
Elie Maalouf, Chief Executive Officer, Americas, IHG, said, “Our portfolio of brands continues to expand throughout Latin America thanks to relationships with passionate owners such as Inmobiliaria Vistamar.”
“Peru is thriving with one of the strongest economies in the region, and we are pleased to introduce these leading global luxury and lifestyle brands to business and leisure travellers in the market,” Mr Maalouf went on to say.
IHG has enlisted two of the region’s most eminent design practices, Fuenzalida & Swinburn Architect and Associates and Arquitectura Diseño Interior Hospitality Spa, to conceive of the two new Miraflores properties.
The hotels will bring cutting-edge, modern design to this trendy neighbourhood and each hotel will offer guests something a little different while maintaining the high standard of service, an offering IHG is known for.
InterContinental Lima Miraflores will be a 20-storey building with 322 guest rooms and suites, two rooftop bars, the private Club InterContinental lounge for meetings and events and Lima’s largest outdoor pool.
The 76-key Hotel Indigo Lima Miraflores will be a more boutique affair, with an upscale restaurant inspired by the flavours of Peru, as well as a lush garden for visitors to escape to after a long day exploring the city.
Gonzalo de Losada, Chief Executive Officer of hotel owners Inmobiliaria Vistamar, said, “We are very proud to be partnering with IHG to bring these two world-renowned brands to Peru, and build on InterContinental’s legacy in Latin America. We look forward to providing luxury and unique experience-led stays to the most discerning travellers in the world.”
Let’s have a look at some more projects by IHG in Latin America:
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You would like to know more about the upcoming hotel projects in Latin America? Download our latest construction report with a detailed overview of the current project pipeline.
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What a cool retro robot standing on your desk and light the surface. Made of iron water pipes, Frideko Retro Industrial Robot Table Lamp offers cool and unique design that adds personality to your room. It also acts as an eye-catching decoration wherever you place it.
The material is high-quality iron, then cut, polished, and painted with hand-made color and any other processes of fine workmanship. Everything you need to make this lamp work is included within the package. It will complement your steampunk-themed décor. [Click Here to get more details about this retro desk lamp]
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Once a month, you’ll be faced with an unpleasant surprise in your mailbox: the power bill! No matter how careful you are about turning off the lights or how much you budget for the bill, it can still catch you off guard.
Besides being an unwelcome note from the electric or gas company, your bill can also give you a heads up about your HVAC system and what may be causing the continual price hikes. Read on to learn more about what your HVAC system is trying to tell you.
Give Your HVAC Some Love
If you notice that your power bill is slowly increasing every month when nothing else is changing in your home, it’s time to go straight to the source. HVAC systems need regular, annual maintenance to ensure that they are functioning properly. We can’t expect our HVAC systems to do all the work in maintaining comfortable temperatures without giving them anything back in return! Schedule a little TLC for your system to make sure it’s not overworking or burning out while trying to heat or cool your home.
Think About Personal Enhancements
We do all we can to look and feel our best, so we should be returning the favor to our HVAC systems. You can add a programmable thermostat that makes your system run more efficiently and on a better schedule to keep your home comfortable while saving your money. You could also consider new fans, compressors, or heat exchanges and your HVAC will thank you for the upgrades by running better. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Just like us, HVAC systems want to quit working the daily grind at some point. As they age, they slow down and have to work harder to maintain comfort in your home, causing an increase in your power bill. Instead of waiting until your HVAC system quits working, consider retiring it and replacing it with a new energy-efficient model. Another thing to consider is whether your systems uses HCFC-22, or freon, as a refrigerant. On January 1, 2020, freon will be banned from being used for AC units. So, speak with an HVAC specialist to see if the system uses freon and, if it does, you’ll need to upgrade to a new system.
Make Individual Changes
If you’ve upgraded or replaced your HVAC system and notice that your power bill is still higher than normal, it’s time for some personal reflection. Maybe everyone in your home could be better about turning off the lights or unplugging unused electronics. Perhaps it’s time to lower the thermostat and start wearing layers in the winter instead of blasting the heat. During nicer weather, you can open the windows for a cooling breeze instead of running the AC. We can’t blame our HVAC for raising the bills if we aren’t willing to do our part to bring the power bill down as well.
What to Do Next
If you’re feeling down about the rise of your power bill, just remember that your HVAC system might be crying out for help. Whether its asking for a little maintenance love, some performance upgrades, or needs to be upgraded to a new system, your HVAC will tell you what it needs through your power bill.
Do you need an HVAC professional to help you understand your system’s needs? Reach out to a local professional to find out how to make your HVAC, your power bill, and your wallet happier.
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