Inspirations

October 02, 2005

STEAL OF THE WEEK

NEW WRINKLES IN SPRINKLERS

Functional and cheap, the plastic IKEA PS Vallo watering can features high sides to avoid spillage, an enclosed handle and an open spout so you can actually see the flow of water. Dutch designer Monika Mulder made the nifty item, which comes in blue, red and light green, and holds 41 ounces of water.

Available at IKEA stores.

RETAIL PRICE: $1.99.

SPLURGE OF THE WEEK

WATCH GARDEN GROW IN STYLE

These eye-catching Straight Teak Benches, designed by Barbara and Robert Tiffany, come in an array of shapes and sizes -- 50 inches wide to 132 inches wide.

They're part of the Spirit Song Collection on the Web site gardenfurnishings.com. The site has unique and inventive items for yard and garden, so we weren't surprised to find the benches there -- just a little taken aback by the price tag.

RETAIL PRICE: $2,890-$7,790

GARDEN ONLINE

IT'S LIKE A NUDGE FROM A FRIEND

Visit thegardenhelper.com to find an array of gardening tips for both the novice and the experienced gardener. Particularly helpful is the "Monthly Reminders" section, which lists a calendar of monthly gardening projects and tasks. Click on "October" and find these fall tips:

Plant spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, hyacinths, daffodils and crocus only after the soil temperature drops below 60 degrees. But be sure all spring-flowering bulbs (except tulips) are in the ground as early as possible this month. Tulips may be planted through early November.

Tender plants such as geraniums, begonias and fuchsias should be brought indoors before the first frost. And provide frost protection for your chrysanthemums and asters with a small frame covered with cloth or an old bed sheet. Covering them could add more than a month of blooming.

Mark your perennials with tags or create a map of their location to avoid digging up something you intended to keep.

The Inspirations page will rotate among four weekly themes: fashion, gardening, home decor and body. Send suggestions to harry.merritt@baltsun.com.

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