Home Help: Add some blue to your yard

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Backyard Buddies

Blue jays are one of the most colorful backyard visitors, and you can attract them to your yard following a few tips, these from

- Just add peanuts. If you put out whole, raw peanuts, they will draw the jays in your area like a magnet. Offer whole peanuts in a large platform feeder or on the ground or another flat surface.

- Jays also enjoy whole or shelled black oil sunflower seed and striped sunflower seed. Because jays are large birds, offer their favorite foods in a platform feeder or feeder with lots of perching space.

- Suet is also a favorite backyard feeder food of jays.

- Plant an oak tree. This will not only attract jays but many other birds that rely on this popular tree for food.

- Don't forget to offer a source of water for drinking and bathing. The jays are fun to watch displacing lots of water in your birdbath.

How To Maximize Your Enjoyment of Fresh Flowers, Part II

Martha Stewart and the professionals at 1-800-FLOWERS.COM offer some simple tips on displaying your flowers:

A bouquet's vase should be carefully considered. The scale and material of the container must captivate the eye and showcase the flowers. In addition to traditional vases, Stewart uses everyday objects such as sugar bowls and creamers, measuring cups, metal buckets, compotes and teacups to display her favorite blossoms. Vases and other containers can be divided into six basic forms:

- Trumpet: Fluted at top. Blooms fall and arch outward naturally, echoing the flare of the vase.

- Cylinder: May be tall or short. This type of vase is good for stems that need support or flowers with long very straight stems.

- Sphere: Perfect for any flower that grows in clusters. Cut stems short so blooms will mound in a dome.

- Bottle: Similar to cylinder but works well for exotics or slim-stemmed flowering branches, arranged in individual bottles which can be clustered or displayed in a row.

- Low pan: Wonderful to display one or two floating flower buds.

- Pail or urn: A shape that opens slightly at top. Flowers will have room to fall away to the sides, great for larger blooms. (ARA)

Home Improvements: Know Your Glue

There are different types of glues for different surfaces and different applications. Using the wrong one may mean your project won’t hold together or, worse, you ruin what you were trying to repair. So how do you know what type of glue is right for your project? James and Morris Carey, home-improvement gurus and hosts of the nationally syndicated radio program “On the House with the Carey Brothers,” offer the following cheat sheet:

Polyurethane glue

Best for: Bonding dissimilar surfaces, both indoors and out

Clamp time: 30 minutes - 2 hours

Outdoor use: 100 percent waterproof

Use on: Wood, metal, stone, ceramics, glass, some plastic, PVC brick, concrete, foam, fiberglass

Cleanup: Wear gloves

Projects: Cracked fountain, broken lamp post, bricks, stripped screws, wobbly chair legs

Wood glue

Best for: Building carpentry or hobby projects using any type of wood

Clamp time: 20 - 30 minutes

Outdoor use: Water-resistant ANSI/HPVA Type II rating

Use on: Wood

Cleanup: Water

Projects: Furniture, dollhouses, cabinets, cutting boards

Instant “super” glue

Best for: Instant repairs on small indoor projects

Clamp time: None

Outdoor use: Not recommended

Use on: Wood, metal, stone, ceramics, glass, some plastic, PVC, paper, rubber

Cleanup: Acetone-based nail polish remover

Projects: Broken shoe, picture frame, vase, costume jewelry, ornaments and collectibles, decorative tableware (ARA)

Did You Know …

If you have a mildew problem in your bathroom, one solution is to spray down the tub, curtains, etc., with vinegar after every shower. Not only will vinegar fight mildew, it also is an odor remover.

Garden Tips

Want to add moss to your landscaping? Here’s a recipe from that will help your grow moss quickly:

- Handful of moss

- One can beer (or buttermilk)

- 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Put a handful of the moss you want to grow into a blender. Add 1/2 tsp. sugar and one can of beer (the cheapest brand). Blend just long enough to mix the ingredients and break down the moss. Spread the soupy mixture with a spatula over the ground or rocks where you want the moss to grow.

Tips: Remove as much dirt from the moss as you can before you start; moss grows best in shady areas; once you've spread the moss mixture, don't get it wet or you will wash the mixture away.

GateHouse News Service