For adult beginners, an aquarium presents a world of beauty and a wealth of learning opportunities for artistic expression, understanding the working of water pumps and water chemistry and simply being able to keep your fish and other underwater creatures alive and well!
For children, starting small and allowing this hobby (or pastime) to grow with them can develop into a lifelong passion and a loving respect for nature.
Do you want the standard goldfish? Or a totally different species altogether? And will they be compatible with each other? Freshwater or saltwater system? An aquarium should always fit the needs and personality of its owner (and the aquarium habitats).
Look into how specimens are obtained; try to do business with environmentally responsible sources. A couple of places to try are: www.Phisybusiness.com and www.aquaticareef.com). Both are specialists in saltwater tanks.
Longtime saltwater aquarist Mark King recommends “The Conscientious Marine Aquarist: A Commonsense Handbook for Successful Saltwater Hobbyists” by Robert Fenner, Matthew Wittenrich and Scott Michael (TFH Publications, $69.95.) Too pricey? Just check your local public library for this or something similar!
Source: “Beautiful obsession”-McClatchy Newspapers, Sept. 16, 2012
Four Gardening Catalogs
Gardening catalogs in many households (including yours truly) traditionally signified that spring was on the way (!). It was always (and still is) such a treat to receive these in the mail; the full-color photos and plant descriptions were breathtaking and fun to read about. Many catalogs now can be ordered online, but there’s still that certain something about a print (or “hard copy”) one.
Here’s a few that you can either order online or call toll-free to request a ‘regular’ copy:
Burpee-This year’s cover features an actual size Super Sauce hybrid tomato it’s billed as the world’s largest sauce tomato). Inside articles also cover the On Deck hybrid sweet corn (that can be grown in a patio pot) and Solar Flare sunflowers. For more info, go to www.burpee.com or call 800-888-1447.
The Cook’s Garden-For your cooking enthusiasts, this catalog not only features lots of tomatoes, but organic and heirloom veggies you can grow from certified organic seed and plants. Check out www.cooksgarden.com or call 800-457-9703.
Select Seeds-Here you’ll find purple hyacinth bean flowering vine, Verbena bonarensis reseeding tender perennial, heirloom flower and veggie seeds and small plants. Log on to www.selectseeds.com or call 800-684-0395.
Bluestone Perennials-Cornflowers, geraniums, ferns, bee balm, ground covers and many others come in 100% biogradable and plantable coco pots. Visit www.bluestoneperennials.com or call 800-852-5243.
Source: “Must-have gardening catalogs” by Kathy Van Mullekom-McClatchy Newspapers, Feb. 17, 2013