The Best Bet
With rooftops, window boxes, and backyards at the beginning of their peak bloom cycle, gardeners have to keep an eye out for plant-destroying aphids. Pesticides are a quick and dirty solution, but ladybugs are far more ornamental, not to mention ecofriendly. One small package of lady beetles (Hippodamia convergens, to be precise) from Gardens Alive contains 900 egg-laying adults, which will ultimately produce over 10,000 aphid-eating larvae—enough to patrol 1,000 square feet. Release them in the early evening, and by morning they’ll be munching away ($13.95 per package at gardensalive.com).
Take the Tunes Outside
Keep your iPod safely inside the house; this wireless iball speaker from Oregon Scientific will pick up your playlist from as far as 100 feet away ($169.99 at J&R Music World, 31 Park Row, nr. Broadway; 212-238-9000).
The Low-Maintenance, High-Polish Staple
Shirtdresses are the basics of this summer’s wardrobe; this version from Club Monaco has the simplest, cleanest cut and takes well to accessories like big belts or beads (dress, $129; belt, $49; 6 W. 57th St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-459-9863).
Save This Book for a Rainy Day
Arty-parent favorite Taro Gomi has a new coffee table–meets–coloring book. Doodles: A Really Giant Coloring Bookwill keep children (and most adults) entertained for hours ($18.95 at Geppetto’s Toy Box, 10 Christopher St., nr. Sixth Ave.; 212-620-7511).
The World Is Your Porch
A rocking chair enhances the delicious doing-nothing vibe of summer; this fold-up version lets you make that happen anywhere ($69 at Pier 1 Imports, 71 Fifth Ave., at 15th St.; 212-206-1911).
The Tool to Control Avocados
Peeling and scooping a ripe avocado is never pretty and often slippery; this pitter-and-slicer simplifies the process—one end pits, the other slices ($15 at Williams Sonoma, 110 Seventh Ave., nr. 17th St.; 212-633-2203).