Beans and lentils are seeds that lie dormant, or "sleeping," until sunlight and water "wake" them up. Placed in a covered glass jar with a wet paper towel, they will soak up the moisture, swell, and burst open their outer shells. The glass jar lets in light; its lid keeps the paper towel from drying out.
Like many objects of value, terra-cotta pots take on character as they age. The clay darkens, assuming a whitish cast from fertilizers and the minerals in water. When kept in the shade and watered frequently, the pots gradually acquire a verdant sheen of algae or moss. But you dont have to wait for that look. These six easy techniques help pots undergo a transformation in weeks -- if not sooner. Start now and you'll enjoy their vintage charm this summer and for many more seasons to come.