Month: April 2019

The sky’s the limit

Warm weather entices us to think “outdoors.” The trend in creating outdoor living spaces has steadily increased throughout the years. Trellises, arbors, pergolas, decks, porches and gazebos create great outdoor spaces allowing us to share tranquil time in nature with family and friends. In fact, a well-planned outdoor space can increase curb appeal and add to the resale value of your home. Start by researching the possibilities. To help get you started, here are some essential things you need to know about selecting the type of structure and how much each stands to cost. Don’t forget to use an...

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Remove all remnants of Boxwood Twig Blight

Keep a lookout for Boxwood Twig Blight. The fungus Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum first presents itself as leaf spot followed by rapid browning and leaf drop starting on the lower branches and moving upward in the canopy. The fungus can remain in fallen leaves, so be sure to rake up fallen twigs and throw away (do not compost). Research is still being conducted to find a solution to get rid of this fungus. Ridding the plant of diseased branches and raking up all dropped leaves is the best prevention. WEEK ONE • Place Easter Lilies in medium indirect light and keep soil lightly moist. Pinch off stamens (yellow pods) in each lily to prevent yellow powder from discoloring flower blooms. When flowers fade, pinch below flower and move plant into full sun. Continue to keep soil lightly moist, but begin fertilizing with Jack’s Classic fertilizer every other week at half-rate. In early June, plant in well-drained soil in the garden (morning sun, afternoon shade). The plant will flower in mid-June in future years. • Prune and shape up crape myrtles you wish to grow as trees before they bloom. Remove any dried flower clusters or seed pods. To encourage a canopy to form, remove the branches a third of the way up the trunk. Always remove any branches rubbing across others and any growing into the center of the canopy. Always...

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Spring into outdoor living

With it finally being springtime, there are countless opportunities to take advantage of making additional living space outdoors. There used to be very basic options in terms of furniture and accessories to enhance your deck, patio or porch, but today, there are as many for the outdoors as you will find for your interior spaces. After the winter doldrums, this merchandise will fly off of the shelves once the warm weather hits, so pre-season is a great time to get a plan together for expanding your home’s living areas to the outside. The first thing I like to suggest is to assess what you already have and whether it is simply in need of a good hose-down, coat of paint, or a trip to the dump. Take a look at the area you are working with and if it is one that can double as an outdoor gathering area for relaxing and entertaining, decide how you would like to use it to maximize its functionality. Giving the area itself a good spring cleaning will go a long way in laying a nice, fresh foundation to get started. Next, you can layer in your pieces based on how you want it to function. For a conversation area, there are countless styles and options for great outdoor rugs. These are the base from which you can build your color palette and...

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Spring to it and clean with a plan

Ahh, spring is in the air! It has been a long and dreary winter and like you, I am enjoying the warmer temperatures and the greening of the landscapes around me. As much as I love the longer hours of daylight and the boost to my daily Vitamin D intake, the spring season brings a lot of extra work and worry. Spring sports combined with the added chore of outdoor landscaping and lawn care add a lot more to my to do list. While I will gladly swap the extra chores for those cold winter days stuck inside, it does make getting all of my chores completed a little trickier. The key to being able to enjoy the warmer temperatures is streamlining your spring cleaning routine including both your overall strategy as well as your daily to-do’s. Get Organized: Last year, I turned a corner in my own love-hate relationship with cleaning my house. It happened after I stocked up on cleaning supplies from a friend who sells Norwex, an all-natural cleaning supply company. I was so excited about all my new goodies that I bought a fun caddy to house all of them and voila, everything changed. While I am sure that having the right cleaning supplies on hand to help me with this dreaded chore was a major player in my catharsis about cleaning, actually taking the...

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