Sunday, October 30, 2011

Home and Garden Curb Appeal Ideas

Is your homes entrance welcoming to guests?   Is the landscape manicured or is the lawn overgrown with crabgrass?   Or does your home and garden need some curb appeal? 

Curb appeal says a lot about your house and if your front entrance is eye appealing then your home will be a valuable asset to the neighborhood and if you intend on selling your home, buyers will be more attracted to a home.





Why you should improve your curb appeal: 


Improve your homes curb appeal especially if you intend on selling your home. A home that features a color scheme along with a manicured lawn, gardens and welcoming home entrance is a home that will hold it's real estate value. A simple remodeling will enhance the beauty of your home. 

Choosing the right curb appeal theme for your home:


Before you begin any curb appeal project take a picture of your home.  Then list from the pictures the areas that need to be improved.  To get some ideas for ways to make your home entrance look better is to buy home improvement magazines or garden and landscape books. Another way to get some ideas is to drive around your neighborhood and look at what your neighbors are doing.

How to add curb appeal to your home:

Make your home more inviting to guests by installing a window box .  Grow flowers or herbs in the boxes.  Plant ivy close to the rim of the box and it will cascade down the outside of the window box.  This attractive window box will improve your home and your neighbors will compliment you on your curb appeal. . 
 




Another way to make your home more inviting by improving your curb appeal is to install a natural stone or gravel path.  Design a meandering path that is attractive and inviting to guests.

Plan gardens that will outline the path, also add solar lighting. The path should connect your front entrance to the sidewalk or driveway.

Another way to improve the appeal of your home is to paint your front door and then hang a seasonal wreath or flank your entrance with fragrant herb container gardens.  If you have porches why not add an inviting seating area with cushions that coordinate with your color scheme.  A free standing fountain tucked in the corner of your porch. 

More Curb Appeal Ideas

Consider painting your entire house with a new color scheme. A trendy color scheme that complements the style of your home will add warmth to your home entrance. A simple way to determine a color that would be suitable for the exterior of your home is to look at the colors in your roof shingles or stone facing.  Select the prominent color in roof shingle, or stone facing on your home, this color would be your primary color then select two complimentary colors for trim and accent colors. 

View this video and learn how to attract home buyer to your home with  welcoming curb appeal:








Friday, October 28, 2011

Container Herb Gardening - Rosemary


Grow rosemary in a  freestanding containers and the rosemary stems will grow upright.   Rosemary stems are grayish with spiky aromatic leaves and grow to three feet. The flowers are blue and they bloom in August. . 

 I like growing rosemary in a containers gardens as I can move them outdoors in the summer and then bring them indoors in the fall. A container herb garden allows you to enjoy this tasteful and fragrant herb all year round.


Herbs grown in containers : Freerangestock.com

Before you buy containers for your herbs, check the growth requirements of the  rosemary.  Also check to make sure the containers have adequate drainage holes.  Once you have your containers for your rosemary you would then need to set them in an area that has full sun and has wind protection.  

Plant the rosemary by digging a hole that is the same depth as the nursery pot. Gently remove the  rosemary from the nursery pot and loosen the root ball. Set the rosemary in the center of the hole and cover the roots with soil.  Water the rosemary until the water drains out of the container. 

Containers require more water than plants that grow in ground. Water your rosemary in the morning as needed. Watch your rosemary and if the leaves seem to drop this is an indication that the plant needs water. 


Learn more about growing rosemary in contains here:



Tips:
  1. Rosemary is tolerant of cooler weather and can stay outside in 20-degrees . When temperatures dip bellow then bring your rosemary containers into the greenhouse or set them indoors next to a sunny window. I keep my rosemary in my kitchen on a bakers rack next to a window. There is a fan directly above and the air circulation is good for the rosemary.
  2. Harvest rosemary leaves by cutting the stems in the morning.
  3. Harvest the leaves before the flowers bloom.
  4. Use sprigs of fragrant rosemary to decorate harvest wreaths or to add to potpourri.

Warnings:
Watch for spider mites. Repel the pest with an organic solution.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Plants That Keep Cats Off Your Car





Keep cats away from your car by growing plants that are repulsive to cats. Cats lying on your car can be annoying especially if you had your car washed or wax.
Those tiny paw prints seem to be embedded in the hood of your car and windshield.  Many people find cats to be a nuisance especially when the cats are attracted to the family car. 

The best way to keep cats from your car is to park it in a garage. If concealing your car behind closed doors is not an option then you need to make the cats uncomfortable and not welcome.  Achieve this by growing plants; garden mint, peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, thyme, chives, garlic and onions in containers or in gardens close to where you park your car. 

Cats avoid areas where these plants are growing because the scent that the plants release is repulsive.

Another way to keep cats off your car is grow citrus trees. If you live in a warm climate then plant two citrus trees in your yard. Citrus trees produce fruit and the skin that covers the fruit can be chopped and spread in your yard and driveway. 


Cats tend to avoid areas that have the scent of citrus. So enjoy a fresh picked orange, grapefruit, lemon or key lime and toss the peels into your yard and garden and you will stop cats from jumping on your car.

Tips:

  • You can grow patio citrus trees in a container and keep them outdoors during the summer.  Bring the trees indoors during the winter season and toss the citrus peel or treat the area with concentrated orange oil.  Cats find oranges to be repulsive.  
  • Mix citrus peels with used coffee grounds for a more potent cat repellent.
  • Saturate your yard and garden with the fragrant herb gardens for best results.   
  • I am a feral cat colony caregiver and cats are always seen crossing my yard, thee cats walk away from my herb garden.