If you’re at all like me and choose to have a real tree in your home for the holidays, then now is the time to go out and get it. I realize that those homeowners with a faux tree may already have theirs up, but for us ‘traditionalists,’ waiting until the cold snap has hit the air truly signifies the start of the holiday season. Before you make the trek out to the lot or the tree farm, here are a few things to consider when choosing what type of tree will work best for you:
Its official, winter is on its way. Most of us have seen snow already and there is a decided chill in the air. Even though it may seem easier to stay indoors, now is the last chance for you to get a few things done to set you on the path to a great spring in your outdoor spaces.
When it comes to getting the outside ready for winter, here is my personal list of things I make sure that I get done at this time of the year.
But Benjamin Moore’s official colour of the year is Guilford Green
This week I attended a big media launch by Benjamin Moore, where I heard about the trending paint colours for 2015. It was a little weird for me, an outdoor landscape designer, to be sitting in a room full of some of the best interior designers in Canada listening to what colours will be hot for next year. But after giving tips on how to select outdoor paint in a previous article, I received so many comments and emails that it validated to me that outdoor paint colour choices are just as important as interior ones.
So what are the hot picks for paints? Good news! There are a few different colour stories that work very well for your outdoor spaces. I also found it very interesting that all three of these colour stories are based on nature.
The fall is the perfect time of year to be thinking about the soil in your beds and around your home. Why fill your flowerbeds and vegetable gardens with soils full of chemicals? Why not make your own instead? Many gardeners are starting to move away from chemical fertilizers and are moving toward ecological choices, such as composting as a way to reduce waste and make the garden greener.
Composting is a natural way of recycling. The process decomposes and transforms organic material into nutrient rich soil. A perfectly good compost pile can be built out of nothing fancier than the leaves and grass clippings you are taking off of the lawn right now. Other ‘ingredients’ can include: fruit and vegetable scraps, yard trimmings, paper, wood and organic kitchen waste that are not protein based.
It usually takes six months to a year to get soil from the composting process. A good way to speed up this process is to regularly mix your compost to allow air into the pile. Here are three ingredients that always work well in your mix…
Read more at: http://thechronicleherald.ca/homesnews/1247900-pay-dirt
Q) Hi Carson. I really enjoy watching you on Cityline and I just redid my backyard and now I need suggestions and ideas on what I should plant in terms of trees, shrubs or flowers.
A) Talk about a loaded question! Homeowners always want a simple set of directions to help them get the right plant in the right spot. Unfortunately, there are so many different variables to every single home that there is no way for me to personally help. That said … here is my foolproof method to get you on the right path to having your own successful garden.
Over the holidays, my entire family took over my kitchen to make fresh applesauce from an Arthur secret recipe. Throughout the process, I was constantly reminded that making food from scratch to store for the winter months is a pretty amazing feat — one that we take for granted when we are shopping at the closest grocer. This movement of growing our own food is making a comeback with a younger generation but for the last 10 years, planting fruit trees in the yard has not been ‘en vogue.’
As a landscape designer, I can take some of the blame for the lack of fruit trees going into our homes. When compared to a Paperbark Birch or an Amur Maple, an apple tree just isn’t as impactful. It really has become all about ‘pretty.’ Fruit trees also have a few other strikes against them. Homeowners do have to brush up on their care knowledge with a fruit tree. Pruning and maintenance is required and each variety has its own special needs.
My four-year-old nephew has reached the stage in life when everything is interesting and he wants to learn the inner workings from his older and wiser Uncle Carson. We spent an afternoon doing some yard work and as I showed him all of my fun yard tools and how they worked, he constantly asked “but why?” to each of my demos. I realized afterward that most homeowners know what they should do when it comes to fall cleanup, but few know the real logic behind it.
Today I’m answering a few “but whys?” in hopes that it will shed a little light on why we do what we do when it comes to our outdoor yard work.
I was recently asked at a speaking event why I’ve been so vocal about not liking grass in the yard. The reason I’m not a fan of grass is not the plant, but the homeowners that care for it. Grass requires more time, money and resources than anything else we can have in our outdoor spaces. Especially when it comes to water.
According to The Conference Board of Canada (Jan, 2013), Canadians are at the bottom of a global ranking for water usage per person, just above the U.S. On a daily basis, Canadians use up to 327 litres of water per person and our water use increases by almost 40 per cent in spring due to the watering of lawns and gardens. Most Canadians live in areas that get regular rainfall and drought really doesn’t happen that often so it’s hard for the average person to buy into the idea that there is a shortage. We have lots, and it’s cheap so we use it without any real concern. We see a brown lawn or a dried out plant and the first thing any homeowner does is grab the sprinkler.
We’ve all heard that freshening up the paint can help you sell your home, but now we actually have numbers that back it up!
I am a firm believer in the concept that you only get one chance to make a first impression. When it comes to your home, the first impression is made the moment someone sees it for the very first time. I often ask my clients what they think the front of their home is saying about them.
On average, a good first impression can increase the perceived value of your home by up to eight per cent according to Century 21 Canada. This means that on the average Canadian home valued at $300,000, that initial first glance is potentially worth $24,000.
Paint is a game changer when it comes to first impressions.
When I first saw my new home, painted green and yellow, my initial reaction was that the space was ‘OK.’ The green and yellow combination seemed a bit dated and didn’t do anything to help the house stand out in the space. In fact, by painting it the same colour as the foliage around it, the house literally blended into the background.