The John Barrett Real Estate Team

Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 5/7/2017

Growing your own vegetables is a wonderful thing. You get to choose which seeds to sow, spend time outside, put in some hard work and then reap the rewards all summer and fall. In spite of this, many new gardeners find themselves planting too much or too little of different vegetables. There's much appeal to going to the store to pick out seeds. It almost seems like magic: these little seed packets will turn into baskets full of food, all for just a few dollars. Follow these tips to learn how to grow what you want the first time around so you won't find yourself begging neighbors to take all those extra zucchinis off your hands. What do you like to eat? Experimenting with new recipes is great. And so is the temptation when you see seed packets for an exotic vegetable you've never tried before. But before you dedicate a whole row of your garden to hybrid turnips, think about whether or not you'll really eat all of that. Instead, plant the veggies you and your family love to eat consistently. Before you start planting, think carefully about the amount of space you have in your garden (I usually draw a diagram and label the rows). This is going to involve some necessary research on your part. If you love summer squash, you may think you need a whole row. Squash plants, however, tend to creep outwards vigorously, producing a ton of fruit and also encroaching on other rows if you're not careful. Similarly, you may find that you simply don't have enough room for some vegetables. We all love the first sweet corn of the season, but most of us don't have enough room in our backyard gardens to feasibly grow corn. Plan for next year Once you've tilled the soil, planted the seeds, and taken care of your plants all spring, you may think the only thing left to do is harvest the vegetables. This is a crucial time, however, to think about next year. What did you have too much of? Too little? Did you find that some vegetables simply wouldn't grow in your garden? (I tried twice, with little luck, to plant pole beans but found that they just didn't like my soil.) Take note of these findings for next year. If one part of your garden receives more sunlight, try rotating crops to see if you get different results. Don't worry if your garden isn't perfect the first time around. In fact, it's best to just let go of that image of the perfect garden. Tending a garden isn't another chore to cause stress in your life, it's a simple and relaxing way to get outside more.  

Posted by The John Barrett Real Estate Team on 7/17/2016

Garden with stone landscapingDo you dream of having a colorful landscape that is considered the envy of the neighborhood? Adding color to the home garden involves a lot more than just choosing a selection of colorful garden plants. A bit of research and planning will help you create a glorious garden. Begin with a sketchpad and a box of color crayons. Draw the house location and trees, sidewalks, patios and pools and note tree and shrub placement. Visit home and garden shows, nurseries and home and garden stores for inspiration and ideas galore. Have fun and enjoy the process of creating your colorful garden. Gardening should be a challenge and a joy, not a tiresome task. You are only limited by your imagination and the amount of creative energy you give to the project. Let your garden express your personality while adding value to the property with visual curb appeal. Selecting Colorful Garden Plants Before you can determine the best plants for your garden, you must know what you are looking for. Do you desire a splash of brilliant color for a shaded nook in the garden or do you wish to make a statement with a mass planting of vivid color in a spot that receives full sun all day? Do you plan on featuring one color only? As an example, there are several different white flowers that do well in full sun, partial shade or deep shade. Color Impacts The Landscape What is your favorite color? What color of flowers best compliments the color scheme of your home? Do you want spring, summer or fall color or all of the above? These are all important questions for you to determine the answers to before you set off to the plant nursery to purchase plants for your home garden. Color impacts the appearance and mood of the home landscape. Warm color combinations such as red, orange, and yellow make an oversized garden plot seem smaller or a distant flowerbed closer. If you seek a calm, cool look, opt for shades of white, blue, pink, lavender and violet. Cool colors expand the view, making smaller flowerbeds appear larger and add a feeling of serenity and quiet to the garden. Colors found opposite each other on the color chart such as red and green or yellow and purple are considered complimentary combinations, pleasing to the eye. Colors found next to each other on the color chart such as red and yellow or blue and purple are considered harmonious, warm and inviting. Play with a basic color wheel to experiment with different color combinations until you find one that feels right and pleases you. Many gardeners prefer the simplicity and visual impact of a monochromatic garden. For instance, if sunshine yellow is your favorite color go wild with lilies, marigolds, mums, and more. If you prefer a subtle blue-toned shade garden, try a combination of shrubs like blue spruce, complimented by blue hydrangeas. A pathway lined with lush vibrant red geraniums leading to a bold red entry door makes a memorable statement.

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