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Pretty Patios & Balconies

Summer-Porch-with-CoffeeJune is almost here and it won’t be long before we’re enjoying our morning coffee on the front porch or catching some rays on our backyard patios! At this early stage in the season, trees and shrubs are still budding, your gardens are rather barren and you might be craving a little colour! Luckily, there are so many ways that you can add some serious style to your patio, porch, decks and backyards without spending a fortune!

For some instant green foliage, bring your indoor plants outside. May is usually a safe time to start acclimating plants to the outdoors for the summer season but be sure to bring them inside at night if it’s still cool, and don’t place them in direct sunlight for more than a few hours. Strategically place plants around the seating area, just as you would indoors.

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UsingĀ fabric is a wonderful way to make an outdoor space homier. Search clearance bins for colourful throw pillows you won’t mind tossing after the summer season and find a couple outdoor rugs to really bring the space together. Place a larger, neutral-coloured rug down first, underneath your patio furniture and place a smaller, more vibrant area rug centred on top of the first to add a little pizzazz. If your space is very exposed, you can create privacy with a screen, some old shutters or a few curtain panels. Bed, Bath and Beyond sells outdoor curtains in a variety of pretty patterns that are built to withstand the elements.

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A hot trend in 2017 is the vertical garden. Ideal for backyards where space is a commodity, a vertical garden will become a gorgeous focal point in your outdoor space while providing privacy, visual interest and even food! You can DIY the project using old pallets, chicken wire, wooden boxes, an old dresser, even old, plastic pop bottles! Check Pinterest for ideas and step-by-step instructions. Love to cook? Plant herbs in your vertical garden and enjoy fresh, flavourful dishes all summer long.

For the finishing touches on your outdoor space, hang some artwork or a mirror on outside walls, add some mood lighting or place a few sturdy candle holders on tables.

Jennifer Birch – Realtor

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Fall Garden Maintenance

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Though spring and summer are now over, your garden is still very much alive and needs some care to ensure it can handle the harsh winter and save you some work come spring again. Here are some tips to help you maintain your garden:

1. Don’t forget to water!

You may think because the weather is cooler, your plants and lawn don’t need watering, but that is not the case. Watering will help you keep the beauty of your yard longer and will minimize winter damage to your garden. Plant roots are still active in the autumn and they will absorb and store any water they get in order to replace water that gets lost during the winter. Even when flowers and leaves start to fall off, keep watering trees and shrubs. This will help keep moisture in the ground and keep roots warmer for a longer period of time, helping plants survive the winter. Water lightly until the first freeze.

2. Insulate your shrubs

Have shrubs or trees in your garden? Insulate them with mulch at their base. This will limit frost penetration and help prevent sudden changes in soil temperature from deep freezing, which will help protect the root system of tender plants.

3. Don’t cut perennials too early

After the beautiful September we had, it’s pretty safe to say to Canadian weather is unpredictable. Which is why cutting back your perennials too early may actually be detrimental to it. Allow the perennial to be dormant first until the weather is more stable and cooler (late October and November) then begin pruning. Also, trim any damaged or dead branches on trees and shrubs before the first snowfall.

4. Shelter delicate trees and shrubs

Winter’s wrath can be especially hard on tender trees and shrubs. To minimize damage caused by frost and snow, wrap your trees and shrubs in burlap and secure them with twine.

Jennifer Birch – The Property Partner