by Ken Lain, the mountain gardener
Could it be time to sell your home? According to Zillow.com residential real estate prices are up 9% this year with an increase of 2.4% in the 12-month forecast. Enhancing your home’s desirability is more than a kitchen remodel or a new bathroom; its neglected landscape can bring down the value of your property.
A front landscape covered in junipers and rocks yells out: “Look how old and outdated I am!” Remodeling your landscape is quicker, easier, and cheaper than remodeling any other part of your home, and updating is important because the landscaping is the first and the last impression of your home.
Brilliant YouTube idea for using a spare tire to pull an ugly plant straight out of the ground.
Landscape plants occasionally need to be trimmed, shaped up, or cut down. For example, hedges are meant to accent your home, not hide it. Now is a good time to cut back overgrown hedges. If necessary, cut them back by a third. They’ll be shorter and looking kind of ugly but will grow back quickly. Give them Watters All Purpose Plant Food, 7-4-4 right after pruning and bright new leaves will emerge within a few weeks.
My loose definition of a weed is any plant in the yard that is unwanted. So, I say don’t be afraid to clear out and replace old tired-looking plants with fresh new ones. That goes for trees, shrubs, flowers, and ground covers. In gardening this is much like an interior designer changing the paint of a home’s interior walls. Remodeling a landscape refreshes the outside appearance of your house, and it’s surprising how much better the gardener feels, too!
When remodeling a landscape, keep in mind that some plants can be used to highlight the yard. An excellent plant to fill this bill is the knee high Autumn Sage. It loves our summer heat and thrives with minimal water. Hummingbirds drool over the blazingly red cone-shaped flowers and their super sweet nectar. This sage will happily take to the hottest spots in the yard; it also does well in containers, raised beds, and borders. Except for the hummers, it is not attractive to wildlife; even deer do not care for the taste.
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The U.S. Forest Service completed an interesting study showing that trees and gardens are influences on reducing crime. Quoting from the results, “A 10% increase in leaf canopy was associated with a 12% drop in crime”. “The neighborhoods that had more trees and gardens seemed to have less crime.” Here’s the Forest Service White Paper on the study.
The study ‘connected the dots’ to conclude that the more trees, the more shade . . . the more shade, the more time people want to spend outdoors . . . the more time people spend outdoors, the more eyes on the street, the greater the deterrence on crime.
Maybe local neighborhoods should start a new campaign with the slogan “Plant a tree, stop a crime”.
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A seasonal transition has taken place here at Watters Garden Center. Spring plants like lilac, forsythia, and quince have been replaced with selections of showier summer shrubs. Butterfly bushes, hibiscus, evergreen jasmine, Russian sage, roses, and native yucca have taken prominence, and all are in bloom. Each loves the warmth of our late spring weather and all transplant well despite seasonally climbing temps.
Until next time, I’ll see you in the garden center.
Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at www.wattersgardencenter.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/WattersGardenCenter .