Donahue Real Estate Company



Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 3/18/2020

Photo by Colin Maynard on Unsplash

Homeowners love the idea of creating a personal sanctuary in their outdoor living space, but many aren't quite sure of how to proceed when it comes to making the most of their yard and garden area. One of the most common issues faced by homeowners is that they don't really know how to use hardscaping elements to their best advantage. For instance, it's standard procedure to place a trellis against the side of the house and let a rambling rose clamber up and around it, and while this provides a classically charming cottage garden look, it's not the only way to use a trellis. Following are three suggestions designed to provide you with inspiration concerning how arbors and trellises can help transform your yard into the serene sweet spot of your dreams.

Create a Privacy Hedge With Trellises

One of the most primary elements of serenity is privacy. By putting in a row of trellises on the edge of your property, you can create a living hedge that does double duty by providing aesthetics as well as privacy. Climbing roses are a good option, but if you want year-round coverage, choose something like evergreen clematis. If you like the idea of mixing it up every year with different types of vining annuals, choose fast-growing options such as morning glory.

Define the Back of a Perennial Border With Trellises

Traditional perennial borders sometimes lack the necessary height for optimal balance, but you can fix that situation by installing one or two tall trellises at the back of the border and planting vining perennials. Classic choices include wisteria, clematis, vinca and, of course, old-fashioned rambling rose. Feel free to let your imagination be your guide when it comes to selecting vining plants. Blue potato vine, for instance, is a vigorous climber that's not often seen in modern home gardens but is one of the few vining plants that reliably produce true-blue flowers.

Create a Secret Glade With an Arbor for an Entrance

If you've got a small, treed area on your property, consider creating a private glade where you and yours relax in an environment filled with natural beauty. Create a small seating area using a weather-resistant teakwood bench, and plant plenty of flowering woodland vegetation such as primrose, sweet woodruff and trillium. Plant your choice of vibrant flowering vines near the arbor so they can ramble up and over it to create a lush bower leading to your private retreat. 

Any one of the above approaches will bring an average yard from mundane to magical. With a little creativity, you can no doubt come up with more ideas for creating a serene ambiance using garden arbors and trellises. 




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Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 8/21/2019

You know that you donít get enough nutrients and that the best place to get what you need lies in those beautiful dark leafy greens. But youíre just not satisfied with a constant diet of salad, and smoothies just arenít your thing. So, what to do?

Experts say you need between a half and a full cup of dark, leafy greens every day for their health benefits and to detoxify your system, and your brain needs those nutrients to protect it from cognitive decline. Leafy green vegetables come packed with minerals and vitamins. Theyíre low in caloric content too so you can eat as much as you like.

Adding greens

-Make a ďliteĒ pizza on a thin crust and add basil, arugula, or spinach with feta.

- Sautee spinach and garlic in olive oil and add a dash of red pepper to give it some zing.ē Toss a handful of spinach into vegetable soup or throw some basil into your Thai curry.

- Jazz up some slaw with Brussels sprouts and chopped kale.

- Make a taco salad and add in arugula, cilantro, and romaine with plenty of diced avocado.

- Scramble some eggs and throw in spinach or arugula and some cherry tomatoes for color.

- Or make a spinach omelet.

- Add spinach or chopped kale to a quiche and bake until golden brown.

- Bake up a batch of kale chips.

No matter how you add it, increasing your greens will bring you more benefits than just drinking powdered greens. Youíll increase your fiber content which is excellent for your colon health and your blood vessels. Greens improve blood pressure, help reduce obesity, and Youíll increase your fluid intake because greens hold quite a bit of water. Greens add folate, a B vitamin that works in our bodies to switch on and off parts of our genes (called epigenetics), and to synthesize amino acid productions. 

Not only are the low in calories, but they also burn fat because they contain nitrites, which research associates with converting the fat-storing white fat cells into the fat-burning brown ones. Also, they are anti-aging with their high concentrations of Vitamin K, beta-carotene, and lutein.

Best of all, dark leafy greens fight diabetes. The magnesium, ALA Omega-3 fatty acid, and polyphenols that you find within greens help manage the glycemic load and improve insulin sensitivity that help your body respond appropriately to insulin.

Greens are easy to grow in your garden too. Stop at your local nursery and pick up a few pots of greens for your patio garden or window sill and start enjoying their health benefits today.




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Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 5/15/2019

Everyone talks about saving the planet these days, and it's good to do your part, but it's even better when your earth-friendly landscaping can keep that other all-important green safely in the bank. Here are some useful tips that manage to be both kinds of "green living," keeping your wallet fat and your yard gorgeous.

Bushes, Trees, and Shrubbery

Trees can serve a variety of purposes in your landscaping. If youíre planning on staying in a property for a while, you can plant young saplings of fast-growing trees in strategic locations, and as they grow, they will provide shade and windbreaks. Go for trees with full leafy branches and plant them near windows and on the southern, eastern and western sides of your home to shade them during the summer, keeping down your cooling bills. Deciduous trees lose their leaves before the winter, which allows that same suns warmth in, keeping down your heating bills.

If you reside in a windy location, a stand of evergreen trees can be the perfect windbreak. Blocking the wind from your house reduced the extra chill caused by windy winter storms and can help chip away at those heating costs as well. If you get dense enough foliage, you can block up to eighty percent of the wind. Try to plant two or even three rows where you can for the best protection.

Bushes also create useful shade. Planting them around your air conditioning unit helps it stay cooler and can increase efficiency up to 10% which goes a long way towards reducing your overall costs. You need to keep the inner side of these bushes well-trimmed and out of the direction of the vents, so leave at least a three-foot gap and plan for shrubs tall enough to shade the whole space.

Grass and Other Ground Cover Options

Open flat areas great places for snow to settle and create blank white reflective fields. Those "snowfields" reflect sunlight onto your home and increase the general radiant heat effect of the winter sun, helping to heat your home cost-free. In the summer, those same flat areas allow heat to dissipate in the summer, keeping your home cooler in those hottest of months. Keeping your landscaping elements low or spaced out can increase your opportunities for breezes in hot climates.

In more cold climates, stick to the lighter ground covering like stone and concrete that will reflect heat into your home even when not covered in snow. In warmer areas or areas with definitively warmer months, stick to darker ground coverings like grass, mulch, dark stone and wood chips which absorb heat all day and then release throughout the cool of the evening and overnight.

Talk to your local real estate agent about the best local landscapers. They will be able to help you plan the most energy efficient and beautiful garden.




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Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 4/24/2019

Everyone had something ugly in their yard that they want to hide. For many, itís the oversized trash bins that donít really fit in the garage but are big and distracting when left out. Others may have utility boxes that mar your lovely landscaping. In some cases, itís lawn equipment or gardening tools that donít have a place you can tuck them away.

Here are some ideas of ways to hide your ugly stuff and beautify your home.

Trash Bins

If your oversized cans must be outdoors, create a trellis enclosure to surround them. Place pots with climbing plants such as ivy and trumpet vine along the sides so that they grow up and over the trash cans. However, remember to leave enough space for you to open the lids conveniently.

Another option for trash bins is to make a raised planter box that rises above the cans. Plant bright annuals, vegetables, or succulents in the box.

Utility boxes

To cover a utility box, vent pipe, or other smaller eyesore, purchase a faux stone or cluster of rocks to set on the street-side of it. Surround it with flowering plants or small bushes to give it a more pleasing look.

Disguise utility boxes with raised beds and fill them with taller perennials such as Iris or Agapanthus. The beautiful blooms distract from the ugly utility boxes and hide them in plain sight.

Tools

When a full toolshed is not an option, hide your tools in a patio chest. These chests double as extra seating for entertaining and can even hold a small lawnmower if necessary.Or, create a hideaway cabinet under the deck landing. Just wrap the area with siding to match the deck, add access doors and voila, your tools are hidden in an area that looks like it was meant to be there.

Fireplace Logs

When you have a wood-burning fireplace but donít know where to store the logs, build a bench seat similar to a crate and stack the wood under it. Use the bench for extra seating or as a display shelf for your favorite potted plants.

Use two pillars of your patio cover to stack the logs between, but place lattice on the patio side to hide the wood. Hang planters from the trellis to create a walled garden to bring cheery greenery to your patio area while hiding the logs.

Hoses

Hide your hose in a lovely pot situated near to the faucet. Most garden centers and DIY hardware stores offer choices specially designed to keep unruly hoses in check.

Whatever the problem area, you can find a way to keep it hidden from view with a little ingenuity and effort. Doing so improves your homeís curb appeal and increases your enjoyment of your outdoor living space.




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Posted by Donahue Real Estate Company on 2/20/2019

Maintaining a healthy lawn and garden doesn't have to be difficult. Anyone can efficiently manage a lawn or garden. There are no prerequisites, and you definitely do not need a degree to pull this off. Yes, it is not the easiest task to take on, but you are sure to pull it off with a dose of patience, quality time, and, of course, these few tips. 

Want to get to them already? Sure!

  1. Go for a Rock Garden. Experts advise gardeners to go for rock gardens because they contain drought-resistant plants. These plants require less care compared to other plants. Also, you do not need to water them constantly because they are drought-resistant. 
  2. Treat Grasses in Shady Areas Differently. Grasses in shady areas receive less sunlight compared to grasses in other parts of the lawn. By extension, they evaporate less and grow at a slower pace. Therefore, it is pertinent to treat them differently. Do not feed them as you feed other. These grasses rarely evaporate, as such, they need less water compared to their counterpart in open areas. They also incline toward growing at a slower pace due to insufficient sunlight. Thus, it is crucial to reduce the amount of fertilizer you feed them. Overfeeding them will result in their death instead of growth.
  3. Apply the Sidekick Ė Mulch. Mulch, as it is known today, is the gardener's friend (better yet, sidekick). Mulch comes in handy when you run out of other solutions. A simple application of mulch will not only help suppress weed in your lawn or garden, but it will also help reduce the full amount of time you spend watering.
  4. Consider the Environment Before Planting the Tree. Experts advise that you should consider your tree as a full-grown tree when planting. By doing so, you will have a better idea of the best spot for the tree. They may look like beautiful little babies that can do no harm, but that wouldn't be the case when they are all grown. Make sure you choose a good position when planting, not one that you will end up having a problem with the roof.
  5. Reduce Weed Growth with Healthy Soil. It may seem incredible, but weed grows better in unhealthy soil. A nutrient-rich soil is all the herbicide you need to curb the growth of weeds in your lawn or garden. Stuff your lawn with fertilizers instead of weed-killers.

Having a beautiful, weed-free lawn and garden results in higher curb appeal and may increase the value and salability of your home. Ask your real estate professional for other ideas to upgrade curb appeal.




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