2014 September

Fall; the perfect time for ramping up your outdoor living space

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The kids are back in school, football is in full swing and the leaves will start falling soon. With the weather cooling down it is the perfect time to start spending the cool evenings around a custom built fireplace from Richmond’s Landscaping or in your outdoor living room. It doesn’t have to stop at the fireplace ambience though, the fall is a great time to ramp up the design in your outdoor space. Fall decor is so warm and inviting and starts prepping us for the holiday season! So to give you some fun and affordable ideas to help you with your space, here are a few design projects to get you ready for sipping apple cider and carving pumpkins!

Set the Table for the season

Use all the decoration ideas you have  for your dining room, out on your patio. Gather fall mums, pumpkins, vases with leaves and gourds, and orange/red placemats to set the table for the fall. Then after the table is looking warm and inviting, add a few strings of outdoor lights to really set the mood for fun and relaxation.

Colorful Fall Porch

Take a color scheme through the season with pretty, inexpensive fall accents. Outdoor pillows act as a porch swing pick-me-up, while a small throw rug keeps the palette going. Make a simple table by sandwiching two colorful tubs between slabs of wood. We added wheels to the baseboard to make it mobile.

Cozy Fall Mum Wreath

Warm up your fall porch with an easy-to-make wreath. To make, press spider mums with 1-inch stems into a foam wreath. The blooms will last a few days, especially if you spritz them with water a few times. Finish the look by hanging with a plaid scarf.

Easy-Carve Pumpkins

These pumpkins get a mod makeover from geometric cutouts in different sizes and patterns. Just hollow out the pumpkins, then stencil on your designs. Cut out each square with a pumpkin carving saw and arrange on your front porch. For a country-chic look, rest pumpkins on an antique wooden chair or bench.

Fall Corn Garland

Capture the season’s charm with a rustic garland made from ears of fall corn and dried husks. Colors include ruby red, yellow, and purple, so you can pick the scheme that best matches your decor. Create hooks by twisting small eye screws into the wide end of each ear. Bend the husks into loops and seal the pointy ends together with hot glue. Finally, string the ears onto twine, alternating with corn husks as you go. Hang above your door or along your porch eaves for a simply beautiful effect.

Gourd-Filled Urn

Your summer urn does double-duty in this quick and easy fall decor idea. Just fill the urn with gourds, squash, and small pumpkins for a pretty front porch accent.

ideas from Better Homes and Garden

Preparing your yard for Fall

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Readying your yard for autumn can be just as challenging and labor intensive. However, if you start early and create a checklist you will likely have everything done in time for Christmas (I’m kidding). In all seriousness, creating a master plan will go a long way in helping you accomplish the following tasks:

Fall Pruning

Fall’s cool weather provides the ideal climate to get outside and prune those woody plants. However, don’t get overzealous—experts say you should avoid pruning spring flowering shrubs in the fall so you don’t remove flower buds set earlier in the year. If you don’t think you need to prune… think again. Pruning is beneficial for several reasons:

· To remove dead or damaged branches.

· To reshape overgrown plants.

· To rejuvenate old branches.

· To remove diseased branches.

· To improve the plant’s overall appearance and health.

Here are some pruning tips that have served me well over the years:

· Never try to cut more wood than your clippers are designed to cut.

· Use a small saw to remove medium sized or larger branches.

· Use hand clippers to cut small stems and twigs.

· Never cut a branch flush with the main stem.

· Never leave a stud, which can provide an opening for wood decay.

Bring Those Plants In!

Our local weather forecasts have been peppered with warnings to “bring those plants in.” The time to bring them in is when the night temperature drops below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Before bringing plants in it is a good idea to inspect them. Make sure you’re not brining in insects or eggs. If you are concerned about doing so you could spray your plants with a 1% horticultural oil solution.

Fall Planting

In my opinion, one of the most important yard projects a homeowner should tackle each fall is planting perennials. If you’ve got existing perennials, you can separate them into smaller plants. By doing so you give your plants a better chance to grow. If you have done this before you know perennials prosper in less crowded conditions and insects and disease problems will be minimized. Another tip: add compost to the soil while you’re replanting for extra growing power in the spring.

Get Rid of Weeds

This is an ongoing project that needs attention year round, but experts say in the fall it is especially important. If you apply an herbicide to weeds, it will be carried to the roots and help to control them. The reason: plants move carbohydrates from their leaves to the roots in cooler weather.

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