Tag Archive | Home and Garden

Springing into home improvement

Measure twice, cut once

The old saw – pun intended – that you should measure twice and cut once is a good axiom to live by when you’re doing any kind of home or outdoor improvement. With the weather warming up we’re all thinking of getting out there – meaning the yard or the house – and doing something. What that something will be is sometimes slapdash at best and may not be the ideal “improvement” in the long term. Even if you’re in your home for the foreseeable future, when you make changes take into consideration a future in which you will want to sell the property.

Each of  The 8 Most Financially Savvy Home Improvements identified in this post cost under $5,000 to implement, but are sure to add value and curb appeal to your home.

If you are ready to sell, there are affordable fixes you can do now to add value. The ideas shown on the This Old House website are interesting and make a huge difference.

Container Showpiece

Don’t be intimidated by the numbers on this Southern Living website. Going through the 123 photos is worth the effort and time. You get lots of ideas and suggestions about how to create the look you’re striving for with your container garden. You also get a bit of background on the plants.

If you plan to xeriscape, the Xeriscape Council of New Mexico website is a good place to start. They talk about water savvy plants, principles of water conservation and other topics about successful xeriscaping. Landscaping Network is also an excellent source of information.

TomatoesAnd you can’t beat the old Farmer’s Almanac for good gardening advice! The site has several articles about container vegetable and flower gardening, which I plan to check out. I will let you know how many seeds I drown!

Enjoy the beautiful summer. Make sure you check city watering restrictions in the area where you live. Enjoy the fun of watching stuff grow!

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PHOTOS: clipart.com

Las Vegas Garden Tour a Special Treat

Helen Strader is delighted by the volunteers who stepped forward to assist with the 2015 Las Vegas Garden Tour, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon as part of Heritage Week festivities.

“Most appreciated are the gardeners,” she said. “We couldn’t do this without them.”

Strader is a skilled event coordinator. In her former life as a bed and breakfast owner, she staged lovely affairs, created an atmosphere of congenial elegance, and set the standard for making each occasion memorable. As a member of the Citizens’ Committee for Historic Preservation she brings that expertise to the tour.

The Las Vegas Garden Garden Maze by Lisa Porter LawrenceTour has three components:

  • A self-guided tour of flower, vegetable and herb gardens from 9 a.m. to noon.
  • A luncheon at the historic Masonic Lodge on Douglas Avenue at 12:15 p.m., with guest speaker Jude Romero.
  • An art exhibit featuring the work of Lisa Porter Lawrence, showcasing her work in a variety of media. The art will be for sale with 15 percent of proceeds going to CCHP.

Because of drought conditions in recent years, the focus has by necessity been on xeriscaping. This year abundant rain has made everything around town multiply and blossom. Water wise gardening is still important, organizers say, but the floral profusion will be evident.

“I have huge rain barrels on my property,” one gardener said. “In the worst of drought I was able to water regularly. Even with that it couldn’t do what Mother Nature has done this year.”

“The take away from viewing these gardens is that you get ideas you can use in your own outdoor space,” Strader said. “Get insider tips on how to design, create, and nurture your garden from homeowners who have done the wFloral Designed Cupork.”

Following the tour, the luncheon will be open from 12:15 until 2 p.m., in the Masonic Lodge at 518 Douglas Ave. Jude Romero, an experienced and innovative gardener, will share his expertise on planning and growing varieties of chilies and ways to preserve them.

Lawrence will have her work on exhibit and for sale, including affordable items like mugs and notecard prints suitable for framing. “This has been such fun for me,” she said. “It’s amazing that you can take an original piece of art and have it reproduced so easily on a coffee mug or postcard or napkin.” Napkins featuring one of her paintings will be used at the luncheon. “It just adds a little something extra,” she said.

Preparing luncheons for events is something Starder enjoys. “We have an elegant lunch of vegetable quiche, fruit salad, assorted quick breads, dessert bars, and summer punch. The décor and Lisa’s work will complement the setting. And we have door prizes to give away.”

Five gardeners have confirmed participation. The list will be revealed on the day of the tour when maps will be provided to ticket purchasers.

Tickets for the tour and luncheon are sold separately for $10 each. If you choose to participate in both, the combined package sells for $18. However, the deadline for luncheon ticket sales is Aug. 6 so organizers may prepare sufficient food. Tickets for paid events are on sale now for all Heritage Week activities at the CCHP office, 116 Bridge Street.

If you are interested in sponsoring this event, contact the CCHP office at 425-8803.

The tour will begin at 116 Bridge Street at 8:30 a.m., where visitors will pick up a map to featured gardens. Enjoy coffee and donuts before heading out on the tour scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

What: 2015 Annual Garden Tour
When: Saturday, Aug. 8, 9 a.m. to noon
Sites: Pick up maps at CCHP office, 116 Bridge Street between 8:30 and 9 a.m.
Luncheon: Masonic Lodge, 518 Douglas, 12:15 p.m.
Cost: $10 for tour and luncheon sold separately; $18 to attend both

Note: Photos courtesy of artist Lisa Porter Lawrence

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One Roof Publishing is the work of Sharon Vander Meer, unless otherwise noted. Please subscribe to this blog to receive future posts. Thank you for “liking” and “sharing”. Sharon’s latest book, Finding Family, is available locally at Tome on the Range, Tito’s Gallery, and WarDancer Gifts and Gallery. You can get the e-book version through Xlibris and other online book sellers. Purchase the e-book of Finding Family here at Xlibris.

6 Terrific Gardening Sites

Farmer’s Almanac 2015:

This is a respected guide book chock full of information. The gardening calendar stretches from spring through fall Farmer's Almanacplanting and tells you when to sow indoors, plant in the ground, and when to harvest. It is customized by location based on the nearest weather station. Click this link for Las Vegas, NM.

Giant Veggie Gardener:

Jannine Cabossel calls herself an artisan farmer because she likes to create beauty in her gardens combining art, flowers, and vegetables, and because her gardens are not big enough to be called a farm, but too large to be an urban garden. Her garden is in Santa Fe, NM. Her tips and advice are  applicable to growers in the central and northern highlands of New Mexico, but can be applied elsewhere. She blogs about growing specific vegetables and about a variety of other gardening questions for the avid grower. Click this link for more tips, calendar of classes, and garden tours.

20 Perennials

Blanket FlowerWhen it comes to flowers, I love to plant once and have beauty come back year after year. This link is a slide presentation from Better Homes and Gardens that shows and tells you about 20 fabulous perennial choices, most of which are drought resistant. Since I haven’t had the courage to put anything in the ground yet – it is April in Northern New Mexico after all – I’m going to be looking for some of these for the little bit of area I will be cultivating, mostly in pots.

 Perennials vs Annuals

And wouldn’t it be nice to know which flowers will be back year after year and which will be in bloom for a season and then gone? This HGTV post is all about perennials and annuals. The site is a good resource overall for gardeners.

 Home Vegetable Gardening in New Mexico

VegetablesThis guide is available online and can be downloaded as a PDF.  Home Vegetable Gardening in New Mexico provides general information for growing vegetables. Use this publication with its companion, Circular 457-B, Growing Zones, Recommended Crop Varieties, and Planting and Harvesting Information for Home Vegetable Gardens in New Mexico. Circular 457-B includes a map showing New Mexico growing zones, as well as a table providing crop variety recommendations, recommended planting dates, days to harvest, planting instructions, and yield information.

Container Gardening

Container GardenSeveral sites on the web focus on container gardening. This link takes you to a High Country Garden blog about the care of pots as well as the plants inside them. Worth a read if you are into patio container gardening.

There are a number of show gardens in Las Vegas. A late summer tour organized by the Citizens’ Committee for Historic Preservation showcases several of them. With help from these sites, and a lot of hard work, your garden could be on the 2015 tour.

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