Did you know a Quaking Aspen, one of the lovliest trees in the fall landcape, can predict the weather? Keen observers note weather changes underway just by listening to trees. Jim has a better method: he keeps changing channels on the TV until he sees a forecast he likes. Here are some natural things to look for that may help you predict the weather in your neighborhood.
Jim has a rule when he bites into a really hot pepper sprout in one of Megan's five-alarm hot shot panini sandwiches while lunching out on the job; 'stop, drop, and roll.' After recovery he then stumbles back to the flower bed to resume planting those spring bulbs. The rule there is 'dig, drop, and done.' It's really simple, and guaranteed to bring many springtimes of pleasure.
Fall is the time of year you can be a heartbreaker without remorse. Love 'em, then leave 'em. Be a landscape Casanova or Cleopatra with a lawn rake and a lawn mower. Shower those favorite leafy shrubs and trees with your attention and affection from spring through summer and then, when autumn leaves start to fall, mulch them into your lawn. No tears will be shed and your lawn will love you for it.
"Lights, Conifers, Action!" That's what they shouted in Hollywood just before they shot the last scene in 'White Christmas' (well, something like that, surely). Now you can be the director of your very own holiday special by bringing your home landscape to a dazzle with holiday lighting that repels deer. Better yet, make it a double feature starting with fall colors that razzle as well as dazzle.
When fruits, vegetables and other vegetation disappear from the landscape, old timers declare that's 'the angel's share.' Other people blame deer - and they may just be onto something. Fruits and vegetables will regenerate, but when trees and shrubs are damaged - by mice and other woodland creatures as well as deer - the damage can be permanent. Jim has some ideas about how you can help protect your landscape from these pesky nibblers.
Jim says the best use for landscape fabric may be shower curtains or really unique high fashion ball gowns. He won't sell it in his shop, and he says you should not use it in your landscape. Learn why.
Why is it that a bird can fly through a tree canopy repeatedly without so much as a ding to a wing but a golf ball will find a limb every time? No answer here, but Jim has some great tips for pruning your trees to enhance their appearance. Careful pruning will add elegance to your landscape for years to come.
Question: which of the following is the most sensible statement? A) best time to do your landscape chores is on a hot, sunny day at noon. B) best time to water your plants is on a hot, sunny day at noon. C) best way to keep your landscape verdant and thriving is to ignore it. D) best way to keep plants thriving is to place them where the sun and other natural conditions will work to their advantage as they become established. (correct answer is D, unless you are a mad dog or an Englishman and inclined to take song lyrics by Noël Coward literally)
Feeling cranky because it's too hot, sticky and uncomfortable to work outside? Think of it this way: when is the last time you had to shovel sunshine? To improve your disposition, jump into a cold shower, then go out and water those thirsty plants and trees. Nothing to it - just add water.
What's white and black and red all over? A sunburned polar bear in a black bikini? Okay, not so funny. Global warming is no laughing matter. But for all its negative effects, the extended growing season in this region may not be one. Jim has some startling news.
It's fall, the time of year we start thinking about closing up the garden shed and moving inside. Before you put away that shovel, plant a tree. Fall is the ideal planting season for trees, shrubs and other hardy plants. Their roots will respond well to the head-start on spring.
Knowledge may be power, but wisdom is the real deal. Wise weekend warriors read the label - and follow the directions. In this commentary Jim talks about how we sometimes get in the way of Mother Nature and, that when we need to nudge her a bit, we should do so wisely.