Enjoy the Tree’s Gift

 

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” 
by Warren Buffett

The wisest people tell you to save and invest in your future and that’s really good advice. But there’s another way to invest in your future as well. That is to plant a tree that’s going to give you shade in the years to come. That small tree planted may look small in your landscape at first, compared to what your ultimate goal is, but before long with proper care; that tree will grow into a substantial part of your landscape that will give you years of benefits.

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There’s nothing more rewarding than on a hot summer day to be able to sit under a shade tree and feel the difference of 4 or 5° and get away from the glare of the sun! Children seem to instinctively know to play in the shade. They build treehouses that serve as clubhouses, swing on swings, or just lay on a blanket to play with their toys. Some trees, like an old Weeping Willow can become anything from an old fort to an enchanted kingdom. All it takes is a imaginative child, and there will be hours of entertainment on a summer’s day.

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As an adult, I love to layout the blankets and read under an old shade tree.  And without a doubt, there’s something romantic and old fashioned about having a picnic under shade tree. Can you picture it?: a checkered blanket, wicker basket overflowing with food and an open bottle of wine.

But the properly chosen shade tree can also be an investment for you and can improve the property value. Placed in the right location, pruned and fertilized to encourage optimum growth; your investment is sure to pay off. With the maturity, the shade from that tree can even help lower your air conditioning bills.

There’s one other benefit that I personally enjoy is the fact that the tree becomes a home for many birds and animals that need it’s protection from the elements. There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting out in your backyard under the shade tree listening to the birds chirp and feeling at peace.

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So, when the sun feels too overwhelming, grab that book, a chair and a tall ice tea.  Make your way across the lawn, and settle yourself under the protective, shady canopy your tree provides, just for you.

Rain; Good or Bad?

  

Rain is a good thing? Is it a bad thing?

There’s a country song out there that says Rain is a good thing; rain makes corn, corn makes whiskey. That’s one way to look at it, but from the landscaping point of view rain also be a bad thing if there’s too much of it and all at once.

Too much rain can play havoc not only with your plant’s growth but in your planting schedule (there’s nothing worse than sitting in a car with the rain beating down on the roof, waiting to get out there and get some work done). A day wasted is a day of no growth.

More seriously than just lost time and money is that too much rain can damage your crops, your landscaping and your favorite potted plants. Too much rain can be damaging to the plants foliage, rot roots and cause stagnant soil that will need to be replaced. Of course you can’t do anything to stop the rain, but there are preventative measures that you can take to help your plants along; at least your potted plants.

water in saucers     =    mosquito

First and foremost make sure your plants are not sitting in standing water. Remove saucers from underneath plants, turn them upside down they don’t hold water. Turnover empty pots that do not have the drain holes so that they don’t hold water. If you’re not using your garbage cans or containers, turn them upside down until you need them. This will not only help keep the smell of stagnant water away from your living area, but it will also help deter production of mosquitoes.

Even though there are some items in the landscaping items that need to hold water (examples are birdbath the small fountains) the last thing that you want is to have them holding stagnant water. So periodically empty the old water and put in fresh.

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But don’t be discouraged by the weather, and don’t let all that rainwater go to waste. Collections of rain in a proper rain barrel attach it to your gutters gives you access to bring water for times of drought. This rain water will be collected in a safe place that is sealed and closed and so the mosquitoes can get in there and breed. Then, when you need the water, you have a safe supply to water your plants with.

Don’t let the rain get you down take the opportunity for rainy days to do something extra special that you normally wouldn’t do. Go visit a museum, go shopping with a friend, maybe catch that movie that you wanted to see. Or, if you’re a really serious gardener, now is the perfect time to sit down the dining table with a piece of paper and layout your plans for your next garden. The next season is never far off, and soon you’ll be itching to get your hands in that dirt and start planting again.

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And don’t be discourage if you have to replace some plants that didn’t care for the extra moisture. Who knows, you might find something you like even better the second time around. Be creative be willing to explore and most of all be willing to follow God’s lead and enjoy all the nature that surrounds, you regardless of the weather conditions.

So, Rain IS a good thing!