How Does Your Garden Grow?

HYDRANGEA WITH CALIBRACHOA WINDOW BOXESTransplanted gardeners from colder climes are consistently frustrated in their attempts to translate their beloved northern gardens to the relatively inhospitable environment of the Lowcountry. But in spite of all evidence and advice to the contrary, they usually persevere in their efforts until experience convinces them that it is not to be. And it is understandable because northern plants are lovely and lush indeed, thriving in the temperate, (at least in spring, summer and early fall), climate of southwestern New York state, particularly Chautauqua, whence these garden thoughts float in late July.

Chautauqua Institution is well known for its up to date lectures on what’s happening now and why, delivered by highly qualified experts from around the globe, on weekly themed subjects. These, combined with symphony concerts, opera, ballet and live theatre, book and discussion groups and much, much more, combine to make it a glorified summer camp for adults. There is also sailing, swimming and even the obligatory golf course.

Beware, Hilton Head – here there be dragons.

Hilton Head is full of lagoons – and during the summer, lagoons are full of dragonflies. These conspicuous insects come in diverse shapes, sizes and colors, and together with their slender-bodied cousins, the damselflies, are easy to spot as they cruise along the shoreline or swoop over deeper waters. South Carolina is host to over 150 species; worldwide, there are more than 5,000.

A lagoon full of dragonflies resembles a busy airport. The more delicate damselflies flutter near the water’s surface. Small and medium-sized dragonflies hover and dart above them, while the biggest and fastest species claim the highest flight paths. Some dragonflies have been clocked at speeds of over 35 mph.

Following the ABC trail Into deep summer.

PENTASPQ R – Hello! Although P and R are well represented in horticultural circles, Q has fallen off the page. Research reveals that there is only one Q represented on a half page in Alan Armitage’s comprehensive 516-page Manual of Annuals, Biennials and Half Hardy Perennials. Quisqualis, (Latin for who? what?), indica also bears the common names of Rangoon Creeper and Drunken Sailor. It is a tropical vine that can reach 70 feet, fair warning that we should not invite it onto our premises.

Plectranthus is the new “in” plant. Slow to catch on at first, it was planted mainly for its foliage of plushy, silvery gray-green leaves. More recent introductions include the variety on display in almost every garden on the May All Saints garden tour. This is a large, attractive shrub with dark green foliage, purple underneath, and many long spikes of small, tubular lavender to purple blooms. It appears to be very easy to grow and propagate, thriving in sun to shade.

Old-fashioned living in the heart of Oldfield.

Lakeside VILLAGEWhen Rob and Dianne Wilson moved to Lakeside Village from Fairfax County, Va, in 2005, they knew that they found the ideal place to raise their four young children.

Located in the heart of Oldfield, Lakeside Village provides the perfect setting for this active family to hike, bike, swim, play tennis and enjoy the natural beauty of the Lowcountry. “My wife and I visited a number of communities up and down the East Coast before deciding on Lakeside Village at Oldfield,” said Rob Wilson, a successful recruiter. “This is a great place to raise kids, and great place for adults as well.” Lakeside Village, a Charleston-style neighborhood overlooking Goose Lake, offers ample old-fashioned charm and Southern hospitality. “Lakeside Village has truly set the standard for casual elegance in the Lowcountry,” said Scott Stephens, Oldfield’s vice president of sales and marketing. “The interest in this exciting community at Oldfield has been outstanding.”

How to achieve the best views, whether you are looking out or in

How to achieve the best views, whether you are looking out or inThe spectacular views of the outdoors often take our breath away, especially in the Lowcountry, where the views are often as beautiful as the homes.

But how can you best showcase that outside view from within your home? How about enhancing your home’s curb appeal or interior view? In the following pages, we will help answer those challenging issues. Whether it’s a window treatment that revitalizes your vista or landscaping improvements that give you an improved view worth showing the neighbors, here are some wonderful ways you can achieve the best view inside and out.

Tips and tricks for Condo and Villa Renovations.

Tips and tricks for Condo and Villa Renovations.This may be a good time to consider investing in an outdated condo or what we like to call villas in the Lowcountry. Many of these available condos are in need of major updating or remodeling and have been neglected since the ’70s or ’80s. Once you have completed the very important inspection of the basic plumbing, electrical and structural conditions, you will be ready to start creating a desirable living space.

The first question you will want to answer is, “Do you plan to rent this condo to vacationers, or will it be someone’s home?” You may even plan to sell the unit after completing the renovations. If you do a little research of your neighborhood, it will become evident as to what type of use this condo will have and how you should approach your remodeling. If it is for weekly rental, you will want to make sure all products installed are a quality that can endure this type of use. How this condo is used may also affect the décor, colors and style you plan to incorporate into the project.

Tips, tricks and hits for effective spring cleaning and organization

Tips, tricks and hits for effective spring cleaning and organizationSpring time not only signifies the arrival of warmer weather and blossoming flowers; It’s also an ideal time to get a move on with all of your spring cleaning and organizing.

DEEP CLEANING

You’ve been cooped up indoors over the winter with the windows and doors tightly closed. Before starting your spring cleaning, open up your windows and allow the natural scent of fresh flowers and the spring breeze to fill your home. Your normal cleaning routine may be all right for everyday, but the most used areas of the home need a deep cleaning a few times a year.

A few depth-defying tips for creating the illusion of space in a smaller place.

Big IdeasIt can be a little frustrating to know your condo, villa or new smaller home does not have an abundance of space. Perhaps you have made a decision to downsize into a more reasonable space for the “empty nest” time in your life. Don’t despair; there are numerous ways to arrange and decorate your new home without giving up style and function.

SPACE EVALUATION

With a little sprucing up, your home will be ready for buyers.

With a little sprucing up, your home will be ready for buyers.We’ve all heard the term ‘curb appeal.’ When getting your home ready for sale, it’s the absolute most important goal you should have. Whether you keep your house immaculate out of habit or you have a tendency towards that ‘lived in’ look, there’s always something you can do to give your house that special something that dazzles buyers.

There’s a reason they refer to this process as ‘staging’ your home; you are not just cleaning up, you are setting a stage, you are creating a sense of peace and wonder. You are giving buyers the feeling that they are already home, much like a set designer of a play gives the audience a sense that they are in another time and place.

Property Owners’ Associations and Homeowners Associations help build better neighbors.

Purchasing a home is a major milestone in anyone’s life, whether it is a first home, a vacation home, or a home to enjoy your golden years. No matter what stage of life you are in, buying a home in a neighborhood you will enjoy is important. One way to help make sure you are choosing a neighborhood that will fit your lifestyle is to understand what is expected by the homeowners in the neighborhood of your choice. By understanding Property Owners’ Associations (POAs) and Home Owners’ Associations (HOAs), you will be able to make an informed choice about where to live.