As the weather begins to turn warmer, the last thing many homeowners want to think about is prepping the lawn, garden and outdoor living spaces. That being said, take the time to visually inspect your property, taking in the natural scapes to hardscapes. Think spring planting, outdoor entertaining and casual outdoor living. Look for wear and tear on your deck, check your outdoor lighting, walkways and driveway for raised or uneven surfaces, clean your outdoor kitchen and outdoor furniture; inspect the greenery.
BEAUTIFUL YARDS START WITH GREAT DIRT
Dirt, not love, makes the world go round. There is more to good dirt than meets the eye. Although this is not brain surgery, there is a bit of bio-chemistry involved.
In general, soils may be sandy or clay or somewhere in between, but frequently lacking is sufficient organic matter for good tilth. Sandy soil is composed of large particles of mineral material with large spaces between, causing water and nutrients to drain swiftly through (leaching). Clay soils have small, sticky particles that inhibit the flow of water. The result is water logging and stem rot.
Do you know the No. 1 tip for becoming a fruitful vegetable gardener?
Gardening gurus like Laura Lee Rose, the consumer horticulture agent for Beaufort County Clemson Extension and coordinator for the Master Gardener program, will tell you to first consider what you like to eat. “Make a list of your family’s favorite vegetables,” Rose said. “This will help you plot out your garden and ensure you eat what you grow, which is really the fun part.”
It’s not just happenstance that Bluffton and Hilton Head look the way they do. It takes an army of architects, landscapers and gardeners.
There are certain sounds that are undeniably Hilton Head Island and Bluffton. The call of a pileated woodpecker. The cry of a young hawk. The crash of the waves on the beach or the sound of the wind in the trees.
Helpful advice from the Lowcountry’s preeminent plant nerd
Early March is a pretty time to be in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and after some very cold and damaging weather I am ready to be outside digging in the dirt. Sorry, “soil” is the preferred horticultural term for that brown crumbly stuff we grow our flowers, shrubs and vegetables in.
Hilton Head Christian Academy chef Brooks Rhinehart and school nurse Wendy Cummings share a philosophy for wellness.
Most days Cummings can be found applying Band-Aids, taking temperatures and listening to hilarious anecdotes of students who wander into her office to “get well.” Rhinehart is usually busy in the school kitchen, crafting healthy, culinary delights.
When nature lovers of the All Saints Garden Tour arrive at the Rose Hill home of Alex Kasten, they’ll soon discover that this art lover has taken his discerning eye for line, form, and beauty and turned it into a backyard masterpiece drenched in Mediterranean appeal. He calls this deep emerald temple “Elysian Gardens.”
With landscape designer Patrick Judd, Kasten has surrounded his home with small elements of visual punch, curved walls that guide the eye from one botanical wonder to the next, and an oasis of peace and tranquility that would make the Gods jealous.
Getting your patio or deck ready for the spring season is just as important as attending to any room inside of your home. The proper attention now could make the difference between “pretty” and “pretty ugly.”
RECLAIM YOUR SPACE
Consider your patio or deck as you would a room in your home. What’s the first thing you’d do to an interior room? Clean it. Reclaim that space with a deep clean of the whole area. Getting in there andcleaning out your patio now will ensure that when the weather gets warmer, you can focus more on relaxing and entertaining and less on mold, clutter and pollen.Start by moving everything — grills, flower pots, outdoor décor and patio furniture — and clean underneath, sweeping away everything you find there, from leaves to pollen to spider webs to old bugs — it is the Lowcountry, after all. (If you’ve got more winter sludge than usual, you may want to consider a power wash.) Clean all exterior windows of your home that surround your patio, and check for any damage on the surface of your patio that might be a structural or tripping hazard — such things can happen when you’re not looking.