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July is looming, threatening even, with punishing weather that demands the utmost from both garden and gardener. It will be more comfortable if you have done your homework (and yard work) previously and have provided the hardiest perennial surviviors to see you through the next two to three months.

One of the challenges of living on the coast is taking care of the exterior of your home.

Algae growth and mildew frequently appear on siding in the humid south. Experts suggest cleaning your vinyl, brick, stucco or wood siding with mild soap and water, a brush and a garden hose with a spray nozzle. They also suggest hiring a professional to pressure wash the exterior.

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It can get might buggy in the Lowcountry. Generally, it’s best to use a professional exterminator to control insects around your home.  However, there are steps you can take to help.

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Maintaining your air conditioning can mean savings not only in energy, but also in cold cash.

When temperatures reach their peak this summer, we can always escape indoors to air-conditioned comfort. Our home’s exterior isn’t so lucky. It must bear the brunt of summer’s heat and humidity.

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Frequently it’s the little things in life that add surprise and pleasure to the daily routine, and nowhere is that more evident than in the garden.

Although most gardeners seek out the big, showy flowers that flaunt bright colors for a brief season, at the same time it’s the smaller reliable ones, the workhorses, that quietly provide the background and foundation for the splashier ones.

Sometimes these are groundcovers, which may have little bloom, but have an interesting form and texture. More often they will be small annuals with persistent long-term flowering — and maintaining extended bloom in the summertime extremes of a Lowcountry garden is much to be desired.

0510_shortsaleShort sales have become the financial fix of choice for homeowners facing foreclosure or other circumstances that has left them owing more on their homes than the house is worth.

It’s May, the merry month, and what merrier way to celebrate its arrival than to stroll the garden paths of some special private spaces on Hilton Head and neighboring Bluffton?