Home and Garden

Gardening During the Winter

by Bevony on October 14, 2020 No comments
Rosengeranie, Pelargonium, Geranium, Blossom, Bloom

Annual geraniums are a great option for a winter gardener. They will grow and bloom very well all year round and don’t need a lot of fuss. You can dig them up in the fall and place them into a paper bag or cardboard box so you can store them over the winter so you can let them out again in the spring. So let’s talk a little bit about what to expect from certain Geraniums. 

Martha Washington Geraniums

All zonal geraniums are known as frost-tender pelargoniums. They are however different in their growing conditions that they prefer. Zonal geraniums will do better in warm, dry soil. Geraniums such as Martha Washington’s require cool temperatures in order for them to thrive and bloom well. Your Martha, Washington will be very impressive in the late spring, as such they are quite popular during that time for gifting. In the late spring they become thick and busy and have ornamental leaves with fringed edges. Their flowers are showy and appear in clusters with vivid splashing colors and are beautifully veined. 

These flowers tend to have long bloom periods. To help lengthen their bloom period you want to ensure you keep them in the cool. During the high summer temperatures, this plant can take a break from flowering. While you will notice that zonals may hit their peak bloom in this time. To prolong the bloom period you can place this plant outside in a spot that is lightly shaded when the weather starts to warm up. 

During the winter, Martha, Washington’s don’t need too much water. It will thrive in temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees in light and almost dry soil. This not only will help them survive the winter but will also set them up for a great spring flowering. 

Rooting Zonal Geraniums

When you take cuttings from your geraniums you may want to cover them with a humidity tent. Ensure that they are covered but not being touched. This is helpful with your zonal geraniums to help them to root. You don’t want the roots of the plants to be too damp because they are sensitive to these types of conditions. High humidity levels can cause rotting, otherwise known as “black rot”. 

Rooting is very easy in warmth and with bright but indirect sunlight. You want to choose a porous free draining planting mix to ensure that the soil stays modesty moist to provide the best outcome for your rooting endeavors. 

Considering doing some planting in the winter to get ready for the spring with lovely flowers. Consider getting some Martha Washington Geraniums!

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BevonyGardening During the Winter

Hello Fall – Great Time for Property Maintenance

by Bevony on September 23, 2020 No comments

Spring cleaning may excite some as you consider that you will have a wide array of colorful spring flowers ahead. But ahead of prepping for spring, you may want to think about some of the chores that you complete before winter. While they may not enhance the beauty of your property, these chores are important. This is because they prepare your property to deal with the snow, rain, and wind that comes along with the winter season. So what are the chores you should be doing this fall? Here are some of the tasks that should be on your fall chore checklist for 2020.

Change Your Filters

Your ventilation systems will need a look. Examine your filters to see if they are clogged. The cleaner your filters, the more effective they will be at ensuring you get the best quality air while in your house. 

Rake The Leaves

If you have trees, if your neighbor has trees, you have to rake. This is the one fall chore that most people can’t get away from. If you were in the practice of pushing your leaves over into the gutter, you should stop. When you do that, the rain comes and the wet leaves, clog the drains and then our streets get flooded. 

What you should do, is rake the leaves and then you have two options to deal with them. Either set them out with your organic household waste. Or you can use them for composting, so you can have this ready for next year’s garden and those lovely spring flowers. 

Check Gutters and Drain Pipes

Your gutters and drain pipes need attention now. You want to ensure they are not blocked up with any organic matter. This may lead to water backing up and later leaking into your home. 

Check Pipes

We don’t often have winters with a consistent cold snap of temperatures dipping below -5 degrees Celsius over five weeks or more. But if we do, would you be prepared for such weather? It happened in the winter of 2016. Many homeowners were not prepared and so pipes close to exterior walls burst. When they turned the heat down they came home to a not so nice, soggy mess. 

Fall is the best time to ensure that your pipes are in tip-top condition and also insulated. If you will be gone for an extended period you will fare better if you can turn the water off. You can also have a trustworthy friend or family member to check every other day or so. This can be handy when it comes to trying to claim insurance. The companies like when you can report and respond promptly. 

You also want to empty any water in hoses and disconnect those, Check on your outside taps and ensure you close them, cutting off the water supply entirely. 

When you follow the above tips you can winterize your home so that in the dark winter months you can be warm and cozy with no unpleasant surprises. This also ensures that your property value is maintained. And the best part is that it really only takes a little attention to detail every fall. Start this fall, by inspecting, updating and replacing the things that you need to keep your home in tip-top shape. 

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BevonyHello Fall – Great Time for Property Maintenance

Your Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

by Bevony on July 22, 2020 No comments
Home Maintenance tips

Getting your home and yard into tip-top shape this summer will be easier than ever. Here’s everything you need to know and do. 

With every new season, there is a new set of maintenance tasks to take care of for your home. With summer here, you want to take the necessary steps to prepare your home and yard now before it gets too hot. Get as much done now so you don’t have to be doing outdoor maintenance tasks in the summer’s heat. 

There’s a lot to do, you need to check out that Air conditioning Unit or system and may even want to hang a clothesline. With heat and cooling costs increasing you can save by drying clothes outdoors. And if none of those apply to you, keep reading, you’re sure to find something. Let’s dig in!

Check Detectors

Your home may have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. You want to check these to see if they are working properly. Check batteries for lifespan and make changes if necessary. 

Check Cooling Systems

Your fans and air conditioners are about to be hit with their heaviest workload of the year. Ensure they are up for the task by giving them a check. If you don’t have AC units you may be able to easily install some window units or portable units yourself. If you have a central air conditioning unit you will need to have the unit professionally serviced. 

Have ceiling fans? Ensure those are clean. They can easily be cleaned with a damp rag. If your ceilings are high you can get a fan duster or other fan cleaning tool that will help you get to hard-to reach fan blades. 

Install Outdoor Clothesline

Now is a great time to give your electricity usage a bit of a break. With your use of more cooling devices or lower temperatures, you will be using more electricity. Why not take advantage of the heat outside and let your laundry dry out in the summer sun. Plus air-dried sheets smell the best!

Clean that Outdoor Grill/Cooker

Your cooker needs a deep clean before all those backyard barbecues this summer. Always check the manufacturer’s guide before you start. Here are some simple tips for cleaning your cooker. 

Gas Grills: turn your grill on, with the heat on high. With the lid closed, allow the grill to cook for around 30 minutes. Allow the grill to cool, then get your grill brush and brush away any debris. Wipe down the outside of the unit with a damp cloth or sponge along with a suitable cleanser and get rid of any dirt, gunk, or dust on drip pans appropriately. 

Charcoal Grills: Empty out your grill and wipe away any ashy residue you find. Clean the inside with hot water and some dishwashing soap and a scrub sponge or brush. Allow the grill to dry before you use it. 

Shine that Porch

Sweep and mop your porch with a surface suitable cleaner. If you have a buildup on the floors you may use a brush to scrub it away. 

Check on Your Deck

Look for signs of rotting on your deck. You also want to look for any nails that are coming loose. Check if your deck needs sealing by sprinkling some water onto the boards. If you see the water beading up then your boards are fine. If the water soaks away right away you have to reseal that deck

Clean Windows

Now is the best time to clean your windows on the outside. 

Mulch

Now is a great time to add mulch to your garden to keep weeds at bay. This will also help the ground to retain moisture through the summer heat to keep your plants vibrant and looking healthy as they continue to grow. 

Check for Leaks

Check all your hoses and faucets for leaks. A tiny drip can equal lots of water wasted. Even pinhole leaks in hoses can be a problem, but these are easy to mend. For small leaks, a wrap or two of electrical tape should do. For larger leaks, you may need to replace your hose and anything else may require you to get a plumber. 

Primp the Plants

If you have annuals or perennials you will need to deadhead them so that they can remain productive. If you have spring bulbs with visible dead foliage you will need to prune them, so they can have a well-groomed look. But only if their leaves aren’t all green. 

Plan a Timetable for Watering

This is a good time to train your garden so it can endure the harsh, dry days ahead. This also helps you to conserve water. Instead of watering your plants lightly on a daily basis give them a deep watering every couple days. This will help your plants to grow stronger and deeper roots.

Install Doormats

Keep the mud and dirt of summer on the outside by adding doormats at your entry doors. You want to have multiple mats, one coarse one on the outside to catch dirt, and a softer one on the inside. If you live close to the beach you may want to have a bucket, tub, or bottle of water that can be used to wash off sandy feet and sandals before they come into the house. 

There you have it! The 12 things you need to do to get your home summer-ready this year.  What are some of your summer maintenance tips? Share them in the comments section below, we’d love to know what we missed.

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BevonyYour Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

Gardening; the Outdoor Version of Baking During the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Bevony on May 13, 2020 No comments

Owner of Bloomsbury Designer Gardens, Kathy Friesen considers gardening the outdoor version of baking. With many people safe at home during the current COVID-19 Pandemic, we have quite a lot of time on our hands. As a result, many people are keeping themselves busy performing a variety of home-based activities. 

The truth is, that as you are going about your regular day to day lives it is hard to find time to do things at home. Between work, kids, and extracurricular activities it can all be a bit much. Now people are staying home, learning new skills and trying out new things to occupy their time. We now find many turning to gardening regardless of the space with which they have to work with. 

Turning Your Small Urban Spaces into Gardens 

If you don’t have a backyard space you can still engage in some gardening. Use your rooftop, patio, balcony, or an outdoor room that you may have. Most people who create a garden want a space that is calm and tranquil, something they have control over while they are living in this scary time that 2020 is proving to be.  

When you look at home ins many parts of Vancouver for example in Kitsilano you will find that most house lots are narrow and small with the houses spaced closely together. This doesn’t mean you can’t get out and get some gardening done. Don’t let the size of your yard or your limited outdoor space deter you from creating your garden. 

You just need a small space to plant vertical vegetables such a cherry tomatoes, kale, peas and beans. Small spaces are ideal for planting blueberries and a variety of strawberries as well. 

Increase Backyard Privacy 

If you have backyard space but find that going outside means being a part of your neighbor’s outdoor socializing, gardening can help provide you with some privacy. You can add privacy screens with evergreen vines on trellises. 

With no traveling for us in the near future, summer will be spent staying home, or should we say with “staycations”. This gives us even more time to spend on our outdoor spaces, tending to plants, and forging quality bonds with our immediate family members. 

What People Want 

Most people want items that are easy to grow. They want colors, many want to try their hands with vegetables since they have experience pay cuts and job losses making it hard for ends to meet. People want plans that will grow easily and with little maintenance. They also want plants that can be easily cleaned out when the winter season comes around. 

You want your home to comfortable and pleasant for you and your entire family. With us all spending more time together it can get a bit much. participating in hobbies can help to take the edge off and gardening is just one avenue you can use. No matter what amount of outdoor space you have, you can plant something. If it is even just a window box with some herbs. 

Tell us, What would you love to plant at home? What are you already planting?

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BevonyGardening; the Outdoor Version of Baking During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How is Your Home’s Air Quality?

by Bevony on March 25, 2020 No comments
Home's Air Quality guide

As we move towards spending more time indoors, air quality is of utmost importance. It is noted by theWorld Health Organization (WHO) and the  U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that indoor air quality is often up to five times worse than the air quality outdoor. 

One of the highest contributing factors to the poor quality of air indoor is VOC off-gassing. This can come from a variety of materials including glues used in your cabinetry and from your carpets as well. 

What can you do? Well now you know, you want to always try to find low-VOC options when shopping for materials for your home. Wood is always a healthier choice than concrete. It is also beneficial in that it is lighter, warmer and won’t give off the type of dust that concrete will give off. All of these attributes allow the wood to be a better choice and to have a better effect on the air quality on the interior of your home.

How to Tell if You Have Poor Indoor Air Quality

Do you find yourself getting sick every time you get home? Do you get immediately sick and start having symptoms such as dry eyes, sore throat, headaches, problems sleeping and problems concentrating? These all are symptoms of inhaling air that is poor in quality.

How to Improve Air Quality without Going to the Store

One of the best things you can do to improve the air quality in your home is to let in the fresh air. Open up your windows or any doors if possible so that fresh air can circulate throughout your living space.

Other Things Impacting our Air Quality

With changes in our environment, the way we heat and cool our homes is also changing. We find more people installing more air conditioners in their homes which in turn leads to more global warming. In Vancouver alone, there are air conditioning units in 20% of homes. In Kelowna, you will find 80% of homes are already using air conditioning. With the planet warming up, more people are trying to combat this with the use of air conditioners. This, in turn, increases emissions which ends up contributing to climate change. A situation that looks like it will continue to spiral this way. As more changes in the natural climate take place, the dependence on air conditioners will only increase and the effects this will have on air quality are currently unknown.

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BevonyHow is Your Home’s Air Quality?

What you Missed at the B.C. Home and Garden Show

by Bevony on February 26, 2020 No comments

The British Columbia Home and Garden show was held from February 19 to 23, 2020. If you weren’t able to attend we have got you covered. We know that this winter weather has been unpleasant and we are all looking towards the change in seasons. The show gave attendees something to look forward to. There were lots of tips and ideas on how to spruce up your landscape.

The show was enjoyed by both attendees and presenters. All got the chance to check several horticultural boots sporting different themes. Some things you missed include;

  • Professional landscapes
  • Unique outdoor patio displays
  • Innovative ideas on growing
  • New and upcoming garden accessories
  • New styles of greenhouses.

What the BC Home and Garden Show is All About

The show is not just about outdoor living, it incorporates indoor living as well. It showcases collections of products and trends that are interesting, upcoming and relevant. You find everything from new styles of kitchens to art, the latest in sleeping comfortably to innovations in food preparation. You even missed some newer, more environmentally friendly cooling and heating units as well as a range of fixtures that can help your family to be more efficient with your water usage.

Presentations You Missed

The show included several informative seminars as well. These included the following;

  • On the 20th, there was a panel discussion on the Main stage at 6 pm. This was sponsored by the Homebuilders’ Association of Vancouver. Panelists included pros in the renovation and construction field and their topic was outdoor/indoor living with a major focus on outdoor living.
  • Victory Gardens’, Lisa Firoday presented on eco landscaping with a focus on how to make the most of your usable land.
  • Janis Matson from Shoreline Landscape Design did a presentation on “Drought Tolerant Gardening”. This provided useful information for when we get into the hot summer months and have water restrictions to contend with.
  • Alex Augustyniak from West Coast Seeds discussed how we can grow foods all year in our Canadian Climate.
  • Carissa Kasper from Seed and Nourish gave a presentation on “Seasons o Growth: The Future Garden”. She noted how changes in climates affect gardening practices and looked into the future of what gardens may look like a couple of years ahead.
  • Reiner Van de Poll from the Van de Poll Garden Design company did a presentation on how to create a natural patio setting.
  • Shelley Levis from Sow and Dipity presented on countertop gardens and the trends in this industry.
  • Leanne Johnson from GardenWorks explained plant parenting in her presentation on indoor gardening and the millennial generation.

BC Home and Garden Feature: GROW!

This year’s BC Home and Garden Show had a new feature called “GROW!” the feature was an interactive and informative one. It covered how to plant as well as what, where and when to plant. The feature was brought on by West Coast Seeds.

Gardening was not a major part of the show but there was a very significant gardening presence at the show. Art’s Garden Market had a range of plants on sale so that attendees could go home with something in hand. There was also a booth by B.C Nursery and Landscape Association.

We hope you didn’t miss the 2020 BC Home and Garden Show, and if you did, we hope to see you there next year.

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BevonyWhat you Missed at the B.C. Home and Garden Show