Winters in many parts of the Western U.S. can easily see temperatures that dip down below freezing. For many gardening homeowners, this can be troublesome when precious plants are concerned. Covering your plants with sheets may not be enough to save a plant from succumbing to freezing temperatures. Check out these ways to bring your plants inside for winter:
Take Inventory of Plants
Unless you have planted exotic plants that are definitely not going to survive cold temperatures, there are probably more than a few plants within your yard that should be okay. Healthy native plants are used to the climate of your area and should be able to withstand the winter temperatures without any issue. Those plants that are better suited for a higher growing zone will need to be cared for in order to best survive the season. Consider every plant within your yard and access their health, maturity, and location in order to choose which plants to bring indoors.
Exotic plants love the sun and should be placed near southern facing windows that aren’t drafty or cold. Create a spot within your home that is far from drafts or cold breezes from open doors. Spread plastic sheeting to protect flooring and create a little greenhouse group of plants that will still receive plenty of sunlight. Refrain from placing plants too close together in order to allow for equal access to sunlight and air flow.
Many potted plants can easily be moved indoors without having to transplant them. Easily place potted plants in a group to ride out the winter season. In-ground plants within your landscape will need to be transplanted to a container in order to bring them indoors. Make sure that you consider the size of the plant and use a container that is big enough around for the root ball of the plant. Using a container that is much too large for a plant is better than one that is too small and could damage the plant’s root system.
Keep the Fan On
Many indoor plants enjoy being near a window but will also need adequate air circulation to prevent soggy soil conditions. It is a good idea to keep the ceiling fan on in the room, at a low speed, in order to keep the air moving within the room. Don’t place plants too close to heating vents in order to keep them from becoming too hot and overheated. Plants that produce browning leaves will need to be moved to a room with a humidifier in order to keep them in good condition as well.
Keep Pets Away
Many indoor plants can become curious items for an indoor pet. Make sure to keep pets away from plants in order to keep both safe. Some tropical plants are toxic for animals and some pets can prove damaging to plants. Create a barrier between plants and animals so that both are kept safe during the winter season.
Water & Dust
Keeping your plants watered indoors may look different than what it receives in an outdoor environment. Make sure to consider the plant before watering in order to keep it in soil that it prefers. Many winter climates will not see a lot of added water so choosing to water your indoor plants at a minimum will help mimic those conditions that it would receive outside.
Also, check the plants for accumulating dust that can easily be found after a few weeks indoors. Dust off plants on a regular basis in order to keep them healthy and able to absorb important nutrients. Use a wet cloth to gently wipe down leaves in order to keep dust free from indoor plants.
There are many things to consider when choosing to bring plants indoors for winter. Make sure to choose plants carefully and monitor their progress as the winter season wears on. Consider all of these tips for bringing your plants inside for winter in order to keep them from freezing outdoors.
Kelly Holland is a gardening and landscape design writer who loves experimenting in her kitchen. Her quirky nature loves a bright color palette so naturally, her coveted garden is covered in a rainbow of fruits, vegetable, and flowers.
Working from home is an aspiration for many of us, but to do so effectively takes work. A disorganized space at home can be just as troublesome as a hectic office. The most disciplined telecommuters will tell you that you need a structured routine and organization to rise and grind and get into work mode.
Having a designated workspace is quite possibly the most important piece to the work-from-home pie. Even if you live in a small space, you need to find a balance between home and office. People who work from home often have a difficult time separating work hours from their non-work hours because it’s so easy to keep at it late into the night. But maintaining a balance and shutting down the computer is important for overall wellbeing. What are some other must-haves for a successful home office? Here are the top five:
- Natural Light – Study upon study tells us that natural light is needed to boost productivity and mood. Make sure to set your desk up as close to a window as you can. If being near a window isn’t an option, a natural light lamp is the next best thing. It helps balance your body clock and leaves you feeling rested and refreshed.
- To-Do List or Planner – Start each day off by making a to-do list outlining what you need to get done before the end of the workday. Make sure to set a realistic time frame in which all of that should be completed, so you can check each one off the list and feel immense accomplishment once you’ve completed them all.
- Storage – If you have a big enough space, put in a large bookshelf where you can organize everything (think storage boxes). It reduces clutter and looks stylish. Using your walls and cabinetry is the most efficient use of space.
- Calendar – Many people tend to rely on digital calendars these days because of their convenience. When all of your devices sync together and pop up with reminders, you never have to worry about missing an appointment. However, many people find that it helps to keep a paper calendar handy too so you can easily view your whole month at a glance.
- Space for Inspiration – It doesn’t matter what field you work in, having a source of inspiration in your workspace is essential. Whether it’s a photo of your family, your dream car, or that vacation you’ve been dying to take, having that inspiration right in front of you provides a constant reminder of why you do what you do.
Nothing in life lasts forever – and the same can be said for your home. From the roof to the furnace, every component of your home has a lifespan, so it’s a good idea to know approximately how many years of service you can expect from them. This information can help when buying or selling your home, budgeting for improvements, and deciding between repairing or replacing when problems arise.
According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, the average life expectancy of some home components has decreased over the past few decades. (This might explain why you’re on your third washing machine while Grandma still has the same indestructible model you remember from childhood.) But the good news is the lifespan of many other items has actually increased in recent years.
Here’s a look at the average life spans of some common home components (courtesy of NAHB).
Appliances. Of all home components, appliances have the widest variation in life spans. These are averages for all brands and models and may represent the point which replacing is more cost-effective than repairing. Among major appliances, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy, at about 15 years. Electric ranges, standard-size refrigerators, and clothes dryers last about 13 years, while garbage disposals grind away for about 10 years. Dishwashers, microwave ovens, and mini-refrigerators can all be expected to last about nine years. For furnaces, expect a lifespan of about 15 years for electric, 18 for gas, and 20 for oil-burning models. Central air-conditioning systems generally beat the heat for 10 to 15 years.
Kitchen & Bath. Countertops of wood, tile, and natural stone will last a lifetime, while cultured marble will last about 20 years. The lifespan of laminate countertops depends greatly on the use and can be 20 years or longer. Kitchen faucets generally last about 15 years. An enamel-coated steel sink will last five to 10 years; stainless will last at least 30 years; and slate, granite, soapstone, and copper should endure 100 years or longer. Toilets, on average, can serve at least 50 years (parts such as the flush assembly and seat will likely need replacing), and bathroom faucets tend to last about 20 years.
Flooring. Natural flooring materials provide longevity as well as beauty: Wood, marble, slate, and granite should all last 100 years or longer, and tile, 74 to 100 years. Laminate products will survive 15 to 25 years, linoleum about 25 years, and vinyl should endure for about 50 years. Carpet will last eight to 10 years on average, depending on use and maintenance.
Siding, Roofing, Windows. Brick siding normally lasts 100 years or longer, aluminum siding about 80 years, and stucco about 25 years. The lifespan of wood siding varies dramatically – anywhere from 10 to 100 years – depending on the climate and level of maintenance. For roofs, slate or tile will last about 50 years, wood shingles can endure 25 to 30 years, the metal will last about 25 years, and asphalts got you covered for about 20 years. Unclad wood windows will last 30 years or longer, aluminum will last 15 to 20 years, and vinyl windows should keep their seals for 15 to 20 years.
Of course, none of these averages matter if you have a roof that was improperly installed or a dishwasher that was a lemon right off the assembly line. In these cases, early replacement may be the best choice. Conversely, many household components will last longer than you need them to, as we often replace fully functional items for cosmetic reasons, out of a desire for more modern features, or as a part of a quest to be more energy efficient.
Are extended warranties warranted?
Extended warranties, also known as service contracts or service agreements, are sold for all types of household items, from appliances to electronics. They cover service calls and repairs for a specified time beyond the manufacturer’s standard warranty. Essentially, warranty providers (manufacturers, retailers, and outside companies) are betting that a product will be problem-free in the first years of operation, while the consumer who purchases a warranty is betting against reliability.
Warranty providers make a lot of money on extended warranties, and Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, advises against purchasing them. You will have to consider whether the cost is worth it to you; for some, it brings a much-needed peace of mind when making such a large purchase. Also, consider if it the cost outweighs the value of the item; in some cases, it may be less expensive to just replace a broken appliance than pay for insurance or a warranty.
Where did this summer go? In just a few short weeks, kids will be heading back to school. With that new season comes a whole new set of challenges for parents.
From after-school sports to early-morning wake-up calls, life is about to get hectic.
Here are some of our favorite tips to prepare for the busy time ahead:
The first day of school is always challenging – but it’s a lot easier if you prepare in advance.
- Ease into the new schedule. After months of summer relaxation, the kids likely aren’t used to a strict routine anymore. Start waking them up a little earlier every day (and getting them to bed a little earlier at night) to prepare them for the upcoming change.
- Create a calendar. From school functions to music lessons to sports, each school year is jam-packed with meetings and activities. Make sure you don’t miss out on Back To School Night or the first day of baseball practice by putting them on the calendar now.
- Go shopping. Most schools will mail out a supply list or post one on their website, but even if they don’t, there are a few basics you know you’re going to need. Grab all the essentials now so you’re not left scrambling at the last minute. Must haves typically include: #2 pencils, a pencil case, pencil sharpener, index cards, and at least one notebook and one 3-ring binder.
Prepare for Change
The start of the year can always be frightening, but especially for children who are starting a new school. Whether you moved to a different neighborhood, or they just bumped up a grade, new schools mean new friends, new schedules, and new teachers.
Here are some things you can do to help them prepare:
- Be an ally. Speak to your child about how they’re feeling and what concerns they have. Help them work through their nerves by talking it out.
- Be prepared. Find out early where the new bus stop is. Know when school starts and ends, and what the procedure is for early dismissal days. Find out what extracurriculars will be available in the fall and sign up now if possible. Knowing what to expect can make a world of difference!
- Find friends now. One of the hardest parts of starting a new school is having to make all new friends. By joining summer sports teams or camps, or hanging out at local parks and playgrounds, you give your child the opportunity to meet some friendly faces before the big day comes.
Find the Right School
If you’ve recently moved or your child is just entering kindergarten, you may be wondering how to find the right school.
If they are entering public school, you should contact the local school board as soon as possible. They will tell you where to go to register and what documents are needed. Typically, your child will be assigned to whatever school is closest to your home.
If they are entering a private school, there is a lot more to consider. When researching schools, you should consider:
- Your child’s learning style (Do they like to learn alone or in groups? Do they do better with a strict schedule? Do they prefer hands-on learning? Etc.)
- Any special needs (Does your child have ADHD? Are they dyslexic? Do they have physical limitations?)
- The location of the school (How far are you willing to travel from home? Is your child ok with taking a bus?)
Once you have a list of criteria, you can research schools within your area and narrow down the options.
Through planning and organization, you can ensure a smooth start to the school year. Can you think of anything we didn’t cover in our article? How are you preparing for the year ahead?
Summers in Colorado can be just as adventurous as the winters. So what is there to do when the days are longer and warmer in the centennial state? The options range from going on a local brewery tour to climbing one of the 53 fourteeners in the state.
If music is your passion, then be sure to check out Red Rocks Amphitheatre’s summer concert series. There are also numerous music festivals offered all summer long throughout the state – the musical options range from underground music, country, classical, bluegrass, classic rock, and even rocky grass.
Colorado is well known for its numerous and beautiful ski resorts. What happens when the snow melts and the ski slopes close? The ski towns and resorts transform to welcome the summer crowd. There are mountain bike trails available for the biking enthusiasts, white water rafting and ziplining options for those wanting a little heart pounding adventure. Looking for something a little tamer? Aspen and Snowmass offers outdoor yoga, and Copper Mountain keeps its chairlifts operational for those looking to take in a truly scenic view.
Want to see the abundant Colorado wildlife and natural scenes up close and personal? With 41 state parks, 22 million acres of national forests, and hundreds of private campgrounds, there are numerous places to spend the night under the stars. With over 60 different ecological systems throughout the state, each night can be different – mountains or rolling prairies are all have campgrounds available for visiting. Check out Camp Colorado to find a campground and make reservations.
Spending time in nature contributes to the overall mental and physical well-being for everyone in the family. In support of this, Colorado’s Governor John Hickenlooper has unveiled the Colorado Trial Explorer – an online interactive map showing more than 39,000 miles of every hiking, biking, and multi-use trail in the entire state. These trails cut through wildflower meadows, colorful canyons, and even gorgeous waterfalls.
Looking for more of a challenge than a hike? Why not try your hand at a fourteener – Colorado has 53 mountains over 14,000 feet. There are many lists online that include the best beginner 14ers (if you are just starting), the more difficult ones (if you are looking for an enjoyable challenge) and the various gear you will need to bring for each type. Be sure to keep safety in mind before you head out – pack everything recommended, check on weather conditions, and make sure to let someone know where you are expecting to be.
For the novice or experienced birder, Colorado summers offer a chance to spot a wide variety of birds. Check out the Colorado Birding Trail for guides by region on the best birding sites in the state. This non-consumptive outdoor recreation allows anyone, no matter age or physical fitness, to get outside and observe Colorado nature.
If you are interested in the 200 plus breweries in Colorado, there is a plethora of festivals and tours available to check out. In addition to breweries, there are at least 20 different wineries and vineyard in Colorado’s wine country. Be sure to check out the schedule for local festivals featuring the various beers and wines from around the state. In addition, there are tours available from many of the breweries and vineyards.
Whether you are looking for a great musical experience, a wild adventure in the mountains, or a relaxing outdoor experience, summers in Colorado can satisfy a wide range of interests.
Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:
Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate
Road trips are just as much a part of summer as ice cream and days at the pool. If you live in Colorado, you don’t have to leave the state to experience this tradition. Colorado’s amazing vistas, magical scenery and stunning stretches of the Rocky Mountains make this state the ultimate touring dream for car drivers from around the world. Roadside amenities also abound providing incredible recreation opportunities and a chance to see some really amazing sites. Here are 5 great road trips to try out this summer.
Boulder to Rocky Mountain National Park – 75 miles, 4-5 hours
In Estes Park, crash at the Georgian-style Stanley Hotel, which dates back to 1909. Be sure to take the $15 guided tour to learn about how the property played a critical role in Stephen King’s creation of “The Shining.”
Start the journey in Boulder, known as one of the quirkiest cities in the West. There’s always some sort of cultural activity going on. Day 2 in Estes be sure to get out of the car and explore Rocky Mountain National Park. The most popular hike here is the 14-mile round-trip climb to the top of 14,259-foot Longs Peak. This is not for the laid back hiker, though as you must leave at 3 a.m. to be off the mountain by the time thunderstorms move in later in the day. As an alternative, head out MacGregor Avenue toward McGraw Ranch for an easy 3-mile round-trip hike that follows Cow Creek to Bridal Veil Falls.
Trinidad to La Veta – 110 miles, 6-7 hours
Dating back to 1876, the 17-room La Veta Inn mixes history with comfort in kick-back, Old-West style.
For a look at local archaeology, visit the Louden-Henritze Archeology Museum in Trinidad. The museum has artifacts from nearby Trinchera Cave. For information about more modern times, check out the Santa Fe Trail Museum and some of the city’s historic homes. Later, on State Route 12 at Cucharas Pass, look for incredible views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Great Dikes, yellow-colored rock walls that were formed by volcanic forces inside the Earth more than 400 million years ago. In La Veta, check out the adobe buildings of Fort Francisco, which dates back to 1863 and today boasts a museum with artifacts from the 1700s.
End the day of learning with a homemade cinnamon roll at the Ryus Avenue Bakery, the only bake shop in La Veta.
Mesa Verde to Hovenweep – 480 miles, 3-4 days
Saddle up and spend a while at the Circle K Ranch in Dolores. The ranch offers comfortable accommodations and horseback-riding equal quintessential Old-West relaxation.
Begin this archaeological adventure at Mesa Verde National Park, home to 5,000 known archaeological sites, including 600 dwellings carved into the cliffs. The best-known rock home is Cliff Palace, a 150-room site with an estimated community of more than 100 Anasazi residents. From here, head south on 160 toward the Ute Mountain Ute Indian Reservation, where members of the tribe provide guided tours through ruins located inside Ute Mountain Tribal Park. Finally, just east of the Utah border, Hovenweep National Monument protects 6 Pueblo-era villages with stone towers that have stood for more than 1,000 years. Four of these villages are in Colorado, 2 are in Utah.
Palisade to Eckert – 200 miles, 2-3 days
Start your trip along I-70 in Palisade and head west. Along the way, sample sweet wines from Carlson Vineyards, one of the oldest wineries in the state. Winemaker Parker Carlson also makes wine from local fruit such as peach and cherry. On Day 2, in Olathe, visit Cottonwood Cellars, then double-back to Delta to explore the Gunnison Valley. For a different kind of tasting, visit the Peak Spirits Distillery in Hotchkiss to try organic gin. Before heading home, stop in Eckert at Surface Creek Winery, which makes full-bodied merlot and features an impressive gallery of watercolor paintings from artist Dale Russell Smith
If a road trip sounds appealing, check out some of the great sights and exploration opportunities listed above.
Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:
Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate
While winter in Colorado bring the skiing tourists, Colorado summers bring the festival goers. Whether you are a long time resident, a newcomer, or a visitor, Colorado has a vast variety of festivals available for anyone. Here are some of the more popular festivals of 2017 to attend.
- Buskerfest – June 23–24, 2017
- This festival takes place in Denver Union Station’s fantastic public plaza and will celebrate a tradition of live street art and performance in The Mile High City. Attendees of all ages are welcome to come watch street musicians, fire performers, musicians, face painters, hula-hoopers, jugglers and others.
- Cherry Blossom Festival – June 24–25, 2017
- Japanese culture and heritage are showcased at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. Dance, taiko drums and martial arts are featured on the outdoor stage, while inside the Denver Buddhist Temple you’ll find food sales and exhibits.
- Sand in the City – June 24th and 25th, 2017
- Arvada Chamber of Commerce‘s 5th Annual Sand in the City Festival is Colorado’s premier beach party, expected to attract 15,000+ visitors this year. See giant sand sculptures, enjoy local food & artisan vendors, a Kids Zone with buried treasure, live music, craft beer, and more!
- Denver Taco Festival – June 24th and 25th, 2017
- The Denver Taco Festival features Denver’s best local music, dancing, tequila and margaritas. But really, It’s all about the TACOS. The festival showcase some the best independent food trucks, taco specialists and restaurants in Colorado, Lucha Libre Wrestling, High Speed Daredevil Chihuahua Racing and more!
- Steamboat Opening Weekend and Adventure Zone – June 30
- Steamboat Resort will open for summer base area operations June 30 with the Coca-Cola Adventure Zone’s new summer activities, including the 18-hole Maverick Mini-Golf course, urban ropes course and summer tubing. Other activities opening June 30 include the Wild West Bounce House, Slingshot Bungee Trampoline and WaterWalkerz. Visit www.steamboat.com for a full list of summer activities.
- Colorado Dragon Boat Festival – July 29–30, 2017
- Founded in 2001 to celebrate Colorado’s Asian Pacific American (APA) culture, the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival has become the region’s fastest growing fun, family-friendly summer festival. Named “Top Annual Festival” by the Rocky Mountain News and a “Best of Denver” event by Westword, it offers festival-goers the opportunity to explore APA customs through performances, arts and crafts, shopping, dining and the exciting athletic competition of dragon boat racing.
- Colorado Renaissance Festival – Saturdays & Sundays June & July, 2017
- The Colorado Renaissance Festival is a thematic recreation of a 16th Century village and marketplace set in the picturesque mountain venue of “Larkspurshire”, just south of Denver. Hundreds of colorfully costumed characters entertain continuously upon the village streets and on the Festivals 10 stages, performing 60 shows daily.
- Crested Butte Wildflower Festival – July 7th – July 16th, 2017
- The Crested Butte Wildflower Festival began in 1986 through the efforts of a few insightful Crested Butte locals who envisioned a wildflower celebration in one of the most picturesque valleys in Colorado. The Festival has grown into a summer-long season with over 300 events offered by over 60 instructors, tour guides and volunteers. Events include hikes and walks, jeep tours, garden tours, and workshops in photography, art, gardening, cooking, medicinal and botany.
- Arise – August 4th – 6th, 2017
- ARISE is a music, yoga, activism and co-creative camping festival. This year’s lineup includes: Atmosphere, Tipper, Lettuce, Beats Antique, Ani DiFranco, SunSquabi, Rising Appalachia, Brother Ali, The Expendables, Dirtwire, Desert Dwellers and Late Night Radio, and many more.
- Lafayette Peach Festival – August 19th, 2017
- The Lafayette Peach Festival, presented by Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, centers around world-famous all natural Palisade, Colorado peaches. Enjoy peach pies, peach cobbler and peach smoothies. Food vendors, crafters, antique dealers along with some of the finest artists from the Front Range and Western States will be showcased. Children’s activities, live entertainment and music throughout the day.
- A Taste of Colorado – Sept. 1–4, 2017
- A Taste of Colorado is the end-of-summer celebration of community pride and spirit in the Denver region. Over 500,000 people make the four-day festival their Labor Day Weekend celebration, enjoying the offerings of more 50 area restaurants, 275 marketplace artisans and vendors, six stages, and educational programs promoting the diverse cultural and western heritage of the region.
Whatever your interests may be, the summers in Colorado are full of popular and exciting festivals that will keep everyone in the family entertained.
Check out our blog for more tips or contact us for advice:
Windermere Metro Denver Real Estate
Denver is the most appealing place to live in America!! Of course we already knew that, but U.S. News and World Report is backing us up with the facts! #denver #realestate
If you reside in or around Aurora, then you may have heard the buzz about the Stanley Marketplace. Here’s the full scoop…..