Gardening In Fall Helps Us Prepare For Beautiful Gardens Next Spring

According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, fall is the best time to put our creative energy into improving our gardens to enjoy the following spring.

Whether you are moving existing plants or beginning from scratch, start by mapping out the dimensions of the space you are designing making sure to note the amount of sunlight the area gets daily and the soil type: sandy, clay or loam.

Clay is nutrient rich, but drains slowly. Sandy soil drains quickly but has trouble retaining nutrients and moisture. Loamy soil is generally ideal because it retains moisture and nutrients and doesn’t stay soggy. Knowing the soil type will help you figure out the type of plants that will grow best in it.

For inspiration, fill a scrapbook with ideas seen in magazines and around the neighbourhood for a visual guide.

In designing which plants will go where, begin by placing the largest ones (trees and shrubs) first, noting their height and width at maturity. That information is typically available on the tags in the nursery. You don’t want to crowd such centrepieces with perennials that will have to be moved later.

Also, work from the back and move outward for the same reasons. This way, larger pieces become the backdrop and smaller ones placed in front won’t be obscured. Avoid putting large trees and shrubs up against the house where they will eventually block windows and light coming into your home. At the same time, large additions to your garden can hide unsightly parts of your home.

Your eventual piece de resistance is sure to be the envy of the neighbourhood.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about Gardening In The Fall, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.

Acrylic, Polyester, Wool, Oh My! Tips To Choosing A Carpet.

When shopping for carpet, there are several options and many things to consider.

Going to the carpet store and seeing and touching carpet samples is going to help you decide what carpet best suits your needs and help you better understand the different types available. Before you make a decision you want to make sure you have considered the different types of carpet and fibre and how well they clean, wear, and which room they would be best suited in.

One of the first choices to make is between tufted and woven construction. Most carpets are tufted, constructed with rows of machine-punched yarns held together by adhesive and a backing. These are said to last around five and seven years. Woven carpets, made on a loom, are usually longer lasting around 20 to 30 years.

Another aspect to consider is the fibre type. Most carpet contains one of six pile fibres: nylon, polypropylene (olefin), acrylic, polyester, wool, or cotton. Carpet pile fibres significantly impact carpet performance. How the pile is cut and shaped contributes to its look and feel. For example, nylon is the most popular fibre and is a good choice for all traffic areas because it is durable and static free, maintains fibre height, and resists staining, soiling, and mildew.

Next, it is important to determine the quality of the carpet you are purchasing which can be determined by the twist level, the density and the face weight. The higher or tighter the carpet yarns are twisted, the better the carpet. Density measures how tightly the fibres are attached to the carpet backing. The closer together the fibres are attached, the less wear to each individual fibre, and the longer the carpet will last. Face weight measures the number of ounces of fibre per square yard of carpet. The higher the face weight the better the carpet.

When comparing prices remember to determine if the price includes the carpet padding, which is the most essential accessory in carpeting. Good padding will absorb the pressure of foot traffic, provide additional insulation and prevent buckling or wrinkling of the carpet.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about carpets, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.

Serving On A Condo Board Takes Time And Commitment

In the same way it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a group of conscientious condo owners to keep the building and property in good working order and the ensure rules are followed and enforced, for the benefit of all of the residents.

A condo board must have at least three elected members to serve as directors for up to three years. Any condo owner in the building can stand for election, as long as they are at least 18 years of age and not in a state of bankruptcy.

The board is primarily tasked with taking care of immediate and future repairs, ensuring there are enough funds to cover those costs now and into the future.
The condo’s board of directors also must:

Appoint an auditor who makes sure the finances are soundly managed.
Organize an annual meeting of the condominium unit owners to present the work overseen by the board over the past year, showing how their fees have been spent, saved, and managed. They must also present the plans for the year(s) ahead, as well as any other issues the condo owners bring to the table.
Conduct condo owner meetings throughout the year as needed to address complaints, concerns and suggestions.
Approve bylaws dealing with the responsibilities and powers of the board, and abide by the Condominium Act.
Approve rules to promote the safety, security and welfare of the owners.

The directors of the board may vote to hire a property manager (or a property management business) to oversee the day-to-day operations such as:

Responding to owner complaints
Maintaining common elements
Hiring and monitoring service companies.
Keep operating records

Becoming a condo board director is a big responsibility and a huge commitment, so be sure you have the time and expertise to serve your fellow condo neighbours.

Ask your Kirby Chan to help you understand your condo bylaws and to help you decide if joining the board is right for you.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about serving on a condo board, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.

Thursday Nights at the Bandstand in Unionville Offers Free Summer Concerts Every Thursday Night

bandsThe fifth year of the free music series “Thursday Nights at the Bandstand” launched this past June at Unionville’s Millennium Bandstand at the corner of Main Street Unionville and Fred Varley Drive.
Organized by community-based Unionville Presents and funded by dedicated community sponsors, the series has attracted talented international and local performers to the outdoor Millennium Bandstand.
These free performances run Thursday evenings throughout June, July and August from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
From blues to jazz to funk to soul to vintage hits and classical guitar, award-winning musicians bring their unique sounds to life on the Millennium stage. Acts that have already graced the stage include the Blackboard Blues Band, the Community Soul Project, Burton Cummings, the Carpet Frogs, multiple Juno award winners Fathead, world music chart-topper and Juno nominee Johannes Linstead, Pretzel Logic, Markham’s popular King of Nothing, and Hotel California.
August starts with Markham’s North of 7 providing a mix of rock and R&B from the 60s and 70s on Aug. 2.
Well-known R&B recording artist Jeanine Mackie and her band perform on Aug. 9.
Markham’s popular The Tonedogs return to the stage with an appealing mix of Texas rock and blues and some vintage favourites on Aug. 16.
On Aug. 23, Fleetwood Mac classics come alive with Rikki Nix.
The 2013 series winds up on Aug. 29 with a return visit by the hugely popular Chicago tribute band Brass Transit.
For a full schedule of upcoming performances visit www.unionvillepresents.com.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about Thursday Nights at the Bandstand in Unionville Offers Free Summer Concerts Every Thursday Night, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.

Attracting Bees and Butterflies to your Garden

Butterfly on pink flowerThe loss of millions of bees and butterflies in Ontario has many people concerned about these critical pollinators and the impact it’s having on our environment. Fortunately, we do our part to attract bees and butterflies by creating beautiful habitats in our own backyards. And in exchange for just a little work, you’ll have a more fruitful vegetable garden with a higher yield and better quality.
All animals need food, water and shelter and bees and butterflies are no exceptions. Unlike birds, insects can’t manage the deep water of birdbaths. If you already have a birdbath, just add a few stones so these smaller creatures can also have a drink. A small saucer of water is just as effective. Just make sure it’s kept clean and topped up.
Both bees and butterflies love colour, so indulge in the brightest most colourful plants for your garden. Native species are best and will produce exactly what these insects need. Your local garden centre can advise you on which plants to choose. Purple coneflower is a favourite of both species. Asters, sedums and sunflowers are also popular. Flowering herbs are also a wonderful choice. The added bonus is that these flower varieties will also attract beautiful hummingbirds.
Some butterflies prefer fruit to flowers, so you may wish to offer some overripe melon rinds and other bits of fruit. A plate of fruit in a sunny sheltered location will be very appreciated by these lovely creatures. You may wish to research what species of butterflies are common to your area to tailor your offerings more specifically.
Bee and butterfly “houses” are available at many garden centres and hardware stores. These small habitats will help these animals weather storms and hide from predators.
Of course, the largest killer of bees and butterflies is pesticides and even chemical fertilizers. Forego the chemicals to protect your visitors and use organic garden methods instead – it’s safer for you and your family, including your pets, too.
With these few easy steps, you will soon have a garden buzzing with life and vitality and full of colour.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about Attracting Bees and Butterflies to your Garden, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.

Backyard Composting – a Great Way to Save Money and the Planet

Unrecognizable person pouring kitchen waste into compost bin, close-up of handsWith Ontario’s growing trend toward municipal user fees for waste removal, it makes sense to think of ways to offset these costs, while also helping to protect our planet. Backyard composting is a great way to reduce your use of landfills while also making fantastic fertilizer for your garden. And it’s so easy.
Many municipalities offer inexpensive composters or you can pick up composting units in plastic or wood from your local hardware store. If you have the space, you can make your own – even a simple pile will work as long as you follow these simple and easy steps:
1. Locate your composter on loosened soil in an accessible, shady location. Remember that you’ll be adding material even throughout the winter.
2. Add your compost material in layers of greens and browns. Greens are kitchen scraps, such as vegetables, fruit, tea bags, coffee grounds and crushed eggshells, grass clippings and weeds. Browns are leaves, cut-up twigs, sawdust and shredded paper products.
3. Add water. Your compost should be damp, but not wet.
4. Occasionally, add some soil. This will add the microorganisms that will help break down the material and will deter insects.
5. Add air. Every month or so, turn the compost well.
For a backyard composter, avoid adding fish, meat, dairy products, fats or oils. These materials may attract pests. Keep pet waste or any painted wood out of your compost – you don’t want these in your garden.
If pests are a concern, planting mint or other aromatic plants around your composter will discourage critters. However, as long as you keep your compost layered, damp and turned, it should not smell and it won’t attract unwanted attention from wildlife.
In a few short months, your compost will be ready for your garden. Its nutrient-rich qualities will keep your plants healthy and happy and keep those user fees where they belong –  in your pocket.

See what’s for sale in your neighbourhood – Do a quick search

Do a Quick Home Market Evaluation and see how much your home is worth.

Thank-you for reading our article about Backyard Composting – a Great Way to Save Money and the Planet, contact us if you need anything or leave us a comment below.