Max Hahne - Home Sweet Home
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As the colors change and the air cools, the fall season sparks a sense of adventure and opportunity that I'm excited to share with you in this edition of Home Sweet Home.
Imagine an invigorating fall hike followed by a warm, garden-to-table meal. These two are paired perfectly, aren't they? This issue has great suggestions for enjoying the outdoors in autumn. Our connection to the outdoors extends to our homes, where fall projects await. From preserving the delicate beauty of flowers and herbs to reshaping the landscape in preparation for winter, there's something truly rewarding in working with our hands and the earth. This September, we celebrate Labor Day with a look at Labor Day celebrations and traditions in other countries around the globe. These traditions remind us of the hard work that has been the foundation of so many things we enjoy. Autumn offers such a unique blend of adventure, discovery, and warmth, doesn't it? I can't wait for you to delve into these topics and enjoy everything the season has to offer. Don’t miss our ideas for packing a nutritious and delicious lunch for your loved ones as they head off to school and work.
I hope the gift of this magazine inspires you with more ways to your home sweet home this fall! Please know that I’m always here to help if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell.
Max Hahne ENGEL & VÖLKERS
705-441-5800 email@example.com max-hahne.homesweethome.digital
Table of Contents Your Guide to Outdoor Activities for a Vibrant Fall Season Autumn Adventures 04 As the cozy allure of fall beckons, discover a plethora of activities to make the most of the crisp, vibrant season. From trail-blazing hikes to culinary delights straight from the garden, this guide offers something for everyone - stirring your spirit of adventure while celebrating the unique charm of autumn. Labor Day Traditions Across the Globe Work Hard, Play Hard 09 Explore the rich history and diverse celebrations of Labor Day around the globe, from its roots in the American Industrial Revolution to its contemporary observances in Argentina, Australia, France, Japan, and beyond.
Recipes for Back- to-School & Work
DIY Flower and Herb Preservation Petal Projects 15
A guide to DIY crafts that celebrate the intersection of gardening and artistry with our tips for preserving flowers and herbs. These imaginative projects teach you to create distinctive gifts and home decor from your garden's treasures.
Action Plan 20
Your Fall Landscaping
Discover the delights and necessities of fall landscaping in our comprehensive guide. From leveraging the cooling temperatures for planting to preparing your garden for winter, our article unravels all you need to ensure your outdoor spaces are ready for every season.
As the leaves and sunsets transition to a fall landscape of yellow, orange and red, you’re probably dragging out your boots and sweaters. But the end of summer doesn’t mean the end of outdoor fun. In the midst of temperatures dropping and the smell of pumpkin everywhere is the perfect time to plan some fall activities. Gather up the kids, call a friend, or put a date with your spouse on the calendar. Get into nature and enjoy the colors of the changing seasons while doing activities that bring you joy. Need some inspiration? We’ve got you covered. YOUR GUIDE TO OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR A VIBRANT FALL SEASON
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Getting into nature is easy with nothing more than your refillable water bottle and a good pair of shoes. Depending on where you live, you can head straight out your front door, bike to a nearby trail, jump on city transport, or take a car to a trailhead. Hiking doesn’t have to be done on trails, but you can optimize the experience by taking advantage of the forest canopy, rippling water, and scenery nature provides while getting in your steps.
If you’re blessed with warm autumn weather, get in the final laps before the season comes to a close. Find a lake you haven’t visited before, hit up the community pool, or head out for an ocean swim.
City Park Tour
Nearly every city has parks and often you’re not even aware of them all. Especially if you have kids, vowing to track down each park in your city is a fun way to immerse yourself in your community. Enjoy the trails, playground equipment and informational kiosks in your area one city park at a time with a goal of seeing them all before winter rolls in.
Jump on your bike the next time you head to the store or park. Use it as your mode of transport when you go to a friend’s house or the coffee shop. If you want to make an adventure out of it, look up nearby mountain biking trails or road biking routes that fit into your schedule and physical abilities. Getting into nature is a valid goal for any season, but fall offers opportunities for camping and backpacking with fewer crowds. Most campgrounds will have more availability once school gets underway and making a spontaneous decision to pitch a tent gives you another chance to make memories while the temperatures are still mild. Camping/Backpacking
Kayaking/Rafting/ River Float
There are 63 national parks in the United States alone, and other protected areas around the world. Wherever you are, take in these natural wonders via bike, hike, boat, air, or water. Unless you attend during one of the free national park day events, expect to pay an admission fee, which helps fund the maintenance and care these parks require.
River activities are the highlight of summer in many areas, and they can continue right into fall with a few adjustments. Make sure you carry the appropriate gear and bring an additional layer of warmth, perhaps even relying on a wetsuit if needed. In addition to the serenity of being on the water, kayaking, floating, or rafting are a great way to get in a bit of cardio, too.
The very essence of outdoor living is defined by the concept of grilling with friends. Fresh fruit, grilled meat and veggies, and sno-cones make for a memorable afternoon, even in the fall. Take your grill to the beach, the park, or the ball game for a change of scenery.
Scuba and Surf
If you’re near the ocean or hope to head in that direction for vacation, hit the surf with a board for a good workout and adrenaline rush all in one. Take in the diversity of the marine wildlife by grabbing a tank and heading below the surface. Check certification requirements and diving regulations in your area for the safety of yourself and the ecosystem. Be sure to use reef-safe sunscreen while in the water.
Road trips are a great family bonding experience and an opportunity to really see the land you live in. Throw in the camping gear or plan your lodging ahead of time. Hit up those national parks or head to the beach. Take it easy on the budget and the environment by bringing snacks packed at home, refillable beverage containers, and washable plates and utensils.
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Whether you’re at home, on a sandy beach, or at a campground lawn games are a fabulous activity. Entertaining and memorable, dragging out the cornhole or horseshoes is quick, easy, and gives you the opportunity to earn some bragging rights. Set up a friendly competition with friends or school the kids on the art of bocce ball, croquet, or volleyball.
All is alive and well in the fall garden. Not only is the summer harvest still underway, but you can actually plant cool-weather crops like carrots and lettuce for one last growth cycle before freezing temperatures arrive. Harvest the garden squash and zucchini, select pumpkins, collect pears and plums, and bring in the last of the broccoli and cauliflower. Make cobbler in a Dutch oven over the outdoor fire pit, host a cider press party with that abundance of apples, and enjoy the final ears of fresh corn on the grill. After the growing season is done in your region, you can still enjoy the physical activity of cleaning up the garden beds, giving the compost a final stir for the season, cleaning up gardening tools, labeling underground bulbs and crops like garlic, and tidying up the greenhouse.
There is no end to the number of sports you can play and many of them can be enjoyed outdoors. Meet friends for a round of golf, shoot some hoops at the local park, find the nearest disc golf course, put together a neighborhood baseball game, or take up badminton.
Make Gifts and Decor
It’s not too early to be thinking about the holidays and fall is the perfect time to make presents with the gifts from nature herself. Set up a station outdoors to make fall wreaths with autumn foliage. Hang herbs to dry on the covered porch. Take bottles of oil, vinegar, and liquor into the garden and infuse them for cooking, massage, and drinks.
Museums take many forms, including outdoor setups that teach and offer exposure to new ideas in a natural setting. Find something related to your interests, or those of your kids, and head out to learn more about art, history, native culture, ships, planes, technology, architecture, or animals. Similarly, the zoo and amusement parks are another great way to have new experiences while enjoying nature.
Take advantage of those dwindling fall days by dining outdoors as often as you can. Serve Sunday brunch on the deck. Have an early dinner on the patio. Create festive fall tables with homemade pumpkin, pinecone, or gourd centerpieces. Add lighting and heaters if needed.
One of the best things about nature is that it is free to everyone. With the exception of fees charged at a handful of beaches and parks across the nation, there is always a way to get out without crushing the pocketbook. Head to the park, beach, or other public area. Bring along a picnic and chairs. Fly a kite, toss a football, or throw a frisbee. Share bubbles with the kids (or adults), peruse the tidepools hunting for sea life, practice gymnastics, yoga, dance, or martial arts, or take board games along for a relaxing way to engage the entire family while outdoors. Free Outdoor Activities Fall is also one of the best seasons for hunting animals of all types. Plan ahead (in the spring) to get the proper licenses and tags. Oftentimes, you can register for what you need the day before. For example, in most areas you can get a fishing license that is valid for a single day, a weekend, or an entire year. If you spend a lot of time river fishing, try something new with crabbing, clamming, or deep-sea fishing. Even though it wasn’t historically true, modern humans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. However, we know getting outdoors is great for our minds and our bodies. In fact, it’s been scientifically proven that spending time in nature lowers stress and increases health, so get out there and enjoy! Fishing and Hunting
The falling leaves of autumn beckon for company, so lace up your boots and grab your coat. Take the kids out leaf hunting and explain the different types of trees and plants. Collect leaves and pinecones to use for indoor decorations. There are countless plants you can collect for medicinal or edible use. Grab a book from the library or scour the internet for information. Even better, join a guided tour for a first-hand lesson about edible plants. As the seasons change, the offerings at local farms do too. When you’re ready to gather pumpkins for Halloween, throw your net a bit wider and make it an experience. Look for local gardens that offer corn mazes, corn-cob cannons, apple dunks, and other activities. Take a ride in a tractor out to the pumpkin patch and take advantage of the fresh-pressed cider and on-site donut making that is often part of the experience. Hit Up the Local Gardens
Wine tasting is a fun way to combine a love of the grape with tranquil surroundings. Head out for an afternoon of exploring with your spouse, friends, or solo. While wineries are a stone’s throw away in some locations, other areas may feature different options like mead, sake, distilled spirits, hard cider or kombucha. Many even offer an event schedule with live bands or other entertainment.
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Each first Monday in September, Labor Day is celebrated in the United States and Canada as an official public holiday. For many in the US, Labor Day has become synonymous with the opportunity to take a final long weekend to relax and enjoy time with family and friends, grill out, or just soak up some sun and revel in the final moments of summer. The origins of Labor Day in the North America are very different from our popular conception of the holiday today. During the American Industrial Revolution (also known as the Second Industrial Revolution), support for labor unions increased in response to poor working conditions, lack of employment security, and low wages paid for long workdays spent doing difficult labor. Americans had begun to embrace the idea of organizing as a way of establishing and protecting fair labor practices and having their voices heard. The United States first celebrated Labor Day on September 5, 1882, in New York City. 10,000 workers participated in a parade promoting workers’ rights and then joined their families for a picnic and concert in a park. Canada made Labour Day an official holiday in 1894. Work Hard, Play Hard LABOR DAY TRADITIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE
Why May 1 Is Such a Popular Date for Honoring Workers in Europe May 1 was chosen as the date to celebrate workers for two very different reasons. The first recognizes a key date in the history of fair employment practices in the US. On May 1, 1886, a group of American workers numbering in the tens of thousands went on strike to fight for an eight-hour workday. The idea of a day dedicated to workers has its roots in many cultures. In 1889, a global organization of known as Second International established their own version of the holiday, International Workers' Day. Their primary goal was the 8-hour workday. Labour Day or International Workers’ Day is celebrated each year on May 1 in more than 66 countries around the world. May 1 also happens to fall on the ancient traditional holiday of May Day. Particularly popular throughout a large part of Europe, May Day is a celebration of the arrival of spring and renewal. Since May 1 was already established as a holiday where the public would be meeting to sing, dance, and be entertained, it created the perfect opportunity to raise awareness about workers’ rights at public events marking May Day.
The list below describes when and how countries around the globe celebrate their version of this special day devoted to recognizing the value of a job well done and the workers who do it, as well as emphasizing workers’ rights for fair working hours, pay, and benefits.
Argentinian Chimichurri Sauce Ingredients: z 1 cup fresh parsley, tightly packed z 5 cloves garlic z 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried) z 1/2 cup red wine vinegar z 1 teaspoon salt z 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper z 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes z 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Instructions: 1. Place the parsley, fresh oregano, and garlic in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until chopped finely. 2. Add the vinegar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to the food processor and pulse briefly to combine. 3. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl. Add the olive oil and whisk to combine. Alternatively, you can stream in the oil while the food processor is on a low setting to emulsify the mixture. 4. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors meld together. 5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator. It is best used within the first two days, but it can be stored for up to one week.
Workers’ Day or “Día del Trabajador,” as it is called in Argentina has been observed since 1890, but it did not become an official holiday until 40 years later in 1930. Celebrations and demonstrations are held in major cities on topics related to fair labor practices. Public services and retail- ers close for the day and politicians often take advantage of the day to speak out on issues related to labor and workers’ rights. Just as family and friends love to gather to grill and enjoy a meal together here in the US and Canada, Argentinians love to gather for an asado, a community barbe- que that features a collection of traditional Argentinian meats on a parilla, or grill. Workers’ Day is celebrated in Argentina on May 1. Check out this recipe for an Argen- tinian Chimichurri sauce to try on the grill this Labor Day!
This chimichurri sauce can be used as a marinade before you grill your meats, a baste while your meats are grilling, or as a sauce to drizzle on top after your meats are
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Labor Day is observed on May 1 in France, known as "Fête du Travail" or "Fête du Muguet.” It is the only day of the year when employers are required to give all nonessential workers the holiday off. It is customary to hold marches and demonstrations to continue to cel- ebrate the achievements of workers and labor rights. Interestingly, another tradition associated with May 1st in France is the giving of lily-of-the-valley flowers, known as muguet. This tradition dates back to the 16th century and has become intertwined with the workers' rights celebrations of Fête du Travail.
The Japanese have an innovative approach to their celebration of Labor Day which is held every Novem- ber 23. The holiday, known as Labor Thanksgiving Day or "Kinrō Kansha no Hi" is a dual celebration: an expression of appreciation and respect for labor and accomplishments as well as an opportunity to give thanks to one another for the hard work that has made their efforts a success. It is fitting that it is held in late November as the date coincides with the ancient niinamesai festival, celebrating the yearly harvest. So, this Labor Day as you grill out with family or hit the beach for one last long weekend of fun and sun be- fore summer ends, reflect on the roots of the holiday and how those who were willing to fight for fair labor practices including reasonable working hours have afforded you this wonderful day of relaxation.
Yes, Australians do observe Labor (Labour) Day but precisely when and how varies depending on which of the six states, two territories, or even which city you live in. In New South Wales, Labor Day is an official public holiday. Like other countries, the celebrations for this holiday revolve around reflection on the winning fight to establish an eight-hour workday. People also enjoy spending time outdoors, eating good food, and relaxing while enjoying the company of loved ones. Unlike most of the countries on this list, Labor Day in New South Wales is not held on May 1. Instead, it is observed on the first Monday in October. This makes sense because, in the southern hemisphere, early October is the height of spring. As is the case in so many countries, the celebration of Labor Day and the welcoming of spring are combined.
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SIMPLIFY SEPTEMBER STRESS-FREE LUNCHBOX IDEAS FOR ALL AGES
September swings into action with renewed routines and bustling schedules. Amid the chaos, finding the balance between convenient, nutritious, and delicious lunches might seem like a tall order. Fret not, because we've got you covered. From careful preparation strategies to versatile recipes, we'll guide you in creating lunches that satisfy taste buds of all ages.
Streamlining School Lunches
Strategic Planning: Dedicate a portion of your weekend to crafting a meal plan for the upcoming week. A clear blueprint eliminates the morning rush and steers clear of last-minute, less nutritious choices. Meal Prepping: Make larger batches of flexible staples like pasta, brown rice, or grilled vegetables during your preparation time. These can be mixed and matched to create varied meals throughout the week. Balanced Boxes: Aim for a well-rounded lunchbox featuring proteins, carbohydrates, fruits or vegetables, and a small treat. This diversity fuels sustained energy levels and keeps lunchtime interesting. Let's discover some diverse recipes that are straightforward to prepare, brimming with nutrients, and enjoyable for children and adults alike.
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A cold pasta salad is a lunchtime favorite for kids and adults. Toss cooked whole wheat pasta with colorful diced vegetables, mozzarella cubes, and a light Italian dressing. For added protein, include chickpeas or white beans. This salad can be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge. Veggie-Pasta Salad Ingredients: z 2 cups whole wheat pasta, cooked z 1 cup diced vegetables (like bell peppers, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes) z 1/2 cup mozzarella cubes z 1/2 cup chickpeas or white beans (optional) z 1/4 cup light Italian dressing z Salt and pepper to taste Instructions: 1. In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, diced vegetables, mozzarella cubes, and beans (if using). 2. Drizzle with Italian dressing, then season with salt and pepper. Toss until all ingredients are well combined. 3. Chill in the refrigerator before packing into lunchboxes.
With a creamy texture and mild flavor, these wraps are a hit with the younger crowd. Simply mash chickpeas and avocado together, season with a squeeze of lemon, salt, and pepper, then spread on a whole grain tortilla. Add some spinach for a nutritional boost and roll it up. Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Wraps Ingredients: z 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed z 1 ripe avocado z Juice of 1/2 lemon z Salt and pepper to taste z 4 whole grain tortillas z 1 cup fresh spinach leaves Instructions: 1. In a bowl, mash chickpeas and avocado together until well combined. 2. Stir in lemon juice, salt, and pepper. 3. Spread the mixture evenly among the tortillas. 4. Top each with a handful of spinach, then roll up the tortillas. 5. Cut in half and serve, or wrap in foil and pack into lunchboxes.
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Sweet Potato &
Black Bean Burritos
With these tips and recipes, the September lunch rush just got a whole lot easier. And remember, the best part of the meal is always the joy and energy it brings, so pack these lunchboxes with a generous serving of love! 2. Stir in black beans, cumin, salt, and pepper. 3. Spread the mixture evenly on the tortillas, then sprinkle each with a portion of the cheese. 4. Roll up the tortillas, then heat in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown and the cheese is melted. 5. Serve warm with salsa and guacamole if desired, or wrap in foil to pack into lunchboxes. Instructions: 1. Boil the sweet potatoes until tender, then drain and mash.
If your school or office gives you access to a microwave, take advantage of this idea for a warm fall meal. Roasted sweet potato cubes and seasoned black beans tucked inside a whole grain tortilla make for a hearty lunch. Add some avocado slices for creaminess and a squeeze of lime for zest. These burritos can be made in batches ahead of time, packed frozen, and then warmed up before eating. Ingredients: z 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed z 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed z 1 teaspoon cumin z Salt and pepper to taste z 4 whole grain tortillas z 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese z Salsa and guacamole for serving (optional)
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Petal Projects DIY FLOWER AND HERB PRESERVATION
Preserving flowers and herbs has long been a popular pastime, for some as an interesting and imaginative hobby, for others a way of holding on to precious mementos, and for the more practical-minded, a way of warding off household odors and imbuing the home with the fresh scents of nature. Flora can be used to craft simple, yet elegant home décor and distinctive handmade gifts the recipient will cherish all the more for the time and thought that has gone into its creation.
HOW TO SELECT AND PREPARE FLOWERS AND HERBS FOR DRYING
If you are interested in taking up drying flowers and herbs as a hobby, you want to make sure to garden organically, refraining from using pesticides that contain dangerous chemicals. This is because the dried flowers and herbs will be in the air you breathe. Dried herbs can be used in cooking and in lotions and creams that come in direct contact with your skin, and you do not want to expose your family or yourself to harmful contaminants. It is best to pick your flowers for drying before they have reached full maturity as they continue developing while drying. If you select
flowers that are already in full bloom, the petals will drop while drying and your efforts will be in vain. You will want to inspect the petals and leaves carefully and remove any that are starting to turn brown, have bug bites, or are misshapen. Even when using organic pesticides, you want to be sure to give your fresh-cut flowers and herbs a good rinse to remove any dirt or bugs before you start the drying process. Once you have rinsed them, use a paper towel to pat them dry. Then lay the herbs and flowers on a drying rack or an absorbent paper.
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There are several ways to dry your flowers and herbs. The method you choose will most likely depend on two things, how much money you want to spend and how quickly you need to complete the drying process. Here is a list of drying methods: HANGING: An easy traditional option for drying herbs and long-stemmed flowers is to gather them into small bunches tied with twine and then hang them to dry in a cool, dry area that has good ventilation. Do not hang them in direct sunlight as this will cause the color and flavor to fade. This natural drying process takes about a week to complete. PRESSING WITH A BOOK: You can press delicate flowers between the pages of a large heavy book. Place the flowers in a place where there is an equal amount of weight at the top and the bottom. There are also flower presses for sale, but this method has been proven effective for centuries. BAKING IN THE OVEN: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting and place the herbs you wish to dry on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Keep the oven door cracked. You know the herbs have properly dried if you pick them up and they crumble between your fingers. USE A DEHYDRATOR: If you do a lot of flower and herb drying or are just impatient and like to complete the process quickly, you may want to purchase a dehydrator. Here again, you place the herbs on a sheet and set the heat to the lowest setting. The drying time will depend on the size and quantity of what you are drying. Again, you know the herbs are thoroughly dry when you pick them up and they crumble between your fingers.
Proper Storage of Dried Herbs Dried herbs should be stored in brown paper bags or small glass jars in a cool dark place. Stored properly they should last between 9-12 months. When using dried herbs in cooking, remember to do so sparingly as they are more flavorful than the packaged ones you purchase in the store.
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Gift and Home Decor Items YOU CAN MAKE WITH DRIED FLOWERS AND HERBS
Dried Flowers can be used for a multitude of projects and are quite simple to make. As mentioned above, the process of drying flowers can be as simple as carefully spacing the flowers between the pages of a heavy book. Press some leaves along with the flowers so you have a full complement to add a floral display to pictures or cards. Once thoroughly dried, decide how you wish to arrange the mix of flowers and leaves, and use a small amount of glue to attach your arrangement to your chosen card, picture, Christmas ornament, or other decoration. CREATE YOUR OWN FRAMED BOTANICAL ARTWORK by applying adhesive to high-quality parchment paper and placing your dried herbs or flowers and leaves in the composition of your choice. Let your new artwork dry thoroughly before putting it into a quality frame with a glass front. You now have the perfect accent piece for your guest bedroom or bathroom.
*Note: Selection is important if you choose to press flowers. You want to stick with fine-textured flowers that dry easily. Azaleas and violets are good examples. Avoid trying this method with flowers that have a high water content or a bulky shape. For instance, whole roses and lilies will not dry using the press method because they have a bulky calyx, the leafy structure that surrounds the flower bud to protect it. For high water content flowers, press the individual petals and then reassemble the pieces to form the semblance of the whole flower once they have dried and you are ready to begin your project!
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CREATE TIMELESS CENTERPIECES Dried flowers make gorgeous centerpieces that can set the tone for a lovely dinner party by serving as a great conversation starter. You can go for an elegant look with an arrangement in a tall clear vase or perhaps go for a vintage look and place the flowers in a wonderfully retro piece of depression-era colored glassware. Or you could go the other way and purchase tall tin buckets and place your dried bouquets inside those for a rustic, downhome look. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination! A word of caution though, be sure your centerpieces aren’t so tall your guests can’t see one another properly! CREATE FRAGRANT POTPOURRI This is one of the easiest and most versatile things you can make with dried flowers and herbs. Combine your favorites with a few drops of your favorite essential oil and add a bit of orris root powder to preserve the mixture and the scent. With fall on its way, consider displaying large pieces of potpourri mixed with acorns in a deep red pottery bowl or a container made of gleaming copper. POTPOURRI SACHETS – These are wonderful for keeping laundry smelling fresh and clean. They are also a cinch to make. Simply take a small handful of the homemade potpourri and place it in tiny mesh or muslin bags. If the bags have drawstrings, pull them closed. If not, tie them closed with a colorful piece of twine and place them in your closets and drawers. These make great gifts!
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The art of wreath making can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. With fall quickly approaching, it seems only right that this list should include a wreath made of your favorite dried herbs and flowers. This is the perfect ornament to greet family, friends, and visitors at your door, or if you prefer, place it above the mantel to protect it from the elements. Go with the traditional gold, red, and orange colors associated with autumn and herbs associated with colder weather like mint, sage, and thyme, or welcome the season by creating a wreath that showcases your favorite shapes, colors, and scents. You do you! DIY FALL WREATH DRIED FLOWERS AND HERBS OF
You Will Need: z A combination of dried flowers and herbs of your choice z 1 straw wreath form in the size of your choice z U-shaped florist pins z A hot glue gun and glue z Ribbon and a nail or hook (if hanging)
Instructions: Take each type of flower or herb and form it into individual bunches. (The look you are going for is a layered look with bunches of one particular flower or herb being attached to the wreath so that they overlap slightly.) Use the U-shaped florist pins to attach each bunch to the wreath to form a row. Be sure to alternate the flowers and herbs you use regularly so you have a nice mix. As you work, make sure you are covering the sides of the wreath as well as the top. Continue this process until the wreath is completely covered. If you wish, you can add a grouping of accent flowers on one side of the wreath as a focal point. Help your wreath last longer by storing it inside a paper bag in a cool, dark place.
Drying and preserving flowers and herbs can be a satisfying hobby that’s practical as well, for as the seasons change you will always have fresh decor in hues to fit any occasion, filling your home with warmth and natural beauty year-round! The innovative projects you choose to create from your gardens’ bounty will imbue your home with a sense of your personal style while providing a welcoming atmosphere to all who enter.
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FALL LANDSCAPING ACTION PLAN
BENEFITS OF FALL LANDSCAPING
Autumn is the perfect season for stretching out summer activities like grilling and camping. It’s also a time to begin thinking about the winter weather ahead. Wedged between these two very different seasons, fall landscaping chores involve some cleanup from the season before and some preparation for the season to come.
DROPPING DEGREES Although the days are slightly shorter in the fall, they are also generally cooler, making it a pleasant time to be laboring in the yard. Take advantage of those lower temperatures to dig out garden beds, remove sod, or put in a dry riverbed. COOL WEATHER CROPS If you’re a gardener, fall is the perfect time to revisit those cool-weather crops you planted early in the spring. Think fast-growing favorites like carrots, cilantro, and all kinds of lettuces. You can keep your kitchen stocked with fresh produce right up until the first freeze. SOFT SOIL If your landscaping plans include sinking posts for a pergola, fence, or other structure, you’ll appreciate the softer ground after a few fall rains. Digging out a pond, prepping for your spring garden, and planting trees are all ideal fall landscaping activities. WHERE THE GRASS GROWS Have plans to plant or replace a lawn? Fall is the perfect time to get it established before the cold weather sets in. LOWER COSTS You may also find that sourcing supplies will cost you less than it did a few months ago. As nurseries and landscaping providers slow down for the year, prices become more reasonable and timelines for supply deliveries are often shorter. You might also find grills, lawn furniture, and pools at a discount.
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TACKLING BIG LANDSCAPING PROJECTS
As the season gets underway you may be panicking about all the projects you planned to complete during the summer but haven’t yet tackled. With all of the benefits above, it’s easy to see it’s not too late.
them into a water feature, add uplighting and plants to make an island of interest in your yard, or even find just the right boulders to use as seats around the firepit. A few carefully-placed rocks can mean the difference between a boring landscape and a dynamic one. You may also be using them as foundational support, such as for a retaining wall that halts hillside erosion. If you’re wondering where to get big rocks for your landscaping project, look for them at home improvement stores, local rock quarries, nurseries, landscaping supply stores, online community marketplaces, and areas where construction or road work is underway. Do your research during the planning stages so you have an accurate estimate of costs. Consider both material and delivery costs. Expect to pay $200-$600 for boulder delivery. The boulders themselves will start at a few hundred dollars each. When coordinating delivery of boulders, be sure to ask about the truck that will deliver. It could be a dump truck or even a long-haul flatbed. Ensure you have access for the truck upon arrival and discuss how it will be unloaded. Again, you may be able to have the rock loaded into the bed of your own vehicle. In this case, ensure you know the approximate weight of the rock or rocks. Also have a plan for unloading it at the other end of the journey.
You might be able to get someone scheduled with short notice if you need excavating services as part of your landscaping plans. Address the problematic slope that causes water to run towards your house. Clear a space for a gazebo. Dig a hole for a pool. Whatever big project you have in mind, dig in!
GRAVEL AND BOULDERS
To complete the dry river bed, improve drainage, or create a gravel parking area, autumn is the perfect season for transporting in gravel of all sizes. Whether you pick it up or have it delivered, shoveling and hauling rock is less daunting in the cooler weather of fall. Before you pick up the phone or start scrolling internet results, gather some information. What type of materials are you looking for? What’s the size and style of rock? Do you want pea gravel, river rock, or rugged gravel? How much of the material do you need? While you can ask for help in calculating this, you’ll want to at least know the square footage of the area you want to fill. If you have a truck, you can haul gravel by the yard or half-yard, depending on the weight your rig can handle. Remember, rocks are very heavy, therefore hard on the suspension of any vehicle. Loading rocks into the bed of a pickup can also cause damage to the bed and sides of the truck. If you’re having rocks delivered to your home, be aware that dumping them can cause damage to asphalt and even concrete driveways. Ask about suggestions for protecting your surface when you call in your order. If you plan to use boulders as part of your overall landscape design, plan to put them in place before old man winter appears. Boulders can enhance the look of postage stamp yards as well as vast properties. They create a focal point, whether that’s near an entrance, along a walkway, or in the center of the yard. Tier boulders of different sizes, turn
You may think you will remember where that seed packet is six months from now. But don’t take a chance. Group like items together, record the activity of your garden, mark the location of bulbs and underground crops like garlic, and clearly label seeds, bulbs, and plant starts. Clean and sharpen gardening tools. Oil metal parts and store them under shelter. Also clean up the lawn mower, weed trimmer, edger, and other tools you won’t need again until the spring. Remember to drain gas out of tanks before storage.
21 September 2023
If you don’t have the means to source real rocks but still want the appearance of a boulder as a focal point in your landscape, consider faux rocks. While it might not be what you had in mind when you started looking, faux rocks are lightweight and easy to transport and set upright. You can even mail order them for delivery directly to your home. You can stack them without heavy equipment and many have a realistic finish that requires a double take to notice they aren’t natural.
Speaking of spring, fall is the time to get those bulbs into the ground. Daffodils, crocus, tulips, and hyacinth should all be underground so they can display their colors in early spring. To know when to plant bulbs in your area, look up your planting zone. Zones 4-7 can be planted when the nighttime temperatures are consistently down to 40 or 50 degrees, about six weeks before the first freeze. You want the ground to be workable, but cool. This could land anytime between September and December. For warmer regions in planting zones 8-10, it will likely be December or January before the conditions are right. If you have your bulbs but it’s not yet time to plant them, store them in an aerated bag in the refrigerator. Be sure to avoid storing them alongside fruits, like apples, that release a gas which is toxic to bulbs. Place the bulb into your prepared space with the roots facing down and the pointy end facing up. There is often a diagram on the packaging to make identification easier. If you still can’t figure it out (some are tricky!), plant them on their side. Strong bulbs will find a way to the surface. Next, pay attention to the depth required for each bulb. Some will thrive in a few inches of dirt while others should be buried eight inches or more. A reliable rule of thumb is to bury the bulb at a depth that measures two or three times its height. It’s also time to dig up summer bulbs for storage if you live in an area where they won’t survive the winter and return in the spring. In the garden, pull all expired plants and put them in the compost bin. Also rake up the leaves and add them to the mix, or use them as mulch. Give the compost pile a final fall stir since it breaks down at a slower rate when the temperature drops. If you haven’t yet started a compost bin, now’s a great time to tackle it. Check in with each of your plants to see if they need a bit of TLC. Now is the time to divide plants, trim bushes, and prune trees. OVERALL LANDSCAPE CLEANUP
Mulching serves a purpose during every season, from helping soil to retain moisture in the summer to protecting the sensitive roots of new plants. In the fall, it’s important to mulch for an added layer of warmth and nutrient release during the winter. Use newspaper, bark chips, shredded rubber, straw, or other materials and apply a layer several inches deep around trees, shrubs, and other plants.
WINTERIZE THE DECK
Decks are part of our outdoor living space that allow us to lounge, grill, entertain, and relax. But they also take a beating from all that use. Wood decks are especially susceptible to damage from harsh weather conditions, including everything from the intense summer heat to the piles of winter snow. Before the wet weather rolls in, take a look at the condition of your deck. Replace any rotting or split boards. Tighten screws and bolts along the boards and handrails. Check to make sure the stairs are stable and secure. Clean the surface with a commercial product or make your own deck cleaner. Once clean, sand out any stains and rough patches and then apply a coat of stain or paint to protect the surface. Do the same for all the wood surfaces in your landscaping, such as play structures, raised beds, sheds, and arbors.
PREP THE PLANTS
As the seasons change, a look around your yard will give you an idea of what needs done with the garden, lawn, and flower beds. Your lawn will appreciate a final dose of fertilizer to feed it as you enter the cold weather season. It’s also a great time to aerate the lawn and fill in any bald patches. Any summer or leftover spring deadheading should be done before the temperature drops too. Deadheading at the end of the season creates healthier plants when spring blooms.
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