8 Easy Steps to Start Your Own Garden Now!

Flower GardenSpring is a time of rebirth and new possibilities, especially when it comes to all things outdoors. You’ll be noticing very soon that the trees will start budding and that springtime flowers will peek out of the ground to greet the season. Things will begin to look much greener and more alive once more.

Spring is also a good time to begin growing and digging, Even though it can be intimidating for any beginner, a bit of gardening can do wonders for a home’s curb appeal! If you’re ready to make your first garden this spring, just follow these 8 tips below, and you’ll have your own little garden in no time!

Make Your Mark – As soon as you have an idea of where your garden is going, mark it out. Feel free to give it a fun shape with flowing curves, or make it echo the lines of your home with a more rigid structure. You can use a hose at first for a basic outline and then switch to sand or flour to make it more pronounced.

Get Rid of the Grass – If grass is growing in the spot you want your garden to be, get ready to dig it up with a spade or sod cutter! If you have the time to wait for your garden, break out the mower and cut it the grass as low as you can. Then cover it with several newspaper sheets and many inches of soil or compost. In a few months, the grass will die, and you will have richer soil!

Dig In the Dirt – Time to roll up your sleeves and don your gloves – it’s time to start digging! Till or dig the dirt of your new garden, and remove any roots, rocks, or other debris standing in your way. If your soil isn’t the best, take the time to work in some organic matter like compost while you dig!

Give It an Edge – Now that you have a spot for your garden, it’s time to put an edge on your garden! After all, you’ll want the rest of your lawn and other invaders to stay away from your garden. A trench of 8 inches deep and a few inches wide will do just fine!

Place the Plants – Don’t confuse this with the actual act of planting! It’s much better if you take the extra time to place your plants in the areas you’re thinking of putting them. It will allow you to get the spacing just right and help make your plants work really well in the designated garden area. Besides, planting and digging up plants again is no fun and exhausting!

Start Planting – After you’ve determined exactly where your plants are going, go ahead and plant them in the ground! Try to loosen or tease the plants’ roots before you put them in the ground to encourage healthy growing. You can choose annuals, which will stay around for one year but will provide beautiful blooms nearly all season long, or perennials, which may die off a little early but will be back in your garden every year.

Spread Some Mulch – Now it’s time to protect what you’ve planted from weeds, pests, and other baddies! Mulch will help keep your new garden healthy and low-maintenance and will do wonders in stopping weeds, all while helping your soil contain moisture during a drought. A 2-inch deep layer of mulch will do perfectly!

Add Water – Finally, all you need to do to complete your garden is to give your plants a nice soaking. Remember in the future that if your mulch is dry, it may also absorb some water before you plants are able to do so. Soak the dry mulch well to ensure that your plants get enough moisture, hang up the hose, and sit back and admire your handiwork – you deserve it!

Want more tips on how to give your house some great curb appeal? You’ve found the experts! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

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10 Easy Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Spring colorsIt seems as if this harsh, freezing winter will never end, but in just a few short weeks spring will be here! It’s time to think about color, lightweight materials, plants and flowers, and getting rid of the stale winter air in your home once again!

What can you do to properly welcome back the spring season? Just tackle these 10 small projects to give your home a small facelift and make a big impact for spring!

Change Outdoor Lightbulbs – Take to the outdoors and clean all of the light fixtures outside! Be sure to replace all burned-out bulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs.

Spruce Up the Walkway – The snow, ice, and cold from the winter season can really take a toll on your walkway. Take the time now to patch up cracks and replace loose pavers and bricks before the weather gets really nice! Go the extra mile by renting a power washer to make your concrete, stone, and even the exterior of your house shine like new!

Clear the Gutters – Before the notorious spring rainstorms come, inspect your downspouts and gutters, clear them of leaves and debris, and make sure that they’re draining properly. Clogging will typically occur at the elbow in the drainage system, so be sure to take it off and check it for clogging!

Freshen Up Your Door – Make your door shine this spring (literally)! Polish the hinges and knobs of your door and treat it to a new coat of paint or stain. Make it stand out with a bold color like a bright blue or yellow! Add the finishing touches with a new, clean welcome mat to welcome in visitors!

Lay Down Mulch – Get your backyard ready for the new season! Grab a rake and hoe, take up all the debris from the fall season, and lay down some fresh mulch in your plant beds. This will give your garden a jumpstart in the growing season!

Clean, Clean, Clean – Of course, spring calls for some spring cleaning! Get rid of all the gunk, grime, dust, and stale air from a winter’s worth of weather on your windows, ceilings, fans, walls, air conditioner unit, floors, and much more! Take a step further by decluttering and purging items you no longer want or need.

Add Plants and Flowers – Be bold and add some living color to your home and yard! Head to the local nursery and pick out some of your favorite flowers. Plant some bulbs and seeds in your garden outside, buy freshly cut flowers for your home, and check out a few colorful houseplants, too! Commonly chosen flowers for the spring include peonies, white roses, hydrangea, tulips, and daffodils.

Love Your Furniture – With all of the snow and ice we experienced this winter, you probably were cooped inside while road crews tended to the roads. Give your furniture some extra love by spraying a fresh coat of paint and replacing and cleaning the cushions. Get your outdoor space ready for summer by filling the empty spot on your porch with a modern swing or chair!

Change Your Bedding – It’s time to put away your heavy comforters and quilts and make way for lighter fabrics and softer colors for spring! Choose something with pastels or at least a hint of yellow and bright colors to give your bedroom that spring-like feeing! While you’re at it, strip the bedding and flip your mattress – it will help you sleep better and increase its lifespan!

Brighten Up With Prints and Color – Once you’re done with the bedroom, take to the rest of the house and change up your tablecloths, throw pillows, hand towels, and area rugs with brighter colors and fun prints! Try something different in the kitchen and dining room by purchasing some colorful dishware for spring and summer. If nothing else, try using some cloth napkins or invest in a beautiful statement table runner.

Spring is also the time that potential homebuyers take notice of the homes in their area. If you’re selling your home now and want to attract homebuyers, we can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyteam.com to learn more about us!

7 Quick and Easy Ways to Brighten Up Your Home for Spring

Colorful plants in a pretty vaseIt’s springtime, which is a wonderful time to throw open the curtains and windows, put away the heavy draperies, and let the sunshine pour in! It is also a fantastic time to brighten up your home just a little bit!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go overboard or spend a ton of money in order to reinvent your home! There many things you can do to brighten up your home that takes very little time, effort, and money! In fact, we have 7 quick and easy ways for you to spruce up your home today! Check them out below!

Purchase Cheap Houseplants – Want a really easy way to perk up your home and bring some it some life? Buy some cheap but beautiful houseplants! They will not only bring a pop of color to your home, but they will also provide you with free, clean air and make your space seem more cheerful! You can easily find very cheap houseplants both big and small at your local nurseries, grocery stores, and in large stores like Lowes and The Home Depot!

Switch Out the Pillows – As the weather gets warmer outside, you know it’s time to switch out your pillows to match the nicer ones! Put away the warm winter pillows and opt for plain and patterned pillows in pastel or bold shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow. Feel free to mix and match pillows to match your rooms’ different feels and styles!

Bring Out the Candles – Instead of going to the beach and the outdoors, bring the beach and the outdoors inside to you! A scented candle can change the atmosphere of your home very easily, so choose scents that remind you of spring weather! Opt for citrus-flavored or floral scents, or you could even choose to begin pining for summer by selecting a “beach” scented candle!

Spruce Up Your Dining Table – Give your dining table a pop of spring color with a beautiful and simple tablecloth! Select a tablecloth that blends well with your dining room’s décor and curtains. Opt for shades of pastel and material that is easy to clean and maintain.

Grab Some Fresh Flowers – What’s more spring-like than fresh flowers? Add a touch of color and calmness in your kitchen, living room, hallway, or any other room by selecting colorful spring flowers! For ideas, try using yellow daffodils, purple tulips, or maybe even a bright carnation or two. Be sure to display these gorgeous flowers in attractive vases painted in bright or pastel colors! Remember, you don’t have to have a huge bouquet of flowers to make this work – even one or two fresh stems can look just as beautiful!

Springtime BeddingSwitch the Bedding – That’s right, it’s time to put away those heavy, warm comforters and blankets and switch for light-weight bedding and throws! If you can, select bedding in fresh spring colors like blue, pink, green, or yellow to help make your room pop and bring life back into it!

Break Out the Paint – One of the most inexpensive ways to reinvent and revive your home is with a simple bucket of paint! Find a color that lifts your spirits and makes you think spring, and get to work! You can opt to paint just an accent wall or paint an entire room one color, or you can turn that paint on cabinets, vases, or other small decorations!

Remember, springtime is a time of renewal, so let the warm weather and sunshine energize and inspire you to help you brighten your home this spring! If you’re looking for a new home to brighten up your life, then you’ve come to the right place! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com! You’ll be glad you did!

Want To Sell Your Home? Turn Your Yard From Boring To Beautiful!

What is the first thing that buyers see when they see your property? Why, the outside, of course!

Landscaping can greatly influence how a potential buyer may feel about your home; sometimes it can be the end-all point that makes them buy the house or quickly turn around to look for another home. Luckily, a few simple changes can improve the curb appeal of your property and change the “For Sale” sign in your yard to a “Sold” sign!

Put That Power Washer to Good Use! Some areas of our home (including the outside) tend to remain perpetually “clean” in our minds, but we should really try to break that misconception trying to sell! Believe it or not, your deck, driveway, and home exterior can get pretty dirty over time, dulling your home’s colors and liveliness slowly but surely.

The best way to brighten these spaces of your home is by using a power washer. When the first wave of water hits, you’ll be shocked at how much brighter you’re deck, driveway, and exterior look! While a power washer is a great tool, it needs to be used with care – it admits extremely high pressure that can harm skin and housing materials if used unwisely.

Make Your Home “Inviting! – Nothing says “home” like a wreath and a welcome mat! Wreaths and welcome mats are an inexpensive touch to add to your home to draw any potential buyers in. Feel free to get creative by making your own wreath or find an inviting wreath at your favorite store. Already have your own mats and wreaths and don’t want to part with them? No problem! Simply clean them up so that they look like new again!

Give Your Home the Green Treatment – Who doesn’t love greenery and flowers? Not very many people! Done correctly and artfully, greenery may be the trick to landscaping your home to sell. Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! You can easily make it look like you do! When you go to purchase your greenery ask the staff member which plants and flowers are the easiest to maintain. All you need to worry about is picking out the right color of pots to complement your home and watering them to their specifications! Now THAT was easy!

Flowers are a Home’s Best Friend – Picking where to place the plants and flowers you have bought can be difficult to do sometimes! When you’re setting them out, put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Lining the walkway to the house with pretty flowers can be really inviting to anyone – potential buyer and visitors alike. If you love gardening, then feel free to plant more flowers! Don’t panic if gardening isn’t up your alley – a little really DOES go a long way! (Oh, and here’s a fun tip from us – Place the brightest flowers closest to your entryway to make both the color of your home AND the flowers stand out!)

Make Your Yard into a Work of Art – Greenery is all good and dandy, but don’t feel like you need to turn your yard into a jungle! Try using some landscaping stone as a way to make your yard look even more beautiful! Create inviting walkways with irregularly shaped stones. Frame your flowerbeds with the stones acting as a border. If you feel like stepping a bit out of the box, try creating a mini-waterfall in your yard and fill the basin with koi! If you’re unsure of how to do this, you might want to either read up on the details or call a professional to help make your yard look beautiful.

Say Good-Bye to Overgrown Lawns! – Finally, be sure to tame any wild shrubberies and trees. Greenery is good, but a mess of it can be counterproductive and a huge turn-off to your potential buyers! When your house is on the market, take a couple extra hours to trim and shape any bushes and trees around your home. Make sure that they complement all the hard work you have put into making your home sellable!

If you are looking for your dream home The Massey Team can help you! Contact us today at 618-791-5024. You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter or visit our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you!