8 Easy, Frugal Ways to Welcome Fall Into Your Home

haybaleIt’s official – fall is here! Although the weather still feels summery for the moment, we will soon be experiencing cooler temperatures, changing colors in the flora around us, and the crunch of fallen leaves under our feet. Autumn is an undeniably beautiful season, especially here in the Metro St. Louis region. But why just enjoy the season outside when you can welcome elements of autumn into your home?!

Here are 8 easy ways you can welcome fall into your home without breaking the bank!

Switch Out the Bed Linens – As soon as the nighttime temperatures dip and remain cool, it’s time to ditch the summery coverlet and break out the cozy comforter or duvet! Comforters are perfect for snuggling in when the weather turns colder. Don’t forget to rotate your mattress and wash or replace any older pillows!

Bring the Outdoors In – Now it’s time to go outside and gather a few choice items from Mother Nature to bring into your home! Decorate with twigs, dried flowers, gourds, fall leaves, and pinecones. Of course, it just isn’t fall without a few pumpkins in the mix as well! You can decorate your mantel with these items or put them in a glass bowl or a cornucopia.

Add Some Chunky Blankets – Strategically placing a chunky knit blanket or faux fur blanket on your sofas or chairs instantly adds an air of coziness to your space. While you’re at it, switch out the light, summery pillows for heavier, plush pillows.

Get Your Fireplace Ready – Before you fire up your fireplace for the season, make sure you get it cleaned and inspected by a professional! Arrange some logs and kindling nearby for easy access and to add a bit of warmth. You can also arrange a few pumpkins by the fireplace to give it that fall feel!

Dress Up the Dining Room Table – Spruce up your table with some table linens or fabrics in warm fall colors! We’re thinking dark, rich fabrics in shades of red, orange, and gold. Dark shades of purple can also work well as an accent!

Add Fall-Scented Candles – Pick out a few of your favorite autumnal scents and light them on the first cool afternoon for a cozy feeling in your home! Try scents like pumpkin, apple pie, or cinnamon. These will work perfectly in your living room and kitchen!

Treat Yourself to a Few Fall Treats – With the change of season, take some time out to treat yourself to a few autumnal goodies like a fresh selection of tea or hot chocolate mixes and maybe a new thermal mug. If you don’t have one already, make yourself a tea or hot chocolate station so you can enjoy your favorite fall beverage whenever the urge strikes. Don’t forget to complete the station with all of your favorite flavors, sugar, and marshmallows!

Bake Your Favorite Fall Treat – Bring the scents of fall into your home by baking and enjoying your favorite fall treat! Heat up the oven and create some delicious cinnamon rolls, pumpkin bread, or caramel apple cobbler to enjoy. Better yet, invite some friends over and enjoy these desserts together!

How do you welcome fall into your home? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook! Better yet, show us how you decorate for the season on our Facebook page! We love seeing our fans and clients get creative!

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5 Essential Tasks to Help Prep Your Garden for Fall and Winter Now

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It might still feel like summer out there, but fall and winter will be here before you know it. When it comes to our gardens and flowerbeds, it’s important to think ahead and prepare for the upcoming seasons. So don’t put those gardening tools away just yet! Here are 5 important tasks you should do in your garden to prepare it for the colder months.

Gather Crops and Destroy Debris – Have you planted any veggies in your garden this year? If so, now is the time to gather your tomatoes and squash and dig up your potatoes. If you have fruit trees, be sure to gather any fallen fruit since this will keep wasps to a minimum and limit the spread of disease. Speaking of disease, take steps to prevent it by removing all plant parts from your garden, including leafy materials and pieces of the vegetables. Double-bag those parts and put them out with the garbage. This will help stop spores from reproducing and ruining your plants next year!

Tidy Up – Fall is the perfect time to clean up any foliage from your roses, peonies, and other plants that could have diseased foliage. Bag up those dead and diseased parts and put it out with the garbage as well. If you have spring-blooming plants or late bloomers, we suggest dividing them for next year. These include spring bloomers like irises, dianthus, brunnera, laminum, and primrose and late bloomers like black-eyed Susans, geraniums, hostas, daylilies, coneflowers, and yarrows.

Rake and Break Down Leaves – Your leaves don’t have to go out with the trash! Instead, rake them up, bag them, and let them break down over the winter. If you’d like to use them sooner, shred them with a lawnmower or with a leaf blower set on reverse and rake them into your flower gardens. These leaves will provide rich nutrients for next year’s flowers and plants.

Map Out a Crop Rotation – While you’re enjoying your cup of hot chocolate or hot tea indoors, take the time now to plan out your veggie crop rotation chart. Planting your veggies in different spots can help reduce the risk of disease during the next growing season, so be sure to plan ahead!

Plant Trees, Shrubs, and Perennials – It might seem counterintuitive to plant anything when the weather starts to get colder, but these plants can grow their root system quite well during this time. That’s because the weather is cooler and more cooperative with plentiful rain and soil that isn’t stressed out from extreme summertime conditions. So if you want to see some new shrubs and trees take root and grow in your yard, go ahead and plant them now!

What do you do to prepare your gardens and flowerbeds for the impending cold weather? Tell us in the comments below or on our Facebook page!

Love Your Living Room With These 8 Intriguing Color Schemes!

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Are you bored of your tired living room colors? Do you feel unrested or uninspired whenever you enter the room? This special space is not only the first room that your guests will typically enter, but it is also a sanctuary for you to unwind in at the end of your busy day.

Fall in love with your living room all over again! Check out these 8 unique paint color combinations and choose a look that’s right for your space:

Complementary Vibrance: Cornflower, Tangerine, and White – You might think that blue and orange, while complementary, can be a bit blinding, but these lighter shades are soft enough to make any space cheerful and bright! Use shades of white as your main color and sprinkle in these soft hues of orange and blue in your accessories, throws, and pillows.

Warm and Traditional: Chartreuse, Peachy Yellow, and Oatmeal – Is your style more traditional? Give it a fresh new update with this warm color scheme! Peachy yellow makes a fun and infallible alternative to boring beige, and chartreuse is the perfect shade of green to pepper in as accent pieces. Tie it all together with oatmeal-colored furnishings to create a warm and inviting space!

Modern Vibe: Sky Blue, Gunmetal Gray, and Soft White – Who says gray isn’t cool? Make your living room a modern space by painting the walls a cool gray. Intersperse plenty of blue to give it some life, and choose a soft white to give that extra bit of warmth to the space. Wood furnishings would go nicely with this color scheme as well!

Green Dream: Leafy Green, Cream, and Coal – If you love spending time outside, you can bring the outside in with this color scheme! Use cream as your wall paint and sprinkle in natural green shades in your accessories and furnishings. If you want to stay away from a heavy theme, try using patterns and prints in your curtains or smaller pieces of furniture! Hints of coal black will lend the space an air of sophistication.

Maritime Getaway: Crisp White, Pale Turquoise, and Coral – Is the beach more your scene? Bring the sand and surf to your living room for a daily getaway! A crisp white on the walls and in your larger furniture pieces brighten up the room while watery shades of turquoise glimmer in your rugs, vases, pillows, and lamps. Throw in hints of coral red in smaller furnishings to complete the look.

Fresh Countryside: Citrus Green, Wheat Beige, and Driftwood Brown – Pastel, citrusy greens do such a great job bringing warmth and playfulness into a space! Bring this same feeling into your living room by painting the walls and choosing some pivotal fabrics in this hue of green. Wood furnishings and rustic pieces help tie in the feel and make the space comfortable. Don’t forget to intersperse some clean some white to uplift the space!

The Bold and the Blue-tiful: Cerulean, Mustard, and Khaki – Who says a living room has to be nothing but pastel colors? We think it would be fun to take a risk with some bold color combinations! All you need to do is balance your bold color (in this case, cerulean) with neutrals, and you can pull off the look you want! Be daring and paint those walls with cerulean blue, and balance it all out with a khaki colored sofa and table. Sprinkle in mustard yellow accents to give your room even more contrast and vivacity!

Punchy Pinks: Fuchsia, Raspberry, and Warm Browns – Turn your living room into a pretty pink dream! Use plenty of warm neutrals like various shades of brown in your major furniture and light white on your walls to provide a neutral base. Next, use rich hues of pink, fuchsia, and raspberry in both solids and patterns throughout your room to tie it all together!

Even though a new paint job can work wonders in your space, sometimes you outgrow a space. That’s where we can help! Call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started and find the house of your dreams today! You can also take a peek at our listings by visiting www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

8 Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials to Choose for Your Kitchen

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Your countertops are the star of the kitchen. It’s typically what homeowners and even potential buyers notice right away as soon as they step inside the kitchen. If you’re considering renovating your kitchen or need new countertops to replace any old or damaged countertops, you might be feeling a little overwhelmed with so many different choices of countertops at your fingertips. After all, it’s important to choose a material that’s right for your lifestyle, suits your budget, and looks good in your kitchen.

Choosing the right countertop for your kitchen doesn’t have to be difficult. Here’s a quick look at the various types of countertops you can have in your kitchen. See which one fits your needs the best!

Polished Granite – By far the most popular countertop choice for most homeowners, traditional granite provides a durable prep surface while offering a high-end look that boosts your kitchen’s value. No two pieces of granite look the same since it is a natural material, and it is always a stunning finishing touch to practically any kitchen. Be aware, however, that it requires a little extra care to make it continue looking its best. You’ll want to wipe up all stains quickly, particularly oils, wine, acids, and soda. Additionally, it’s wise to follow a regular sealing routine; typically, once a year is enough.

Quartz – Next in line in the popularity rank is quartz. This countertop material is practically maintenance-free and is resistant to stains, acid, scratches, heat, and impact. Because quartz is a non-porous surface, they don’t need to be sealed like natural stone countertops. You can find this countertop material in a wide variety of colors and patterns as well!

Marble – Marble isn’t just beautiful, but it also can help hide light stains and wear. It possesses a timeless appeal and can make practically any kitchen look sleek and sophisticated. The only downfall is that marble is porous, so staining can be a problem. You can avoid this by regularly sealing it and taking special care with any acidic items.

Honed Granite – Much like polished granite, honed granite is resistant to scratches, chipping, cracking, and heat and is one of the most durable countertop options available. It also gives a soft, matte finish instead of a glossy look, complementing just about any kitchen style.

Laminate – If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, then laminate countertops might be the way to go. This material is seeing a resurgence in popularity because homeowners are combining the material with patterns that resemble natural wood, stone, and even quartz, all for a fraction of the cost. This type of material is very versatile and easier on the budget than any other material.

Stainless Steel – Stainless steel appliances can be found in countless kitchens, and now stainless steel countertops are gracing kitchens nationwide. The metal surface can coordinate with nearly any color and is incredibly easy to clean. All you need to do is wipe off the surface with a clean cloth and a mild soap. For a modern, industrial looking kitchen that is easy to maintain, stainless steel might be best for you!

Wood – For a functional, decorative, and warm look in your kitchen, wood countertops are ideal. They’re great for prepping food; all you need to do is make sure that they’re properly sealed. Unlike other budget-friendly options of countertops such as laminate, wood countertops are highly resistant to heat, so you won’t have to worry about putting any hot pots, pans, and utensils on the surface.

Tile – This material is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something that is inexpensive and easy to maintain. Mix and match it with various design styles to create a look that you want in your kitchen. Best of all, tile countertops can be a great DIY project if you’re handy and have a little time on your hands!

Looking for the kitchen of your dreams in a new home? Talk to the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Elite Properties! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, or check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

How Long Do Your Appliances Last?

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Whether you’re moving and are in need of new appliances or you’re in the hunt for a sorely-needed update, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your appliances’ shelf life. After all, you don’t want to be caught unaware when a major appliance goes on the fritz or breaks down permanently.

That’s why we’ve put together this handy little list to help you remember your major appliances’ shelf life! While you’re reading this list, keep in mind that these numbers indicate averages. Your appliance may last longer if you purchase a higher quality of equipment or if you maintain them well. Here is the list from Consumer Reports:

Air Conditioning – A small air conditioning unit that is used in a room will last an average of 10 years. Your central air conditioning has an average shelf life of 15 years.

Boilers – If you have an electric boiler, you can probably count on it being around for 13 years. If your boiler is gas-based, it has a longer shelf life at an average of 21 years.

Dehumidifiers and Humidifiers – Both your dehumidifiers and your humidifiers should last for an average of 8 years!

Dishwashers – Do you have a dishwasher in your home? You can expect it to last for an average of 9 years, just shy of a decade!

Dryers – Both electric and gas dryers have a shelf life that clocks in at an average of 13 years.

Freezers – Your freezer should keep your food nice and cold for an average of 11 years.

Furnaces – Typically, furnaces will last between 15-20 years, on average. If your furnace is electric, its lifespan should be 15 years. If it is gas, it should last an average of 18 years. If you have an oil furnace, you should be able to enjoy it for an average of 20 years.

Garbage Disposals – These little wonders under the kitchen sink should stay in good shape for an average of 12 years.

Microwave Ovens – While not a major appliance, your microwave is essential in the kitchen. Expect it to last an average of 9 years.

Ranges – It depends on the type of range you have! If you have an electric range, it should last an average of 13 years. If you cook dinner on a gas range, it should last about 15 years.

Refrigerators – For the full-size refrigerator, count on it to be chilling your food for an average of 13 years. Compact fridges should last an average of 9 years.

Washing Machines – Your trusty washing machine should help you wash your clothes for an average of 10 years.

Water Heaters – Last but not least, your water heater’s shelf life can vary, again, depending on the type you have. If you have an electric or gas water heater, you can expect to see it live for 10-11 years on average. Tankless water heaters, however, can last 20 years or more!

You can always pick up a great major appliance, but you should really trust the experts to help you find the home of your dreams. Trust The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

Traveling? Take Care of Your Home First With These 9 Tips!

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If you’re planning on taking a trip sometime this summer for business or for pleasure, you’ve probably thought about which hotel to check in, which restaurants to try out, and which attractions to see along the way. You might also have your bag packed and ready to go. But what about your home? You’ll need to take steps to secure your home before you take a trip – otherwise, you could have a possible break-in on your hands.

Don’t worry – there are plenty of easy steps you can take to deter would-be thieves! Here are 9 simple steps you can take to keep your home safe while you’re out, whether it’s for 2 days, 2 weeks, or somewhere in between.

Stop Your Mail –Nothing attracts thieves more than an overstuffed mailbox or countless newspapers strewn across your front lawn. The trick to deterring thieves is to make it look like you’re still home. Before you embark on your adventure, place a hold on your mail. This includes newspapers and all other deliveries. You can also ask a trusted friend or neighbor to grab your mail for you.

Keep the Lawn Trimmed – Not only is it a good idea to mow your lawn before you leave, but if you’re going to be gone for a while, it’s also a good idea to hire someone to maintain it for you while you’re gone. Hire a lawn care company to make everything look perfect until you come home. Leaving during the winter? Arrange for snow to be shoveled while you’re away!

Time the Lights Just Right – Want to make it really look like you’re home even though you’re not? Invest in some timers on various lights around your home! You can either have them all go off at one universal time, or you can set them to go off randomly. Visit your local home improvement store to find the perfect option for you.

Install Motion Detectors – If you haven’t already, be sure to install motion detectors on your outside lights. They make an excellent security measure since the lights are triggered whenever someone or something steps into the sensor’s range!

Ask Your Friends for Help – Before you leave, ask your friends, relatives, or trusted neighbors to keep an eye on your home or drive by once in a while when you’re away. Remember to return the favor whenever they leave for vacation or on a business trip!

Leave No Keys Outside – If you have the propensity to hide keys into your home under your doormat or elsewhere outside, this could be a big mistake while you’re on vacation. Thieves know where to look, and if they find your key, it gives them easy access to enter. Don’t leave an emergency key outside while you’re gone. Instead, leave it with someone you trust in case of emergencies.

Come Unplugged – Remember to unplug your electronics, except for your freezer, refrigerator, and any items you’ve put on timers. It won’t just help you avoid any electrical troubles while you’re out, but it can also save you some money on your electric bill!

Secure the Doors and Windows – Before you leave, go around and make sure that you’ve locked and secured all of your doors and windows. If you have any sliding glass doors, you can take extra precautions by putting in an appropriately-sized rod into the track so an intruder can’t open the door, even if they’ve picked the lock.

Regulate the Temperature – If you haven’t done so already, you might want to install an automatic thermostat, which will help regulate the temperature in your home. Not only can this prevent disasters like frozen pipes, but it can also save you some money while you’re enjoying your vacation or out on your business trip.

What do you do to secure your home before heading out on vacation? Did we forget any other important tips? Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook page! We’d love to hear from you!

6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Sunroom This Summer

traditional-sunroomThere’s no doubt about it – summer is here to stay for a while! While it’s fun to spend time with your friends and family outdoors during the summer months, but it’s also plenty of fun to spend time indoors in your sunroom as well. Your sunroom doesn’t just provide you with hours of enjoyment, but it also shields you from bug bites, pollen, and sunburns.

Whether you’ve had your sunroom for years or it’s brand-new, here are 6 ways you can get the most out of your sunroom this summer!

Get Comfortable – Although many sunroom owners feel like they need to have nothing but wicker furniture in their sunrooms, we totally advocate comfort first and foremost. Remember, this space will function like a second living room in the warmer months, so make sure you have furniture that is both comfortable and inviting. We’re thinking plush seating, plenty of pillows, some throw blankets, and maybe a rug or two.

Put In a Small Dining Area – What’s better than enjoying a delicious meal or fun tea party in the sunlight? If you can, try putting a small dining table and chairs somewhere in your sunroom for those summertime get-togethers with your friends or for the times you want to enjoy dinner while watching the sunset.

Keep It Cool – More than likely, your sunroom doesn’t have air conditioning. If not, make sure to keep the temperature comfortable with a ceiling fan. It can make a big difference in temperature and allow you to enjoy the room in comfort as you read a book, watch TV, play a game, or simply admire the view.

Don’t Forget the Shades – The best part about sunrooms is those big, generous windows that really let the sunshine in. If you want some privacy or want to regulate the temperature more effectively, it’s best to install some sturdy shades to keep the room cool during those sweltering summer days.

Plants, Plants, Plants – You know what else likes your sunroom, aside from you and your family and friends? Plants! Bring some potted plants and cute flowers into your sunroom to make the space even more enjoyable. These plants won’t just give you clean air to breathe, but they will also add a splash of color to the space!

Keep It Simple – As you’re adding all of these furnishings into your sunroom, try to keep it as streamlined and simple as possible. A simple atmosphere makes for a calming retreat that you’ll want to spend all of your time in every day!

There’s so much you can do to make your sunroom the most enjoyable it’s ever been this summer! If you don’t have a sunroom and are looking for a home that has the sunroom of your dreams, then call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. You can also view our current listings on our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

The 7 Daily Cleaning Habits of People With Spotless Homes

bedroom-1078890_960_720.jpgDo you find yourself frantically picking up and cleaning whenever company comes over for a visit? Do you enter panic mode and start thinking about the mess in your home whenever a homebuyer decides to come see your house? If this sounds like you, there’s good news! You can make cleaning so much easier by implementing a few simple cleaning habits into your daily life.

Whether you want to keep a clean home for yourself, your guests, or future homebuyers (or all of the above!), try incorporating these 7 cleaning habits that people with spotless homes do every day:

Make Your Bed – This is one of the most difficult habits to maintain, but it’s very easy to do and is worth the few minutes you must spare in the morning. Making the bed every morning immediately makes your bedroom look cleaner. Studies have also suggested that those who make their beds every day sleep better as well!

Keep Paper to a Minimum – It can be easy to leave hulking stacks of junk mail, take-out menus, packaging from deliveries, and newspapers on just about every surface. Tackle this issue before things get out of hand! When you grab your mail every day, sort out important documents for you to keep and throw away any junk mail right away. Whenever you’re finished with a newspaper or magazine, recycle it as soon as possible. You’d be amazed at how clean your home will become!

Clean Up Right After Dinner – It’s so tempting to leave the dishes till tomorrow. We say resist the urge and clean up as soon as you’re done with dinner! Rinse and put any dirty cutlery, plates, or cooking accessory in the dishwasher. After that, wipe down your countertops and stove to keep them shining and spotless. If there are any crumbs on the floor, do a quick spot-sweep to keep your floors clean. You can get a head-start with this task by cleaning as you cook as well!

Pick Up as You Go – As you go about your day or come home from work, take the time to notice the spaces around you and put things away in their proper homes. Straighten up the couch pillows, put your shoes away as soon as you get home, put your hygiene products back in their designated space once you’re done using them. These easy tasks take just a few seconds of your time but can really help make your home look and feel cleaner.

Dust and Vacuum Regularly – You might not be a fan of cleaning, but those with spotless homes take the time out to dust and vacuum a few times every week. Doing so can save you from having to do more intensive cleaning on the weekends when you could be out having fun or relaxing in your clean home. If you have hardwood floors, consider using a Swiffer once a day or every other day before going to bed to keep the dust bunnies at bay. Got carpet? Vacuum every few days to keep the floors looking great. This will make cleaning go by much faster. Plus, clean floors sure do feel nice under your feet!

Clean the Bathroom Sink After Use – All you need is a container of baby wipes for this one! Store them under the sink, and use one after you using the sink. It’s an easy way to bid farewell to ever having to see toothpaste and soap in the sink again! If doing this after every use is too much, try wiping down the sink every night before going to bed.

Put Your Clothes Away Every Night – When it’s time to change outfits or change into your favorite pajamas, resist the urge to toss your clothes on a chair or on the floor. Put dirty clothes in the hamper and clean clothes in your closet or drawers. It makes laundry day much more bearable! Speaking of laundry day, fold and put away your clothes as soon as the load is done.

Whether you want to know how to keep your house looking better than ever or want to start searching for your dream home, the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties is there for you! Call us today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to talk to an agent, or learn more about us online by visiting www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

5 Quick Tips First-Time Veggie Gardeners Need to Know

start-vegetable-gardenYou’ve finally made the decision. This is the year when you will start your vegetable garden once and for all! You’ve got all the right tools for the job, and you even have a good idea of what sort of vegetables you want to try growing this season! Now what?

If you’re a first-time veggie gardener and aren’t too sure what to do next, read for 5 quick and handy tips to help you get started below!

Start Small – We know that you probably want to try growing all sorts of delicious vegetables, but don’t get ahead of yourself! Doing too much at first can be pretty intimidating and overwhelming. Start with a small plot first. Once you have some success in growing your veggies this year, you can branch out and try growing other things next year!

Know the Basics – When it comes to basic veggie gardening, you need three things – full sun, a convenient water supply, and good soil. Full sun is a minimum of 6 hours of direct sunlight during the spring and summer, and many vegetables require this amount of sunshine. Want to know if your soil needs any amendments? Do a pH test to see what might be missing for a healthy crop.

Try Easy-to-Grow Veggies First – There are some vegetables that practically anyone can grow and there are some that give even the most experienced gardener fits. If you’re just starting out, try growing tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce. You can also give carrots, radishes, green beans, and zucchini a shot once you have the hang of gardening.

Proximity Is Key – You might think that putting your veggie garden in the far corner of your property is the best, but you should definitely rethink this. The closer the garden is to your home, the easier it will be to water and maintain it. You’re also much more likely to pluck weeds because you’ll see them pop up much more quickly than you would if the garden were in the far corner of your property. Keep this in mind before you decide on a spot to plant.

Not All Bugs Are Bad – You know that certain bugs are bad news for your veggies, but what about the ones that chase away the pests? Ladybugs are especially good at keeping those pesky aphids and other pests at bay, so be sure to welcome them into your garden. If bugs aren’t your thing, you can try natural pest control by growing a lot of hot peppers and garlic by your veggies.

Do you have any stories of success or lessons to learn from in your vegetable garden? We’d love to hear from you! Tell us all about them below in the comments or on our Facebook page.

12 Colorful Flowers to Grow in Your Garden If You’re a Newbie

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Have you always wanted to have a beautiful garden full of colorful flowers but don’t know the first thing about gardening? Is your curb appeal, well, less than appealing? You might have been feeling more inspired lately to get out in the dirt and plant some of those gorgeous plants you’ve seen hanging from shop windows. Maybe you want to emulate your neighbor’s cute mini-garden that adorns the sides of her walkways. But where do you even start?

Even if you have the notorious “brown thumb” and can’t keep anything green alive, there’s still hope! Just in time for the growing season, we’ve compiled a list of 12 beautiful, can’t-kill flowers you can grow in your yard this year!

Begonias – They might be pretty, but they sure are tough! They’re also quite versatile. You can dangle them from hanging baskets on your porch, perch them on top of your stoop in pots, or plant them in your garden beds. Give them sun or shade and they’ll give back by providing stunning blooms all summer long!

Blanket Flowers – Blanket Flowers – a.k.a. Gaillardia – are native to many regions in the United States and just love sunshine. If you like butterflies and have a good amount of sunshine coming through somewhere in your yard, you can plant these flowers easily. Enjoy their lovely blooms from early summer into the fall!

Cosmos – These daisy-like flowers aren’t just cute – they’re super easy to maintain! They grow in practically any type of soil (even poor soil) and tolerate drought whenever they’re up and growing. Think about growing them on the east side of your home so that they receive full sun and have a chance to enjoy afternoon shade as well.

Daffodils – Every year when spring begins to tiptoe back into our lives, you’ll see vibrant daffodils spring forth from the ground in colorful blooms. These plants are excellent for beginners! Plant these hardy bulbs in a sunny or partly sunny spot in your garden or containers and watch them pop up in the spring. They’re best planted in the fall, so be sure to grab some once the seasons change!

Daylilies – Got some sunny spots in your yard that are just begging for flowers? Daylilies are the perfect solution! They can be planted in almost any type of soil, too, so long as it drains easily. As your daylilies grow and sprawl, you can divide them and expand your garden effortlessly as well.

Geraniums – These perky flowers are super-versatile and can grow in gardens, pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes. Best of all, they’re very low-maintenance and will bloom from spring until frost! Like cosmos, be sure to grow them in a spot that gets full sun and a bit of afternoon shade to shield them from the hot summer sun.

Impatiens – Don’t be fooled by the name! Impatiens are actually quite content and ask very little of you other than a shady spot and some water. These annuals come in a variety of colors and are sure to add much-needed curb appeal to your yard. Plant them once there is no threat of frost and watch them grow!

Marigolds – From cheerful yellow to vibrant red and beautiful gold, marigolds are very easy to grow and a pretty sight to behold! Plant them in sunny spots in your garden to bring some color and life to your yard!

Pansies – These flowers make excellent additions to your garden and will bloom while the weather is cool, in spring, and in the fall. In fact, if you mulch them for protection, they can even overwinter in warmer regions! All they need is some sun and soil that drains easily – easy!

Snapdragons – These flowers have a punch of personality and will even attract butterflies to your garden! Snapdragons will begin to bloom heavily and stand up to the unpredictable weather that spring and fall can bring.

Sunflowers – Big, bright, and full of life, sunflowers are surprisingly easy to grow and maintain! You can find them in several different sizes and colors, and they will grow well in sunny spots in your garden.

Zinnias – Available in various heights and in just about every shade (except blue), zinnias are charming little flowers that thrive in the sun. Do make sure to space them as directed on the seed packet label. This will ensure that they remain strong and healthy all season long!

What are your favorite plants to grow in your garden? Do you have any additional easy-to-grow flowers that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!