Our writer this month is long-time Heard's Garden Tour board member, Denise Pulley. Denise's charming front porch and beautiful garden are located in Huntington Beach.
The “Dog Days of Summer” are commonly referred to as the warmest days of summer which are typically during the months of July and August in the Northern Hemisphere, that being “us” who live north of the equator. It has been said these “Dog Days” were an evil time when “the sea boiled, wine turned sour, dogs grew mad and all other creatures became languid, causing burning fevers, hysterics and violent and irrational behavior.
For some of us whose busiest time of the year being Springtime, the “dog days” can be somewhat challenging getting used to. For me, it’s just HOT and there doesn’t seem to be much energy to rely on in starting anything around the home or garden.
Here are a couple of “quick fixes” for lifting the spirits and re-energizing some curb appeal for the house the garden, and you:
Start entering your home through the eyes of your guests, i.e., look at that dusty & dirty front porch and windows. Plan ahead to get up early in the next few days and sweep the cobwebs that are starting to form and do some window washing. Sometimes the front door needs a little more than a quick rinse with the hose. Don’t be afraid to give it a good scrubbing. Once it is scrubbed, take a good look and consider a new paint color. Years ago, we had what the kids called “Barbie Pink” on our front door. I loved it and when I fell out of “love” with it, it was then changed to a deeper shade and all it cost was a bit of labor and one quart of paint!
Get rid of the wilted “color” in the front corner container, or cut back on the amount of containers that have grown in population. Think of no more than “three” as the number of this grouping and pot up a “vertical, mid-height and shorter” interesting compilation of plantings in them. Consider a “scented” plant, like a “Scented Geranium” variety, or jasmine. One of my favorites is “Nutmeg Scented” geranium..
Buy a new doormat and promise yourself to purchase another one once Spring arrives—this inexpensive item makes a powerful statement to all those that enter your home.
Pick up a couple of colorful pillows or new slipcover for that faded out bench. If you want to spend some dollars, do some outdoor furniture shopping and don’t settle for a “perching” chair. Purchase something that is cozy and comfortable that you will want to sink into for really relaxing—buy two!
Buy a package of battery-operated candles and a couple of “Citronella” candles and light them just as dusk arrives. This is a welcoming look, even for those who just pass by.
With the selection of just a few of the things mentioned above, get going. Make a plan, get up early, visit your local do-it-yourself center to make some inexpensive purchases and get inspired. Don't forget, enter your home as a guest would, with open eyes!
The financial donations received at the 2015 gardens were given to the Sheepfold, a shelter for women in crisis and their children. Be sure to access the Sheepfold's August newsletter to learn more about the services and programs your generous donations are helping to support this month.