A (not quite so) Long Winters Rest

19 Jan 2015

The holidays come upon us quickly…and then seem to exit at an even more rapid pace.  Family, friends, and feasts take center-stage, as they should, within one’s warm, glowing home.  The winter scape that is outside I hope plays a lovely roll as well, providing decorative greenery in the form of a few palm fronds, magnolia branches, or yaupon holly berry clusters for the table or vase on the console in the foyer. I trust it might also provide a sense of accomplishment, rest, pride, and perhaps the thoughts of what “can be”.  So here’s my angle on what you should be doing and thinking about for the warmth ahead, when the use of the fireplace isn’t quite as essential as it is now.  But, please curl up in front of one, if you need to do so now.  It’s winter!

Time is one of the most useful of commodities. So whether its an afternoon alone while the others in the family take a  stroll down King Street (or in my personal case, an 11 hour holiday commute to and from the in-laws in Florida), a bit of concentration on one’s landscape can be invaluable.

 Look at the big picture and study the “bones” of what you have working for and against you on your property.  Plan (ideally on paper or via computer program or even your friendly local landscape designer) a strategy to make some changes, well thought out ones that will pave the way to positive effects. Utilize a website (I like Houzz) that provides a wide visual array of possibilities. Think and ponder now so that a plan of action can effectively and economically occur in due time.  Think about a more personal stamp that might be placed upon your home’s landscape.

Your landscape does not have to reflect what others might be doing on your block.  Sometimes the most inspirational thoughts can occur without warning.  Perhaps you are shopping in a consignment store and spy a perfectly aged fountain piece, planters, or cast stone sculpture (I myself, have my eye on a pair of cast stone lion sculptures from the 40’s at a Mt. Pleasant shop).  Voila—instant focal point for the entrance to the side yard or the shaded corner out back.

My family’s Christmas visit to Florida brought to my attention some tropical plant specimens and other building materials in that part of the country.  I’ll often wander the local Home Depot and Lowes down there just to see what I can see.

Recently, I was provided some concrete block that a sub-contractor had left from a recently completed downtown project.  This is how my backyard will now have a concrete and stucco columned pergola.  Well, as soon as I build it, anyway… Now, though, I will have an architectural statement for the back lot line of my property.  It was an aesthetic issue for me that now has an unexpected, and low-cost, solution.

The point to be taken is that this respite from the drudgery of lawn maintenance can be utilized to rejuvenate the value and efforts you’ve already invested in your home and landscape.  We all know that the time for perspiration will come.  So enjoy this time of inspiration!

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