April showers bring May flowers, May flowers bring homebuyers

Image credit McEnearney Associates

Finally the snow has melted and we are ready to see what changes the new season will bring. Whether you are planning a move or are simply anticipating new life in the garden, here are a few gardening tips and tricks to get your home looking great this spring.

Gardening 101. The rule of thumb when working the soil is doing so when it is completely dry. If you try to prepare your beds while still moist, then the whole structure of the soil will be destroyed.

She’s Called Mother Nature for a Reason. If you don’t already have a compost pile, start now. The best amendment to your soil is one you make yourself. Compost basically consists of carbon-rich brown materials like fall leaves and dead flowers mixed with nitrogen-rich green materials like grass clippings and vegetable peelings from your kitchen. Throw in a shovel or two of garden soil – voila you have a compost pile!

Farm to Table. Planting your own vegetable garden is easier than you think, especially when planting cool-season plants such as peas, onions, or spinach. These vegetables will be mature and ready for eating before the hot weather arrives. And maybe now you can enjoy your weekends at home with your own personal farmer’s market in your backyard.

Prune the Bloom. For beginners, you may think if you prune it may never grow back, but it actually does. Read up on your plant to learn more about when it is the right time to cut and prune. A good prune, done at the right time, can give your plant an entire new life.

Cut it out. Is your lawn still brown? Cut it! Now is the one time when it is good to mow it short. Cut your lawn down to a half to one inch short. This will remove old, browned blades and stems, reduce the thatch, and promote an early green-up.

Divide and conquer. Hostas, daylilies and daises are just a few of the perennials that can be divided in the spring and used to expand your landscaping. Using a garden fork or spade shovel, simply split their roots at the base and then gently relocate them to new soil. And don’t forget to gift extras to neighbors, friends and family.

—McEnearney Associates, “April showers bring May flowers”

Upcoming Events

Build a Butterfly House from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, April 2, at The Home Depot in Reston. Join the hands-on workshop with your child and build a butterfly house to welcome some fluttering insect friends after a long winter. After the butterfly house is built, your child can decorate their project with paint. All kids get to keep their craft, receive a FREE certificate of achievement, a Workshop Apron and a commemorative pin while supplies last. Children must be present at the store to participate in the workshop and receive the kit, apron and pin.

Watershed Cleanup Day  — Help clear tires, bottles, cans and other debris from local waterways. It’s a great community service project! Cleanups are being held at Cub Run RECenter, Hidden Oaks Nature CenterHidden Pond Nature Center, Huntley Meadows Park, Lake Accotink Park, Lake Fairfax Park, Riverbend Park, Ellanor C. Lawrence Park and Sully Historic Site. Contact the sites for more information.

Founder’s Day at Lake Anne will be held 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 9, in celebration of Reston and its founder, Robert E. Simon, Jr. Featuring a 50-foot Ferris wheel sponsored by Reston Association. RA will also offer guided tours around historic Lake Anne Plaza. Other activities include children’s art projects in cooperation with the Initiative for Public Art – Reston (IPAR), musical entertainment and appearances by local elected officials. Click here to read more about Founder’s Day.

Founder’s Day is presented by Reston Historic Trust and Museum, Reston Association, Reston Community Center, IPAR and Lake Anne of Reston Condominium Association. It is part of Founder’s Week. Click here for a full schedule of the week’s events.

The Reston Historic Trust & Museum will present “The Future of the American Suburb” from 7 to 9 p.m. April 9. In the Jo Ann Rose Gallery at the Reston Community Center Lake Anne, hear from Patrick Phillips, an expert in land use and urban development on the impact Reston has had on suburban development. Phillips will discuss the special characteristics of Reston that have been influential in shaping other suburban communities across the U.S.

The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) presents “Emerging Visions: Contemplating Community” through April 9. The Emerging Visions program offers Fairfax County high school students the opportunity to work directly with GRACE curatorial staff to create competent artworks that will be exhibited in the gallery. Participating students have committed themselves to the success of this project and have worked hard to achieve their artistic endeavors. This year Emerging Visions is dedicated to the legacy of Robert E. Simon, his vision for his New Town, its founding principles, and what it means to live in a planned, open community.

Did I miss an event happening today? Know about something coming up? Have a real estate question? Let me know in the comments below. 

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