F(5) Curb Appeal

This time of year always gets me excited to dig in the dirt.  While I’m not one who typically likes getting down & dirty, I love to make our house a home with beautiful flower pots and a fresh spread of mulch…and maybe a new tree or two.  Since buying our home 4 1/2 years ago we are finally to the point of not needing to buy many plants this year.  But today I will share with you our favorite local places to visit to spruce up and summer-ready your home.

Let’s see if I can get this straight…Nathan’s dad’s cousin and his family own Shaner Avenue Nursery.  Anyway…they are family.  We always get our mulch and trees here.  I love going there because they are so knowledgable and answer all of my questions…and there are many!  AND they offer discounts and coupons!  Love that!  They also have a very good location right on the corner of 14 Mile Road and Shaner Ave (thus the name).  I highly recommend a visit to Shaner!

If you’re looking for great bargains, I would recommend the Dawn to Dusk Sale at Michigan Evergreen over Memorial Day weekend (May 26 to June 4).  Located on Lake Michigan Drive in West Olive they are open to the public (closed Sundays) and offer a 10% discount of purchases $250 or more.  If you have a large project (like we did our first year here) they have larger plants available for great prices.  For us it was worth the drive to get some bigger plants to fill our very bare spaces affordably. 

As I said I love pretty flowers…shocking!  My favorite place to go is Potato Joe’s in Sparta.  This is the farm market on Sparta Avenue with all of the clever sayings on their yellow sign!  The staff can always tell me exactly where to plant the flowers I like…full sun, partial shade, etc….and they have everything under the sun.  I love this place!  You can also purchase more than just flowers!  They have produce as well for your garden….which I may attempt this year but as planting season gets closer I’m not sure I have it in me this year.  Plus…while I love the wildlife around here if they eat my plants…and they often do…I’ll get even more upset if they chomp on my garden!

If it’s one thing my Gram’s always told me it was “Never plant before Memorial Day or you’ll be sorry!”  The first time I did of course the frost killed all of my flowers…except the pansies.  They are so hearty!  I once accidentally dropped a planter off the deck full of pansies at the end of the season and they spread throughout that landscape bed and have come up without planting anything for the past 2 years!  Crazy!  Last night I went to my mom’s and she has the most beautiful orange pansies I have ever seen!  She found them at Saenz Greenhouse just around the corner from our house!  They also offer sales and discounts…and I love how close it is!  Often when I’ve run out of flowers…because I do every year…and need more I send Nathan down with explicit instructions of what to get and Saenz never disappoints…and he’s back in a flash!  Those pansies are my perfect excuse to give into my impatience and plant a weekend early without the Michigan frost spoiling my efforts…hopefully!

My last favorite local find is home to West Michigan’s own Greenthumb expert Rick Vuyst, Fruitbasket Flowerland! And you can’t help but notice the biggest adirondack chair around when driving by either…very cool!  I love Flowerland for things like decorative pots, Round-up, Preen and garden tools.  They have everything I need!  This place inspires me to make our home look beautiful..and get dirty in the process!  I also always seem to wander into the home decor areas-?  Hmmm…  I also found a wonderful weeping cherry tree for my mom for Mother’s Day a few years ago and they had the lowest price around for the best tree!  It looks gorgeous in full bloom right now! 

If it’s one thing I learned in the Real Estate business the most attractive house can be out-shined by one of lesser ascetics if it has better curb appeal!  Thankfully my wonderful husband is great at visualizing landscaping and thanks to our family and friends above, make it a reality.  I just make sure I pull the weeds and plant the pots and try not to kill anything!  Until next time my friends, happy outdoor shopping and remember while its fashionable fun to be beautiful on the outside, even of our homes, beauty that shines through from the inside is what really matters!  XOXO

Proverbs 31:16-20  The Message

She looks over a field and buys it,
   then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
   rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
   is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
   diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
   reaches out to help the poor.

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