Monday, April 21, 2014

It’s a spring thing - the outdoor edition

In  last weeks article, we learned all about one of our favorite subjects.... Spring Cleaning. We tore through our houses, scrubbing walls and switch plates like maniacs. No speck of dust was safe from our marauding feather dusters.... Our homes are sparkling, fresh and clean and there are not only fresh flowers in every room, but birds are singing outside while they're cleaning the windows and there's a squirrel in the bathroom with a toilet brush in it's little paws, scrubbing the bowl.... there's a happy song playing in the background........

Wait a minute.... I've been watching my kid's copy of "Enchanted" too many times!! Yes, we were reminded all about the somewhat unpleasant, although very necessary yearly ritual of spring cleaning... inside our homes... but what about the outside?? Shall we take a few minutes, put on our garden clogs and make sure things outside are at the ready when Spring marches through the garden gate?

·    Your gutters and rainspouts worked very hard all winter long, give them some love and make sure that they are clean and free of debris (or else you'll be like my neighbors up the street and have a three foot tall weed growing in the gutters --- not very attractive).

·    Time to remove and wash those storm windows if you live in a part of the country that has these. Store them away until fall.

·    Wash the outside of your windows, sorry no little birds are going to help this time. Wash any removable window screens and put them on to keep out those buggies when the weather is warm enough to leave the windows open.

·    Scrub down the porch, ceiling, floors and walls. Put out all those pretty little "living room-like" touches that will make your porch a place to drink lemonade and chat with neighbors on a warm spring evening.

··   Scrub down your patio furniture, umbrellas and awnings. Consider buying some pretty strings of fancy lights to make your patio festive and pretty.
·    Trim any plants that are in need of pruning and pull up any dead plants that didn't make it through the winter - give them a proper burial in the compost or recycling bin.

·    Plan your garden now, if you're starting your seeds indoors, think about getting things ready for sowing.

Now that you've gotten your outdoor living areas as beautiful as your indoor ones, pour yourself some lemonade,...better yet, make it Pink Lemonade! Sit back on that beautiful porch and relax a while.... after all, it's spring!!

Helpful Hint: Use vertical strokes when washing windows outside and horizontal for inside windows. This way you can tell which side has the streaks. Straight vinegar will get outside windows really clean. Don't wash windows on a sunny day. They will dry too quickly and will probably streak.

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