Archive for April, 2014

8 Shockingly Bad Staging Decisions

bad-mls-photo-elvis1

Real estate is an intensely personal experience for many buyers and sellers. After all, a home, at its core, is a personal expression of a homeowner’s entire life wrapped inside four small (okay, sometimes not so small) walls.

And while, ultimately, buyers should be more focused on the bones of the home—the things that will stay after the current owner has vacated—staging can often be the difference between a buyer bonanza and a dearth of hot offers. Don’t let your sellers suffer at the hands of poor staging.
It may be challenging, but a little tough love now, will make for a love fest post-sale—after the big offers come flying in. Here are 8 of the biggest staging sins sellers make and how agents can help their sellers avoid these pitfalls before it costs them a sweet deal.

1. Collection Overload.

It is very difficult for almost any collection to look orderly and neutral, two high-level aims of home staging. Unless the homeowner has attractive, high-end built-in cases to house the collections and the target buyers share a similar affinity for the objects, even the coolest collection can come off as a pile of space-consuming clutter.

When it comes to shockingly bad staging decisions, the choice to give a taxidermy or gun collection a starring role in a home’s staging is high in the oh-so-bad rankings. For some buyers, these collections can trigger ethical and sanitation and can distract from the strengths and features the property has to offer.

What to Tell Your Seller:

Remember that uber-personal thing we talked about earlier? Collections are often a source of pride or hold sentimental value. Tread lightly. Let your seller know that while you appreciate the collection, their home sale will benefit from a more neutral, less-personal aesthetic. You may also want to mention that open houses mean many people in and out of the seller’s home. All prized possessions should be stored ahead of time.

2. Echo-Chamber Staging.

In an echo chamber, sounds are amplified because they simply bounce around in that closed space. When left alone, the same thing can happen to sellers if they do not have outside input. And unfortunately, it seems to be the bad staging ideas that get amplified, more than the good ones. Echo chamber staging happens when the sum total of a staging team, well, one person. That bold wallpaper in the bathroom may seem like a good idea, but a little perspective—and another opinion—may prove otherwise.

What to Tell Your Sellers:

The truth can hurt—but backing into your argument can take some of the sting out of the professional staging talk. Sellers who stage with zero external or professional input, are often the sellers who are unable to see:
•that their homes are still significantly cluttered or over-full,
•that their furniture is too plentiful and too large to show how spacious the home truly is, or
•that their sweet feline companions are also rather malodorous to strangers.

Take a little staging field trip with your sellers. Take them to one home with tasteful bring-in-the-buyers staging and another to a home with cover-your-eyes-bad décor. It can be tough to self assess, but once you show your sellers what a big difference a little staging makes, they may be more open to the suggestion. If your clients have a bare-bones budget, see if they’ll hire a pro stager for just an hour’s worth of advice.

3. Failure to edit.

You’ve heard thirty-somethings who still live at home diagnosed with failure to launch? Well, failure to edit is a close cousin of this syndrome. As the New York Times recently put it, “the job of stagers is to reverse the accumulated creep of hundreds of small and misguided design decisions, and to erase any hints of the messiness of daily life.” Your client might have a fantastic rug, a beautiful sofa, amazing tchotchkes and the highest-end personal effects, but chances are good that their cumulative first impression to a buyer viewing the home will still fall short of the “one broad stroke of gorgeousness” the Times piece correctly says home sellers should aim for, with their staging.

The failure to edit is a generalized syndrome which can manifest in all sorts of specific staging woes, from garden variety clutter to disastrous decor style mash-ups.

What to Tell Your Sellers:

Edit, edit, edit. Then go back and edit again. Sellers should think of de-cluttering as pre-packing. If your client is a DIY stager, tell them to ask their friends to come in and help decide what still needs to go, once they think they’re done removing furniture and personal effects. A sassy best friend or a nit-picky sister-in-law can sometimes be an agent’s best friend.

4. Silly scenarios.

The difference between staging and interior design is simple: staging is cost-and-time efficient design undertaken with the specific objective of showing a home off to its best advantage, playing up its features and helping prospective buyers visualize the best lives they could possibly live in the home, should they choose it. Unfortunately, this has led some well-intentioned sellers and stagers to believe they should stage one bedroom as a Parisian boulevard (Eiffel tower mural included), another with a full-blown butterfly theme and the third as the beach—complete with umbrella, towels on the wall and sunscreen bottles on the nightstand. I saw this house, folks. With my own two eyes.

What to Tell Your Sellers:

Be firm. Let sellers know that they should stage their home to show off its space, light and conveniences, and the best, basic purposes that unusually small or large spaces could be used for. If the backyard is a huge selling point, stage it with outdoor dining or living room furnishings. Similarly, if the home is a two-bedroom with a bonus room in an area of four-bedroom homes, staging the bonus room as a bedroom or home office helps buyers understand the solutions that can minimize the brunt of your home’s challenges.

Staging your home to create “cute” scenarios with no relationship to the selling points or solutions buyers care about is of no value and can create a low-budget feel.

5. The ‘lived-in’ look.

When a home is being shown for sale, it must be immaculate, every single time it’s being shown. It should look like no one lives there: no toothbrushes, curling irons, protein shake mixes or paperwork allowed.

Is this difficult to keep up? Absolutely. But you’d be surprised at how bad an impression just a few personal toiletries or dishes can make.

What to Tell Your Sellers:

Work closely with your sellers so that they understand the importance of a flawless showing. Encourage your clients to set up a system for putting everything away and wiping down all kitchens, bathrooms and other daily mess hot spots every single time the home is going to be shown.

6. Closet cramming.

Out of sight is not out of mind. Home buyers today are desperate for storage space and will undoubtedly open those same, crammed-tight doors in an effort to evaluate how the home ranks for storage. Beautifully organized closets with ample room create an impression in the buyer’s mind that they, too, can have an orderly life in the home.

What to Tell Your Sellers

Encourage sellers to see the exercise of staging as an opportunity to sell, donate or throw out things they no longer need. Remind them that even huge closets, if crammed to the gills, make buyers wonder how they’ll ever get by with so little closet space.

7. Failing to stage for all the senses.

A house that smells like pet mayhem or smoke or has a noisily defective heater is a tough house to sell, no matter how beautifully it is staged. Unfortunately, smells and sounds are very easy to get acclimated to, when you live with them. Buyers, though, will detect them the second they walk in—and the moment they do is the moment we in the business call “turn-off time.”

What to Tell Your Sellers:

It may be uncomfortable—but honest is the best policy. Be gentle and sensitive (‘musky’ comes across softer than ‘moldy, dank, and gross’). Offer to work with them to fix it or refer them to a trusted vendor who can.

8. Not to.

Ultimately, the most shockingly bad of all staging decisions is the surprisingly frequent decision not to bother staging the home at all. This explains homes like the one I once viewed which had residents still sound asleep in their beds, in the dining room, as the listing agent walked myself and my mortified buyer clients through the property. On the less bizarre end of the non-staged spectrum, this is how lovely homes with vast potential end up selling at a discount, as cosmetic fixers at a discount. This is a particular tragedy in cases where the owners could have painted, spruced, moved loads of things out and a few newer things in and made much, much more money on their homes

What to Tell Your Sellers:

Ask them what about staging feels off-putting. If it’s a budgetary concern, focus on de-cluttering and small accents or paint, which can make a big difference on a dime. If the issue is—you guessed it—a little more personal, remember that showing can sometimes be more effective than telling.

Information courtesy of
Tara-Nicholle Nelson
Tara-Nicholle-Nelson_avatar_1388783904
trulia pro blog
http://www.trulia.com/pro/sellers/bad-staging-decisions/

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!

http://www.teampendley.com/

Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County
http://springhillnorthalbanycarshow.com

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Bird and Hat Inn. Five Star Bed & Breakfast Offered at $499,900

Bird and Hat Inn. Five Star Bed & Breakfast in the Heart of Stayton. Enjoy custom woodwork in this meticulously restored & cared for Inn w/ 4 Bedrooms & 4.5 Baths. Notice the sunken garden unearthed after years hidden! Innkeepers wing completed 2011- attached by breezeway. Very comfortable 2 br & 2 ba w/ master suite. Mixed use Zoning allows rental if desired. Updated wiring, plumbing, furnaces etc will put you at ease. Both Sewer lines replaced recently

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ARRANGE YOUR PERSONAL TOUR CONTACT
Christie Pendley, Broker
(541) 619-3640

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!

http://www.teampendley.com/

Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County
http://springhillnorthalbanycarshow.com

WhiskeyFest NW 2014 Portland Oregon May 9th-May 10th

WHISKEYFEST NORTHWEST

Big barrels, wet tongues, whiskey-toting monks, and a mechanical bull named Tipsy. Put on your big boy pants May 9th & 10th for shenanigans of unprecedented magnitude with the world’s best distilleries. They call it Devil’s Mouthwash. We recommend gargling. Must be 21+ and down to get down.

Brought to you by
WFNW is organized by The Luna Foundation, an Oregon nonprofit whose mission is to facilitate otherwise unavailable opportunities for children and families affected by illness or poverty through the promotion of the arts, music and events in the NW.

For the Benefit of ORA
WhiskeyFest NW 2014 Proceeds will benefit the Oregon Active Foundation (ORA), an Oregon 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to providing Adventure Therapy (AT) for people in our community with disabilities and other life challenging conditions. ORA inspires through positive emotion, challenges, community support and a connection with the natural world that refreshes the human spirit. The AT Programs undertake tasks that require perseverance, imagination, commitment and, above all, fun and excitement. Adventure therapy offers access to the essential meanings of human life, as revealed both by the natural world and on that foundation it offers an examination of how personal lives and values fit with the underlying structures of humanness.

2013 Proceeds benefitted CASA for Children of Multnomah & Washington Counties.

WhiskeyFest Northwest
Schedule of Events
Friday, May 9, 2014
4:00p Whiskeyfest NW opens!

BOOTLEGGER LOUNGE
4:00 – 5:30PM – Freak Mountain Ramblers

5:30 – 6:00PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

6:00 – 7:30PM – The Slide Brothers

7:30 – 8:00PM – Tribute to Whiskey

8:00 – 9:30PM – The Stone Foxes

PROHIBITION CIGAR LOUNGE
4:00 – 5:00PM – Boy & Bean

5:00 – 5:30PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

5:30 – 6:30PM – Boy & Bean

6:30 – 7:00PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

7:00 – 8:00PM – Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners

8:00 – 8:30PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

8:30 – 9:30PM – Roberta Donnay & The Prohibition Mob Band

DISTILLERS ROW
4:00 – 9:00PM – Whiskey Tastings

Sat, May 10, 2014
12:00p Whiskeyfest NW opens!

BOOTLEGGER LOUNGE

12:00 – 1:30PM – Country Lips

1:30 – 2:00PM – Cocktail Competition Round 1

2:00 – 3:30PM – Jackstraw

3:30 – 4:00PM – Cocktail Competition Round 2

4:00 – 5:30PM – The Slide Brothers

5:30 – 6:00PM – Cocktail Competition Finals

6:00 – 7:30PM – Poor Old Shine

7:30 – 8:00PM – Tribute to Whiskey

8:00 – 9:30PM – Robert Randolph & The Family Band

PROHIBITION CIGAR LOUNGE

12:00 – 1:30PM – Midnight Serenaders

1:30 – 2:00PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

2:00 – 3:00PM – Midnight Serenaders

3:00 – 3:30PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

3:30 – 4:30PM – Pete Krebs Trio

4:30 – 5:00PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

5:00 – 6:00PM – Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners

6:00 – 6:30PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

6:30 – 7:30PM – Roberta Donnay & The Prohibition Mob Band

7:30 – 8:00PM – Portland Vaudeville Allstars

8:00 – 9:30PM – Pink Lady & The John Bennet Jazz Band

DISTILLERS ROW

12:00 – 9:00PM – Whiskey Tastings

FOR MORE INFORMATION & TO PURCHASE TICKETS VISIT

http://www.whiskeyfestnw.com/

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!

http://www.teampendley.com/

Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County
http://springhillnorthalbanycarshow.com

4661 Columbus Street SE, Albany, OR

columb

This Lovely Single Level Home has so much to offer!! With 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1132 sq ft on a 0.16 acre lot offering a large fenced back yard! Open Living room with vaulted ceilings, tile floor in the kitchen including stainless steel appliances, dining area with bright windows! Master Suite with full bathroom! New 30 yr roof in 2010, smaller RV parking area, attached 2 car garage! Can’t get much better than right HERE!

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ARRANGE YOUR PERSONAL TOUR VISIT

http://www.teampendley.com/4661-Columbus-Street-SE-Albany-OR~l4621035

OR CONTACT

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!
http://www.teampendley.com/

Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley Personal Finance Tips
http://teampendley.makingfinancepersonal.com/

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County
http://springhillnorthalbanycarshow.com

Get to Know Oregon McMenamins Annual UFO Festival May 2014

McMenamins 15th Annual UFO Festival

at Hotel Oregon in McMinnville

Thursday thru Sunday, May 15–18, 2014

To mark our 15th Annual UFO Festival, we’ve brought in a truly extraordinary line-up of guests – from an internationally known talk-show host to an expert in the Sasquatch/extraterrestrial phenomena and beyond…

To accommodate this broader schedule, the festival has been extended to four days! This year, we’ve planned events from Thursday through Sunday, May 15–18, with expert presentations, lunch with speakers, a UFO costume parade, multiple live bands and much more.

Speakers’ Lineup Announced

Our 2014 Speakers include:

George Noory – Host of the nationally syndicated radio program “Coast to Coast AM.”
Stanton T. Friedman – Nuclear physicist, author and award-winning UFO/ufology lecturer since the mid-1960s.

David Marler – Author/expert on triangular UFO phenomenon and an independent UFO researcher.
James Clarkson – Washington State Director of MUFON and author; retired police sergeant, child abuse detective and state investigator.

Kewaunee Lapseritis – Authority on sasquatch phenomenon, particularly as it relates to extraterrestrial activity.
Peter Davenport – Director of the National UFO Reporting Center since 1994.

In addition to ticketed events, the weekend includes a number of free, family-friendly attractions, including live music, a costume parade, contests and a movie.

Remember to visit the all-day vendor booths, presented by our friends at the McMinnville Downtown Association.

The festival began as a way to honor the famous 1950 Trent sighting in which two local McMinnville citizens witnessed and photographed a UFO, said to be some of the most credible images of UFOs to date.

For more information visit
http://ufofest.com/

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!

http://www.teampendley.com/

Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County
http://springhillnorthalbanycarshow.com

Get to Know Oregon Wallula Gap

Wallula Gap …

The Wallula Gap spans both sides of the Columbia River (Lake Wallula) and is located in southern Washington State, 16 miles south of Pasco, Washington. Upstream of the Wallula Gap is the mouth of the Walla Walla River and Wallula, Washington, home of an early trading post known as Fort Nez Perce. The fort was located at the bend of the Columbia with a view straight down the Gap. Across from the mouth of the Walla Walla at the edge of the Wallula Gap basalts is the former Washington State town of Yellepit, the location of Lewis and Clark’s campsite of April 27 and 28, 1806. At the head of the Wallula Gap lies Port Kelley and Spring Gulch. Lewis and Clark spent the night of October 19, 1805, near Spring Gulch.

“… the river passes into the range of high Countrey at which place the rocks project into the river from the high clifts which is on the Lard. Side about 2/3 of the way across and those of the Stard. Side about the Same distance, the Countrey rises here about 200 feet above The water and is bordered with black rugid rocks …”
[Clark, October 18, 1805]

Wallula Gap National Natural Landmark
The Wallula Gap was designated as a National Natural Landmark in August, 1980.

Wallula Gap Basalts …

The basalts flows of the Wallula Gap were created in the Miocene Era, over 10 million years ago, and are part of the massive fissure flood basalts of the Columbia River Basalt Group (CRBG). Wallula Gap was created when ancestral Columbia and Snake Rivers flowed through a low area of the basalts.

The Creation of Wallula Gap …

From Geologist Bruce Bjornstad of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, as presented to the Geological Society of America’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City on October 17, 2005:

“… The story of Wallula Gap begins back in the Miocene Epoch, about 17 million years ago. At that time, lava flows of basalt ran out of giant fissures in the Earth’s crust east of here, near the Idaho-Oregon-Washington border. During basalt volcanism, the southern and western portions of the Columbia Plateau, including Wallula Gap, began to warp and fold under stresses deep in the Earth’s crust. The bending of the ancient lava flows is clearly visible in the folded layers of basalt exposed in the steep walls of the gap.
Early in the history of folding, the ridgecrest here was slightly lower than elsewhere along the ridge. This caused first the ancient Salmon-Clearwater River (precursor to the Snake River), and then the Columbia River to flow across the ridge over this low point. As the ridge continued to bend upward, river erosion kept pace, and a water gap developed. Until about 10 million years ago only the ancestral Salmon-Clearwater River flowed through Wallula Gap. It wasn’t until about 6 million years ago that the Columbia River joined in, where it has continued to flow ever since. Somewhere between 2 and 3 million years ago, the ancestral Salmon-Clearwater River captured the Snake River in the vicinity of Hell’s Canyon, along the Idaho-Oregon border; this added significantly to the amount of water draining through the gap. …”

Wallula Gap and the Missoula Floods …

Wallula Gap is the largest, the most spectacular, and the most significant of the several large water gaps through the basalt anticlines in the Columbia Basin, and funneled the mighty waters of the Missoula Floods. The Missoula floods are the largest known floods on Earth in the last two million years; the flow of water was ten times the combined flow of all the rivers of the world. The flood crest at Wallula Gap on the Columbia River at the Washington-Oregon border was about 1,200 feet, as evidenced by glacial erratics that were left stranded on the slopes of the Horse Heaven Hills and other anticlinal ridges. The water that poured down the Columbia River Gorge stripped away soil, surficial sediments, and talus up to 1,000 feet elevation as far as The Dalles, Oregon . By the time it reached Crown Point, the surface of the last flood (there were over 40 individual floods) had dropped to about 600 feet elevation The average interval between Missoula floods was about 30 years, with the last flood occurring about 13,000 years ago.

FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT

http://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/wallula_gap.html

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!

http://www.teampendley.com/

Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County
http://springhillnorthalbanycarshow.com

New Ways to Think About All That Mulch in the Garden

After four years my neighbor finally put in a modest foundation bed last summer. I watched her laboriously dig out a 3-foot-deep bed, tearing at the fescue imbedded in potter’s clay (that’s our soil). Eventually she put in a row of three evenly spaced barberry shrubs, a miscanthus in one corner and a hosta in the other, then a daylily of some type. She mulched her bed with so many wood chips, they rose halfway up the barberry shrubs and almost covered the daylily leaves.

To be encouraging, I told her how wonderful it all looked, when what I really wanted to say was, “What do you think about staggering those plants? How about a more curved bed? Maybe that miscanthus won’t work so well in that much shade.” But most of all I wanted to point out that her plants were drowning in mulch.

I couldn’t say any of this — I feel bad talking about it now, like I’m some sort of landscape backseat driving jerk for even mentioning my thoughts. It’s her house, her yard, her plants. But the mulch. The mulch. So instead of talking to my neighbor, I’ll talk to you about why wood mulch can be both great and, well, not very great at all — and what a better alternative might be.

Types of wood mulch. We’ve been taught that wood mulch is essential, and in a lot of ways it is. If you use it, chunky wood mulch at a depth of 3 to 4 inches is best at suppressing weeds and adding organic matter to the soil, while also allowing good water infiltration. Finely shredded wood mulch tends to create a dense, impermeable mat and even blow away, but it’s great at weed suppression. The point here is that the kind of wood mulch you use matters. And don’t use cypress, as it’s often harvested unsustainably (of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if all wood mulch is harvested unethically).

Wood mulch is good for your soil. Termites don’t like wood mulch, contrary to the myth my home builder told me when he saw I was putting it right up against the house. It also doesn’t suck nitrogen out of the soil as it decomposes; instead it creates awesome soil by encouraging microbial life.

Yes, this was my garden many years ago, with 20 yards of mulch and when I was clueless about everything. Please note that I now mulch it with the perennial stems I cut down each spring, which isn’t enough, but it doesn’t matter — by early June you can’t even see the ground.

But too much is very bad for plants. Let’s also talk about mulch volcanoes. You know, mountains of mulch piled up 1 foot to 2 feet against a tree trunk. I never knew my city was riding over a fault line filled with mulch magma, but apparently it is. This practice will lead to disease and trunk rot and tree death. Personally, I prefer the park-like look of trees with no mulch — trunks coming straight out of the lawn or meadow, like the olive tree and mass of lavender here. Trees like river birch even seem to prefer plants around their root zone, which better shade and cool the soil.

All that being said, some studies show that a circle of mulch around trees and shrubs increases their rate of establishment and growth over the years. How’s that for conflicting info about mulch? Keep in mind, though, that a tree’s feeder roots will eventually reach out to at least twice the tree’s height — that’s one really big potential mulch circle.

Wood mulch maybe isn’t the best mulch. Designwise, I feel that mulch maroons plants and makes a perennial bed look like every other perennial bed. Mulch is default landscaping, and it kind of bugs me, as it’s very boring. If you can’t afford more plants, buy plugs, which are often a third the price of larger pots and give you more plants for your buck. In a worst-case scenario, plugs establish and spread just as fast as much larger root-bound nursery pots. More plants. More awesome.

Plants are the best mulch. Why not let your self-sowing perennials self-sow? Let them spread, get free plants, create a dense garden full of life and shelter and food for insects and birds and spiders and frogs and kids. Nature abhors a vacuum, and mulch is a vacuum devoid of life. In nature smaller plants and seedlings are the mulch, in effect. So if you’re actively planting a new bed from scratch, consider what shorter plant to use in front and under taller ones to create a rich, beautiful layer that serves many purposes at once.

Eventually you won’t even need mulch. After a few years, as your plants establish, you won’t really need any kind of trucked-in mulch. The taller and thicker plants create a shade barrier to most weeds and help conserve soil moisture. If anything, I’d say top-dress with some nice compost in the fall, since compost can be both a mulch and a natural fertilizer. Letting it soak in over winter is also a smart idea

One last reason plants make a better mulch. In a sunny area, you have to keep adding mulch, maybe as often as once a year, because mulch breaks down faster in sunlight. That’s not as low maintenance as I like, but wood mulch is far better than rubber (adds nothing to the soil; seems sort of like pollution) or rock (adds nothing to the soil; pain in the derriere to clean debris from or dig in). Nothing mulches like a nice plant ground cover and a diverse, vastly more interesting and layered perennial bed.

Team Pendley
with RE/MAX Integrity
We Go The Extra Mile, It’s Less Crowded!

http://www.teampendley.com/

Pat Pendley, Principal Broker
(541) 990-2530

Christie Pendley, Broker
Certified Distressed Property Expert
(541) 619-3640

Doug Hall, Broker
(541) 979-0571

**Pat Pendley, Christie Pendley ,and Doug Hall, are licensed Real Estate Brokers in the State of Oregon with RE/MAX Integrity

Team Pendley is a proud sponsor of
The Springhill North Albany Car show to benefit CASA of Linn County
http://springhillnorthalbanycarshow.com

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