O’Connell Team - Wilmington MA Real Estate, Tewksbury MA Real Estate, Billerica MA Real Estate


Gardens are beautiful and beneficial. Regardless if you are growing a vegetable garden or just flowers, it’s always worth getting your hands dirty now and then. You might look to the perfect gardens in your area and long to have something similar. Fortunately, starting a garden could be much easier than you thought. Does it involve much work and time? Certainly! But with the guidance, you can do your best to bring your dream garden to life.Read on to know how to start a garden.

Decide the type of garden

Gardens cater to different plants, so, to start, you must decide if you want a vegetable, flower, or herb garden. A vegetable garden comprises plants such as tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and carrots. They are colorful in their way but serve a much bigger purpose as a source of food. You can harvest the crops when they produce fruits, to feed your family or share with neighbors.

Flower gardens typically are for ornamental purposes. They make your home more beautiful, especially when you take the time to plant them in rows or clusters. 

Herb gardens add beauty to your surroundings but are also useful in the kitchen. Herbs such as cilantro, thyme, and rosemary are a large part of an herb garden.

Vegetable plants will always need more attention and specific care to grow successfully, but flowers and herbs can withstand a little neglect.

Select specific plants

Every area offers something different to plants concerning weather, soil, and other factors. For this reason, some plants grow better in particular environments than others. After deciding the type of garden to go with, the next step is to consider the plants. Research this by asking another gardener in your area, visiting a nursery, or checking out the website of a local university’s botany department. Learn what vegetables grow best, which flowers grow better when herbs are the better choice.

Prepare the soil

The soil will need a little boost to accommodate the plants and guarantee they grow healthy. Improve the soil conditions by adding organic matter. For the best results, consult your nursery or gardening expert. Earth with more clay in it needs one preparation while dirt with more iron needs another so, do not expect perfect results without the right product.

Seeds or Transplanting Healthy Plants

Deciding whether to plant seeds or to transplant healthy seedlings requires a consideration of the season. Some plants grow during winter, which is usually from December to March, others prefer the warm spring season which begins late March and runs till June. 

Finally, invest in quality garden tools, water the plants when needed, and care for them regularly. No room for a garden? Ask your real estate professional about neighborhoods that have a community or cooperative gardens.


Make your new house an even more welcoming place to come home to by designing a fragrant flower garden. Fill your garden with these beautiful blooms and reap the aromatic rewards.

If you aren’t exactly known for your green thumb don’t think you can’t have a beautiful flower garden too! Most of these blooms are also incredibly easy to grow and require little maintenance over time.  

Sweet alyssum - Not only is the sweet alyssum beautifully fragrant, it’s also a pretty hardy plant that can tolerate both heat and drought. It is also a self-sowing plant so it will come back year after year with minimal effort on your behalf. While it grows low to the ground it’s potent sweet scent won’t go unnoticed.

Rose - The rose needs no introduction. While this bloom precedes its fragrant reputation it, unfortunately, has one misconception - that they are difficult to grow. If you have an area in your garden that receives around 6 hours of sunlight you should find little difficulty getting this coveted blossoms to grow.

Phlox - Phlox grow in small bundles of flowers, much like the sweet alyssum. There are actually three varieties to be aware of when choosing your seeds. There are border phlox, mounding phlox and woodland varieties. No matter the variety this bloom boasts a sweet almost honey-like smell you will adore.  

Butterfly bush - This shrub grows long draping cone-shaped bundles of flowers. It comes in shades of white, pink and purple. If you are looking to attract butterflies opt for a lavender-pink variety. It should be noted that this bush is considered an invasive species and can be problematic in areas with more mild climates.

Flowering crabapple - Crabapples comes in many varieties and can fit any garden’s aesthetic needs. You can find traditional round shaped trees as well as ones with draping branches much like a weeping willow. For the most fragrant blooms, you’ll want the single blossom variety.

Peony - Peonies are a stunning, showy bloom much like the rose. The lovely, fresh scent peonies throw off is well worth the 2-3 year wait for a newly planted bush to establish itself. And good news - they don’t require much fussing over throughout that time. Aside from adequate sun and plenty of root space to soak up nutrients this bush is pretty low maintenance.  

These six blooms will be sure to up the aroma ante in your flower garden. Not only can they be grouped up together but they can also be grouped with other stunning blooms whose fragrance is lacking for a well-rounded showstopper of a garden. Peonies can be put in the same garden design as roses to complement one another's showy blooms. While sweet alyssum and phlox can be added to just about any design due to their low-spreading nature.


Many parts of the country suffer droughts from time to time. When there are water restrictions and less of a water supply available to you, how can you keep a green lawn and happy plants? You may have to make some sacrifices, but there’s some tricks to wait out the tough conditions. While you wait for the rain, there’s steps that you can take to help your plants and trees survive a drought. Here’s some tips for surviving a drought: Cut Back On Fertilizing When it’s dry, the salt in fertilizers actually dehydrates the roots of plants. Also, since fertilizers stimulate growth, your plants will require more water. It’s recommended that you stop fertilizing when there’s a drought or dry spell. Adjust Your Lawn Mower Keep your grass at an optimal height. This is usually between 2 and 4 inches, depending upon the kind of turf grass that you have. This will help the grass to preserve moisture. Water when you’re able to early in the day. Water From Overhead When you water your plants, water them from overhead rather than under the leaves into the soil. This way, water will continue dripping off of the leaves for some time throughout the day. Water Early In The Day You want to be sure that when you do water your plants or grass that you water early in the day. When temperatures are lower, the plants will take more time to dry, helping them to preserve water for a longer period of time. It’s better for the plants if the foliage dries before nightfall. Try Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation tubing hoses water much more efficiently than overhead sprinklers when it comes to gardens that are planted in rows or blocks. These irrigation hoses water slowly and evenly. This method is incredibly economical. It eliminates the waste of water. Don’t Use Cold Water Just like humans, plants don’t like cold showers either. If you have seedlings, they could actually die from “shock,” especially if there isn’t enough soil to absorb the water. Never water plants with ice cold water. Stick to tepid water when you irrigate your plants. Check Items That You Have Transplanted You’ll need to check your transplanted items daily, especially during a dry spell. If it’s hot and there’s a wind, it will be even more important to check your plants. These conditions cause the water that you do use with your plants to absorb more quickly. Be sure you water the plants that you have moved evenly and consistently so that they can survive a drought. It’s important to conserve water as much as you can. During drought conditions, remember that water is precious. These tips should help you to keep your lawn and garden as fresh as possible without wasting water.

There are a lot of reasons you may want to line your house with plants. Maybe you need curb appeal to attract buyers to your home. Perhaps you have a foundation you want to cover. You could just like the piece of mind that comes with taking care of living plants. Whatever your reasons, I have the plants for you. There are a few things to keep in mind when planting around your house. Remember you should leave at least two foot between the side of your house and your plants. This may mean a little maintenance to your garden beds. There are a few reasons for this. You do not want plants rubbing up against your house and bringing moisture, animals, bugs, and general wear and tear to your siding. Pick the right plant for your house. What style are you looking for here? Depending on the style of your home, you may want a plant that compliments this. Let’s talk about a few good options that will suit you, no matter what you are looking for.
  • Hydrangeas are a great pick for the front of your house. They attract the eye without being too ostentatious with their bell shaped pink and purple blooms. You will need three to five feet in height and spread to let them grow to their full potential. These are a great full plant to cover your plain or dare I say unsightly foundation.
  • Blue Angel Hostas love the shady spots of the yard, and are a great pick for the tree lined portions of your home. They like living in moist mulch as most shade plants do, and will need about 3 feet in height and 4 feet in spread. These hostas have big leaves and small stalk blooms. Hostas are perennials, which means they will come back each year and, bonus, they will continue to spread throughout the years. This may mean dividing the plant every few years. They make a great housewarming gifts for your friends and family at times like these.
  • Knockout Roses will last from the spring to the fall’s first frost--perfect for continuous beauty. These roses are very low maintenance and easy to maintain. Make sure to cut these roses back in the winter and this will give them a great chance to come back healthy each spring. Knockout roses will need four feet in height and three feet in spread. There are a great choice for any home.
I know creating curb appeal can seem very daunting. It doesn't have to be with a few great choices, no matter your reason for sprucing up your yard. Remember, with a little bit of maintenance any homeowner can be a successful gardener. If you are ready to list your home, I am here to help you. Even if you are just want some attractive plant beds for years to come, I am happy to help you!

If you keep a garden but find yourself throwing away leftover food, you're probably missing out on the opportunity to reclaim the nutrients of that food through composting. When you compost, you're essentially speeding up nature's process of breaking down organic matter into fertile soil. The compost can then be used to nourish the soil of your garden or lawn. Today you'll learn how to make a compost bin, mix the compost, and then spread it into your lawn and garden so you can make the most of the extra waste you have at home.

Making a compost bin

There are endless ways to make a compost bin. In fact, a bin isn't even necessary to make good compost, and some people choose to just keep a pile that they turn throughout the year. Making a bin has many advantages, however: it keeps the compost pile warm and moist (two essential elements that speed up decomposition), it keeps pests out of your compost, and it keeps your neighbors happy who might not want to smell decomposing food when they go outside. Compost bins are commonly made from wood, chicken wire or plastic. Some towns even subsidize compost bins to encourage people to compost rather than throwing their compostable waste in the trash. Old wooden pallets are a great product to build compost bins from.

Adding compost to your bin

People who are new to composting often worry about what can be composted. Once you get started, though, you'll soon realize that almost any organic matter will break down in a compost bin. Beginners often stick to vegetables, coffee grounds, grains, and materials from your yard. Greens and Browns Compostable materials are often broken down into greens (nitrogen-based materials) and browns (carbon-based materials). Your compost bin doesn't need a perfect balance to be effective, but using some of each type of organic matter will produce the best results. Too much brown matter in your bin will be hard to decompose. Too much green matter will make the compost slimy. Here are some examples of great carbon and nitrogenous materials to put in your bin: Brown:
  • dry leaves
  • straw
  • newspaper
  • sawdust
  • wood chips
Green:
  • fruits and vegetables
  • weeds from the yard
  • fresh grass clippings
  • flowers
  • coffee grounds

Maintaining the compost pile

To create a good environment for decomposition you'll need three things: heat, moisture, and air. This makes compost bins relatively low-maintenance, but here are some tips to speed up the decomposition process: Heat In the spring and summer, nature will provide this for you, but having an enclosed bin that receives plenty of sunlight will help you out. Moisture The bacteria that are doing the composting in your bin require water to live. But too much water will make your bin a slimy mess. Shoot for moist, not wet. Air A compost bin needs to be aerated to blend the ingredients together. You don't need to turn it often; once every two to three weeks is fine.   Now that you know all you need to about making great compost for the lawn and garden, it's just a matter of mixing it in and reaping the rewards. Mix compost into garden soil and lawns early in the spring and in the fall after harvest to keep the soil healthy year-round.



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