Decorating Your Garden

It’s decorations in your garden. Non plant elements – “Garden Decor”.

Garden Decor is part of what makes your garden inviting, comfortable, interesting, enticing, unusual, perhaps hilarious, soothing, cherished and more!

There’s no place I prefer to be than in the garden. I work and relax in it, my daughter photographs it. We wander through it, dig our hands into it and we ENJOY it’s bounties while we are amazed at it’s complex nature and how the garden fills our senses completely. Sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste as well as our spiritual senses are all beguiled in the garden. Linger with us a bit as we saunter through the garden.

We walk into a garden and are immediately entranced by what we see whether it be a formal garden design or a cottage garden we delight in the colors, textures and plant combinations we see. Garden decor adds additional architectural elements to the garden. I love walking through a garden gate or garden arbor filled with blooming roses or dangling grapes and then into the gardens beauty beyond. Bird baths, garden statues, seating areas and water features can all add interest and create a focal point in our gardens.

A quirky collection of containers is always intriguing garden decor. We adorn our patio every year with different plant combinations in containers that are anything from pots, or old kitchen odds and ends, to discarded tubs and old logs with rotted out gnarled holes we can fill with soil and grow in. The patio garden is one of my favorite projects because it’s new and unique every year.

A scare crow, garden gnome, or a funky bird feeder can all add a sense of whimsy to the garden. I collect garden decor (ations) from garage sales and display then in the garden, moving things around as the mood strikes. It’s really even more fun than rearranging the furniture!

A water garden or water feature delights the birds and other wildlife providing us with a soothing sensation of the sound of running water. A water feature doesn’t need to be large. You can add a small water garden to most any garden and do it quite inexpensively. I have an old bucket that I keep unplanted in my garden. This water doesn’t run, it’s there for the animals. We’ve recently had a family of foxes move in and they enjoy a fresh drink in the mornings and evenings when the garden is cool and inviting.

Finally, as you add garden decor to your garden, think of garden furniture, maybe a patio umbrella and seating area or a pergola. Every garden needs to provide a “place to be”. A relaxing shady spot or a place to plop and enjoy the beautiful view you’ve created.

As we’ve wandered gardens we’ve also taken pictures for you focusing on the garden decor. We hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy sharing them. We also ask that you submit your garden decor photos to use so we can share those with our readers. We welcome your projects and project ideas.

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Lemon Laws and Extended Warranties — What You Should Know

Lemon laws are regulations enforced by various states that protect customers from defective vehicles. Different states have different rules when it comes to lemon laws, but most of them share some common aspects.

For example, lemon laws require that the problem with the vehicle be taken care of by the manufacturer, not the car dealership. There are certain characteristics a vehicle must meet to be qualified as a lemon. If a car is worked on repeatedly for the same issue and the issue keeps re-occurring, then the car will most likely be designated a lemon. If you purchase a lemon, you are often entitled to some sort of compensation that deals with how much you paid for the vehicle and how many miles are on it. As stated before, different states have different lemon laws.

Some states cover used cars under their lemon laws, while some only cover new vehicles. There are many websites where you can find out your state’s particular policy regarding lemon vehicles. Simply go to the search engine of your choice and type in your state’s name followed by ‘lemon law.’ You will then be presented with multiple websites that can educate you on your particular state’s policies regarding lemon laws.

So…even if your state has a lemon law, do you need an extended warranty? The answer is a definite yes. Cars that are not qualified as lemons can suffer wear, tear, and component failure. If your state does have a lemon law, it’s still quite prudent to purchase an extended warranty. Problems with a vehicle do not necessarily qualify it as a lemon, and that’s a crucial fact you need to understand when considering purchasing a warranty. If you fail to purchase an extended warranty and end up needing repair, it’s unlikely that your state’s lemon laws will cover you, unless of course the vehicle has experienced the same problem multiple times with no record of satisfactory repair after numerous attempts.
There are many types of extended auto warranties available. You can purchase one from the dealership where you got your vehicle, or go to the source and deal directly with a company that specializes in extended auto warranties.

What your warranty will cover depends on what kind of policy you choose. Ideally, you will want a policy that covers parts and labor, as well as wear, tear and breakdown. Some plans will require you to pay a deductible, others won’t.

Be sure to do your research and choose a warranty provider and plan that suits your needs and your budget. By being educated, you can save yourself a lot of trouble and avoid being duped into getting a policy that you do not want. Before shopping for a policy, be clear on what you need, and don’t let slick salespeople convince you otherwise.

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Long Island Real Estate Market – Info For Sellers & Buyers

For Sellers:
“Home prices may fall 25 percent to 30 percent from their peak in 2006 and not hit bottom until 2010, with greater drops still in subprime mortgage debt markets.” – Peter Acciavatti, credit analyst and managing director at JP Morgan Securities Inc Source: Reuters 6/11/08″Home prices, based on the S&P/Case-Shiller data, have fallen about 15 percent and I am expecting them to drop another 10 percent before reaching a trough in the spring of 2009.” – Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Source: Reuters News 6/26/08What these two quotes tell me about the Long Island real estate market is that if you’re in a position where you’re really going to need to sell, you’d better get it on the market now, rather than wait until next year or even the year after.I am all for people not selling their homes now. Really! You may think and ask, “Yeah right, how would you make money?”. The truth is people will always need to sell and their will always be people looking to buy. If less people put their homes on the market, that would be a good thing – but only in large numbers. Supply and Demand dictate the pace of the market. When there’s an over supply, the more dramatic it gets, the more prices will come down. So, really in that scenario, I, as a real estate agent, will do well in the business, whether the homes are priced high or low.If the Long Island real estate market shed about 50% of the houses currently for sale (about 17,000 homes), this would drastically improve and stabilize declining prices and, again, as a real estate agent, I would fair well because this would help even out supply and demand would increase (more buyers).However, I really don’t like being in a position where I’m working with someone (seller) who is frustrated and dissatisfied with the results of “market feedback”. Market feedback is what buyers tell you, simply by their actions. If their actions are to avoid your home and not see it, either by themselves or with another agent, this says one thing loud and clear, “The price is too high.” It may also signal the fact that the home:A. Is not photographed well.
B. Is outdated or in need of updates in key areas of home.
C. Is cluttered in the pictures (see A).
D. Is not differentiated from other homes.
E. Is not advertised fully or in high traffic areas (i.e. internet – and not just MLS).
F. Lacks a real estate agent managing the listing correctly.Now, of course, some of these items are outside the real estate agent’s overall responsibilities (to an extent). Sellers must be willing to do “their share” in order to increase the sale-ability of the property.Market feedback can also tell you the home has all “the goods” (i.e. move-in condition, updated, etc), but priced too high. How so? Simple. No offers. A lot of showings with no offers should tell an agent that the price is a bit too high and only a slight price adjustment and remarketing of the property is needed to get buyers to the table. Now I highlight the word “should” because it’s not a foregone conclusion that every agent will hear the market talking to them.Homeowners working with real estate agents like to focus in on “a lack of marketing” by their respective real estate agents. And I will definitely say, that in some cases, they are right. But more times than not, especially in this market, it has little, if anything, to do with the marketing of the property. Why would I say this?There are approximately 34,000 homes for sale in Queens, Suffolk, and Nassau Counties.Now hiring an agent who works full-time and thus – has a vested interest in selling your home because it’s food on their table – is probably a good idea. But here’s a tip for prospective sellers – use Search the name of agents you’re interviewing. See how involved they are in the field. If they’re not involved…chances are they’re a nonentity in the business. The selling of real estate is a business. It’s not who’s the nicest person (although that goes a long way) or who has a good recipe for chocolate chip cookies (although they’re very yummy). It’s about who sells real estate. Who is apart of the 7% of agents that make 93% of the business? See Teammusso.For Buyers:
Now with the interest rates rising, buyers may want to actually come out and play or they risk being priced out of the market for years to come. I wrote about the effects of higher interest rates on monthly payments and total interest paid on a mortgage. The effects are startling.Now, more than ever, it is wise for any buyer to consider working with a Buyers Agent like myself. Why pay 3% of the money you bring to closing to an agent who works for the seller? That makes no sense. I specialize in Buyer Representation. It’s one of the reasons I use cutting-edge technology to help my buyer clients achieve the dream of homeownership.I look forward to doing business with you!

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