Spring time blues

Spring budsI’m borrowing a line from Gerard Manley Hopkins here:

“Nothing is so beautiful as Spring – When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush…”

And don’t they get away after only a few millimetres of rain? We could do with a lot more rain at this stage, but there seems to be just enough to get the weeds growing.

It’s a busy time as everyone seems to decide at once that they want things cleaned up for the warmer months ahead (and the clock is ticking down to Christmas) – everything from garden clean-ups to small renovations.

The key to making the spring clean not quite so big a job for me or you, is to do things more regularly. A tough gig when you’re busy and not always fun, but it certainly saves time and money when the weather warms up.

Anyone in trades will probably be finding that the work becomes more constant from here on in as everyone wants their job done today…or at the latest, tomorrow. Patience is a virtue, or so my mother told me, but it doesn’t always wear so well when talking with potential clients.

So, if you’re looking to do a spring clean at your place – be it oiling the deck, a fresh coat of paint, a garden tidy up or changing batteries in your smoke detectors –  think about what you can do and then give me a ring about the rest. Get a list happening of all the things you want done and prioritise it. And if I can’t do it, I’m always happy to give you some idea of who might.

In the meantime, enjoy the warmer days and have a word to that person of influence about sending down some decent rain before summer gets here.

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Gardens take a hit during a hot, dry Dubbo summer

tap_watertimer_webHappy New Year and here’s hoping for a wet one! One month into the summer of 2012/13 and it’s as dry as the proverbial bone. As we look to the skies for some relief and work at getting into the garden early in the day or during the evening to keep water up to thirsty lawns and plants, it’s a good time to reassess how you’re watering your garden.

Even if you have the luxury of being on a town water supply, you can’t just turn on the tap and walk away. It’s estimated that 2o-25 percent of drinking quality water is used on our gardens! Here are a few things to think about this summer while we wait for the rain.

  • Use a timer where possible for sprinkler systems.
  • Water your garden early morning or evening to reduce evaporation;
  • Water established trees, shrubs and lawns less frequently but deeply, allowing the water to slowly penetrate;
  • Mulch your garden with organic materials and compost to reduce evaporation and weed growth;
  • Choose plants that do well in dry conditions such as natives, succulents and mediterranean plants;
  • Group plants with similar watering requirements.

Dubbo City Council has a water conservation page on their website that is worth looking at, including a PDF document you can download called Sustaining Gardens in Dry Times.

Give me a call if you need a hand with your watering system, installing timers, mulching or general garden tidy-ups. And don’t forget to keep a bit of length in your lawn when you’re cutting it – the roots need some protection from the scorching heat.

Cameron the Handyman will be taking a break from the heat of Dubbo from 9 – 21 January.

Summer is almost here!

Summer is almost on us and there are a few jobs you should do so you can enjoy the longer days and warmer months:
* Clean and check your guttering
* Remove rubbish from around your home
* Ensure your taps don’t leak and your hoses are in good repair
* Check and clean your flyscreens
* Make sure screen doors close properly
* Get your air-conditioning checked
* Clean the dust from your ceiling fans
* Make sure your smoke detectors are working
* Tidy up the garden, re-mulch beds that need a top up

Running out of time to do some of this? Give me call! In the meantime, stay cool – check out the great tips from Sustainability Victoria on keeping your home cool this summer – see the favourite links in the right margin. I’ve included some other useful tips and contacts below – the links of which are in my favourite links list as well:

For emergency help in floods and storms call:
State Emergency Service (SES)on 132 500

For ideas about how to prepare your property for summer check out information from the NSW Fire Brigade and NSW Rural Fire Service.