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Decorating

Light up the Holidays

By | Christmas Lights, Decorating | No Comments

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…” Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis both had it right when they sang this favorite Christmas tune. And seeing Christmas lights go up on businesses and homes around town is a tell-tale sign that this wonderful time is right around the corner.

The Chicago Tribune just ran an article about the Christmas shopping season and how it started earlier this year because of competitive Christmas sales. While this is one of the best times of the year, Christmas shopping can be stressful. But, for me, one thing that makes my shopping a little more enjoyable is seeing all of the Christmas decor around town, especially Christmas lights and displays. And at night, after a long day, to be able to drive through the city and see Christmas lights twinkling is refreshing. Commercial businesses can do a lot to help their shoppers make it a wonderful time of year, just by adding some holiday cheer!

Attracting Business with Christmas Lights

As a business owner myself, I am always looking for ways to increase awareness of my company. During the holidays I have found that stores that have a nice Christmas display or holiday lighting attract more customers. Even a business that I may never step foot into gets my attention if they have a little holiday cheer outside welcoming me inside. Lights attract business.

Better Shopping

One thing I have noticed when it comes to holiday shopping is the stress and chaos it causes. I firmly believe that adding a little lighting or just a few simple decorations can put people in a better shopping mood. And better moods equal better buying.

With more people buying online, increasing the attractiveness of your storefront is key in getting more holiday shopppers into your store. And creating an atmosphere that reduces stress and increases the real reason behind the holiday is always a positive thing.

Installation of Christmas Lights

The best thing about decorating your storefront is that it is incredibly easy to hire someone to do it for you. From setting up, to tearing down and storage, hiring out holiday lighting is simple and affordable.

Professional Light Installation

Having lights professionally set up and installed can save from serious accidents such as fires and lighting shorts. Most companies will also come out and check your display and bulbs to make sure they are working properly.

Tear Down

Instead of worrying about when to take down your display or finding the time to take it down, professional lighting companies do all of this work for you too. Many people who put displays on their business do not take the time to take them down after the season ends. This often makes the storefront look less than appealing. Set up and tear down of Christmas lights should be done in a timely manner.

Storage of Christmas Lights

One of the things I hate most about taking the lights off of my house is the jumbled mess they get into once they go to the basement. It takes me hours to get all of them untangled and then another hour or two to check to see which twinkling lights have gone out.

When you get your lights done by professionals, the company stores the lights for you. This way you do not have to worry about untangling the “Christmas Vacation” sized ball of lights in your garage or storage unit. The lighting company makes sure all lights are functioning and ready for the perfect display.

This holiday season make it the most wonderful time of year for not only you, but for your customers as well.

Get a free estimate on holiday lighting for your home or business by calling, 816-697-2720.

Complement Your Patio With A Container Vegetable Garden

By | At-Home Patio Kit Assembly, Decorating, Edible Landscaping, Garden, outdoor living, Outdoor patio, patio, Seasonal Plants, Uncategorized | No Comments

Nothing says summer like fresh veggies. Slice a deep red and beefy tomato, toss in some home grown basil and a good mozzarella and you’ll have the perfect summer salad. Few things compare to stepping outside and picking the tomato yourself with a snip of herbs on the way back inside.

Unfortunately a vegetable garden requires yard space, may interfere with landscaping or just be difficult to maintain. This is where the container garden steps in. Most any summer veggie can be coaxed into growing in the proper pot and the bounty can be delicious. Watering becomes easier, fertilizing is simple and they can actually add to the beauty of a patio or deck. So if you want the privilege of the backyard side dish there are lots of plant varieties that love the container.

I Say Tomato!

The granddaddy of the summer garden and the number one pick of all vegetable growers the tomato is very happy to be contained. A full size plant need a container with a soil capacity of at least 20 quarts and a water capacity of at least a gallon or more to keep up with this water lover. Patio varieties are also available for smaller spaces and produce smaller but just as yummy fruits. Buying tip: You may be tempted to buy large plants at the garden center with blossoms already set. Avoid this and buy smaller plants with dark green leaves and few or no blossoms. Blossoms can be a sign of stress in a plant that sits in a tiny pot. Give a small plant a big home and you’ll get a happy plant.

Wouldn’t You Like to Have a Pepper, Too?

Green, red, yellow, orange or even purple. Sweet, spicy or fiery. Large, small or just decorative. Pepper plants come in all kinds of delightful varieties and are well suited for containers. They love heat and consistent moisture and some varieties are compact enough to grow well in medium containers or even mix with other small plants in a larger one. Growing tip: Peppers need lots of light and heat so don’t be discouraged if they take a while to get going.

Lettuce Entertain You!

Lettuce is a fabulous container vegetable with almost as many choices for color, texture, size or taste as stars in the sky. They need constant moisture so a self-watering container is ideal. And because they are an early season plant that won’t tolerate summer heat you can use the container again for flowers after your lettuce season ends. Leaf lettuces are wonderful for “cut and come back” harvesting as you can cut the whole plane an inch above the soil and it will grow a new set of leaves.

Cukes Are Cute!

Cucumbers from the garden are a world away from the waxed and dry variety from the supermarket. They need heat, a consistent amount of food and lots and lots of H2O so this make them great for containers that can be tended just outside your door. They’ll need something to climb so if you don’t want that to be your patio furniture provide them with a trellis. Make sure your container is deep enough to sink support stakes into to secure the trellis as the vine can become heavy. Harvest when they’re smaller then the store variety as they will taste better. Beware of powdery mildew and cucumber beetles.

Squash Isn’t Just a Sport.

Summer squash is actually a bush rather than a vine so they can be grown in containers without invading your patio or everywhere else. Plant in the largest container you can manage, self-watering if possible, and deep. Like cucumbers summer squash in the garden should be harvested well before the size you see in the supermarket. Whether green zucchinis or yellow banana yellow squash you’ll be pleased with how well these container plants taste.

Herbs Are Well Seasoned.

Don’t forget the huge and wonderful varieties of herbs that can be container grown. Basil is the champ with colors from dark green to vivid purple and widely varied in taste. Rosemary is a wonderful, pungent Italian herb with a smell that will follow you anywhere once you’ve brushed against the silvery leaves. Thyme, sage, oregano, chives and parsley offer many choices of color and flavor. They can be planted together or separate and add a lovely foliage complement to annuals and perennials. Sneak a pot of chives into the house for the winter and clip the leaves as needed.

If you’ve never planted vegetables or herbs in containers you’ll be amazed at how easy it can be. And it can truly be a pleasure to step out of the kitchen on a lovely summer evening, collect a fresh selection of edibles and serve them for dinner. Entice your guests at a patio party with tiny orange peppers, striped tomatoes and edible nasturtium flowers in a fresh salad at the table.

Spring Flowering Trees

By | At-Home Patio Kit Assembly, Curbing, Decorating, Garden, Trees, Uncategorized | No Comments

With spring approaching at a gallop we are finally rewarded for waiting out the winter. Tulips, daffodils and hyacinth arrive in an explosion of color and fragrance and then the flowering trees bloom and reaffirm our love for the Midwest. Trees and maybe a few well-designed flower beds can dress up any landscape and enhance your home’s curb appeal.

Flowering Dogwood. The Missouri State Tree is a fine place to start. Blooming in colors from white to the softest pink and bold rosy red this stunner can reach a height of 20 feet. In the fall the trees again treat us with pink, red or purple foliage.

Ornamental Pear is another showstopper with tall upright branches covered in white blooms. Planted in groups by many municipalities the Bradford Pear gave city dwellers a lovely spring recharge but they are susceptible to wind and hail so many of them are being replaced by heartier varieties to ensure a lovely sight for years to come. They can reach a height of up to 35 feet depending on the variety

Redbuds are almost as representative of Missouri as the Flowering Dogwood. Longtime residents remember the redbud from childhood as the blooming trees are breathtaking. They most commonly come in colors of pink or deep purple and can reach a height of 25 feet. They are known to reseed so you may have little babies to transplant or give to friends.

A lesser-known but wonderful spring flowering tree is the Serviceberry. A multi-trunked and slow growing tree it produces lovely pink-tipped white blooms that develop into edible purple or red fruit in the fall. Leaves turn a beautiful deep red as winter approaches.  It can reach 15-25 feet tall and 10-15 feet wide.

The Crabapple is another tree that graces the Midwest with thick, heavy blooms that are sometimes fragrant. Long limbs rise up and when the breezes blow they release showers of white, pink or red petals. Look for varieties that don’t bear fruit and are disease resistant. Average height is only 10-25 feet so this is an ideal ornamental tree.

If you’d like to add trees to your landscape just give us a call. We offer professional landscaping services that will complement your house and make entertaining outdoors a treat for you and your family. Consider adding curbing to your garden beds or rejuvenate your patio and complete your outdoor transformation.

Curb Appeal- Ways to Make Low-Cost Improvements

By | curb appeal, Decorating, Landscape Design | 4 Comments

curb-appealYour home’s curb appeal is the opportunity to provide a great first impression. If you’re looking to enhance the look of your home or build value, great curb appeal will encourage potential home-buyers to want to look inside.

Here are several simple, low-cost improvements you can do right away.

Replace the Hardware

If your home has its original house numbers, mailbox, outdoor light fixtures and entry door lockset, it may be time for an upgrade. Replace anything that looks worn or out of date. Make sure these elements flow collectively to add some style.

Dress Up the Front Entry

The focal point of your curb appeal should be the front door and entryway. A blast of color or custom wood decor will make a statement and reflect your home’s interior. Add additional simple decor such as a wreath or potted plants for charm and personality.

Let There be Light

Installing low-voltage landscape lighting will make a big impact on curb appeal. It will also make your home more safe and secure. Illuminate a walking path or add accent lighting to the landscape to brighten your lawn at night. Be sure if a bulb burns out, you replace it right away.

Replace Gutters

If your home’s gutters and downspouts are old, they are likely beginning to rust and suffer from peeling paint. New, snap-fit vinyl gutter systems typically don’t require paint or many tools to install.

Add Outdoor Pieces

Add personality to your lawn with water resistant artwork. Things like wind chimes, bird baths and water sculptures are low maintenance and functional. These also give off a soothing sound that can make a hot day seem cooler. Be sure to choose classy (not tacky) lawn art and keep them away from leaf-dropping areas.

 

Of course, your curb appeal begins with the health of your lawn and landscape. For more ideas for enhancing your home’s curb appeal and improving your lawn and landscape, contact Olympic Lawn & Landscape today!

Fall & Halloween Decorations

By | Decorating | No Comments

Is it too early to start thinking about Halloween? We think not! One of the best things about Kansas City is experiencing the turn of each season. And as we approach September, we can’t wait for fall to hit, and especially the fall decorations and Halloween gear!

Ideas for Decorating for Halloween

We love to see what kinds of new decorations are out there when it comes to fall and Halloween. We love the basic stuff – pumpkins, hay bails, large corn stalks and all of that great fall-type stuff. But what we also love is to see how people are using the basics to decorate.

To get the creative juices going, we turn to blogs of some crafty creatives who have great ideas for fall decor.

Here are a few posts from great fall decorating posts we’ve seen so far:

Great ideas for pumpkin displays and a leaf wreath from My Sweet Savannah

Halloween Decorating from the queen of decor herself, Martha Stewart.

Home Seasons has some amazing ideas for pumpkin decorating

Blissfully Domestic‘s ideas about painting pumpkins and incorporating corks.

Let us know what other blogs you’ve seen with great fall decorating ideas!

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