There are few things so at-home during the holidays as poinsettias. These bright red (or white!) flowers with rich green foliage are popular during the holiday season and you can find them just about anywhere. They add visual interest to people’s environments, are easy to find, and generally affordable too, lending to their popularity.

However, as popular and pretty as these plants are, they are also toxic to pets and small children. If you have either at home, you may worry about them ingesting these plants and might be looking for non-toxic alternatives.

Keep reading for our recommendations!

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garden rake laying in grass

It may or may not surprise you that there are many different types of rakes and they all have a specific purpose. Finding the right rake for your yard cleanup job can make the job easier, more efficient, and help you get the desired results from your yard cleanup jobs. Rakes are one of those garden tools that help make gardening a whole lot easier, and their use is not to be underestimated!

We’re going to go through 5 of the most popular rakes for different jobs, so keep reading below!

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pumpkins and lit candles at night

Halloween is just right around the corner and what a better way to get into the spirit than getting festive and decorating! If you’re not confident in your crafting skills or you’re running out of ideas and need to step it up, have no fear, you will find ideas that are suitable for beginners and spook-tacular decorations that will spice up your porch, door and yard for this spooky season! 

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walkway in greenhouse lined with tall green plants

When you think of greenhouses, you probably think that they are for professional gardeners only, but we are here to offer insight on why your garden needs a greenhouse, even if you’re not particularly green thumbed!

Greenhouses provide an ideal environment for efficient growing, longer growing seasons, are environmentally friendly, cost-efficient and more!

As the fall weather is approaching and gets colder, the humidity in the air plummets, making the environment more hostile to delicate plants during colder months. With a green house, however, the opposite is true- the humidity and warm air stays in and keeps the elements out, making it a suitable place to lengthen your growing season for seasonal plants.

Greenhouses offer a controlled climate for growing, protection against swinging temperatures – whether at the beginning or the end of planting season; and it won’t put your plants at risk. This allows you to plant weeks or even months longer than initially possible.

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wooded landscaped waterfall

When you close your eyes and visualize nature, one of the first things that comes to mind is likely a body of water, or a trickling creek or stream. The healing power of water has been noted for centuries. Afterall, being ¾ water ourselves, it’s no surprise that we love water and water features, especially if we have the opportunity to add it to our homes and gardens. Whether you prefer a pool for those hot days, a hot tub for those cool days or a birdbath or waterfall fixture, there are many benefits to having water features as part of your landscape.

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hands holding dark dirt


What is Compost? 


Composting is a growing trend throughout the U.S. With recent emphasis on reducing waste and protecting the environment, composting has seen a surge in popularity. By composting, you can reduce landfill wastes by 30% and help the soil too! Compost is a vital product to farmers and home gardeners alike, and it’s super easy to start a compost pile.

Mature compost is a stable material with content that enriches the soil and can help plants and flowers grow. It is called “humus” and is typically dark brown or black, and it has a soil like, earthy smell. Good compost should never smell like rot, and if it does, something is wrong!

Compost is created by combining organic waste products such as fruit and vegetable peels, cuttings and other uneaten food waste. Yard trimmings and herbivorous manures also can contribute to the making of compost. Wood chips, ash, and dead leaves are also examples of what compost is made of.

In order for compost to be successful, it must be left to degrade over time and be subjected to high temperatures in order to kill seeds, pathogens and other undesirable aspects of organic waste products.

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sprouted bulbs

Fall is prime season to break out the bulbs for planting. Many Spring-blooming flowers need an overwintering period in order to bloom nice and bright when the weather begins to warm up. Some of your standard bulbs may be daffodils or tulips but they go so far beyond that, that there is one for every flower preference and color.

Whether you prefer your blooms to be purple, white, yellow or blue, there is one for you!

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small pumpkin on green lawn

As the summer season begins to fade into fall, leaves start changing colors, the sky turns a bit bluer, and pumpkin patches begin to grace the rural roads of Western NC. Pair that with the ever-popular apple cider and pumpkin spice lattes popping up in coffee shops across the state.

Your summer crops have likely died off at this point, leaving your yard littered with brown or beige plants that are well past their time or barely hanging on for those last warm, sunny days. You may have slowed down on your lawncare routine as you prepare to put away your garden tools and lawn mowers for the season, saving them for their next debut in spring. Weeds, overgrown grass and hedges are indicative of the change in seasons.

You may be ready to rest and call it quits for the season, but alas, there are still things to be done!

Since the weather is cooling down, you’re given the unique opportunity to take advantage of more tolerable temps, making summer clean up a little easier on the ol’ bones, as well as being able to plant bulbs for springtime flowers, and planting cool weather veggie crops. Below are some tips for fall gardening and clean up success!

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gutter filled with leaves
You just can’t beat fall in Western North Carolina. From taking a drive to view the color on the Blue Ridge Parkway to fire pit parties in your backyard, the cooler temperatures and scenic views of our fall season can offer a relaxing change from the warmer days of summer. But one fall activity that many people dread is cleaning out their gutters. Falling leafs, small twigs, and other debris can clog gutters quickly, making it difficult for water to drain and causing a potential hazard for ice blockage during winter. Luckily, there are some time-saving solutions for getting rid of the gunk in your gutters!

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front lawn with trees

Ball and Burlap (otherwise known as B&B) trees have been planted, allowed to grow, then dug up and sold to nurseries, where they can be kept for several months. They’re sold with their root balls wrapped in — you guessed it — burlap, which is usually covered with a wire cage to protect it. While B&B trees are more difficult to handle than bare-root trees due to their maturity, they’re also generally hardier and will give you the look of a tree that’s been established in your lawn.

B&B trees can be planted anytime during the growing season. They sometimes need to be lifted by machinery, as they can be quite heavy. Follow these seven steps to successfully plant a B&B tree:

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frost covered lawn
Your lawn irrigation system is much like the water pipes in your home — when you don’t prepare it for winter temperatures, any water left inside it can freeze, causing the pipes, sprinkler heads, and manifold (the tubing that distributes water to the valves) to burst. Winterizing your irrigation system before winter arrives can save you costly repairs in the future.

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Stone retaining wall

Here in the mountains of Western North Carolina, we know a thing or two about sloping yards. Some people think a yard that slopes is difficult to work with, but we happen to believe that it provides an amazing opportunity for beautiful, innovative landscaping! Whether you have a gentle slope or are perched on the side of a mountain, we have some great ideas for creating a landscape you’ll love.

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bunch of carrots
Just because the weather’s turning cooler doesn’t mean you have to stop gardening! Here in Western North Carolina, our mild climate gives us plenty of options for growing vegetables in fall. Here are some veggies that thrive in autumn. (Note that all of these can or should be grown in full sunlight):

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sod covering part of lawn

Sod is made up of grass and a small part of soil held together by the root system or a biodegradable material. While sod costs more than grass seed, making the investment will provide many benefits for your lawn and property, including erosion prevention, less irrigation, and flood reduction. Sod also gives you an “instant lawn” — no waiting for seed to grow! — and adds to the value of your property by giving it a high-end, lush look.

The best time to lay sod in WNC is spring and early fall, when temperatures are cooler and there’s more rain to help sod take root quickly. But laying it takes a bit of prep work, and you’ll need to properly maintain it afterward. Follow these steps for healthy, happy sod.

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Do leaves really need to be removed? Short answer…YES! Leaves can block out the sun while keeping moisture in. This can cause mold, fungus and disease. On the flip side they can keep water from getting in, which is also undesirable because it blocks nutrients from getting to the root system of the lawn

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The best time to overseed a lawn or repair thin and bare areas is fall. The cool nights and mild, shorter days provide the ideal conditions for seed germination. Seed is better able to retain moisture in these conditions, and seedlings will thrive without the extreme heat that occurs in the summer months.

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Compacted soil prevents grass from establishing a healthy root system and keeps nutrients and water from reaching the roots.

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Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year here in Western North Carolina , read more to find out why leaves really fall. 

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5 Curb Appeal Tips for Fall

Clean Up the Yard: Keep falling leaves at bay with frequent raking and patch up any brown spots in the grass.
Plant Fall Flowers: As your summer plants start to fade, replace them with vibrant mums or other colorful flowers.
Clean Up the Exterior: Fall is a good time to pressure wash the exterior and clean the windows.
Clear Out All Gutters: Be sure to clear your gutters and downspouts of leaves and other debris, which will protect your home from water damage.
Add Outdoor Lighting: Use decorative lights to illuminate walkways, and install flood lights or lanterns to brighten up entrance areas.


Why didn’t someone warn us that we were in for hurricane-like conditions?! I think it’s safe to say that nobody was quite as prepared as they might have liked to be in order to deal with the amount of water that poured into Hendersonville recently. With how badly the roads flooded, our minds were on the many lawns that could have acted as impromptu swimming pools had the weather been warmer. So you might be wondering, what is the best course of action to take as your lawn begins to drain? How should you handle the newly landed leaves, and what is the appropriate time to wait before you even think about mowing? We’re here to help.

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