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Raised Garden Beds

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Gone are the days of traditional, space-wasting, hard to water gardens.  Raised garden beds are latest trend in horticulture.  And it is one that has homeowners, even those with limited lot sizes, testing out their green thumbs, reaping the benefits (fresh produce -- yum!) and enjoying the results!  The perks of garden boxes are countless, but among the most praiseworthy are:

 

● Fewer weeds.

● Better water retention in sandy areas and more favorable drainage in areas with clay-based soil.

● Warmer soil earlier in the season that stays warmer longer.

● Less soil erosion.

● Prevention of soil compaction.

● Improved pest control.

● Ease of accessibility to reach each plant.

● Aesthetically pleasing.

 

Speaking of ease and aesthetics, check out these easy-on-the-eyes raised beds from two of your own Ankeny Real Estate Service team members!


 

 

Now you’re probably asking yourself, where I can learn how to make a raised garden bed (or 2, or 3!) of my very own?  And since we’re all about helping you make your house a home, we’ve gathered a few good resources on raised garden box building for your convenience.  Check them out, give it a try, and let us know how it goes! 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to make a raised garden bed: http://www.sunset.com/garden/backyard-projects/ultimate-raised-bed-how-to-00400000011938/

 

A video tutorial from National Gardening on how to build your own garden box:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuTYXmy4Yb0

 

Soil calculator from Gardener’s Supply Company so you know exactly how much soil you need:

http://www.gardeners.com/Soil-Calculator/7558,default,pg.html

 

And a great resource on when to plant your seeds:

http://sproutrobot.com/

 

Finally, an all-round great, chock-full of information article:

http://eartheasy.com/grow_raised_beds.htm#c

8 Things to do in Ankeny this Spring

by Ankeny Real Estate Service
  1. Visit any of our MANY different parks.  Check out {this} Park Locator Map to, not only find one near you, but to find a park that meets your needs!  Want a park with a picnic shelter and grill?  We have those! One with open spaces for a game of Frisbee?  Yep, got that too!  There is something for everyone when it comes to parks in Ankeny!

 

 

  1. Grab your pole, some bait, your handy-dandy fishing license and head to one of our local fishing holes.

 

  1. And speaking of fishing, cast your line to catch Iowa’s Free Fishing Days. June 5th, 6th & 7th. (iowadnr.gov).

 

  1. Looking for a good experience AND fresh, locally grown produce, as well as arts, crafts, and entertainment?  The Ankeny Farmers’ Market is just the place for you!

 

 

  1. Are you a sports fan?  If so, be sure to take in an Ankeny High School or Ankeny Centennial baseball, softball, or soccer game.  Be a part of the action and watch rich traditions continue!

 


 

  1. Maybe watching sports isn’t exactly your thing, but playing is!  That’s ok, too.  We’ve got some of the best golf courses around!  Check out one of our many public or private courses.

 

  1. Stop by and join professional yoga instructors at the Ankeny Band Shell, located at the corner of West 1st and NW Ash Dr. for one hour of free outdoor yoga

 


 

  1. Finally, we encourage you to get out and take advantage of one of the newest and best recreational trails in the state.  High Trestle Trail spans 25 miles, from Ankeny to Woodward, with many scenic and entertaining stops along the way.  So, grab your bike or running shoes and get exploring!

Ankeny Farmers' Market 2015

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

If you’re like us, then there’s a good chance that you’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for opening day of the ANKENY FARMERS’ MARKET.  Well, good news -- it is FINALLY here!  The Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market kicks off this Saturday, May 16 and, rumor has it, this year will be even better than the last!

 

 

The Uptown Ankeny Farmer's Market features homemade, homegrown, hand-crafted products and in-season produce. Not only is this open-air market known for the freshest locally grown produce, but each week boasts a variety of offerings. On any given Saturday, you can find meats, baked goods, cut flowers, starter veggie plants, and hanging baskets, along with prepared food vendors, local artists, and entertainers.  When it comes to vendors, no two weeks are the same -- which seems like the perfect excuse to never miss one!

 

 

So, what makes the Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market unique?  Well, according to regular attendee, Kelly Munter (Ankeny), the small-town feel just can’t be beat!  “We love stocking up on our fruits, veggies, and bread for the week without fighting large crowds.  Not to mention, supporting local farmers, the Ankeny community, and our economy is of the utmost importance to us!” 

 

Well, when you put it like that, the Uptown Ankeny Farmers’ Market sure sounds like a place we would all want to be! 

 

Where:

 

Uptown Ankeny

Corner of SW 3rd & SW Maple Street

Ankeny, IA 50021

 

When:

 

(May-September)

Saturdays May 16 thru Sept. 26

8:00 am to 12:00 pm

For more information visit www.uptownankeny.org

Easy Landscaping Ideas for Spring

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

It's time to start thinking about your yard and landscaping again, so we thought a look back at our last landscaping blog was in order! So, here you have it: EASY LANDSCAPING IDEAS FOR SPRING!

 

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An expert gardener/landscaper, I am not.  However, as a real estate agent, I AM a home connoisseur of sorts.  My many years in the business has afforded me the opportunity to witness plenty of dos and don’ts when it comes to landscaping and increasing curb appeal.  With spring weather {hopefully!} on the horizon soon, I thought I would share just a few easy ways to increase the aesthetic appeal of your yard.

 

Start with a plan. And don’t hesitate to dream big!  That’s where great ideas begin.  Think about how and who will be utilizing your yard.  Do you need a family space used for playing catch with the dog, BBQs, and watching outdoor movies?  Or a relaxing retreat that serves as your own personal sanctuary?  Be mindful of the amount of time you are willing to put into maintenance and upkeep.  Now is also the time to brainstorm bigger, long-term ideas, such as a bird bath/feeder, a garden, water features, flowers, or even a hammock, that could add function and fun to your space.

 

Grand plans are great, but big ideas aside, there are several smaller, simple landscaping concepts that can not only increase your curb appeal, but also serve as a cornerstone for the larger lawn dreams that you’ve been scheming.  Here are a few:

 

Focus on the Front (door and porch)

 

●Guide your guest’s eyes from the street to your front door with a manicured, shrub-lined walkway. 

●Consider placing containers of flowers near the front entry as an easy and inexpensive way to add some eye-catching color.  The brighter the color, the easier to see from the street! Porches appear especially welcoming with potted shrubs, trees, or flowers.

●Symmetry is pleasing to the eye, so use this to your advantage by placing pots on either side of the front door OR if you have a corner door, group 3 varying shaped large containers, filled with flowers or plants, along the wall near the door.

●Good landscape lighting is necessary for both convenience and safety.  Use low-voltage lights to illuminate walkways leading to the porch or door. 

 

Consider Container Gardens

 

Container gardens are one of the easiest and most popular types of landscaping. They add color and a homey feel to most any exterior -- without breaking bank.  Your local garden center carries pre-planted containers or you could create your own with a favorite flowers or plants.  An asymmetrical, staggered arrangements is almost always pleasing to the eye -- whether it be up against the house or in the corner of a concrete area. 

 

Lawn Maintenance

 

A green, well-maintained lawn, free of weeds and clutter speaks to the pride homeowners take in the presentation of their yard.  Consistency is the key when it comes to mowing and/or watering.  Fresh mulch is also an easy way to spruce up garden beds without spending much money.  The contrast between new mulch and plants makes everything pop and will draw attention to your well maintained yard.  Finally, take the time to trim overgrown trees and shrubs.  Nothing says neglect like dead branches and excessive shrubs.

 

Your home’s exterior is also its first impression.  With a little TLC and even less time, you can ensure that the pride in your home is evident AND that all passersby are overcome with that positive first impression it deserves!

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4