The lark at heaven’s gate sings
Once again the sun’s warmth melts away the snow and ice as spring returns to Santa Fe. The mountain chickadees that frequented our back-yard feeders during the snowy, dark days of winter are following the receding mountain snows as they head up to their alpine meadows for the summer. Soon we’ll be talking our morning walks accompanied by the chorus ofmeadowlarks as they sing their lovely sonnet of spring.
Let’s face it, spring in Santa Fe is not that great. Summer in Santa Fe is better than anywhere else in the world and our colorful fall season with long warm days and cool nights is sublime. Nobody can doubt that our winter with the snow covered mountains and cold night air scented with piñon is simply magical. But spring, known locally as allergy season, has its challenges: cold, dry, windy, and enough juniper pollen to choke an elephant. It seems that every year, this undefinable season just kind of rolls on and then Poof! It’s summer. Shakespeare would be hard pressed to write a poem about spring in Santa Fe.
However, spring is also about rebirth and renewal and it’s a good time to re-dedicate yourself to the things that are most important. This is a great time to focus attention around your yard. Landscaping improves both the value of your home and your enjoyment of it. If you are not an avid gardener, it’s wise to get help developing a landscaping plan. These can often take years to execute as trees, shrubs, and other plants need time to mature.
TheWashington, D.C.-based American Society of Landscape Architects suggest that you invest 5 to 10 percent of your home’s value on landscaping. This is not to say that you need to run out right now and spend a lot of money, it’s a guide to howmuch to spend over the time you own your home. To support the idea, the NationalAssociation of Realtors reported that upgrading a property’s landscaping from average to excellent improves its value by up to 12 percent.
We are fortunate to have such high-quality nurseries as Payne’s, Newman’s, Agua Fria Nursery, and Plants of the Southwest. These nurseries have a long history here in town and can provide lots of valuable advice for free. If you suffer from allergies, pollen is a consideration. Lilac and other flowering plants are beautiful to look at and very fragrant, but produce lots of pollen that might trigger your allergies. Again it is best to consult our local experts about which plants will provide you the most enjoyment.
If you don’t think that you will be in your home a long time or if you onlywant to spruce up your home for sale, it doesn’t make sense to do extensive landscaping. An efficient solution is to use potted plants and trees in planters. Container plants require less water, are protected from gophers, and can produce more flowers in small spaces. You have total control over the soil and also the ability to move them around. Placing them along the walkway to your housemakes a good impression when showing the home. Our favorite place to shop for these plants is New Mexico Plant Company out on Highway 14. It feels more like a wholesaler but they sell retail. They don’t have a website, so it’s best to call for directions and hours of operation: (505) 471-3685. They sell through what they have so shop early in the spring for best selection.
Trees are often overlooked by homeowners who prefer flowering shrubs and other plants. Trees should be planned first, if possible, as they take the longest to mature and can have the greatest impact on surrounding plants. Trees provide shade which helps soils by reducing heat and evaporation. They also block moisture-wicking wind as well. Placing them on the western side of the house allows their shade to keep your home cooler during the summer months. A little spring landscaping will bring you pleasure all year round and for years to come. When you hear the sound of the first meadowlark, you’ll know it’s time to start planting.
Roger andMelissa are Realtors at KW. Call them at 505-699-3112, email email@example.com, or follow them on Twitter @ CarsonandCarson and at www.facebook.com/carsonandcarson. santaferealestate