Tag Archives: fall

Fall Landscaping Ideas: How to Prepare Your Yard for Winter

Fall landscaping preparation ideas ready your yard for a long winter and glorious spring.

By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon | Published: October 4, 2011

Fall landscaping chores are your last chance to prepare your property for winter, and to protect that curb appeal you’ve worked so hard to create. So pull on some gloves, grab your tools, and get ready to mulch, prune, and plant before snow and frozen ground turn the lights out on your landscaping.

Spread Mulch

“Fall mulching is better for the plants than spring mulching,” says Dan Taft, owner of The Cutting Edge in Chantilly, Va. “It helps protect roots from frost and helps retain moisture during a cold and dry winter.”

Spread 2 to 3 inches of fresh mulch around shrubs and trees. Taft warns home owners to avoid using free mulch from municipal piles, which often contain disease spores; instead, buy hardwood shredded mulch from home and garden centers, he says.

“Cheap, dump mulch mainly is made from trees that have died from disease,” Taft says. “Many diseases will linger in the mulch, like leaf spot and pine bark borers. You don’t want ground-up diseased plants around your landscaping.”

Remove the Dead and Dying

Fall isn’t the time to prune, because that encourages growth when healthy plants should remain dormant. But don’t shelve your shears and loppers yet. Fall is the time to neaten your landscaping before putting it to bed for the winter.

“If you remove dead landscaping in fall, you don’t have to look at it all winter,” Taft says.

  • Remove dead annuals.
  • Deadhead spent blooms, and cut back dead and desiccated ornamental grasses and perennials.
  • Lightly prune dead and dying branches from shrubs and trees. Carefully remove dried blossoms from hydrangea, but don’t remove dead-looking stalks, where new buds will form in spring.
  • After the first frost, cut back tea roses to about a third of their height.

Wrap Delicate Shrubs

Heavy snow, ice, and high winds can dry and split your delicate and pricey shrubs. To protect your landscaping from the winter elements:

  • Hide small plants under overturned plastic pots or buckets.
  • Wrap shrubs, such as boxwoods, in burlap.
  • Surround vulnerable trees with shredded leaves.

Take Advantage of Fall Sales

Early fall until the ground freezes is a good time to plant trees and shrubs. Not only do cooler weather and autumn rain put less stress on young landscaping plants, nurseries often have sales to empty their shelves before winter.

“They need to sell every plant by Dec. 1,” Taft says. “Nurseries generally pay a third of the price that you’re paying. So don’t be afraid to offer less than the asking price. If you’re buying several things, the manager may give you a break.”

Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®.

Featured Image Photo Credit: “Williamstown, Massachusetts” by Doug Kerr © 2010 (CC BY-SA 2.0; Edited)

DIY Fall Decor for Your Home

Looking to spruce up your home for fall, but on a budget? We have scoured Pinterest for the best home made decoration tutorials. Get festive with these DIY projects!

Flickr Creative Commons: Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Flickr Creative Commons: Tambako The Jaguar (CC BY-ND 2.0)

1. Fall Mason Jar VasesHometalk

Mason jars are so popular right now! The cheapest place to find them (other than online) is at your local hardware store! These DIY vases simultaneously exciting and classy.

2. Pumpkin Flower Pot iheartnaptime

Add some color to your font porch! This is also a great way to use old plastic pumpkins that are lacking character.

3. [Sparkly] Autumn Leaves GarlandDesign Envy

Using neutrally colored sparkles gives these tacky fake leaves a stunning look. This garland would look great over a fireplace, or in your entryway.

4. Canning Jar Ring PumpkinYellow Bliss Road

Now that you have all those mason jars from DIY #1, you can use the rings to make a pumpkin! This very clever idea has a wonderfully rustic feel.

5. 2×4 PumpkinsAlayna’s Creations

This very simple DIY looks fantastic! They would look great on your front steps or mantelpiece. And you only need a few materials!

6. Fall WreathCreate & Babble

A wreath is a common item found on front doors, but with this tutorial you can add your own personal style! This wreath has a more natural feel to it, but you could add glitter or gems to spice it up!

7. Painted AcornsHome Stories A to Z

These cute little accents are great for adding to vases or garnishing tables. The best part is you can paint them to match whatever you’d like!

8. Yarn Wrapped Candy CornThrifty Decor Chick

Such a great idea! Only two materials necessary – yarn and foam! Great for a centerpiece!


Did you give any of these a try? Do you have a tutorial of your own that you would like us to share? Let us know!

Have you checked RNR Realty out on Pinterest yet? We have a whole board dedicated to DIY projects for your home here!



6 Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Break out your masks and monsters! Its Halloween, and time to be scared! While being afraid at Halloween is actually a lot of fun for humans, it can be an especially stressful for pets. Between the combination of strangers, costumes, and continual door bell ringing it is no wonder that this is a terrifying time for our furry friends. Read on for tips and tricks on how to avoid a real scare and keep your pet safe this Halloween.


1). No Human Treats for Pets

While candy and other chocolates can be a tasty treat for humans, these sweets can be extremely harmful for pets. Besides chocolate, watch out for gum and sugarless candy sweetened with xylitol which can be lethal for Fido. In the event that your pet does eat something dangerous, immediately call your vet or the Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).

The next day, or after trick or treaters leave, be sure to check for stray wrappers or other bits of candy they may have dropped. You don’t want Rover to find these before you do.

Instead, why not spoil your dog and make these homemade peanut butter, bacon & pumpkin dog treats? They are super easy to make and we promise your dog will love you for it.

2). Keep an Eye out For Decorations

In a home with pets, it goes without saying that Jack-o’- lanterns lit with candles are a bad idea. Curious creatures can easily knock them over and cause a fire. Instead, opt for artificial or battery powered lights for your decorating needs.

Similarly, decorations are not chew toys. Prevent pets from chewing on cords by keeping cords off the floor and out of reach. If chewed, Fido could suffer from cuts, burns or life threatening shocks. Better yet, try to keep your decorations outside to prevent problems before they happen.

3). Be Careful with Costumes

According to the Humane Society of the United States, an estimated half of pet owners dress their pets in costumes for Halloween. Pumpkins and ladybugs are the perennial favorites.

While pet costumes may be hilarious, it is important to keep your pet’s best interest at heart. Do the right thing and double check that your pet can comfortably breath, walk, eat and go to the bathroom. In addition to what your pet is wearing, be aware of how long your pet is dressed up. Oftentimes, these costumes are made from irritating fabric that can become uncomfortable or tight over long periods of time.Not to mention, it is important to be wary of small parts can be torn off and gobbled up. Just the thought of Rover chewing off and ingesting part of his costume is downright terrifying.


4). Keep Pets indoors

Before nightfall, take your pets indoors. While pets are always safest indoors at night, this is especially true on Halloween in order to avoid pranksters who may want to harm pets.

5). Keep pet in secure place

Even the best behaved pets can become anxious or worked up during the Halloween commotion. Reduce stress for pets by putting them in a separate area with their favorite bed and toys well before trick or treaters arrive. This way they will have a safe haven where they can feel secure, comfortable, relaxed while being tucked away from any hazards.

Similarly, even if you are just having friends over for a Halloween party, keep your pets away from the festivities in their safe room. Even familiar people may become scary as masks and costumes change how people look and smell to a pet.

6) Make sure ID tags are on

Unfortunately, it is possible that your pet may accidentally run out the door or get lost amidst all the Halloween excitement. Should anything happen, you want to make sure Fluffy is safely returned to you. Pet owners, please double check that your furry friends are wearing their tags. Wouldn’t you rather be safe than sorry?

Lastly, while it may be the spookiest night of the year, remember to have fun! If you don’t have a timid dog or a scaredy cat get them involved too so all the family can participate and have a tail wagging good time. Happy “Howloween” from RNR Realty!

11 Houses Haunted by Dead Celebrities

Even though they may be long gone, these departed celebrities still manage to seek out the lime light and stir up trouble. Check out this list of 11 dead celebrities and the spooky homes they like to haunt. Get a chilling look into the hauntings and unexplained events from the original article published by Business Insider here.


1). Marilyn Monroe’s Home

12305 5th Helena Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90049

2). Lucille Ball’s House

1000 N Roxbury Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210

3). The Pickfair Estate

1143 Summit Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210


4). Virginia Hill’s house (where gangster Bugsy Siegel died)

810 N Linden Dr Beverly Hills, CA 90210


5). Nicolas Cage’s LaLaurie House

1140 Royal St, New Orleans, LA 70116


6). George Reeves’ home

1579 Benedict Canyon Dr, Beverly Hills, CA 90210


7). The Harry Houdini House

2400 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046


8). The Mansion

2451 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046


9). Errol Flynn’s Mulholland Farm

3100 Torreyson Pl. Los Angeles, California 90046


10). The Ozzie and Harriet House

1822 Camino Palmero St, Los Angeles, CA 90046



11). Loretta Lynn’s Haunted Home

44 Hurricane Mills Rd, Hurricane Mills, TN 37078

There you have it readers- a list of 11 homes of dead celebrities and the spooky places they haunt. Again, you can read all the chilling details in the original article here. But wait! Have YOU ever had a ghostly or paranormal experience in a haunted house? We are dying to hear!

Oktoberfest! The Ultimate Fall Activity!

Beer lovers rejoice as 2014 marks the 181st year of Oktoberfest! This 16 day festival is the world’s largest fair and attracts over 6 million people from around the world. The locals call it “Wies’n” or the nickname for Theresienwiese, the fairgrounds where the festival is held. While this festival has been taking place annually since 1810, here at RNR we began to wonder…why is Oktoberfest celebrated in September?


Believe it or not, Oktoberfest isn’t completely misnamed because the original Oktoberfest was actually held in October (Oct. 12, 1810, to be exact). In 1810 the residents of Munich were invited to celebrate the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig—the future King Ludwig I—and Princess Therese of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. It featured a parade, dancing, horse races and of course lots of beer drinking. Needless to say, it was such a good time that the tradition stuck, and as time passed the length of the festival increased from one day to two weeks. Additionally, a decision was made to celebrate the festival earlier in order to avoid a snowy Oktoberfest. Thus, morphing it into the festival we know today.

The Modern Festival

While many may forget or not even know about the origin of Oktoberfest, today it is all about the beer and the food. This year, the festival kicks off on September 20th when the Mayor of Munich taps the first keg. After that, a steady stream of beer keeps flowing as nearly 7 million liters of beer are served- which is almost enough to fill three Olympic sized swimming pools! Yet steins usually run around 9-10 euros apiece, so drinking is not cheap. However, at the festival not any run of the mill brew can be served. The beer must meet Oktoberfest criteria (i.e. it must be brewed within the Munich city limits, have a minimum of 6%alcohol by volume and be fermented for a minimum of 30 days). Paulaner, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, Augustiner, Hofbräu and Löwenbräu are among the approved breweries that visitors can expect on site.

In addition to enjoying liters of golden lager, visitors can also enjoy traditional German fare such as Würstl (sausages) Brezen (pretzel) and Knödel (potato or bread dumplings). But wait! There is more to this festival than brats and brews! For example, the Riflemen’s parade features horses, cows, goats as well as people dressed in traditional Bavarian costumes is a highlight of the event. Plus there are concerts, dancing, games and a host of other family friendly activities.

Luckily for those of us who can’t make it to Munich to celebrate, smaller Oktoberfests happen all around the world. And don’t worry, if you are of German heritage or not, its okay to let loose. If you are looking for more fun, try this quiz on 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Oktoberfest.  In the meantime, Prost! or for you non-German speakers “Bottoms up!”

Antiques, Junk and Gems and Oh My!

This weekend (September 25th-27th) marks Shakopee’s Canterbury Park 9th annual Junk Bonanza! Self-proclaimed as “the best junk round up in the nation,” this one of a kind flea market style experience attracts more than 1,000 people annually. Featuring hundreds of vendors selling vintage items, antiques, unique oddities and artisan-repurposed pieces, we dare you to walk away empty handed. Thirsty shoppers can even satiate their thirst with Canterbury Park’s famous Bloody Mary as they stroll around the grounds.

In addition to vendors, a variety of other activities will be taking place throughout the festival. Stop by and learn the latest in specialty finishes and other decorative paint techniques with a hands on session by Annie Sloan Unfolded. Or come listen to the appraiser Tim Luke from the TV show “Cash in the Attic” as he discusses the hottest flea market trends and the future of collectibles. Additionally, Friday or “Lucky Friday” will have hourly give aways throughout the day. Participants can register to win $25 gift certificates which can be spent at vendors there. Free money?! Yes please! Lastly, while these sessions are free space is limited. Be sure to pick up your ticket the day of the session.

Interested in Tickets? Visitors can opt to buy early bird tickets for entrance at 8 a.m. on Thursday, September 25th and get a two hour head start on the rest of the crowd plus free admission on Friday and Saturday. Likewise, you can always buy a day pass for $9 and get general admission for either Friday or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Finally, maybe the piles of junk will get your creative gears turning and will inspire your next DIY or upcycled home decor project. If you are looking for ideas, be sure to check out our Pinterest board which is loaded with suggestions. On it we have tips, tricks, and step-by-step directions for making over and continuing the use of your old furniture and decor. In short, it is jammed pack with inspiration for your next creative venture and may help guide you on your shopping experience.

So whether you are searching for antiques, junk or gems you will be sure to find it all at Junk Bonanza. Because here, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure. So let the bonanza begin!





Festive Fall Colors: Fantastic Foliage Drives

Each fall we can look forward to deciduous trees, or trees that lose their leaves seasonally to provide us with a dazzling display as the leaves change colors. Ranging from deep ambers to blazing reds, the vibrant display of colors never falls short of sensational. Luckily, we don’t have to travel far to see this striking phenomenon as it occurs from coast to coast. Because we don’t want you to miss out on this breathtaking event, we have mapped out the top ten fall foliage drives in the US. Who knows, maybe these scenic destinations may inspire your next road trip. So what are you waiting for? Hop in the car and go enjoy Mother Nature’s stunning colors! Find the full story including where to stay along the way and what to do here.

1. Aspen, Colorado

2. The Catskills, New York

3. The Berkshires, Massachusetts

4. Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

5. Green Mountain Byway, Vermont

6. Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway, New Mexico

7. Great Smoky Mountains, North Carolina & Tennessee

8. Upper Peninsula, Michigan

9. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

10. Glacier National Park, Montana

Obviously these are just a few of the countless breathtaking fall foliage drives that our country has to offer. Again, for the entire list of the top 10 foliage drives visit fodors.com. If we missed one of your favorites, we would love to know! Give us your feedback in the comments section below!

Awesome Apple Picking in Minnesota

Fall is finally here! The air is crisp, the leaves are turning colors and the apples are ready for picking. Apple picking is not only a fun way to spend a fall afternoon, but also is a great family friendly activity. So, from Afton to Webster and everywhere else in between, RNR has rounded up the best locations across the state.

Once you make it to an orchard, you can opt to pick your own apples or take home a pre-picked bag. Either way, visitors can expect to pay for their goodies pay by the pound.  However, before you and your brood make the trip be sure to call ahead to double check the orchard’s supplies. Factors like weather, season and how busy they have been may affect these levels.

In addition to apple picking, many of the orchards boast pumpkin patches and offer a variety of other activities like hayrides, petting zoos and corn mazes. Whatever adventures you choose, you will be sure to get your fall fix.


Finally, once you make it home why not put your apples to use give this awesome apple crisp recipe a try? This simple, yet satisfying dessert can be served alone or with ice cream. Yum! Yum!

Afton Apple Orchard, Hastings

Anoka County Farms, Ham Lake

Apple Jack Orchards, Delano

Fireside Orchard and Gardens, Northfield

McDougall’s Apple Junction, Hastings

Minnesota Harvest Apple, Jordan

Minnetonka Orchards, Minnetrista

Pine Tree Apple Orchard, White Bear Lake

Sweetland Orchard, Webster

Whistling Well Farm, Hastings

For a full list of orchards, click here.