Detached, link, townhouse or condo…. what are the types of housing available and what’s the difference?
The real estate scene has been pretty hot in the last few years but there are still questions out there. In this event, I will talk about some of the real estate terms and basic information you’d need to know as a home buyer. The focus of this real estate portion will be on the local (North American) type of housing.
The feng shui portion will be on landforms and the external environment tips which are very important in your search for your first or next home. This event will be especially useful for first time home buyers as well as for those moving up and would like to know more about the two subjects.
I will need to know how many of you are interested for me to pursue this further. Register here to let me know if you are interested…. also if you have any question or suggestions for the event. More details will be supplied once I have enough feedback/registration. Hear from you guys soon.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking at properties. In feng shui, the condition and quality of your exterior landscape and environment is more important than the interior design or environment of your home.
Look for the classic ‘armchair position’ which indicates the presence of all the four celestial animals on your property. These are namely, the Black Turtle in the back, the White Tiger on the right, the Green Dragon on the left and the Red Phoenix in the front of the property. The contours and landscape of your land will indicate the presence or absence of auspicious qi energy.
Investigate the neighborhood before buying. Avoid surprises, especially negative ones. Man made structures such as buildings and roads represent the mountains, hills and roads in ancient China and need to be carefully analyzed. Try to avoid buying a property that is close to yin energy; and regular shaped lots are preferable than irregular ones.
In our effort to embrace a more environmental partnership with nature and cultivate a better stewardship of our habitat, a growing number of us have taken to include native plants in our gardens. Local nurseries have also devoted a few aisle to these plants to accommodate the growing interest. Do you recognize some of them in your garden?
Here are a few that we commonly see in gardens these days which are worth mentioning:
Goldenrod (stiff, zigzag, grass leaved) – a common mistake that most people make is to think that the goldenrod causes hay fever. The real culprit is the ragweed.
Jack in the pulpit
Lance leaved coreopsis
New England aster
Nodding wild onion
Spotted Joe-Pye weed
Wild bergamot, columbine, geranium, ginger
The list can be quite extensive and it seems that some people are unaware that they have at least one or two of them growing in their garden. My garden has a few of them and yes, there might be some that I have yet to identify. So, if you’re interested in adding some of these beauties to your garden, have a head start by browsing through some good books or the internet and learn which ones are suited to your yard. There’s a variety of sun or shade loving native plants to choose from for your location.
In rural and agricultural areas, some of the more invasive native plants are considered ‘weeds’; and unfortunately, a few urban municipalities have adopted this same guideline to support their determination of ‘weeds’. It has been reported that one native plant, the milkweed, have all but disappear in farming communities. If we too ban them from our gardens, we’re ensuring the potential demise of monarch butterflies in our local landscape.
Most of these native plants are hosts and food for butterflies, bees, hummingbirds and even birds for seeds. Needless to say….. if we eliminate native plants from our surroundings and habitat, we also eliminate the animals and insects that have co-existed and evolved alongside them all these years.
It’s time we look at our natural environment with a new set of ‘eyes’….. there’s a lot more at stake here than just what’s visible to our naked eyes.
With the coming of summer, comes the challenge of keeping bugs at bay. One of the more common issue is the arrival of ants in your patios, along crevices, flowerbeds, and entrances. What to do without harming yourself and with the least impact on the environment? Here’s what I discovered….
A really long time ago while shopping in one of the many department stores in Chinatown I came across a small yellow box marked ‘Ant Repellant’. Inside were half a dozen of white colored chalk sticks. Now that was interesting, I guess I was suppose to be drawing lines or circles with it…. which is exactly what I did. I experimented on the patios, drawing lines and circles around ant holes and curiously found something quite amazing. The ants did not want to cross the chalk lines. They avoided, went around or stayed away from any of the lines or circles that I had drawn with the chalk.
Now that was ages ago and I haven’t made any effort to look for those chalk boxes again. Didn’t have to…. I found another way to replicate this easy ant deterrent method by simply using…… ordinary chalk. Yup, you know the ones use by teachers, children and street artists. Amazingly, I discovered they have the same effect. My own conclusion…. the ants just does not like to be covered in chalk….. any kind of chalk. Try it out. A single chalk line can help deter the ants from accessing your home through patio steps or prevent them from certain areas. Of course, we should be careful with any types of chalk and wash our hands thoroughly after every use.
For this week, seeing that Earth Day is just around the corner, I’ve asked my good friend, author and environmentalist, Larraine Roulston to write about her tips on backyard composting.
JOIN THE GREEN WAVE OF RECYCLING –
By Larraine Roulston
You do not need any special knowledge, nor do you need to be a dedicated gardener, to compost. Simply find a suitable location then begin layering yard debris with unwanted kitchen organics. Start composting with a base of brush cuttings to ensure a good flow of air into the pile. As well as adding veggie and fruit peelings, coffee grounds etc. you can include cooled wood ashes, sawdust from untreated wood, hair clippings, pet fur, wilted flowers and even bits of cotton, felt, rope, feathers and string. Soil should be added occasionally as it acts as an odour suppressor and introduces more micro-organisms to speed up the decomposition. Do not include meat scraps, fats and dairy products. Once you’ve got it going, the compost heap takes care of itself.
Larraine Roulston authors the Pee Wee at Castle Compost illustrated adventure book series.