Inexpensive Landscaping Ideas

adapted from, author Daniel Bortz

A home with a gorgeous yard is not only a source of pride and enjoyment to the homeowner, but will help your home sell for more if you decide to put it on the market.  A beautiful lawn and plantings will create an awesome first impression to a prospective buyer.  Using a professional landscaper to get your yard in top-notch condition can be expensive, but here are several inexpensive ideas for DIY landscaping

  1. Show your lawn a little TLC

    While overgrown plants and weeds can make a home look run-down, a well-manicured lawn signals to prospective buyers that the house is maintained well inside. So start by cutting the grass, trimming shrubs, and pruning hedges. Finish off by applying a weed killer for both the lawn and planting beds.

  2. Install drought-tolerant plants

    One of the hottest trends in residential landscaping, and so practical for north Texas yards, is sustainable design (i.e., one that requires low maintenance and less water).

    Since we live in an area with hot summers and little rain, check out the internet for suggestions on plants that thrive in hot, dry conditions. You’ll be surprised at how many there are!  By using drought-resistant plants, you’ll enjoy less maintenance of your yard and create a nice selling point to buyers.

  3. Use mulch

    Laying down fresh mulch in a flowerbed and around the base of trees can make a yard instantly more appealing. Not only does this layer of bark and compost enrich the soil and retain moisture, it also looks nice. It’s a relatively small investment for a big impact in the appearance of your yard.

    Some cities offer free mulch to residents, so check with your municipal office to see if there is a program available in your area.

  4. Buy plants in bulk

    You don’t need a wide array of foliage to make your landscaping shine.  Instead, select just a few varieties and buy in bulk to save money.

  5. Brighten up outdoor lighting

    Be mindful of how your home’s exterior appears at night. You don’t need an elaborate exterior lighting display, but a few strategically-placed foundation and bedding lights can do wonders. Your home will welcome you when you return at night, and exterior lighting is also a great deterrent to burglars.

  6. Hire a landscaper … for free

    For DIY landscaping, you don’t need to consult with a landscape architect. Both Home Depot and Lowe’s, as well as many local garden centers, provide landscaping consultations for free or for a small fee if you buy plants from them. You may not need to pay a penny to get expert landscaping advice from a professional.

  7. And finally…

    Working together in the yard is a hot and dirty job, but oh-so-gratifying at the end of the day. It may even bring out your playful side!

If you have some DIY landscaping tips of your own, please Comment!


Dallas Morning News Reports the DFW Housing Market is “Blazing Hot”!

Adapted from Dallas Morning News, author Steve Brown Real Estate Editor

Spring has just sprung but it’s already blazing hot in Dallas’ housing market.

The Dallas-Fort Worth area once again is on the list of’s hottest U.S. home markets where the most people are shopping for homes.

“Calendars might say spring is only a week old, but we’re already in the thick of the most frenzied spring home buying season on record,” research manager Javier Vivas said in the marketing website’s March report. “The median days on market for homes on in March saw the biggest drop since the end of the recession, and half of homes are now selling in less than 69 days nationally.

In Dallas-Fort Worth during March, it took only 38 days on average to sell a house listed for sale with property agents. said the usually strong spring housing surge around the country is coming about a month earlier than usual.

In March, the nationwide median home list prices rose above $250,000 for the first time to $260,000 — 8 percent higher than a year earlier.

North Texas median home sales prices during the first two months of the year shot up 14% compared with the same period in 2016 and are at an all-time high.

I know EXACTLY what’s happening in the Arlington area housing market, and I’m poised to put my knowledge to work for you!  If you’re thinking about a new home this year, the time to make that move is NOW!


5th Annual Art on the Greene Festival Kicks Off Friday, May 20

art on green photo
One of Arlington’s most popular festival event returns to Richard Greene Linear Park in Arlington on its new dates of May 20-22.

This year’s Art on the Green festival features 100 national, regional and local artists showcasing and selling their work in one of 14 different categories. Stroll through the park and see booth after booth of one-of-a-kind works in ceramic, drawing, fiber, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and wood.

Sit on the lawn to enjoy a weekend of live band performances. Headline artist is Austin Blues musician Carolyn Wonderland, performing at 8 pm Saturday.  Austin Blues Funk band Mingo Fishtrap closes out the event with their performance at 3 pm on Sunday.

Of course, festival food is loved by all, and this year’s event features a great lineup of local and regional food vendors. Beer and wine will also be available.  And remember–no outside food or drinks are allowed into the park.

A special dedication will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday. Join the City of Arlington, the Arlington Parks and Recreation Department, and Art on the Greene Art Festival for the Entertainment District Sculpture Trail dedication ceremony. Nine sculptures will be official dedicated with a ribbon cutting ceremony followed by an opportunity to meet the sculptures.

Don’t miss the fun! Art on the Greene is family and dog friendly (all dogs must be on a leash and have a calm temperament around other people and dogs.)  Admission and parking are FREE.

Click here for more info, including times of events:

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Eat Around Arlington

Arlington has a growing population of restaurants popping up around the downtown area That are a refreshing change from the big chain establishments.

Try your appetite out on some of these options…

Grip Mediterranean Grill

Pie Five Pizza

Digg’s Taco Shop

Old School Pizza And Suds

Fluing Fish

Potager Cafe

Smiling Moose Deli

Grease Monkey Burger Shop

The Tin Cup

Capital Bar

Bluebonnet Time!

Oceans of bluebonnets with paintbrushes sprink...

Oceans of bluebonnets with paintbrushes sprinkled about, simply beautiful, April 15, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who doesn’t love wildflower season in Texas? I’m already seeing some striking yellow color along the highway.  It’s only a matter of days until the Indian Paintbrushes and Bluebonnets, our wonderful state flower, are in full bloom. Check out the link below about bluebonnet sitings. Photo opp….don’t miss it!—Gallery-I-201634961.html


Six Flags over Texas


I can’t tell you how many summer days and nights I spent at Six Flags while growing up in Arlington! I couldn’t wait until my kids were old enough to go and enjoy the rides and attractions…Lots of fond memories!

Well…the park is open on weekends now. Beginning May 15th, it will be open all week long until the end of the summer season. If you can, get a season’s pass! It’s nice to go on a Tuesday or Wednesday evening for a few hours when it’s not too hot and crowded! I understand they are soon to open a new ride,” The SkyScreamer!” It’s going to be the tallest swing ride ever…not for those afraid of heights!! Of course, there are still the standard roller coasters that are always a favorite of my family.

Go to to get all the scoop on tickets, calender and events.

Beautiful Lakes of Texas


Texas has 170 lakes. This list is narrowed  to 10, choosing beautiful lakes within a short enough drive from Dallas/Fort Worth that they qualify as weekend retreats. Yes, there are closer lakes that are not included. Most of the lakes on the list  are not owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which prevents property owners from building docks or boathouses. The two lakes on the list that are owned by the Corps—Lake Texoma and Lake o’ the Pines—are worth making an exception for.

Of course, Arlington has it’s own Lake Arlington, great for a quick afternoon of fishing or skiing. It’s convenient and usually not too crowded. Joe Pool Lake is located in Grand Prairie and has campgrounds on either side, plus a lakeside restaurant for enjoying an evening out with live music.

See the following links for more info on Texas lakes.