Monday 21 December, 2015
Don’t you just love fresh air, sunshine, birds singing in the trees….and sweat! That’s what it’s all about today folks, getting outdoors to do a clean up, which will be great fun after a couple of days spent in department stores shopping ,or cleaning the house.
Outdoors is where our Preston Christmas celebrations take place so for me, a good clean of the area is as essential as the cleaning of the house. Now, I’m not really a gardener, but I come into my own when it comes to cleaning and tidying outside. Here’s my tips for a fantastic looking celebration area – you will need the following tools and equipment:
A Blower Vac
A Cobweb Brush with Extendable Arm
Good Quality Insect Killer (1-2 cans)
Good Quality Surface Spray (1-2 cans)
Glass Cleaner for the Table Top
Now, this is not one of my favourite things to do but the first thing on the agenda is spray any webs that may have any nasties occupying them. I start by spraying along the top side fence (entry to our outdoor living area), then the pergola area across the back of the house and finally, the carport (where Christmas lunch takes place). Work in a logical sequence so that you don’t miss old Mr Redback who is tucked away under a chair just waiting to attack someone. Yes, I once actually found a redback under one of our chairs!!
Once you have sprayed and you are sure everything is dead, it’s time to bring down any cobwebs in each of the above mentioned areas. Here in Tamworth during the spring and summer months cobwebs seem to be a permanent fixture, so taming them is paramount. I use a cobweb brush with extendable arm to bring down anything with a web type look, that way I don’t have to get too close!
Finish off this particular task by using surface spray to keep the area clean and web free for 2-3 months. The less you have to do this job, the better – as far as I’m concerned. Be sure to walk away and breath in clean air during the spraying process!
After all that, you probably deserve a coffee!! After coffee though, it’s time to connect up the Blower Vac. Ours is powered by electricity so I use a REALLY LONG extension cord for this. Once again I start at the top (the side entry to the outdoor living area). Work your way around the house stopping to pick up rubbish a couple of times as you go. I just love my blower vac: I still remember doing this job with a broom – not fun….
Next, clean down the table and chairs. I use glass cleaner on our table top as it is tempered glass. Wash any chair cushions that may be dirty, or dust them – whichever action is necessary. Have you checked for cobwebs under the table?
Righty OHH! Next we use the garden gloves. Let’s face it – there just isn’t time to weed every bed within an inch of it’s life, so I focus on the two garden beds that will be visible from the lunch table; one at the entrance to the carport, and a larger one at the other end of the carport. Working as quickly as I can I pull anything that should not be living in these spaces. It’s always good to give the garden a good water after tampering with the soil, but if you live in an area with water restrictions (most of Australia), then give it a good water tonight.
Now, it’s up to you as to whether you mow the lawn and do the edges at this stage. Personally, I don’t like to – for two reasons. Firstly, you’ve just blower vac’d the outdoor living space and mowing and/or edging will potentially have grass clipping all over paths etc. again. Secondly, you just may find that the lawn will need doing again on Christmas Eve, which I might add is only days away, so why do it twice?? Up to you though.
After all that hard work it’s time for a shower and good sit down. You’re done. Your outdoor living area should look just perfect for your festive visitors – well done!
Table Picture: Spring Cleaning http://springcleaning365.com/clean-outdoor-furniture/
Cobweb: wpclipart http://www.wpclipart.com/holiday/halloween/spider/cobweb.png.html
Weeding: The Art of Weeding http://www.plantea.com/weeding-tips-part2.htm