Fall to Winter Birding

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Fall is a great time to start getting into birding and is very easy to attract autumn birds with our simple tips! A lot of people don’t realize how early fall migration actually starts. August through October are the peak months, although migration does continue into December for some species, especially the shorter-distance birds. There is a common misconception that feeding or attracting birds during the migratory season will interrupt their migration, which in fact will not. So don’t be concerned!

Use these great tips for the perfect fall birding season:

  • Offer nutritious fall foods such as: sunflower seeds, nuts, peanut butter and suet
  • Start winterizing your bird houses (see winter tips below)
  • Ignore your leaves and build a brush pile for an instant shelter

IMG_5568 (Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

Winter is just right around the corner and while you’re doing your fall clean up outside, keep those bird houses out there! Birds suffer when the temperatures turn colder, but with the help of your bird houses, they can survive even the coldest nights and storms!

Check out our tips for winter birding:

  • Position the bird houses and shelters towards the most sunlight to take in more heat
  • Provide insulating materials in houses and shelters, add more perches to accommodate more birds
  • Prune in the spring rather than the fall so that the birds can take advantage of extra insulating spaces that cover throughout the winter

By providing shelter for backyard birds you will attract a wide range of species that will visit year-round. We have some great options at Willard & May to choose from, to protect the birds in your neighborhood!

bird_houses You can find these styles of bird houses and many others at willardandmay.com [1.Bird Villas, 2. Nesting Box A Frame, 3. Copper Roof Bird House, 4. Sea Grass Nesting Pocket, 5. Sparrow Apartment Building]

Also, be sure to check out this great weekend DIY project for the birds! tree+5 (Source: Robin Beck)

We would love to hear from you, let us know what you use to help protect the birds in your neighborhood!

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Amaryllis Autumn Decor

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Amaryllis are truly a one of a kind flower. They are one of the easiest bulbs to bring bloom and can be grown indoors or outdoors for an extended period of time. Its botanical name is Hippeastrum, so don’t be fooled if you come across that name. Amaryllis come in a variety of shades of red, pink, salmon, orange and white. Some can be striped or multicolored. Amaryllis are the perfect way to brighten up any cold day.

Here at Willard & May we treat each pot as if it were a small garden or tiny yard. One amaryllis in a single pot can look a bit lonely, but when staged in groupings or massed in one pot, they are dramatic. To ensure flowering we like to stagger the plantings.

Here are a few quick tips on amaryllis:

  • Planting Period: October – end of April
  • Flowering Period: Late November – end of June
  • Flowering Time: 6-10 weeks
  • Larger bulbs produce more flowers
  • Always store un-planted bulbs in a cool place between 40-50 degrees F and out of sunlight to prevent them from pre-mature growth
  • Plant bulb up to its neck
  • Use a nutritious compost when planting

During the holidays amaryllis are a great accent in your home decor. Use some of our ideas for showcasing your amaryllis. Take a look at how we like to showcase the beautiful amaryllis in the fall!

  • Set a potted amaryllis inside a holiday wreath with accents of berries, beads, pumpkins or pine cones for an instant and easy centerpiece
  • Showcase your amaryllis in an entryway to create a warm holiday welcome to your guests as they enter your home
  • Add cut amaryllis blooms to a tall, clear vase filled with cranberries, pine cones, acorns, etc., in the base for a colorful bouquet, perfect for a centerpiece or a great accent to a mantle
  • Add greenery and candles around your vase or pot of amaryllis for a simple and easy centerpiece

IMG_5073-1 IMG_5017-2 (Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

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The possibilities are endless, this colorful flower is sure to be a great part of your celebration. You can find these amaryllis bulbs at Willard & May + receive FREE shipping on amaryllis!

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Falling into Fall

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IMG_4861 Here at Willard & May we love the fall weather! IMG_4940 IMG_4893 IMG_4871 IMG_4851 IMG_4836 IMG_4822 IMG_4815 (Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

Make sure to get out on your local trails and parks to see what this beautiful fall has to offer! Don’t forget to shop our fall decor and our other outdoor items to spruce up your home!

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

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Fall Essentials

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‘Tis the season of crisp air, chunky sweaters, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin carving, and so much more! Now is the time to start your fall decorating. Use our fall essentials and ultimate fall guide to spruce up your place to have the perfect fall decor this season!

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Now it’s your turn to show us how you celebrate autumn around your house!

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Freebie: Football Party Print Outs!

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With football season in full swing we want to make sure you are all geared up for a great football party (even if your team doesn’t end up winning)! Of course if you’re serving cupcakes (which who wouldn’t?), it’s great to have something fun to finish them off! So we designed some football themed cupcake toppers & if you aren’t into cupcakes as much as we are, there are also labels and bunting flags to create the perfect football party!

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If you would like to download these FREE killer print outs, please sign up for our email list and the print outs will be made available to you!

Check out more great items at Willard & May! We would love to see how you use our football print outs! Let us know and comment in the section below!

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Fall Gardening/Cleanup Checklist!

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Find out what you need to be doing in your garden once the harvest has ended! Use these tips to help your fall gardening and cleanup a breeze! Also, check out our garden tools to assist you!

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Tips:

  • Water! Give all your plants a good drink so it can last them through the winter
  • Shop for fall planted flower bulbs: Tulip World
  • If you have deer or rabbits eating your plants & flowers, try out animal repellent or deer netting; or plant things that animal pests don’t eat, such as: daffodils, siberian squill, and fritillaria
  • Remove all rotten fruit and debris from the ground – infestations last through winter
  • Leave dried flowers, ornamental grasses, & seed heads to provide food for birds in flower beds & borders. Rake the leaves as needed but keep it off the grass as it can suffocate it
  • Mulch to maintain soil quality and protect perennials from frost, using weeds (with not seeds), cocoa hulls, grass clippings, leaves, & straw.
  • Dig up and store indoors any tender bulbs, such as gladiolus, cannas, dahlias, and caladiums, that you want to store over the winter and re-plant next spring.
  • Empty all pots and store indoors for the winter, even plastic containers can crack and clay pots can shatter
  • Plant shrubs and evergreens
  • Till your soil for next year
  • Clean tool blades with vegetable oil and handles with sandpaper
  • Plant your spring blooming bulbs! October is the month to plant tulips, daffodils, crocus and more. Be sure to plant in clusters – they look the best this way and it allows you work in plenty of compost into the soil. And lastly, be sure to water well after planting.

Happy Fall!

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Before & After: A Renewed Deck

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About a year ago we shared a DIY lesson on how to power wash your deck and how to get it looking brand new! We also shared one of our team member’s deck that could have used some TLC and pressure washing magic. Here is the before to remind you and another view of the before once they had their own personal items added to the deck.

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Now, we’re back a year later to share how the deck looks after getting power washed and then re-stained following the DIY instructions.

First, came the pressure washing using a borrowed pressure washer from one of their parents. View the behind the scenes instagram of how it went down with a before and after of the power washing step:

Next up was to brush on a a weatherproofing stain, here is the behind the scenes look on that (nevermind the cabinets, they were also renovating their kitchen at the time).

And now view the deck completely done and re-assembled! The process took quite a few weekends since both of them have full time jobs – shout out to all the weekend warriors out there! Three weekends were spent pressure washing and cleaning up the boards which included some sanding on the railings. Another, two weeks were spend staining the deck with a weatherproofing stain and making sure to get all the nooks and crannies. The best part of the project: the cost, because it isn’t that large considering the transformation. Just three gallons of weatherproofing stain were used.

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One last tip: If you can borrow a pressure washer from someone you know, you’ll save more. View all of our Weekend DIY posts.
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Trend: Outdoor Curtains

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Ever seen your neighbor put something in their yard and wonder what are they thinking?That is exactly how I imagine my neighbors think, but I’m really hoping they actually think wow, I would have never thought of that – I love it. Love it or hate it, outdoor curtains are a unique way to bring some color and life to your patio.

As a team member at Willard&May, I love the outdoors. My husband and I purchased a home last fall and we were excited to finally get outdoors this summer and improve our outdoor deck. When we first toured this house, we imagined our backyard would be a great space to entertain our friends and family, but also a relaxing retreat for ourselves.

Our large deck features two stories with the second story acting as shade to the lower deck. The upper deck is right off the kitchen and the perfect spot to enjoy a morning coffee. The lower deck is a great place to set out our grill and relax in the afternoon shade. Since the upper deck creates a cabana-like space over the lower deck, we thought it would be a great idea to try out curtains on the support posts. We thought it would add some color to the space and make it feel like an extension of our home.

To make our outdoor curtains, we purchased four curtain panels from Ikea and a few cheap curtain rods. We sprayed the fabric with water repellent spray, similar to what you’d use for camping purposes. We’d hope that by spraying them it would help them last longer and endure the summer weather elements. We then hung them with the curtain rods underneath the deck so they would be hidden from view. Next, we tied them around the posts to complete the look!

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To inspire you more, check out other ways to use outdoor curtains on our Outdoor Curtain Pinterest Board and check out our outdoor decor items at Willard&May.
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Gardening without Getting Gardeners Hands! + FREE GLOVES!

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Gardening can take a toll on your hands and skin but, just because you garden doesn’t mean you can’t have soft groomed hands! Use these tips to help fight getting tough grungy gardener’s hands. Read below to find out how to receive a pair of FREE gloves!

wm_labor_day_sale(Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

TIPS

1. One of the most simple and obvious solutions would be to wear gardening gloves as much as you can. Sounds simple right? Well not necessarily. You might think oh “I’ll just do this quick little thing without gloves” and before you know it, you just weeded your entire garden without gloves. Your hands hate you at this point. Also, if you aren’t wearing the proper gloves it can affect your hands as well. Choosing the right glove for the right project is crucial to maintain your gloves and your hands. So make sure to have a pair for different types of gardening.

Thin pair: use for weeding, transplanting, and harvesting. Find gloves as close to being bare skinned as possible with your hands being protected. With these you are able to feel what you are doing.

Thick pair: use for heavy duty tasks

Make sure to take care of your gloves so they can last as long as possible. Keep them stored and out of the rain when not in use.

If you make a purchase of $15 or more at Willard & May receive a pair of FREE GLOVES & 1 PACK of TULIP BULBS!

wm_labor_day2(Colors of gloves may vary: pink, lime green, or blue)

2. Not only just wash your hand well but make sure to use a nail brush. That’s what they are there for! Use it to get out all that dirt under your nails and gently brush off any dirt on your hands so it won’t dry and crack on you. To make it easier to clean make sure you keep your nails short. Short nails are easier to clean and less likely to snag. Just a warning, wearing nail polish while gardening will most likely chip so don’t go out and get a manicure and then that same day go gardening. Get all your gardening done and then treat yourself once it’s all finished!

3. Exfoliate and moisturize! We all know that we should always keep moisturized, especially when you garden to get rid of all your dry skin and cracks. Here at Willard & May we like to use our Gardeners Bar Soap! It contains pumice to make cleaning off tough dirt after a long day in the garden a cinch! The natural vegetable oil will help keep your skin hydrated. It also acts as an antibacterial. It contains: natural coconut oil, palm kernel oil, pumice stone, glycerin, and tetrasodium.

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(Source: Willard & May)

DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR FREE PAIR OF GLOVES!

Check out more of our great items at WillardandMay.com! Do you have any other suggestions or tips?  Let us know and comment in the section below!

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All Decked Out

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With summer in full swing and fall coming in, that means backyard BBQ’s, late night bonfires, and just relaxing out on the deck with friends and family. With all of that comes outdoor dining! We can help make sure you can easily serve your guests, keep them warm outside, brighten up your deck and much more with our stylish items! If you are thinking about decking out your backyard, check out these tips we have for your perfect deck or patio get together!

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1. Use serving trays to make things easier for you when serving your guests delicious treats!
(Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

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2. Serve up some yummy drinks with the ease of your serving tray!
(Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

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3. Your party is going to be such a hit that it will last into the night, so make sure to have the proper lighting for when the sun goes down!
(Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

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4. When the sun goes down, it gets cooler, so make sure to use your chimenea to keep your guests warm and comfy!
(Source:Willard & May)

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5. Keep away the bees and wasps from your guests using these great traps!
(Source: Willard & May, Photo Credit: Stephanie Osiecki)

Check out more of our great items at WillardandMay.com! Have you done anything new to your deck or patio?  We would love to hear what you have been up to!

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