Monday, May 11, 2020

Benefits of Neighborhood Parks

A resident of Austin, Texas, for more than 40 years, Nancy Naeve is an active member of the Lost Creek Home and Garden Club and former president of the Lost Creek Neighborhood Association. In the latter role, Nancy Naeve spearheaded an initiative to create two public parks in the 1250-home Austin neighborhood.

Neighborhood parks are essential in a community as they provide a place for children to play, parents to bring their little ones, and adults to congregate. Here are just a few of their benefits:

1. Parks encourage physical activity. Kids who spend time outdoors tend to perform better in school and have fewer behavior problems, and the presence of a park can increase aerobic activity across ages by as much as 25 percent.

2. Parks facilitate community connection. For busy adults, making friends can be difficult. Parks offer a safe communal space where neighbors can meet each other and connect in person.

3. Parks are good for the environment. Communities with green spaces, such as parks, have healthier air quality, as each acre of tree cover can remove 80 pounds of pollution from the air.

4. Parks improve property values. Well-maintained neighborhood parks make the area attractive to newcomers and make homes more valuable.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Tips for Full Flowering Annuals

Purple annual
Austin, Texas neighborhood activist Nancy Naeve has dedicated much of her life to serving her neighborhood association and local garden club. When not advocating for preservation and beautification efforts for her Austin subdivision, Nancy Naeve enjoys caring for annuals in her garden.

Annuals are flowering plants that last one growing season. They are well-loved among gardeners because of their abundant blooms. The following tips can help the plants flower all season long:

Transplant: While annuals are very hardy, putting too much stress on a plant can limit blooming. It is important to quickly transplant newly purchased nursery plants into roomy pots or flower beds with nutrient-rich soil.

Water: Under or overwatering can impact the health of an annual. Most annuals require watering when first transplanted. To avoid oversoaking the roots, gardeners should re-water only when the topsoil feels dry. In very hot and dry climates, some plants may require watering several times a day.

Deadhead: Annuals produce many more blooms than other types of flowering plants. Once the flower dies, it goes to seed. However, annuals will slow down flower production if too many seeds are produced. Removing the withering flower before the seed-forming process begins will encourage the plant to produce more flowers.