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Ready to Fall into a Season of Idleness?

No such luck on the home front

      I hoped to sail through this fall effortlessly, as if winter would never come to chill my idleness. Perhaps you, too?
      My spring had been so responsible. Winter weeds and waste had been conquered, leaving a fresh canvas for perennial bloom and new planting. Finally, my house wore a new coat of paint that I continue to stand back and admire. Real estate broker Carol Cook’s perennial advice finally caught up with me. As well as a new exterior paint job, I have a new front door.
       Maybe I could just let it go at that?
       The coming seasons being what they are, nature will take us from good to bad to worse before another growing season comes round. Weather will keep us indoors more, and good thing, for the garden in February is no pretty sight. Could not out of sight mean out of mind?
       So I hoped — until I immersed myself in creating this week’s Fall Fix-up Guide. Now, gathering stories and reading our home and garden partners’ advice and offerings, I acknowledge that fall has its own urgency.
       Contemplating a whole new chore list, I’m thankful for the advice of Charlie Olson of Malibu Window Cleaners. Take a day off and hire out a tough job — like window cleaning — done professionally. 
       That’s how I’d handled both the first and hardest stage of yard work and house painting last spring. Both those mighty jobs husband Bill Lambrecht and I had done ourselves before, yard and garden annually and once — just once — painting the tall three-story house, devoting every weekend from Labor Day to the first week of November to the task. This year, pros did the work while I cheered.
       Charlie, I’ve never had my windows cleaned professionally. At my many-windowed home, that’s one of many do-it-yourself chores. But maybe this year I’ll take your advice.
      Hiring a pro is how I’m hoping to handle my toughest projects this year. On the outdoors big-job list is reseeding the steep back hill. Indoors, I’m close to redoing much of the kitchen. The lure of that professional Italian ILVE stove you’ll see in this week’s paper I’m resisting. On the other hand, Duane Dwyer, I’m coming to see you at Annapolis Kitchen and Bath in the Annapolis Design District. 
       On my husband’s list is a new shed. So he’s planning field trips to Beiler’s Structures and Backyard Billy’s.
Missing The Bay Gardener
       For the first time in Bay Weekly’s last 15 years of history of fall and spring home and garden fix-up guides, you and I approach the season without the guidance of our esteemed and beloved Bay Gardener, Dr. Francis Gouin. 
       All we’ve learned from him is still in print online (Google Bay Gardener Bay Weekly fall lawn, for example). You can also order your own copy of his book, collecting many of his essays for the Annapolis Horticulture Society, Enough Said! A Guide to Gardening through the Seasons with Dr. Francis R. Gouin through Annetta H. Kushner at [email protected] ($26.50 including shipping) 
       I sure could use his advice on stopping the Sorcerer’s Apprentice advance of all the cursed summer weeds that continue to make my compost-enriched beds their own. In person and in wisdom, we miss him deeply.
       Meanwhile, our search continues for columns to continue his tradition of offering you advice you need and want for gardens — and perhaps beyond.