UnknownAmerican Elder – A Cheerful Landscape Addition

Every single part of the American Elder shrub is useful: flowers, berries, leaves, bark, and roots.

American Elder, also known as common elder, is a large, deciduous shrub that grows to 12 feet at maturity. Presenting deep green foliage complimented by clusters of creamy ivory white, umbel-like flowers in June and July, American Elder is a welcome addition to the home landscape. The flower clusters are up to ten inches across and emit a sweet, delightful fragrance. When the deep purple berries appear, birds gravitate to the garden.

Most effective planted in groupings, American Elder can be used to disguise an unsightly landscape element such as a shed or utility post. Fast growing elder is useful for screening off a pet area or dog run or striking when planted alongside a fence, foundation or wall.

American Elder is especially hardy, not dependent on soil conditions. The sturdy shrub does, however, do best in nutrient rich, well-drained soil in a sunny location. While elder does not like to have standing water around it’s roots, it flourishes with plenty of water, requiring about one inch a week during the warm summer months.

American Elder can be propagated from cuttings of bare shoots pruned in late autumn. To encourage dense, deep green leaves and to achieve a desired shape, elder should be pruned in early spring before new growth begins and again late in the fall.

A Very Useful Plant

For centuries, American Indians have used elder in a diverse array of ways. The sweet and succulent berries are prized for their tart and tangy flavor for jellies, jams, pies, and wine. Elderflower fritters, made from either fresh or dried elder flowers, are a delightful treat. Extracts, teas and tinctures crafted from elder have a wide range of medicinal purpose including treating chronic coughs, lung congestion, asthma, and bronchitis. A brew of elder leaves seeped in boiling water and then strained is useful in treating a host of skin diseases and is useful in relieving the itch of insect bites and other skin irritations. The same brew, placed in a spray bottle, is an effective bug repellent and will keep caterpillars from munching on plants on which it is sprayed.

In traditional American Indian medicinal practices, elder bark was simmered water and then applied as a poultice to relieve inflammation and the pain of muscle and bone injuries. A tea made from either fresh or dried flowers is a mild stimulant.

Known as “the tree of music”, Native Americans crafted flutes from the woody stems of the elder tree. Branches cut for musical instruments were dried with the leaves attached. Strong and straight shoots of the elder tree were fashioned into arrows and lances. Young branches, flexible and durable were woven into baskets and fish traps. Crush or bruise the leaves and rub on skin to keep pesky mosquitos and flies away.

Guardian Of The Orchard

If you have fruit trees in your home landscape, plant a few elderberry trees around the perimeter of the orchard to lure the birds away from other fruit with their berries.

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A garage sale represents a great opportunity for a home seller. This event enables you to eliminate clutter from your home as well as earn extra cash that you may be able to put toward your future residence. As such, a garage sale should not be taken lightly, and you should do everything you can to prep for this event.

So what does it take to host a successful garage sale? Here are three tips that you need to know:

1. Make Your Garage Sale a Family-Friendly Event.

It’s tough to put together a garage sale on your own. However, you may be able to enlist family members and friends to help you transform an ordinary garage sale into an instant success.

Family members and friends can help you organize the items you’d like to sell, offer assistance to shoppers who may be interested in various items and ensure you’re able to clean up after your garage sale is complete.

Of course, you should offer incentives to encourage family members and friends to help you with your garage sale, too.

Whether it’s hosting a barbecue in conjunction with your event or offering each helper a share of your garage sale profits, it’s important to show your family members and friends that you appreciate their hard work and dedication as they work toward making your garage sale a success.

2. Avoid the Dangers of Overpricing.

As a home seller, the goal of your garage sale should be to get rid of any excess items in your house. Thus, you need to avoid the dangers associated with overpricing, because asking too much for numerous items will do little to generate interest among shoppers.

Try to be flexible about pricing during your garage sale. Typically, shoppers may ask to negotiate a price on an item, and you should be willing to reconsider your initial price if necessary.

A successful negotiation will result in a win-win situation in which both you and the shopper are happy with the results. And with a flexible approach to pricing, you should have no trouble getting rid of a wide range of items at your garage sale and earning substantial profits along the way, too.

3. Don’t Forget About the Importance of Customer Service.

A customer-oriented approach is paramount throughout your garage sale, and it may enable you to maximize your sales during the event as well.

If a shopper has a question, try to respond immediately. Or, if a shopper is ready to check out, provide service with a smile.

A friendly, positive attitude can make a world of difference during a garage sale. Therefore, you should remain courteous and approachable during your event and be ready to assist shoppers in any way you can.

Hosting a garage sale may seem like a major challenge, particularly for home sellers who lack extensive time and resources. But with the aforementioned tips, you can get organized and make the most of your garage sale.

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