Sunday, April 6, 2008

Survey Results and Opinions (Mine of course)

Did anyone besides Anonymous happen to see this cartoon in the paper? The cartoon is by Hank Ketcham and is of Dennis the Menace. He kind of sums up my recent survey and I thought it appropriate for this blog.

I had added a survey asking people for their best reason for liking their gardens. You can view the results to your right only until tomorrow's post, then I will take it down and maybe add another survey or something else. Any suggestions?

I can tell you I personally like digging in the dirt but I also really do like my plants too. I wouldn't be digging in the dirt if it weren't for the plants. And I wouldn't have plants if I didn't have a design and layout. So, for me the first three answers were interconnected. The last one, asking who liked their gardens because of the value it adds to their homes, shows we are not in gardening for the value and we are truly die hard gardeners. Surely there are people who have gardens solely for the value it adds to their property, but they don't read this blog.

Here in Montgomery County I am told by the assessor that if you have great curb appeal, your home is worth more. I agree, but ONLY if my home is on the market. The assessment should not be raised simply because I like to garden and my home looks nice. If anything, I think people who don't maintain their landscaping and homes should be penalized by having an additional tax added to their annual tax bill. People who take great pride in their homes and put in a lot of tender loving care into creating a nice landscape, should be rewarded with a tax rebate. What do you all think? Should landscaping, which is a real property asset, be included in the value of a home for assessment purposes?

Keep in mind, landscaping WILL no doubt change when the homeowner changes. How many times have one of us moved from a home and lovely garden only to return for a look around a few years later, or even a few months later, and find the landscaping destroyed? Does the assessed value then drop? Landscaping should not be included in assessment value, but certainly in the market price of a home. It is clear a nicely landscaped home will sell faster than a poorly landscaped one, but assessments are a totally different matter. Adding value to your assessment may dissuade homeowners from creating a nice landscape in order to avoid a higher tax rate (probably not diehard gardeners, but some would not bother if they knew they had to pay higher taxes). What do you think?

Just my opinion.

I will do another post this afternoon of some beautiful pictures from 'down under'.

in the garden....


  1. Lola, we are missing you, hope all is fine.

  2. Mom, Feeling better this morning?

  3. I don't know because in one way you are actually improving the land, which should improve the value. That being said I'd rather not pay more taxes so I agree that it shouldn't be included. How's that? I agree and disagree! Certainly it will help a house sell better and would increase it's value.

  4. Hi to all and hope you all have a good day.

    Skeeter you must really take it easy today so you will be up to your big day tomorrow and have fun!

    Ditto with what Dave said. One person voted for "other". I would be very interested in what the other is.

    Ya feel better but tired cause I spent most of the day yesterday in bed and then could not sleep good last night. But a couple of days will get me back on track with proper sleep.

    Tina your survey brings back another long ago memory for me. I was digging to plant some plants several years ago and I said to Nana "Oh that dirt smells so good".
    Nana laughed and said "Oh good, I'll make a gardener out of you yet".

  5. I am with Dennis, I just like digging in the dirt! As a child I would build highways in the backyard with my brother. He and I would drive his Tonka Trucks all over the place! LOL...

    I do think that landscaping adds to a home. The Saint and I joke that if we ever have to sell the house we hope it is during the summer when the crepe myrtles and all the flowers are in full bloom! It is sad to go by my grandmothers old home. Her rose garden and beautiful flowers are all but gone now. So sad….

    Now I am not sure about the Taxing part. I dont like to pay taxes but do not mind if for a good reason. We live in a fairly high taxed community but we see where the money goes and agree on paying those high taxes... Well for now anyway... LOL

    Glad you are feeling better today Jean. I have not been sleeping well when in bed lately. I have been having bad scary dreams for some strange reason. I assume the medicine is to blame. When on full meds every 3 hours, I slept like a baby with no dreams and felt good when waking up but too groggy to really know I reckon.. LOL....

    We are headed to town for my first outing today! Need to get a new purse to carry my cameras to Masters tomorrow. They are really strict on what is allowed in the gates. NO CELL PHONES period! That will freak some people out. Purses can only be 10 inches long by 5 inches high by 5 inches wide! I don’t own one that small so off to Wally World, Target, etc to find one…

  6. Thanks Skeeter. I think the bad dreams have something to do with not feeling well cause I had them all night (well, when sleeping) long and they were the kind that seem to go on when you wake up as you just can't seem to shake them off.

    Going to Wally World? I told you to take it easy today! If you don't make it for the whole day tomorrow I will say "Told ya so"! I will have to watch to see if I see you, even if I do think it is like watching grass grow.

  7. Hi Guys,
    As we have built this house, I've let my gardens go---can't tell if it decreased the taxes! Now, since the house is done and here, might be a tad interesting to see if they creep up year to year.
    Have loads of fun tom. Skeeter, its so bad the tightness on personal items but I guess in this day and age, it's a need be.
    Jack of all trades has missed his golfing while building. One of my techs is a devoted golfer and he brought hubby some phamplets on different grounds. Beautiful courses but Oay Vey, I can't understand that game.
    Hope Lola comes on today.
    Glad your feeling better Mom, is next Sunday in the afternoon? Later.

  8. Mom, It is cool Skeeter is going to the Masters! And we will hear of it I am sure.

    I am so glad you are feeling better! Days in bed with an illness can do the trick!

    I bet Nana would say her greatest love of gardening is the digging and the plants. What do you think?

    Skeeter, So great you can see where the tax dollars go down there. Wish we could say the same here. I am not really sure about the quality of life but it is improving. Must be why my taxes keep going up??

    Have fun in town shopping for a new purse.

  9. Hi Tina -hope the zoo was fun --I was here at my own zoo --hahaha with four wild ones, lol. After church and Sunday school they seem to have alot of pent up energy:) I took out the red beauty --had to since while I was at church both neighbors on each side mowed the backyards. It looks great --still have dandelions but the kids like them --my yard is a busy place anyway --too many small people running around to worry about all those dandelions:0) I enjoy when they are picked for me the most:0)
    Hi Jean --glad you are starting to feel better --Dawn if it's as nice as it is here today I am certain you are getting alot done with the house. Lovely weather today
    Hi Skeeter --hope you don't shop too much --wow --what a small purse you have to find --geez how do they expect you to leave home with a wallet size, hahaha. I hope you have a great time at the Masters --should be a once in a lifetime experience --I expect to hear some cool stuff about the course. I couldn't imagine being the groundskeeper for something of that much importance --I can imagine it will be gorgeous.
    Hi Lola --I hope you are feeling better --keep the tylenol handy and don't overdo it. The work will wait for you --so take it easy. Howdy Nina, I'm sure you are outside today --really a nice change --the kiddos asked to go swimming today, lol. Soon, but not this soon. I have to get them back out for a bike ride and walk. Too much energy for the house to handle --wish I had half their energy. Catch you later!

  10. anonymous, I wish I had half YOUR energy!

    Lola-Everything alright?

  11. Hello Everyone, welcome back Skeeter, glad your on the mend! Jean hope your feeling better today, you need some of this great weather that we are enjoying!

    I don't feel that landscaping should be a part of the tax assessment. When you look at the tax records they only list the outside building materials (roof, siding, square footage, paint etc).
    For the inside they list floor type,tile bath, walls and decor etc. They do list condition of the buildings. I have never had one knock on the door to see the inside, so don't know how they handle this. So are they taking a market value or are they actually accessing the property???

    As for all these flower gardens, I feel they can work as a resale advantage or disavantage, depending if the looker sees beauty or back breaking work.

  12. Hi Ya'll,
    Hard day on Sat. Got a project finished with Young'uns help. Thank goodness. Another almost finished. Some work left to do on it. Plus started another---never ends. lol

    Tina, Glad you enjoyed the zoo. I missed seeing the St. Louis zoo as my sister-in-law couldn't walk a lot so I stayed with her & let kids go look. The same with the arch. I don't regret it as she is no longer with me.

    Skeeter, I hope you enjoy the Masters tomorrow. Take lots of pics. so we can see too. That would be a big treat. But do take it easy, your health is more important.

    Jean, Glad you are feeling better. It's for the pits not to feel good.
    I know about the dreams as long as you are asleep. Not very pleasant due to the subject.

    Dawn, I agree. I don't understand them knocking that little white ball all over that yard. I sure could find something better to do.

    Hi Dave, Hope your garden is doing ok. Dont' guess it would flood out.

    Hi Anonymous, Yeh, it's nice to have the little ones bring you "flowers". But don't worry they will run the Dandelions into the ground. Not to worry.

    Nina, Glad your weather is good. Gives you a chance to get out in the garden. As for the tax assessment--I don't think it should be a part of the assessment of the property as things happen, trees die, plants die, sometimes things happen that all can't be taken care of. The house & ground & out buildings are what's most important. The flowers & shrubs do make a place look better, but do people buy because of plants? I didn't--mainly the house. All the other can be changed or done with as the individual person prefers. That is just my opinion.

    Tina, Will send you some pics.

  13. Thanks to all.

    Tina I don't know what Nana would have said. We just have to guess at it. But don't forget she really loved gathering everything up and freezing it all and sharing with others.

    Glad you got a lot done Lola and had good help. We were beginning to worry about you so glad you are here.

  14. Making a change in days. See what happens when ya can't remember. lol
    All the hard work was on Fri. Sat. was a different story. Went to Manatee Springs. More walking than these ole' legs are used to & it was testy. But fun.

  15. Hi Nina, Glad to hear from you. Supposedly assessed value is the same as market value. I actually met Mr. Boyd (Montgomery County Assessor) when he came to reassess my house right after a 100% reassessment. I fell in the 20% that is reassessed each of the years between the 5 year assessments. I don't think he added anything to the assessed value of my house based on the landscaping, but he did mention it is a proven fact nicely landscaped houses have more value. At the time I did not realize he was reassessing my house otherwise I would have spoken with him a bit longer. All info is fed into a computer and supposedly the computer comes up with the value, but I still find computers are only as good as the info inputted and people input the info. I find the system to be not equitable at all.

    Lola, It is not like you to not come on each day and I was worried. Projects can take alot out of you at times though. I love zoos, but I know how it is when you have to stay with someone who is surely more important than seeing animals in cages. Sorry for your loss of your sister in law.

    What is Manatee springs? Can you see the manatees?

    Mom, Nana would say digging in the dirt, the plants and the design-all three! She was a diehard gardener and it would be hard to chose just one!

  16. Tina, I agree about the info in puters--people put the info into them.
    Yes, you can see the manatees from about Dec. till about the middle of March. Sadly we missed them by about 2 weeks. They swim up into a little cove like area that is pretty shallow so you can see them real plain. When you look at the pic behind us that is where the river goes into this cove area. In l988 they redid the walkway & stopped the boats with motors on them from going into the cove area. Too much of a chance of hurting the manatees. They have row boats that you can take out into this cove so you can see around. Pretty neat.

  17. Lola that sounds like a really great place. Will have to try and go there next winter. Will ask my daughter if she knows about it and how far it is from her. She is down quite a ways from where you are. If it is better then maybe we can go on our way. No hurry so we can do what we want. Old age may have some pains and kinks but it also has upsides.

  18. Yeh Jean, it is nice. There is camping, & I think there is a snack bar in the building by the lagoon. Bath houses with showers.