Jennifer Kirschnick is the owner of an urban landscaping company located in Baltimore, MD called Baltimore Garden Company LLC. She became interested in nature while growing up on 10 acres in the country, where her parents taught her everything from how to grow vegetables to how to identify trees. She has an English degree from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, NC and a bachelors degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Maryland, College Park. She has been working in the landscaping industry for over 13 years.
She has been married for two wonderful years to her husband, Jamol Khamzaev, who works in construction. They live in Baltimore with their cats Darcy, Max and Julius Caesar.
Hello, this is Jennifer Kirschnick with Baltimore Garden Company and today we have been talking about how to decorate the outside of your house for the holidays. What we are going to talk about now, are some holiday lighting tips. A lot of it is common sense, but we are going to go over a refresher for you, just in case you need it. The most important thing about setting up your lights is that you need an extension cord. Just make sure when you go, purchase your extension cord, that you get an exterior cord, it should be clearly labeled whether it is exterior, interior. Then, you want to make sure that you have one long enough to reach till at the point where you want your lights to begin. So, if you are decorating, your front porch, then you want the extension cord to go all the way up to where your lights are going to start.
We are going to just decorate a shrub for right now, so, I made sure that my extension cord was long enough to go all the way up to the shrub. Usually, if you are decorating plants and you have a front and a back, you want to start towards the back, so you can hide the cord. The more you can hide your extension cord, it is the better of course and also to make sure that people do not trip over them or anything. The other important thing about the lights is you want them to have a 3D effect, you do not want to just flap them on the front of the shrub and then it just looks like you flapped them up there. You want to really go in the interior of the shrub and you can drape them around the branches.
I usually work from bottom to top rather than around because I think it hides the pattern of the lights better. The other thing of course, you want to make sure that you do before you go to all the trouble of putting them up is, you probably want to test them in outlet first to make sure that they work, that always helps before you have done all the hard work. So, try to cover the whole, if you are decorating a tree, go all the way to the top of the tree if possible, if it is a smaller tree, obviously you can not do that with a big oak tree. Then, you just go up and down the plant, when you are purchasing your lights, it is nice to get the hundred counts, if it is any larger than that, it is really hard to work with and any less than that, they just the lights do not go very far if you get less than a hundred counts.
So, again just keep going in the interior on the plant, not just only outside. Up and down, you can get either cleared lights or you can get colored lights. I think the clear lights are better for more traditional, formal houses and the colored lights are more fun if you have maybe not more of a traditional house, more of a modern house or if you have kids, the kids always like the colored lights. Then you just keep going up and down, then when you are ready to add your second set of lights, you simply plug them into the first set. You usually do not want to string more than three sets together, because that can overload your circuit. Other tips as far as the lighting goes, when you put them away, it s also important to think about that, is you do not want to put your lights away when they are wet. You want to make sure that they have time to dry out before you pack them away for the winter.
The other thing that you want to do is you want to when you you want to roll them up in a circle and you want to make sure that the male plug, the male plug is the one with the prongs, you want to make sure that that is on the outside once you wrap them up, so that next year when you take them out, it is really for you to pull the plug out and test them before you install them. The other thing we should mention is that now they have lights that are called LED lights, they are Light Emitting Diodes and they are more energy efficient than your old fashioned incandescent light bulbs. They are more expensive but they do use less energy and supposedly they give you a lower energy bill, I guess it depends on how many lights you end up putting up.
So, that s just on some basic holiday lighting tip. We enjoyed talking to you today and I hope that everyone has a Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukah, whatever you celebrate, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and a great New Year and just whatever you do, just enjoy it, it does not matter if it is perfect, as long as you enjoy doing it, you will get better year after year. Just do not be afraid to try, so good luck.