When tackling a home improvement project, always keep an open mind. There are hundreds of design opportunities to accomplish your goals.
Have your heating system cleaned and tuned by a qualified contractor. A pre-season tune-up and filter change is a good investment. It reduces the chances of breakdowns in the middle of winter, improves safety, and pays for itself through more energy efficient operation.
Pruning ground covers is usually necessary only to remove unhealthy tissue or awkward or straggling branches, or to keep a plant from becoming too invasive. Vigorous ground covers include honeysuckle, goutweed, snow-in-summer, wintercreeper and English ivy. Certain plants--such as honeysuckle, pachysandra, euonymus and English ivy--should be mowed or cut back to 5 to 6 inches in height every year or two to keep the beds vigorous, neat and more pest free. Be sure to use sharp cutting equipment.