A good mulch prevents water loss, helps control weeds, and can enhance the flower bed appearance. Grass clippings can be used but they deteriorate quickly and have to be replenished often. When lawns don't grow, clippings will be in short supply. Avoid bright colored mulches such as marble chips as they may attract more attention than the flowers. A neutral colored mulch is best. Because annuals are replanted every year, select mulches that decay when worked into the soil. Permanent mulches, such as bark or stone, interfere with replanting.
P oorly fitting fireplace dampers allow air to move freely up and down the chimney, often resulting in significant energy loss. Install a new damper or repair the existing one so it closes tightly and be sure to close the damper after every use.