JULY 11, 2018 • Volume 13 • Issue 28
RE WEEKLY RESIDENTIAL • ACREAGE • FARM • COMMERCIAL • AREA DEVELOPMENT 515-233-3299 • 317 5th Street, Ames • All REALTOR® ads within are REALTORS® licensed in the State of Iowa
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• AREA DEVELOPMENT • FARM • COMMERCIAL RESIDENTIAL • ACREAGE 317 5th Street, Ames State of Iowa 515-233-3299 • ® licensed in the
RESIDENTIAL • ACREAGE • FARM • COMMERCIAL 515-233-3299 • AREA DEVELOPMENT • 317
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Page RE2 â€˘ REAL ESTATE WEEKLY â€˘ Wednesday, July 11, 2018
THIS PLANT REQUIRES LITTLE, BUT IT GIVES A LOT
This shrub-like perennial is long-lived, striking and easy to grow. [Betty Montgomery photos]
By Betty Montgomery More Content Now
ardeners are always looking for plants that require little and yet give a lot; ones that are disease resistant, have pretty flowers and ones that deer find distasteful. Well, I have just rediscovered Baptisia, which falls into this category. This shrub-like perennial is long-lived, striking and easy to grow. It makes an impact when peppered throughout a perennial border or just used as a single specimen. Baptisia is commonly known as blue wild indigo or blue false indigo. Pea-like flowers appear on long stems that are architectural gems in the garden. These spiky forms add a different dimension, as well as an interesting texture to the perennial border. The blue-green foliage is also a plus since it stays pretty in the flower border all summer long. These native plants are found in the woodlands and grassland of eastern and southern North America. The species most commonly found in cultivation is baptisia australis. However, there are some newer hybrids
that are being developed that are outstanding. Breeders are working to have plants with a more compact habit, stronger stems, colors that are more intense and various blooming times. Some of the bright yellows and clear blue ones are my personal favorites. I also love Baptisia for other reasons. They make great cut flowers, they are a dramatic statement in the garden, and because of the time they bloom in our area is great for my garden. We have azaleas and other flowering trees and shrubs that bloom at the same time as the azaleas are in flower. Baptisia begin to bloom as the azaleas are waning and before summer annuals and perennials take center stage. This helps insure that there will be continuous color in the garden, making it a great transitional plant. Baptisia species come in three flower colors: blue, white and yellow. Blue species are most well known in gardens, but they are actually the rarest color in the genus. Today, some of the hybridizers that are working with Baptisia are trying to get more intense, clear colors as well as adding red or pink flowers to the palette. Baptisia take some time to get established, so be
patient. The roots need to work their way deep into the ground and this might take a season. However, this deep root system will take the plant through drought and helps require less water. Baptisia like sun and will grow in sandy or rocky soil and will also tolerate clay. If there is a drawback to this plant, it would be their ability to grow 3 to 4 feet tall with a similar spread. Breeders are working to make more compact plants, which will make it usable in smaller spaces. I have been asked about pruning and, yes, you can prune your plants. You can tidy up your garden, removing the seed heads after they flower. If you want to clean up the plant in fall, do so when the leaves start to drop. This indicates that the plant has gone into dormancy. In colder climates it is good to mulch your bed to protect the root zone. However, if you want to have more plants, let them go to seed and fall naturally to the ground. Betty Montgomery is a master gardener and author. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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A sad real estate story
eader comment: We lost out on buying our dream home when we didn’t understand the significance of what you recently wrote that there are “no standardized rules in the industry” and that “the nature of the real estate transaction and how the sales develop is very fluid.” We had first made a written offer on the house we wanted for less than the asking price, which was rejected by the seller. We had our agent verbally communicate increasing offers, a practice he said was standard in the city. Meanwhile, another potential buyer wrote an offer and also started negotiating. We didn’t find out until too late that the listing agent was presenting only our competitor’s verbal increments to the sellers, and didn’t tell them we were willing to pay more. Needless to say, the seller sold to the other party. It turns out we were the unwitting victims of a boycott against our agent because he was from an Internet real estate “disruptor” company that had been robbing clients from brick-andmortar companies in the city. When we cried foul, our attorney confirmed that while agents are required to present written contracts to sellers, they are not legally obligated to follow up with the verbal give-and-take that’s needed to firm up a deal. Please share our sad story to help educate buyers and sellers. Monty’s response: Note to readers — I have redacted the city and the name of the real estate company where our reader’s agent is affiliated. I did so because this same sad story is happening today in many cities, with many real estate agents, in many sections of the country. I am sad to hear your dream home was not to be. It is likely that you will go on and find another dream home you may like even more.
On the agent’s explanation, the company he is with has been in your local market for over 10 years. Like every other type of business, real estate companies have been pilfering talent and clients for over a hundred years. The agent’s company is just one of many disruptors using new techniques and technologies fighting to expand their brand. Most real estate agents would be more interested in seeing their listing sold than they are about which real estate company brings the buyer. Richard Montgomery is the author of “House Money - An Insider’s Secrets to Saving Thousands When You Buy or Sell a Home.” He is a real estate industry veteran who advocates industry reform and offers readers unbiased real estate advice. Ask him questions at DearMonty.com.
Page RE6 • REAL ESTATE WEEKLY • Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Don’t see your home in the
RE WEEKLY Then contact a Realtor® today, because you are missing out on over 39,000+ potential buyers seeing your property for sale. STORY TY COUN
PMENT ERCIAL • AREA DEVELO GE • FARM • COMM RESIDENTIAL • ACREA Street, Ames 99 • 317 5th ® licensed in the State of Iowa 515-233-32 are REALTORS ® within All REALTOR ads
JANUARY 11, 2017 Volume 12 • Issue 2
JANUARY 4, 2017 1 Volume 12 • Issue
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