Get Out and Enjoy Your Outdoor Space


Get out and enjoy your backyard living space! Fall is the perfect time and temperature to huddle around a fire pit, barbecue or or toss the football around the backyard with your family. This is where memories are created that will last a lifetime.

Parents, we know how easy it is to sit inside and watch TV after an exhausting week, but squeeze out that little bit of energy you have left and plan for 45 minutes to an hour of activities outside with your kids at least once a week during this short Autumn season. It is time you will not regret and your children will cherish.

Don’t wait to add that firepit or pergola or install that volleyball net or basketball court because it needs to be in place for those perfect moments. If you are building a new home, we recommend putting some extra thought into your outdoor living area and how it conforms to your home and family. Whether it is centered around a pergola, deck or firepit you need to create an environment for your memories.

Enjoy your evenings this weekend with a Pampered Chef’s  Autumn Fruit Salad


  • 2 medium Granny Smith apples
  • 1 cup halved seedless red grapes
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 container (8 ounces) vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1 can (11 ounces) mandarin orange segments, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 tablespoons chopped nuts


  1. Core and wedge apples using Apple Wedger; cut apples into small pieces.
  2. Combine apples, grapes, and mandarin oranges in medium bowl. Add marshmallows, yogurt and lime zest; mix gently. Sprinkle nuts over top. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve.


  • 12  servings


Botany Brief – do you know these terms?

Before you begin landscaping and planting around your home it is best to know some basic botany terms.

Do you know what type of structure is shown above? Can you name the species? Go to our Facebook page for answers.

  • Botany – The science of plants. A branch of biology dealing with plant life.
  • Annual – Living only one growing season. A plant that matures and dies in one season. Typically sensitive to frost.
  • Perennial – A plant having a life cycle lasting more than two years.
  • Biennial – Plant that completes it normal life in two years. Typically a biennial produces fruit/vegetable one season, flowers the next season, and then dies.  For examples: parsley, beets and winter wheat
  • Bulb – Subterranean (underground) globular bud. This underground storage component for plants contains the stem covered with scales where fleshy leaves emerge from the ground. Tulips are a good examples of bulbs.
  • Rhizome – Rootlike and fleshy underground stem that spreads horizontally under the surface. Rhizomes are the storage place for the plant’s food material and sends up shoots through the surface. Iris are a good example of rhizome.
  • Tuber – Fleshy and usually oblong or round structure. The underground branches of a tuber become swollen due to storage of food material.  Potato is a good example of a tuber.
  • Deciduous – Trees or shrubs that shed their leaves annually. Typically, plants that loses their leaves in the winter or at a stage of growth.
  • Defoliation – The process where plants drop all their foliage (leaves).
  • Evergreen – Tree, shrub etc., that has green leaves throughout the year and do not shed foliage after completely formed. Green year-round.
  • Drought Tolerance – A plan that is capable of surviving and thriving with very little water.

Click here for more Millstone tips about landscaping.

Landscape Planning – Ozark Plateau Planting Season


Before you begin your landscaping this Spring, below are a few tips and facts that will help your Spring plant planning process. We will have a few additional landscaping tips as Spring gets into full bloom.

Number One Plan is to Plan

Drive around and get inspiration from other homes, sketch out how you would like your yard to look or higher a professional for advice. If you are a first time landscaper there are a lot variables to consider, so don’t put the shovel in the ground until you have a plan.

Ozark Plateau Planting Seasons

Even though the sun may be out for a week, plant blooming and temperatures are in the 70’s and 80’s, that does not mean it is safe to begin planting. Know your climate and when it is safe. According to the University of Missouri Extension, Greene County, as well as all counties in the Ozark Plateau, should use the “North Planting Dates.” Higher elevation extends the winter season and chance for a devastating frost in the Ozark Plateau. (Click to see the University of Missouri Extension Planting Season Map and Chart)

Plant Times Vary

After you determine what planting zone you are in, research the recommended planting times for the vegetation you what to plant. An example is that most trees are best planted in the fall. That doesn’t mean you can’t plant in the Spring, but it might not grow as quickly. Most plants have a tag with plant time recommendation, but it is best to ask your local professional for advice on what season your plants should go in the ground.

Plants Expand

Look at the height and growth information on the tags or ask a specialist. Plan for more growth than expected. It is difficult to imagine how full a bush or tree will get and if you don’t add some padding into the equation, your yard can quickly turn into a forest.

Compliment vs Contrast

It is good to think of your landscaping as either complimenting or contrasting your home exterior and physical features. In addition to what colors your plants bloom you need to think about the color are their leaves in Spring, Summer and Fall. Color is not only factor, shape and size can either compliment or contrast the architecture as well.
For many, your yard is your sanctuary so think all the factors through first and have fun with it. We look forward to providing a few more landscaping and planting tips soon.

See other Millstone Tips, send us a message or give us a call to discuss anything about your home or future home.

Millstone Custom Homes and Renovations – Welcome Home To Custom Quality.