Landscaping Articles

Ground Cover Basics for Erosion Control, Beautification, and Elegant Focal Points

A lot of attention is paid to beds, borders, foundations, and focal points when it comes to home and commercial gardening, but just about any landscape might benefit from well-placed ground cover plants. A wide variety of ground cover plants are available, but a few choices deliver vivid greens, alluring colors, and hard-to-match benefits to gardens with special needs. Among the ground covers that benefit just about every garden are: Sedums Vincas Ajuga Pachysandra Virginia Creeper Purple Wintercreeper Thymes The most easily recognized...

Ground Covers Turn Your No-Grow Zones to Colorful Delights

Most yards exhibit some problem areas before serious gardening begins. In some cases, lawn problems will persist even after years of gardening know how has been applied. What the most successful gardeners understand is that pinpoint lawn problems early allows for quick application of long-term solutions. Common lawn problems for home gardens are: bare spots dry zones eroded areas Remedying any of these problems in your own future or current garden requires only the simplest eye for detail. Stepping back to consider these no-grow zones, assess the...

Xeriscaping for Gardens To Conserve Water and Beautify Trouble Zones

Simply put, xeriscape is landscaping designed toward water conservation, resourcefulness for drought conditions, and use of native plants that have adapted to accept lower moisture levels. Derived from “xeros,” the Greek word for “dry,” successful xeriscaping far surpasses the desert garden look so often associated with it. Before acting on your own xeriscape ideas, consider these elements: Setting Exposures Slopes Soil Irrigation potential With such crucial elements at the center of your garden planning, design is your number one starting place. While many wonderful gardens grow from whimsy...

How Much Should You Spend On a Home Gardener

Can you imagine owning a gorgeous garden? You can have a lovely place where plants, shrubs, flowers and trees fill your own backyard with beautiful scenery. Even if you don’t know how to cultivate a breathtaking garden yourself, you can hire someone who can help...a home gardener . The Cost Of A Gardener Many people spend weeks toiling over gorgeous greenery to make their garden a reality. If you want to spend the time and energy on your gardening efforts, this can be an investment for the future. The more you spend time on your garden,...

Planting Small Fruiting Plants within the Landscape an Age Old Idea

What do Europeans know that we, Americans, don't? Well, they've been planting fruiting plants right alongside shrubs and perennials for centuries. It's time we followed suit and did the same. The average American home should be able to incorporate 3 to 6 blackberry or raspberry plants . Taller growing blueberry shrubs make a good choice as a hedge. Strawberry plants can be planted in unused open areas and make a great substitute for growing grass . Cheryl Jones, owner of Greenwood Nursery , notes, "I've been promoting the European concept of planting small fruiting plants within the...

How to Plant Woodland Spaces with Colorful Plants That Bloom in Spring

If you have wooded areas around your home, you may be looking how to plant your woodlands spaces with colorful plants that bloom in early spring. Spring really brightens up wooded areas with lots of colors just bursting out a big “Hello!” I think that is what sparks us to want to add color to shaded areas . The artist part of us comes out wanting to splash color into our surroundings and the fun part is that it doesn’t stop with spring just as Claude Monet did at his garden in Giverny . He even planted his woodland areas with colorful plants . Monet's pond garden as well was carefully planned...

Landscaping around Decks, Patios and Porches

Once the weather warms and decks, patios and porches are back in use, queries begin coming in requesting assistance in landscaping these areas. So, I thought it would be a good idea to offer these suggestions to all of our readers. The first task is to sit on your patio, porch or deck and actually look out (away from the exterior walls). What do you see? Do you see an open never ending lawn or, maybe it's a small enclosed area? What could you see as a focal point in your view? How do you feel about your deck? Is it quiet and cozy or more of an open space where you would prefer more privacy?...

Plants for Borders and Edging

Selecting plants for bordering or edging a garden or path can be just as frustrating as accessorizing a room or an outfit. You want the overall picture to look pulled together with your choices. I like to divide plants for this purpose into two divisions: compact and spreaders . These plants grow in the 3 foot and under height range. Compact plants are just that. They will grow within a defined space only getting slightly larger over the following years. If the area needs a strong barrier, consider a low growing shrub or grass such as Hameln Grass, Spiraea Gold Mound, Cotoneaster Little...

Spring Mulching

Need an extra pair of hands while working in the garden? Me, too! I have found the solution to my short handedness... The Gardener's Hollow Leg . Finally, you can pick, pull and prune your plants, keeping the trash at your side, all the while you your hands are free. No bending or stooping to put trash in a garbage bag and dragging it along. This lightweight fabric sack attaches to your waist or across your shoulder and it's waterproof so you don't get dirty. Order yours today! Are the plants in your yard beginning to leaf out or swell with buds yet? If they're not,...

"Burn off" weed seeds and pests with solar power

"What exactly is solarizing?" That was a question that was sent to me recently by a reader of this column. Because the subject is somewhat unusual and the results are very effective, I thought I would share the answer with you today. "Solarizing" might sound like a cosmic phenomenon or something you'd do to the windows in your greenhouse or conservatory. However, the real definition is, quite literally, much more "down to earth." A simple definition of solarizing could be the act of trapping the heat from the sun and concentrating it on garden soil in an enclosed environment. Most often,...

“Alien” slime mold invades mulch!

QUESTION: “A couple of mornings ago, I noticed a strange yellow clump of something had appeared, apparently overnight, in one of our flower beds. It was a bright, almost neon, yellow and very moist and slimy. It looked almost like some kind of alien being! “By the next day, it had formed a skin or crust on top and was turning brown. It now looked like a very large, stale egg foo yong! The following day, a second patch appeared, about six feet away in the same bed. Is this some kind of fungus? I am planning to remove the two clumps with a shovel and replace the mulch. But I'd also like...

“Complement” your plants to create color harmony

Gardeners and landscapers can learn a lot from other artists and craftsmen. For instance, think of the people who work in the picture-framing business. Take a picture to one of these experts and you can find that what might have seemed a no-brainer turns out to require a lot of thought to achieve the desired result. They’ll naturally spend some time selecting the ideal frame. But notice how much thought they put into finding the perfect mat. The mat – that beveled piece of card that serves as a border between the picture and the frame – is essential to the optimum...

“Old Fashioned” plants appeal to modern tastes

What once was old is new again. That’s a saying that can certainly be applied to the world of plants. Quite often a specific plant becomes almost universally popular. As soon as it can be seen in almost every garden, there’s a backlash and the once-popular plant drops out of the Top Forty, so to speak. But then, a new generation of gardeners and landscapers rediscover the plant and it enjoys a resurgence of popularity. Just such a plant is Dicentra spectabilis, also known as Old Fashioned Bleeding Heart . In case you haven’t seen it recently, here’s a...

“Sickly” soil can be saved!

When you have serious soil problems, it can be almost impossible to grow anything successfully. But when you nurse your sick soil back to health, you’ll be amazed at the exciting variety of plants that thrive in your formerly barren wasteland! Let me reassure you that you CAN revive “bad” soil. Add a little “landscaper know-how” to some of the excellent products that are now available to homeowners and you’ll see a major improvement. Here are a couple of recent questions from readers who are having soil problems. Like these folks, you can send an e-mail to [email protected] if you need...

Question about privacy hedges

Question: I would appreciate it if you could shed some of the wisdom of your field upon a novice. I would like a privacy hedge of evergreen trees. I would like it to grow fast. I just ordered Redwood Cedar 10 inch seedlings, but understand they don't grow very fast. It seems Leyland Cypress grows fast, but is expensive. I wonder, how far apart to plant them and whether they will grow. I have some similar pines that were transplanted to the same soil that have grown marginally in the past five years. Is there anything I can do to get around this? The area is populated by Hickory and Oak trees...

300 Live oaks and a problem with Boles.

QUESTION: "We have about 300 live oak trees on our property, and almost all are covered with what I term "boles" on the leaves. Not just a few; but literally many hundreds. Do these "critters" harm the trees? Is there a cure? If so, what should we do to eradicate them?" – Len & Janice Westra ANSWER: Any insect or beetle that is foreign to the tree will harm it. You may try some of the insecticides like Sevin or Malathion. However, before you do anything, I suggest you try checking with the agricultural extension agent in your area. If it a problem you are having...

A planting primer for trees and shrubs

Perhaps you visit a garden center or look at an online catalog and see various intriguing plants but hesitate to make the buying decision because you’re not sure about the correct planting procedure. Today, we’ll look at three ways you can buy plants (from the little guys up to the most majestic of trees) and have a quick primer on how to plant each type. Potted plants Usually, it’s the smaller plants that you can buy in pots, but you’ll sometimes find larger shrubs sold that way, and the planting procedure is the same for all of them. First of all, dig a hole approximately twice the width...

Add flair to landscape with these unusual plants

Looking for something a bit out of the ordinary to plant this fall? I have a few suggestions you might want to check out. Weigela Ghost We saw this variety in a grower’s greenhouse and had to get some for ourselves because it has the most unusual foliage we had ever seen in a Weigela. In spring the foliage starts out green then gradually changes to a ghostly iridescent buttery yellow as summer progresses. In the spring it produces deep ruby-red flowers that can last for quite a while. We found that it is best to shear it after the initial spring...

American chestnut trees: on their way back

If you had given up hope of ever again gazing up at the vast leafy canopy of an American chestnut tree, take heart! The majestic tree was almost completely wiped out several decades ago by a disease and it seemed that the American chestnut had gone the way of the passenger pigeon and the dodo. However, plant scientists are working diligently to bring back the American chestnut in a stronger, disease-resistant form. The magnificent tree had been a familiar sight on the American landscape. Its timber was used for building homes and barns. The chestnuts...

Arborvitae propogation & Care

Arborvitae (Thuja) is probably one of the most popular landscape plants being used and sold today. For an evergreen, they are fast growing and quite easy to care for. Most varieties of Arborvitae grow almost perfectly with very little pruning required. However, some of the low growing varieties do need regular pruning. Rhinegold Arborvitae, a low growing evergreen that ranges in color from yellow to burnt orange. This plant is a fast grower, and very easy to propagate. It does require pruning at least once a year in order to maintain a nice shape, and the pruning is best done in the late fall...

Favorite Ground Cover Plants for Any Yard Space

Ground covers are highly desirable in the landscape. They can make a plain area into a blooming mat of beauty. They can fill in cracks between stepping stones, spill over landscape stone, or even replace a high-maintenance lawn. Ground cover can offer water-saving living mulch and will cut down the amount of weeds that you have to pull, making your gardening job a lot easier. There are plenty of types of plants that make great ground covers, but several are staples that fill needs that are common, and are still well behaved enough to live happily in a well-tended garden. Here are some...

Perennial Plant Ideas for Shade Gardens

Shade gardens of all kinds are somewhat hard to plant in. Plants that suit shade gardens are fairly picky about exactly what kind of shade they like- from dappled to diffuse to deep shade, some still needing some amount of sun to look their best, but not too much of course! Morning shade, afternoon shade, midday shade, shade that’s “bright” (what does that even mean exactly?!) to wet shade and dry shade and on and on. In contrast, plants that love the sun seem to do well in just that-the sun. Bonus on the sunny plants that do fine in rocky spots or don’t mind drying out, as sunny hot...

Landscape Design Basics - What You Need To Know To Landscape Your Yard

Once you learn the basics of landscape design , you will be able to design your own backyard, place foundation plantings, and plan for gardens and activities. Being a new homeowner can easily become an overwhelming task. Below are tips for how to landscape as well as helpful links to help you with your new home maintenance and lawn care . These tips will help you plan your landscape whether your home is new construction or new to you. Keep an accordion file that contains information on your home, such as: all building and remodeling papers and receipts, warranties paperwork on all...

The 7 Best Shade Trees

The 7 Best Shade Trees
The Shade trees are grown for their size and creating shade. The relevance ofthese trees lays in those regions which are very hot and where you need to grow plants in its shade. There are many such plants which can grow only in shade and thus they can be grown under the shade of shade trees . Shade trees are generally large in size with spreading canopies and are used in public as well as private gardens for decoration. 7 of the best shade trees which are popular and fast growing are described here. RED MAPLE : It is the tree which grows very rapidly and is called as red maple...

Landscape Shrubs: Best Choices for Your Little Garden

Having a beautiful and attractive nursery at home is one of the biggest dream of every nature lover but our biggest problem is from where to collect suitable variety of plants and how to know which one is best for our house depending upon soil type and weather conditions. Don’t worry! Now you simply think about your dream and Greenwood Nursery will help you to fulfill all your desires with its online shopping facility for plants. One of the best things to know about www.greenwoodnursery.com its facility of selecting plants after entering information about your soil type, light availability...

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