PLANT OF THE DAY – STEADY AS SHE GOES GARDENIA
A gardenia you can rely on! This gardenia has all the features you need. Continuous blooming, cold hardiness, and heat tolerance. You won’t need to be concerned about flower buds withering from severe weather since Steady as She Goes® will keep blooming until the first frost. Moreover, it has beautifully coordinated glossy, evergreen leaves.
STYLISH WALKWAY OPTIONS
There are so many fantastic ideas for walkways and pathways if you’re seeking a fresh design for your front entrance, a solution for your side yard, or you just want to put stepping stones in your garden.
PLANT OF THE DAY – STORMY SKYE DAYLILY
This reblooming daylily makes a huge statement with its dramatic color. The large flowers are a lovely pink shade with deep burgundy eyes and ruffled petal edges lined in the same vivid burgundy.
PLANT OF THE DAY – DELICIOUS NOUGAT CONEFLOWER
What’s the best thing about Coneflower? They are a perfect specimen for a wildlife garden. attracting bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Delicious Nougat is a compact variety with creamy white petals and a puffy, lime green center.
PLANT OF THE DAY – PHENOMENAL FRENCH LAVENDER
Lavender is such a wonderful specimen for a garden for so many reasons. Phenomenal French Lavender will not disappoint at any level. It has an elegant growing pattern and displays a sweetly fragrant mound of silver foliage combined with purple-blue flower spikes. Along with its ornamental attributes, it’s edible.
DECORATING YOUR FRONT YARD
One of the biggest trends in 2023 outdoor living is a focus on front yard design. While backyard living spaces will always be a priority when it comes to usable living space and expanding living spaces, we’ve noticed a trend toward dressing up front yards for visible curb appeal.
PLANT OF THE DAY – PINK-A-BOO CAMELLIA
Pink-A-Boo Camellia is the perfect plant for your cool-season garden. It belongs in a spot where it gets filtered sun, full or partial shade. It may handle the winter in a sunnier spot, but the hot, hot summer sun will not be this plant’s friend. A favorite with landscapers because it brings welcome color to a cool season garden, this camellia is a nice change from the winter red camellias.
PLANT OF THE DAY – BLUE JEAN BABY RUSSIAN SAGE
What makes Blue Jean Baby so special? For one, it’s a shorter, more compact variety that is super full with upright stems that resist flopping over. It’s one of the earliest to bloom, beginning in Midsummer and continuing to produce blooms into the Fall.
OCTOBER LANDSCAPING TO DO LIST
It’s beginning to look a lot like Fall. Cooler temps, a little more rain, and some dreaded nor’easters. But that doesn’t end the landscaping season and certainly shouldn’t keep you from completing some important tasks and fun decorating ideas.
PLANT OF THE DAY – DWARF JAPANESE GARDEN JUNIPER
Described as “a dense mound of ground-hugging branches that radiate from the center” this plant has a bonsai style and tight foliage with a blue-green tint. If your style of garden is Asian/Zen, contemporary, or even slightly rustic, then this plant will feel right at home in one of your beds or even as a potted accent plant for your patio or zen rock garden.
PLANT OF THE DAY – BABY JOE DWARF PYE WEED
Joe Pye Weed is a compact plant with super showy, mauve-purplish dome-shaped flowers that bloom from late summer and into early fall. It’s a great addition for borders if you need some vertical interest.
SEPTEMBER LANDSCAPING TO DO LIST
What to do? What to do? Where to start? If you’re anything like me, the idea of planting your fall annual color is already on your mind. Of course, you’ll wait until the end of the month to plant those violas and pansies, but it doesn’t hurt to see if there are any new varieties out there.
Plants for Your Patio Planters
It wasn’t a difficult decision to add a new patio as a way to create more living space for your home. But now you’d like to bring more life to it. And this can be best accomplished with the addition of outdoor planters. Now comes the fun part! Deciding what to plant. And deciding on the containers to put those plants. One thing that will really add style to your patio is to select planters that are similar in style and color. Or to buy a specific design of planter and stick to that one style. The diversity will come from your plants. We love this collection from Pottery Barn. There are several different planters you can choose from that will match your style type. The plant selection needs more consideration when it comes to exposure to the elements. Is your patio space filled with shade? A few plants that might be perfect for you containers include coleus, fuschia, coral bells (heuchera), and impatiens. My absolute favorite shade plant for both color and foliage variety is coleus. Planted in a container along with some impatients and you will create a backyard show stopper. The color and size of the leaves have such a tremendous vaiety, and they are also extremely easy to care for. Is your patio in full sun? If you need plants to survive extreme heat and sun, there are numerous options when it comes to creating that perfect container full of lush colorful, plants. Among the choices are lantana, geraniums, zinnias, mint (it’s pretty, it smells great and it has multiple uses in food and drinks), palms (particularly Chinese fan palms) and the beauiful, crazy blooming Mandevilla. There are so many options when it comes to the plants that will decorate your patio, and you can go bold, basic, subdued with your planters and once you’ve decided on the planters, you can go try all of the different plants that are suited to the environement these planters will be placed.
Patios. The Next Room for Your Home.
With so many people choosing to extend their living space into the outdoors, patios have become one of the most aesthetically pleasing and cost-effective solutions available. A patio offers additional space for relaxing, dining, and entertaining. Choosing a construction method or contractor to complete this type of work can often seem like a daunting task. We recommend concrete because of its style versatility.
PLANT OF THE DAY – SEASIDE SERENADE CRYSTAL COVE HYDRANGEA
With every new lacecap I discover, I fall more deeply in love. Lacecaps are definitely one of my favorite summer bloomers, and this one has captured my heart. The blooms on this plant have a frilly detail that’s not on all lacecaps. They are edged with a deep purple-blue when grown in acidic soils, or a deep pink when grown in neutral or alkaline soils. And because it’s a reblooming variety it will bloom through the summer. As the flowers age, their color will deepen.
TOP GARDEN TRENDS FOR 2022 – PART 2
Blurred lines. Bring both the indoors out and the outdoors in. Make the line between the two much less distinguishable. Your entire property is your home. Take advantage of your spaces.
TOP GARDEN TRENDS FOR 2022 – PART 1
We all know that the best gardens are the ones that bring you the most joy. While trendy may not be your thing, it’s fun to see what’s trending with landscaping designs.
PLANT OF THE DAY – SHADOWLAND HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL HOSTA
If you’re looking to add a new hosta variety to your landscape this season, let this be THE one! With it’s heart-shaped, blue leaves with a crisp white margin, the color and shape are certainly inviting. But toss in some incredible ruffling on the leaves and you’ve got a bounty of added interest in this selcetion.
PLANT OF THE DAY – GOLD COLLECTION® CINNAMON SNOW HELLEBORE
Don’t you deserve a little extra color during the coldest months of the year? Hellebore is your answer. Also known as Lenten Rose, these beautiful treasures will bring you a bit of happiness in your landscape. Whether peeking out of the snow or located in a large pot by your doorway, you can count on Hellebore to fill the flower void. Cinnamon Snow is a particularly beautiful variety with it’s pink buds that will open up into large, creamy white flowers with the shades of rose and cinnamon. The color of these plants is affected by both temperature and the age of the flower itself, which means you can get quite a range of hues.
PLANT OF THE DAY – ORNAMENTAL RAINBOW CHARD
With it’s gorgeous, vibrant coloring and love for cooler weather, this edible ornamental vegetable is a perfect plant for your fall landscape.
IT’S SPOOKY SEASON
Halloween is quickly approaching. There are so many ways you can decorate your outdoor areas to welcome the spooky season. Who doesn’t love the color orange? Or pumpkins? Black cats and witches? It’s a fun time of the year and decorating your doorstep, your porch, your deck or even your garden areas can bring a lot of joy and fun to your home. These are just a few of our favorites.
PLANT OF THE DAY – BUNNY EARS VIOLA
If you like violas the way we like violas, then you’ll love this adorably tiny variety. Yes, it’s only 8 inches high and wide but it has two prominent petals that give the flowers the appearance of bunny ears.
PLANT OF THE DAY – MOJAVE JEWELS RUBY SEDUM
Dense clusters of blood-red flowers contrast dramatically against deep-purple, almost black foliage, to make a big statement in the garden. Unlike many sedum, this one is a bit shorter and much sturdier. It’s perfect for an a water wise area, rock garden, or container. Succulent foliage will die back to the ground in areas experiencing a colder winter, but will re-emerge again in the spring.
PLANT OF THE DAY – WIRI BLUSH HEBE
With its deep rose-pink flower spikes, this beauty is backed by lush and shine, dark green red-edged foliage.
PLANT OF THE DAY – CHOCOLATE COSMOS
A flower with a chocolate scent? We say “YES!” This cosmos variety has deep maroon flowers with a dark brown center on stems with dark green leaves.
PLANT OF THE DAY – COLOR CODED™ FRANKLY SCARLET ECHINACEA
Bright Scarlet Orange flowers that reach 4″ in size will display horizontally help petals over dark green foliage. As the blooms age, they will lighten to a coral orange color.
PLANT OF THE DAY – MIDNIGHT GOLD PETUNIA
There’s always something new when it comes to petunias. New colors. New color combos. New water needs. New sunlight needs. And lots of new names!
EASY DIY BACKYARD WATER FEATURE
Nothing beats the sound of a water feature. And you can make one without much fuss or expense. This one is perfect for your backyard patio or deck. We found it here. What we love most about this feature is that it’s solar powered so you don’t need an electrical source. But we also love that it included plants. And well, plants always make us happy. And while you’re considering, keep in mind that it’s a ONE HOUR PROJECT. Yes, you read that right. One hour!
PLANT OF THE DAY – SUPERTUNIA LATTE PETUNIA
This is one of those annuals that you will want to give a front and center location to. From spring until frost, you can expect a very showy silvery white flower with dark brown to purple throat and veins. The flowers themselves are medium to large in size.
PLANT OF THE DAY – BACK TO THE FUCHSIA SALVIA
Dark green leaves with spikes of deep pinkish-purple flowers? What could go wrong with that combination? Absolutely nothing. It’s a perfectly pleasing perennial.
PLANT OF THE DAY – ALL SUMMER BEAUTY HYDRANGEA
By far, this is a favorite hydrangea for many gardeners. Its blooms are large and colorful. In neutral soil, you can expect pink or light blue colors, but in acid soil, this plant produces an abundance of rich blue mophead blooms.
BAKED EGGS ARE EVERYTHING THEY’RE CRACKED UP TO BE
This weekend do something different with your eggs. Forget about scrambling or fried all the way or sunny side up or over easy. Bake them!
PLANT OF THE DAY – ORANGE ROCKET BARBERRY
This shrub has so much going for it. Color, size and a columnar growth pattern. The new foliage is a coral-orange color that ages to a medium green and then turns ruby red in the fall. It’s a perfect plant for brightening you landscape, as a mass planting, a specimen focal point or in a large container.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – WINTER JEWELS BLACK DIAMOND HELLEBORE
This is easily one of my favorite late winter to early spring bloomers. The color is so unique and it always reminds me that warm weather is just moments away. The dark purple to near black single blossoms are a perfect addition to shaded beds and borders. Call them hellebores or Lenten Roses, but their captivating charm is the same.
Too Many Peaches?
Fresh, sweet, juicy and delicious peaches are one of the best things about summer. But sometimes you have too many and that means you have too many ripe peaches. What can you do with those overripe peaches? make some delicious freezer pops. We found a delicious recipe, courtesy of Southern Living Magazine.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – ROZANNE GERANIUM
If a long-blooming perennial is something you’re searching for, then Rozanne Geranium needs to be on your list. It’s an award winner that will bring your garden masses of gorgeous, blueish purple blooms from early in the spring until the end of the summer. It’s a spreading geranium that allows it’s evergreen foliage to continue in climates that experience mild winters.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – BEAUTY YELLOW MARGUERITE DAISY
Beauty Yellow Marguerite Daisy produces spectacular bright lemon-yellow daisies with a resistance to heat and drought..
CHOOSING A RUG FOR YOUR OUTDOOR SPACE
Have you been thinking about getting an outdoor rug for your deck, porch or patio? Confused with what size to get, what color would work best and what material is best suited for your application? There are several considerations when choosing an outdoor rug and price is often part of the discussion, as well.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – LUSCIOUS CITRUS BLEND LANTANA
Luscious Citrus Blend Lantana is a beautiful summer flowering plant that will bring a welcome splash of bright color to your yard all summer long. With it’s red, orange and yellow color tones, it produces a vibrant display of color.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – LITTLE REDHEAD SPIGELIA
You’re probably asking yourself…what is a Spigelia? As beautiful as it is, it’s not the easiest plant to obtain and it’s very underutilized. That said, we predict to see it more and more often as people discover this beautiful plant and it’s versatility.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – SUMMER CRUSH HYDRANGEA
Summer Crush Hydrangea is a welcome addition to any landscape for both it’s color and amount of blooms. It’s great in the ground, but also in a because of it’s compact size. The compact size gives you a neat, tidy look all summer long along with a surplus of big raspberry red or neon purple blooms.
Spruce Up Your Outdoor Living Space
Even if you haven’t already taken care of this chore already, what are you waiting for? We’re about two seconds away from May and knowing you’ll be spending more time at home than not, don’t you think it’s time to really think about spending that time outside? And everyone knows that the more inviting a space is, the more likely you are to spend time outdoors. The outdoors should be your happy, healthy, clean and fun space. There’s no reason to not tackle the necessary clean up and once that done, you’ll probably feel more inspired to spruce things up a bit.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – VANILLA STRAWBERRY HYDRANGEA
If you love hydrangeas and love pink, then this is the plant for you. Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea produces full blooms show up first in a creamy white color and as they mature become a rich strawberry pink color. Add the color of red stems to the mix, and you’ve brought a whole new level of color to your landscape.
IT’S STILL CHILI SEASON – TRY THIS RECIPE TO TAKE THE CHILL OFF
If you love sweet heat flavors, you’ll love this chili recipe. If you can’t find bacon sausage, you can use any other sausage that you like. It’s a great recipe and if shared, expect people to ask you for the recipe.
OUR FAVORITE LANDSCAPING QUOTES
We definitely love good gardening and landscaping quotes. They bring a smile to your face and remind you exactly why you love digging in the dirt, discovering new plants and creating a lovely palette outdoors. These are just a few of our faves. “Don’t worry about perfection. Nature doesn’t grow in straight lines.” Lisa Lubell “All gardening is landscape painting.” William Kent “The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.” Alfred Austin “Gardening is any way that humans and nature come together with the intent of creating beauty.” Tina James “There’s little risk in becoming overly proud of one’s garden because gardening by its very nature is humbling. It has a way of keeping you on your knees.” Joanne R. Barwick “Texture and foliage keep a garden interesting through the season. Flowers are just moments of gratification.” Kevin Doyle
VIRGINIA HAS A BOUNTY OF BEAUTIFUL GARDENS TO VISIT
Yes, we know. It’s only February, and it’s not exactly bloom season yet. But that doesn’t mean you need to stop dreaming of beautiful gardens and the inspiration you can gain from them. And it’s certainly not too early to start planning a spring or summer gardening trip, especially one that focuses on some of the beautiful gardens that can be found in Virginia.
LANDSCAPING TRENDS FOR 2020
What’s new? What’s on trend? The world of landscaping and exterior design is always changing with new looks, new products and new technology. One thing that’s big this year is using interior design elements outside. Pick an element that you’ve fallen in love in with inside your home and move it to the outdoors. Perhaps you love that herringbone pattern on your kitchen’s backsplash or that chevron pattern that’s surrounding your fireplace. You can pull that into your outdoor areas in a variety of ways. Use it on your porch furniture, to create a privacy wall, or a pattern for a patio. Traditional indoor materials are also finding their way outside. Porcelain tiles are being used to create patios, walkways and garden paths because of their durability and long life.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – MEXICAN BUSH SAGE
This is a favorite with many gardeners because it will provide you with dynamic purple blooms through the autumn season. Mexican Bush Sage (salvia leucantha) is drought tolerant which makes including it in your garden an even wiser decision. Particularly with the drought we’ve been experiencing this season.
PICKING THE PERFECT JAPANESE MAPLE
The Japanese Maple is probably one of the most favored trees to include in landscaping. One of its most endearing features it that it grows somewhat slowly and tends to keep a a nice compact shape that won’t demand constant pruning. But the biggest reason people love a Japanese Maple is because of its multiple colors and vibrant displays during various seasons. Add to the color interest a variety of leaf shapes, and is anyone surprised by their popularity. But most important, there is a Japanese Maple with size that is suitable to fit any yard or lack of yard. Let us help you find that perfect maple. Whether you’re putting one in a pot, in a courtyard, on a deck, as an accent in a bed or to help shade a window, we’ve got one that will serve your color, shape and size requirements.
SEPTEMBER and OCTOBER LANDSCAPING CHECKLIST
As summer begins to wind down, there are certain lawn and landscape items that need to be taken care of during the months of September and October. Most importantly is that it’s the perfect time to think about renovating and rejuvenating your landscape design because these two months are a little cooler and there is more moisture in the air. This gives new plants the best possible conditions for establishing themselves in their new home. Make a list of the plants you want to incorporate in your landscape. This is also an ideal time to start buying and planting spring time bulbs as well.
A STONE’S THROW…LANDSCAPING WITH STONE, GRAVEL AND BOULDERS
Love the look of stone and rock in landscaping? There are many different types of stone that can be incorporated into your landscape, and an infinite number of ways to use stone. New ideas pop up all the time, and some of the traditional uses will never go out of vogue. Our favorites? You certainly don’t have to ask twice.
FEASTING ON FLOWERS – THE EDIBLES
One of the best ways to add color interest to your menu is with the addition of fresh flowers. There are many blooms that look beautiful on the side of a plate, but are also perfectly safe to use in recipes.
GETTING CREATIVE IN THE GARDEN
I’m always looking for creative new ideas to enhance my landscape and the landscapes of the homes we create designs for. It’s also fun to share these finds with our readers. Whether you choose to implement my most recent discoveries or use them as inspiration to create something that compliments your personality, I hope you’ll find our ideas a little different.
TAKING A BITE OUT OF THE MOSQUITO POPULATION
They are the peskiest of pests, and they are at their height of peskiness during August. But there are ways to control the population in your yard. It’s not only their itchy bites that are problematic, but there is also need for worry over the diseases they carry. Armed with the right knowledge, you make it a fair fight and hopefully come close to winning the battle against these annoying summer visitors.
GARDEN STRUCTURES – ARBORS, PERGOLAS, TRELLISES and MORE
Garden structures are a great way to add height interest to your landscape. Arbors, pergolas, vine poles and trellises all have a purpose, but along with that purpose comes the prospect of a new way to add more beauty and color to your landscape.
WHAT’S YOUR GARDEN STYLE? TAKE THE QUIZ.
Thinking about a new landscape, but really don’t know what exactly it is you might be looking for? Certainly not an uncommon problem, but one we encounter on a regular basis. Your landscape should reflect your own interests and lifestyle. There are so many different styles to choose from that trying to decide on one specific style may seem a little overwhelming to the novice.
IMPROVE YOUR CURB APPEAL
How can you improve your curb appeal? In a multitude of ways! You can do it quickly and with minimal cost or you can make some dynamic changes and really spruce things up.
HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST GARDEN BENCH FOR YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE
There are so many ways to add interest to your landscape, but nothing can bring as much comfort as a garden bench. Garden benches have provided outdoor pleasure to people for centuries, and while everything else in our environment has changed and grown, the pleasure of a few minutes stolen from the business of your day has not. Garden benches are great for reflecting with that first cup of coffee in the morning, while reading the news or planning your day. A comfortable seat in a quiet location, before you begin the day allows you to take in the sights and smells of your garden, as well. In the evening, a garden bench gives you the opportunity to calm down, take a breath and unwind in the most visually appealing, harmonious location of your entire home, both indoors and out.
LOW MAINTENANCE LANDSCAPING IDEAS
It seems as though everyone wants to cutback on the yard maintenance these days. There are several ways to make sure you spend less time on maintenance and more time on enjoyment.
THE ZEN GARDEN…A STRESS RELIEVING GARDENING STYLE
Tranquil. Peaceful. Calming. Elegant. The term the Japanese use for a Zen garden is “karensansui” and it means dry landscape. To achieve this look, a merging of gravel, rocks and boulders are used to create a vision that represents islands and mountains surrounded by an imagery of flowing water. A Zen Garden is not a Japanese Garden. There are differences in the two. A Zen Garden will not include a pond, but a Japanese Garden typically will.
SUMMER VEGETABLE RECIPE – FLAMIN’ HOT CORN ON THE COB
We love all things HOT! And we’ll admit that Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are part of our obsession. After trying this recipe, we just had to share. Give it a try. If you like HOT as much as we do, you will not be disappointed with the flavor. And don’t let the Cheetos deter you from giving it a try.
GET OUT OF THE SUN! AND ENJOY YOUR PATIO!
You got that new patio or deck you’d been dreaming of. You enjoyed it all spring and into the early summer. Your neighbors oohed and aahed over your new backyard living space and you smiled over everyone’s excitement. But now it’s dead in the middle of summer and well…it’s too hot to enjoy your new space during the middle of the day. The sun is banging on everyone and the guests don’t seem as excited over your invites. What to do? What to do?
FOR THOSE WHO HATE TO WATER THEIR LANDSCAPING
Summers in the southeast and mid-Atlantic states can often be very hot and very dry. Very dry. And when it feels like 100 degrees outside, the sun is beating on you and you look outside at all your beautiful flowers struggling outside, knowing you have to water them AGAIN, it can sometimes be a struggle. A real struggle. But you can make things easier on yourself by planting drought tolerant perennials to brighten your outdoors. There are plenty of varieties available. The color, size and texture variations are many and finding the right plants for your yard will be a fun adventure.
GO FROM BLAND TO BREATHTAKING…ROLL OUT THE OUTDOOR RUGS.
Is your deck or patio a little boring? Is it too hot to walk on when the sun is its brightest and the temps their highest? Do you feel like something is keeping you from feeling like your outdoor living space isn’t quite a livable as you’d like? An outdoor rug will instantly turn your patio or deck into an outdoor lounging or living space that will host you and your guests comfortably and longingly.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – PETCHOA SUPERCAL PREMIUM
Petchoa is a scrumptious cross between a petunia and calibrachoa. It’s got the size of a petunia and it’s profuse flowering power, as well. But the bonus is that it has the wonderfully rich and vibrant colors of a calibrachoa. The newest version of the Petchoa is the SuperCal Premium and its size and color will not disappoint.
HOW TO DECORATE A PATIO
It’s not just a slab of concrete to put your grill on. It’s so much more. A patio should be extension of your home and style. The ways you can decorate your patio are numerous, and you can do something lovely no matter your budget. Creativity and inspiration are key. How do you find inspiration? Think about the things that most inspire you and go forward. Is it a song? Think about the title and lyrics and how you can transpose that into your design. A certain type of flower? Use that as your color palette starting point. How about something as simple as an outdoor memory from a past vacation? Even a search through a magazine will help to spark your creativity and imagination.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – DWARF PLUMBAGO
We love a plant that blooms blue. And one of our favorites is plumbago.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – CANDY APPLE HYDRANGEA
Everyone loves a pretty hydrangea bush. Right? We certainly do, and nothing excites us as much as a new variety. Candy Apple is just that plant. If you’re familiar with Limelight, then you’ll love Candy Apple. It has the same stunning lime green clusters that you see on Limelight, but with a much more compact form.
COOL AS A CUCUMBER – RECIPES FROM YOUR GARDEN
Do you know where the expression “cool as a cucumber comes from? It’s because cucumbers are typically 10 to 20 degrees cooler than the temperature around them. Try inserting a thermometer into one if you need a little proof. Not only do cucumbers have a cool temperature, but they’re also the key ingredient to some of the summer’s best cool down recipes. There was a time when we only knew two main types of cucumbers – slicing and pickling. But things have changed and there is now a large variety of cucumber types available to gardeners and shoppers. They include Armenian, Diva, English Telegraph, Burpless, Persian, Lemon, Parisian Gherkins, Dasher, Sweet Success and Calypso varieties.
PLANT OF THE DAY – EVOLUTION YELLOW FALLS CONEFLOWER
Evolution Yellow Falls Coneflower is a new perennial that will bring your yard a bright touch of sunshine from late spring and into the fall. Lemon yellow petals arch slightly downward from showy center cones. It’s great for the gardeners who love to include some cutting flowers into their lives. It attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.
ADD MORE MAY PEAS TO YOUR MAY: CREAMED MAY PEAS AND NEW POTATOES
One of our favorite vegetables, if not our very favorite, is May peas. I always look forward to the arrival of May and one of the biggest reasons is for the May peas. There are lots of great ways to fix them, but this is an all time favorite. We like to use the multi-colored fingerling potatoes because they had such an interesting element to the dish. But whatever potatoes you choose to use, the dish may become one of your favorites, too.
COLOR TO MAKE YOUR SUMMER SCREAM… THE BRIGHTEST FLOWERS FOR YOUR SUMMER LANDSCAPE
Everyone loves the color that summer flowers bring to their yard. Whether you plant in the ground, in containers or in hanging baskets, it’s the color that brings the excitement. Who doesn’t love a day spent at the nursery discovering new plants or remembering old favorites. We spent the past couple of weekends visiting a few of our favorite nurseries and these are the plants that caught our eye.
SPRING IS ALMOST HERE…FLOWERS TO PLANT THIS SPRING
And with it, come lots of new plant varieties to excite you about the upcoming planting season. Since the start of the year, we’ve been looking to all of our favorite growers and have found more than a few that we’ve quickly fallen in love with. Since pictures are worth a thousand words and pictures of flowers are worth a million words, we’ve decided to share photos of those that captured our hearts.
DECKS…MORE THAN WOOD AND RAILS
It’s almost March. The perfect time to start thinking about your exterior projects. If a new deck or deck renovation is on your list, then you need to consider what your needs entail and how you can best maximize your budget in order to meet those needs. Since a new deck is a valuable investment for your home, you want to take the time to look at the options that will serve you best from both an aesthetic viewpoint and functional aspect. People understand that decks have the ability to extend your home’s living space during all the season of the year, and have become increasingly interested in ways to utilize that space to its highest optimization.
THE BEST TIME TO GET A NEW FENCE
February is a perfect time to get that new fence or replace your old rotting fence. There are several reasons why this month is the most opportune time to think about your fencing. For one reason, it’s not the growing season which means it will be much easier to install a fence when weed growth and landscaping are pretty much dormant. This means there will be less labor to install your fence, and a quicker turn around time.
LOW MAINTENANCE LANDSCAPING – PLANTS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER
No one can deny that having a yard that looks admirable, enviable or approachable requires some level of maintenance. Often way more maintenance than you may be interested in investing. One way to cut back on the amount of time you need to spend on your landscape each week is to choose low maintenance plants for your landscaping. A favorite for both color and smell is lavender. It’s silvery leaves and purple blooms make it a lovely addition for any style garden, but it’s also extremely hardy and requires minimal attendance during the growing season. There are several varieties to choose from, some more compact than others. Munstead is a compact shrub with mounding silver foliage and an abundance of blooms that create a border that’s a blanket of purple. Hidcote is another attractive variety.
ENJOY YOUR OUTDOOR LIVING SPACE DURING THE COLD
Yes, it’s C-O-L-D, but that shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of ways to extend the season of your outdoor living space. From fire pits and fireplaces to outdoor heaters to blankets, you can stay warm and enjoy those starlit nights even in January. A wood burning fire pit serves as a great gathering spot for those who enjoy sitting close to the heat source. It’s easy to circle around the pit with a cup of hot chocolate, a glass of wine or a good sipping bourbon. Even if most of your group is inside, once they see that fire lit, they will gravitate to the outdoors. Options are enormous and there is something for every style and taste.
MUM IS THE WORD WHEN IT COMES TO BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL FALL COLOR FOR YOUR YARD
When September arrives, we start to usher in Mum Season. Who doesn’t love the color and attention that mums bring to your yard? How you display them can really add an impact to your home’s appearance. Here are a few of our favorite displays we’ve found on the internet. Nothing is more welcoming than an abundance of color on your steps, and this set of steps really steps up its game. Large pots, and lots of color. When displayed with a group of pumpkins, you let everyone know fall is here.
RIPE AND READY. TOMATOES ARE SUMMER’S GIFT. TOMATO PIE RECIPE
Now that July is here, I’m pretty sure (or at least I hope), your tomato plants are now producing those ripe and ready jewels of summer. Hopefully, your crop is handling this heat and lack of rain the past several days, and your crop is looking its best. I’m the first to admit that I love nothing more than a tomato sandwich. Slices of red, ripe and juicy tomatoes, smeared with mayonnaise (has to be Duke’s) and sprinkled with salt and pepper, on some very lightly toasted bread. Nothing beats that first tomato sandwich of the year!
PLANT OF THE WEEK – DELICIOUS CANDY CONEFLOWER
I’ll eagerly admit that I’m a huge fan of coneflowers. I love the color and height they bring to a landscape, especially if you tend to enjoy a cottage style landscape. And they’re an all season flower, too. If you leave them uncut during the winter, you’ll give those birds a nice little snack to discover during those “oh so cold” months. I always try to think about the animals when I’m selecting plants for my gardens, and conflower will definitely bring all the animals to your yard.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – WIZARD OF AHHS MAGIC SHOW VERONICA
If you’ve been walking around your neighborhood, and noticed a big splash of purple in someone’s landscape what you may have seen is a new Veronica variety. Wizard of Ahhs. It’s part of a popular collection of Veronica knows as the Magic Show. Bonus points for this variety is that it is one of the earliest Veronica to bloom. This plant produces thick spikes of violet blue flowers that cover the top half of a low, wide growth habit. Reaching heights of 14 to 16″, you can expect this one to spread between 18 to 22″.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – SUMMER BERRIES YARROW
One thing about the landscaping business is that it certainly is BUSY this time of year. Lots of people in the industry call March, April and May the 100 Days of Hell. And with good reason. It’s hard to catch your breath, much less keep up with your blog. But with all the color popping out everywhere, I was reminded that I need to get back to sharing some of my favorite plants.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – LUNA PINK SWIRL HARDY HIBISCUS
With today’s rain and lack of sun, I found myself in desperate need of a plant pick me up. What better way to bring the tropics into your life than a tropical plant like the hibiscus. And the variety we’ve chose as this week’s Plant of the Week is the Luna Pink Swirl Hardy Hibiscus.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – MINUET WEIGELA
If you haven’t added Weigela to your landscape, we have to wonder ‘Why Not?’ One of our favorites is Minuet Weigela. Both the foliage and flowers will add a lovely splash of color to your spring garden. The incredible display of rosy-pink blooms against a backdrop of purple-tinged foliage mixes fantastically in a shrub border, but it also works well anywhere else as a colorful garden accent.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – VIBE IGNITION PURPLE SAGE
This week I chose a fairly new specimen called VIBE Ignition Purple Sage. My first reason for selecting this plant is my passion for purple flowers. Especially deep purple flowers! I particularly love that it’s heat and drought tolerant because we do live on the East Coast.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – REGAL EMPRESS CLEMATIS
This week we’ve chosen the Regal Empress Clematis. Every mailbox, every fence post, every porch rail deserves a splash of color and drama.This prolific, compact climber offers large, double flowers in shades of pink, continually producing over a long season.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – DREAM CATCHER FLOWERING CHERRY
This week we’re celebrating the Dream Catcher Flowering Cherry. This tree is categorized by its Large, single, clear pink flowers that cover its upright branches that expose dark green foliage. Fall brings orange-red to purple foliage color.
PLANT OF THE WEEK – THE EARLY BLOOMING FORSYTHIA
Since this is our FIRST “Plant of the Week” post, I selected an early spring bloomer to get you into gardening mode. The Show Off Forsythia is a new compact selection that gives a stunning display compared to some of the older forsythia varieties. Its early spring blooms fill its branches with bright yellow color in early spring It has lovely dark green foliage that provides visual interest all season long. Planted as a short hedge, in mixed borders or even as a foundation plant, it produces blooms that work well as a cut flower. It’s also a very easy plant to propagate. Use stem cuttings from your shrub to create more forsythia plants. … Moisten a paper towel with water and wrap it around the cut ends of the stems. Place the cuttings in a dark plastic bag until you can transfer cuttings to the rooting medium, preferably within 24 hours. An alternative propagation method can be accomplished by bending a branch down from an existing bush, covering the first 6 inches of the branch with soil and mulch, and using a brick or rock to weigh it down. The branch will root next to its mother plant and can be transplanted later. Forsythia will be a welcome addition to your landscape when you see it’s early yellow blooms showing up on a cold, early spring day.
YOUR HOME’S FIRST IMPRESSION SHOULD ALWAYS SAY “WELCOME.”
When someone walks or drives past your home, does its exterior make them pause and want to visit or does it make them gasp and want to keep on going? Stand in the street in front of your house. If it wasn’t your home, how would you feel about walking up to the front door? Perhaps it’s time to make some changes to your landscape. There are numerous ways to make your home more inviting. How can you improve your front yard? Does it involve your door? Your porch? The overall landscape? With a little thought, your home can invite people to stop in, with or without the welcome sign.
DECORATE YOUR PATIO FOR A PICTURE PERFECT LOOK
Staring out the window at a plain, boring patio? Unsure where to begin? Not even sure what look you’re going after? It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during the decision process. If you’re not careful, you’ll just toss the thought away, and end up spending another summer failing to utilize what could be the best “room” of your home. Plants. Furniture. Art. Color. Seclusion. Shade. Sun. Water. Sounds. Sights. Smells. Flavors. All words that should be part of your patio vocabulary. Consider all the senses when preparing your patio for the outdoor season.
What’s New In 2018?
One of the my favorite things every year is finding out what new varieties of plants will be showing up at my favorite nurseries. Of course, I have those favorites that I return to again and again, but being the first in the neighborhood to display a new annual or perennial always brings me a bit of joy. I’ve already discovered a few new plants this year that will certainly find a spot in my garden.
MAKE YOUR BACKYARD PRIVATE
Neighbors on top of you? An adjacent eyesore? The buzz of a busy street? Yes, these are the things that can keep you out of your yard, and out of what could be your own retreat and possibly the best part of your home. There are many ways to create that private space, to camouflage ugly and to bring more welcome sounds to your yard. The first step is to determine the main problem, the second is to come up with a plan, and then you need to implement the plan. There are several ways to add privacy to your landscape.
What is the special meaning behind rose colors?
Valentine’s Day is just a week away, but before you splurge for a dozen or more roses wouldn’t you like to know the meaning behind the color of the roses you’re thinking about choosing? While many people think roses are cliché, knowing the meaning behind them will certainly give a little oomph to that bouquet. Roses come in a variety of colors and shades, so choose carefully and let someone know that you actually did put some thought into your selection. Red roses are the standard. They are the symbol for love, and reflect beauty and perfection. Give those red roses to the perfect someone in your life, and let them know why you went with tradition. Pink roses represent feelings of admiration, grace, joy, sweetness and gentleness. They’re a great choice for a daughter or for a younger Valentine since they also communicate happiness.
HELLO THERE COLD WEATHER ! LANDSCAPING CHECKLIST FOR FEBRUARY.
The February checklist for your yard. *Starts your seeds for the cool season vegetables & flowers. *Check your plants and tress for damage. During the cold months, animals can damage your plants when trying to escape the cold. *It’s a good time to start looking for pots and planters. Some stores still have last year’s merchandise to get rid of, and the bargains can be strong. *Cut back your liriope and other perennials now. It will get them ready to grow in the spring. *Prune your dormant trees and shrubs, but leave those spring bloomers alone. *It’s a good time to plant those larger B&B bushes and trees. *Give your holly bushes a hard prune this time of year.
Choosing Color for Your Landscape
Landscaping is an artistic endeavor. It’s important to apply design elements the way an artist does when choosing a color palette for their next painting. Every color and shade awakens a specific feeling, and applying these properly will tie your landscape together and create a visionary masterpiece. You can choose your color palette based on your favorite colors, and by understanding the principles of the color wheel. Some colors are warm, others cool. Each color has a certain identity and performs differently in the landscape. Red. Excitement, intensity, passion, vitality, drama and energy. If you are trying to make an area feel tighter, rather than spread out then red is a good choice. Because it is a warm color, it needs to be in a bright space. Reds do not stand out in shady areas. It’s a great color for a focal point, such as a doorway or the dining area of your patio or deck. The complimentary color for red is green. Good examples of red blooms include geraniums, petunias, celosia and dahlias.
It may be cold, but it’s time to start thinking about your landscape
Often we allow the cold weather (and especially the snow) to keep us from thinking about the upcoming planting season. But it’s actually the best time of all to get the idea and planning process started. One of the first things to consider when planning a new landscape is to determine the look and style you’re going after. Landscape styles can often be narrowed down to the following types: classic, cottage, zen, contemporary, tropical or eco-friendly xeriscaping. If you’re not sure what your style is, the quiz found here often helps you narrow it down. During January, it’s time to pull out the magazines and scan the internet for photos and articles related to landscape design and styles. Once you’ve determined what you love, you can read about the types of plants that would best with the scheme you are trying to achieve. A good landscaper can help you with the design and especially the plant selections that will work well with your property’s unique conditions. Visiting a landscaper’s website is a great place for ideas and it will also help you determine if it’s a landscaper you want to work with.