Category Archives: Blog

Lighten Up! Brightening and enlivening the shade garden

sq-lightenupHosta and ferns are standards for the perennial shade garden. They have similar growing condition requirements and the contrast of fine-textured fronds and broad Hosta leaves does bring dimension and quiet contrast. All well and good for a supremely serene retreat, but what if you’d like to energize your shadowy shade realm a bit? Continue reading Lighten Up! Brightening and enlivening the shade garden

Hardscape Essentials: It takes more than plants to make a landscape

What is it?
Hardscape is not a catchy term for overly difficult gardening sites. It simply means the hard, durable parts of the landscape…the non-plant elements. Hardscaping elements are often chosen for function and directly or indirectly add beauty as well. Hardscape can be used to: provide definition of different areas within a landscape, direct views and traffic, frame or screen views, provide shelter, ambience and ease of access, and create containment.

Continue reading Hardscape Essentials: It takes more than plants to make a landscape

Tips for Annual Selection & Care

Choose Well

To ensure attractive healthy annuals all season, choose full, well branched plants with good foliage color and – on flowering annuals – an abundance of buds. Don’t go for the biggest plants or most open blooms, these are more likely to be leggy and burned out too soon. If the latter is all you find, you can improve their appearance and longevity by pruning them back by about one third to encourage branching and fresh growth. Continue reading Tips for Annual Selection & Care

Plants to Celebrate Spring’s Return

Late winter into early spring is when we crave fresh growth, a bit of color…some sign that spring is really returning!! Swelling buds on Pussy Willow and dainty Snowdrop blooms – which might be overlooked or scoffed at if amongst the lushness of summer plant life – bring excitement, praise and hope! These are soon followed by bolder displays, as the likes of Forsythia, Tulips, Magnolias and more burst into bloom and cement our certainty of spring’s return!

If you’d like to indulge in some of this excitement, look around your neighborhood and local parks this spring to note which plants catch your eye. Snap their portraits with your smart phone or camera, then seek them out at your local nursery to plant in your own yard as personal mood boosters come next spring!

Here’s a short list to spark your imagination:

Perennial Flowers (can be planted spring through autumn)

  • Anemone/Windflower
  • Brunnera
  • Hellebore
  • Primrose

Flowering Bulbs (should be planted in autumn)

  • Hyacinth
  • Snowdrops
  • Tulips
  • Narcissus sp.
  • Crocus

Flowering Shrubs & Trees (can be planted spring through autumn)

  • Dogwood
  • Forsythia
  • Lilacs
  • Magnolias
  • Pussy Willow (the fuzzy catkins are flowers)
  • Flowering Quince
  • Redbud
  • Rhododendrons & Azaleas
  • Serviceberry/Juneberry
  • Witch Hazel
  • Winter Daphne

Air Plants…easy, artsy, fun…for every level of gardener

Air Plants are funky, fun and trending right now! Air Plants (Tillandsia genus) live on air in the sense that they pull moisture and nutrients from the air through their leaves, rather than from soil. They do not possess true roots, but root-like structures that help them anchor to trees and rocks. Many have colored foliage or interesting blooms and often the leaves mature from green to red before flowering and then dying. No worries, though…they live several years and produce offshoot “pups” to continue the family line! Continue reading Air Plants…easy, artsy, fun…for every level of gardener

Terrariums…A Trend to Get Inside Of!

Terrariums seem to cycle in and out of style every few decades, but are always enchanting. The current day terrarium trend fits perfectly with our desires to connect with nature and the “be green” joy of reusing and repurposing a variety of objects. They are also wonderful outlets for creativity and self-expression.

While the basic terrarium components of container, “soil”, plants and ornamentation stay the same – the end result runs the miniature-world gamut. Terrarium compositions can be Zen minimal to lush as a fairy tale forest. Plant selections, containers and potting medium can be selected to create environments ranging from rainforest wet to desert dry – no longer restricted by old definitions that required full enclosure and high humidity. The container itself might be shot glass tiny, aquarium large or anywhere in between.

Look for finished terrariums at floral and gift shops or surrender yourself to the full enchantment and create one (or more!) yourself. Check the following resources for guidance and inspiration, as well as materials, tools and even classes!

Helpful, Fun & Inspiring Terrarium Resources

WEB
Twig Terrariums of Brooklyn, NY

Window Box.com –Small Space Gardens

BOOKS
The New Terrarium: Creating Beautiful Displays for Plants and Nature
by Tovah Martin and Kindra Clineff

Terrarium Craft: Create 50 Magical, Miniature Worlds
by Amy Bryant Aiello, Kate Bryant, Kate Baldwin

Tiny World Terrariums: A Step-by-Step Guide to Easily Contained Life
by Michelle Inciarrano and Katy Maslow

Those gifted Orchids…a Bit of History

Orchids are some of the plant world’s most beautiful and persistent survivors, with origins dating back to the time of the Tyrannosaurus! They come not from one genus, but from over 800 natural genera with more than 100,000 hybrids. While some Orchids grow in soil, many of the Orchids popular for our homes today actually grow in trees in their native habitats. Continue reading Those gifted Orchids…a Bit of History

Houseplants as an Indoor Nature Connection

The mere presence of a lone Peace Lily tucked in the corner of the living room is nice. But, with a bit more thought and effort regarding placement, arrangement and interaction with houseplants, benefits similar to those received from being outdoors in nature can be achieved. Of course, this is all based on having more plants than one….lone…Peace Lily.  If a home is to truly be a plant boosted sanctuary, plants should be placed throughout the home. No worries – there are houseplants suited or adaptable to every level of light and a bit of research or experimentation will likely show there is really no need to be limited to one sunny windowsill. Continue reading Houseplants as an Indoor Nature Connection

Green & Healthy Windowsill Herbs

Grow- your-own goodness right at your fingertips!

How are Windowsill Herbs Green & Healthy?

  • Chemical free growth – protects environmental & personal health
  • Fewer bags, tins, bottles  – reduces landfill waste
  • Live plants provide oxygen and help clear air born toxins – promotes environmental & personal health
  • Provide low calorie, vitamin rich seasoning – makes it easy to create healthier meals for a healthier body

Continue reading Green & Healthy Windowsill Herbs