Monthly Archives: May 2014

Today we Remember…

What this day means.

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The start of a long weekend…

For most people this weekend signifies the official start of summer!

The weather looks like it’s going to be a beautiful weekend to enjoy the outdoors. And summer means…pools!

A swimming pool can be the social centerpiece for the season with your friends and family. A pool doesn’t just have to be surrounded by a concrete pad. Design your backyard retreat to be an extension of your home. Using natural stone, colorful annual displays and creative landscaping will help to soften the harsh lines of swimming pool equipment and welcoming your guests to enjoy the environment.

A private get away.

Living outdoors.

The sounds of nature.

A welcome respite.

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In Bloom…

With such a long winter it’s nice to see the plants starting to bloom…




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Why not give mom flowers all year long!

It’s time for mother’s day and one of the busiest days at a florist shop.  But if you are an avid gardener you can easily create your own floral arrangements from home.  This time of year, early spring, there are a plethora of bulbs that make great color displays in the home.  As soon as the temperatures rise we’ll see a flush of landscape plants blooming (perfect for snipping a few blooms and buds).

Flowers to plant in your garden for harvest of fresh flowers year round:

Early spring:

Just about any spring bulb makes a good cut flower! Tulips, narcissus (daffodils), hyacinths and even tiny muscari can make a lovely little nosegay.

And don’t forget those early blooming branches; they make a great statement alone or with a mix of flowers.  You can even force them to bloom by cutting them and then bringing them inside and putting them in water.  Try Forsythia or Malus (crabapple).

Late spring into summer:

Peonies!  Who doesn’t love a peony! There’s also Achillea (yarrow), Echinacea (cone flowers), Astilbe, Rudbeckia (black eyed susans), tall garden Phlox, Iris, Veronica, Liatris (blazing star), Lily of the valley and the list goes on.  Oh and don’t forget a branch or two of sweet smelling Lilacs!

Late summer into Fall:

You might not think there would be much late in the year but there are lots of plants still blooming until frost, as well as a few fall bloomers.  Try out Mums, Anemones, Solidago (goldenrod), Roses (and rose hips), and even grasses make a great addition to the vase! Fill out your vase with bunches of late blooming hydrangea! And for a bit of height and fall color, clip a branch of a Japanese maple or any brightly color fall leaved tree!

Also don’t forget to supplement your landscape with an abundance of annuals!  Many of which also make great cut flowers!

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The dwarf misconception…

Many times people plant a dwarf form of a plant thinking it will remain the size it was purchased at. This is ultimately the misconception of what the term dwarf really means. “Dwarf” is a relative term, not an absolute. Its meaning: a plant much smaller than the average of its kind or species. Dwarf species often grow much slower than the parent species and ultimately have a smaller mature size compared the parent plant.

We often see homeowners planting a “dwarf” plant a few feet from the house, which will easily outgrow the space at maturity. If you are designing your landscape be sure to research, read the labels or ask a professional about your selections. Use the mature size of the plant when planning and space them according to how big it will eventually be, not how big it is now. As your plants mature they will soon fill in the spaces in between. Otherwise you’ll be constantly pruning your plants to “stay” in their place. By being proactive and informed you will have a much nicer and healthier landscape to enjoy (instead of constantly working to maintain it!).

A few common dwarf plants and their mature size:

Dwarf burning bush: mature size 9-11’ (want something smaller, try Rudy Haag: 3-5’ or Little Moses: 2-3’)
Dwarf Korean lilac: mature size 4-5’
Allenman’s dwarf red dogwood: mature size 4-5’
Dwarf fothergilla: mature size 2-3’
Dwarf Pee Wee Oakleaf hydrangea: mature size 3-4’

Van Zelst, Inc.
Dwarf burning bush

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