You can’t beat the heat, but these plants sure can!

Soaring temperatures are no fun for any living thing. Perennials are easy to grow no nonsense plants, that’s if you plant the right plant in the right spot!

Here’s our top 5 perennials that will beat the heat of summer!

Achillea ‘Moonshine’

achillea moonshine

Echinacea ‘Fatal Attraction’

echinacea fatal attraction

Nepeta ‘Little Titch’

nepeta little titch (3)

Perovskia atriciplifolia ‘Little Spire’

perovskia little spire

Stachys ‘Pink Cotton Candy’

stachys pink cotton candy (3)

Still don’t know what to put where? Then give us a call and our Architects and Designers will create the perfect garden for you!








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The dog days of summer…

August is typically the hottest and driest month of summer.  So even though the Midwest has had a pretty mild summer thus far don’t forget to water your landscape.

It’s not necessary to water lawns and plants every day. As a general rule, more plants are killed through over-watering than under-watering.

Established trees, shrubs, and perennials need approximately 1 inch of water each week. An easy way to determine if your landscape has been getting enough water is by investing in a rain gauge.  Mother Nature is the best provider of water to your lawn but she doesn’t always comply with our wishes.  When we are getting less than an inch of rain a week (or none in some cases) then it’s time to supplement additional moisture.

Water deeply and thoroughly, not daily. Frequent, shallow watering causes plants to produce shallow roots that cannot survive the heat and dry conditions of mid-summer months. Watering deeply and infrequently causes plant roots to grow deeply into the soil in search of the water, resulting in deeply rooted, more drought resistant plants.

The optimal time for watering is in the morning, this allows the turf grass to dry out before night time avoiding possible disease problems.  Also be aware of plants that are prone to fungal diseases, such as roses and lilacs and try to avoid overhead watering.

By taking the proper steps to maintaining your landscape you’ll be helping your plants to grow more vigorously, thereby creating a strong plant that will survive our Midwest winters!


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It’s time for a haircut! Well for your plants at least.

Summer pruning and deadheading is a repetitive job but it is something we need to do to ensure that plants continue to flower all season long and will add healthy new growth next year. It allows the plant to slow its growth down by reducing the surface area of the leaves therefore slowing down the amount of food produced and sent to the roots. Pruning in summer is also a great time for corrective purpose.

Basic Pruning practices:

  1. Remove any dead or diseased wood. Although it is more difficult to see the outline of a tree in leaf, it should be easier once you have removed any unhealthy stems.
  2. Take out stems that are growing toward the center of the tree. Be wary of pruning large branches that will heal slowly.
  3. Remove any crossing branches to prevent them from rubbing against each other and causing wounds that may result in serious damage
  4. Prune out weak stems that did not produce flowers or that have few leaves, and rub out shoots forming on the lower trunk.
  5. Keep the tree in shape by reducing the length of wayward side stems and excessive new growth by cutting them back by about one-third.

Hedges grow rapidly in summer. The heavy shearing of hedges that exposes too much of the interior wood and the tender interior leaves, will cause scorching from the hot summer sun. Sunburn then kills the wood and leaves, resulting in a half-dead, scraggly hedge. It is best to shear hedges lightly and frequently in summer.

Perhaps the most labor-intensive plants to prune in the garden are the perennials. Perennials are not maintenance-free as most new gardeners might think. Most perennial plants, especially the flowering ones, not only need to be cut back entirely at some point before or after the growing season, they need regular pruning, shearing or deadheading.

Pruning generally creates a healthier, more robust and attractive plant.


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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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Van Zelst
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