plants garden – Rogers Garden Gate http://www.rogersgardengate.com/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 08:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-3-120x120.png plants garden – Rogers Garden Gate http://www.rogersgardengate.com/ 32 32 Less water More garden | Desert Botanical Garden https://www.rogersgardengate.com/less-water-more-garden-desert-botanical-garden/ Fri, 04 Mar 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/less-water-more-garden-desert-botanical-garden/ Do you know how much water is used and wasted with residential irrigation systems? 70% of drinking (potable) water is used to water the landscapes. 50% of water is wasted due to inefficient irrigation methods and systems. 100 billion gallons of water can be saved by not over watering lawns and landscapes. Water is a […]]]>

Do you know how much water is used and wasted with residential irrigation systems?

  • 70% of drinking (potable) water is used to water the landscapes.
  • 50% of water is wasted due to inefficient irrigation methods and systems.
  • 100 billion gallons of water can be saved by not over watering lawns and landscapes.

Water is a limited resource in the desert and is a vital part of the ecosystem. The role of water in a sustainable garden is to limit the landscape use of potable water. As a gardener, you can lead water conservation efforts and maintain water supply by implementing and promoting proper irrigation strategies.


Here are six changes you can make to make a difference:

  1. Install a smart irrigation controller
  2. Install a drip irrigation system if applicable
  3. Use native and desert-adapted plants in your landscape palette
  4. Collect rainwater for landscaping
  5. Change your controller’s watering schedule by season
  6. Repair and maintain your irrigation system on a regular schedule

Applying the right amount of water to your desert plants is key to having a lasting landscape. Overwatering is a common mistake and can lead to other problems for your plants. Using the correct irrigation method will help you provide the proper amount of water while minimizing waste and allowing your plants to thrive.

How and when should I water my desert plants?

To visit desertlandscapeschool.org/ to access free watering videos from Desert Landscape School. Comprehensive and introductory courses are also available to help you choose the right irrigation method and plant palette for a beautiful low water landscape. Registration opens March 11.

What types of plants are best for my garden?

How about prickly pears or milkweed Signature of the garden line of plants? The garden uses plant material from the garden to propagate these plants which thrive in full sun and low water levels. A perfect addition to your sustainable garden. The Garden Shop has a limited number available for purchase, please visit or contact us at desertbotanicalstore@eventnetwork.com

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12 Animal Gardening Tips to Attract Bees, Birds and More https://www.rogersgardengate.com/12-animal-gardening-tips-to-attract-bees-birds-and-more/ Sun, 27 Feb 2022 10:00:49 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/12-animal-gardening-tips-to-attract-bees-birds-and-more/ If you’re not the type with a green thumb, wildlife gardening might not be your priority, but there are some compelling reasons why it’s worth being more thoughtful with planting. your garden. “The climate emergency and increasing urbanization are driving a biodiversity crisis, with many species in rapid decline, especially insects,” says award-winning garden designer […]]]>

If you’re not the type with a green thumb, wildlife gardening might not be your priority, but there are some compelling reasons why it’s worth being more thoughtful with planting. your garden.

“The climate emergency and increasing urbanization are driving a biodiversity crisis, with many species in rapid decline, especially insects,” says award-winning garden designer Tom Massey. “We can all help by providing habitat and food sources in our gardens to support local wildlife.”

]]> [App Friday] Making gardening simple, Blossom helps new plant parents take care of their greens https://www.rogersgardengate.com/app-friday-making-gardening-simple-blossom-helps-new-plant-parents-take-care-of-their-greens/ Fri, 04 Feb 2022 00:31:27 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/app-friday-making-gardening-simple-blossom-helps-new-plant-parents-take-care-of-their-greens/ Home gardeners, who are interested in gardening or are just beginning to care for plants, will find horticulture and floriculture can be daunting tasks. Caring for a plant is not as simple as it seems. A plant’s survival is determined by a myriad of factors, including water, light, soil and climate. Since each plant has […]]]>

Home gardeners, who are interested in gardening or are just beginning to care for plants, will find horticulture and floriculture can be daunting tasks.

Caring for a plant is not as simple as it seems. A plant’s survival is determined by a myriad of factors, including water, light, soil and climate. Since each plant has different requirements, growing a plant can sometimes get quite complex and confusing.

Inasmuch asTo bloomInasmuch as– Plant Identification, an app that guides users on parenting and plant care, takes up this challenge.

It was one of many picks from the Google Play Store’s Best of 2021 app list. Selected in the category of daily essential applications, the popularity of Blossom reflects the growing interest of users in gardening during the pandemic.

With over a million downloads, the app has an average rating of 4.2 on the Play Store and 4.7 on the Apple App Store.

The app offers a three-day free trial to all users, after which an annual subscription would cost Rs 1,700 per year (which amounts to Rs 141.67 per month), or a monthly subscription at Rs 350 per month.

let’s start

When you download and open the app, it takes you to a page featuring an animation of leaves and flowers, and a button that says “Start exploring.”

When you click on it, you are taken through a four-step guide on how to use the app. Once you are done, you are prompted to register. The UI has a soothing shade of light green. You also have the option of logging in via your Google or Facebook account.

In the upper right corner, there is also the option to skip the login process and go directly to the application. However, selecting this option may cause you to lose access to data, in case you uninstall it in the future.

Once a user has logged in, all of their plants and maintenance schedules will be synced to the account you have chosen to log in with.

The search tab – a search bar in the middle of the screen – allows users to search for plants by their common name or botanical name. You can also identify a plant by taking a photo of the plant.

The search tab also gives you the option to contact support via email and check if the light received by a plant is adequate.

One can also add these plants to their garden, which will appear in the Garden tab.

Once the user adds a plant to their garden, they can add maintenance reminders regarding water, fertilizer or other. All these reminders can be viewed separately in the Reminder tab. This is another way for the user to set reminders for more plants. All they have to do is choose a plant and set a reminder to water/fertilize/repot/other for particular days, or repeat them.

Get to know plants better

Once you’ve researched a plant, you’re taken to a page that gives you basic details on caring for the plant, and how much water and sun it needs in three rounded boxes.

Just below in list form you can get more information about plant type, size at maturity, soil type, soil pH, flowering time, colors, hardiness zone (reflection temperature) and details of the origin of the plant. region.

The search result will also show a photo. For example, if you search for Bougainvillea, this is the screen you will see.

Below you can see drop-down buttons where you can get detailed information, case by case, about watering the plant, plant overview, how to grow it, light, soil, temperature, humidity, fertilizers, pests and diseases, toxicity, potting and repotting. , among others.

Other tabs

In the Diagnose tab, you can also diagnose whether plants have pests or diseases by taking photos. You can add up to three photos of a diseased plant

In the carousel at the bottom you can click on the cards to learn more about some of the common plant diseases such as fungi, water related problems and spider mites. The information contains details about the nature of the disease, its possible causes and photos of it.

In the Explore tab, you can see videos and information about different types of plants, helpful tips, as well as the basics of plant care and plant collecting.

Verdict

For those just starting out, the app is a game-changer. It walks you through the essentials of plant care and gardening, one thing at a time.

The app’s simple and effective design makes it easy to use for all users. The design is modern, clean, and the developers have done their best not to overwhelm the user with a lot of information at once.

You can control what you want to see with the drop-down menu when you discover a plant, making it less overwhelming.

It operates in a niche and does its best to give its all to that particular niche. Information on over 10,000 types of plants, what diseases to protect them from, and how to plant seeds indoors, among other things, aims to educate users and simplify the process of plant parenting.

With interesting plant collecting information, the app keeps the user engaged.

However, unlimited plant identification is part of the subscription. You can still receive maintenance reminders for plants you’ve added without a subscription as well. For users who want to identify a large number of plants, they can also pay for the subscription.

There’s hardly anything to dislike about the app. It delivers on its promise of identifying plants and gives users a step-by-step guide on how to care for them.

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Tom Karwin, on gardening | Mexican Succulents – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-succulents-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 23 Dec 2021 20:06:31 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-succulents-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden Today’s column appears on Christmas Eve, a joyous occasion for the people of the Monterey Bay area who observe the birth of Christ or share goodwill for all the people of the world, and both. Our next column will appear on New Years Eve, another important event for anyone who […]]]>


Take care of your garden

Today’s column appears on Christmas Eve, a joyous occasion for the people of the Monterey Bay area who observe the birth of Christ or share goodwill for all the people of the world, and both.

Our next column will appear on New Years Eve, another important event for anyone who has celebrated or tolerated the 2021 experiences and who are optimistically looking forward to 2022.

The transition to a new year resonates with every gardener’s attention to the future: looking to the year ahead is integral to enjoying the continuous cycle of the seasons.

With that thinking, we return to our series of relevant seasonal insights into garden plants from dry summer (or Mediterranean) climatic regions.

Today we are focusing on succulents from Mexico. Which is home to many succulents worthy of a garden. We hasten to reaffirm that plants associate with favorable growing conditions, rather than political boundaries, so that “succulents of Mexico” could include plants from the southernmost regions of the states. United, as well as Central America, the northernmost regions of South America and the islands of the Caribbean Sea.

While these regions total a fairly large area, they are not home to all succulents, which thrive in other regions of the world that have periods of limited humidity. In addition to the wider Mexico region, South Africa is home to many succulents. We will focus on this succulent region in a future column.

Succulents have evolved to store moisture in their leaves, stems, or roots in order to survive during seasonal dry spells. They have developed within several different genera. The cactus family (Cactaceae) includes many succulents, and knowledgeable gardeners understand that while all cacti are succulents, not all succulents are cacti.

This past weekend, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus and Succulent Society hosted its annual succulent plant auction, as part of its festivities. Members provided high quality plants for the auction and received a share of the auction price or forfeited a share and donated all profits for the benefit of the host company.

The auction featured plants from Mexico and South Africa, too many to summarize here. I was drawn to two interesting Mexican agaves in particular. Learn more about these plants by searching the Internet for their botanical names.

Lucky Crown Century Plant (Agave Potatorum ‘Kissho Kan’). I already have an A. Potatorum, with a slightly variegated rosette leaf structure, but the auctioned cultivar had more prominent variegated leaves, from silvery blue to greenish blue, edged in creamy white. Superb, but I was overbid.

White-haired Agave (Agave albopilosa). This very rare Agave was discovered on an almost vertical cliff in the Mexican state of Muevo Leon. Small plant, it develops small white tufts of hair-like fibers at the end of narrow, green leaves turned upside down. It tends not to produce suckers, so its slow propagation by seed considerably limits its availability, compared to other agaves. This charming plant had a reserve value of $ 100. I did not participate in the auction.

The third auction plant of note was a South African Conophytum (specific name unknown). This genus includes more than 100 species and has several common names related to the form: Button Plant, Cone Plant, Waterblasies (Water Blisters), Dumplings, Living Pebbles, etc. They are dwarf plants forming clusters in great demand by collectors, many in Asia. They are threatened with extinction due to mining and poaching in the wild for the black market. At the local auction, this very small plant drew a final bid of $ 585.

Collectors and growers of special succulents made this annual auction a huge success for the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society.

Here are some of the plants from my modest collection, selected to suggest the range of plant forms of Mexican succulents. These plants are valued for their leaf shapes and colors, their varying sizes, and the range of overall shapes in the landscape. They also flower, some seasonally and others only after several years of development. Agaves are usually monocarpic, which means that they flower once and then die, while spreading by lag.

Cream Spike Agave (Agave applanata ‘Cream Spike’). A small plant with olive green leaves with cream colored edges and dark brown thorns. This plant easily produces suckers and eventually forms a colony of plants of varying sizes.

Blue Lechuguilla (Agave funkiana ‘Fatal Attraction’). This plant has long variegated leaves, resembling the popular A. lopantha ‘Quadricolor’, which has a more pronounced variegation. It grows two feet tall and three feet wide and produces a lot of offsets to share.

Golden Barrel Cactus (Echinocactus grusonii). This plant, endangered in the wild, is one of the most popular cacti in cultivation. It is valued as an architectural accent plant for the design of contemporary gardens. It has a wonderful array of very decorative gold colored thorns. I have moved five of these plants twice in my garden. It was an easy task as the plants have a small root mass and can be wrapped in an old towel for safe handling.

Echeveria ‘Perle von Nurnberg’. This attractive plant forms a rosette of pale greyish brown leaves with pink highlights and a white powder called “pruinose”. A hybrid of E. gibbiflora ‘Metallica’ × E. elegans, it grows to only 1 foot by 1 foot.

Our Lord’s Candle (Hesperoyucca whipplei). A dense rosette-forming plant with long, silvery leaves, reaching 4 feet tall and 5 feet wide. When it reaches maturity in about 10 years, it quickly sends out a spike up to 12 feet in height, with white to purplish flowers. The wait is worth it!

Mangave x ‘Bloodstain’. Managaves are popular and newly introduced hybrid plant series created by combining agaves with their botanical parents, Manfredas. They usually have mottled leaves. This cultivar grows a foot tall and up to two feet wide.

Improve your gardening knowledge

The School Garden Organization Support Network announced its recorded webinar series on how to make a school garden a success. Check out these free resources by visiting www.sgsonetwork.org/ and clicking on “webinars”.

The American Horticultural Society has launched a new series of virtual speakers, featuring the winners of the AHS Great American Gardeners Awards. The next webinar will be presented at 7 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 27, 2022, with Michael Balick. Dr Balick, vice president of botanical sciences at the New York Botanical Garden, works with indigenous cultures to document plant diversity, preserve knowledge about traditional uses of plants, and help communities manage their resources sustainably. His most recent project focuses on the tropical Pacific islands of Micronesia and Melanesia. For more information and to register for this paid event, go to ahsgardening.org/ and search for “webinars”.

Enrich your gardening days

The great variety of succulents from Mexico and their easy cultivation attract a specialized collection of selected genera. They are also easy to share with friends, which makes adding plants to the garden enjoyable and inexpensive and building a collection.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Suclent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999-2009). He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view photos of his garden daily, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. To find an archive of previous gardening columns and gardening coaching information, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


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In the garden: gardening with La Niña https://www.rogersgardengate.com/in-the-garden-gardening-with-la-nina/ Mon, 13 Dec 2021 22:00:34 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/in-the-garden-gardening-with-la-nina/ It will be a long and wet summer due to the arrival of La Niña. For gardeners, that means an adjustment in the way you’ve planned, planted, and maintained your slice of paradise. We were under its spell last summer, so this shouldn’t be new, unless you’re new to your gardening journey. The good news […]]]>


It will be a long and wet summer due to the arrival of La Niña.

For gardeners, that means an adjustment in the way you’ve planned, planted, and maintained your slice of paradise.

We were under its spell last summer, so this shouldn’t be new, unless you’re new to your gardening journey.

The good news is that the Bureau of Meteorology science group informs us that this time around, La Niña is going to have a milder effect on us.

A natural weather phenomenon, La Niña occurs when there is a change in weather conditions and ocean temperatures in the Pacific Ocean around the equator.

The waters are cooling and the clouds, with their rain, are heading towards us in Australia.

While this event usually only happens once in a while, it can happen for several years in a row like this summer.

In general, La Niña brings more rain, cooler average daytime temperatures, and warmer nights, so let’s explore what a difference this will make for your garden and what can you do about it.

La Niña action plan

All that humidity at a warmer time of year is an open invitation to the dreaded mold.

If you’re planting now, build mounds to make each new plant appear in raised beds, whether they are containers or completely mounded areas.

This helps in soil drainage and can help increase air flow in some situations.

Speaking of airflow, now is not the time to plant too closely, in fact give all of your new botanical friends some space in between to help keep the air flowing around. them.

The mulch will hold water for any heat waves that might arise, but now more than ever you need to make sure the mulch is away from the trunks and stems, at least a good span or more depending on the size of your plant. .

You will need to go out into your garden every day as the water will start to pool, which will also cause the plants to grow faster.

You need to watch things more closely.

Cut and prune the leaves and lower branches of the plants and remove some of the side branches to open up this breathing space for your plants as well.

Empty containers filled with water, remove dead and dying foliage, fruits and flowers, and inspect for signs of disease, especially fungal problems.

Spray zucchini, melons, pumpkins, squash and cucumbers weekly if powdery mildew appears with a mixture of half milk and half water or 2 cups of water with ½ teaspoon of baking soda mixed.

Never use in full sun, make sure all areas of the plant are covered and repeat after it rains.

While grouping potted plants together can be a positive step in creating a microenvironment with higher humidity, you may find that they too will do better now with a little space between them.

The extra water will also cause nutrients in garden soil or outdoor potted plants to dilute and run off, requiring additional feeding.

Slow release granular fertilizers are a good solution at this time as they will give you a longer period of effectiveness compared to liquid or even solid formulations.

Make sure your compost pile is not too wet.

You can cover and you can also fix compost that has gotten too wet but by turning and adding extra dry ingredients such as cardboard, straws, sawdust, and chipped garden pruning.

With all the water, La Niña causes an increase in cloud cover. When planting, therefore, adjust your plans to get the maximum amount of sunshine for the plants that need them.

Move potted plants to areas that will receive more sun if needed, don’t go by what is usual with them.

With the decrease in sun and heat due to cloud cover, you might notice a decrease in products, but don’t worry, it’s just nature and next year things should be back to normal. normal for you.

One upside is that you may be able to plant a bit outside of the “normal” season this year with an early fall planting, but just like our daily weather forecast things can change.

Watch your own area, note the temperature each day to determine trends, but ultimately we all know that a few hot, harsh summer days can ruin the best intentions.

My advice is to plant indoors (greenhouses and stands) so that you can easily move them to more user-friendly areas if necessary.

One final note, these conditions bring out a lot of creepy critters.

Funnel webs and snakes to name just two.

Always wear gloves and closed shoes, and shake gardening boots and shoes before putting them on.

Gardening Book Review: The Good Life, How To Grow a Better World by Hannah Moloney

Affirm, 2021 ISBN: 9781922419385

I’m going straight to a branch here and to be honest.

I saw this book and hesitated.

Yes, I heard the hype, but it seemed a bit on the hip, and I need a big dose of substance as well as inspiration in my gardening books.

Then a friend had a copy when he visited me last week and yes I have now ordered mine.

Hannah shares her life, the good life, with contagious joy and in a way that will inspire you to look at what you already have around you and make the most of it.

This energy is that of practical positivity with an emphasis on actions that will ensure a better world for all of us.

A much needed example of the simple steps we can all take towards independence, self-care and community involvement.

Sprinkled with recipes (yogurts, breads, garden aids), tips, examples, tutorials (DIY water tanks!) Sustainable gardening books for the rest of us.

Also, you make me wanna have pink hair Hannah again.

This book would make another great Christmas present.

GARDENING GUIDE FOR COASTAL GARDENERS THIS WEEK

It’s time to plant some blooming potted roses and get that potted color for Christmas.

A few of the things you might be planting this week include just about any culinary herb, Asian greens, asparagus, artichokes, beans, red beets, broccoli, cabbage, Cape gooseberry, bell pepper, carrot, celeriac, celery, chicory, chili, choko, cucumber, eggplant, fennel, ginger, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, squash, mustard greens, okra, parsnip, potato, pumpkin, radish, arugula, salsify, silver beet, spring onion, sweet corn, squash, sweet potato, taro, tomato, turnip, green warrigal, sunflower, aster, bedding begonia, calendula, poppy california, carnation, celosia, chrysanthemum, coleus, cosmos, dahlia, dianthus, everlasting daisy, gaillardia, gazania, gerbera, honesty, inpatients, kangaroo paw, marigold, nasturtium, phlox, portulaca, salvia, snapdragon, waratah, zinnia .

You and Your Garden: Toukley Leeches

Q. Dear Cheralyn,

We have been living in Toukley for four years now and have noticed leeches in our garden.

It’s new because we haven’t noticed them before.

Why is this happening and what can we do about it?

Diane, Toukley

A. Hello Dianne, although they are a natural part of our environment, they are not pleasant to find in your garden, I agree.

Not all leeches are bloodsuckers, some find plants to be a much tastier alternative.

Some are aquatic and some are dwellers of the land, but I can see that you have an abundance of bloodsuckers that need to be shown on the doorstep, so here are some tips you could try.

While this may not be good for all of your plants (do a patch test), spraying lemon juice or a dilute solution of lemon juice and water has been found to be helpful in keeping them at bay.

Sprinkling salt in an area they are crossing will also help, but like lemon juice, it can negatively affect the plants in your garden.

Simple preventative measures include ensuring better drainage in your garden and not allowing water to pool in plant pots and containers.

Empty and clean bodies of water regularly and if they aren’t home to aquatic life, a drop of white vinegar can help deter them.

I love this old method of drawing them.

Get the liver as fresh as possible from the local butcher.

Place it on a plate in the affected area, once it is full of leeches, place it in an airtight container and throw it away.

Bouquets of love,

Cheralyn

Next week: Merry Christmas with trees, bushes and flowers

Cheralyn Darcey is a gardening author, community garden coordinator and, along with Pete Little, “At Home with The Gardening Gang” host from 8am to 10am live every Saturday on CoastFM963.

She is also the co-host of @MostlyAboutPlants, a weekly podcast on botanical history and gardening with Vicki White.

Send your gardening questions, events and news to: gardeningcentralcoast@gmail.com


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Tom Karwin, on gardening | Mexican Perennials – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-perennials-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 09 Dec 2021 23:03:36 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-mexican-perennials-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden We continue our introductions to garden plants from selected areas which, like the Monterey Bay area, thrive in a Mediterranean or dry climate in the summer. This series of themed columns is timely in regards to the fall planting season, which gives newly established plants time during the winter months […]]]>


Take care of your garden

We continue our introductions to garden plants from selected areas which, like the Monterey Bay area, thrive in a Mediterranean or dry climate in the summer. This series of themed columns is timely in regards to the fall planting season, which gives newly established plants time during the winter months to establish roots and prepare to decorate gardens and delight them. gardeners in spring.

A gardener friend reminded me that the current season is also a great time to move dormant plants that are already in the garden. They too are taking advantage of having time to relocate to a new location and prepare for spring.

As it happens, with skilled help, I moved several plants around my garden today as I prepared to write this week’s column. They were all succulents, which will be the subject of a future column.

For this week we are focusing on perennials native to Mexico. Our neighbor to the south has various environments for garden-worthy plants, from sea level to mountains, dry to tropical, and calm to windy. While these environments are not considered typical of dry climates in summer, many plants native to Mexico do well in coastal gardens in California.

The following paragraphs briefly describe a sample of the Mexican perennials in my garden. There are several other specimens to share, but still a fraction of Mexico’s botanical treasures. In a future column, we’ll describe Mexican succulents, but for today we’re focusing on perennials.

Pink Cigar Plant (Cuphea ‘Starfire Pink’). This plant, a hybrid of C. ignea and C. angustifolia, is a fast-growing evergreen subshrub that grows to 3 to 4 feet tall by 5 to 6 feet wide with lanceolate blue-green leaves. Over a long flowering period, it produces numerous fuchsia pink and lavender tubular flowers that are hummingbird magnets. There are over 260 species of Cuphea native to North and South America, mainly Central America and Mexico; there are also many hybrids, including the very similar C. ‘Kirstens Delight’.

Marguerite (Montanoa grandiflora). When I first saw this plant on a garden visit to Big Sur years ago, I decided to add it to my garden. It has since worked reliably, spawning delicious daisy-like flowers on stems 8 to 12 feet tall, having been cut to the ground each year after blooming. The flowers have a scent reminiscent of chocolate or vanilla. Another plant native to Mexico in my garden with a similar growth cycle, the Tree Dahlia (Dahlia imperialis) produces spectacular flowers on hollow stems about twenty feet high.

Hardy Fuchsia (Fucshia genii ‘Aurea’). This Fuchsia cultivar is distinguished by its yellow-green foliage and fine red and purple flowers. The Royal Horticultural Society awarded this plant the Garden Merit Award, recognizing its easy cultivation and attractive appearance. It thrives in full sun to partial shade and grows on a small side, but its arching stems can reach 4 × 4 feet.

Mexican Pitcher Sage / False Salvia (Lepechinia hastata). This semi-evergreen shrub, 4 to 6 feet tall and wide, produces sage-like magenta flowers on flower spikes one foot long. Its generic name pays homage to Russian scientist and plant explorer Ivan Lepechin. Its specific name, hastata, refers to the triangular shape of its leaves, suggesting the spearhead of a halberd.

Four o’clock (Mirabilis jalapa). The generic name, Mirabilis, refers to this plant’s “miraculous” production of different colored flowers on one plant. Colors range from pink, pink, red, magenta, yellow, and white, in patterns that include solid colors, sectors, flakes, and spots. Additionally, the flowers may change color as they mature. The flowers appear late in the day (four hours or more), attract long-tongue moths (nocturnal pollinators) with a sweet scent, and close in the morning. This plant grows up to 3 × 3 feet and self-seeds vigorously. Each season’s seedling burst can be easily thinned out before they develop tuberous roots.

Pineapple Sage (Salvia elegans). This popular Salvia has an attractive and distinctly pineapple scent from the crushed foliage and elegant, long-lasting scarlet red flowers on 8-inch terminal tips. It will spread by underground runners to form colonies in the garden. Like most salvias, it can be cut to the ground during the winter, then grow to 4 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide in a single growing season.

Mexican marigold (Tagetes lemoniid). This evergreen bushy shrub grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 6 to 10 feet wide and produces copious amounts of orange-yellow flowers. With enough space, it will be a good foundation plant. When rubbed, the foliage releases a pungent scent like marigolds, along with lemon and mint. Some gardeners don’t like the scent, which also makes deer refuse to munch on the leaves. Management tip: “Prune heavily in late spring (after flowering) and / or fall (before cool season growth) to stimulate growth and flowering.

Mexico is the home territory for many other desirable garden plants, including dahlias (Mexico’s national flower, widely hybridized), bougainvillea, and Mexican sunflowers (Tithonia). The list goes on, making plants from this country beautiful additions to gardens in the Monterey Bay area.

Improve your gardening knowledge

For images of popular Mexican flowers, visit www.proflowers.com/blog/mexican-flowers.

Upcoming webinar:

The Cactus and Succulent Society of America will present a webinar, “Brazil, Bahia to Minas Gerais,” Saturday at 10 a.m., with tales of plant explorations in two states, Bahia and Minas Gerais, both located in the south. is from Brazil. The presentation will focus on several genera of cacti and other succulents. Presenter Woody Minnich has been involved in the world of cacti and succulents for over 52 years, as a grower, field explorer, club and organization leader, writer, photographer, speaker and presenter. For more information and to register for this free event, visit cactusandsucculentsociety.org/.

Enrich your gardening days

Consider a thematic approach to developing your landscape. Today’s column suggests a Mexican theme as one idea among the range of options that appeal to the individual gardener.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Suclent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999-2009). He is now a board member and garden trainer for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view photos of his garden daily, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. To find an archive of previous gardening columns and gardening coaching information, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


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The legends and traditions of Christmas | Column gardening https://www.rogersgardengate.com/the-legends-and-traditions-of-christmas-column-gardening/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 14:56:00 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/the-legends-and-traditions-of-christmas-column-gardening/ The holiday season surrounds us with rich traditions and legends. These often include holly, ivy, mistletoe, bay leaf, cut evergreen trees, and poinsettias, all in a red, green, and gold color scheme. Have you ever thought about the why of using all of these plants? Below is a lot of interesting information about the flowers […]]]>


The holiday season surrounds us with rich traditions and legends. These often include holly, ivy, mistletoe, bay leaf, cut evergreen trees, and poinsettias, all in a red, green, and gold color scheme. Have you ever thought about the why of using all of these plants?

Below is a lot of interesting information about the flowers and greenery that adorn homes at this time of year.

Colors

Most of the colors come from the traditions of Western / Northern Europe.

• Green represented vitality and life. Winter, a dreary and gloomy time of year, might never seem to end, but the green of evergreen plants like holly, ivy, and mistletoe offered hope for another spring. In Egypt, green palm leaves were brought home during mid-winter festivals. The Romans traded bundles of evergreen branches in January as a sign of good luck.

• Red could be found in the color of holly berries, and it was also the color of bishops’ robes. In the Middle Ages, Europeans performed the Heaven play on Christmas Eve, and the “Tree of Heaven” was often a pine tree with red apples attached.

• Gold reminded people of the sun, its heat and light. This was reflected in the fires in the foyer of the house. In the story of the birth of Christ, a shining star led the wise men to the stable, and gold was one of the gifts given to the newborn.

• White, like freshly fallen white winter snow, was seen as a sign of purity and peace.

Conifers (holly, mistletoe, ivy, laurel)

Originally, evergreen plants were used in pre-Christian times to help celebrate the winter solstice festival, to symbolize new growth and fertility, and to ward off evil spirits. As Christianity spread across Europe, new traditions have emerged.

• The holly leaves, which are quite pungent, came to represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore, and the berries represented the drops of blood shed by the wearing of the crown.

• Mistletoe is a semi-parasite that lives in the canopy of trees and obtains its nutrients from the tree. He was believed to hold mystical powers of luck and fortune and the ability to ward off evil spirits. Kissing under the mistletoe became popular from the illustrations seen in the book version of “A Christmas Carol” in 1843.

• Ivy is a spreading vine that grows upward by aerial rootlets that cling to a support. It represents the need for us to hold on to God for support.

• The laurel, placed like a wreath on the head, has long been used to symbolize victory and success for thousands of years.

Christmas tree

The use of an evergreen tree during the holiday season can be attributed to 8th century St. Boniface who used the triangular shape to teach the Trinity to the Germanic tribes. It is said that he felled an oak which was used to sacrifice children to the gods of the tribes. In its place, a small tree emerges, symbolizing the transition from pagan worship to the new Christian worship. In the 11th century, evergreen trees were decorated with fruits to symbolize the tree of life found in the Bible in the book of Genesis. These decorated trees were called trees of paradise. 16th century Martin Luther also played a role in the use of Christmas trees. After worshiping in the Christmas Eve service, he left the church to see the starlight reflecting off the icicles of evergreen trees nearby. He remembered the Savior, the Light of the world, so he cut down a little tree and brought it home with him. He decorated it with candles to illustrate his belief in the Baby Jesus.

Poinsettias

The origin begins with the legend that a poor Mexican girl, Pepita, wanted to bring a gift to baby Jesus during a Christmas Eve service. She had nothing to offer except a handful of weeds growing in the field. As she walked up to the altar and laid the bouquet at the bottom of the crib, the weed bouquet took on a beautiful bright red color. All who witnessed the event considered it a miracle. Since that day, the “Flores de Noche Buena” (Flowers of the Holy Night) have been part of the end-of-year celebrations. The popular use of poinsettia in the United States is due to a United States Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett, who took a keen interest in the plants he saw growing in the Taxco area in 1825 and brought them to life. returned some to its greenhouses in South Carolina. . He began to cultivate them and send them to botanical gardens and friends. A friend, John Bartram, grew the plants in his garden where they were introduced into commerce at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s first biannual fruit, flower, and plant exhibition in 1829.

Flower wreaths

Circular wreaths date back to Roman times, when wreaths were hung on doorways as a sign of status and wealth or victory. They were used by wealthy women as headdresses on special occasions such as weddings. Roman emperors wore laurel wreaths indicating their kingship. Laurel wreaths were also presented to the winners of the first Olympic Games in Greece. Christmas wreaths may have originated from the branch of the kiss, a popular British decoration consisting of five hoops (four vertical and one horizontal around the center) each covered with holly, fir, ivy, rosemary or bay leaf with an apple hanging in the middle of the hoops and a bunch of mistletoe hanging from the bottom of the balloon. Variations of the kiss branch have evolved over the years for some with a single hoop, like the Christmas wreath.

And so, as you decorate your tree, decorate your room with holly, bring the Christmas poinsettia, and hang the mistletoe, remember that you are joining many others in celebrating the happy holiday season enriched by traditions and the legends of past centuries. !


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Master Gardener: Landscaping with Nature in Mind | Lifestyles https://www.rogersgardengate.com/master-gardener-landscaping-with-nature-in-mind-lifestyles/ Tue, 07 Dec 2021 08:00:00 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/master-gardener-landscaping-with-nature-in-mind-lifestyles/ Landscaping with nature in mind The garden has been put to bed and is ready for a blanket of snow. The last garden ornaments are in storage, the containers have been emptied, the fall bulbs are planted, and the trees that have not found a home are healed. Fences to prevent hungry creatures from munching […]]]>


Landscaping with nature in mind

The garden has been put to bed and is ready for a blanket of snow. The last garden ornaments are in storage, the containers have been emptied, the fall bulbs are planted, and the trees that have not found a home are healed. Fences to prevent hungry creatures from munching on new trees have been erected. The gardener and the garden are ready for a rest. Ladybugs, bumblebees, fireflies and butterflies are also at rest, finding refuge in leaves, old stems, stone piles, rotten logs and underground spaces. Wintering birds have been busy in the garden eating seeds left standing for them, looking for tasty insects in the nooks and crannies of tree bark, and occasionally visiting filled feeders and a source of heated water.

I love my garden and love it even more when it is occupied by the chirping of birds, the buzzing of bees, flashing fireflies and butterflies gliding from flower to flower. It has been a work in progress for over 25 years. I started years ago trying to make my garden more attractive to birds because bird watching is another of my interests. This prompted me to add flowering plants, herbs, and native trees to help attract birds to the yard. I told visitors that the backyard is habitat, not garden, because people expect your yard to be free of weeds, no signs of bugs and mulch. Wildflowers may not have been what they were looking for. Everyone wanted ooh and ahh your hostas, daylilies, and plants with distant origins.

And what about your lawn? Do you let your dandelions bloom? You do not eliminate all the weeds that dare to grow? How is it that it is not perfectly mowed and short? I call it lawn syndrome. Americans have a love affair with the perfectly manicured lawn. No room for birds or bees there. Considering that residential construction sites make up 25-60% of total green space in American cities, maybe we need to change our tone a bit. A 2014 study showed that homeowners who mowed their lawns once every 2 weeks (vs. once a week) had a 60% increase in bee species. Those who mowed once every 3 weeks had a 300% increase in bee species. Not mowing allows these little “weeds” to flower. Some of these flowers are particularly useful to bees that emerge in early spring when sources of nectar and pollen are limited.

The State of Minnesota has launched a Lawns to Legumes program. They encourage the establishment of native pollinator-friendly plantings in residential lawns. They are even willing to pay homeowners to help share the cost of establishing pollinator habitat in their gardens. Why? Perhaps this is because the state bee of Minnesota, the Rusty Patched Bumblebee, has been listed as an endangered species. Over the past 20 years, its population has declined by 87%, and it is still probably only found in 0.1% of its historic range (which includes New York).

Why should you care that a bumblebee is in decline? Unfortunately, there is not just one. Many insect populations, including bees, butterflies, fireflies, and other beneficial insects, are in decline around the world. Two common reasons are habitat loss and the use of pesticides. Since most people think that all insects are pests or a nuisance, this doesn’t seem like a reason to be alarmed, but insects play a bigger role in ecosystems. They pollinate plants, not just our food plants, but the native plants that provide food for many wild animals and birds. They are also food for many birds, reptiles, bats and other animals. Many insects are decomposers or even predators of actual pest insects. We need bugs.

Fortunately, most insects don’t need acres upon acres to thrive. Many native bees never travel more than a few hundred feet from their nests. Making changes to an area the size of your yard, or part of your garden, can have a huge impact on local insect populations. A place to start is to include native plants in your garden. Native plants support native insects as they evolve together. Many of the ornamental plants that have become standard in landscape plantings do not support our native insects as there is no history between them. Some of these ornamental plants have also become invasive and have invaded what remains of our “wild” areas.

Just like our garden plants, not all native plants grow just anywhere. It always comes down to ‘the right plant in the right place’. There are native plants for dry, sandy, and sunny conditions, just as there are native plants for shade or wet, soggy places. Spend the winter researching the native plants that would be at home in your backyard. If you have room, add a native tree to your garden. Trees give you value for your money. They can put up with a lot of caterpillars (baby bird food) and you will hardly notice if the leaves are chewed. If space is at a premium, focus on native plants that bloom in the fall. This is an important time of year, especially for bumblebee queens as they prepare to hibernate, and it is an important time of year for migrating monarch butterflies. Both need abundant flowers to provide much-needed nectar reserves.

Unfortunately, many will see your new habit as “messy” because it doesn’t match their view of what a garden or lawn should be like. You will likely need to educate your friends, family, and neighbors. Try hanging a pollinator habitat sign in your front yard to let everyone know that your garden is a haven for bees, butterflies, and beneficial insects to feed, nest, and overwinter. Before making a big conversion, check your local ordinances. In some areas there are height restrictions to be observed and even restrictions against what you can plant in your front yard. Hopefully the aesthetic tastes of the past will catch up with the fact that we need pollinators and other insects. Make 2022 the year you started sharing your landscape with the little things that make the world go round.

Resources for this article include: Lawns to Legumes, Homegrown National Park, and OSU Pollinators in the City series (Policy Dimensions of Insect Pollinator Conservation).

The Orléans County CCE will be offering Master Gardener training in 2022 to anyone interested in becoming a MG volunteer. It will be a new hybrid training, a combination of online and in-person courses. The training will start on January 13 and end on April 7. The registration deadline is December 22. The cost of the training is $ 200, but there is a 50% discount for the first 10 people to register. If Internet accessibility is an issue, participants can use the office hours of the Orléans County CCE Education Center. For more information or to register, contact Katie Oakes at (585) 798-4265 ext. 125 or email klo54@cornell.edu.


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Tom Karwin, on gardening | New rain helps native California plants take root – Santa Cruz Sentinel https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-new-rain-helps-native-california-plants-take-root-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Thu, 11 Nov 2021 22:11:16 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/tom-karwin-on-gardening-new-rain-helps-native-california-plants-take-root-santa-cruz-sentinel/ Take care of your garden Plants native to California have often been featured in this column for several reasons. Because we are now in the season when the rains help the newly established plants to form roots, a glimpse of these plants is opportune for those planning to develop their gardens. California gardeners have these […]]]>


Take care of your garden

Plants native to California have often been featured in this column for several reasons. Because we are now in the season when the rains help the newly established plants to form roots, a glimpse of these plants is opportune for those planning to develop their gardens.

California gardeners have these top reasons for growing plants native to California:

They are easy to grow because they are perfectly adapted to the soil, climate and physical environment of their specific territory; they maintain symbiotic relationships with other plants and animals native to the same region, in particular the insects on which birds depend; they are a wide variety of attractive additions to the landscape.

We have easy access to exotic (i.e. non-native) plants and may enjoy growing varieties that have adapted to climates similar to our own gardens. These are plants native to the so-called Mediterranean climates of the world, also called dry summer climates. Combining native and exotic plants in your landscape can be successful and satisfying.

Still, naturalists and horticulturalists often recommend including a substantial percentage of native plants in your garden, as they are home to specific insects that provide nutrition to many of the birds we love.

The ideal mix of natives and exotics depends on several factors, including the individual preferences of the gardener. A landscape with all native plants would clearly be fully compatible with the network of life in your garden, while a 50-50 mix could support insects that have evolved to depend on native plants. A strong advocate of symbiosis in the garden, entomologist Doug Tallamy recommends including at least 70% native plants.

Some gardeners might view native California plants as wild-looking and less attractive than other possibilities, but they might think of unmaintained plants in their natural habitats, rather than well-managed garden specimens. Many plants require seasonal pruning or division to achieve their best appearance.

Here are some samples of native California plants that will enhance my garden and require minimal maintenance.

The Western Spice Bush (Calycanthus occidentalis) is a deciduous shrub that can grow in sun or partial shade up to 10 feet tall and wide, with burgundy red flowers that have a scent like red wine.

The bush monkey flower (Mimulus aurantiacus), along with a Pacific Coast iris flower ‘Canyon Snow’, grows 5 feet tall and wide, with bright orange flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds. Some cultivars have flowers that vary in color from white to red.

Pacific Coast Iris are available in a wide variety of colors, the result of the work of many hybridizers. This selection has a pleasant combination of purple and white tones, with streaks of yellow.

Lewis’s Mock-Orange (Philadelpus lewisii), named after explorer Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1860, is a deciduous shrub with a generous display of white flowers, which produce a “heavy and sweet fragrance like orange blossom with a hint of pineapple. “It is a fast-growing plant, reaching 10 feet tall and wide in full sun or partial shade. Annual maintenance involves cutting about a third of its rods to the ground, to constrain its shape.

Lemonade berry (Rhus integrifolia) is an evergreen shrub that grows low and wide in the coastal area (3 feet high, 30 feet wide); pruning can control its size. Its dark red fruits with a tangy taste are an important food source for birds and small mammals.

The pink-flowering currant (Ribes sanguineum glutinosum) blooms from February to April, feeding hummingbirds and bees, and later produces blackberries that are delightful to birds. In the spring, a hard pruning will contain its waist, which could grow up to 12 feet tall and wide in shade. Other cultivars include the White Icicle (R. s. ‘Ubric’) and the red flowering Chaparral Currant (R. ‘Barrie Coate’).

The fried egg poppy or Matilija poppy (Romneya coulteri) grows best in fast rainy soil, even sandy soil and in a sunny location. It will grow to 6 feet tall and propagate vigorously through rhizomes (which could be removed regularly.) In spring and summer, it offers a beautiful display of white “papier mache” flowers with yellow centers.

Improve your gardening knowledge

Doug Tallamy’s books provide his persuasive take on the relationship between native plants and wildlife. Look for these titles in your local library or bookstore, or online: “Bringing Nature Home”, “Nature’s Best Hope”, “The Ecological Gardener” and “The Nature of Oaks”. Tallamy has also given public talks available on YouTube.com (search for his name).

Many books on native California plants are available. A search on Amazon.com for “California Plants” will generate a list of about 75 books to purchase or find in your local library. Some books focus on plants in Southern California or interior areas of the state and would not be very helpful for gardeners in the Monterey Bay area.

Online resources are plentiful. The main website gardeners can visit is the California Native Plant Society’s Calscape, a well-organized database of nearly 8,000 plants (calscape.org). You can search for this resource by postal code, botanical name, common name, or landscaping category.

Once you’ve identified a plant of current interest, a Google search by botanical name will yield additional descriptions and growing tips, as well as mail-order sources for the plant.

Most garden centers include a section of native California plants. Yerba Buena Nursery, California’s oldest native plant retail nursery business, currently located in Half Moon Bay, is well worth a day trip to the coast or a virtual tour at www.yerbabuenanursery.com/.

La Pilitas Nursery, specializing in native California plants, located in Southern California, offers mail order plants and excellent online information resources. Visit them at www.laspilitas.com/.

Enrich your gardening days

Native California plants belong to your garden for the sustenance of birds, bees, and other insects, as well as for the enjoyment and satisfaction of the gardener.

Enjoy your garden!

Tom Karwin is the past president of the Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum, the Monterey Bay Area Cactus & Succulent Society, and the Monterey Bay Iris Society, and UC Lifetime Master Gardener (certified 1999- 2009). He is now a board member and garden coach for the Santa Cruz Hostel Society. To view photos of his garden daily, https://www.facebook.com/ongardeningcom-566511763375123/. To find an archive of previous gardening columns, visit http://ongardening.com. Contact him with comments or questions at tom@karwin.com.


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Unique landscaping ideas to consider for your home – Forbes Advisor https://www.rogersgardengate.com/unique-landscaping-ideas-to-consider-for-your-home-forbes-advisor/ Fri, 15 Oct 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://www.rogersgardengate.com/unique-landscaping-ideas-to-consider-for-your-home-forbes-advisor/ Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors. If you’re tired of looking at the same bland old yard, the fix may be easier than you think. All you need are a few unique ideas to create a more attractive […]]]>


Editorial Note: We earn a commission on partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect the opinions or ratings of our editors.

If you’re tired of looking at the same bland old yard, the fix may be easier than you think. All you need are a few unique ideas to create a more attractive landscape. With a little planning and maybe a trip to your local garden center, your backyard can become your new favorite place and the envy of the neighborhood. Make your yard stand out with these simple and unique landscaping ideas.

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1. Define the space

Landscape plants define outdoor spaces by fulfilling functional roles such as shading, screen, infill, and ground cover. They structure the space the same way furniture does indoors. Remove existing plants as needed to eliminate visual chaos. For best results, choose plants for your garden based on their mature dimensions, normally listed on the plant’s label.

Space the plants so they can grow to their full potential without pruning, then prune them as needed to maintain good plant health and a well-groomed appearance. Avoid overcrowding or installing foundation shrubs where they will grow to block windows. Maintain a crisp appearance with crisp natural edges along body lines and wherever grass meets paved surfaces.

2. Curl the lines

The builder’s landscaping in a new home is usually minimal and usually follows the angular lines of the house. Unfortunately, this approach to landscaping often leaves a ‘factory-installed’ impression. Nature doesn’t follow straight lines and neither does your landscape. Add bed lines and curved paths to create a strong sense of natural permanence.

There are several ways to infuse subtle curved lines throughout the yard. A long S-shaped foundation bed line, a kidney-shaped island, a strategically placed flower bed at the corner of the driveway or an arched path from the driveway to the front door could be good starting points. When drawing curved lines, use a garden hose as a guide. When you’ve got the line just right with the pipe, paint it with marking paint before cutting the edge.

3. Plant less

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Another problem with planting a lot of different things is that the individual impact is lost overall. The court tends towards chaos. Get more impact by planting in repeat groups, limiting the color palette to two or three colors, and only using five to seven dominant plant types in any yard view.

To use this strategy effectively, choose plants with complementary shapes and textures. Needle leaves, broad leaves and herbaceous leaves mix well. Use evergreens to provide a backdrop for flowering plants and plants with strong fall colors. A beautiful landscape does not require dozens of different kinds of plants.

4. Choose versatile plants

Garden books tout the goodness of this flower and tree, and they are all beautiful, so it’s easy to fall in love with them all. But time, money and landscaping space are limited. It’s important to get the most out of every dollar you spend in the yard. One way to do this is to select versatile plants.

If the entrance to your townhouse only has room for a small tree, find a tree that offers spring blossoms, summer shade, intense fall color, and an attractive branching structure that will look great. in winter. Privacy plants can provide fragrant flowers and benefits to wildlife. Many fruit trees and shrubs provide other benefits to the landscape, such as flowers, fall color, and winter interest.

5. Frame the lawn

We often think of the grass as the place where children and pets play. But a little unused lawn space can take on an ornamental look when you convert it to a green garden. Framing is an effective way to define space and keep those tiny patches of grass in good shape. Simply plant a low hedge on all sides and keep it well maintained. A small framed green garden is the perfect place for a garden sculpture or fountain.

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6. Consolidate annual flowers

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Who doesn’t want a garden full of beautiful flowers? The best way to achieve it is to use a good mix of perennials, flowering trees and shrubs, and a few strategic pockets of annuals. Consolidate annuals for maximum impact at the least cost and effort.

Unlike trees, shrubs, and perennials, annual flowers grow from seed every year and bloom profusely throughout the growing season. At the end of the season, they die. Since this is an annual buying and installing chore, use annuals in high-visibility locations like the mailbox area, main entrance, and patio containers.

7. Create focal points

Landscape focal points are eye-catching and help distract from other areas of the yard. Several focal points add visual interest and serve to draw the eye across the landscape. These handy features can include a variety of things such as plants, garden decor, and even parts of the house. There are several ways to make them work.

Any striking feature will cause the viewer’s eye to pause and focus. An architectural feature such as a brightly painted front door, a garden sculpture or a well-trimmed Japanese maple will do. Another focal tool for moving the eye through the landscape is the repetition of subtle features such as the rocks in the landscape or the tufts of a brightly colored plant.

8. Straight-scale garden decor

When adding a new decorative element, it is important to scale it correctly. If the temptation to save money on a smaller room wins out, the garden sculpture, birdbath, or sundial can seem puny. On the other hand, going too big could overwhelm the space and make it appear smaller than it actually is.

Go big for focal features in expansive gardens. For smaller landscapes, a little goes a long way. A small sculpture surrounded by low plants in an intimate garden space can be just as striking as a large fountain in an open setting. The two issues to consider are the size of the garden and the impression you intend to make. Increase focal characteristics, reduce garden accents.

9. Include seats

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The best landscaping can seem sterile without an invitation to be a part of it. Add a well-placed bench, chair or even a rock to invite you to sit and enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of the garden, or just meditate outdoors.

There are many ways to effectively use seating as a landscaping feature, whether it’s protected under a gazebo or porch roof, or out of the elements. Place a few chairs for conversation under a large shade tree. Add a bench to observe a bird feeding station. Incorporate a coffee table or an outdoor dining set for entertaining. Place a flat rock at the edge of a garden pond. It may not always be in use, but it will inspire exploration.

Whether you’ve just moved into a new location or are fed up with your boring old yard, a few thoughtful changes to the exterior may be needed. Incorporating one or more of these unique landscaping ideas can elevate your yard to new heights of utility and enjoyment.

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