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Selecting A Quality Tree For Fall Planting

Fall doesn’t officially begin until later in September, but everyone considers Labor Day the unofficial start. Typically, the nighttime temperatures begin to fall while the daytime temperatures stay warm. It’s also when the rains return so new plantings will receive sufficient water without your having to supplement it with irrigation. And, that’s exactly why the nursery industry reminds us that Fall is for Planting.

Garden centers join in on this promotion, too. Contrary to some people’s opinion that garden centers just use the fall season to get rid of leftover nursery stock, reputable garden centers actually get fresh stock for the season. They may mark down stock that’s left from spring sales, also. That’s OK because most of their nursery stock will be perfectly fine, if they took care of it. So, how do you tell a good tree from a bad one? The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) published a consumer information bulletin, Buying High-Quality Trees, in which they offered the tips below.

A high-quality tree has….

• Strong form with well-spaced, firmly attached branches.

• A  trunk free of wounds or damage.

•  A quality root system to support healthy growth.

Conversely, a low-quality tree has…

• Weak form in which multiple stems originate from the same point and branches grow into each other.

•  A trunk with wounds from handling or incorrect pruning.

•  Limited, crushed or circling roots in an undersized root ball or container.

Some of the ways you know a tree’s form is strong is even spacing of branches along the trunk. Avoid branches facing upward and forming narrow angles. As the branches grow, they’ll compete with the trunk for the limited space between them and branches usually lose the fight and break. Trees in which the trunk splits into two equal leaders can be a problem as it grows. Those two leaders are called co-dominate but one is always stronger. If the angle between them is narrow, the weaker will inevitably split. This can be prevented by cabling and bracing but that’s an extra expense. It should be noted that the limbs you see on a young tree will seldom survive to maturity, but the spacing will remain true to form. Branches don’t grow upward; they remain in the same position for life. As the trunk grows higher, it shoots out new branches, while the lower ones are shaded out by the upper branches or have to be pruned off for clearance purposes.

Always inspect the trunk of a tree you’re considering buying. Look for signs of insects, wounds like frost cracks (injuries to the bark that run vertically up the tree), and improper pruning cuts. Sometimes the grower removes the lower branches to encourage a fuller crown. If flush cuts – those flat to the trunk – were made, special tissue in the branch collar was removed. This tissue contains cells that help the pruning wound to callous over to protect the tree from insect or diseases. Any pruning cuts should bulge out like a donut but shouldn’t leave any branch stubs. If the trunk is wrapped in protective material, remove it and inspect the trunk before you buy the tree.

Whether the tree is bare root, balled and burlapped or containerized, you should check the roots before buying. Bare roots are easiest to check. Make sure the roots are moist and not discolored or crushed. The roots were probably pruned when the tree was dug. Make sure the root ends are cleanly cut, rather than ragged as though they were ripped from the ground. If the roots are long, the ragged end can be pruned so it’ll grow correctly. Containerized plants are the next easiest to check at the garden store before buying. Slip it out of the pot and look for roots encircling several other roots. If present, try pulling the offending root out straight. If it’s too big to be straightened, pass on the tree, unless the garden center offers to fix it for you at no charge. The repair involves cutting the offending root and removing the section that crosses other roots. A girdling root that remains in place can eventually kill all or part of the tree. Also check the root collar, the point at which the root and trunk connect, to be sure it’s not buried in the container soil. If it is, pull the soil away and make sure that collar remains exposed when you plant the tree.

Balled and burlap roots are the most difficult to check. However, you can check the root collar and make sure it isn’t buried. Be sure to retain the right to return the tree if you find any root damage like girdling root when you get the tree home. You’ll cut the string or wire holding the burlap to the trunk when you plant the tree, and that’s when you can examine the rootball closely.

Regardless of whether you buy a bare root, containerized or balled and burlapped tree you should keep the roots moist but not sopping wet if you aren’t going to plant it right away. When you do plant it, dig the hole two or three time larger around than the rootball but only as deep. Before planting, remove the pot from containerized trees but just the string or wire from balled and burlapped trees. The burlap will decompose in the ground. Spread the roots out when planting bare root stock. As you backfill, stop periodically to tamp down the soil lightly but not enough to compact it. Be careful not to bury the root collar. Finally, water the backfill.

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Time To Think About Fall Color

When you think about fall color in your landscape, what comes to mind? Colorful leaves that give trees and shrubs a moment of brilliance before falling to the ground for you to rake up? Or perhaps chrysanthemums (mums)? Colorful leaves are short lived and mums all by themselves are quite boring. This post gives you ideas for other colorful fall plants that are hardy in our area.

Flowers that provided early spring color can also provide late fall color. These include violas like pansies and violets. Snap dragons and marigold will also bloom well into the fall, as will petunias. You may have to refresh or replace them in the late summer or early fall, especially if they didn’t get enough water or deadheading but they’re well suited to the weather that’s in store.

If you started the season with crocuses, you may want to end the season with the plant we call fall crocus. This bulb isn’t just a rebloom of the spring crocus. It just looks like it. Actually, the spring crocus is a member of the same family as the iris while the fall crocus is a member of the lily family. Another common name for the fall crocus is meadow saffron but don’t get excited about the saffron name. In fact, you won’t want to confuse it with the very expensive spice. The meadow saffron, or fall crocus, is actually poisonous. The fall crocus photo was taken in October at Chanticleer, a public garden in Wayne, Pennsylvania.

I’m not trying to minimize mums. Mass plantings are beautiful. I’m just making the point that they aren’t the only plant that flowers in fall, and suggesting that you diversify your autumn plant palette. Monoculture (limiting your plantings to one species) is never a good idea. Asters are the most common companion to mums. That’s because they both have similar growing requirements and blooming schedules. The list of fall blooming plants also includes Black Eyed Susans, Autumn sedum, Cranesbill (hardy) geraniums, sweet alyssum and heuchera, which is also called coral bells. Daylilies can also bloom into the fall, as can sunflowers.  Bleeding hearts, another early spring bloomer, also adds another dimension to your fall plant palette. 

Don’t forget shrubs when planting for fall color. The hydrangea is an example of a late blooming shrub. Witch hazel blooms in late fall into winter.  But shrubs can show color in other ways. For example, the beauty bush displays its fruit (pictured) well into the fall and dogwoods are famous for their red twigs.

Fall doesn’t have to be any less colorful than spring and summer. Before you start packing things away and battening down the hatches for winter, why not take a trip to your garden center and see what they’ve got to make your autumn more colorful than ever? We have two or three months before you have to think winter. Make it joyful and colorful. Fall is for planting bedding plants and perennials as well as trees and shrubs. If you’d like help making selections and planting them, our landscape professionals are happy to lend a hand. 

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Tree Selection & Placement

Fall is for planting, and that time will soon be upon us. Selecting a tree and a planting site should be no trivial matter. After all, many trees that are planted this fall may outlive their owners. You should prepare to plant with longevity in mind because it’ll only happen if you select the right plant for the right place. Otherwise, your efforts and investment could become a short-lived money pit.

If you don’t like where you’re living, you can move. Few trees have that luxury. They have to stand there and take whatever nature and the environment metes out. As stressed trees’ health decline, they begin costing money for repair. When they finally give up the ghost, the cost to take them down becomes a major investment. It will then cost even more to fill the empty space left by the tree removal.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) suggests you ask yourself these questions and use your answers in making your tree selection and placement decisions:

• Why am I planting this tree? What functions will it serve? Large, healthy trees increase property values and make outdoor surroundings more pleasant. A deciduous shade tree that loses its leaves in fall provides cooling relief from summer’s heat while allowing the winter sun to warm your home. An ornamental tree displays beautiful flowers, leaves, bark or fruit. Evergreens with dense, persistent foliage can provide a windbreak or a screen for privacy. A tree or shrub that produces fruit can provide food for you or wildlife. Trees can also reduce runoff, filter out pollutants and add oxygen to the air we breathe.

• Is a small, medium or large tree best suited for the location and available space? Do overhead or belowground utilities preclude planting a large, growing tree — or any tree at all? What clearance is needed for sidewalks, patios, or driveways? Selecting the right form (shape) to complement the desired function (what you want the tree to do) can significantly reduce maintenance costs and increase the tree’s value in the landscape. In addition, mature tree size determines the level of benefits received. Larger trees typically provide the greatest economic and environmental returns. Depending on the site, you can choose from hundreds of form and size combinations. A low, spreading tree may be planted under overhead utility lines. A narrow, columnar evergreen may provide a screen between two buildings. Large, vase-shaped trees can create an arbor over a driveway. 

Site conditions to consider when making your selection and placement decisions include soil conditions, exposure to sun and wind, drainage, space constraints, hardiness zone, human activity and insect and disease susceptibility. If the site is shady, you’ll want to select a shade tolerant tree instead of one that loves sun. You won’t want to select a tree that won’t tolerate wet feet for a low part your landscape. Hardiness is the plant’s ability to survive in the extreme temperatures of the particular geographic region where you’re planting the tree. We’re in Zone 5. Planting the wrong tree in the wrong place accounts for more tree deaths than all insect and disease related deaths combined.

• What are the soil conditions? Is enough soil of sufficient quality available to support mature tree growth?  When new homes are built, the soil is often disturbed, shallow, compacted and subject to drought. Most trees will suffer in these conditions without additional care. We can take soil samples from your yard to test for texture, fertility, salinity and pH (alkalinity or acidity). These tests can be used to determine which trees are suited for your property and may include recommendations for improving poor soil conditions. 

Following these ISA recommendations, which I heartily endorse, can make this an autumn to remember…the start of a long and beneficial relationship.

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Check Your Lawn For Grubs

photo credit: David Cappaert, Michigan State University, Bugwood.org

It’s already that time of year when I remind you to check your lawn for grubs. These pests have been destroying lawns for decades. We can’t eliminate them but we can manage them with a little diligent observation.

During June and the first couple weeks in July, grubs in their adult stage have been flying around trying to find a mate. You may have seen…or heard them. They’re big, brown beetles with either an attraction to light or a very poor sense of direction. We usually become aware of them when they fly right at our windows, making a distinctive sound as they hit. There are usually enough of them that it sounds like a hail storm. If you’ve experienced this phenomenon, it’s a safe bet that you have grubs in your lawn, or soon will.

The beetles are either European chafers or Japanese beetles. After mating, the female lays eggs in the turf of your lawn. The immature stage is crescent-shaped white grubs. Upon emergence from the eggs, grubs immediately burrow into the root zone of your lawn and begin feasting on grass roots. They continue feeding until the soil surface temperatures go down and winter sets in. This is when they burrow deeper into the soil, where it’s warmer. In the spring, they rise back up to the root zone and continue their feast until they’re about two inches long. They then pupate, morph into adults and begin flying into your windows all over again.

The best time to wage war against grubs is in the fall. This is when they are small and weak and don’t require aggressive control measures. If you wait until next spring to control them, the grubs will be bigger, stronger and more resistant to control measures. And they will have had more time to destroy your lawn.

You can start looking for grubs now. You may not see them on your first try but keep at it. To check for grubs, cut several one-foot squares of sod from different areas of your lawn. A sharp knife is the only tool you’ll need. Roll the pieces of sod back and check both the bottom of the sod and the hole for little grubs that look like the picture. If you count six or fewer grubs in each square, you don’t have a big enough infestation to warrant treatment. If any of the squares has seven or more grubs, you should put the sod back in place and apply a treatment.

Treatment is an easy do it yourself job. You can buy granular grub control products at garden centers and home stores and spread them just as you would granulated fertilizer. Follow label directions. Don’t use more than the label directs on the false assumption that twice as much will be twice effective. Just the opposite is true. If this is a job you’d rather not do yourself, our lawn care professionals can diagnose whether you have a grub problem and, if you do, apply the most effective material at just the right strength. This service is part of our lawn care program but we also offer it to property owners who aren’t on a lawn care program.

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Boundary Trees May Not Make Good Neighbors

Poet Robert Frost’s statement about fences making good neighbors may not apply to trees planted on a boundary line. Boundary trees have been sources of contention between neighbors for centuries, and it has led to laws that govern who owns boundary line trees and who’s responsible for their care.

A book, entitled Arboriculture and the Law, published by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), states that, generally, courts find that a tree positioned on a property line between two residences is common property, and thus, the responsibility of both property owners. ISA explains, “This typically means the tree cannot be pruned, destroyed, or altered without both parties agreeing to the changes. Sometimes this requires the two parties to have a written agreement on the terms of care for the tree. If a tree is securely on your property, in the eyes of the law you are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep.”

Sometimes a tree that you planted near your lot line grows and grows until it straddles the boundary between your yard and the neighbor’s. When that happens, you have a new partner in the ownership of that tree. This can lead to disagreements between you and your reluctant co-owner. This situation can be prevented by making sure you know the expected trunk diameter and crown and root spread of any tree or shrub you plant close to the boundary line and make sure it’s far enough into your property to keep it from encroaching on your neighbor’s property. As an aside, shared ownership also applies to fences on the boundary line. So, install fences several inches on your side of the line, too.

More common than a tree straddling a boundary line is a tree that’s allowed to grow unattended until branches hang over into your neighbor’s yard and drops leaves in their yard, possibly in their pool or on their patio, or drops litter on their vehicles. Worse yet are situations in which branches hanging over the neighbor’s house breaks and falls on the roof or the roots grow under the driveway, causing it to heave. Who’s responsible for such damage? According to the lawyers who wrote the ISA book, the common rule of thumb is that a homeowner should consider themselves responsible for tending to any trees that could cause harm to a neighbor’s home or person.

If you don’t take the responsibility for your interfering tree, the neighbor can take the necessary action on their side of the boundary, according to the law. They can remove any portion of the tree invading their property. ISA states that courts have determined that a landowner owns all the space above and below his property, and if something invades either of those areas, it is his
right to remove it.

If the wind breaks a branch and it falls on the neighbor’s roof you can’t escape responsibility by pleading ignorance or that it was an “Act of God.” If you could have prevented the damage by regularly checking and maintaining your tree(s), you may be able to prevent many problems in your life. It’s also a good idea to maintain a photo history with before and after of everything you do or have done. If your trees or landscape does sustain damage, ISA recommends that you….

• Contact your homeowner’s insurance company.
• Have the insurance company send a professional tree and landscaping appraiser out to your property immediately after the damage has occurred.
• Have the appraiser determine your financial loss, including the cost of removal and repair.
• Have any repairs or removal work performed by our professional arborists. We have 13 ISA Certified Arborists and one Board Certified Arborist on staff.

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Take Stock – Where Do You Need Color?

The best time to know where you need more plants in your landscape is when the plants you have are in bloom, or recently bloomed. That time is now. So take photos and make notes so you’ll know exactly where you need more plants and what types of plants you need. Or better yet, try some ideas now.

Spring flowering plants like bulbs and flowering shrubs are through blooming for the season. Now they’re foliage plants. Does the green of these foliage plants satisfy you? Is there balance between areas that are in summer bloom and the foliage plants that have already bloomed? Or is the void of color in part of your landscape a major distraction? This is a personal preference. I’m a woody plant lover so I like mass areas of foliage.

If you want more color, take a trip to the garden center and buy annuals. For just a bit of color to break up the green monochrome, plant annuals around the base of trees or a bed of shrubs. You should have a mulched area between the plants and the grass, walkway or whatever’s adjacent to the foliage plant(s). Foliage plant beds that border on grass can be easily expanded by removing some grass and planting annuals.

You may have a space that looks barren, devoid of either flower or foliage plants. Such a space will give you a blank slate to experiment.  Consider removing the sod and plant a bed of annuals. Experiment with plants of different heights and colors with a view to replacing the annuals with perennials either this fall or next spring. Since this is an experiment, I suggest saving the sod in case you decide that the space looks better in grass than flowers and be sure to take photos.

When you cut the sod, rent a sod cutter. Depending on the size bed you’re making, you’ll cut small, flat rectangles or large rectangles that you can roll up for easy handling. Roll out black plastic on the driveway or a part of your yard where it won’t be an eyesore or kill any other plants. The area you choose should get plenty of sunlight and access to water. The sod likes plenty of both. Finally, roll out the sod on to the plastic. Makes sure it gets plenty of moisture in the form of rain, your hose, a sprinkler or a combination. 

Should you decide that your new bed looks better as lawn, you can just pull the flowers out, then level and rake the ground. Before resodding, you might want to put down some pre-emergent weed killer to keep from having unwanted flowers growing up in your lawn next season. After any waiting period specified on the pre-emergent package, put the pieces of sod together like a jigsaw puzzle. Walk on it to make sure it makes good contact with the soil and water it.

An easy alternative for temporary fill-ins for flowerless areas is to use containers. Containerize annuals and place them in the area you want filled with color. If you like the color they bring to the space, leave them in place for the season and then replace the containers with low maintenance perennials. If the color doesn’t do anything for you, use the containerized plants to give plenty of color to your deck, patio, pool area or front entrance – any area that needs softening with a little color.

A landscape can never have too much color but don’t forget foliage plants. They add structure and bulk to a landscape, and they give it form. Foliage plants can also add color to your landscape without showy blooms. Choose varieties with colorful leaves and form. A weeping lace leaf Japanese red maple is a good example. Plants with variegated leaves are also good choices.If you know that an area of your landscape needs help but can’t come up with satisfying ideas, or if you prefer to enjoy your landscape without having to do the work, I suggest you work with one of our landscape designers to give your property just the look you want. And our landscape installation professionals can bring the design to life

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Inspect Your Trees For Hazards

If you want to do something for your landscape, even on a hot summer day, consider leisurely walking your property. The purpose: to inspect your trees for hazards. This should be done periodically throughout the year because tree needs, and hazards, change with the season. Summer is a good time to start. 

Trees are much like pets. They provide you with great pleasure, but they can also be a liability for which you are responsible. Knowing the possible hazards that can turn your trees from a source of enjoyment to a source of concern can make tree ownership less worrisome and more enjoyable. Here are some hazards to keep an eye on. They were compiled by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). 

• Trees growing too close to electric wires. Tree parts that touch an energized wire can cause an outage, fire, surge or other damage. A tree in contact with a live wire can conduct electricity to the ground, causing injury to anyone who touches it. Keeping wires and trees separated is essential.

 Large, dead branches in a tree. 

• Detached branches hanging in trees.

• Cavities or rotten wood along the trunk or in major branches. 

• Mushrooms at the base of a tree.

• Cracks or splits in the trunk or where branches are attached. 

• Branches that have fallen from the tree. 

• Adjacent trees that have fallen over or died. 

• A trunk that has developed a strong lean.

• Major branches arising from one point on the trunk.

• Roots that have been broken off, injured or damaged by lowering the soil level, installing pavement, repairing sidewalks or digging trenches. 

• Recent site changes due to construction, raising the soil level or installing lawns. 

• Leaves that have prematurely developed an unusual color or size. 

• Tree removals from adjacent wooded areas

• Topping or heavy pruning of trees.

• Forked trunk with branches and stems equal in size.

Trees may appear strong and majestic, and they are. But they are also very complex organisms. These two factors are why tree care isn’t a DIY activity. As you inspect your trees, the only task for you to do is pick up any fallen branches. Everything else is a job for our professional arborists. If a tree on your property has any of the conditions in the checklist, there’s the danger of branches falling on you, and believe me, they’re heavy. People have been killed by falling branches. If rot is present, there’s a chance that portions of the tree will break when you put weight on them. Or the whole tree could topple injuring you and any bystanders and damaging property.

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Why Deadheading Gives Flowering Plants New Life

Landscaping and gardening have a language of their own. For example, one term that some would consider an oxymoron is deadheading. You would think that deadheading would have something to do with killing a plant but it’s actually a procedure that extends a plant’s life.

Deadheading is the practice of removing spent flowers from a plant before they can go to seed. Every life process requires that energy be expended. Removing flowers when they begin looking as though they’re dying prevents them from expending energy to finish the flowering process and setting seed heads. Instead, they’ll direct that energy to blooming again to finish the reproduction process that you short circuited.

Some gardeners refer to the process of deadheading as “pinching off” the flowers. On many annuals, you can pinch the stem just below the bloom you’re removing. Some gardeners believe that pinching’s the only way to remove fading flowers. Others, me included, have no problem using tools when that will help. The stems of some annuals are just too thick to be pinched. A pair of ordinary kitchen scissors will do the trick for most annuals and many herbaceous perennials. Woody perennials are a different story.

Most flowering shrubs will only bloom once a year but it’s a good idea to deadhead them anyway just to keep them tidy. Who wants to see limp, brown, dead flowers hanging from their shrubs? Pruning shears work best for this job. You can dull kitchen scissors quickly by cutting wood with them. There’s debate over whether deadheading flowering shrubs will yield more flowers next season, but it will keep them from misdirecting energy.

Deadheading shrubs will provide you with a low impact landscaping activity on summer days when your green thumb gets itchy. Be careful when removing spent flowers, though. Look for buds and avoid them. The buds are next year’s flowers. Removing them with this year’s spent flowers will result in no blooms next year.

There’s a difference between deadheading and pruning. To deadhead, you just remove the blooms at their base. Don’t remove any wood. Pruning is for removing dead, dying, broken or rubbing branches or shoots. Pruning is also used to shape shrubs by removing or trimming back branches to maintain a particular form. This procedure is more than a simple cut at the base of a flower. Pruning cuts should be made all the way to the base of the shrub or, at least to a junction with another branch or a leaf. You don’t want to leave stubs.
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Prepare Your Landscape For The Dog Days Of Summer

July and August are called the dog days of summer for a reason. Many people like to lie down and sleep on a hot afternoon, just like a dog does. Kind of lazy like. Well if you and your dog feel lazy and just want to be left alone, what makes you think your landscape plants want to be pampered on hot days?

I recommend that you get everything done now and then just sit back and take in the beauty. One thing you can do is make sure your plants have sufficient water. They like an inch a week. If you don’t have an irrigation system, you could set up a network of soaker hoses. Then you’ll be ready to water them, if need be. All you’ll have to do is turn the spigot(s) on a quarter turn. Turning them on any further can cause the soaker hoses to burst.

You may have to prioritize to keep your water bill from going through the roof. I recommend placing young and newly planted trees and shrubs at the top of the list, followed by perennials. Losing these plants will result in the greatest financial loss. Watering annuals depends on your budget and ambition. If they should be changed out soon, don’t bother. Let them run their natural course and then change them out and keep the fresh plants watered.

Watering your lawn is costly and time consuming. Nature has equipped turf with a defense mechanism. Lawns go dormant when it’s hot and dry. That’s why the grass turns brown. When the temperatures cool and the rain returns, it will green up again. Caution 1: Avoid walking on the brown grass. You’ll break the blades and leave unsightly footprints. And, if you shouldn’t walk on dormant grass, you certainly shouldn’t mow. Caution 2: Be sure you fertilize now if your lawn needs a late spring fertilization. Fertilizing during the dog days can burn the grass when it’s dormant.

One task you can do all summer is deadhead your flowers. Deadheading is removing spent flowers before they go to seed. This enables the plant to redirect its energy to producing another flush of flowers, rather than dropping seeds. Also, make sure all your plants are well mulched. Mulch moderates soil temperatures, cooling it in summer and warming it in winter.If you really feel ambitious, you might consider building paths, if you don’t already have them, so you can walk through your landscape without having to walk through your planting beds or across your lawn. 

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Divide Your Landscape Into Special Garden “Rooms”

A lot of emphasis is being placed on landscaping for small spaces because more and more busy people are opting for smaller yards. If that’s the trend, where does that leave the owners of big landscapes? It can leave the creative person with the best of several worlds. You could divide your large garden into several small, themed gardens, or outdoor rooms.

Some of the theme gardens to consider include…

• Cottage Garden. Quite common in the United Kingdom, where properties tend to be small, cottage gardens are full of colorful plants, spaced close together to discourage weeds. The gardens often look as though seeds were scattered in the garden and they grew randomly. Actually, they’re carefully planned and planted, and they’re meticulously cared for.
• Wildflower Garden. At first blush, a wildflower garden may seem like the American equivalent of a cottage garden. However, the seeds for these gardens are purchased as mixtures and scattered, much like planting a lawn. Also called meadow gardens, wildflowers are often planted on hillsides and other large, hard to manage pieces of property. They usually have to be mowed only in the fall so that the seeds that fell on the ground can grow next spring. Buy only branded seed mixes. Bargain mixes may contain weed seeds and others that you don’t want.
• Cutting Garden. This is a utilitarian garden of flowers you’ll cut and display in vases in your home. You can plant either in rows or any creative shape you want.
• Pollinator Garden. A pollinator garden can be free standing or simply bright colored, deep flowers and plants caterpillars like mixed into another garden. You should have a butterfly house and water puddler nearby, too. Don’t worry about bees; they can find your garden from their hives miles away.
• Edible Garden. This is just another word for a vegetable garden. It, too, can be free standing planted either in traditional rows or as you’d plant an ornamental garden. Or you can be trendy and mix edibles and ornamentals in a single garden.
• Secret/Meditation Garden. This should be a completely enclosed space planted mostly with foliage plants and, possibly, a few flowering plants. The mood should be tranquil and relaxing – a place where you can retreat to and shut the world out.
• Japanese Garden. More often than not, your garden would be a Japanese style garden rather than an authentic Japanese garden. If you’re going to design your own, I recommend researching Japanese gardens online or at the library. There are very definite rules for plants and their placement, as well as hardscape features like statuary and rocks. Japanese gardens usually require more space than the other styles discussed above.

Ideas are endless. The mix of styles is limited only by your imagination. The number and size of each garden depends on the size of your property, as well as the ambiance you want to create. If you need help with the design and installation, we have a staff of creative landscape designers who can take the stress out of evolving an idea into a cohesive plan that you or our installation professionals can bring to reality.