Is it Too Late to Plant Tulips?

When spring time arrives, and you see gorgeous tulips and other seasonal flowers blooming, you may regret that you didn’t plant bulbs the previous fall. Tulips, like many plants and trees, need to spend a few months in cold ground growing their roots before they will sprout. If you missed your chance to plant bulbs in the fall, you may still be able to have tulips in the spring. Here are some options for growing tulips in the winter.

Plant in the Winter

If you have mild winters where you live, you can plant tulips in the winter. The sooner you plant, the better chance you will have of seeing tulips sprout in the spring. It can be hit and miss on whether they will sprout the first year; or, they may sprout in late spring. However, if it is already becoming warmer outside, it may be too late to hope for sprouting unless you try the following refrigerator trick.

Winter in the Fridge

If the ground outside is already getting warmer, you can trick your tulips into a fake winter in your refrigerator. Plant your bulbs a few inches under the soil in a pot, then water and cover with plastic wrap to keep moist. Once they sprout, remove plastic wrap and keep the soil moist. Let them stay in the cold for several weeks before moving them to a warm, sunny window or transplanting outside.

Another option if you want a beautiful tulip garden this spring is to talk to your local landscaper. They may have sprouts they can plant in your garden to give you the bright tulips you desire this spring.

Posted on behalf of:
Lane Landscaping
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(770) 609-4510

4 Great Ways to Landscape with Flowers

Plan and design a spectacular floral landscape to accentuate any home, by using the right steps and the right materials will create a stunning display.

It is possible to create a spectacular floral landscape that is so breathtaking that it receives admiration from passersby. Plan and design a floral landscape before planting flowers. There are several steps to plan and design your floral landscape. These include:

•            Choosing a design that suits the existing features of the landscape

•            Devising unique ideas that make for a diverse floral landscape collage

•            Considering growth and timing stages to ensure a lush landscape year round

How to Create Interesting Hanging Baskets

The tendency with hanging baskets is to hang them in predictable places. Look for unusual ways to hang floral baskets so that they grab attention. For example, purchase garden arbors in a variety of sizes and shapes and hang floral baskets in colorfully designed pots. Use Morning Glories and other vined flowers to create a cascade of colors flowing down from the pots.

Fanciful Sidewalk Borders That Multitask

When it comes to sidewalk borders, there is no end to the ways to make them floral works of art that multitask. Start by planting Grape Hyacinth and Bells of the Snow for the first sign of color. Next, plant strawberries that will have lovely white blooms and provide luscious fruit from mid-spring to early summer. After these are harvested, plant annuals like Asters, Lazy Susan, Pansies, Daisies and Baby’s Breath for a feathery sidewalk border. In late spring, plan for fall with Marigolds, Nasturtiums and for winter with flowering cabbage.

Floral Patio Pots

Patio pots are a great accent to add floral color. Choose a combination of Ivy, Clematis or other vine plants at the front of the pots, add taller flowers like Foxglove and finish with taller Lavender plants in the back.

Rock Gardens Are Fun

There is nothing as appealing as a rock garden. Choose geometric shape, add rocks, and then add rock garden flowers like Hens and Chicks, Living Stones, and cactus.

Posted on behalf of:
Lanier Yardscapes
Peachree City, GA
(770) 648-1385

Perennials to Plant in the Fall

Spring is the time when garden catalogues arrive in the mail and nurseries fill their shelves with blooming plants.  This is also the time when people jump on the bandwagon and plant their gardens, including their perennial flower beds.

But waiting and planting in fall is a better way to go for several reasons.  The weather is cooler in fall, which reduces stress on the top parts of the plants. In fall, the soil temperatures stay warm which allows the roots to grow and develop.  When a plant has a healthy root system in place, once spring does arrive, fall planted perennials will perform better than those planted in the spring.

What are Some of the Best Perennials to Plant this Fall?   

  • Hot Lips Salvia has delicate red and white blooms that create a stunning show throughout the summer.  The plant has red and white bi-colored flowers and thrives in full sunlight.
  • Echinacea, which is commonly known as coneflower, is an extremely tough and hardy perennial and is the backdrop of many flower beds.  Coneflowers used to only come in their native color of purple.  Now, coneflowers are available in a rainbow of colors including, yellow, red, orange, white, green and purple.
  • Hostas are great for shady areas and once established require very little maintenance.  Hostas come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and textures.
  • Helianthus is also known as a perennial sunflower.  Some Helianthus may grow up to 8 feet high with a width of 6 feet.  They thrive best in full sun.
  • Hemerocallis are perennials that most people know by the name of daylilies.  Flowers come in yellows, golds, reds, oranges, purples and white.  These plants thrive in full sun or partial shade.  Removing the spent flowers will improve the plant’s overall appearance and also promote flowering in reblooming varieties.

Talk to your local landscaper on these and other plants that are perfect for planting this fall to make your yard beautiful all year round.

Posted on behalf of:
Lanier Yardscapes
Peachree City, GA
(770) 648-1385

Hostas: A Great Choice for Any Landscape

If you’re looking for an extremely hardy plant that will give a season full of beauty, look no further than the hosta.  Hostas are not only hardy, but they come in countless combinations of leaf shape, color and texture.  These hardy perennials vary in size from a miniature 2 inch plant to the giants that can grow up to 5 feet high and spread over three feet.

Long-Lasting Landscaping Beauty with Hostas

Unlike flowering plants that have a short blooming season, hostas, which are primarily grown for the beauty of their foliage, are beautiful and make a visual impact throughout the growing season.  While most people think of hostas as just a shade plant, there are many varieties that can be successfully grown in sunny areas.

Hostas are an ideal landscape plant as they are easy to grown and require very little maintenance.  These gracious and versatile plants come back year after year.  If someone is looking for good quality plants without spending a fortune, look for hosta varieties that have been around for decades.  These plants can always be picked up at a very low price.  With the thousands of varieties to choose from, it is no wonder that hostas are the most popular perennial plant.

Hostas combine well with early spring bulbs.  As the early spring flowers fade, the large leaves of the plant will hide the brown, drying foliage of tulips, daffodils and other early bloomers. Clumps of hostas planted around a garden, sidewalk or driveway will soften the edges.  Hostas also grow well in containers so they can be used to add greenery to a deck or patio.

Hostas do have flowers and some of the flowers are very fragrant.  For hummingbird enthusiasts, once hostas bloom these little birds will constantly be darting in and out of the flowers as they are one of their favorite foods. Talk to your landscaper about adding hostas to your landscape design.

Posted on behalf of:
Lane Landscaping
Alpharetta, GA
(770) 609-4510

Think Spring By Planting Your Bulbs This Fall

Those beautiful early spring flowers, like tulips and lilies, don’t just magically appear come April and May. They are strategically planted in the fall, so when the first warm weather hits, these bright and beautiful flowers are one of the first to bloom to welcome spring. If you want to be the envy of the neighborhood next spring with gorgeous blooms, now is the time to plant your bulbs. 

Types Of Bulbs To Plant In The Fall

There are many types of flowers which start as bulbs. Most of these will bloom in late winter or early spring, depending on where you live and the type of flower you’ve selected. While not all bulbs will grow well in all areas, here are a few of the most popular fall-planted bulbs: 

  • Tulips. Plant these 3-6 inches apart in a hole 4-6 inches deep.
  • Daffodil. Plant these 6 inches apart and 6 inches deep.
  • Crocus. These should be planted 4 inches apart, 3 inches deep.
  • Iris. Both bearded and Siberian should be planted 4 inches apart and 4 inches deep.
  • Bluebell. Plant these 4 inches apart and 4 inches deep. 

Almost all fall planted bulbs need well-drained soil, with some needing more fertilizer than others. Make sure that the bulbs are planted before the first freeze, so they can begin establishing their roots before winter. Talk to your landscaper about which bulbs will grow best in the region where you live and with the soil type on your property. 

Since spring flowers are so colorful, it can be fun to create elaborate designs and color schemes when planting these flowers. Your landscaper can help you design and plant your bulbs in dramatic patterns that will be gorgeous come spring. 

Posted on behalf of Find Local Landscapers

Adding Color To Your Yard With Flowering Plants

There are few additions to your yard and landscaping which can add as much beauty as flowering plants. Whether it is a full flower garden or just potted plants decorating your front porch, these colorful plants can brighten up any home. If you are considering adding more flowering plants to your yard, consider combining both annuals and perennials to give your yard beauty and versatility every year.

Ideas For Annual Flowers

Perennial flowers will come back year after year, making them a permanent part of your landscaping design. These are perfect for filling the largest areas of your planted gardens in your yard, since they will continue to grow and won’t require heavy replanting each season. Some excellent choices include:

  • Roses. Roses make a great centerpiece to your flower gardens. However, they do require quite a bit of maintenance to keep them healthy and pruned. If you don’t have enough time on your hands to keep them thriving, hire a professional landscaper to keep them maintained.
  • Coneflowers. Add bright colors every year with the hearty coneflower. Choose from varieties of purple, orange and yellow to make your garden a delight.
  • Forget-me-nots. One of the sweetest ground flowers is the forget-me-not, adding a carpet of blue and purplish flowers to your shaded areas in your yard. Forget-me-nots prefer shade, making them the ideal option for areas with less sunlight where other flowers may not flourish.

Add Variety With Annuals

Annual flowers are a fantastic way to bolster your perennials with new companions every year. From the traditional pansies to marigolds and other flowers, seasonal flowers come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. For times during the year when your perennials are not blooming or just to add complimentary colors, annual plants are a perfect filler for your yard.

Both annuals and perennials have certain types of soil and sun requirements, so it’s important to plan your flower planting carefully. Consult with your local landscaper to choose flowers which will thrive in your region while adding beauty and color to your lawn.

Posted on behalf of Marty Shettle, Lane Landscaping

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Use Landscape Timbers To Build A Quick Flower Garden

Nothing enhances a home and yard better than a beautiful flower garden. Seasonal flowers add color and brightness to an otherwise stark landscape, increasing the curb appeal of a home. If you have been thinking about adding a flower bed, an easy and affordable way to build a small garden area is with landscape timbers. They blend naturally into almost any landscape design, and make a perfect border for your new flower bed.

Constructing Your Flower Garden

Landscape timbers or railroad ties can create a perfect raised flower garden. Depending on how handy you are with tools, you can cut them to different lengths to create whatever size bed you want, or leave them at their original lengths. Find the area with the right amount of sunlight for the flowers you plan to plant, and begin planning your new flower garden.

You will want to remove any grass or weeds from the area where the bed will be. Then, use a shovel to create a six-inch trench around the border of the bed where the timbers will be laid. This trench should be filled with gravel to drain water away from the timbers. Once the gravel is in place, you can lay your first level of landscape timbers to create the outline of your raised garden. You can now stack timbers on top of each other as high as you prefer. Drilling holes through the timbers and using a piece of rebar to hold them together is an excellent way to give the walls an added measure of stability.

Once the box is finished, you can fill with the soil needed to plant your new flower bed. Your local landscape supply store should have the timbers, soil and gravel you need for this quick and easy flower garden!

Posted on behalf of Marty Shettle, Lane Landscaping

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Using Wildflowers For Ground Cover

As people become more environmentally conscious, it is a growing trend to consider native eco-systems when planning a landscaping project or diverting rainwater.  Many landscapers are incorporating wildflowers in place of traditional flowers for seasonal colorOne can take a leisurely evening stroll down avenues of stately historically preserved homes that were once landscaped to costly pristine preciseness but are now ill-groomed with the colorful beauty of wildflowers. Seemingly without form or structure, they grow everywhere sporadically, the ground covered with a beautiful array of delicate flowers, interspersed occasionally with native grasses that no lawnmower will ever touch. Flowers have begun to replace some lawns.

Wildflower seeds can be bought in mixes. While the mixes are designed for specific growing regions, it is impossible to determine exactly what will grow, so it is best to sow several different kinds. Wildflower seeds can be sown in the fall, although to ensure winter’s survival, northern climates should sow following the last expected frost of spring. Minimize weeds before planting. Mix seeds with sand or vermiculite to make growing easier and to help you get a more even distribution. Scatter the seed as evenly as possible and press it into the soil.

Wildflowers grow with the least amount of care or attention. They tend to be hardy survivors without any gardening efforts. There is no need to water or worry about bugs and, most often, they will grow back every year. Another advantage of using wildflowers for ground cover is that they produce flowers that can actually be harvested (best in the early morning) and brought indoors as cut flowers. Check with your local landscaping professional to determine what mix of wildflower seeds will grow best in your area.

Understanding When To Plant Perennials

While planting annuals yearly can be fun and adds a bit of variety to your landscaping, many prefer to build their landscaping and flower beds around perennials, because of their ease in seemingly “automatic” yearly recurrence, without much work or care. Taking care to select perennials right for our growing zones and existing shade conditions, with just the right heights, colors and timing of blooms, we wonder when to plant them.

Realistically, seasonal flowers can be planted at any time of year. Most can be planted even before annuals, when the spring air temperature is still cool and rain is plentiful. However, there is some discrepancy as to what is “best.” For instance, it is recommended that larger perennials be planted in the fall, as the cooler air reduces stress on the tops of the plants but the soil remains warm enough for the roots to become established. These plants should be mulched and the tops cut back when the ground freezes. Ideally, when spring arrives, these plants will be ready to burst awake. The exception is larger plants that are late bloomers; these should be planted in the spring. If you feel uncertain, consult with your local landscaping professional.

Unlike the larger plants, smaller perennials may not be able to root deeply enough to withstand the rigors of winter if they are not planted until fall. Therefore, such smaller perennials should be planted in the spring. Springtime is really the preferable time for planning most perennials. Sit your perennials in good soil, making a kind of basin for them. Mulch should be applied around each plant and they should be given a good watering after planting. Never plant perennials in waterlogged ground; too much water keeps oxygen from getting to the roots.

Size Does Matter: Getting The Right Sized Pot

Nothing adds natural beauty to your home  or landscape design like the addition of plants, inside and out. While some are born with a perpetual green thumb, others need to work at getting these plants to flourish in their homes. One of the many elements to nurturing a houseplant or even potted outdoor plants is to ensure they have the correct size pot to grow in.

It makes perfect sense that too small of a pot for a plant will inhibit growth, however, going too big is not ideal either. While being potted in too large of a planter will not harm most plants, it is harder to keep the moisture level and fertilizer at the correct amount. Also, some plants will continue to grow larger as long as they have room and restricting their growth can keep them the right size for your home. Also, some plants will not bloom unless they are root bound. When choosing a pot, consider these factors:

–          Maturity. Is the plant you are planting already mature or just a seedling? If it is already grown, check the root system in its existing pot. If there are many roots showing or the root ball is close to the top, it needs a larger pot. When increasing pot sizes, go up in 2” increments.

–          Type. Do some research on the type of plant and how large it grows. A ficus tree may need a large, deep pot where cactus plants require a shallow, small pot.

–          Moisture. What type of moisture does the plant need? For those needing a dry soil, shallow pots are best and conversely, deep pots are best for those requiring more moisture.

All plants and pots are not the same. If you have had problems keeping your plants healthy, it may be time to make a trip to the landscape supply store and get the right size pot for them to thrive.