Great Uses for Shrubs in any Landscape

Best 9 ways to use flowering shrubs and evergreen shrubs in any garden or landscape:

  • Shrubs are virtually maintenance free.
  • Our living fence shrubs and evergreen shrubs help you to maintain your privacy.
  • Several specimens of the same variety can be planted in groupings for a stronger visual effect.
  • Different varieties can be planted together for diversity and harmony of form, foliage or flower.
  • Use flowering shrubs to give a sense of volume in a flower bed and can be used to set off garden accessories such as statues, birdbaths, fountains, sculptures, and ornamental rocks.
  • Large shrubs can also be used to create an intimate corner or as a backdrop for a flowerbed.
  • Attract humming birds, bees and butterflies.
  • Use evergreen shrubs as your foundation plantings to provide year around color and texture.
  • To hide an unsightly area – select from our living fence shrubs.

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Color in The Summer Landscape

Spread color throughout the growing season with the right perennials. So many of the shrubs and trees that we use as foundation plants and the rest of our landscaping are limiting in providing the spectacular colors we crave during the growing season. But…you can spice it up with summer blooming perennials. With a little planning, your landscape can provide continual punches of color all the way up to frost.

 

The plants that provide the ‘best bang for the buck’ are those that begin blooming in late spring or early summer and continue on to fall or frost. You will find this in plants such as:

 

Colorful long period summer bloomers are:

 

Perennials that put on their color show only during late summer to frost are found in such plants as:

 

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Weekly Plant Give-A-Way Contest Announced

Hydrangea Let's Dance MoonlightGreenwood Nursery Announces Weekly Contest for Plant Give-A-Way

Beginning the week of May 16th, Greenwood Nursery is holding a weekly plant give away for members of their Facebook Fan Page. Each Saturday one lucky member will receive a plant or garden product. Contest to be held weekly through June 25th.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PRLog (Press Release) – May 24, 2011 – Greenwood Nursery, McMinnville, TN announces their weekly plant and garden product give away. Beginning the week of May 16th through June 25th, they will draw a name from their Facebook Fan Page Membership. Drawing will be held on weekends and announced at that time. The winner will receive one of Greenwood Nursery’s Proven Winner plants or one of their gardening products such as The Gardener’s Hollow Leg fabric gardening sack, African market baskets, or wildflower seed kits.
For an opportunity to win in this contest, visit the Greenwood Nursery Facebook Fan Page and Join or Like their Fan Page. The winner must reside within the continental United States as prize will only be shipped within the contiguous U.S.
GreenwoodNursery.com is your one stop online garden center for trees, flowering shrubs, ground covers, flowering perennials, organic lawn care products and more. Rated a top 5 online nursery by About.com. Find your next plants at their online plant nursery.

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Rated one of the top 5 online nurseries by about.com, Greenwood Nursery offers a wide selection of shade trees, flowering trees, flowering shrubs, evergreen shrubs, ground covers, perennials, and gardening supplies.
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Selecting and Planting Ground Cover Plants

purple wintercreeper
Image by annethelibrarian via Flickr

Ground cover plants are often forgotten in garden or landscape design until a problem occurs such as erosion. For erosion issues consider evergreen ground cover plants such as vincaivy or wintercreeper. To add color, select flowering ground covers such as creeping phloxdrift roses, or ground cover sedum.

Typical spacing for ground cover plants is 12 to 18 inches apart. Bare root plants can be planted 6 to 8 inches apart for a quicker fill in. See box below to estimate how many plants you will need.

When planting on sloped areas, use an independent sprinkler, the type that attaches to a hose. The sprinkler will need to run until water soaks down several inches. The time for this will vary so it is best to check the soil each time it is run. How often to water will depend on local factors, but in many cases can be done every 3 to 5 days after planting for the first 6 to 8 weeks for the plants to fully establish a newer root system and begin growing.

Checking the soil allows you to monitor and make the proper adjustments. If the soil is extremely dry after 3 days, you may need to water every 2 days instead. Rainfall isn’t dependable and often just runs down the surface of the ground without being absorbed into the soil.

Mulching around ground covers can be difficult, especially on sloped areas. For sloped areas, I recommend putting down a thin layer of straw. The straw will protect the young new plants from the sun’s heat, heavy rainfall, which can wash bare root plants out of their holes and down the hill, as well as keep the soil cool and moist. Straw decomposes and helps to build up the soil. Once the plants have fully established and are beginning to grow, any remaining straw can be removed and mixed into other areas of the garden or landscape.

Uses for Ground Covers:

  • Erosion control
  • Defining spaces
  • Traffic barrier
  • Transition areas
  • Small spaces
  • Where grass won’t grow

Considerations when selecting a Ground Cover:

  • Height – tall or low
  • Sun or shade
  • Clay or sandy soil
  • Moist or dry area
  • Flowering or insignificant flowering
  • Seasonal or evergreen

Use our navigation filter on the left hand side of the ground cover page to narrow down ground cover selections based on the above criteria for your needs.

 

Determining the Number of Plants Needed:

Square feet of planting area Spacing (in inches)
6 in. 8 in. 9 in. 12 in. 18 in
100 400 225 178 100 45
200 800 450 356 200 90
300 1,200 675 535 300 135
400 1,600 900 712 400 180
500 2,000 1,125 890 500 225
600 2,400 1,350 1,068 600 270
700 2,800 1,575 1,246 700 315
800 3,200 1,800 1,425 800 360
900 3,600 2,025 1,602 900 405
1,000 4,000 2,250 1,780 1,000 450

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How to Design and Plant a Small Yard or Small Garden

Design and Plant a Small Yard or Small Garden when you only have limited space for outdoor livingWhen you have a limited budget or inclination to do the landscaping projects you really should do, downsize. Downsize with smaller landscapes and smaller plants. Small yards can be used effectively to enhance bland foundations, corners, and entrances as well as add color, fragrance and interest to patios and other sitting areas.

 

Small gardens use small scale trees, shrubs and perennials. Anchoring shrubs should mature around 3 to 4 feet tall and are typically placed in the back 1/3 of the area. Planting one or two evergreen shrubs makes a good base. Colorful small flowering shrubs and shrub-like perennials are other good choices.

 

Small garden anchor plants:

 

Karley Rose, Prairie Dropseed, Karl Foerster and Adagio are some of the more striking ornamental grassesthat are attractive as single specimens and can be used in lieu shrubs as anchor plants.

 

Plant perennials of varied heights keeping within 12 to 40 inches tall for added interest. Some of the friendliest and brightest varieties are:

 

Small scale ground cover plants are the last touch for small gardens.

Select from:

 

Use spreading plants that have a spreading habit to fill in over several years such as:

 

How to plan a small sized garden for your enjoyment:

  • Select at least one small scale shrub to anchor the garden
  • Choose 3 or more perennials in varied heights
  • Use one variety of groundcover for the front most part
  • For even more interest add a butterfly house, bird house or whirligig just off the center point

For more ideas on small sized gardens, visit Greenwood Nursery.

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How to Keep People from Using Your Property as a Shortcut

There are ways to discourage people from using your property as a shortcut. We have listed legal, non-threatening methods you can use to encourage trespassers to detour. When considering fences, be sure to check with your building codes office before making any purchase. Some ares have strict codes on fencing and, some on, plants, too. Be sure to check codes before purchasing anything.

No trespassing. Keep out. Private property. Su...
Image via Wikipedia

• Fences, while best, are not always practical either financially or due to building code restrictions
Rosa Rugosa Roses are full, larger growing hedge shrubs with terrible thorns sure to keep out children and adults alike.
Red barberry is a lower growing shrub that produces thorns that will deter people. Russian Olive is another extremely thorny plant, but it may be banned in some areas.
• Lattice panels can be secured upright or long ways to form an open fence-type barrier. Vines can be planted to grow up the panels such as Bignonia Tangerine Beauty or English Ivy.
• Set up motion activated sprinklers.
• Don’t forget the “Private Property – No Trespassing” signs placed in plain sight.

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Tips for Growing an Herb Garden

Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne Herb Garden
Image via Wikipedia


Tips for an herb garden:

    • Plant in full or mostly sun
    • Choose a well drained location (herbs don’t like wet feet)
    • Mix in some sand when planting (in clay soil) for better drainage
    • Place taller growing herbs in the rear as a backdrop such as lavender, rosemary and pineapple sage
    • Plant chocolate mint in a container for control
    • Mulch herbs with aged compost or aged manure mix
    • Allow soil to dry out between watering
    • When harvesting for recipes, select oldest growth first

Best herbs for culinary:

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Landscaping around Decks, Patios and Porches

Lakeside Patio
Image by Kansas Explorer 3128 via Flickr

Once the weather warms and decks, patios and porches are back in use, queries begin coming in requesting assistance in landscaping these areas. So, I thought it would be a good idea to offer these suggestions to all of our readers. The first task is to sit on your patio, porch or deck and actually look out (away from the exterior walls). What do you see? Do you see an open never ending lawn or, maybe it’s a small enclosed area? What could you see as a focal point in your view? How do you feel about your deck? Is it quiet and cozy or more of an open space where you would prefer more privacy? The answers to these questions will dictate how you landscape around your outdoor living area.

Let’s discuss patios and low level decks and porches first. Your point of view from sitting in your chair should give you looking into (not onto) the lawn area. Basically, the lawn becomes an extension of that outdoor space. Low level sitting areas take more advantage of the opening. Colors and textures can be used effectively from the immediate areas on to the outlying regions. The view will be complete from the tree tops all the way down to ground cover. So, be sure to add in lots of colorful perennials and shrubs into the outlying landscape.

Now, in landscaping around the perimeter of your low level deck (patio or porch), you will want to select plants with that in mind. If your outside living space is large and extends out considerably from the house, consider placing ornamental trees or other decorative plants. The following is a great listing of plants for this purpose.

Japanese red maple
Sky rocket juniper
Blue point juniper
Emerald green arborvitae
Crape myrtle trees
Kousa dogwood
Kwanzan cherry
Sourwood trees
Red bud
Sweetbay magnolia
Clumping bamboo
Nishiki willow

Remember to allow for stepping stones or other access to the outlying areas. In planting along the edges, select low growing plants so as to not block the outward view. Staying in the 3 ½ foot range and below should work quite well, especially with taller plants in that range that are airy at the tops such as ornamental grasses.
The following list you will find excellent plants for bordering gardens.

Barberry crimson pygmy
Crape myrtle Chickasaw
Crape myrtle Pocomoke
Coreopsis
Astilbe
Gaillardia
Heucheras
Lemon princess spiraea
Hydrangeas (Cityline series)
Hostas
Chamaecyparis pisifera compacta
Nandina dwarf firepower
Nandina dwarf harbor
Saliva
Russian sage little spire
Weigela
Liriope
Grass, Acorus Ogon
Grass, Sporobolus h. Prairie Dropseed
Grass, pennisetum Karley Rose
Grass, Pennisetum Hameln
Grass, Phalaris a. Strawberries and Cream
Verbena-low growing
Lantana-low growing
Rosemary
Lavender
Sage

When planning your landscape around high level decks and balconies, remember that you will be looking down onto the plants immediately around the perimeter and only seeing the top portions of the plants in the outlying areas. High level areas truly take on a different view of the lawn than low level areas and should be landscaped accordingly. High level decks are considered to be (roughly) 5 and 6 feet and higher off the ground. Plant for fragrance, long blooming periods, lots of texture and slightly away from the deck so you are fully able to enjoy the plants. This list of plants works nicely in such situations.

White birch
Dogwoods
Serviceberry
Magnolias
Tulip poplar
Lilacs
Crape myrtles-tall growing varieties
Heptacodium, Seven son
Oakleaf hydrangeas
Magnolia Jane
Red bud
Flowering cherry
Flowering peach
Flowering pear
Sourwood
Laurels
Rhododendrons
Holly

Armed with this information, you can now confidently plan the landscape around your multi leveled outdoor living spaces.

Cheryl D. Jones, co-owner of Greenwood Nursery, McMinnville, TN, shares tips and information on gardening and landscaping through her blog, newsletters and nursery website. Visit Greenwood Nursery for a full line of trees, shrubs, perennials, ornamental grasses and ground covers. Join the Greenwood Gardeners Club free to receive the nursery’s weekly newsletter, access to the members sales page, seasonal promotions and 10% off your first order.

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Groundcovers to Walk on!

groundcover #6
Image by jacki-dee via Flickr

The most frequently asked question this week has been what ground covers are good for high traffic areas such as walk ways and around stepping stones. For areas like this, tough ground covers are definitely required such as:

Laurentia Blue Star Creeper is a soft tiny leafed ground cover that is a good spreader most anywhere as well as is Corsican Mint. The creeping thymes perform best in areas that are well drained and on the sandy side. Clay soil just seems to stunt their development. This works quite well especially when the path contains sand between the stepping stones or bricks.

While there are many other ground covers, such as the sedum Angelina orvinca, that are tough, yet they are not soft for stepping on with bare feet. Low growing, creeping ground covers with tight tiny leaves seem to work best and grow thicker.

Need more plant ideas? Check out our Landscaping Ideas Department. I have broken down plants by their many different uses such as Allergy Free LandscapesAccent PlantsBorder PlantsDeer Resistant PlantsNook and Cranny PlantsRock GardensShade GardensWater GardensXeriscape Landscapes and, don’t forget, Landscape Design 101 with home/landscape maintenance help.

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