Posts Tagged ‘living fence’

Tips for Growing Vertical Gardens

August 26th, 2012

The new buzz phrase in gardening is vertical gardeningVertical gardening is landscaping or using plants to draw the eye upwards which creates a larger, more airy space. Any space or landscape can benefit from vertical gardening, especially small yards, apartment balconies, limited spaces as well as large unused exterior walls. 

The new trend in vertical gardening is to build up. Pallet gardening is one way to build up. Other ways are trellises, arbors, teepees, window boxes, hanging baskets, varied sizes of containers, or merely planting shrubs and trees that are tall and narrow.


  • Mix water retentive polymers into the planting soil.
  • Water frequently – daily during hot weather.
  • Add nutrients to the soil more often than ground growing plants.
  • Prune regularly.
  • Deadhead flowers right away.
  • Harvest fruits or pick vegetebles as they mature.


Plant Ideas for Vertical Gardens:


Cheryl D. Jones
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Thuja Green Giants – Are they really fast growing trees?

September 11th, 2010

The Thuja Green Giants are touted as one of the fastest growing evergreen trees on the commercial market. Will they really live up to this adoration?

Here at the nursery, we have grown and sold the Thuja Green Giants for almost 10 years. The plants are hybrids so they are propagated by cuttings as they will not come back true from seed. Some years we field transplanted some of the cuttings to grow on for larger projects. When field transplanting, we typically used Thuja Green Giant liners that were 6 to 8 inches tall. At the end of the first growing season, the field plants varied from 10 inches to 30 inches tall. By the end of the second summer, their heights often reached 22 to 40 inches.

Arborvitaes are a slow growing plant variety (generally less than 12 inches per year of new growth), which is why I believe when this crossed hybrid was found to be a more rapid grower, it become the “spokestree” for the variety. I do not know from where the studies about the extreme growth rate came, but in my own experience, I haven’t seen the extreme of 5 feet of new growth per year on this plant.

About 4 years ago, I lined the entrance of my drive with over 100 green giants (18 inches tall). Being far away from the house, I was not able to regularly water them as they needed and, to make the situation worse, the soil was extremely compacted. After the stress of their first year planted having to survive through drought, they pulled through amazingly and I only lost 2, which is pretty impressive. Today the green giants that line my drive are now about 6 feet tall.

Green Giants, as my drive way example describes, will grow in the poorest of soil. However, compacted soil seems to stunt their growth considerably. If you have compacted soil, till the area mixing in bags of aged compost or aged manure mix and coarse sand. Till the area going down as deep as possible (at least 12 inches deep). This will work to help with drainage and instantly put nutrients back into the soil. Then, plant the green giants. Giving them the best possible start for growing is always the best encouragement.

For the first year, apply supplemental water as necessary to keep the soil cool and moist. Apply shredded bark mulch around each plant going out at least 20 inches from the base of the plant leaving a welled area of about 3 to 4 inches at the base of the plant so that the bark does not touch the trunk of the plant. This welled area is for watering and air circulation.

Their first year in the ground the plants will work to develop a stronger and deeper root system. Fertilizing is not recommended during this time as it encourages more top growth rather than root expansion. Any top growth during this time is a plus, but don’t expect it as this will not happen to any extent until the following year.

The green giant grows a little differently. Where most arborvitae grow as a whole, this one sends up a vine looking leader from the top. This leader hardens off and over the next few years it begins to build the tree around itself sending up the leader again each year. A little odd, but you will see what I mean.

While I am not a fan of seeing the Thuja Green Giants. advertised as one that puts on amazing growth each year, these are plants that be used for hedges, privacy screens and even as specimen trees. Having real expectations that it will not grow as quickly as some of the faster growing deciduous trees do, but appreciate its uniqueness and you will not be disappointed.

Visit with us at Greenwood Nursery. We’re here. Just let us know if you need any help.

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Foundation Plants – Adding Curb Appeal to Your Home

September 11th, 2010

Drummond Castle and gardens.

Image via Wikipedia

Foundation plants are shrubs used for planting along homes and building to soften their look, enhance curb appeal and tie it to the surrounding landscape.

Some considerations to keep in mind when choosing these shrubs are:

– Style/Color

– Size

– Scale

– Seasons

The style of your house should be one of the biggest factors in selection foundation shrubs. For example, a colonial house should have different plants compared to a house that is of southwest style or modern style. The colonial would have more traditional, tight growing greenery such as boxwood whereas the southwest style home would have spiky type plants to give a desert feeling and the modern house having open, more free growing plants. Choose shrubs with colors that compliment the color of the house and don’t blend into it. A red brick would absorb shrubs such as the Cistena Plum Shrubs with deep red leaves, yet those same plants would appear striking along side a white frame house. The gorgeous blooms of the Nikko Blue Hydrangea would be wasted planted in front of a blue vinyl sided house.

Typical anchoring bushes are generally smaller growing (under 6 feet) and planted on the corners with somewhat larger growing plants. The length of the windows will usually dictate their height. If the windows on the house start at 3 feet above the ground, then select low growing shrubs that grow no taller than 3 1/2 feet. Placing taller greenery in front of windows is not good for security.

Scale is a consideration most forgotten. Small houses should have smaller growing plants to keep in its scale and not overwhelm the house as these plants mature. Large scale houses can comfortably accommodate larger growing shrubs and trees without the house seeming to disappear.

Anchor plants should offer color and texture for at least 3 seasons if not all 4. This is the reason that evergreen shrubs, both conifer and broadleaf, are often used for this purpose. Try to plant at least 50% of the foundation plants in evergreens to keep greenery around the house year around. Planting all deciduous anchor plants creates a bare house over the winter months. Select a few choice flowering shrubs or small trees, perennials and ornamental grasses to further extent color and texture in the other seasons.

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Growing Knockout Roses

May 17th, 2010

What can you plant in your landscape that will bloom beautifully from spring
through fall? Hands down, the longest blooming period goes to the Knockout
Roses! Here in zone 7, they start blooming around early April and
continue on to late fall. This past fall, my double reds continued with
blooms until Thanksgiving which was many weeks beyond hard frosts and
remained in leaf through early December.

Plant these gorgeous specimens in well drained, fertile soil in full sun.
With little attention, they will put on a spectacular show for months on
end. The Knockout Roses are smaller shrub plants maturing around 4 feet tall
with about a 3 foot width. They are easily maintained as an even smaller
size with regular shearing. Space the roses 3 to 4 feet apart for a dramatic
hedge. To keep maintenance to a minimum, prune them back anywhere from 6 to
12 inches above ground in late winter or early spring while dormant making
certain to prune out any broken or damaged branches. Mulch with organic
matter such as aged compost or aged manure mix. Spread the mulch at least 3
inches deep around the plant leaving a welled area at the immediate base of
the plant of around 3 to 4 inches wide so the mulch doesn’t touch the bark
of the plant. Apply an organic fertilizer designed for roses as directed on
the label.

As with other roses and plants with thorns, deer are not really drawn to the
Knockout Roses, so they do make dazzling color in areas where deer may be a
problem. The Knockout Rose Family has shown great resistance to the most
common problems of other roses such as black spot, mildew and rust.

Visit us for more plant selections: Greenwood Nursery We’re here. Just let us know if you need any help.

Check out our YouTube channel. You will learn the basics of planting
container grown plants and tips for planting lavender and other herbs.
Greenwood Nursery Youtube Videos
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