Classic Color Combinations

  The keys to success with patio planters and pots of all sizes are: Designing with the thriller, chiller and spiller concept in mind. The “thriller” is a plant chosen to “wow” you, to attract attention.  The “spiller” is the plant that cascades over the edge of the pot, providing a softening effect, and the…

Lawn Watering – Good and Bad

July is the traditional start of lawn watering season.  July like many horticultural tools and garden practices, there are good and bad “iterations”, as there are with cars, grocery shopping and exercise.  For example, cars are generally considered good, as they help us travel conveniently, however, when you put a drunk driver behind the wheel,…

Weeds in Perennial Beds

They seem to pop up everywhere – weeds.  New beds, old beds; it doesn’t seem to matter.  At this point in the season, a little moisture encourages growth of tons of weeds.  Seeing these weeds makes you wonder several thoughts. Where did they all come from? Why are they growing as well or better than…

Newly Planted Trees, Shrubs, Perennials – Aftercare

You’ve installed some new trees, shrubs and perennials…now what?  In order to keep them looking great, there are a few simple care steps that should follow planting, especially in June.   A thorough soaking of water, followed by moisture monitoring. Nothing special here; use a sprinkler can to place water evenly throughout the entire root…

Unwanted Grass

Grass is usually a good thing; in lawns that is.  However, if you’ve got grass anywhere else – a veggie garden, a flower bed, in groundcovers – then it’s a weed.   Grass can get to the unwanted location through bird transfer, through misapplied seedings or through spreading.  The rhizomes pictured here show this undesirable…

Containers…Everything is a Container!

Just about any item can be a vessel for plants, from wash tubs to whiskey barrels to cast aside footware.  All that is required is a side wall and a drain hole, which can be fabricated if need be.  Once the imagination has run wild about what could be, it’s important to focus on fine…

You Can’t Plant That Here aka Right Plant, Right Place

I see it every day.  Wrong Plant, Wrong Place.  Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard.  Maybe job security.  Maybe just (as the Spanish speakers say) “así es”, or “it is, what it is”.   On a recent trip, in a location known for “good horticulture”, I ran across some good, er, bad examples.  There were trees…

Fall Tree Planting in Spring

If you want it to look good this fall, plant it now…in spring.   Everyone loves the gold, bronze, red and purple colors of shade trees in the fall, but many put it off and put it off.  Why not enjoy the green of spring and summer and the glory of fall all in one?…

Tangled Roots and Potting Soil

Getting annuals, veggies and perennials off to a good start in container gardens is crucial to their success.  This starts with choosing well branched, stocky plants and examining the roots. First, gently squeeze the pot between your hands or fingers and then tease the root mass out.  Inspect the roots.  They should be white, bright…

Warm Season Veggies

Cool season veggies are great – cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and George Bush’s favorite – broccoli.  As the soils warm however, the time for planting warm season veggies is upon us.  Crops such as peppers, eggplant, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers thrive on warm growing conditions – 75 to 85 degrees F.  Hopefully, your weekend project…