New Colors Can Transform your Garden
An exciting and inexpensive way to bring the “pop” back into your garden spaces is to add new colors to your existing color pallette for a nice dramatic change. Each winter we look forward to new and interesting color ideas for the upcoming year.
There have been new Petunia colors over the past couple of years that have quickly become a staple in many gardens, and one in particular, the eye-catching Sophistica Blue Morn, which was hailed by Better Homes & Gardens as a real show stopper. It’s a flower that is easy to plant and care for, that will add wonderful bright color to your garden spaces.
I also liked some other Petunia offerings a coupel of years ago, including the Rhythm and Blues, Supertunia Pretty Much Picasso , Famous Violet Picotee and the Shock Wave Denim Petunias. Be sure to take a look at the Tex Mex Hot Pink Geranium, which is one of the more heat-resistant Geraniums.
We’re always looking out for fun family garden projects — last season we wrote about a fun Fall project centered on planting bulbs for Spring. Now you and your whole family can start your herb and vegetable garden indoors! Yes, starting cool season seeds indoors is a great project for the whole family. Cool season herbs and vegetables can be started from seeds indoors over the next two weeks for plantig outside in April. Each member of the family can be in charge of two or three vegetables/herbs each, with an assigned space in the yard. Seeds you can grow indoors right now include lettuce, celeriac, spinach, arugula, endive, onions and leeks. A second project for next month can include planting peas, radishes, and carrots, which should be sown directly into the soil in mid-to-late March.
Don’t let the January thaw fool you. Winter is far from over even here in the Mid-Atlantic, but winter shouldn’t keep you from thinking about your garden. These warmer days that will soon become cold unpredictable days are great for planning; mulling over plant catalogs and books looking for new and unusual plants to add to your garden or even starting all over with a new Landscape Master Plan for your entire yard. A strong, well thought out design is critical to building a cohesive space that is a joy to use. Developing a Master Plan with the help of a skilled landscape design professional will make the project implementation easier, more comprehensive and enjoyable in the long run.
I often think of things like drainage, plant texture, succession of flower color, seasonal interest, hardscaping and water features.
Remember those bulbs you planted last fall? They may try to push through the surface during these warmer winter months. But don’t fret, as it gets cold again they will just go back into dormancy; awaiting the warmer days of spring. And since we are speaking of bulbs, now is a good time to order summer blooming bulbs. These are the ones that aren’t hardy to plant in the fall like Calla lilies, Canna lillies and Caladium. They should go in the ground when you can work the soil in Spring. However keep in mind, unfortunately in our zone 7, these bulbs need to be lifted in the fall and replanted every spring. The extra work is worth the effort as these types of bulbs can bring a flush of color after the spring blooming narcissus and tulips are done for the season.
As the weather warms this spring in late February or March consider freshening up your garden by cutting back last years dead perennials, adding fresh mulch and maybe some early color with hardy pansies.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Cozy cocoons, rooftop gardens, organic treatments and other trends
By: Dennis McCafferty
In this economy, any edge will help a landscaping business. The best way to maintain an edge is to stay on top of developing trends that could expand your customer offerings, thus increasing sales opportunities. Here are five trends to watch in 2012:
Photo Credit: Lydia Cutter
Pictured: A GardenWise, Inc. Designed and Installed Landscape Project in Washington, DC.
Private, secure and even cozy spaces are now growing in demand among families seeking quality time with friends and loved ones at home. This is leading to a number of landscapers establishing “cocoon” design niches, with raised planter/seat walls, built-in water features and privacy arbors/fencing, says J. Mark White, owner of Arlington, Va.-based GardenWise Inc. Colorful plantings are also often part of the package, as well as elegant stone terraces. “With the current economic situation, these intimate spaces give homeowners a private, verdant sanctuary in their own backyard,” says White, who regularly appears on HGTV’s Curb Appeal.
To read the story in its entirety, please visit LOWE’S
GardenWise Garden an SL Style Solution
Just what we all need, a better view of our gardens from our porch — or at least MORE of a garden view. Southern Living editor Todd Childs uses a GardenWise garden in a video feature on how to create an ideal indoor / outdoor living space while adding better garden views. This porch space shows off a relaxing and intimate area with white louvre shutters and chartreuse seat cushions and pillows. To make the most of the home’s garden spaces, we designed and installed a wrought iron and glass panel railing to allow for sweeping views of the rear gardens from the porch. The homeowners make this porch with its new garden views a daily retreat from their very busy lives.
Mark was featured as a March profile in the popular Homes and Gardens publication — below is an excerpt from the profile in which Mark is described as a “Gifted ” landscape designer:
“When Southern Living last year described the work of J. Mark White, ASLA, president of GardenWise, Inc., as ”stellar”, we knew we had to learn more about this omnipresent landscape architect and his design work that shows the essential role architecture can play in organizing the garden landscape. White’s gardens are rich in color and texture, and flow into the surrounding landscape, which makes him a gifted landscape designer, and our March 2010 profile. ”
Phot Credit: Lydia Cutter
Nice feature on designing healing gardens by Claire Letane, ASLA, from the November 2009 issue of Landscape Architecture, the publication by American Society of Landscape Archites (ASLA). Click on the image to make it larger!
Capture Your Garden & Share with Family & Friends!
This is coolest gift for anyone interested in watching a living plant bloom & grow – The PlantCam!
The PlantCam is a digital garden camera, and a great spring gift for the gardener in your life who starts every day with a quick tour just to see how well everything is blooming. It’s a four-megapixel time-lapse digital camera that captures mini-movie frames of your plants as they grow. It costs less than $100.00 and operates with a motion-sensor camera that also photographs wildlife at the backyard perch, feeder or nest. It can zoom in for closeups of sprouting seeds or capture an entire garden in wide angle. It comes in a weatherproof case, and takes about five minutes to install.
The best feature? It‘s PC and Mac compatible, so you can share your garden’s progress with family and friends on facebook and YouTube!
On Monday, we talked about what you can do in your garden during the cold winter months to prepare for Spring. In addition to our tips, the Washington Post came up with a few more ideas for the month of February:
Spray For Pests Now — Spray roses, fruit trees, and other ornament prone to mites, scale and lacebug with dormant oil to kill overwintering eggs. An oil spray in winter will minmize pest problems this growing season.
Hoe & Pull Winter Weeds – Hoe or pull weeds taht have taken hold in garden beds and are preparing to bloom and seed, especially benbit and chickweed.
Cleaning Garden Beds – Continue to clean up garden beds in advance of spring. Cut back faded perennial foilage and rake wind-blown leaves, which may be covering emerging bulbs and harboring slugs and other pests.
And be sure to remind yourself, as the country prepares for another large storm that will certainly bring more snow to the DC area, Spring officially begins on March 20th !
Look out for GardenWise‘s J. Mark White on HGTV’s “Curb Appeal” tomorrow! This latest episode was great fun to shoot as Mark’s real life clients, Matt and Chris, are always a pleasure to work with. Mark also had the chance to bring Matt to the GardenWise Studios to see the different types of flowers and plants that thrive in the Washington, D.C.-area, which is included in the episode.
Mark created, designed, and installed all of the landscape, hardscape, stonework, garden accents, lighting, and custon ironwork featured in this episode of Curb Appeal. GardenWise, Inc. also owns the rights to design work.
Here’s an inside scoop — at the 11th hour, Mark had to reach out to Arlington, VA-based architect Dwight McNeill, AIA, for assistance when the show’s designer just couldn’t come up with an acceptable design. Dwight quickly met with Chris and Matt and got to work. He went over choices for the exterior color palette, and delivered the exact combinations Matt and Chris hoped to find, which are used in the episode. Dwight didn’t receive credit on the show for his work, so we’re giving him a well deserved shout out for saving the day.
For more of Dwight’s work, check out Better Homes & Gardens. Another shout out to Furnari Iron Works, who did an amazing job in bringing life to Mark’s iron work design.
Below is the plan Mark designed and installed & some before/after pictures.