Plentiful Pansies Please

Attention All Pansy Fans!

These  TRAILING  PANSIES  are a  “must have”  for  anyone  with  even  the  slightest  attraction  to pansies.  They  survive  very  cold  temps, they trail, and they bloom from Fall to Spring.  They also are an ideal choice in a setting where uniformity is important..  And these hybrids are trialing, which makes them perfect for hanging baskets and containers.  

The  colors  will  make  you smile from ear to ear — a great way to celebrate Spring and Summer .

Phlox ‘Miss Lingard’ is GardenWise

Sophisticated Lady

Phlox ‘Miss Lingard’ is a  GardenWise  July  favorite!  With a spectacular clump-forming habit, ‘Miss Lingard’ has spikes of sweetly-scented, refined pure white flowers that are   disease resistant, so you won’t have to deal with that powdery mildew mess you sometimes get with other types of Phlox.  

Phlox comes from the Greek for “plant with showy flowers” and “flame,”  and ‘Miss Lingard’ delivers with a gorgeous eye-catching spray of flowers.  A June-August  bloomer, ‘Miss Lingard’ gets 2-3 feet tall, is beautiful  when planted in groups, and is our pick if you’re looking for a sophisticated garden show stopper. 

GardenWise on Making a Garden “Green”

GardenWise on Productive and Green Gardens

Many clients come to me with questions about how to take  significant “green” steps to make their gardens more eco-friendly.  The question I hear the most?  “Where to start?”  Here are five easy steps every person can take in their home garden that will help the environment and save you money in the long run on watering and energy costs.    

Reduce your lawn by half — yes, by half!  Replace your reduced lawn area with groundcovers that will provide beautiful colors and textures to your space, and add beautiful hardscape or some pourous paving which allow for surrounding plantings to soak up any excess water 

Replace plants with drought-tolerant alternatives that require much less water. 

Also replace exotic plants with native plants that can easily survive and thrive in the year round weather conditions in your area.  This will also cut down on the cost of replacing plants that don’t survive well in your weather. 

Add a deciduous tree (one that loses its leaves in Fall)  which will grow tall, and shade your home and roof during summer months, keeping your inside temps lower.  These trees will also allow for sunlight to enter your home during  winter months to help keept it warm and reduce your overall energy use.  

Make your garden productive by adding vegetables and 2-3 fruit trees.  Vegetables can be grown in former lawn areas, and trees are fantastic garden additions as they absorb CO2 and other dangerous gasses while  replenishing the atmosphere with oxygen.  You can save money at the grocery store, enjoy fresh produce, or help others by donating your home grown vegetables and fruit to those in need

 

DC Garden Design Firm GardenWise on Caring for Hyacinths

The main maintenance task for hyacinths is called deadheading. Deadheading is simply pinching off old blooms to encourage new growth and transfer energy from making seeds. However, if you bought a self-sowing variety do not deadhead because you will lose the seeds.

The only other concerns for hyacinth bulbs is the occasional animal or rodent. If you notice missing bulbs and see signs of them being dug up, put up a barrier or fence to discourage intruders. If no signs of digging around missing bulbs are apparent then you may have a rodent problem.  In this case you can protect  the bulb by simply digging it up and putting a wire mesh in the hole to surround the bulb.

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Southern Living Ranks Popular Plants By Their Water Needs

How Thirsty Are Your Plants?

Author and gardener Pamela Crawford is profiled by Steve Bender  in the April 2010 issue of Southern Living.  Pamela is an expert on growing beautiful flowers while saving water, money and time.  In the profile, Pamela provides Southern Living readers with a ranking of nine popular plants according to their water needs , Teetotalers (“these stalwarts never take a drink”), Moderate Drinkers (water 3x a week), and Problem Drinkers (water 6x a week). 

Click below to enlarge the picture.

DC’s GardenWise on Shade Garden Favorites

 

One of my all time favorites, and a recent top choice by  GardenWise as a “must-have” Fall 2010 garden favorite, is Toad Lily (Tricyrtis.)   As I earlier wrote, Toad Lily, with its  beautiful orchid-like white flowers, purple flecks and graceful arching growth habit, compels anyone who gazes upon it to stop and take a closer look.  

Better Homes & Gardens lists Toad Lily as one of their best perennials for shade, and I’m thrilled that more attention is pointed in this fantastic perennial’s directon.  Make your shade explode with interest and color by adding the unforgetable beauty of Toad Lily.

Gardenwise on Icicle Pansies and Violas

Move over Mums! 

Now you can have garden beauty in late fall and early spring from spectacular ICICLE Pansies and Icicle Violas. Icicle pansies and violas are selected for their ability to overwinter when planted in the fall. Bred for cold climates, this tough new breed is guaranteed to survive the harshest winters, wherever they are sold. Planted in late summer or early fall, you’ll enjoy blooms until the snow flies and again in early spring

 

Larkspur is a Late Spring Garden Beauty

Larkspur – A Late Spring Bloomer 

If you didn’t sow Larkspur seed in October for flowering in late spring 2013, no worries.  You can buy the plants at your local gardening center.  Larkspur (Delphinium consolida,) which symbolizes an open heart, tends to be a bit fussy, and I’ve not had much luck in the DC-area.  But if you have success, Larkspur is a beautiful addition to any garden.   And for those born in July, this is your birth flower! Each color has a different meaning: the color white symbolizes joy;  the purple symbolizes sweetness: and the pink flowers = fickleness.  There is no better personal touch to your garden space than Larkspur if you’r e a July baby.  

I would be remiss if I didn’t  include in this post that all parts of Larkspur are poisonous.  Please be very careful about where you decide to include Larkspur in your landscape. 

 

 

Two For One — Shrubs as Garden Accents

Shrubs as Accents are GardenWise

Something I often think about is how to get as much as possible out of a garden space. I keep my eye out for multi-purpose planting choices, and like to include multi-purpose items.  A fantastic way to add a colorful and textural interest to a garden space is to use an eye-catching shrub as a garden accent, which will give your garden a additional focal point.

I was re-reading a 2100 issue of ASLA’s Landscape Architecture and came across a story about the very same idea — using shrubs as accents. I know, great idea, right? Below is the first page of the story (click once to enlarge) shows how a Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’ can be used as an accent to bring warmth to a garden space. The story, written by Marty Wingate, shows a wonderful picture of the ‘Color Guard’ which is used as an accent that provides a new seasonal focal point to a garden space.  

Intimate Indoor/Outdoor Garden Living

Transitioning from Indoor to Outdoor Living is GardenWise!

Ease of movement and flow are essential when connecting your indoor and outdoor spaces.  This can easily be achieved, especially in an older home, with a few inexpensive additions.  Changing a door style from solid to french, and adding a few wooden stairs, will create the connection between the two spaces.  Create areas in your outdoor space for entertaining, as well  quiet conversation.     

Here are before and after pics of a project we designed and installed in  Georgetown, featured in Home & Design, that shows how a bare space can be transformed into a zen and beautiful outdoor getaway. The transformation of the interior is amazing. 

By adding an arbor and a table and chairs, you’ll create an intimate sitting area and a gathering spot for friends & family. A water feature as a focal point by using an urn in a bed of decorative stones will add a couple of visuals while lending the wonderful soothing sounds of water.  Strategically placed potted plants with bursts of color and texture will soften the space while lending to an oasis quality.  A garden space with plantings and trees can nicely frame and enclose a space while blocking views to a neighbors yard or an alley.