Building A Greener Driveway


Water, Water Everywhere!

Water Fountains are Gardenwise

When you think about your outside spaces, take it to the next level and add a water feature!  Fountains and water features come in many interesting shapes and sizes and can deliver transforming results.

There’s something about water and the sight and sound of it trickling and tumbling over stones and splashing into a pool.  It’s one of the most enjoyable and relaxing additions to any garden.  When the sunlight sparkles and all the colors from your garden appear in the water’s reflection, you’ll be hooked!  An added bonus?  The birds you’ll attract with a fountain will make for a great natural pest control and improve the fertility of your soil.  And with a good supply of water in your garden, they’ll eat less of your fruits and vegetables.  

Below is a water feature I designed and installed — and here are more fountains gwww

 

GardenWise on Gardening with Recycled Materials

 GardenWise on Recycling & “Green” Garden Design 

There are so many advantages to using recycled materials when creating a stone/hardscape garden project.  For the environment and your wallet!  We use recycled  materials, such as concrete for paving systems, recycled glass in stepping stones, and crushed recycled stone and granite for patio surfaces whenever possible.   It’s a great “green” step to take while creating your special garden space.  

An added benefit to using recycled materials?  The savings on the installation of a landscape design.  If I can incorporate  larger pieces of old concrete into a design, the purchase and delivery of new materials is eliminated.  Also eliminated?  The cost of removing and disposing of old materials.

If you think that you can’t afford to install your next hardscape project, ask about incorporating recycled materials into your design.  The savings may just be enough for you to go ahead and create the garden space you desire.  Just in time for spring and summer. 

Adding New Color is GardenWise

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 BluesSupertunia 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. 

 

GardenWise on Plant Nutrients

We found this great story from Feb. and wanted to share some of these tips on plant nutrients. 

When it comes down to it, most old-fashioned gardeners have plant care imprinted on their fingers. We  add water as needed and allow oxygen to enter the soil by not compacting it. Certain natural soil amendments address specific needs: dried blood or cottonseed meal produce quick, nitrogen-fueled growth, for example, and bone meal provides phosphorus for healthy roots.

If you buy fertilizer labeled with the letters N, P, and K, in percentage amounts, you know how much nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium that fertilizer contains. Those are the three soil elements that plants need the most for growth. It is also good to know that calcium (Ca), sulfur (S) and magnesium (Mg) must be present in significant quantities. Required in trace amounts are certain micronutrients such as iron (Fe). And of course, in order to survive, plants need oxygen (O), hydrogen (H) and carbon (C), which they get from water (H2O) and from carbon dioxide (CO2) in the air.

Read more  from Barbara Damrosch on plant nutrients

National Gardening Exercise Day is Sunday, June 6!

 

Sunday is National Gardening Exercise Day, and many who have a passion for maintaining our gardens know that working with plants is good for us both physically and mentally.  

Gardening is a moderate, and sometimes strenuous form of exercise that incorporates many important elements of exercise regimes, such as stretching,  repetition of movement, and even resistance principles similar to weight training, while expending calories. It’s important to remember to warm up your muscles by stretching a bit before gardening.  We should also use proper techniques for lifting objects, bending, and carrying — don’t forget to bend with your knees!  You don’t want to end up in your bedroom on a beautiful Sunday morning with a pulled back muscle. 

Unlike many exercise options, when keeping up with a growing garden, you can be involved in what you’re doing, stay healthy, AND still take time to smell the roses!   

   

Home & Design Magazine Article ‘A Modern Landscape’

Home & Design Magazine Article ‘A Modern Landscape’

When J. Mark White of GardenWise was called in to restore the garden of a 1920s Colonial Revival, he was already familiar with the property, having previously landscaped the front and back yards. After fire struck the Cleveland Park home, the owners turned to the landscape architect for a redo.

 

DC Winters Are GardenWise

 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. 

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.  

 

Cozy GardenWise Landscapes

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