Move OVER, Mum!

Icicle Pansies and Violas are GardenWise! 

You can plant these fantastic, eye-catching Icicle Pansies and cover yourself for the following Spring,  GUARANTEED.  You’ve gotta love a flower that comes with a guarantee! 

 

Garden beauty in summer ’11 and Spring ’12 from spectacular ICICLE  Pansies and Icicle Violas, which are bred for cold climates.  This tough breed will survive the harshest winters, which means, again,  you’ll be        set for next spring, guaranteed.  Make your plans now!
 


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 .

Sometimes Size Matters – Dwarf Burning Bush

Don’t call the fire department because that’s not a fireball in your garden! The Dwarf Burning Bush (Euonymus alata “Compactus”) is a low-care, beautiful shrub. With its upright, bushy and vase-shaped habit, it’s a Fall garden’s best friend with its brilliant and intense fiery scarlet Red foilage. Your guests will do a “double take” when they see your Burning Bush as it really is that visually appealing. It is such an incredible garden wonder, it can serve as your Fall focal point.

The Burning Bush ranges from 6-10 feet high, and 6-10 feet wide, and it’s insect, disease, drought, heat, AND deer resistant, and tolerant of shade (but for the most intense fall color, plant it in full sun. ) It’s also versatile enough to use as a hedge screen en masse, so you can block an unsightly view while setting your landscape ablaze with color!

Super Sexy Garden Gnomes

GardenWise on Garden Accents!

Garden accents say much about the gardener, and they can make or break a garden space.  Finding the right garden ornament can be a difficult task. 

We’ve all visited  our share of gardens that would inspire us more if it weren’t for those gnomes!   Religious  statuesbottle  trees, stones  with  inspirationsal phrasesand even garden gates; so many ideas to choose  from,  and not all choices blend as well into a landscape as others. I have a Chinese pagoda,  similar  in  structure  to  the  Sui  dynasty  7th  century  Four  Gates Pagoda, and a large hand carved Buddha head which I think  add strong  stone  elements   to  my  garden  space.  But  that  may not be where you will find your inspiration — there are so many choices! Bottom line, everyone has different ideas and motivations when it comes to garden accents, which is what makes visiting a friend’s garden space so much fun.
 
Here’s a link to a feature from  Garden & Gun magazine, “Weird Things in Your Yard”,  on finding the right garden accent/ornament
 

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. 

“Green” Garden Sheds are GardenWise

Garden Shed Inspiration for Better Homes & Gardens

I want to build a new garden shed in my backyard this summer.  This is an idea I had last summer and it never happened, so I’m moving it to the top of the “to do” list for this year.  Most homeowners will agree, there’s no such thing as enough storage space.  There’s  a limit, after all, to the things you can stash in your basement and garage.  What I really need is a garden shed – one large enough to house a pretty big arsenal of outdoor power tools while providing organized space for everything from rakes and shovels to mulch and fertalizer.  All of my outside spaces are landscaped, so it will have to be in a somewhat visible area to the left of my water feature, above, one of the main focal points in my garden. 

I had an earlier thought of creating a shed with a “green” roof, and when  I came across this wonderful green garden shed on BHG.com , right, photo credit to Better Homes & Gardens, it pretty much made me realize I was thinking in the right direction.  Thanks, BHG, for giving me the  inspiration  when I needed it most!  

 

 

 

Water Features and Fountains Will Rock Your GardenWise

Water Fountains Make an Impact

It’s the second day of spring, and I’m thinking about water features!  There’s nothing more inspiring than a well designed water feature blended into the natural environment to transform  your   garden  into  a  destination.  Let’s  revisit an informative  LOWE’s story by Jake Fowler  from  last  year on water feature – water fountain trends that continue with full force into 2011.    

   

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 Lilacs for Spring

GardenWise on New Hybrids of Lilacs

With the snowing falling once again… my thoughts turn to spring and one of my favorite plants I distinctly remember from my childhood; Lilacs  And for many of us, nothing says “Spring” quite like the scent of lilacs. There are new hybrids and species of Lilacs that make me want to write this blog post because these aren’t your Grandparent’s Lilacs!   There are new hybrids that offer not only the trademark sweet smelling blooms, but leaves that stay healthy and mildew free all summer.

This article from Horticulture magazine describes some of the best species and cultivars of Lilacs for use in the garden, including compact selections and lilacs that resist mildew. Two of my favorites, ‘Madame Limione’ and ‘Miss Kim” are featured.  Keep in mind these aren’t common lilacs (Syringa Vulgaris,) and they all have different looks, so keep that in mind when planning your Spring garden.   However, that strong Lilac scent is unmistakeable, and ‘Miss Kim’ delivers a powerful scent that will make you swoon!  

In the article there’s also a box on pruning lilacs, which should be done in late winter. The link to the article below speaks of the many new varieties that are mildew resistant and discusses proper pruning techniques. Lovely photographs of lilacs in full bloom are a bonus.

And don’t  forget, Lilacs aren’t shade loving shrubs — they always bloom better with full or partial sun.

 

How Green is Your GardenWise

GardenWise on “Green” Garden Projects  

When a gardener asks,  “How can I make my garden ‘green’?”  The journey has  begun.  A thoughtful understanding that an outside space can have a positive impact on the environment is the first step to a green garden makeover.   An exciting weekend project that will bring immediate and amazing results is to reduce your lawn area by at least half. 

Substituting lawn areas with ground covers will provide beautiful colors and textures to your garden spaces.  Ground covers  retain moisture in the soil,  help prevent erosion, and  require significantly less water than grass, which will make your garden space eco-friendly.   Creeping thymes and Creeping Jenny are good choices for sunny spots, and  for shadier areas,  tiny creeping mints such as Mentha requienii will work well.  Some nice low-water  choices include Trailing Yellow Dalea and Trailing lantana. 

By adding some stone elements and pourous pavers into your plan, your garden space will come alive with wonderful garden paths that will add new dimensions to your garden spaces.