AOL’s DIY Life Network is GardenWise
I worked Francesca Clarke at AOL’s DIY Life Network on a feature story about creating green structures with trees and shrubs for privacy in your garden and outdoor spaces. There are many options available for all budgets and timelines, depending on how soon do you need a privacy screen from a neighboring home or structure and how quickly you want to block unwanted views. Pictured is a GardenWise garden in DC which includes Black Bamboo which serves as a screen.
You can read the story in its entirety here – http://www.diylife.com/2011/04/25/privacy-fence/
I recommend to my clients if they have the space is to off-set the shrubs you use for a privacy screen and consider using different heights for a more natural affect. Also, if a plant dies with staggered plant scheme along with the varying heights, the gap created by the dead plant is not so obvious. The back row should have the tallest plants that will create the screen. The middle row should have medium height plants, such as a smaller deciduous shrub such as an Annabelle Hydrangea, which will offer texture contrast and offer summer color. The front row should be composed of your shortest plants and evergreen ground cover, such as variegated Liriope, which is grass like and has the added bonus feature of a late summer spiky lavender colored flower. Another striking affect I like is to use the purple coneflower and the Russian sage against the pendulous white blossoms of the hydrangea will be smashing. Unity in an outside space is the best way to quickly provide a stimulating visual.
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.
Watering in the Heat
It’s important to keep your trees and shrubs properly watered in extreme heat, especially if rain storms aren’t rolling through your area. Heat waves cause damage, so take the time now to give your trees and shrubs a healthy life for years to come.
Birch trees and other trees native to cool areas will be the first to experience drought stress, so water them generously. And keep in mind, many drought-related tree problems may not show up until fall, and evergreen trees and shrubs won’t wilt to show they need water — so pay attention to all trees and shrubs in your landscape!
Newly planted trees and shrubs need a couple of good soakings each week. It’s also important to water the area under your tree’s canopy. If you have an irrigation system, adjust a few heads to soak this area — you can also place a soaker hose through the lower branches of your tree. Keep in mind that trees and shrubs planted in the last few years will also require extra water, as will established trees.
The quickest way to go? Get a glass of water for yourself, grab a hose for 20 minutes, and generously water your trees and shrubs a few times a week.
An Often Watered GardenWise, Inc. Garden in DC
Mid-November Changes for Spring
Adding trees, bushes and bulbs will create changes to add big excitement to your Spring garden. For a less expensive garden adventure, think about rearranging and replanting some existing shrubs.
If you’re planning on getting your bulbs in this weekend, before digging, decide on your planting scheme by laying bulbs on top of the ground where you want them to grow. Irregular patterns will create a more natural display. No matter what kind f bulbs you’re planting (daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinth,) a good general rule to make sure you have the best possible display of flowers is to set them at a depth equal to three times their diameter. Place your bulbs in their planting holes pointy side up, and fill your holes with soil, firming it to eliminate air pockets and to secure bulbs in place.
With a river of red tulips, a burst of cool Scilla blue, and striking yellow Narcissus to rival the sun’s brightness waiting for you in early Spring, winter becomes much more tolerable!
Mid- November is a great time to move trees and shrubs into new positions and to plant new ones so they become established before winter arrives. For trees and shrubs, plant about a half-inch deeper than the pot surface. With bare root trees, plant up to the nursery mark, the line of soil on the stem that shows the previous planting depth. Firm them in to eliminate air pockets around the roots which can lead to rot and the plant moving around during rough weather.
Yellow Twig Dogwood
This week, GardenWise concludes its five favorite Garden Delights, in no particular order, for Fall 2011. Yesterday we looked at the strking Aster, heated things up with the Dwarf Burning Bush, and earlier marveled at both the Toad Lily and Pink Muhly Grass. Today we’re showing off the Yellow Twig Dogwood.
Many know of the Red Twig Dogwood, which is a beautiful shrub I enjoy for the fall. In fact, I have some on my own property, but my Dogs don’t play alone — they have companions. They play with the lesser known Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera,) which provides a beautiful yellow color, and makes the list of “must have” garden delights for Fall 2011.
I like the Yellow Twig Dogwood for its bright yellow branch and twig color which are also fantastic for Winter. This shrub develops in great clumps and is a wonderful contrast against any Red Twig. Oval-shaped green leaves turn to orange-red in Fall, followed by white fruit tinged with green. The Yellow twig dogwood will tolerate wet soil, and can be grown in full sun or part shade. Some companion plants for the Yellow Dog is a variegated hosta, or something with a dark green larger textured leaf, such as Helleborus ‘White Lady’, also one of my new favorites.
I have to mention an additional variety of the Red Twig Dogwood — the Variegated Red Twig (Cornus alba ‘Elegantissima) which has a very bold variegated leaf that will add interest to your garden year round. I have two clumps in the front of my property that makes my front yard with its predominately all white garden flowers is a strong statement that passersby always stop to ask about.
August Color for Your Garden
Nothing can ruin a garden experience faster than the August heat and a potential lack of water for your plantings and containers. It’s easy to forget how often to water in the August heat. Plan now for August, the toughest summer month on your garden. It’s also a great time to take a closer look at your gardens and add color with shrubs that flower in August, such as panicle hydrangea types or rose of Sharon. Perennials, which flower the most in August include Goldstrum rudbeckia, Chinese astilbe types, tube clematis and many hostas.
And remember, keep watering your gardens throughout the summer months! If you think ahead now, the summer month you will spend the most time outdoors, August, will be the best ever!