One of the wonderful things about gardening is the way it leads people who often don't think of themselves as artistic into creative activity.
~ Noel Kingsbury (British garden writer, researcher, and educator) ... See MoreSee Less
These are the things I prize
And hold of dearest worth:
Light of the sapphire skies,
Peace of the silent hills,
Shelter of the forest, comfort of the grass,
Music of birds, murmur of little rills,
Shadows of clouds that swiftly pass,
And, after showers,
The smell of flowers
And of the good brown earth--
And best of all, along the way, friendship and mirth.
~Henry Van Dyke ... See MoreSee Less
BRINGING THE BEAUTY INSIDE
One of the great joys of having a garden is the privilege of being able to bring life and loveliness inside, any time of year.
For example, consider sprinkling pressed autumn leaves across your Thanksgiving table, creating stunning holiday wreaths with evergreen foliage, and, of course, showcasing cut flowers in the warmer months of the year.
Here are a few tips for cutting and preparing flowers for indoor display (shared by Emilie Barnes in her book, Time Began in a Garden):
~Gather flowers when the sun is low.
~Use a scissors or sharp knife and cut at a deep angle to provide as much surface area as possible for soaking up water.
~Place cut flowers into warm water as soon as possible after cutting; their stems begin to dry after just a few minutes. (Consider bringing a bucket of water with you so you can put flowers in water immediately after cutting.)
~Remove any leaves that will be underwater in the vase, as they are likely to decay.
~Add something to the water to provide energy, maintain acidity, and fight bacteria (such as commercial mixes from florists or a solution of one part lemon-lime non-diet soft drink to two parts water).
~Enjoy the walk around the garden as well as the final presentation!
Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& devotee of garden loveliness) ... See MoreSee Less
Even if she forgets the whole thing in her teens, later still, when she is grown up and has a first garden of her own, some misty memory of the pleasure of growing things will give her a head start over the gardener without any background, just as children who have spoken a second language, and forgotten it, can pick it up again in later years.
~ Anne Scott-James ... See MoreSee Less
DON'T KILL YOUR PLANTS BY OVER-MULCHING!
Although mulch can help to control weeds and erosion, retain moisture, and increase soil nutrients, it can threaten the well-being of any plant if applied too deeply. There are two important requirements to keep in mind when applying mulch:
1. PLANT STEMS SHOULD NEVER BE COVERED BY MULCH. The stem (or trunk) of a plant is prone to insect entry and rot when in contact with mulch or soil, so it is important to keep mulch well away from plant stems.To find where the stem or trunk begins, locate the root collar. This collar is the dividing line between the stem and the roots; it is usually found at the flared portion of the trunk to which the roots attach. The root collar should always be kept dry and visible; no mulch should be applied above this point. If a plant is buried too deeply, the root flare will not be visible. Instead, the trunk will look like a telephone pole when it disappears into the earth. (Unfortunately, this phenomenon is very common in our area!) If the root flare is buried by soil or mulch, remove the excess material to allow the root collar to remain clean and dry. When plants are mulched too deeply, girdling roots tend to grow. These roots grow from the bark of the trunk above the root collar, follow the soft mulch around the tree, and then take hold, eventually hardening into a noose that can strangle the plant.
2. MULCH SHOULD BE POROUS. The smaller roots that spread beyond the plant near the soil surface need to breathe. When mulch is too deep, the flow of water and air to and from the roots is cut off. The finer the mulch, the thinner the application should be. Fine, soil-like mulch should only be applied about one inch thick; coarse mulch can be applied to a depth of three inches. Previous years' mulch should be raked away from plants before adding new mulch, as it will have become compacted and, if not removed, can build up to a suffocating level.
At Hanselman Landscape, we often use Pine straw mulch (pictured below) in our gardens, since it provides attractive, breathable coverage and is easier to spread than hardwood mulches. We are pleased to have found a reliable source for this type of mulch so that our clients' plants can breathe easy!
Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (verified purchaser) ... See MoreSee Less
The world will never starve for want of wonders.
~ G. K. Chesterton ... See MoreSee Less
STEER CLEAR OF THE "BLACK DOT BANDIT"
A few years ago while I was visiting some clients, I saw what looked like black paint dots all over their white porch and siding, as high up as 10 feet. I wondered how the “paint spots” got there. As I found out, it was NOT paint.
I later discovered the culprit was Artillery fungus, a side effect of mulching with conventional, shredded hardwood mulches, dyed or natural. The fungus is ubiquitous in garden center hardwood mulches. In these hardwood mulches, the fungus produces masses of small grayish balls that emerge after a few months and burst open, releasing their contents. The contents are black, sticky spore packets. They can be shot up to distances of 6 meters and stick to whatever they hit. Furthermore, they don’t come off on their own. Although they don’t harm plants, walls and decks are another matter.
I have never observed this phenomenon with any of the Pine mulch products, such as Pine straw (photo below right) or Pine bark mulch. Using a Pine mulch product would be an easy way to avoid fungi such as the Artillery fungus. Resistance to fungi is just one of the many reasons we find Pine mulch products to be much better choices for healthy, beautiful gardens!
--Contributed by Sean Kramer
HL Garden Care Manager ... See MoreSee Less
The day before April
I walked in the woods
And I sat on a stone.
I sat on a broad stone
And sang to the birds.
The tune was God's making
But I made the words.
~Mary Carolyn Davies ... See MoreSee Less
Long before the first piece of sod is turned, long before the seeds are ordered or the plants purchased or the first buds begin to open, the garden takes root in the mind, the heart, the imagination. And even after the garden has begun, it continues to be fed from the gardener's dreams.
~ Emily Barnes (from Time Began in a Garden)
Whatever your garden dreams, we can help make them a reality.
CALL US NOW to get started! ... See MoreSee Less
On the drab and dreary (or snowy!!) days when winter and spring seem to be playing an interminable game of hide and seek, how delightful to have the varied shades, textures, and shapes of evergreens to brighten the landscape!
Contributed by Betty Hanselman
Gardener's wife (& evergreen enthusiast!) ... See MoreSee Less