Posts Tagged ‘landscape design’

Private gardens by world renowned landscape designer Jacques Wirtz.

October 14th, 2014

Famous for his cloud hedges! We absolutely love his dreamlike gardens.

His firm is based in Antwerp together with his sons. http://www.wirtznv.be/

See more on our Pinterest board: http://nl.pinterest.com/belgiumdesign/jacques-wirtz/

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How Home Landscape Design Affects the Real Estate Value

October 23rd, 2012

Home landscaping is simply, transforming, rearranging, and improving the curb appeal features of the grounds around your home into a more pleasant piece of property from the aesthetic standpoint and for practical use. For example, the garden should have plants or grasses; or the big tree in your backyard needs to be trimmed; or planting complementary foundation plants along the foundation of the house. These decisions can provide a big boost on the value of your real estate. This is especially useful if you plan to list your home for sale.

A neat, attractive home landscape design can increase the value of the home by as much as 15%. So if you have a $300,000 piece of real estate, you’ve just earned another $45,000 by just adding well designed landscaping. The increased value of your home will not be seen until you decide to place it on the market. The viability of your home does not only lie on the home itself but on the taste of the potential buyers. In other words, an overly personalized home landscape can be expensive but not really viable compared to simple yet attractive design. ?The more detailed the landscape, the more work involved in maintaining it.

It is, therefore, important to make sure that you know what type of home landscaping design is more appealing to homebuyers in a span of years so that you keep the value of your home up and at the same time, you attract homebuyers whenever you do decide to sell it.

English: Part of a landscape and design projec...

English: Part of a landscape and design project by M. D. Vaden of Oregon, in Beaverton, Oregon, with a tree, shrubs, ground covers and ornamental grasses (including blue fescue, Japanese snowbell tree and Nandina domestica ‘Gulf Stream’. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Take note of the following tips to learn the best home landscaping designs for the market:

  • ?Internet, books, magazines, and television shows provide great information about the kinds of landscaping designs that are currently selling.
  • Observe home landscapes of other homes in similar neighborhoods. Don’t over landscape for your neighborhood.
  • Seek professional help from people in the landscape design business. Hiring a landscape architect for a do-it-yourself landscape design can be well worth the hourly fee.
  • If you don’t want to hire professionals, then research and read articles on the basics of landscape design.
  • Ask your real estate agent what is normal landscape for your pricing range and what are the latest gardening trends on home design.

You may have followed these tips but you cannot fully guarantee that your landscape design will help your home sell. Take note that your potential buyers seek other factors other than design:

  • Special elements, such as waterfalls, fountains, and artificial ponds are some of the most sought after landscape elements that buyers look for. It is surely an attention grabber.
  • Low maintenance home landscape design. Different buyers will have different tastes when it comes to the design, but they will surely look for one thing: a low maintenance home landscape design.
  • Year-round visual interests. Shrubs, evergreens and other plants that grow all year round are great addition to your garden since buyers usually look for homes that grow plants that never fade during the winter.

Selling your home must start from the outside with curb appeal. That is why it is very important that you have a good landscape design to increase not only the value of your home, but also the viability of it.

How Home Landscape Design Affects the Real Estate Value by Greenwood Nursery.

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Gardening Tips for Beginning Gardeners

October 23rd, 2012

If you are a beginning gardener, don’t be afraid to delve right in, as it isn’t meant to be difficult. Once you feel the connection, you’ll be hooked on gardening. If you don’t know how to start, there is always an avenue of knowledge for you: gardening neighbors or friends, gardening books and gardening magazines to read, watch for new gardening trends, and the Internet to browse for more information.

English: old books in Chateau de Breteuil, France

English: old books in Chateau de Breteuil, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At one time, it seemed gardening only appealed to the older folks. But nowadays, people of all ages, children, young adults, adults, and older folks alike enjoy gardening. They see gardening as a refreshing and rewarding hobby. With all the benefits that you get, being a busy, working person should never be used as a hindrance to start growing your own plants indoors or outdoors. You will see the big difference when you get to reap your own fruits of labor.

Would you enjoy a bed of beautiful, colorful flowers, a country garden full of wild flowers and shrubs, manicured lawn strategically placed with shrubs and trees, or just a simple backyard with lots of pots and containers filled with amazing plants? It’s all within your reach to have. ?Learn the basics of landscape design.

For a starter, you will need these basic tools: trowel, spade, lawnmower, rake, and plants of your choice to grow. It would help a lot if you have a garden plan based on the space that is available. It will not be difficult to place flowerbeds, lawns, or paths.

The kinds of garden plants that you will grow will depend on what you want, the availability, and the climate of your location. There are plants that grow only for the season, called annuals, and there are others that can be cultivated to grow year after year, often referred to as perennial. If you consider yourself a hobby gardener, then you would want to have plants that do not grow more than a few seasons. These are perennial plants that allow you to tend to things other than gardening.

If you don’t know what plants to start growing, you can always ask assistance from your online plant nursery. The expert staff will know what plants will thrive specifically considering the climate in your area. Also, you can use the Greenwood Nursery Plant Finder online to narrow down your plant search.

The small young plants are great choice if you want to have an automatic decorative display on your garden. Smaller, younger plants are easier to plant and require less watering and care to get growing than larger container plants do.

Gardening should be this fun and exciting, and, of course, rewarding, even if you are a beginner. Ready for more? Here is a free online gardening course courtesy of BBC Gardener’s World. Learn at your own pace.

Learn the basics of landscape design to understand placement of plants and how they are used.

Gardening Tips for Beginning Gardeners by Greenwood Nursery.

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Selecting and Planting Ground Cover Plants

May 19th, 2011

purple wintercreeper

Image by annethelibrarian via Flickr

Ground cover plants are often forgotten in garden or landscape design until a problem occurs such as erosion. For erosion issues consider evergreen ground cover plants such as?vinca,?ivy or?wintercreeper. To add color, select flowering ground covers such as?creeping phlox,?drift roses, or?ground cover sedum.

Typical spacing for ground cover plants is 12 to 18 inches apart. Bare root plants can be planted 6 to 8 inches apart for a quicker fill in. See box below to estimate how many plants you will need.

When planting on sloped areas, use an independent sprinkler, the type that attaches to a hose. The sprinkler will need to run until water soaks down several inches. The time for this will vary so it is best to check the soil each time it is run. How often to water will depend on local factors, but in many cases can be done every 3 to 5 days after planting for the first 6 to 8 weeks for the plants to fully establish a newer root system and begin growing.

Checking the soil allows you to monitor and make the proper adjustments. If the soil is extremely dry after 3 days, you may need to water every 2 days instead. Rainfall isn’t dependable and often just runs down the surface of the ground without being absorbed into the soil.

Mulching around ground covers can be difficult, especially on sloped areas. For sloped areas, I recommend putting down a thin layer of straw. The straw will protect the young new plants from the sun’s heat, heavy rainfall, which can wash bare root plants out of their holes and down the hill, as well as keep the soil cool and moist. Straw decomposes and helps to build up the soil. Once the plants have fully established and are beginning to grow, any remaining straw can be removed and mixed into other areas of the garden or landscape.

Uses for?Ground Covers:

  • Erosion control
  • Defining spaces
  • Traffic barrier
  • Transition areas
  • Small spaces
  • Where grass won’t grow

Considerations when selecting a?Ground Cover:

  • Height – tall or low
  • Sun or shade
  • Clay or sandy soil
  • Moist or dry area
  • Flowering or insignificant flowering
  • Seasonal or evergreen

Use our navigation filter?on the left hand side of the?ground cover page to narrow down ground cover selections based on the above criteria for your needs.

 

Determining the Number of Plants Needed:

Square feet of planting area Spacing (in inches)
6 in. 8 in. 9 in. 12 in. 18 in
100 400 225 178 100 45
200 800 450 356 200 90
300 1,200 675 535 300 135
400 1,600 900 712 400 180
500 2,000 1,125 890 500 225
600 2,400 1,350 1,068 600 270
700 2,800 1,575 1,246 700 315
800 3,200 1,800 1,425 800 360
900 3,600 2,025 1,602 900 405
1,000 4,000 2,250 1,780 1,000 450

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Landscaping Ideas – Getting Started

November 17th, 2010

LandscapeDesign101

Even the simplest landscape and gardening projects can quickly become overwhelming. To make it easier, I have created this How-To on getting started with your own landscape plan which includes everything you need with landscape tips and ideas to information on helping you with long term maintenance for your home and landscape.

There is, also, a detailed questionnaire to assist you in working out your needs and wants in your plan. Whether your home is new construction, new to you, or you’re just renewing your landscape, this will ease the frustration of getting started. C

Click here for Greenwood Nursery’s Landscape Design 101.

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Selecting Plants for Borders and Edging

October 25th, 2010


Selecting plants for bordering or edging a garden or path can be just as frustrating as accessorizing a room or an outfit. You want the overall picture to look pulled together with your choices. I like to divide plants for this purpose into two divisions: compact and spreaders. These plants grow in the 3 foot and under height range. Compact plants are just that. They will grow within a defined space only getting slightly larger over the following years. If the area needs a strong barrier, consider a low growing shrub or grass such as Hameln Grass, Spiraea Magic Carpet, Cotoneaster Coral Beauty, Hypericum Blue Velvet or the dwarf Nandina Firepower as they will work hard year round to keep the garden defined.

Spreaders and drapers will creep into the garden mixing with the other plants or spill over the edge of the garden bed. They will work well in any garden, but can really show their talents when planted along the edge of a multi level garden. Along the edge or border of a garden is a key spot to introduce additional colors and textures. If the primary color of the garden or landscape is green, for example, edge the bed with contrasting color plants such as Heuchera Plum Pudding or Black Mondo Grass. If the garden is alive with lots of color, then going low key would be more effective with something like an ornamental grass, liriope, thyme, lavender plants or dwarf boxwoods.

Here’s a listing of plants that I have complied for these 2 divisions:

Compact plants for borders and edging:

Grass Hameln, Chives, Heucheras, Aster, Hostas, Ferns-such as Autumn Brilliance, Spiraea Magic Carpet, Lavenders, City Line Hydrangeas, Liriope, Armeria Dusseldorf Pride, Veronica Royal Candles, Cotoneaster Coral Beauty, Barberry Crimson Pygmy, Hypericum Blue Velvet, Nandina Dwarf Firepower, Daylilies, Sedums, Grass Black Mondo, Grass Acorus Minimus, Grass Acorus Gramineus Ogon, Potentilla Gold Drop,

Spreaders and Drapers:

Wooly Thyme, Red Creeping Thyme, Creeping Phlox, Creeping Rosemary, Elfin Thyme, Hypericum Calycinum, Drift Roses

This listing of plants should give you many ideas of what size, colors, and type of plants you can use for edging your garden or bordering your landscape. Don’t feel limited to these varieties.

Be creative with plants. They offer so much color and texture. That’s part of the fun and the learning experience of gardening.

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How to Make the Garden Safe for Pets and Children

September 21st, 2010

When designing a new landscape or re-evaluating an older landscape, don’t forget to work in spaces especially for children such as: a sandbox, jungle gym, and/or open grassy areas for football or net games like volleyball and badminton (not just for children). A sandbox or jungle gym can be tucked into a corner or other small area. For jungle gym or other physical activities a thick layer of shredded bark mulch on the ground will help to reduce the impact of falls.

Introduce children to gardening and yard maintenance early on so that as they develop, they gain an appreciation and respect for plants and the landscape. These learning sessions are the perfect opportunity for teaching them about plants and how they grow. This reduces the chances of children ingesting any poisonous parts of plants.

For those with pets, work into your?garden or landscape?an area for them to run and play. Gravel can be irritating to their paws and hot in summer, so use shredded bark mulch for this area which also works great for their potty areas as well. Place dog houses in protected areas such as nearer the house/garage or tucked into corners (great where there is a fence for additional protection). Sun and wind protection are other points to keep in mind.

Be flexible. Some dogs just like to dig and no matter what, you can’t keep some plants. I’ve experienced this with my dogs. I replaced a couple of small trees damaged by a freeze a few years ago with dynamite crape myrtles. The next day, I came home to the plants dug up and dried out. I had to replace with 2 more new plants. The following day, I came home to them dug up and dried out, again. The dogs were scolded, of course, but we didn’t want to waste, yet, 2 more plants. So, I planted the newest crape myrtles in large containers with a few annuals. It isn’t what I really wanted for the landscape, but, this is a spot on the outside of my garden gate, so the container thing works fine. Planting in containers and raised beds can be a good solution for keeping plants off the ground so that they aren’t dug up, time and time again.

Both young and small plants are at risk of having dogs urinate on them, which if allowed to continue, will eventually kill the plants. Sprinkle cayenne pepper over the area and around the base of the plants.

Neighborhood cats can be a big problem. Two successful ways of keeping them out of landscapes and gardens is to lay pine cones around the area or lay sections of chicken wire, secure to ground and cover ever so lightly with mulch. The pine cones, chicken wire or anything prickly will help to keep them at bay.

Here is a short listing of plants that are generally safe to use around pets and children:

  • Bamboo
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Crape Myrtles
  • Forsythia
  • Cat Mint
  • Chives
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Heucheras
  • Sage
  • Herbs (many other varieties including annual varieties)
  • Sedum
  • Tulip poplar

This is just a short list of plants that can be planted safely in the garden. The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) has a great site with information on a listing of the 17 top toxic plants to pets, great articles on pet care (dogs, cats and horses), and animal poison control hotlines.

Poisonous Plants

Pawprints and Purrs, Inc is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating pet owners, preventing animal cruelty and pet abuse. Check out their website and you will find articles on everything from pet ownership to traveling with your pet to alternative medicines for pets.

If you have a question about whether or not a specific plant is toxic or safe, always ask your pet’s veterinarian.

The following link is to a short article on backyard safety for kids. It offers some good advice to keeping children safe and happy at play.

Backyard Safety for Kids

 

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Thuja Green Giants – Are they really fast growing trees?

September 11th, 2010

The Thuja Green Giants are touted as one of the fastest growing evergreen trees on the commercial market. Will they really live up to this adoration?

Here at the nursery, we have grown and sold the Thuja Green Giants for almost 10 years. The plants are hybrids so they are propagated by cuttings as they will not come back true from seed. Some years we field transplanted some of the cuttings to grow on for larger projects. When field transplanting, we typically used Thuja Green Giant liners that were 6 to 8 inches tall. At the end of the first growing season, the field plants varied from 10 inches to 30 inches tall. By the end of the second summer, their heights often reached 22 to 40 inches.

Arborvitaes are a slow growing plant variety (generally less than 12 inches per year of new growth), which is why I believe when this crossed hybrid was found to be a more rapid grower, it become the “spokestree” for the variety. I do not know from where the studies about the extreme growth rate came, but in my own experience, I haven’t seen the extreme of 5 feet of new growth per year on this plant.

About 4 years ago, I lined the entrance of my drive with over 100 green giants (18 inches tall). Being far away from the house, I was not able to regularly water them as they needed and, to make the situation worse, the soil was extremely compacted. After the stress of their first year planted having to survive through drought, they pulled through amazingly and I only lost 2, which is pretty impressive. Today the green giants that line my drive are now about 6 feet tall.

Green Giants, as my drive way example describes, will grow in the poorest of soil. However, compacted soil seems to stunt their growth considerably. If you have compacted soil, till the area mixing in bags of aged compost or aged manure mix and coarse sand. Till the area going down as deep as possible (at least 12 inches deep). This will work to help with drainage and instantly put nutrients back into the soil. Then, plant the green giants. Giving them the best possible start for growing is always the best encouragement.

For the first year, apply supplemental water as necessary to keep the soil cool and moist. Apply shredded bark mulch around each plant going out at least 20 inches from the base of the plant leaving a welled area of about 3 to 4 inches at the base of the plant so that the bark does not touch the trunk of the plant. This welled area is for watering and air circulation.

Their first year in the ground the plants will work to develop a stronger and deeper root system. Fertilizing is not recommended during this time as it encourages more top growth rather than root expansion. Any top growth during this time is a plus, but don’t expect it as this will not happen to any extent until the following year.

The green giant grows a little differently. Where most arborvitae grow as a whole, this one sends up a vine looking leader from the top. This leader hardens off and over the next few years it begins to build the tree around itself sending up the leader again each year. A little odd, but you will see what I mean.

While I am not a fan of seeing the Thuja?Green Giants. advertised as one that puts on amazing growth each year, these are plants that be used for hedges, privacy screens and even as specimen trees. Having real expectations that it will not grow as quickly as some of the faster growing deciduous trees do, but appreciate its uniqueness and you will not be disappointed.

Visit with us at Greenwood Nursery. We’re here. Just let us know if you need any help.

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Foundation Plants – Adding Curb Appeal to Your Home

September 11th, 2010

Drummond Castle and gardens.

Image via Wikipedia

Foundation plants are shrubs used for planting along homes and building to soften their look, enhance curb appeal and tie it to the surrounding landscape.

Some considerations to keep in mind when choosing these shrubs are:

– Style/Color

– Size

– Scale

– Seasons

The style of your house should be one of the biggest factors in selection foundation shrubs. For example, a colonial house should have different plants compared to a house that is of southwest style or modern style. The colonial would have more traditional, tight growing greenery such as boxwood whereas the southwest style home would have spiky type plants to give a desert feeling and the modern house having open, more free growing plants. Choose shrubs with colors that compliment the color of the house and don’t blend into it. A red brick would absorb shrubs such as the Cistena Plum Shrubs with deep red leaves, yet those same plants would appear striking along side a white frame house. The gorgeous blooms of the Nikko Blue Hydrangea would be wasted planted in front of a blue vinyl sided house.

Typical anchoring bushes are generally smaller growing (under 6 feet) and planted on the corners with somewhat larger growing plants. The length of the windows will usually dictate their height. If the windows on the house start at 3 feet above the ground, then select low growing shrubs that grow no taller than 3 1/2 feet. Placing taller greenery in front of windows is not good for security.

Scale is a consideration most forgotten. Small houses should have smaller growing plants to keep in its scale and not overwhelm the house as these plants mature. Large scale houses can comfortably accommodate larger growing shrubs and trees without the house seeming to disappear.

Anchor plants should offer color and texture for at least 3 seasons if not all 4. This is the reason that evergreen shrubs, both conifer and broadleaf, are often used for this purpose. Try to plant at least 50% of the foundation plants in evergreens to keep greenery around the house year around. Planting all deciduous anchor plants creates a bare house over the winter months. Select a few choice flowering shrubs or small trees, perennials and ornamental grasses to further extent color and texture in the other seasons.

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The 4 Most Used Ground Cover Plants for Problem Areas

September 11th, 2010

Groundcover plants are often forgotten in garden or landscape design until a problem occurs such as erosion. Here you will learn about ground cover plant varieties that are most commonly used to solve problems in the garden and landscape.

Vinca, both vinca major and vinca minor, is one of the most versatile groundcovers. It grows in both full sun and shade. An evergreen, vinca forms a mat securely attaching to the soil. The sprouts grow, fall over and form a new root system where they touch the ground. Vinca major grows taller, in the 12 inch and up range, before falling to the ground, whereas, vinca minor is a shorter tighter grower. While either plant variety can become invasive when left to grow without any control measures, they can generally be grown within confined spaces with some maintenance.

The English Ivy and Baltic Ivy, also, grow in both sun and shaded spaces, but do require more attention when planted near foundations, as they are dedicated climbers. Their climbing causes long-term damage, whether on larger plants or buildings, so preventative measures should be taken, such as pruning some of the taller growing sprouts. With that said, ivy is a beautiful groundcover and a great choice for shaded landscape settings.

With the many varieties of pachysandra available, there is sure to be one that will work in most any situation. Pachysandra terminalis is most commonly used but the variegated and Green Sheen varieties are now becoming more widely available to offer more choices. Growing mostly in areas of partially sunny to filtered shade, pachysandra will get off to a slower start compared to vinca or ivy.

Truly underused is ground cover euonymus. Often called wintercreeper, there are many different varieties with as many different looks. Purple wintercreeper is the most common variety. The Euonymus Woolong Ghost is really interesting with its dark green leaves spiked with white veins. The Woolong Ghost is mat forming and can climb if given the opportunity. The Euonymus Kewensis offers tiny green leaves and is an excellent creeper. The Kewensis really shows its talents when planted in spaces where it can drape over such as retaining walls or rock gardens. Creeping euonymus varieties grow in full sun to partially shaded areas.

Typical spacing for ground cover plants is 12 to 18 inches apart. Bare root plants can be planted 6 to 8 inches apart for a quicker fill in.

When planting on sloped areas, use an independent sprinkler, the type that attaches to a hose. The sprinkler will need to be run until water soaks down several inches. The time for this will vary so it is best to check the soil each time it is run. How often to water will depend on local factors, but in many cases should be done every 3 to 5 days after planting for the first 6 to 8 weeks for the plants to fully establish a newer root system and begin growing. Checking the soil allows you to monitor and make the proper adjustments. If the soil is extremely dry after 3 days, you may need to water every 2 days instead. Rainfall isn’t dependable and often just runs down the surface of the ground without being absorbed into the soil.

Mulching around groundcovers can be difficult, especially on sloped areas. For sloped areas, I recommend putting down a thin layer of straw. The straw will protect the young new plants from the sun’s heat, heavy rainfall, which can wash bare root plants out of their holes and down the hill, as well as keep the soil cool and moist. Straw decomposes and helps to build up the soil. Once the plants have fully established and are beginning to grow any remaining straw can be removed and mixed into other areas of the garden or landscape.

Whether you choose vinca, ivy, pachysandra or groundcover euonymus, these groundcover plants are going to be the best choices for the job. With limited amount of care and maintenance, they are quick to establish a newer root system and begin new top growth on their way to solving your landscaping problem.

Visit with us at Greenwood Nursery. We’re here. Just let us know if you need any help.

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