Whether they are White Pine trees, Leyland Cypress trees, Arborvitae, or Norwegian Spruce trees, having an assortment of beautiful evergreen trees as part of the landscape will provide solace to the eye and soul, but they also provide decent protection as wind barriers to surrounding landscaping and buildings too states Dennis Sons of Garden Plants Nursery. Integrating evergreens as wind barriers into a quality landscape design or project is not a new concept, and is one which allows the natural elements and beauty of these varietals to thoroughly complement the immediate surroundings.
Consider, amongst the other evergreens, White Pine trees and Leyland Cypress trees. These two evergreens are not only hearty and beautiful; they are particularly beneficial as wind barriers. They both offer large amounts of horizontal coverage and both promise speedy growth rates. It is recommended that if planting trees which are not saplings, that they are spaced at approximately 10 feet apart, and that they are placed in a position where they receive plenty of natural sun and water. If the trees planted are adolescent trees, having two or three growth years, it can reasonably be expected that within two or three additional years, a formidable wind barrier will emerge.
Another benefit of incorporating evergreen trees into a landscape is they can, and do, provide substantial privacy. With today’s trends by townships, developers, and some Homeowners Associations toward restricting the use of traditional fencing, trees are a very reasonable and gorgeous alternative. If executed properly, a landscape design which assimilates a combination of large plant species with a blend of trees will provide both privacy and wind protection to the environs nearby.
Perhaps one of the most important reasons to consider trees as windbreaks is because it saves money. If a building or home is in a particularly hot, windy, dry, or cold region; and obviously during those long winter months in the northern parts of the country, trees performing as windbreaks can significantly lower the costs associated with heating and cooling as well. Some estimates claim upward of a 30% savings. Additionally, reduction in wind also plays a key role in reducing any drying effects upon vegetation protected by it.
Trees are wonderful creations and have extraordinary designs. They not only offer a natural habitat for numerous birds and other little creatures, they provide good protection against the effects of wind, and can, in the long run, save tons of that hard-earned money.
You don’t have to be an expert in the garden to grow a beautiful and vibrant flower beds and gardens full of perennials and all types of flowering plants. Once you learn the basics of what flowers and other garden plants need to survive and thrive, from there you’ll be able to navigate the task with ease.
The most important rule of thumb to be aware of when planting a flower garden is that sunlight is paramount. Without the required amount of sunlight, your flowers will not grow to their fullest and most colorful potential. So with this in mind, be sure to select a growing plot that has full sun exposure that lasts for a minimum of 6 to 8 hours, all day, every day.
Another extremely important aspect of flower planting to consider is ensuring that they have healthy and properly balanced soil. Most garden plants tend to thrive in soil that is loose and not particularly sandy. You want enough organic material within the soil composition to allow adequate water draining, however, it’s essential that the organic matter isn’t so dense that it makes the soil sticky. The flower roots need to be able to easily push through the soil, otherwise, the plant will not bloom properly, or may not even bloom at all. You will also need to be cognizant of the pH level of your soil before you start planting, as some adjustments in soil preparation may need to be completed before growing can begin.
When planting flowers, it’s important to know what the difference is between annuals and perennials, the two most basic types of plants. Annuals are plants that complete their entire life-cycle during a single growing season. They sprout, grow leaves and roots, blossom, disperses their seeds, and then die. Perennials on the other-hand are plants that spend several years and many growing cycles to reach maturity. The root systems of perennials are usually quite large, penetrating deep into the soil. When winter comes, the roots stay alive underground, while the plant aboveground temporarily goes dormant.
Another important consideration to make when planting flowers and they being grown strictly for aesthetic value or do they have a functional purpose such as acting as groundcovers. While many flowers are grown strictly for decorative purposes, some of them can act as groundcovers in order to attract excess water from a lawn or soil plot where unpleasant mud and standing water may otherwise form. If you have a troubled spot in your garden of barren or overly moist ground, then consider using groundcovers to fix the issue.
The common spike-rush is strikingly similar in look to a tall grass. But that is perhaps, where its similarities end. Typically found in lowland tropical wetlands, most often along banks of the water. Typically small groupings can get about as tall as four feet, sometimes with entire rushes submerged underwater. These perennial plants don’t actually have any leaves on them, instead of having developed sheath-like implements along their bases which are nutrient rich. One of the key giveaways that it is spike rush and not a tall grass, are the petite fruiting spikes on the tops of all blades. Not much soil is needed to plant this fast growing ground cover, in fact, two to five inches of water is more than adequate to produce full and hearty patches of spike-rush. They do well when planted on the edges of bodies of water or streams as they provide many nutrients to native bird and fish life. The thick clumps and wispy nature of the spike rush mean it can provide a good edge to a pond or property line that abuts water. Because of the dense nature of the rhizomes in and along its root system, the spike rush helps maintain excellent water clarity.
The popularity of spike-rush with landscapers in lowland tropical and wetlands is unmistakable. A hardy plant that can survive very much on its own and thrive in areas where many others would drown. Not only does this ground covering plant add a height to the edges of bodies of water, it is almost whimsical in nature when the wind hits it. There is even a bird in Australia that uses the stems and roots of spike-rush for much of its nutritional intake.The spike-rush is a wonderful addition to anyone looking to liven up water features or streams. Requiring little to no work to maintain is also a plus.
Wetland Trees for Natural Habitats
It may seem pretty amazing that wetlands can become lush, dense forests in a matter of a decade. Some native plants and shrubs originated in wetlands and created their own natural habitat in which to flourish. Wetlands are alive with many varieties of trees and shrubs. New species are discovered to be naturally cross bred when seedlings grow together in a single mound of moist soil. The soil’s moisture provides fertility in these natural habitats. Wetlands soil is loaded with naturally occurring nutrients. Today, a tree or shrub can be purchased at a garden nursery to create a wonderfully colorful landscape.
The wonders of these native plants are the numerous species. There are 35 known species of this brilliantly colored, flowering shrub. It serves well as a small tree. This plant is known for its dense grape-like clusters in deep scarlet. Other species may produce white or pink clusters. When these clusters begin to dry on the stems, they are used as a spice in Middle Eastern recipes for the lemon tang it adds to a variety of dishes. Sumac grows to about 32 feet in height, depending on the species.
This delightful tree is seen most often along river banks and near streams. Its seeds germinate quickly and from these seedlings, this tree can grow to a height of ten to 25 feet. Box elder is recognized easily by the striations in its bark. These are deep, gnarly and give the trunk a classic appeal. In summer, the leaves are a deep emerald. By autumn, the foliage turns pale yellow with tinges of green.
This famous tree has a number of species to the delight of gardeners. In the northeast, sugar maples are responsible for the riot of red and orange foliage that marks this autumn season. It grows up to 30 feet in height. Many prefer the deep purple of the majestic King Crimson Maple with its perfect spherical shape and slim silver gray trunk. Red maple trees are among the most common and like the King Crimson maple grows to about 30 feet in height. Such is the fame of the maple tree that it decorates Canada’s national flag.
The mighty oak trees are common to North America. They may be red, white or a “Five Point” oak that produces acorns. The oldest oak in the US is located near Charleston, South Carolina. The Texas Live Oak supports Spanish moss and remains ever green.
With their thick masses of branches and tiny leaves, privet bushes would make great additions to any landscape along with being terrific privacy hedges. This is especially true of varieties with golden coloration. Clusters of diminutive flowers add to their attractiveness. Privet hedges really shine, though, when applied to topiary. Presenting a solid, leafy cover combined with a naturally compact size makes them perfect for sculpting with a pair of hedge trimmers.
A Gift From the Romans
While many privets, like golden privet, are hybrids, it was the European privet, ligustrum vulgare, that was employed along with several other types of shrubbery by the Romans over 2,000 years ago to create the very first topiary displays. The art form is commonly credited to Linnaeus Marius Calvin’s, an associate of Julius Caesar. Never before had plants been used to produce everything from geometric shapes to elaborate carvings of animals and other objects. Ironically, the Chinese never pursued this approach to pruning, yet the vast majority of present-day plants are derived from various Chinese species.
These shrubs have a few things going for them as topiary material or even ordinary shrubbery. They not only possess a thick mat of leaves, they’re rapid growing too. New leaves swiftly develop over fresh pruning. While they’re deciduous, some privets can handle severely cold northern weather. They’re also tolerant of salt and air pollution, so they’re fantastic privacy hedges along roads. Some species, the California privet as an example, generate panicles of delicate white flowers that are decorative in themselves. Also, these flowers go on to produce berries that provide nourishment for birds.
The Right Shrub
The act of pruning these shrubs stimulates twig and leaf growth, so frequent clippings of at least four or five times makes them that much denser. Getting the best results, though, depends on the particular type. California plants, originating in Japan, got its name because it adapts nicely to the state’s climate by becoming somewhat evergreen. They’re not well-suited to especially harsh winters, though. For true winter toughness, the Amur privet is a great choice. A native of the Amur river region of China, it’s sometimes referred to as the northern privet, and it has the extra asset of being fairly drought-tolerant. Another cold-resistant variety hailing from Japan is the regal border privet. Like nearly all privets, the regal border privet can handle some shade.
Tammy at Tennessee Wholesale Nursery in Tennessee, a leading privet supplier says privet plants are best sellers for many reasons: They make excellent border evergreens, privacy barrier plants and require very little care.
Daylilies, Hosta, Virginia Blue Bells, Columbine And Dutchman’s Breeches
While raised beds have traditionally been the domain of the vegetable gardener, perennial plants such as Daylilies, Hosta, Virginia Blue bells, Columbine And Dutchman’s Breeches have much to recommend them to this type of garden. All thrive under the favorable conditions of a raised bed and each species has it’s own, unique features which make them perennial favorites.
Daylilies could easily fill a raised bed all by themselves.They come in a range of sizes and enticing colors, and bloom from early June until September. There are even evening blooming varieties for when you want to linger on the patio on those warm summer nights.
Although the individual blooms only last a day or so, a good variety will have tons of blossoms over a long period. The blooms can range in size from 3 to 5 inches, and be either round or triangular in shape. They can be planted, or transplanted, at any time during the growing season, although spring is the best time to rework the beds of these forgiving plants.
You could fill several raised beds with Hosta and never run out of choices. While not especially noted for their bloom, the hostas come in so many sizes and shapes that their inclusion in the raised bed perennial garden is almost mandatory. More so if your raised bed occupies a shaded location. Hostas appreciate the good drainage and rich soil a raised bed affords them. Again spring is the best time to divide and transplant these hardy plants.
Both these plant species make excellent choices for a raised bed all by themselves but your garden will go from interesting to amazing if you mingle other perennials among them. This is where early blooming plants come into their own.
Virginia Blue Bells, with their clusters of flowers on coiled stems, spring to life in early April. Typically grown in drifts, in naturalized gardens, they are equally at home grown in clusters in the raised bed garden. They add early season texture and color at a time when the summer blooming plants are still getting their act together.
Just when the bells are starting to fade, along comes the lovely Columbine. With showy, bell shaped, spurred flowers, in colors that range from white to blue to pink, red and pale green hanging above lacy foliage, they contrast beautifully with the more sturdy foliage of our other perennials. Although the plants aren’t noted for longevity, they self-seed freely.
Dutchman Breeches is a fine choice for use with mixed perennial plants in the raised bed garden. Like the others, it appreciates the same conditions while providing it’s own special charms. Another early spring bloomer, Dutchman Breeches is a great choice as a companion for other shade loving plants.
Buy all your shade loving and raised bed plants at Garden Plants Nursery. Where affordability meets economically.