May 27, 2018

Top 10 Hydrangea & a few new!

When a new landscape client contacts us, the first step is to give them our 5 page survey. We want to understand their needs, wants and  desires. One question is "what are your favorite plants?" HYDRANGEA’S makes the list almost every time.
"What plants do you dislike?" They have never been on that list

Hydra in Latin = water, and they sure do love moisture

Here are my favorites, tried & true, in clients gardens, and in mine. 

Did you know there are 4 types? Actually 5, but I do not care for the Serrata variety, so there.....


0 Arborescens

Hands down, the INCREDIBALL!

Once this variety came out, I have not turned back. Remember the ANNABELLE? This is the improved version, the heads are much larger and…….they do not flop!

How about this, introducing the WEE WHITE!
A miniature version, looks like a bouquet of hand held flowers. Reaching to only 1 1/2 - 2’, the design opportunities are endless, in ground or containers
New! Meet the Mini-Mauvette. 
Purple/Mauve heads cover a diminutive plant of 3’ x 3’
Particularly cold hardy &; floriferous. 

0 Macrophylla

Ahhhh…..the blues

When I think of the Eastern shore, Nantucket in particular, I become supremely jealous. The blue tones are soil based; acidic  Here in Illinois, our soil is alkaline = pink hydrangeas
There are many soil remedies out there to change pinks to blue. Have at it I say, you may get really really lucky, most times, no such luck
My fav of this family is the LET’S DANCE series. Pinks, purples & blues that reliably rebloom. The ENDLESS SUMMER has been a big disappointment, not performing as advertised, at least in zone 5, not re-blooming reliably as promised


0 Paniculata

Strong, solid shrubs, the Paniculata’s boast a wide variety in varying heights & characteristics, the identifier is the large cone shaped flowers. Always opening white, they take on a degree of pink to red tones as cool weather prevails. 
Bobo  A lovely small variety. As do most, the cone shaped blooms start white, to pink. This variety is 24-36"h by wide

Vanilla Strawberry Stunning right?! As most start blooming mid summer, this beauty begins early June with colorations that defy nature. Growing to 6-7'h x 4-5'w

This and most Paniculata's come in tree form....smashing!



Diamond Rouge. White, turning pink to red, all at once. A great size for the garden; 4-5’h x 3-4’w

Little Limelight
Great size at 3-4’ x 3-4’, get color. White to chartreuse, to pink


 0 Petiolaris

Climbing Hydrangea. 
Flat white petals open in summer, did you know they can grow to 40+’? My husband is forever banned from using a chain saw as reckless abandon "overtook" him when he cut down mine

Here’s a tip….These boys need shade, plant on a north wall, maybe an east wall. And that is it
Come winter the undulating cinnamon bark adds winter interest
Love this application, over a stone wall, or fence, or embankment


0 Querqufolia

The darlings of a shaded garden, majestic with enormous leaves which turn burgundy in Autumn, and massive flower panicles, some exceeding 18"
All start out white, turning mauve to red as fall weather approaches. They range in size of 2’ to 15’

Need height? Try 'Alice Snow Queen' up to 15' x 7-8’w

A miniature? Seek out 'Munchkin' at 24"h x 24"w

The best part is bringing the flowers in, making gorgeous bouquets, the trick is cutting them at just the right time. Cup your hands around the blooms, if they feel a bit like crepe paper, they are ready to cut, too soft and they wilt immediately
Put the cut stems in a vase filled with cold water. As the water evaporates, the stems are dried, viola!

                       Happy weekend everyone!

                               With love
                                Debra




April 29, 2018

Creating Garden Sanctuaries


My idea for this post came from a client this morning. He was calling from his home in Florida, sitting under his arbor in full flower. He described the fragrance and the calm it brought him.
This space became his "office", a place to begin the day with coffee,   and for relaxing with wine at the end of the day.

"Can you recreate this ambience at my other home?" His desire for the sound of water completed the picture. Happily!
Ahhhh, this would do perfectly! Add a water feature & life is good
In tumultuous times, in particular, don’t we all need a refuge? A place to start and end our days that creates calm.
 I love to help create this inside homes however the garden is a built in refuge. And let me say, after our winter, I cannot wait to get outdoors, and that is coming from someone who loves winter, enough!

Where is your place to retreat? What elements soothe you? 
Here's my list


1 Comfortable Seating

1 Privacy

1 A view

1 The sound of water

1 Preferably an overhead setting dripping with vines

"Your" spot can be off in a corner somewhere, maybe just for you
Conveniently off your home
Or off on it's own.

Maybe you do not have a spot of land to create a retreat. What if you are on a suburban lot, subdivision.......where to start?
                          P R I V A C Y

Here we go, an overhang & a privacy fence
Strategically placed panels. Clients will say.
 "I like my neighbors, BUT, we want privacy." Most of us do, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Perhaps your refuge is a porch, certainly not total privacy, although you can create the ambiance of, a softening of exposure
Easy, & inexpensive draped cloth. A quick fix is to buy large drop cloths, they can withstand the weather
Yep, plants can aid in privacy, and here is the most hated plant I hear about, Arborvitae....,,.,":they split!"
I'll let you in on a trade secret; ONLY plant the 'Wintergreen' variety with a single trunk, the split will never happen. And, I love to give them flat tops like above, just a different look
TALL grasses can do it........now that's really inexpensive
 Here's something different......a movie screen, any taut, clean surface will do
 Now that we have the privacy and location determined, start bringing in the other components..........Water
 Remember…..the further the water falls, the louder the sound
 Or a softer sound with a Bubbler, we have some great ones in the shop right now
  This would do nicely! Comfy furniture for your retreat is a must

As long as I can put my feet up, I am happy
Fire is mesmerizing, this can be a consideration


 Whatever yours looks like, wherever it is, allow yourself that spot of comfort. It's good for the soul

Need assistance? Our landscape division can assist locally & 
long-distance













LOCAL NEWS FLASH………
All of our spring plants at the shop are on SALE!

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