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Wednesday, 08 April 2015 08:50
Thursday, 26 March 2015 08:59
What makes a plant great for the average Chicago home landscape? Making it through a cold winter and hot summer comes to mind. But for many gardeners looking to beautify their residential yard, the answer is placing flowers and plants that deer and rabbits won’t eat!
These popular denizens of The Lurie Garden and The Chicago Botanic Garden do all that and then some. They’re forgiving, well behaved, and will thrive any sunny spot in the yard regardless of soil type (wet, dry, clay, or sand). Perfect for any Chicagoland home landscape!
Here’s a list of the perennials (they come back every year):
Allium ‘Summer Beauty’ - Ornamental onion (this one will not reseed all over the garden)
Monarda ‘Raspberry Wine’ - Bee Balm
Amsonia tabernaemontana - Willowleaf Blue Star
Calamintha nepeta var. nepeta ‘Montrose White’ - Calamint
Huechera ‘Autumn Bride’ – Coral Bells
Persicaria ‘ Firetail’ - Knotweed
Geranium ‘Karmina’ - Cransbill
Ajuga (try ‘Chocolate Chips’ – it’s smaller than the others and tucks in very well around other plants, great groundcover!) – Bugleweed
Alchemilla – Lady’s Mantle
Solidago – Goldenrod
Chelone - Turtlehead
Here’s a list of some great annuals (need to be planted year to year). Some of these will not be happy in wet soils:
Thursday, 19 March 2015 09:21
Next time you see a home in the Chicago area with a beautiful assortment of plants and flowers, keep in mind that those plants and flowers were likely ordered the previous year.
That’s because annual growers choose the flower varieties and quantities they will grow based on what they think they can sell. Those decisions are usually made the year before so the seed can be ordered and the plants can be started sometime in winter of the year they will be sold.
In other words, it takes about six months to bring a plant from seed to sale to installation in your Chicago area landscape.
So why order early? When we order early we can ask for just about anything we want. Remember that lovely flower you saw at the Botanic Garden last year and couldn’t find anywhere? Order early and it can be grown just for you!
Are the annuals you see in the store just not the right size? Order early and it can be grown to any size you like. All those beautiful annuals that you see in home and garden magazines can also be grown especially for you if you plan ahead.
Another good reason to order early is to get first pick of the crops. There’s more of a guarantee that you’ll get what you want. Once a crop has been sold out, substitutions will be made.
So to get the flowers of your dreams … it’s always best to order early! Contact your landscape company to help you make the best selections.
Friday, 13 March 2015 08:40
Residential Lawn Care – Eliminate Some of the Lawn Area
Cut back on the size of your lawn, says Eric Liskey, deputy editor at Better Homes and Gardens magazine. "It's the most maintenance intensive, water-hungry kind of thing you can have in your yard," he says. It is wise to plant drought-tolerant trees, shrubs, and perennials to accommodate your weather and climate.
Grass clippings, kitchen scraps and other organic waste can be turned into free compost. Use composted clippings to mulch around trees and to fertilize your lawn. A small compost bin can generate up to 40 cubic feet of compost per year.
Annuals are plants that are replanted every year. A few plantings here and there can add extra pizzazz to the landscape. Too many can be costly. Consider replacing annual plantings with perennials that come back every year. Another benefit with perennials is that the plants can be divided and replanted in other areas of the yard. You can also share divided plants with neighbors and friends.
Once trees take hold and get big enough, their shade can keep your home significantly cooler in winter and protect against cold winter winds helping to save energy costs. One mature tree planted on the west side of your home can reduce your energy bills by 12 percent!
At Time of Planting - Start with Smaller Plants
Smaller trees, shrubs and perennials take longer to fill in. However, you can potentially cut your costs down by a half to two-thirds if you reduce the size of plant material at time of planting.