Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Beginners Guide to the Rose Garden

Roses are one of the most popular domesticated plants around the world today. Protected and treasured, they hold universal appeal; whether around the cottage doorway or the grandest palace grounds. Today there is a rose for every place and purpose, from the formal garden, arbors, trellises and fences to hedges, accent plants and decorative features on patios or terraces. One of the most versatile plants, the rose is an exciting plant for any one interested in gardening.

There are several factors in successfully growing roses of fine quality in your Outer Banks garden. They include: location, fertile soil, drainage, correct planting, pruning, fertilizing, mulching, winter protection and the control of pests.


In order to produce a good bloom, roses need a minimum of six hour of sun light a day. While not necessary, roses should get a good dose of light shade in the afternoon as this will help their blooms retain color longer. They should be planted away from trees, shrubs or hedges which are heavy surface feeders as this will deprive the roses of much needed nutrients and water. Roses also need good air circulation and don't like confined spaces.


The most important requirements for the soil in which you will grow your roses are drainage and fertility. Roses can thrive in fairly heavy clay or sandy loam soils if these two requirements are met. The Ideal soil for growing roses is a good garden loam with lots of organic matter. Roses also prefer a slightly acid soil with a pH between 5.5 and 6.5


While roses need large quantities of water for their best growth, it is absolutely essential that they have good drainage as they will be seriously injured in standing water. To fix areas with high water tables or poor drainage, laying tiles or crushed stone under the planting will assist the water draining away.


Roses may be planted in the autumn after the bushes have stopped active growth and are dormant but before the ground freezes. They can also be planted in the early spring while the plants are still dormant or they can be planted as potted roses after growth has started. Spring planting should be done as early in the spring as the ground can be successfully worked. Care must be taken when planting potted roses to not break the ball of earth it was planted in.

Growing distances will depend on the type and variety of the roses you will be planting. However, because of their very vigorous growing habits most roses should be planted about 2 feet apart in general.

The roots of the rose should never be exposed to the sun or wind before planting, but should be kept wrapped in wet paper or moss and left in a dark place like a plastic bag or the garden shed.

In a hole of ample size, place the rose so that the roots are in a natural position and the point of union between the stock and the scion is between 1 and 2 inches below the surface. Planting to high will cause the rose to not have enough support and planting to deep will starve the rose of oxygen. After back filling and packing in the soil firmly, thorough watering will be needed. 


The purpose of pruning is to remove dead or weak wood and to maintain height and form. Pruning is dependant on the type of rose you have planted and the part of the world you are in. However there are several fundamentals which apply to all varieties and locals. 

  1. All dead cane should be removed at the base.
  2. Winter damaged canes should be cut back to sound wood.
  3. Canes interfering with the height or shape of the plant, or canes that are rubbing other canes should be cut back or removed.
  4. Sharp pruning should always be used. Dull shears will damage the plant making fungal and bacterial growth easier.
  5. Cuts should be made just above the bud, slanting in the same direction of the bud and as close to the bud a s possible without causing damage to it.

Mulching and winter protection

Roses benefit from mulching in the summer. Mulch roses with your desired material making sure not to exceed 1 inch in depth.

Winter protection is dependant on local, climate, exposure and hardiness. Make sure that the ground is well supplied with water. Soil should be brought up around the roses to a height of 10 to 15 inches. After the ground has frozen, mulch with hay or a similar material.

There are few flowers which bring the touches of warmth and graciousness, of the color and beauty to the surroundings of the modest home like the rose.

For more information contact the Outer Banks Landscaping experts, Crew Cutters on the Outer Banks, NC

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Using Flower Beds for Outer Banks Landscaping

The loveliness of flowering plants needs little embellishment by description. Certainly every gardener seeks the beauty and color that can be brought to his grounds by a variety of flowers. The proper arrangement of flower beds in your garden and attentive care to them can insure you a continuing bloom of lovely flowers year after year.

For with planning, it is possible to maintain flowers in your garden during the entire length of the growing season. Borders and beds are planted with flowering annuals and perennials which bloom at different periods during the year. By choosing carefully initially, and by caring for the flowers thereafter, the blooms will overlap each other, so that there will never be a period when an old bloom disappears but that a new one will start to show its color.
Preparing the soil for flower beds or borders requires greater care than planting a lawn. For one thing, digging must be deeper. It is not too much to dig the bed 2 feet deep, although 1 1/2 feet is suitable. It is, of course, possible to grow flowers in a shallower bed than this, but the deeper you dig, the better your production will be.

All heavy lumps should be broken up. It is a good idea to spread some sand, cinders or ashes in the bottom soil to break it up. Also, you might work manure, well-rotted compost, grass clippings or peat moss into the bottom. Do not firm the bottom soil down, but let it settle naturally.

Good loam should be used for the topsoil — e.g., well-rotted manure, humus, peat moss, well-sifted leaf mold or heavy sand. Wood ashes are fine for spring, and lime may be used for loosening the soil. You might think about the character of your soil and consider the particular fertilizer which contains the elements your soil needs most. Should you use manure, be careful not to let it touch the roots of plants.

Should you use manure, be careful not to let it touch the roots of plants. The problems of color should be kept in mind when planning flower borders and beds, so that while there is sufficient contrast in texture and color of the flowers, there is at the same time an attractive blending.

A plan for a bed of annuals, for example, might be designed to stress zinnias, with contrast provided by such softer flowers as chrysanthemum, scabiosa, nasturtium, cosmos and candytuft. Siting of the flower bed is important. Ideally, it should be close to the house, facing south or south west.

Any location that gets good sun, however, will produce well. The border should be located away from trees or shrubs. These plants absorb more than their share of moisture and nutrients from the soil and, because of their strength, can overpower the more delicate flowering plants.

A good background such as a stone wall or a fence adds to the beauty of a flower bed or border, and evergreen shrubs make a pleasing backdrop. Edgings need not be restricted, as they so often are, to one color (e.g., the white of alyssum).

Coral bells, whose lovely foliage makes a handsome edge, are an all-season flowering plant, and they provide unusual cut flowers. Baby pansies, violas, portulaca, ageratum, dwarf double nasturtium and dwarf marigolds are multi-colored flowers.

If you need any additional information please contact the leader in Landscaping on the Outer Banks, Crew Cutters.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Principles Of Landscape Design

Whether you plan on "borrowing ideas" or plan on creating your own landscaping design, you should have at the very least a basic understanding of the principles of landscape design.

This doesn't mean that you have to apply every principle to every part of your plan. But just having an understanding of these principles will help you generate ideas and increase your creativity.

Great landscaping lies in the eyes of the its creator. So, while the principles of landscape design are great guidelines to follow, don't feel like they're the "have to rules" of landscaping. Abstract and creativity are allowed.

Unity should be one of your main goals in your design. It may be better understood and applied as consistency and repetition. Repetition creates unity by repeating alike elements like plants, plant groups, or decor throughout the landscape. Consistency creates unity in the sense that some or all of the different elements of the landscape fit together to create a whole.

Unity can be achieved by the consistency of character of elements in the design. By character, I mean the height, size, texture, color schemes, etc. of different elements.

A good example would be in the use of accent boulders. If you've ever seen a landscape design that had one large white round boulder here and another large red square granite boulder there and so on, then you've seen that unity wasn't created by this specific element.

This is just one example but the principle applies to all other elements such as groups of plants and materials.

A simple way to create unity in your landscape is by creating themes. And one of the simplest ways to create themes is by using a little garden decor or garden statues. Creating a theme garden is easier when it's related to something you're interested in or have a passion for.

If you're into butterflies for instance, you could create a theme using plants that attract butterflies as well as using statues, ornaments, and other decor that are related to butterflies.

Unity should be expressed through at least one element in your landscape and preferably more. Using elements to express a main idea through consistent style and a specific theme is what creates harmony.

Simplicity is actually one of the principles in design and art. It’s one of the best guidelines you can follow as a beginner or do it yourselfer. Just keep things simple to begin with. You can do more later.

Simplicity in planting, for instance, would be to pick two or three colors and repeat them throughout the garden or landscape. Keeping decor to a minimum and within a specific theme as well as keeping hardscapes such as boulders consistent is also practicing simplicity.

Balance in design is just as the word implies. Equality. There are basically two types of balance in landscape design. Symmetrical and Asymmetrical.

Symmetrical balance is where there are more or less equally spaced matching elements of the garden design. With a garden equally divided, both sides could share the same shape, form, plant height, plant groupings, colors, bed shapes, theme, etc.

You may remember creating something like this when you were a kid in art class at school. Where you take a piece of paper, splash paint on it, fold it in half, unfold it, and then it magically creates an interesting symmetrical design. So symmetrical balance or design is somewhat of a mirror image or reflection.

Asymmetrical balance on the other hand is one of the principles of landscape design that's a little more complex. While textures, forms, colors, etc. may remain constant to create some unity, shapes and hardscapes may be more random. This form of balance often has separate or different themes with each having an equal but different type of attraction.

A good example of this would be where bed shapes or paths differ on both sides of the dividing line. One side could be curvy with a sense of flow while the other side is straight, direct, and hard.

This can also create a neat contrast. Flowing lines are pleasing to the eye but the bold contrast of a curve with a straight line can be very interesting.

Asymmetrical balance isn't necessarily limited to just the shape of your garden.

An example might be where one side of the garden is mostly large shade trees while the other side is predominately a lower growing flower garden or even a mix of both examples. This is only limited to your imagination.

Contrast and harmony can also be achieved using plants. Fine foliage verses coarser foliage, round leaves verses spiked leaves as well as color compliments and contrasts.

Plant height, color, and texture may be varied from one area to the next but each area should stay consistent within its own theme.

You'll hear me talk about "themes" a lot. Many successful do it yourself designs follow a basic theme to achieve most of the principles of landscape design described on this page. The proper use of plants and garden decor or a mix of both is a simple way to achieve themes.

Color adds the dimension of real life and interest to the landscape. Bright colors like reds, yellows and oranges seem to advance toward you and can actually make an object seem closer to you. Cool colors like greens, blues, and pastels seem to move away from you and can make an object seem farther from you.

Grays, blacks, and whites are considered neutral colors and are best used in the background with bright colors in the foreground. However, to increase depth in a landscape, you can use dark and coarse textured plants in the foreground and use fine textured and light colored plants in the background.

Colors can also be used to direct your attention to a specific area of the garden. A bright display among cooler colors would naturally catch the eye.

Natural transition can be applied to avoid radical or abrupt changes in your landscape design. Transition is basically gradual change. It can best be illustrated in terms of plant height or color but can also be applied to all elements in the landscape including but not limited to textures, foliage shape or size, and the size and shape of different elements.

In other words transition can be achieved by the gradual, ascending or descending, arrangement of different elements with varying textures, forms, colors, or sizes.

An example of a good transition would be a stair step effect from large trees to medium trees to shrubs to bedding plants. This example is where a little knowledge of proper plant selection would come in handy.

Transition is one of the principles of landscape design that can be used to "create illusions" in the landscape. For example a transition from taller to shorter plants can give a sense of depth and distance (like in a painting), making the garden seem larger than it really is. A transition from shorter to taller plants could be used to frame a focal point to make it stand out and seem closer than it really is.

Line is of the more structural principles of landscape design. It can mostly be related to the way beds, walkways, and entryways move and flow.

Straight lines are forceful and direct while curvy lines have a more natural, gentle, flowing effect.

Proportion simply refers to the size of elements in relation to each other. Of all the principles of landscape design, this one is quite obvious but still requires a little thought and planning. Most of the elements in landscape design can be intentionally planned to meet the proper proportions.

For instance if you are creating a small courtyard garden, an enormous seven foot garden statue placed in the center would be way out of proportion and a little tacky to say the least. Or a small four foot waterfall and pond placed in the center of a large open yard would get lost in the expanse.

Don't misunderstand this to mean that if you have a large yard you can't have smaller features or garden decor. Proportion is relative and elements can be scaled to fit by creating different rooms in the garden. The goal is to create a pleasing relationship among the three dimensions of length, breadth, and depth or height.

A small water feature can be proportionate if placed in a corner or on the edge of a large area and becomes a focal point of the larger area while creating its own distinct atmosphere. An entire room, sitting area, or theme can be created around it. Other rooms and themes can be created as well. See small gardens for ideas on creating rooms and creating illusions.

Also, special consideration and study should be given to proper plant selection to avoid using plants that are out of proportion.

Repetition is directly related to unity. Its good to have a variety of elements and forms in the garden but repeating these elements gives variety expression.

Unity is achieved by repeating objects or elements that are alike. Too many unrelated objects can make the garden look cluttered and unplanned.

There's a fine line here. It's possible that too much of one element can make a garden or landscape feel uninteresting, boring and monotonous.

However, unity can still be created by using several different elements repeatedly. This in turn keeps the garden interesting. 

For more information please contact Crew Cutters Landscaping on the Outer Banks.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Landscaping on the Outer Banks to Attract Birds

Many people enjoy the dulcet sounds of birds singing and chirping in their yards. Birds are beautiful to look at, and they provide many with an appreciation for nature. There are many benefits associated with attracting birds to your Outer Banks landscape, but in order to experience these benefits, the birds first need to be attracted. It is possible to attract birds to your property by following a few simple design principles, and by choosing plants for your Outer Banks landscaping that naturally attract birds.

Birdfeeders are old staples for those who wish to see birds in their yards. When using feeders, they should be placed conveniently, and they should also be large enough to hold two to three days’ worth of food. Placing birdfeeders in various parts of the yard can help attract more birds into your landscape. However, the birdfeeders should serve as supplements to the various plants in your yard that provide food and shelter to encourage birds to think of your yard as home.

The first thing to remember when designing a landscape to attract birds is that your design should provide shelter to protect birds from the elements or from predators. Evergreens are great in this role, as they often provide plenty of space for a bird to crawl into, but they are very difficult for predators to penetrate. Additionally, they can be thick enough to provide adequate and desirable shelter. Evergreen trees and bushes, moreover, look nice with just about any home, and they are fairly hardy and easy to take care of. Other plants that provide good shelter to birds include other woody plants. Features like decks and birdhouses also provide nice places for birds to shelter.

The next thing that should be done is to provide plants that offer a consistent food supply. These plantings should offer a great deal of food, and produce enough food to meet the birds’ needs, with the help of birdfeeders. Additionally, there should be a variety of plants that offer seeds and fruits at various times so that the food supply lasts for an extended period of time. Holly plants (if you use blue holly, you will need both a blue boy and a blue girl in order for there to be any berries), crabapple trees, sunflowers, and other plants that produce berries and seed are excellent choices. Many of these plants are very attractive and can be made to look good in any design, besides being a source of food for winged creatures.

Another landscape principle to keep in mind while selecting plants that attract birds is to select plants that attract insects. Most scented flowers attract insects, and this means that your yard will attract birds that eat insects. Not only are there many beautiful flowers, like the gumbo-limbo and roses, that attract insects, but these also in turn smell very nice. You can have a fragrant yard, as well as one that is really for the birds. Among your choices for insect-attracting flowers, choose some that bloom during the spring migrations. Then you will be sure to get birds on their way through town, headed north.

Finally, there are landscape features that are not plant-related. These features, other than birdfeeders and birdhouses, can also mean the difference between a yard bursting with birdsong and one that is depressingly quiet. These features are water features. Birds like to have places where they can bathe and drink.

If you have any other questions call 252-480-2689 or visit us here

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Patio Landscaping: Designing A Fantastic Landscape

Investing in Outer Banks landscaping is a great idea if someone wants to make a yard more attractive. The entire allure of the home will become greater if completed properly. The outward appeal of a home will have the entire neighborhood talking. With just some simple tactics any home can increase its attractiveness.

When a person first begins living in a new home, oftentimes there is already some basic yard work completed. While the design may not be exactly what the resident has in mind, some of it may be able to be used in his or her design. Usually, some of a previous landscape has the ability to be used as a basis of the new owner's layout. Because of this, leaving the previous shrubbery in the initial stages may save money in the long run.

Separating this job into many stages is the first step when sketching the project blueprint. If you Outer Banks yard is very large, then the gardener may feel swamped with the copious amounts of empty space to fill. Therefore, taking this project section by section is very important. If the lawn is big, separation is even more crucial. Also, keep in mind, the larger a yard, the greater amount of money you will have to spend.

It is also important to consider what time of the year the plants are supposed to bloom. If an entire phase of the lawn only blooms in the fall, then that section will look bad the rest of the time. Making sure that the yard is balanced will add much beauty to the overall look.

Stones, walkways, and bricks must be protected as the roots of big trees can damage these foundations. Keeping trees at a comfortable span from structures such as these is vital.

When looking for additions to an Outer Banks garden, consider visiting a local demolition site. Many workers will allow gardeners to take bricks and rocks. This saves money, because buying rocks from stores is very expensive.

Creativity is the basis of wonderful Outer Banks landscaping. When toiling the ground for so many hours, gardeners tend to leave a piece of who they are within the land. Allowing the personality of the planter to radiate through the completed project is the key to a beautiful lawn.

Call Crew Cutters 252-480-2689 or visit here, Landscaping Outer Banks.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Outer Banks Landscaping Ideas

To make an Outer Banks yard more appealing it is a good idea to invest in landscaping. By doing this, the entire appeal of a home will be greatly enriched. Everyone in the neighborhood will enjoy looking at the house because of the outward appearance. If someone wants to make the outside of a home more beautiful, there are a few steps that a person can take in order to do just that.

Oftentimes, when someone moves into a home there will always be some outward work done to it. If this is the case, do not be too quick to take everything up. In fact, more often than not, there is something that a person can do with the plants that are already there. Before a person buys anything, they should access what they already have. This will save the person both money and time.

For yards with a substantial amount of space, it is a good idea to divide the planting into several different components. The average gardener may feel incredible overcome with the grand amount of area. Taking a project, no matter how large or small, into smaller sections will make the entire undertaking a lot less stressful. Also, larger yards will require more plants, thus taking everything one section at a time will be easier on a budget.

The time of the year in which every plant will bloom is more important than one might think. If Section A has plants which all bloom during fall, and Section B has plants which only bloom in the spring, then the entire yard will be constantly off balance. Providing seasonal continuity throughout the yard will make it much more beautiful.

Protecting solid foundations such as rocks, concrete blocks, and driveways, is important. Large trees have roots which can damage these surfaces. When planting, keep trees a far distance from these places.

Things such as stones and bricks make great additions to a garden. Instead of buying from stores, another option is looking at a nearby demolition site. Oftentimes those in charge of these places will let gardeners to take such things free of charge. However, always remember to ask permission first.

The ability to be creative is essential to gorgeous landscaping. A beautiful product can only occur when the planter allows his or her personality to shimmer through the entire estate. With the time a gardener spends in the heat sowing the seeds, a piece of them is left behind which glistens throughout the yard.

Let Crew Cutters Landscaping on the Outer Banks help.