Saturday, August 18, 2012
Saturday, June 30, 2012
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
Saturday, March 3, 2012
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.