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Entries in planting (8)

Thursday
Jul032014

Natural Privacy Screens

Green Giant Arborvitae with a mix of Annabelle Hydrangea and daylily in front.There is a certain serenity and security to enjoying your garden without the feeling that your being watched.  Privacy is very important to most of us and creating a beautiful natural privacy screen for your property and outdoor living room with plants is great way to introduce color, texture and fragrance into the landscape, and it can be a much more attractive solution than a fence.

Tall evergreen trees like Nellie Stevens Holly, Blue Spruce and Great Western Arborvitae are an effective way to give you privacy screening.  These provide dense evergreen foliage all year round and are low maintenance plants. Some evergreens can be sheared to form a dense privacy wall with the effective height being maintained taller than building codes allow for fencing.

A dense holly hedge in front of blue Spruce creates a double layer of privacy.In addition to trees many shrubs come in upright form.  Privet, Yew and Japanese Holly have dense branching patterns and they create a natural visual barrier. Shearing these regularly will lend a more formal look to your landscape.  These shrubs also provide an excellent background for flowering shrubs and perennials planted in front. This creates a multi-tiered privacy planting with 4 season interest.

To provide additional seasonal interest to any evergreen privacy planting, mix in a variety of flowering plants like fragrant Viburnum, Lilac and Butterfly Bush.  The next layer of interest comes from long blooming perennials like Nepeta, Rudbeckia and Echinacea. These plants will attract birds and butterflies and add colorful splashes providing spring, summer and fall interest to your yard.

If your yard requires plants that will tolerate more shade than sun and also provide the privacy you desire, plant varieties like Skip Laurel, American Holly and Rhododendron along the property line and supplement that planting with perennials like Hosta, Astilbe and Fern.

Another screening option is to use lattice panels with vines planted either in the ground or in decorative containers placed around the edges of your patio creating a private outdoor room. Vines such as Clematis, Wisteria, Trumpet Vine and climbing Hydrangea will give you a lush vertical carpet of foliage and flowers.

As you can see, there are many ways besides fencing that can screen out your neighbors and help create a quiet intimate space within your garden.  Do it the natural way by using plants! Let Goldberg and Rodler's team of professionals design and install a natural privacy screen to privatize your personal garden oasis.

Written by Rich Lambert

Wednesday
Nov202013

Benefits of Winter Mulch: From the Desk of Sal Masullo

It has been said many times and it is true, "Timing is everything."

Sal Masullo, working hard to protect his clients' investments.NOW is the time to consider winter mulching. Winter mulch is a little different from regular shredded bark mulch. Winter mulch is an organic compost based mulch that provides many benefits for both new and established plantings. Considering the very dry fall we experienced this year, winter mulch makes even more sense as a simple, inexpensive way to protect the investment you have in your landscape. The root systems of your trees, shrubs and perennials have been under tremendous stress. Winter mulch will protect these roots through the cold days ahead.

 

Just like people, plants require supplementary nutrients. Healthy plants are better equipped to fight off pests, disease and extreme temperatures. The benefits of winter mulch:

          Insulates soil and minimizes the impact of extreme cold temperature on plants and their root system

          Minimizes root disruption from the freeze/thaw cycle by stabilizing soil temperature

          Feeds plants slowly, consistently and organically as it decomposes

          Reduces moisture evaporation from the soil (a key benefit this season)

In short, winter mulch is preventative medicine for your plants. If you would like more information regarding winter mulch or other helpful winter protection for your garden, contact our office and one of our landscape professionals will be happy to answer all of your questions.

Written by Sal Masullo

Tuesday
Aug072012

Mulch Volcanoes

The quickest and least expensive way to clean up your property is to mulch the beds. Even if you don't have any plants in them. It will give you a fresh and tidy look for your property and is something you can do yourself. However, if the beds DO have plants, make sure you know how to mulch around them properly. It can be a massive drain of time and money to fix improperly mulched plantings and if you can't fix them you end up replacing them.

I see what we call, "mulch volcanoes," way too often around trees and shrubs. That's what we say when we see a pile of mulch around a tree trunk. I also see those plants declining after just one season of suffocation. This may seem dramatic, but piling mulch around the trunks of trees and shrubs WILL kill them. Roots need air and if the plant can't get enough, it will send out adventitious roots to find them. If you can't see a root flare, the plant won't be able to breathe. Girdling roots start to form, wrapping their way around the trunk in a confused effort to find air. As the trunk of the tree or shrub grows and expands outward, these girdling roots press on the trunk and literally strangle it.

To prevent this from happening, make sure you mulch properly. You want to see a root flare out at the base of the trunk(s) like a bell bottomed jean (see pictures below). You DON'T want to see a mound of mulch. If you see a mound of mulch, it may not be too late. Pull the mulch away and dig out your tree or shrub. If it is truly planted too low you can try to transplant it higher when the time is right for that plant. Or you can dish out around it but remember you will essentially be creating a little sump area where the water will pool. If the girdling roots haven't fused to the trunk you can remove them with pruning shears. This will most likely shock the plant but with some TLC it may come back.

I have seen it in my own yard. An azalea my mom planted 20 years ago had slowly sunk into the soil and years of mulching around it had buried it about 8 inches up the trunk. I thought it was dying because it was old and decrepit until I started poking around the base. I dug it out two years ago, transplanted it and cut it back to rejuvenate the shape. It now looks healthy and happy.

Feel free to ask me any questions or send me pictures if you think your plants are in trouble from the dreaded mulch volcanoes. Good luck!

 

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