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Entries in shrubs (8)

Monday
Jan192015

Landscape Design Principles and Elements of Composition: Color

Cool white and purple mixed with hot yellow and red beautifully contrast each other for summer. I often use the perennial Dusty Miller in my annuals arrangements. It lasts a long time and gives the other plants a beautiful foliage accent.This is the first in a series of articles on landscape design principles and elements of composition. There are many different principles of good landscape design. Color, texture, scale, light and shadow all contribute to making an outdoor space enjoyable. Landscapes are customizable and unique site conditions can offer both inspiration and a challenge. One of the most frequent requests I hear when establishing a program for a client is, “I want color!” My clients derive great joy from sitting in their backyards surrounded by shrubs and perennials bursting with color or to look out your kitchen window and glimpse annual flowers threading through the landscape. There is a veritable rainbow of summer flowering annuals to choose from every year, but they’re not the only option for color in your landscape.

Black-Eyed Susan 'Goldsturm' on fire in a mass.There are different color tones you can use to set the feel for a garden’s color palette. Soft pastel tones or hot vibrant colors, cool colors like blue and purple, even white and green count in the garden and can change the feel of the space. On the softer side, great for cottage and perennial gardens, pale pastel pink Astilbe ‘Erika’ brightens up a shady area. The creamy, buttery tones of Coreopsis ‘Moonbeam’ and Daylily ‘Happy Returns’ show off pastel yellows for summer sun.

If you want a landscape on fire in full sun, interwoven groupings of saturated oranges, reds and yellows play off each other perfectly. A mass of pure yellow Black-Eyed Susan ‘Goldsturm’ backed by the deep red Coneflower ‘Tomato Soup’ with golden yellow Daylily ‘Stella D’Oro’ along the front border of the bed highlights the hot tones of summer.

Classic blue Hydrangea bordering a wooded area define the edge of the space.On the opposite end of the spectrum, cool off with a purple or blue flowering shrub like whimsical purple flowering Buddleia or classic blue Hydrangea, putting cooler, deeper colors into the landscape.  Purple and blue need a bright hue to highlight their best. Yellow and orange compliment blue and purple very well but white is often forgotten as a color. Add some bright white New Guinea Impatiens for a cool twist along the border or plant a white Pee Gee hydrangea to punctuate a mass of periphery planting.

Green is an often overlooked color in the landscape. A deft eye is necessary to highlight greens rather than letting them fade into the background. Edges of a wooded area can be softened with rhododendrons and azaleas and then transition into more organized groupings of perennials and ground covers as the bed meets a maintained lawn. Hydrangeas can offer a lush border while keeping a naturalistic feel to the edge of a wooded area. 

Although it is used mainly as a shade plant, Hakonechloa will take some sun. Paired with Red Knockout Roses, the lime green foliage and red roses really complement each other.Color is more challenging in a shaded area. Flowers tend to do their best work with more light but there are some standout shade plants that have a lot to offer. There are a lot of shade flowering perennials and shrubs and color isn’t just about flowers; foliage comes in many colors! Japanese Painted Fern, Hakonechloa, and coral bells (which have their own rainbow of cultivars to choose from) will brighten up any shady space. Again, don’t overlook the power of white in the landscape. White flowers or foliage in a shady area brightens up the darkest spots. Variegated Liriope, many different cultivars of variegated Hosta and white flowering perennials like Bleeding Heart, Hellebore, and Gallium (Sweet Woodruff) are all options for shady spots.

Color is an important consideration in the overall context of your garden and needs to be thoughtfully integrated with the other elements of good composition introduced earlier. In my next article I’m going to highlight textures in the landscape so don’t miss it! 

Written by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

Pictures by Ashley Palko Haugsjaa

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

Tuesday
Mar182014

Spring Landscape Preparation

Snowdrops brighten the landscape in early spring. Photo cred. Sal MasulloWinter is retreating and the dormant landscape is thawing, ready to wake up and stretch out its limbs and leaves. Start your spring cleanup early by generating a check list for you landscape.

1. Walk around your property and assess snow/ice damage to gardens and hardscape. The heavy ice and snow builds up on top of plants and the branches will break under pressure. The ice also causes freeze-thaw which results in heaving and cracking in asphalt and pavers over time.

2. Identify potential drainage problems - As the ground thaws completely, settling may occur, resulting in new pooling and damp areas. Watch out for these now!

3. Lawn Care - Your lawn may seem flattened and weak in the early spring, so lightly rake your lawn to stimulate new growth to begin, but don’t rake too hard or you can damage your lawn and cause burn spots.

Pruning your shrubs and trees in late winter/early spring is a good way to promote new growth. Goldberg and Rodler Inc. has certified arborists and horticulturalists that can help you with analyzing the integrity and health of your trees and shrubs. Some damages aren’t recognizable to the average eye, but our experts can identify the signs of stress and teach you along the way. Removing dead wood in early spring will cause shrubs and trees to grow vigorously and increase the amount of flowers. Pruning can bring shape, light and air to your overgrown trees resulting in better overall health and protecting your landscape investment. Spring is the best time to plant slow-to-root trees such as Red Maple, Flowering Dogwood, Magnolias, and Oaks because they need a full growing season to establish their root systems. This is also a great time to apply a granular time released fertilizer to your planting beds.

As your spring bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinth show their colors you can start dividing your perennials and spread them out in your landscape. They will grow throughout the spring and summer giving you more color and texture in your garden and provide a great way to stretch your planting budget.

Spring is bursting with color, featuring sweeping Daffodils and Star MagnoliaFrost is still a concern in the first months of spring. Temperatures can spike in early spring but drop drastically at a moment’s notice, so if you planted tender annuals already, you will want to take precautionary measures such as covering the plants with containers or bringing potted plants indoors. It is a good idea to plant hardy annuals that can take the cold temperatures such as pansies, marigolds, and dusty miller, then transition with those plants to your summer plant pallet.

Check for insects and diseases affecting your plants. For example, you may notice little white scale eggs on your plants which are an infestation rather than a pathogen. These pests hatch and live off the bark of the tree. Plants that are frequently infested with scale eggs are Magnolia, fruiting trees and shrubs and many varieties of Euonymus. If you catch them early enough this spring, the plants can be protected by pruning the infected branches, or spraying with organic, environmentally safe horticultural oil.

Venture out and enjoy the comfortable warm temperature of spring and transition your life outdoors yet again. The amount of work to be done can be daunting so if you have any questions or require guidance, give Goldberg & Rodler a call and our friendly staff will work with you personally. 

Written by Nick Onesto

Thursday
Mar132014

Spring Cleanup and Startup

Spring is here.

The following are 20 things you should know about spring.

Who's ready for tulips, pansies and Dwarf Fothergilla flowers?

1. March 20th is the first day of spring. Before long the first day of summer (June 20th) will be here!

2. Assess winter damage to plants and the landscape. 

3. Apply pre-emergent to lawns and beds before the forsythia finish blooming.

4. Prune back hydrangeas and roses now. However, other plants are just waking up, so don't do any heavy pruning on other trees and shrubs. Have a certified arborist evaluate your fruit trees.

5. Cut back liriope and perennials. Now is a good time to divide perennials.

6. Watch for settlement from freeze/thaw cycles around new pools and drywells.

7. Review photos from last year's vegetable and annual plantings.

8. Add organic amendments like compost to the soil in early spring.

9. Rotate crops, especially vegetables. Organically add nitrogen back to the soil by planting soy beans or peas.

Contrast bulb flower colors for the biggest bang in the landscape!10. Mulch NOW while the beds are open so you don't have to dance around emerging perennials. Pull back winter compost from tree and shrub root crowns. Avoid mulch volcanoes!

 

11. Plant summer annuals after May 15th (wait for danger of frost to pass). Having a summer party? Plan your annuals now for robust color and lush beds. Get your tubers ready. Dahlias and Canna Lilies are ready to go in soon!

 

12. Monitor your irrigation system. DO NOT overwater. Adjust the watering schedule as summer approaches.

 

13. Experiment with alternatives to impatiens. DO NOT plant Impatiens walleriana! They have a problem with downy mildew all across the United States and they WILL disappoint you. Try something new!

 

 

14. Bring in your bird feeders. Birds have plenty of food now. Clean and store them for next winter.

15. Spray horticultural oil to smother insect egg cases. Check your lawn for divots. Does it look like a really poor golfer has been there? Those holes are from squirrels, raccoons and birds looking for food.

16. Watch for frosty nights and protect newly planted and tender annuals and vegetables.

17. Join a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm. They're popping up all over. If you have a small piece of property or too much shade, this is a great way to contribute to a cooperative garden and reap the benefits in fruits, vegetables and friendships.

18. Test your lawn's pH. Let the soil and our trained horticultural experts tell you what it needs.

19. Check the garden shed for old and outdated fertilizers and chemicals. Dispose of them properly.

20. Last, but certainly not least, consult with your favorite landscape designer. Now is a great time to contact us. Or you can call to set up an appointment with Sal Masullo, senior landscape designer, at (631) 271-6460 to discuss your ideas.

Soon pansy faces will great us from pots and daffodil manes from the beds.

Written by Ashley Palko and Sal Masullo

 

Monday
Dec162013

Winter Services: Protection and Prevention

Are you ready to say goodbye to 2013? Is your landscape ready for 2014? While everyone is busy preparing for the holidays, we're preparing for winter and spring. There's still time to protect your plants, clean out your gutters and schedule winter pruning.

Applying anti-desiccant to evergreens.PROTECTION: We're reiterating the important message in our previous article about protecting your plants for the harsh weather we expect during the winter. An anti-desiccant application can reduce water loss through the leaves during a time when your plants can't take in water from the frozen ground. You can reapply mid-winter for additional protection.

Road salt can damage your plants from piled up snow, as well as salt spray from the ocean/sound if you're near the water. Anti-transpirant is one option for reducing the potential for burned foliage. Heavily irrigating the soil in the spring helps wash away the accumulated salt in the soil. Fertilizing with an organic, salt-free fertilizer will promote new leaf growth and proper pruning can ensure the integrity of the plant's structure.

PREVENTION: During a heavy snowfall, if the gutters aren't cleared of snow and debris, ice dams can form on the top above the gutters and water may back up under the flashing behind the gutters. This can cause leaks, and if not treated, mold growth . It is very important to make sure these are clear after a storm if the snow doesn't melt away. Leaves and debris will further aggravate the issue by not allowing proper drainage into the gutters as the snow melts.

WINTER PRUNING: This is better for deciduous shrubs, evergreen hedges and small ornamental trees. The best time for this service is between Thanksgiving and Saint Patrick's Day.

Using a bucket to get up into the bigger trees.Removing dead wood and crossing branches helps open plants up to allow light and air to penetrate into the plant while removing potential host sites for insects. Selective hand pruning will help plants keep their natural, intended form. Winter pruning of your ornamental landscape plants will increase the health and vigor of the plants by stimulating new growth, while keeping the size of the plants in check so your landscape can last many years.

Winter pruning has many other benefits. With no leaves on the deciduous plant material, the structure and potential shape can be clearly defined. Plants heal more quickly in the winter so there is less trauma and almost no potential for harboring insects and disease in the fresh cuts.

Protect your investment in the garden by having one of our professional horticulturalists come by and provide a complimentary winter pruning consultation and estimate. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.

Written by Sal Masullo and Ashley Palko