landscape

Best Front Yard Trees

Choosing the right trees for your yard is important because it’s a long-term decision. Given the long lives of trees, you should make sure you understand the purpose you want your front yard trees to serve, as well as the details of the trees you choose. For example, you need to know the tree’s size, […]

trees roots plants

What We Need to Know About Tree Roots

A Tree’s roots serve two important functions: They anchor the tree in the soil so that its photosynthesizing parts (the leaves) are elevated and exposed to the sun; and they take up the water and minerals that the tree uses to make carbohydrates for food and proteins for everything else. (Roots also must absorb oxygen, […]

Plant Hardiness Zones USDA planting zone

Plant Hardiness Zones

About Those USDA Climate Zones   The familiar United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map is based on the average annual minimum temperature for each zone. Needless to say, some years a zone will get a minimum temperature lower or higher than the average. Nevertheless, the average minimum temperature is a fairly good indicator […]

fertilizers

All About Fertilizers

Of the more than 115 chemical elements in the periodic table, only 16 are sure to benefit plant life. These are essential nutrients. (There might be others that we don’t know about, but surely they must be needed in very small quantities and are probably never lacking.) Carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) are […]

ann magnolia tree

Top 5 Early Spring Flowering Trees

IT’S SPRING!       Among our favorite early spring blooming trees are: Japanese magnolia (like the Ann or Jane), eastern redbud, flowering dogwood(white and pink), Taiwan cherry, and wild plum. The Japanese magnolias are among the first bloomers of spring. Three important types of early blooming Japanese magnolias are: The star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) […]

pruning and plant care guide

Basic Pruning for Shrubs and Trees

We prune our trees and shrubs to control their size, shape and scale within our landscape. Proper pruning also stimulates flowering and fruiting and helps to keep shrubs and trees healthy and vigorous, thus reducing the likelihood of future problems.   There are two main kinds of pruning: Thinning and Heading.    Thinning Thinning cuts […]

Botanical & Horticultural Names Explained

Botanical names (aka scientific or Latin names) for plant species are italicized or underlined. Botanical names are standard throughout the world, unlike common names which can be different in different languages and even in different parts of the same country. A botanical species name has two parts — 1. The Genus: which is always in […]

It Takes Two to Tango (Except When it Doesn’t)

In our previous post “Flowers: Sex, Pollinators and Pollinizers“, we focused our topic on asexual reproduction in plants — primarily those that need a pollinator or pollinizer to boost the reproduction cycle. Asexual reproduction, as we discussed, works best in environments that do not change. But as you may know, our surrounding environment rarely ever […]

Invasive Plants – The Most Unwanted

An invasive species, as defined in an Executive Order signed by President Clinton in 1999, is an “alien species whose introduction does, or is likely to, cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health” Some kinds of plants, due to being transplanted away from their natural home, consequently become invasive in their new home. […]

perfect soil ph

Perfect Soil Ph = Perfect Plants

Getting your best crop, whether vegetable, fruit, ornamental or lawn, often requires adding lime or fertilizer to your soil. But you need to know how much. If you are starting a new garden, it’s a good idea to have the soil tested. If your plants don’t seem to be doing as well as you think […]

shade

Best Trees for Summertime Shade

On a hot summer day, what could be more pleasant than sitting under a big leafy shade tree enjoying an iced tea or lemonade? Why shade trees? Shade trees keep your environment cool in the summer — according to experts, shade on the roof and windows can reduce summertime air conditioning costs by 30%.  Shade […]

blooming seedling

Welcome Spring with Early Blooming Trees

Among the things we like best about late winter and early spring are the blooming, flowering trees and shrubs that proudly announce that summer is just around the corner. We’re not talking about the crape myrtles, southern magnolias, and fringe trees that bloom later in mid-spring and early summer. Dogwoods, redbuds, Japanese magnolias, flowering plums, […]