plant care

Japanese Boxwood

Best Places for Boxwoods

Boxwoods aren’t just for hedges anymore. The compact, bushy shape and pretty little leaves of the Japanese boxwood make a handsome, fine textured evergreen shrub that can be used effectively in many parts of the home landscape.     A Japanese boxwood pruned by the thinning method (as opposed to formal shearing – see Perfect […]

landscaping around trees

Landscaping Around Trees

While we may be accustomed to seeing trees standing all by themselves in yards across neighborhoods, it’s actually better tree care to grow other plants and flowers around trees. But how many of us actually consider how to landscape trees when we create our yard design? Not many at all! Most people don’t even know […]

winter trees snow care

How to Winterize Trees

Temperatures are falling, colors are changing, holidays are passing, and winter is approaching. Before you hunker down and settle in for the season, you should consider how to keep safe trees. While nature has built in some organic winterizing processes, there are also steps you can take to winterize trees to protect them from pests […]

winter flowering trees dogwoods

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, […]

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 […]

frost and cold protection

Frost and Cold Protection

Frost and Cold Protection Frost is the enemy of most flowers and some leaves. A dusting of frost can kill blossoms and even the leaves of many kinds of plants. Frost forms on surfaces when the temperature goes below water’s freezing point of 32°F (0°C). Note that the temperature at ground level and on plant […]

sweet woodruff

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 berries

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. […]