2011 Winter Newsletter

Hello and happy new year!

Scott and I are finally coming out of hibernation, and guess what? There are signs of spring popping up all around us. The birds started changing their songs at the end of January, and a few weeks later their singing is getting stronger every day. They know it’s time to start rockin!

Wow! What a year. Last year I was telling you how great all the rain was the summer before, and this year was the complete opposite. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather have the rain than desert conditions. I spent so much time watering after I got home, my kids were wondering who the crazy, dirty chic was in the yard. It certainly couldn’t be their mother, who they hadn’t talked to in a while. Believe me, I can’t stand watering. It just takes too much time out of the day, which is why I am glad many of you use the soaker hoses. It needs to be CONVENIENT(and efficient), otherwise the plants that you have invested a lot into just shrivel up and die. Plants are living, breathing organisms, so make sure you give them a drink this summer. Many plants (especially new plantings) will need some extra care this summer after the nightmare that was last season.

Remember, new plantings 2 times a week. Older plantings can go few weeks without water, but if we get that heat again (with no rain), I would soak things once a week to give them a good drink.

Flowers in the backyard

If you really want to minimize those pesky weeds, plant more GROUND COVERS! There are so many more available varieties that will give you four seasons of interest. Most bloom, and many are evergreen. The more ground is covered, the less room for those nasty weeds. Not only do I pout about watering, but weeding also (not the business to be complaining about it, I guess). Invasive weeds have taken a strong hold of every part of this region, and since we cannot eliminate them completely, we can at least make it very hard for them to take over. One flower from one plant can release hundreds of seeds, so if they are allowed to go to seed, you end up having a very big problem that can last for several years. The plantings that I install are designed for low maintenance, so the more plants you have, the less weeding needs to be done. You might also consider using Pine needles as a mulch. It is a completely different look than the compost mulch, but it is phenomenal at keeping weeds at a minimum.

Please let me know if you are interested in doing some early spring pots. I start planting them in the beginning of March, and they will last for weeks. The plants that are put in can take temperatures in the teens, so no worries about freezing temperatures. Many of you who had hundreds of bulbs planted on your property in the fall will be feeling REALLY HAPPY soon! Seeing flowers, after a winter like this, is breathtaking. That little flower carries a lot of hope with it, and always makes me reflect that life is really just one moment at a time. When May arrives, it is time for the summer frenzy of colors and textures, which would be so much more fun if the deer didn’t like anything I planted!

Look outside right now, and see if there is an area that you would like to have some winter interest. I have a drift of red twig dogwoods called Arctic Sun by my back patio that are a brilliant pink, surrounding a Paperbark maple that is a dark copper, and has peeling bark. It looks AMAZING, and gives not only winter interest, but spring blooms, and gorgeous fall color. I know that every year I try to get someone to plant a Hamamelis (Witchhazel) tree. It is the beginning of February, there is a layer of grimy snow and ice on the ground, and this tree is just starting to bloom. Like the grand canyon, pictures do not do it justice. I will show someone a picture of it, and they say, ‘Oh, that’s an interesting flower. It’s okay’. Then, when they see this plant at someones house, or at a local arboretum, it’s more like, ‘HOLY COW! WHAT IS THAT?! THERE IS A TREE BLOOMING RIGHT NOW?! IS THAT A FRAGRANCE I SMELL? AHHHHH! SPRING IS REALLY COMING! So maybe there is a spot in your yard that you could use this kind of inspiration.

Nice outdoor seating area

I know that a lot of you know how I feel about grass (don’t care), but over the last 20 years that I have been running my business, I have noticed a big shift away from the perfect lawn. I know, I know, many of you love your grass, but most of you don’t use a lawn service that applies huge amounts of fertilizers and chemicals (applied by numbskulls) or have an organic natural lawn care service, which makes me very proud! If you have the property to do so, think about a NATIVE WILDFLOWER MEADOW, which only needs cutting once in march. Meadows provide you with complete serenity. Once they get established (2-3 years), they will award you with flowers, birds and butterflies, some you have never seen before. You can start off with a small area, and enlarge over a period of time. Meadows are the wave of the future in many situations where grass can cause sterility in nature (highways, former agriculture land, large private lots).

Hardscaping

So Scott has become a Hardscaping god (Scott rolling his eyes). When we first started together 15 years ago, I never imagined him building some of the most beautiful stone creations I have ever seen. He makes outdoor furniture out of stone! He transforms tired back yards into outdoor living rooms, complete with fireplaces! His walkways set you on beautiful journeys! Really, I am not being biased, since I am his harshest critic. He has the special gift of knowing how to be a contractor that REALLY LISTENS to what the customer wants, and to really feel the space that is to be transformed. He creates strong working relationships with his customers, the very key element to the successful completion of a large construction project. When you look at most other contractors work and compare it to his, WOW, what a difference. This is something that we do a lot, because you never stop learning ways to improve. His stonework sets him apart from most others, so if you ever want to add an area that needs something spectacular, Scott would be happy to show you what he can do. He’s a keeper!

Amazing patio layout

Well, can’t wait to see all of you, and I hope some of these pictures lighten your day.

Remember, we are always looking for ways to improve our business, so any if you have ANY questions, or comments, we welcome them.

So long for now, and HAPPY SPRING!!!

nice flower

Free Joomla templates by Ltheme