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Archive for the ‘How Tos’ Category

In your garden now…

Friday, February 12th, 2016

Now is the time in your garden to start some tasks to ensure the best possible Spring and Summer! Here are some “To-Do’s”


  • Tidy deciduous trees & shrubs while they are leafless to see the structure of the plants. Prune if needed to restore their natural shape.
  • Check out seed catalogs, garden books & go to seminars for inspiration, ideas and planning.
  • Schedule a garden coaching/consultation with one of our experts to get professional advice to help you create the garden of your dreams!
  • Keep storms debris like tree limbs and needles off lawns so they remain healthy.
  • Remove old, leftover perennial stems and leaves, be careful not to damage emerging leaves!
  • Bare root trees, berries and roses are arriving in garden stores. Plant them now!
  • Cut branches from forsythia, redbud, quince, flowering cherry, pussy willows and other spring blooming shrubs and trees.


  • Trim and clean ornamental grasses.
  • Treat for slugs around emerging bulb leaves and perennials. Look for a product safe to use around pets like the brand “sluggo.”
  • Divide crowded clumps of summer and fall blooming perennials like coneflowers, shasta daisies and asters.
  • As soil warms, mid to end of the month plant “starts” of cool weather crops like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and kale.
  • Take a closer look at how the lawn grass made it through the winter. Consider the following for a green spring & summer lawn:
    • Moss killer application (Ferrous Sulfate) prior to other work.
    • Aeration – pokes holes in the lawn allowing water & nutrients to penetrate the “root zone.”
    • Thatching – think of this as a brush for the lawn. It removes all the old dead grass and any dead moss.
    • Fertilization – reinvigorates the lawn after the other treatments.
    • Over seed application – applying new grass seed to fill bare spots and give the lawn a head start.

Garden Talk: Rose Pruning

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Roses are a great addition to your landscapes garden and are enjoyed indoors and out. This time of year we have people ask us about pruning their Roses. Let me give you the Father Nature Landscapes way of taking care of your Roses. First, you’ll need a little bit of background on what you are dealing with. Note that this list is not in perfect detail of the in’s and out’s of how to be a Roses gardener, simply the quick, simplified version.

I.  Hybrid T:  Multi seasonal blooming Roses typically used for cuttings due to their long, straight and upright growth before its impressive bloom.

II.  Floribunda: Bush type Rose. Bunch type (3-15 blooms in a cluster) blooming Rose ranging from carpet, climbers and spilling Roses and all in the middle.

III.  Grandiflora Rose:  Bush style rose that is a cross between the hybrid T Rose and Floribunda Rose consisting of both single cutting type Roses and clustered Roses. Can    get as large as 6′ in height.

  1. Prune all of these in February when buds begin to swell.
  2. Think through your desired shape to encourage air flow, use and size.
  3. Cut out any dead canes.
  4. Cut any suckers that may be growing from root stock.
  5. Cut any remaining canes that are smaller than a pencil, or crossing or inward growing stems (These cause damage and allow for disease to enter the plant).
  6. Select 4-6 of the remaining canes, determine the shape desired and cut to height of 1-4′ depending on preference.

This should leave an open shrub with outward growing branch structure.

After first bloom, remove spent blooms to encourage more flowering throughout the summer. This process is known as ‘deadheading’. DSC_0070


[How To] keep your garden low-maintenance.

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Perhaps the most common request of today’s garden clientele is “low-maintenance.” This can have a variety of different meanings to the ear of a Garden Designer. For one, it can mean “I want it to look pretty on its own,” or “I want to spend time relaxing in my garden, not working.” But whatever the interpretation, one thing is key to a low maintenance garden, design. Yes, design. My favorite thing.

Effective low-maintenance is all about design. Design provides structure for your plants and your hardscape that will last. A low-maintenance landscape is a lasting landscape. Whether or not you hire a Garden Designer or Landscape Architect, it is important to have a plan for your garden space, and make it your own. Your style and taste should be realized in your garden. It is your space!

So, here are some key ideas to use and remember when working towards a low-maintenance garden.