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Energy Efficient Landscaping

Energy Efficient Landscaping

in Gardening Tips | 0 comments

Energy efficient landscaping is the way to go A thoughtfully designed landscape not only beautifies your property, it can also help you save energy. Well-placed plantings can cool your house in summer, warm it in winter, and save water year round. According to the Department of Energy, a landscape designed with conservation in mind saves enough energy to pay for itself in 8 years. Here are tips from the Department of Energy and Neave Landscaping to help you create...

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A Warm Welcome for Worms

A Warm Welcome for Worms

in Gardening Tips, Organic Gardening | 0 comments

Most people know that earthworms are a component of healthy soil. As they work their way through the dirt, worms aerate the soil and increase the soil’s ability to hold nutrients. The castings excreted by earthworms are an excellent fertilizer. Worms can also make soil more hospitable to plants by helping sandy soil to retain water or by improving the drainage of heavy clay soil. Gardeners who use raised beds or containers can also enjoy the benefits of worms...

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Landscape Mulching ABCs – Garden Care

Landscape Mulching ABCs – Garden Care

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Mulching promotes plant health. Mulching helps plants conserve moisture and withstand temperature extremes. It also keeps down weeds. Here is how to mulch. Apply three inches of mulch. If you use less than that, the mulch is ineffective. More than five inches can prevent oxygen from reaching your plants’ roots. Keep the mulch two to three inches away from the trunks of established plants. Mulch that touches trunks may encourage them to decay and rot. For new plantings, mulch...

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Plan to Prune Trees and Shrubs

Plan to Prune Trees and Shrubs

in Gardening Tips, Trees | 0 comments

When early spring arrives, one of the first landscape tasks will be pruning some of your plants. Pruning ornamentals really means “thinning” them: selectively cutting back individual limbs to a side branch or main trunk. What you probably don’t want to do is to “hedge” your plant, or cut all branches to the same length. This discourages full growth and creates plants that look like poodle tails. Thinning is good maintenance. It stimulates new growth, opens the plant to...

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Shape your Crape the Right Way

Shape your Crape the Right Way

in Gardening Tips, Trees | 1 comment

Crape myrtle adds beauty to landscapes. It is hardy, drought resistant, and relatively disease free. Such a marvelous ornamental deserves our care and respect. So please, whatever you do, don’t “murder” your crape. That’s actually what landscapers jokingly call it when people cut back a crape myrtle’s large limbs and leave only stumps. What happens then is that a whole bunch of new growth will come out near the cut, which will make the plant look like “pom-poms on...

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Japanese Maple Magic – Garden Design

Japanese Maple Magic – Garden Design

in Gardening Tips, Trees | 3 comments

A well-pruned Japanese Maple is a marvel, perhaps at its best in autumn, with blazing leaves set against a backdrop of black, twisting branches. Japanese Maples also add striking beauty to winter landscapes, when their bold branching is most visible. You will have to prune to show this maple at its best.   Here is a well-pruned Japanese Maple. Notice the light shining through its branching structure. *   Without proper tending, Japanese Maples get “hairy.” Too many shoots...

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Fertilizer 101 – Gardening Care

Fertilizer 101 – Gardening Care

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First things first: commercial fertilizers are labeled with 3 numbers that refer to 3 essential nutrients plants need to thrive. The first number indicates Nitrogen (N), the second Phosphorus (P), and the third Potassium (K). Nitrogen promotes green, leafy growth. Phosphorus supports the root structure, flower blooms, and fruit production. Potassium helps plants develop strong, resilient cells that improve the plant’s overall hardiness. A fertilizer labeled 10-10-10 is a good all-purpose choice, but if you are growing plants that...

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Roses Are Red, Hydrangeas Are Blue . . . or Pink!

Roses Are Red, Hydrangeas Are Blue . . . or Pink!

in Gardening Tips, Shrubs | 0 comments

To Make Them Blue: The color of hydrangeas depends on the presence of aluminum and the acidity of the soil. In Georgia, the pH of the soil is usually low enough (pH 5.5 or lower) to allow plants to take up enough aluminum to produce beautiful blue flowers. To keep them blue, you can add aluminum sulfate to the soil. Use the sulfate sparingly, follow label directions, and water well before and after the application. To Make Them Pink:...

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Irrigation Checklist

Irrigation Checklist

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We have all seen automatic sprinkler systems gone wrong: watering the sidewalk or driveway, watering at high noon (when the water will just evaporate without doing any good), and watering while it’s raining! Don’t let this happen to you. Here are some ideas for how to maximize your irrigation system when temperatures rise. Let the lawn show you when it needs water. Walk across the lawn late in the day and look back for your footprints. If your footprints...

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Low Down on Mulch – Gardening Care

Low Down on Mulch – Gardening Care

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Low-Down on Mulch Mulch is a favorite because it unifies the overall look of landscaping and promotes healthy plant growth. When properly applied, mulch suppresses weeds and helps the soil retain water. It also insulates plants’ roots, cooling them in the summer and warming them in the winter. Here are some things to think about when choosing mulch for your yard or garden: The Mulch and Soil Council: You may have noticed that some brands of mulch are certified...

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Do Be a Deadhead – Garden Care

Do Be a Deadhead – Garden Care

in Gardening Tips, Perennials | 0 comments

Prolong the bloom season for annuals and perennials by being a diligent “deadhead.” Here’s why: Once plants blossom, they shift into survival mode, using all their energy to create seeds for next year’s life-cycle. When you deadhead – cut off the spent blooms – the plant shifts back into flower production. And that’s good news for homeowners. Use very sharp pruners and selectively cut about one-fourth of an inch above a sprouting branch. For disease prevention, dip your pruners...

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Cold Weather To-Do List

Cold Weather To-Do List

in Gardening Tips | 0 comments

Help maintain your landscape during the colder months with the following ideas: Cut back perennials. While you are “deadheading,” or cutting back, perennials or other hardy herbaceous plants, consider moving some of them to change the look of your garden or landscape when spring arrives. Here is a very informative article on moving perennials by Dennis Hinkamp: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/pub__4864455.htm Continue planting trees and shrubs. As long as the ground is not frozen, you can continue adding trees and shrubs. Hold...

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Keep Watering Your Garden Even in Winter

Keep Watering Your Garden Even in Winter

in Gardening Tips | 0 comments

As winter rolls in and temperatures fall, please continue to water your garden. Why? Watering keeps your landscape healthy. Winter’s cold weather, low humidity, and strong winds can dry out plants and damage their roots. So keep watering—and keep the following tips in mind as you do. Water only when air temperatures are above 40 degrees F. Before watering, check the root ball. If it is wet, you do not need to water. Apply water at mid-day so it...

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Spring House(plant) Cleaning

Spring House(plant) Cleaning

in Gardening Tips | 0 comments

Spring is the ideal time to repot and groom your houseplants. Start with new pots (or ones that have been sterilized with a solution of bleach and water), and a bag of potting soil, preferably a brand that includes perlite and some nutrients. Increase the pot size by one to two inches. Pick off all dead or brown leaves. Trim up any spouts to shape the plant. Gently remove the plant’s root ball from the existing pot. If it...

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Get Your Garden Ready for Spring!

Get Your Garden Ready for Spring!

in Gardening Tips | 0 comments

Spring is finally here! Here are some gardening tips to get your landscape ready. Take care of your annuals. Deadhead (cut back) spent flowers—but allow foliage of hardy bulbs to yellow and fade before cutting them back. Don’t worry that the shoots peeking out of the ground in early spring will be damaged by cold: bulbs such as daffodils are extremely resistant to frost damage. Plant summer annuals after the threat of frost has passed, which is about April...

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A Healthy Landscape Needs the Right Amount of Water

A Healthy Landscape Needs the Right Amount of Water

in Gardening Tips, Organic Gardening | 0 comments

The right amount of water helps your landscape and garden thrive and stay healthy. Water regularly—but do not overwater. More plants die from overwatering than from any other reason. Roots need air; waterlogged roots can kill even large plants. Standing water around plants is a sign of overwatering. It’s caused in part by our region’s clay soils, which prevent good drainage. You can do everything right—dig a good hole, use the right soil and compost mix, and add your...

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Gardening Lingo Helps You Avoid Invasive Plants

Gardening Lingo Helps You Avoid Invasive Plants

in Gardening Tips, Pests and Poisons | 0 comments

You’ve probably heard that native plants are better for your garden than non-native, invasive plants. But what’s the difference? And why are invasives a problem? Knowing some common horticulture terms can help you make the right choice for your garden. To help you pick the best plants for a healthy, thriving landscape, we’ve defined some common terms below. Common landscaping terms: Native: a plant that has been growing in a region for a long time and has adapted to...

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So Long, Mosquitos

So Long, Mosquitos

in Gardening Tips, Pests and Poisons | 0 comments

Mosquito larvae hatch in pools of water, so the first line of defense against these unwanted pests is to remove standing water from your property. Check the following areas often, especially if you have had significant rainfall: • Saucers under potted plants • Children’s toys • Buckets, wheelbarrows or lawn tools • Tarps or plastic sheets covering pools, compost piles, etc. • Patio furniture and grills • Lawn decorations • Pet bowls • Trash Cans You should also keep...

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Three Steps to a Perfect Garden Design: Color, Form and Texture

Three Steps to a Perfect Garden Design: Color, Form and Texture

in Garden Design, Gardening Tips | 1 comment

It’s easy to understand why color is important to garden design. But if you want a truly gorgeous landscape, use form and texture, too. Form is the shape of the plant. Some plants have a tall, upright form. Others have a rounded form or a weeping form. Texture means the overall look created by the size, shape, and surface of the plant. For example, many grasses have a fine texture. Violas are medium textured, and tulips have a coarse...

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Dogscaping Your Garden

Dogscaping Your Garden

in Garden Design, Gardening Tips | 0 comments

Dog Friendly Landscapes Let’s face it, garden lovers: dogs are hard on yards. They dig holes in your beautiful garden, they kill grass, they poop. But we love our dogs and want them to be happy. So consider dogscaping, which means designing your landscape to be canine friendly. Think water features, some shade, a meandering path, maybe even a dog run. A great introduction to dogscaping can be found at this website, from the Fence Authority. It points out...

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Landscaping and masonry contractors. Art of Stone Gardening is a full service design, masonry, hardscape and landscaping company. We plan, design, and install residential gardens and landscapes in North Georgia. Our local service area: Clermont, Cleveland, Cumming, Dawsonville, Dahlonega, Gainesville,
Helen, Murrayville, Sautee Nacoochee, Oakwood, Suches GA.
770-519-6372

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