Using vines in your garden and landscape design can add an extra layer of color and depth along with stretching your dollars in the plantings. Vines are used by Landscape Architects, gardeners and homeowners for a variety of purposes from providing colorful blooms covering and unattractive wall, climbing a trellis and establishing an effective screening or backdrop. Here is a list of our favorite vines for the Dallas-Fort Worth area gardens.
What is going on with the Italian Cypress trees around Dallas? A question we have been asking ourselves and hearing from homeowners all over Dallas & Ft. Worth in the last year. You can see it almost anytime you venture out around Dallas. Beautiful, mature Italian Cypress trees that have been used to accent and enhance landscapes and architecture across the metroplex are turning brown, their foliage is thinning and they are looking terrible. What is the problem?
Loropetalum (Loropetalum chinese) or Fringe Flower, as it is commonly known, is a popular shrub used throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area. It's popularity stems from its rich maroon leaf color and its especially noticeable in early spring with its bright pink or fuschia flowers. So how them could we not completely love it? Well, here is a little insight into the title of the post and why we are somewhat conflicted about using using it in our planting designs and how much we see it around Dallas.
Our annual Holiday Gift Guide has arrived just in time for Cyber Monday. We've asked our staff to assemble a list of their favorite gardening gift ideas including a few things that are on their own lists. Take a look at these and get a jump start on finishing up your shopping a little early. Enjoy.
Looking for the best shrubs to grow in those shady areas of your garden? We've got you covered. One common challenge for homeowners and landscape designers is to find attractive and appealing shade-loving plants for shady spots in the garden. If you are lucky enough to have mature trees on your property or your house blocks the sun most or all of the time, then plants that thrive in the shade may be your only option. Here is a list of the 10 best shade-loving plants for the North Texas area.
Check out our latest board on Pinterest of Trellis Ideas. Trellis designs can come in many shapes and sizes for growing vines, roses and other climbing plants. Many different materials can also be used to build a trellis including wood, metal, wire and cabling. Take a look at this Pinterest board and see if any of these might be something to add to your own garden. Follow us on Pinterest as well. Enjoy.
Finally, Fall has arrived and it's time to really enjoy those cool evenings and weekends outside. Of course that means it is fire pit season. Everyone's favorite patio and garden amenity to gather around with family and friends. Here are a few of out favorite outdoor fire pits that you may want to add to your outdoor living area. Check out our new Pinterest Board for more of our favorite designs.
Privacy in the garden. It's one of the most frequent requests that homeowners ask for in their landscape design and helps make their garden and property feel like a personal retreat. You've certainly heard the old saying "Good fences make good neighbors", well good hedges make even better neighbors. Fences have limited height restrictions and can't really grow over time, at all. Hedges however, are not height restricted and can grow higher and higher over time to enhance the screening and privacy of your property. This is especially valuable for many of the condensed lot sizes in the Park Cities and the typical suburban homes around Dallas. Whether it is privacy from neighboring houses or screening of an alley or power lines, choosing the right evergreen shrubs and trees for the size and space can make a big difference in the final garden design. Here's a list of 4 of the best plants for privacy screening for your home and garden.
One of the most recognizable and beautiful signs of summer in Dallas, is the dispersion of color across the city in the form of Crape myrtle trees. Often used and taken for granted, the Crape Myrtle is one of the best ornamental trees you can find. An absolute perfect scale and form for residential gardens, Crape Myrles, (Lagerstroemia indicia), are a deciduous tree with a cane like branching and a multi-trunk base. Mature sizes can range anywhere from a low, shrub form of 2-3' high up to a mature tree size of well over 30' in height.
Here we go into the gauntlet of summer that is July and August. Hold on tight and think about October. With the heat however, comes the full on color show of summer. All the heat loving plants are now just pulling into full form and ready to show off. Here are a few of the shrubs and trees that are in bloom now and at least can provide some visual distraction from the heat.
One of the hottest trends we are seeing in garden design is the use of living walls. Also referred to as green walls, live walls or even vertical gardens, this trend is a great solution for both indoor and outdoor applications where you need to add a little green and space is at a premium. Many times greenery and vegetation are desirable in narrow spaces or to screen walls and fences where regular planting and landscaping cannot fit.
Trees are great. Who doesn't love trees? They are both beautiful and functional and can help enhance any property or garden. Want proof of that? Take a drive through the nicest neighborhood in your area and it's likely that the boulevards and homes are lined with mature trees.....
So the majesty of spring has arrived in Dallas along with the biggest golf weekend of the year with The Masters Golf Tournament. If you're like most people, you haven't had the privilege of walking the grounds but can certainly appreciate the colors and beauty on television. (Thanks goodness for the invention of high definition tv.)
A quick bit of history about Augusta National is that it had a great start towards it's current beauty in that the original property was actually a landscape nursery. It was owned by a noted horticulturist who imported many of the flowering plants on the property. Then the legendary golfing champion Bobby Jones purchased the property after his retirement and hired famous golf course architect Alister Mackenzie to design what is now one of the most recognizable golf courses and pieces of property in the world.
Well after all the snow and rain it looks that Spring has finally arrived. Temperatures are warming up again this week up near 80 degrees and it looks like the plants are responding and ready for the colorful spring show. Here are a few shrubs and trees that are in bloom.
Spring is right around the corner, thank goodness after this latest blast of ice and snow (although we may have a little more to endure this week). Early bloomers like the Redbuds have come and gone already and the Pear Trees are fully budding out ready to bloom. Now it's time to prune back ornamental grasses to get them off to a great spring start and ready for their full glory in the summer.
Looking for a little visual interest for your garden in winter? Here are couple suggestions that are producing some pretty showy colors and berries this time of year.
Deciduous Holly (Ilex decidua)
Also known as Possumhaw or Possumhaw Holly, this deciduous ornamental tree is a great solution to add some winter color to your garden. Although sometimes listed as a shrub, it typically range between 8-15' in height and looks better when shaped as a small tree form. The winter colors are produced by clusters of red berries that produce a vibrant patch of color often in a rather dull time of year. For best berry production, plant a male plant nearby to encourage pollination.
It's time to pull out or provide the frost cloths for your plants and cool-season flowers. Here are a few options recommended to provide a little protection for your garden. First and most obvious idea for container plants would be to move them indoors to a porch, garage or covered patio for added protection. Secondly is to use a frost cloth over the top to provide a little warmth as well. You have probably seen this used widely in the nursery industry, on golf courses to protect the putting greens and you have likely seen it around your neighborhood or local shopping centers. Here is a photo of it being used in a nursery. You can order below from Amazon or likely find it on hand at your local garden shop or home improvement store.
So 2015 has now arrived. Now's the time to give your garden the same attention as other parts of your like with some New Year Resolutions of it's own. Here's a list of 5 new Year's resolutions for your green thumb. Make them happen.
1. Plant A Tree
One of the simplest and best ways to make an addition to your property or garden is to plant a tree. The old proverb of "When is the best time to plant a tree?......20 years ago." still holds true. They are also one of the best ways to add value to a property. Drive around a nice neighborhood or look at a real estate listing online. One of the first things you will notice will be the nice trees on the property that provide shade and frame the house.
In case you got a little busy over the holidays, like us, and didn't make it out the Dallas Arboretum you can still catch the 12 Days of Christmas Holiday displays. Better hurry though as it only runs through January 4th (this weekend). Granted you will have to bundle up or some colder temperatures forecasted for this week, but if you need to stretch the holiday season a little bit farther this may be worth your time.
So maybe you got a new iPad or iPhone for Christmas this year but the weather has you stuck indoors instead of outside in the garden. Here are a couple lists of useful apps to download onto your new device to help with the planning and inspiration of the garden until you can get outside and get your hands dirty.
Wishing you and yours a restful holiday season and Happy New Year!
One of the great activities for this time of year is viewing the holiday lights in Dallas and several of the neighborhoods that are known for showing off this time of year. If you are like our family, it has become one of the annual traditions for the holiday season and is also one of the must see items for friends and families visiting from out of town.
Around the DFW area, there are several neighborhoods that roll out the show of lights and are worth seeking out. A few of those are Vitruvian Lights in Addison, Interlochen in Arlington and the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine. (See the Dallas Morning News list of the 'Top 10 Places to see holiday lights in Dallas-Ft. Worth' for additional choices).