Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Your on the Border...Texas Style

Border Plants

I know everyone will be thinking these are plants from the wild borders of Texas, Not so Mr. Bill, we are talking about landscape decisions. Border plants create divisions within beds,  around walkways , swimming pools and just about everything you could think of or want to think of.  Border plantings should be low, you want them low so the folks can see the other plants behind them......you don't want your border plants stealing all the thunder.

These plants can offer color, texture, and divisions of height within a bed, it is all about directing the eye to the natural flow of the landscape. What budding landscaper's want is for the line of sight to flow upward directing the eye to the back of the bed and eventually the structure that the bed is emphasizing.....like your beautiful house.....you know curb appeal and all that. Here are some of my favorite border plants:





Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Knock-Out.....Rose that is

The Knock-Out Rose

Well as you can see from the date stamp, I just took this picture. Amazing how beautiful and prolific these roses have become this year, considering they received absolutely no attention the past several months. Well I should qualify that statement, no human attention. My four large dogs have busted through them at least twice daily chasing rabbits and other dreaded varmints and they are a favorite "watering" post for the male dogs. And yet they still present us with a fantastic spring color show.

Usually in the winter I prune them back by any where from a third to two thirds of the height,  trim all the dead canes out, strip the leaves and spray with dormant oil. This year with the broken leg I had in early February, I have done nothing to the yard at all. Oh well, it gives the rabbits a new hiding place.
If  I was going to recommend a plant for a new gardener it would be the knock out rose...as sure success story, for the gardener and the garden.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


The Urban Garden Shop Adventure

Well April is here and for many in North Texas Spring is here also. Now that urge to plant something and improve your yards..... that has been fermenting all winter has now come to fruition (not really a metaphor more like symbolism...ha ha)

So let’s go shopping! But first let’s devise a plan…Or better yet down load Google Earth and draw a plot plan of your house if you do not have one already, mark where you want to add color, trees, shrubs, new sod…….this is all in preparation for the journey or the adventure you are about to take. Nothing like good preparation…the boy scouts great motto!

Now that we know what we need, as an example, color in the front bed… we know from our plan that our house faces south and has a full sun exposure. In choosing our "color" we want a tough, full sun plant, which will “pop” for drive up appeal.

This is the drill, do you planning and research. And this is your mantra today…repeat several times after me……bed preparation is vital….bed preparation is vital…proper bed prep… the addition of organic materials, soil, and proper nutrients will make your home…the  Home of the Month…( well maybe not) but your new plantings will thrive and love you bunches……

Where to go? Well that is part of the adventure; lots of places sell plants….big box stores, farmers markets, pick-up trucks on the side of the road, and independent garden centers. The choice is yours, hey that is what capitalism and the retail industry is all about, but let’s think about what we want and what is offered. If price alone is the key motivator then we will look for the discount operator that offers little in the way of information, education or loading help (ugh!). But if we are interested in the education and value for what we are spending and ““professional help” when we need it, then we need to seek that venue. Find a garden center that employs trained professionals that can help you and people that actually care about what you are planting and are trying to accomplish.
 This would be a professional garden center or a professional landscaper, these individuals have chosen this as their career, and they have a love for the product, the process, and your success. Most of these professionals have spent years in formal training with industry and professional certifications that shows a commitment to continued education. This is all about a commitment to bring a better product and a better experience to you the home gardener.

Am I opinionated about this? Well I prefer passionate. How frustrating to purchase a beautiful plant, work hard to plant it and then watch it die, because it is the wrong plant in the wrong place. I know of few other industries that have a devotion to educate themselves and their consumers as the horticulture industry does.

Get outside and enjoy the life!