plant care

LESSONS FROM THE GARDEN: REST, RELAX, and RENEW

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Lessons from the garden: Rest, Relax and Renew

written by Linda Hopper

Most of us live and work on the fast track. Between work, family, yard work, holidays, and other commitments our tanks are often running on empty.  We go-go-go.

But then - sometimes in the winter, when the garden is resting, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.  We are often stuck inside. Sometimes the winter blues set in.

We need to take a lesson from the garden – Rest, Relax and Renew!

Here are some ideas on how:

  • Take an extra nap

  • Read or meditate

  • Resume a hobby

  • If all else fails – find some garden books and look forward to spring!        

Spring will be here soon and we will be back on the fast track.

And then we will long for a day to relax…

Enjoy it now!

PLANTING TREES FOR FALL COLOR

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PLANTING TREES FOR FALL COLOR

The beauty of fall colors touches the soul. Take time to pause and enjoy this special time of year.  The reds, yellows, and oranges of trees in the fall all add to the fall splendor.

Here are some Natural Plus favorites for adding fall colors to your yard/landscaping:

Ornamental/Smaller Trees with Fall Color (10-30’ size):

·      Amur Maple           Brilliant red fall color, clump or single stemmed

·      Serviceberry          Orange/reds , berries for birds, clumps or singles

·      Hot Wings               Reds/oranges with bright red seed pods

 

Larger Shade Trees with Good Fall Color (over 30’)

·      Aspen                                               Quaking golden yellow leaves

·      Birch                                                 Yellow, clump or single stemmed

·      Ginkgos                                            Golden yellow (slow growing)

·      Lindens                                            Yellow, heart shaped leaves

·      Locust                                               Yellow wispy leaves

·      Maples: Autumn Blaze               Brilliant Red, fast growing

·      Maples: Burgandy Belle                    Burgundy Red

·      Maples: Emerald Luster                    Golden Yellow, fast growing

·      Maples: Rubrum                           Bright Red

·      Maples: Sugar                                Multiple varieties – oranges, reds, yellows

·      Red Oaks                                         Red

·      Witch Hazel                                      Fragrant yellow blooms in fall

PLANTING PERENNIALS THAT ATTRACT BUTTERFLIES

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 Planting Perennials that Attract Butterflies

 Almost anything that blooms in the summer will attract butterflies.  The most difficult part of planting to attract butterflies is narrowing down the choices. 

To get started ask yourself these questions and choose the plants that best suit your area: 

·      How tall do you want the plant to get?

·      Does your area have sun, shade, or part sun, and what direction does it face?

·      Do you want an evergreen or leafy plant?

·      Do you have any special wishes for the plant – color, blooms, etc.

Choosing native plants is always a good option.  

Some common perennials that are butterfly favorites include

·      Butterfly weed (Asclepias) -  Bright orange blooms, grow app. 2’

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·      Blazing star (Liatris)- Spikes of lavender blooms, grow app. 2’

·      Cone flowers (Echinacea) – Come in multiple colors and sizes

·      Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) – Bright yellow with brown centers

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·      Bee Balm (Monarda) – Come in multiple colors and sizes

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·      Cardinal Flower (Lobelia) –Bright red blooms, grows 3’

·      False Sunflower(Heliopsis) – Bright yellow flowers, grows 3’

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·      Hyssop (Agastache) – Blue violet spikes , grows 3’

·      Phlox – Come in multiple colors and sizes

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·      Sedums – Come in multiple colors and sizes

TIPS FOR SUMMER PLANTING

TIPS FOR SUMMER PLANTING

TIPS FOR SUMMER PLANTING

Summer has finally arrived and the beautiful colors and blooms of summer are everywhere. A common question we get in the summer is

“Is it too late to plant?” 

The answer is no.

Container grown plants can be planted anytime from spring through fall. And a benefit of planting now is that you can see the foliage and blooms of the plants you are choosing.  So if you have procrastinated or simply ran out of time earlier to complete your gardening projects there is still time.

Four questions that you should consider when choosing any plant are:

·      How tall do you want the plant to get?

·      Does your area have sun, shade, or part sun, and what direction does it face?

·      Do you want an evergreen or leafy plant?

·      Do you have any special wishes for the plant – color, blooms, etc.

Once you have the answers to these questions, we can easily help you pick the plants for your areas.

 

 

 

ROSES

An old proverb sums it up

“Take time to smell the roses.”

The beauty and fragrance of a rose makes us stop for a minute to enjoy life.

Growing your own roses can be a challenge but here are a few tips to help you be successful.

Tea roses are not hardy for our zone. Years ago they were our only option. They required a lot of care and winter protection and still did not fare well over winter. We now have wonderful new options for growing roses.

At Natural Plus we carry a few varieties of roses that are much more hardy, disease resistant, and rebloom. Here are some of those varieties:

Easy Elegance Roses : Easy Elegance roses are very hardy, highly disease resistant, and colors are stunning. Some varieties that we carry include:

            Coral Cove – Coral colored, everblooming, grows 24”

            High Voltage – Bright yellow, recurrent blooms, grows 3-5’

            Kashmir – Dark red tea like blooms, grows 2 ½-4’

            Music Box – Stunning yellow and pink blend, grows 3’

            Paint the Town – Everblooming, medium red, grows 2-3’

Nearly Wild – Nearly wild roses are one of our most hardy varieties. They bloom all summer. Blooms resemble the bloom of a wild rose. If there is a particularly hard winter, they usually come back from the root. Grow 2-3’

Purple Pavement –Purple pavement is a rugosa rose with fuschia colored blooms that grow in clusters.  They are very fragrant and plants are extremely hardy. Blooms turn to beautiful red “rose hips” in fall.  Grow 3-5’.

Climbing Roses: At Natural Plus we carry 2 varieties that we feel are the most hardy: William Baffin is a prolific bloomer with medium pink blooms.  John Cabot is a deep red colored. These require a trellis.

Knock-Out Roses-  We continue to carry knock-out roses that bloom all summer in red or pink. We have found these to be a little more susceptible to winter kill, but some people have had excellent luck with them. Good maintenance and protection over winter are the keys to success.

 Care of Roses

Roses need full sun to get optimal blooms. Adequate watering, usually 2-3 times a week is a must, especially for newly planted roses. It is also advisable to treat with a “Rose RX -3 in One” rose care product. This product provides protection from aphids, spider mites, black spot fungus, and powdery mildew. It is listed as organic.

 Fertilize roses 2-3 times a summer starting in late May with an all purpose fertilizer such as “Miracle Gro” or “Rapid Gro”.

 Trimming Roses

Best time for trimming roses is early spring before they leaf. Trim to the desired size. After they leaf, trim out any dead wood that remains.  They can be lightly trimmed during the summer to achieve optimal shape.

Overwintering Roses

Care over winter is a must. Be sure that roses are adequately watered going in to winter. Water once a week in the fall up until the ground freezes. Mulch roses heavily at the base in the fall. This also helps protect from winter kill.