Showing posts with label early spring flowering bushes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label early spring flowering bushes. Show all posts

Sunday, June 3, 2018

An Easy Tip to Help Keep the Trees on Your Property Healthy - A Personal Review

Our Backyard Trees - Kept Healthy with this Easy Tip
About ten years ago, while visiting a client, I had to know how in the world they were able to get the massive trees on their property to stay so healthy and look so beautiful.

He pointed to the neighbors trees across the street and said, 'when we first purchased this house, these trees looked just like those'. And 'Those' weren't very nice at all. 

I asked him, 'what did you do?'

Here's the tip he passed along to me, and we've been using it ever since for the trees in our yard.

He said, every spring and fall, we put Evergreen Fertilizer Spikes around all of our trees.

'That's it?' I asked.

He was adamant, 'yep, just put them in and forget it'.

'How long before you saw results?' 

He said it was by next year that the trees had a new life.

Our Home Has so Many Trees, I Had to Try This Product

When we purchased our home over 20 years ago we hand planted over 50 Cedar Trees in our
A Closer Look at the Health of Our Trees
from Implementing this One Tip
backyard, and in the front yard put a Blue Spruce, a Birch Tree and an English Oak Tree, along with shrubs.

As the years went on I noticed that the cedar trees in the backyard were looking a little rough, and knowing that sparse Cedar Trees aren't attractive, an immediate solution was in order.

For some reason my mind believed that caring for trees would be complicated. Wow, was I wrong!

I highly recommend using Fertilizer Spikes to care for your trees. Our experience has been fantastic.

Not being a tree expert in any way shape or form, I simply had to trust that this product would do the job.

You can find Fertilizer Spikes at just about any hardware store or The Home Depot or of course, online. 

I'm not fussy on any particular brand. The only thing I look for, for our trees, are spikes that say 'Evergreen'. There are various fertilizer spikes for different types of trees and shrubs. Just pick the ones you need based on your trees/shrubs.

This year I added another fertilizer spike to the mix, one that was for both Evergreens and Flowering Shrubs.

How Do You Put Fertilizer Spikes in the Ground?

Easy peasy lemon squeezy. That's how :)

The ones I buy come twelve in a pack, with two plastic tops to use to hammer them in the ground.

It's like making Elephant Pudding (tee hee, an old elephant joke) - simply follow the directions on the package.

I use three boxes, that's 36 spikes for the backyard, and this year I used 30 spikes for the front yard. Some of the front yard spikes were for flowering shrubs.

Also, they say to use the spikes for spring and fall and I've only ever put them in the ground in the spring. However, I think this year I'll put them in the ground again in the fall.

I've put some of the product choices below, but as mentioned above, I'm not dedicated to a particular brand. Each year I just grab whatever is on the shelf at the local hardware store. I have used both brands featured below, and both were fine. I don't have a preference.




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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Best Shrubs for Springtime in the Garden

Every Garden should contain at least one or two of these beautiful Shrubs.  Let's Review some of the most fragrant and lovely shrubs that you should find blooming in your neighborhood!

Springtime just wouldn't be springtime if you didn't see the fragrant flowers of the Forsythia bush somewhere in your neighborhood.  The bright yellow flowers that are borne on the branches of this shrub just scream Spring Is Here!  After some of the winters we've had in the past, this kind of screaming is what everyone is just looking for.

Flowering shrubs give a colorful respite to the gardeners who have looked longingly for something fresh and fragrant after months of enduring cold and bleakness.  It's a balm for the soul and a sight for sore eyes.
These beauties in the picture will just make you wish you had smell-a-vision.  Unfortunately, that doesn't yet exist, but who know what the future holds.  

Spring Flowering Bushes

1.  The first spring bush to actually bloom does so when temperatures are still pretty cold.  Pussy willows are fantastic bushes in February and early March.  The little fuzzy catkins are just so pretty on the bare branches and the real beauty is that you can and should cut these shrubs back really hard in the spring.  If you don't you will miss out on a beautiful spring arrangement that everyone just loves.  Once the catkins flower, they become elongated and fall to the ground, leaving behind a bush that is a lush green.  Many people who haven't grown pussy-willows will not recognize them once the flowering is complete. They are a beautiful bush but just very plain once the little catkins are finished.  

2.  Forsythia is probably the next bush you will see in full bloom in April or early May, depending on how warm it gets.  These bushes are also full of yellow flowers that are arranged all along the stems of the bush.  One branch could have hundreds of flowers all screaming "Spring is Here!"  In more northern areas, you can sometimes see forsythia blooming while there is a light blanket of snow still on the ground.

3.  Azaleas and Rhododendrons are the next family of shrubs to come into bloom.   These are beautiful and delicate.  They come in a variety of colors and every garden enthusiast that I know has tried to grow one or more of these beauties.  "Rhodies" as their gardener parents will call them, need some special care.  They love acidic soils and do their best when their needs are met.  If you don't want to "baby" your shrubs, you might just want to pass up on growing these.  Even though I love to baby my plants, I have not had any luck at all with these most delicate flowering shrubs.  Gardeners can be a stubborn lot, though so I won't say that I won't try again.

4.  Lilacs have got to make this list of Spring Flowering Bushes.  Masses of purple florets are borne on stems that hang from their weight.  The most common ones are purple in color, hence the color Lilac.  What many people don't know is that Lilacs can also be white and some are such a light purple that people often think they are pinkish.  These shrubs can be single flowered or double flowered and the smell is unbelievably wonderful.  If you have this bush in your garden make sure that you bring some of the branches indoors, it will scent the whole room.  

5.  Magnolias are another wonderfully early shrub.  The bush can be left to grow into a tree or it can be pruned to keep its form as a shrub. Flowers appear in Late March or Early May.  There are several different varieties of Magnolias some light pink, yellow and creamy white.  While the fragrance of the Magnolia is not as strong as Lilacs, it still has a lovely scent.  If you trim the bush, the wood gives off a most wonderful fragrance.  

Beautiful Shrubs not only smell and look nice, they will attract bees, butterflies and if the flowers become berries, you will also have birds in your yard.


A great list of flowering shrubs to look for in your growing area are:
  • Viburnum which grows from zones 2 to 9 depending on the type.  
  • Mock Orange with it's white deeply scented flowers grows from zone 3 to 9 again depending on the type.
  • Mountain Laurel is another beauty, related to Rhododendrons, they will grow in zone 5 to 9.  Do not grow this bush if you have young inquisitive children as it is poisonous.  
  • Deutzia is another beautiful shrub that will grow in zones 5 to 8.  It can be pink or white and smells beautiful. Not as well known as the Lilac, but just as beautiful and fragrant.
  • Bridalwreath Spirea, as its name implies is a beautiful white flowered bush.  Hardy in zones 5 to 8 it will grow large if you let it, but is beautiful when trimmed up too.
  • Heath or Heathers are low growing shrubs that are really pretty in white, pink and red.  Hardy in zones 5 to 7 it will not get taller than 10-12 inches. It is a low growing ground cover that loves the sun and a well-drained soil.
  • Camellias are a lovely shrub as well and will do well in anything above zone 6 and under zone 9.  Any colder or warmer and they are not at their best.  These flowering beauties are a sore sport for more northern gardeners.  They just don't do well in anything less than zone 6.
  • Fothergilla will grow in shady areas.  Beautiful white flowers are fragrant and plentiful on this bush.  Great in zones 5 to 9 it will not only look and smell nice in springtime but in the autumn it will give you another whole flush of color as the leaves change to reds, oranges, and golds.
  • Loropetalum is another beauty.  What Lilacs are to northern gardeners, Loropetalum makes northern gardeners green with envy.  Grown in zone 7 to 9 it loves full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Ninebark is an all around winner.  It will grow in zones 3 to 7 and will take drought and summers heat without giving up.  Beautiful foliage is an added bonus.
  • Beautybush is an old favorite that is making a comeback in many gardener's homes.  Pretty pink florets and the ease of growth make this a winner for everyone.  Hardy in zones 5 to 9 it holds up will in drought conditions and is deer resistant too.  
  • Weigela is the last but not the least on this list.  In my books, it would be one of the top bushes/shrubs because not only is it really pretty with its red or pink flowers, but it also encourages Hummingbirds to the garden.  Hardy in zones 4 to 9 this is a shrub that should be considered for your gardening pleasure.

Check here if you are not sure about what zones you are doing most of your gardening in.  

You will save yourself a lot of heartache and money if you purchase plants that will grow in your area.  If you are not sure, then follow the links below for gardening zone maps and find out what your garden zone is.  Once you know that it won't change unless you move, and it will help you make better choices for your garden needs.

Not sure what your gardening zone is?  Click here to see what zone you are gardening in if you are in the United States, or click here if you garden in Canada so that you can make the most of the bushes and shrubs that are featured here.






If you want to learn more or just enjoy looking at pictures of beautiful plants and gardens then you can always check out some of my favorite books and magazines.




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