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Hello there fellow gardeners, coming to you again from the campus of Botanic to discuss tips and anecdotes for successful gardening.  

Folks, we finally had our first perfect Spring Saturday. Clear skies and temperatures in the low 80’s, what else can we ask for these days?  What a wonderful day it was to see so many people on the campus of Botanic.  And the kids; the kids were having the times of their lives. Depart from gardening for a moment and look at these awesome pics.   Botanic, as much as anything else, is all about the kids and their Mamas and Daddy’s making unforgettable memories.  I know life has come full circle when children that enjoyed the chickens and kitties at Blooming Colors come back to enjoy working at Botanic or come back as adults with their kids just to say Hi!  Wow, how time flies!!! 

It’s so hard to come up with the right subject to discuss each weekThere are so many awesome gardening topics and I love them allThis week let’s begin another multi-part discussion on some basic design concepts that are always the foundation for each landscape job we tackleFirst and foremost, I’d say the most important part of designing a landscape for someone is that no matter the size of the project, a home is that person’s castleAs such, my top priority is always to design a landscape that makes the homeowner proud to come home to their castle each dayTo be able to relax and enjoy just being in their green surroundings can be magical. As a do-it-yourselfer, make sure you select the plants that make you happiest, and that give you calm and serenity.   

Characteristics of any beautiful landscape in the world can be captured by a combination of the following words and phrases: 

  • foundation plants(bones)
  • color
  • texture
  • understanding growth habit
  • focal point
  • specimen plant
  • good soil
  • fertilizer
  • repetition
  • water
  • hard work
  • defined maintenance processes and parameters
  • hardiness
  • pest management
  • cohesiveness
  • patience

Let us start this week and discuss the bones of the landscape which will also encompass understanding the growth habit of the plant, good soil preparation, fertilization and repetitionThe “bones” of every landscape usually means plants that are planted at the foundation of the home that will persist for a long period of time. Eventually these plants become strong accentuating features that complement the architecture of the homeMost often these bones are evergreen and generally should be chosen for longevity.  There are literally hundreds of great choices—I love to use Boxwoods in different combinations. Other great foundation plants (bones) can include combination plantings of Loropetalums, Junipers, Arborvitaes, Hollies, Pieris, Fatsia, Tea Olives, Azaleas, Gardenias, and many more.   

I love to treat each new landscape opportunity in very much the same way an artist approaches a new painting. Artists have their blank canvas, (we have our landscape project), artists have their many different hues of paints, (we have our array of different plants), and of course though ours is proverbial, we both have our paint brushes.  Research and thoroughly think about your plant selectionIt is important to understand the mature or ultimate height you desire the plants to grow. Additionally, consider if the plant is evergreen, whether it blooms and what color, cold hardiness, water requirements etc.  Once you’ve made your selections it’s time to start setting the plants in place (painting)Rarely does the design plan go correctly on the first attempt.  Be patient, move the plants around and try different ideas and looksOnce you find the right look, it’s as if the home breathes a sigh of relief and tells you, “That’s it! That is the look needed.” Keep working and re-arranging until that moment. 

Now that you’ve found the perfect look, it’s time to refer back to the adjectives and phrases from above.  Remember, every great landscape in the world and throughout history has embraced some combination of these words and phrases.  Particularly and at this point we need to create a great soil environment, add Nutricote fertilizer, and be sure proper watering practices are implemented.  Bam, just like that you have planted the BONES of your landscape that will remain persistent for many years.   

The Botanic team members are here to help each of you create the perfect landscape for your respective castles. Our plant tables and grounds are bursting with fresh beautiful plants.  We have many unusual and hard to find plants as well, such as heat tolerant Lilacs and Peonies, Russian Sage, Variegated Jacobs Ladder, American Smoke Trees, Deodar Cedars, Unusual Hostas, Japanese Maples, different Herbs, Hydrangeas, and Dwarf Fig trees to name a few. We have Mandevillas, Bouganvilleas, Angelonia, Blue Daze, Macho Ferns, Kimberly Queen Ferns and lots of great succulents and house plants.  We look forward to your visit soon.

Great Gardening,


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