Did you know a Quaking Aspen, one of the lovliest trees in the fall landcape, can predict the weather? Keen observers note weather changes underway just by listening to trees. Jim has a better method: he keeps changing channels on the TV until he sees a forecast he likes. Here are some natural things to look for that may help you predict the weather in your neighborhood.
Jim has a rule when he bites into a really hot pepper sprout in one of Megan's five-alarm hot shot panini sandwiches while lunching out on the job; 'stop, drop, and roll.' After recovery he then stumbles back to the flower bed to resume planting those spring bulbs. The rule there is 'dig, drop, and done.' It's really simple, and guaranteed to bring many springtimes of pleasure.
Fall is the time of year you can be a heartbreaker without remorse. Love 'em, then leave 'em. Be a landscape Casanova or Cleopatra with a lawn rake and a lawn mower. Shower those favorite leafy shrubs and trees with your attention and affection from spring through summer and then, when autumn leaves start to fall, mulch them into your lawn. No tears will be shed and your lawn will love you for it.
And you thought getting a PHD would take years of hanging around the library when all you needed to do was go outside to dig a hole. For that you DO need a PHD - a Post Hole Digger. Making that hole productive for a new planting does require a bit of art and a science, but there are no early morning classes or exams to sleep through. So get your PHD and start planting! Your landscape will be ready to enjoy by spring break.
"Lights, Conifers, Action!" That's what they shouted in Hollywood just before they shot the last scene in 'White Christmas' (well, something like that, surely). Now you can be the director of your very own holiday special by bringing your home landscape to a dazzle with holiday lighting that repels deer. Better yet, make it a double feature starting with fall colors that razzle as well as dazzle.
When fruits, vegetables and other vegetation disappear from the landscape, old timers declare that's 'the angel's share.' Other people blame deer - and they may just be onto something. Fruits and vegetables will regenerate, but when trees and shrubs are damaged - by mice and other woodland creatures as well as deer - the damage can be permanent. Jim has some ideas about how you can help protect your landscape from these pesky nibblers.
Two things required to get your landscape plantings off to a good start - and keep them happy - are fertilizer and water. Landscapes look great and stay healthy where natural fertilizer and water work together in a process Jim refers to as 'fertigation.' Don't just irrigate... fertigate!
As Jim has said before, you can never have too much mulch. Just make sure you have nature's mulch, free of chemical additives that leach into the ground and spoil soil. Be natural. Mulching is not rocket science, but it can launch a great new look and feel across your landscape.
Take an inventory of your home landscape. Chances are each of those shrubs and trees you planted long ago fall into one of three categories: the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly. Now may be the time to clear them out, select hardy varieties that will be happy in your yard for many years to come.
For centuries the Japanese practice of shakkei has enlived landscapes by framing what is already there. The idea is to 'borrow from the scenery around you.' Why build it if it the space around you is already a breathtaking masterpiece? Words of wisdom from the master landscaper on how to make the most of your space, whatever the condition of your surroundings.
Snappy lawns do not just happen - they result from thoughtful planning, regular maintenance and a bit of friendly competition from that neighbor with the green thumb - and the perfect hedge. If your lawn is looking a bit retro, think makeover. You can bring your lawn into the 21st century with these simple tips.
"Hi-yo, Silver Maple, away!" or so the 'Lawn Arranger' might have said in a particularly bewildering fit of pun-itis. Early spring means a return to lawn care - and all those fancy bag products that promise what nature already provides. Listen to why you can 'bag' the heavy lifting and spreading this year.
Maintaining an attractive and rewarding landscape is not rocket science - but it does require constant effort toward improving management skills. Here are some tips on how to keep those landscape challenges from getting you down.
The Iroquois had it right when they planted the 'three sisters' - corn, beans and squash. They added something fishy to the soil, which made all the difference. Listen to this 'fish tale' and learn how 'shadbush' got its name.
Spruce up your dormant landscaping with attractive - and deer proof - plants and accent objects that show well against gray skies and winter snow. Use these techniques to cheer up your yard in winter and early spring.