Posted by & filed under Lawn.

As the temperature starts to drop and fall approaches, there are plenty of fall cleanup projects that you’ll want to perform at this time of year.

Residential home with garden backyard at autumn rainy day. Fallen yellow and red autumn leaves on the wet pavement. Check out our fall cleanup tips

 

Aside from the annuals that will surely wither and die when the first frost hits your region, the remaining perennials prepare for dormancy. The cool weather is a good time to get the gardens, bushes and trees prepared for the upcoming bitter cold so that your gardens will rejuvenate when spring returns. The same holds true for your property, whether it’s aerating your lawn, cleaning windows, gutters, chimney sweep, leaf raking and disposal or shutting down you outside water systems.

 

Mulch it Up

Chances are that the mulch you placed in the gardens in spring has deteriorated during the summer months, so it’s important to add a new layer of mulch in fall to protect plants and soil over the winter season. By adding additional mulch now, you keep the soil warmer, but more importantly you maintain an even temperature throughout the soil.

 

Perennials & Bulbs

Fall is a great time to divide perennials. Begin this process about six weeks ahead of the ground freezing. The candidates for division are those perennials that are clumped too close together and do not flower robustly any longer. Dividing is also good for those plants that show bare spots in the middle.

Autumn is a perfect time to think about getting your bulbs into the ground for a magnificent spring bloom. September and October are the ideal months to plant spring bulbs because the days are still clear blue and the ground is still warm and welcoming.

 

Shrubs & Trees

Winter can be extremely harsh on shrubs. Snow, wind, rain and ice can wreak havoc on the delicate branches; hence, it’s wise to prune some of the smaller, weaker branches as a preventative measure.

Prune dead or overlapping branches in the late fall to strengthen the tree and encourage new growth in the spring. For tender bark of young trees, wrap them with wire mesh, tree guards or the old standby burlap covers.

 

Aerating Your Lawn

The best time to aerate is during the growing season in early summer or early autumn, when the lawn is growing most actively. These times are best because the grass can easily heal by filling in any open areas after the plugs have been removed. Ideally, you should aerate the lawn with a cool season grass selection in the fall.

 

Windows

Having windows cleaned in the fall is very beneficial because leaves and debris falling from the trees cause the screens and windows to become very dirty. This grunge reduces the amount of sunlight that comes in the house to warm it during the chilling days of winter. When sunlight is reduced from entering your home, you will have to compensate by using more heat, which will increase your utility bills.

 

Gutters

As the leaves start falling, your gutters should routinely be cleaned. Gutters are designed to help move water and debris away from your roof and home, but when they overflow with leaves they get clogged and create water damage as it allows the water to pool near your home. This can ruin the inside of your home and cause mold, mildew and decay on the ceilings or walls and weaken your home’s foundation. Clogged gutters can result in damage to your landscape in close proximity to your house due to debris accumulations.

 

Chimney

Cleaning your chimney each year before winter arrives is something every responsible homeowner should get done and fall is a great time to do it. If you didn’t get around to doing it last year, be sure to have a certified chimney inspector come in during the fall before the hearth starts running regularly again this year. A clean fireplace improves air quality because it prevents smoke from blowing back into the house. This ensures that your family remains safe while using the fireplace, especially during winter months when doors and windows are shut.

 

Prep for Winter

Fall is the ideal time to prepare your property and home for the upcoming winter.  For many, fall is the best time of year since the days are warm and nights cool for sleeping.  By doing a good fall cleanup, your gardens and property will be ready for the following spring and you will reap the rewards of your effort.

 

Check out some more of our seasonal landscape tips in our blog section.

stone walkway

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

The landscape surrounding your home is especially important because it creates visual appeal and increases the value of your home. Real estate agents will tell you that good landscaping can add as much as 20 percent to a property’s value. The ability to access your property is paramount to its appeal. Keep reading to find out how to make the best walkways for gardens.

 

Regardless what type of material is used for your path or walkway throughout the cultivated landscape, walkways offer homeowners not only beauty, but low maintenance with a greater dimension to the landscape’s design.

 

A well thought out walkway will provide a way for you and guests to get to your front door or other parts of your property. Whether it leads straight to your front door, a small courtyard garden, pool area or porch, there are many design options to choose among.

 

When thinking about installing a walkway, there are three important considerations to take into account in your design before beginning your project. Regardless if you decide to install it yourself or have a professional landscaper come in for a consultation on your ideas, you need to consider:
 

  • Width
  • Shape
  • Paving Materials

 

Determining Walkway Width

It is very important to determine your walkway’s width, whether it leads from the street to the front door, the driveway to the front door, the driveway to the backyard, or the front yard to the backyard. The walkway should be wide enough that two people can navigate the path comfortably side-by-side.

 

This is especially important if you’re a social entertainer and hosting parties or family gatherings will likely occur on a regular basis. Ordinarily, a four-foot width is the minimum for a front walkway, but five feet is preferred for its aesthetic appeal. Get more information about walkway dimensions.

 

Determining the Shape

The first thing to consider in determining the shape of your walkway is to consider the actual size and dimensions of your property. If you happen to have a smaller sized front yard, a simple straight walkway will look best. If your yard is on the larger scale, a curved walkway can add more of a design interest to accommodate the size.

 

The second factor to consider is your home’s style, such as a traditional Colonial or Victorian style versus a ranch or Mediterranean style that is more informal.

 

The more formal your home is in appearance, the more inclination for a straight path versus the look of informality and curved walkways. Be cautious to avoid too many curves because then people will take shortcuts through your front lawn. See more about walkway shapes.

 

Determining the Material

The most important consideration in selecting the material for your walkways or pathways is which material will complement the exterior of your home and property. In choosing your materials, keep in mind that solid paving, such as concrete, stone or pavers, are easier and safer to walk on than stepping stones or gravel.

 

The most common paver materials used on walkways are:

1. Natural Stone Pavers

  • Granite
  • Slate
  • Brownstone
  • Limestone
  • Sandstone
  • Bluestone

2. Concrete Pavers

These are manmade products manufactured and produced in factories and the shape and colour choices are endless. You’ll find that there are no limitations when it comes to selecting the right shaped pavers for any walkway.

3. Brick Pavers

These are also manmade products manufactured and processed in factories all over the world. Because they are fired at high temperatures, the firing process produces their earthy color tones.

 

Enhance Your Landscape

Walkways add charm, interest and curb appeal to any home.

Evergreen Landscaping’s qualified professionals can help you to enhance the look of your property, so contact us today for a consultation.

A Garden in front of a house

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

Everyone loves to have a beautiful garden during the summer time, but to achieve that is an accomplishment; water is a vital component to make those blooms burst with health, vitality and colour.

 

Toilets, lawns and landscape watering are the biggest offenders of water consumption, but with regard to your gardens, you can give the hose a rest and dramatically reduce your water usage by designing a water-wise garden. By creating a drought resistant water-wise garden, you can grow more flowers while using less water for long-blooming, easy-care perennials.

 

By being a responsible gardener following the guiding principle of using less water, you have the foundation to plan a garden that will not just survive but thrive in any climate. There are literally thousands of species of plants that are ideal for use in the garden, and with the right care in your initial year; you can have a gorgeous garden with little need for water thereafter.

 

By following these tips, you’ll be off to a great start in creating your oasis of beauty, save on water usage, reduce your water bills and help the environment.

 

Add Organic Matter 

Adding organic matter to your soil is important because not all soil is created equal. Since soil is essentially a collection of mineral particles, some soil is a composition of small clay particles and water will penetrate the soil much more slowly. Some other components of soil may be mostly large particles of sand that water passes through rapidly. When you add organic matter you get the benefit of improving the texture and the water-holding capacity of your soil. To learn more about improving your soil, read Building Healthy Soil.

 

Water to the Root System

When you add soaker hoses to your gardens, you are ensured that up to 90 percent of the water you apply will actually seep down into the plant’s root system. While hand watering and sprinklers are good methods, they only deliver 40-50 percent of water deliverability and efficiency. The benefit of drip irrigation and soaker hoses is that they minimize water loss due to evaporation. They help to keep the areas between plants dry and limit weed growth.

 

Add Mulch

Adding mulch as a top layer, usually 6-8 inches, will cut water needs in half. Mulch helps to block the growth of weeds and reduces water loss through evaporation. Mulch also helps to increase the humidity level in your garden; thereby, reducing your need to water on a frequent basis. Some organic mulch actually retains some water in their fibers because the mulch may include shredded leaves, straw, compost, grass clippings and rotted hay.

 

Barrel Water

You can use free water by purchasing a barrel to collect rain water. Rain water is great for your plants because it is clear and without chlorine residue. To decide how much you can collect from your roof, use the Rainfall Harvest Calculator.

 

Choosing Plants

Choose your plants carefully by selecting plants that are content from natural rainfall.

 

This is less work for you and beneficial for the plants. Choose plant varieties that are native to your area and climate for the best results. Consult with your garden center for some guidance. Check out some bee friendly plants you can have in your garden.

 

Achieving a water-wise garden is not difficult to do provided you do a bit of research, purchase barrels for water, use soaker hoses for water retention and choose plants wisely. In doing so, you’ll have a beautiful garden with less work for you and very happy plants.

 

Check out some of our other Blogs to get the best gardening & landscape tips.

flowers

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

Each year, we hear about the mysterious global disappearance of our pollinating friends, especially the plight of our honeybees. This is due mainly to the use of certain herbicides and particularly habitat loss. Gardeners can make a big difference for all pollinators by enhancing the type of flowers in the garden and creating a bee-friendly environment.

It’s easy for you to attract butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators by establishing  pollinator gardens that can provide enough habitats to restore healthy communities of beneficial insects and pollinators. You don’t have to have a large backyard to attract and support pollinators. Anything from a wildflower meadow to a garden planter will do the trick with a few well-chosen species of seasonal plants.

 

The most important step you can take is to plant nectar and pollen-rich plants like wildflowers and old-fashioned varieties of flowers. A succession of blooming annuals, perennials and shrubs is best so nectar and pollen will be available throughout the growing season

 

Pesticides

All pesticides, even organic pesticides, are toxic to bees and other beneficial organisms so there is little reason why they should be used to protect your garden from insects and diseases. They may provide a quick knock-down to the attackers in the short term, but kill beneficial organisms that help to sustain your garden.  Not only do you expose yourself, family and pets, to toxic chemicals, you risk disrupting the natural ecosystem that in your garden inhabit. Going organic is both safer and more effective.

 

By applying the simple principles of ecological plant protection, you can work with nature to control pests and diseases, enjoy a healthier garden and harvest and protect pollinators and other beneficial insects.

 

Provide Shelter

In order to avoid and hide from predators, butterflies, bees and other pollinators need shelter in order to get out of damaging outdoor elements and rear their young. One idea is to let a hedge grow wild for ground-nesting bees. Another is to let a log decompose in a sunny place on the ground, or allow a dead tree to stand to create nooks for butterflies and solitary bees.

 

You can also put up an artificial nesting box or add a bat house that provides shelter for bats to raise their young. The more shelter that is provided on your property for our friendly pollinators, the better the chance you backyard will be a bevy of activity.

 

Provide Food and Water

Like all animals, bees, birds and butterflies also all need access to water on a regular basis. If you’re really ambitious and wish to create the perfect oasis for pollinators, install a water garden, birdbath or catch basin for rain. Butterflies, in particular, will flock to muddy puddles to absorb the salts and nutrients in the water.

 

Backyard Beekeeping

It isn’t necessary to live in a rural area to keep bees because your backyard already has everything you need to get started.  All you really need is a little space, some source of water, a variety of flowers for them to visit, and a willingness to learn about beehives. Here is a great source for the interested hobbyist with easy to understand information about becoming a backyard beekeeper. Attracting Beneficial Bees.

 

Living Landscape

You should try to focus on a healthy landscape, instead of a perfect one because a pollinator’s health is critical to our food system and the diversity of life across the world. Each of us can do our part to create a pollinator-friendly environment that will benefit all of us for generations to come.

 

Interested in other gardening tips? Check out more of our Gardening Blogs.

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

With the last of the snow melting away, the days getting warmer and more daylight to enjoy, we get the sense the spring has finally arrived!

garden in spring
 
After the frigid misery of winter, your property and gardens have been exposed to an onslaught of soot, broken branches, leaves and lots of other debris that has accumulated.
 

The Cleanup

Now that the days are a bit warmer for you to get outside, it’s the perfect time to get your cleanup started before your spring bulbs and plants start popping their heads out of the ground. You can start by removing and composting any dead annual plants that remained over winter and prune back your perennials from last fall.  The sooner you get to cleaning up the debris, the less likelihood that you’ll be stepping on the growing plants and damaging their tender sprouts.
 
In addition to your ground cover cleanup, the same rule and method applies to your trees, shrubbery and bushes. Spring is an excellent time to prune your trees and shrubs. Some shrubbery with woody stems must be cut back each spring because they only bloom on new branches. By pruning in the spring, you get rid of any damaging effects of winter and form a healthy environment for newly developing growth.
 
If your ornamental grass was left up during the winter time, now is the time to cut it back. You do not have to wait for any new growth to form because ornamental grass will come back up on its own when it’s ready.
 

Weeds

Spring is an ideal time to take action against the straggler weeds that hung around from last season. Since the damp soil makes it so much easier to pull out hang over weeds or new seedlings, now is the time to be pro-active. There are a number of products on the market that can help you to prevent weeds from sprouting at this time of the year, so visit your local retailer to see the selection available.
 

Get out the garden tools

Any good gardener worth their salt knows that part of the secret to their success is to have clean, operationally working and effective tools. Head out to your garage or shed and get out your tools that have been hiding in there all winter long. You want to make sure that they are ready to do their job, so prepare them carefully, either by cleaning off the dirt and grime with soap and water or sharpening the blades. For tools that have a wooden handle, you can use mineral spirits to give them a good wash down that will help prevent the wood from splintering.
 

Prep Your Soil

Spring is a wonderful time to give your soil some tender loving care to make certain that it’s ready for the upcoming planting season.  You can start your planting preparation by turning over your soil with a pitchfork and rake it out.  A pitchfork is an ideal tool for loosening up and turning over caked and compacted soil while clearing out any weeds that might have recently developed.  You should then add compost, manure, of time released fertilizer a couple of weeks prior to planting so you don’t burn the roots of newly planted annuals or perennials. Be prepared to mix the fertilizer thoroughly so that it gets down deep into your soil. By preparing your soil ahead of time, your soil will be amended to the best possible environment for growing healthy and happy plants.
 

New Beginning

Spring is the time of new beginnings and rebirth.  It is the most wonderful time of the year to watch your garden and property come to life with colour and heady scents that will delight throughout the summer.

Posted by & filed under Landscaping Design, Water Features.

If you’re in the market for a landscape redesign and you’re a consumer, you are likely to underestimate the cost of things. Get the facts on pricing, organize your wants and desires, find the right professional and prepare for financial hiccups throughout the project. All these steps are essential to a beautifully landscaped property, your wallet, and your sanity.

pergola on stone patio with hot tub

 
Setting a budget is easy if you know the exact cost of your landscape redesign and you have a money tree in your backyard. In lieu of these two things, a little thought, preparation, and research will go a long way.
 
Two main things will affect your budget for a landscape redesign. How deep your pockets are and the extent of the project. If you are doing a landscape redesign, you likely already know what you don’t want. Start by identifying what it is you do want and need from a landscape redesign.
 
Make a list of wants that need to be fulfilled. For example, will your redesign include a water feature, a perennial garden or any new structures such as a deck? Will pathways be needed and if so, what will they be made of? Also, identify any large foliage such as trees that will need to be removed or planted.  Are there any geographical obstacles to a possible redesign such as septic system, well or gas line?  Getting an estimate on the cost of some of these bigger items will help you budget the entire project. Though you can’t be expected to know exactly what your redesign will look like, having the basics will help you to identify the scope of the project.
 
Finding the right professional to do your redesign will have a big impact on your experience. Always ask to see past projects, consider how long a contractor has been in business and insist on a great warranty. An estimate might be available that would give you a better idea of the end cost. This will give you time to get your finances in order before the work begins. It’s imperative that you consider this renovation of your outdoor space as just that, a renovation. You might find that things cost a lot more than you imagined.  After all, when was the last time you did a landscape redesign?
 
A contingency fund is always a good idea with any home improvement project. This allows for those inevitable hiccups while your landscape redesign is underway. If all goes smoothly, you will be left with money in your pocket. If there is any delay or miscalculation in the project, you will be prepared. At a minimum, you should have 10 percent of the cost of the project put away for those unforeseen costs.
 
Getting all your ducks in order is your best bet when trying to nail down a budget for that landscaping redesign. Be prepared, be informed and know your needs.  A landscape redesign should be exciting, not terrifying.

plant that repels mosquitos

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

Although spring and summer is still a few months away, garden enthusiasts can start gearing up to plan their gardens for the outdoor season. Like many gardening buffs, homeowners are always looking for ways to control the breeding of mosquitoes in their backyards. There is nothing worse than being eaten alive by these pesky and disease carrying pest, but with a little planning, you can keep them at bay and in check.

Before you reach for chemical sprays, there are a number of natural and beautiful plants that will repel mosquitoes on your property. Commercial insect repellents contain from 5% to 25% DEET, but there are concerns about the potential toxic effects of DEET, especially when used by children, such as developing seizures, slurred speech, hypotension, and bradycardia. Even though there are some DEET-free mosquito repellents on the market today, these plants are equally effective, easy to grow and attractive as part of your landscaping design.

 

1. Citronella

Citronella plants contain the most common natural ingredient used in formulating mosquito repellents, such as candles and lamps. Its strong and distinctive aroma help to mask the other scents that bring mosquitoes into your area and makes it harder for the attack bombers to find you. Because Citronella is a living plant, its aroma is even stronger than products made from its ingredients, so this results in a very effective method to keep mosquitoes away.
 

Citronella is a perennial plant resembling clumping grass and grows to a height of five to six feet. It can be grown directly in the ground in climate zones where frost does not occur or in the garden near a patio behind small decorative flowers and shrubs. If you live in a northern climate, your best bet is to grow it in a large pot or planter. Be sure to look for the true varieties, Cybopogon Nardus or Citronella Winterianus.

 

2. Horsemint

Horsemint is also known as Beebalm, which is a very adaptable perennial plant that repels mosquitoes much in the same manner as citronella. This attractive plant gives off a strong incense-like odor which confuses mosquitoes and masks the scent of its usual host, that’s you, your family and guests. This shade-tolerant and drought-resistant plant is a fast growing specimen that can reach heights of two to three feet and equally wide.
 
Because it can tolerate dry, sandy and salty conditions, this plant is often found in coastal regions and around beach areas, such as the Midwest and Eastern growing zones. The seeds can be sown indoors for transplanting at a later time directly into the ground. A great feature of the Horsemint plant is that it not only repels mosquitoes, but its flowers will also attract bees and butterflies to your garden. Bonus!

 

3. Marigolds

Marigolds are hardy annual plants that are commonly grown as ornamental border plants in full sunshine. These plants have a particularly strong, distinctive odor that mosquitoes find offensive. The compound inside the plant, known as pyrethrum, is a very effective insect repellent. Although an annual, marigold will often reseed itself in favourable conditions and established plants can be thinned or flowers dead-headed to promote additional blooms.
 
You can position potted marigolds near the entrance of your house or any other entry point to deter mosquitoes. While potted marigolds will repel mosquitoes, putting potted marigolds on a patio table may attract wasps, so avoid this if possible. Marigolds can also repel insects that prey on tomato plants, so you may want to plant a few marigolds in your tomato bed for added protection.

 

4. Additional Specimens

There are other plants, such as Ageratum and Catnip that are natural mosquito repellents.
 
Ageratum emits a smell which mosquitos find particularly offensive. Ageratum secretes coumarin, which is widely used in commercial mosquito repellents and Catnip is ten times more effective than DEET! Both are widely used in gardens to keep mosquitoes at bay while adding additional touches of low-lying plants of blue, pink, white and violet flowers to the landscape.
 
According to Iowa State researcher Chris Peterson, the reason for Catnip’s effectiveness is still unknown. “It might simply be acting as an irritant or they don’t like the smell. But nobody really knows why insect repellents work.”
 
Whatever the reason, it’s nice to know that there are plants that you can add to your garden that will let you fully enjoy the outdoor season without the threat of being dinner for these blood sucking pests.
 
Read more informative Blogs by Evergreen!

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Uncategorized.

Gardeners dread the dead of winter because they’ve lost one of their most favourite pastimes, but winter can be a perfect time for some indoor winter gardening projects.  By using a bit of imagination, patience and creativity, winter is the perfect time to get moving on key tasks to keep your thumb green throughout the cold and snowy season.

plants on dresser, cups and trays on dresser

 

Garden Journals

Start a garden journal to record what and where you planted last year and how you felt that everything went including what you might change for the upcoming season.

 

Gardening Books

Reading about gardening can be a wonderful pastime on those blustery winter days. The pages of inspirational gardening books, magazines and catalogues can help you to lose yourself in the spring and summer months that you enjoy so much.

 

Planting Map

Create a planting map of your garden. You can use the planting map as a guide for ordering seeds or buying from your local garden center in the coming months.

 

Landscapers

The winter months are an opportune time to consult with landscapers and other gardening professionals. During these months, you will find that they have more time to give you their personal attention, advice and tips.

 

Check Out Seed Catalogues

Seed catalogues are a great source of information if you’re planning to experiment with more exotic specimens this year. If you order early, you will get the best selections of seeds for window box plantings. Catalogues are a great way to get some inspiration for varieties you may not have otherwise have known about in the market.

 

Tending Indoor Plants

Your indoor houseplants plants may need a bit of extra attention at this time of year. On very cold nights, move your plants that need a natural light source to the center of the room away from drafty windows.  Since the house is drier inside during the winter, make sure that your plants have sufficient humidity by setting a cup of water nearby.

 

Growing Indoors

One of the breakthroughs in small indoor growing is the use of T5 fluorescent bulbs. They’re wonderful for growing greens, aren’t as expensive as high-intensity discharge lamps and use less electricity. They’re also great for keeping your seedlings growing when you start plants indoors.

 

There are many benefits of winter gardening. There is something satisfying about taking care of plants you’re growing indoors, particularly if they’re going to be part of dinner. So, why not start some greens now that will be ready for a salad about the time you’re just setting the other plants out?

 

Clean Your Garden Tools

Winter is a great time to take inventory of all your gardening tools. Look over your equipment to make sure everything is safe from the elements and toss any broken or damaged tools. Remember to record anything you need to replace in your garden journal and get lawn mowers serviced, sharpen your shears and clean your pots, so everything is like new when you’re ready to head back into the garden.

 

Winter Gardening Makes for Spring Readiness

Gardeners just can’t wait until the days are longer, the weather is warmer, and the gardens come alive again, but with a few indoor winter gardening projects, it will pass the time away faster until spring arrives.

 

All of our employees at Evergreen Landscapes have a horticulturist diploma and would be pleased to discuss winter gardening projects with you. Feel free to contact us today!

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

During the warm summer months, many houseplant owners move their houseplants outside so that the plants can enjoy the sun and air. However, once these tropical plants are exposed to autumn’s chilly nights, it’s a signal that it’s time to bring them back indoors. The cooler air can damage tender tropical leaves and colder temperatures can cause flower buds to drop. There are many reasons you should be bringing your plants indoors for the winter.

A yellow flower in the snow
 
This change in temperature can cause real havoc with your tender tropical plants, so you need to take action before any damage occurs. Most houseplants can exist outside as long as temperatures remain above the 45-48 degree mark, but when that temperature dips below, you’re flirting with danger that could be irreversible. This is enough of a reason to bring outdoor plants inside.
 

Acclimatize:

Bringing plants inside for winter requires a few precautions to acclimatize plants of the environmental change they are about to experience. Just picking up the pots from outside and taking them indoors is not an easy transfer because you run the risk of sending your houseplants plants into shock. The steps for acclimatizing plants indoors for the winter transfer is not difficult, but without taking the proper steps, your plants may experience shock, wilting and leaf loss.
 
You have to be aware that the light and humidity changes from outside to inside are dramatically different, so for the next few days, start by bringing the houseplant in at night and move it back outside in the morning. Then, over the course of two weeks as the plant is acclimatized to this ongoing process, increase the amount of time the plant spends indoors until it’s inside all of the time.
 
You should also remember that plants indoors retain their moisture level better in comparison to outside plants, so they will no longer require the same amount of watering. Once they are back inside, water only when the soil is dry to the touch and perhaps find a location for them to help maximize the amount of sunlight your plants get through the windows.
 

Leaf-Dwelling Pests:

Before you bring your plants in for the winter months, you want to check for any pests that may be hitch-hiking a ride on the leaves or soil from being out in the great outdoors. This issue is one of the most common for houseplants when coming back indoors and it’s important that you check for them and remove them.
 
Leaf dwellers may include aphids, spider mites, scale, mealybugs’ spiders, gnats or lacewings. You want to carefully the examine leaves and stems, particularly the underside since that’s where the insects like to hang out.
 
The simplest method for removal is to hose down plants with a hose using a gentle spray nozzle so you can direct water underneath foliage and avoid tearing leaves from stems. You can also dunk smaller plants into a 5-gallon bucket of water adding a few drops of liquid dish or hand soap for 15 minutes to that the insects on leaves will flee. Do not dunk plants that demand dry soil, such as succulents, cactus or plants that go dormant for the winter.
 

Soil-Dwelling Pests:

In addition to invading the leaves of plants, insects can also set up housekeeping in the soil of plants. The type of insects that set up house in the soil includes slugs, sow bugs, earwigs, fungus gnats and ants. Remove plants that are in small containers and examine soil where slugs, sow bugs and ants are more likely visible on the outer layer of soil near the drainage holes. If you find them, flick them off. Insects like fungus gnats and earwigs usually reside in the upper regions of soil, so a good dunk in water will remove them too.
 
If your houseplants are in large containers, apply an insecticide to the soil surface and also to soil inside drainage holes. When applying the appropriate amount according to instructions, you’ll kill the insects or cause them to exit.
 

Start Off Next Season Right:

By following a few simple steps to bring your houseplants back indoors after a glorious time in the great outdoors, you can be assured that they will continue to be healthy and happy for the next summer season on the deck.
 
Each Employee at Evergreen Landscapes has a horticulturist diploma and can help deliver you the best overall Property Maintenance available in Burlington, Waterdown, Aldershot, Dundas and Ancaster areas.

Posted by & filed under Gardens.

With winter just a few months away and most plants going dormant, you can still have an interesting property, because a winter landscape has a beauty of its own. Winter brings its own set of striking colours, so fall is the perfect time to start planting a few selections that will stay colourful and look great while everything else is brown and leafless.

Winter Holly Plant

 

Instead of having your gardens look dull or lifeless, you can incorporate different varieties of plants, evergreens, and shrubs to make your garden look interesting and colourful all year long. Therefore, now is the time to add these winter-hardy plants that will produce strong interest and colour before the really cold weather settles in.

 

Evergreens

 

Any type of evergreen is a winter candidate because they retain their green colour throughout the winter season. Against the white snow, green reminds us of the summer months and all its glory, but these colourful winter plants can add interest because of their contrast to the dull months.

 

Many evergreens have structures for eye appeal with rounded or upright stature, also many produce berries that add colour and interest to their frames. Take, for example, the Evergreen Holly that boasts the glossy green foliage and bright red berries. A cousin to this evergreen is the winterberry that punctuates winter with its showy berry display. This not only draws the eye, but it is an attractive winter display in any part of your landscape.

 

The Japanese False Cypress is a lovely addition to the garden for winter colour with its fine, soft needles or threadlike appearance. The shaggy or mop-like top of this evergreen is one of the false cypress cultivars that adds a bright golden green colour to the landscape in contract with darker evergreens.

 

The Winter Daphne is another great example of an evergreen shrub that is stunning in a colourful winter garden. This hardy shrub has variegated leaves edged in yellow and blooms in early spring to late winter with rosy pinkish purple flower buds that open to light pink or white star-shaped blooms.

 

The Firethorn is a semi-evergreen plant that produces bright orange-red berries in the fall through the winter. It provides a sharp contrast to the blanket of winter white and great focal point in any colourful garden. This variety looks particularly good in a hedge or on a trellis.

 

The Cold-Hardy Camellias is an evergreen plant with beautiful white or pink blooms that will make you do a double-take because the stunning blooms startle everyone in the cold months. This plant is now available throughout North America and can be found under the names ‘Polar Ice’, ‘Snow Flurry’, ‘Winter’s Hope’, ‘Winter’s Rose’, ‘Winter’s Star’, and ‘Winter’s Charm’.

 

Plants & Shrubs

 

Red Osier Dogwood is one of the favourite deciduous shrubs that grace many gardens. The bright green bark, twigs, and leaves of spring and summer turn to a deep red in fall when the leaves drop revealing its rich burgundy colours.

 

The Witch Hazel is a deciduous shrub that has delicate, threadlike bright yellow petals that bloom in late fall and accents winter. It is a multi-stemmed rounded plant that, in addition to its petals, curls up at night but unfurls on sunny days.

 

Winter Gardens

 

There are many choices available to keep your garden from looking lifeless and dull throughout the winter months. With a little planning and the right evergreen, outdoor winter plants and shrubs, you can have a garden that dazzles all winter long.

 

Don’t want to go through the trouble of designing and building a colourful winter garden yourself? Evergreen Landscapes is committed to creating and maintaining the garden of your dreams, regardless of the season. Contact us today and our team of experts will be ready to help.