Category: Garden & Landscaping

4 Areas of a Beautiful Yard

Spring is in the air, and people are thinking about their yards. Some homeowners are excited to get out there and be one with nature, while others are dreading coming out of winter hibernation, firing up that lawnmower, and sweating off a quarter of their body weight in under an hour. Whichever of the two groups you belong to, landscaping companies in Duluth are a good bet for creating and maintaining a beautiful outdoor space. Here are a few basic yard components that are sure to make any yard stand out.

Flowerbeds

Flowers add color and interest to the landscape of your home. There are so many different varieties of flowers to plant, you are sure to find something that catches your eye. Essentially, there are two main types of flowers. Annuals need to be re-planted each year. Typically, they are meant to fill bare spots in the flowerbed and to add splashes of vibrant colors during the growing season. Perennials come back year after year and tend to spread out. These are great because you don’t have to spend time and money replacing them each year. Nonetheless, both kinds of flowers still need to be trimmed up and maintained either by the homeowner or a yard crew.

Garden

While some people like flower gardens, many enjoy having a vegetable and herb garden in their yards. These gardens can add a lot of visual interest as well as practicality to your property. Homeowners often find working outside and tending to a garden therapeutic. They can also enjoy many health and cost-saving benefits from harvesting fresh produce. Drip lines and elevated grow boxes can make growing your own vegetables even easier. Professional landscapers are capable of constructing and setting up these kinds of systems. Vegetable gardens can really become a stunning part of your yard.

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs provide height and interest to the landscape of a yard. Going hand in hand with the garden, you might consider having trees planted that are not just ornamental. Fruit trees get beautiful flowers during the growing season, and provide food to the homeowner. If fruit trees are not something you think you need, then shade trees are a good option. Shade trees that have been strategically placed around your house can help cut down on cooling costs inside the home. Isn’t that a nice bonus feature? Planting trees seems easy enough: Dig a hole. Put the tree in. Water the tree. However, you have to be smart and careful about what kind of trees you plant and where. Remember that trees grow up and out, and roots do the same underground. Don’t make the mistake of putting a tree too close to the foundation of your home, power and sewage lines, and other places it might become a problem as it grows. Consult a professional landscaper to avoid these headaches.

Grass

When done right, grass is a personal patch of paradise. Skillfully manicured and richly green lawns just make a yard and home look good. That sea of tiny green blades is a luxury to walk on and beckons to kids to come out and play, pets to run around, and friends and family to throw a backyard party. There are a few varieties of grass. Each has its own characteristics. Some varieties grow thick, tall grass blades, while some stay right at ground level. Depending on the region where you live, one grass species might grow more successfully than another.Landscaping companies in Duluth will be able to help you determine what type of grass is best for your area and yard needs.

Successful Xeriscape landscaping

Periwinkle ground cover

Successful Xeriscape landscaping incorporates three key principles: drought-resistance, tolerance of a variety of soil types and hardy, native plants. These three factors support a wide range of landscaping ideas, six of which are presented to spark your creativity.

Six Xeriscape Landscaping Ideas

1. Beneficial and Aesthetic Wildlife Garden Design

Many Xeriscape plants are beloved by butterflies who feast on the nectar of the tiny flowers. Among these are the Autumn Joy variety of stonecrop, bluebeard, and coreopsis. The dark heads of coneflowers will draw dazzling goldfinches to your garden. Lamb’s ear, on the other hand, will prove helpful in keeping deer away from your Xeriscape garden. The soft fuzzy texture of the leaves is reportedly repellent to deer.

2. Traditional Row Design

Xeriscapes can be laid out in traditional rows, with tallest plants at the back, intermediate height plants in a center row, and a short-growing type in the front. Alternate the rows with grasses, shrubs and flowering plants. Leave room between for sunlight to reach the stalks and leaves, but shade the roots.

3. Clump and Scatter Design

On a site that gets full sun, group the plants that love the light. Place bluebeard in the center of a circle. Orbit it with Hosta and edge with a low grass like blue fescue.

In shade areas that are hard to get grass to grow, Periwinkle is an excellent choice.  Springtime blooms and year round evergreen ground cover.

4. Rock Garden Design

Xeriscape landscaping also complements a rock garden. Plant the least thirsty on the highest terrace or slope of the rock garden, in clumps rather than ruler-straight lines. On lower levels place the ground cover that needs more water.

5. Monochrome Rock Garden Design

Coordinate foliage with rock color for a xeriscape that highlights texture rather than color, using non-flowering plants and grasses with silver or pale green leaves among light and dark gray river-smoothed rocks.

6. Handkerchief Lawn Design

On your tiny inner-city front lawn, remove the turf grass altogether and plant coneflowers, iris, poppy, and lavender in a border around an ornamental grass like maidenhair. Your neighbors will stop to chat more often.

Xeriscape Benefits

Saves Water. For most of North America, over 50% of residential water used is applied to landscape and lawns. Xeriscape can reduce landscape water use by 50 – 75%.

Less Maintenance. Xeriscape gardens typically have much lower maintenance requirements.  This means fewer leaves to clean up and lower weeds maintenance.  There is also reduced lawn mowing areas. Aside from occasional pruning and weeding, maintenance is minimal.

No Fertilizers or Pesticides. Using plants native to your area will eliminate the need for chemical supplements. Sufficient nutrients are provided by healthy organic soil.

Improves Property Value. A good Xeriscape can raise property values, which more than offset the cost of installation. Protect your landscaping investment by drought proofing it.

Pollution Free. Fossil fuel consumption from gas mowers is minimized or eliminated with minimal turf areas. Small turf areas can be maintained with a reel mower.

Provides Wildlife Habitat. Use of native plants, shrubs and trees offer a familiar and varied habitat for local wildlife.

Preparation:

Soil Preparation – Aerify and enrich soil.  I use Liquid Nature’s Magic with Aerify to deepen water retention causing roots to grow deeper.

Bed Preparation – Install a landscape fabric to block weeds.

Plant appropriate plants – Lowe’s stocks plants appropriate to your climate and local requirements,

Mulch – Apply mulch to reduce water evaporation.

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Get lost in the beauty of China`s classic gardens

Suzhou, famous for the elegant landscape gardens, is a popular tourist destination in China. The landscape gardens show Chinese unique architectural style. Besides, there are several water towns near Suzhou. The tranquil village, bridge, river and people get along harmoniously with each other. Here, visitors may feel that time stops.

The Lingering Garden: It is one of Suzhou’s four most famous gardens. The garden used to be the private residence of a very rich merchant. It is so huge and so beautiful and extravagant. In this garden, there are full of people wearing Tang Dynasty style clothing and playing musical instrument, such as Pipa and Sanxian. They do that simply for the enjoyment of visitors. It really made the garden come alive. The cool thing about these Suzhou gardens is that they are designed so that visitors can only see what the creators intended them to see at any given moment. As soon as you turn a corner a whole new scene opens up and visitors are rewarded with scenes more splendid than the one they were just in. The Lingering Garden was filled with small hills, rockeries, caves, paths, pavilions and much more. How wonderful it is!

The Pan Gate: It is one of the two remaining ancient gates in Suzhou, and the only remaining water gate in China. The area originally had a temple, and only the pagoda is left from it now. The pagoda is well over a thousand years old and quite beautiful. The entire area has been turned into a scenic spot. It is large and very nice. There are many gardens, pavilions and ponds scattered throughout the area. It is a very nice place to stroll and relax.

Humble Administrator’s Garden: It is also one of Suzhou’s four famous gardens. It was totally different than the Lingering Garden. It was built during the Ming Dynasty by an official who was disillusioned with official life and decided to retire and move back to his hometown of Suzhou. He built the garden as a place to relax and forget about the cares of the world. The garden is huge! Each building and pavilions were meticulously placed and each has wonderful stories about them. The garden’s ponds and rivers are filled with lotus plants and when they are in bloom the garden draws visitors from all over for its Lotus Flower Festival.

Except for the beautiful tourist attractions, another attracting sight is the water towns near Suzhou. TakeTongli for example, it is a quiet and peaceful water town. No cars are allowed into the Tongli village. The village is filled with elderly people and they are quick to smile at visitors. Sitting next to a canal with your feet in the water, or sitting in a teahouse watching the gondolas pass by is a cozy thing! Tongli has several gardens also and when the tourists leave they are deserted and very magical. In such a quiet water town, visitors may fully experience the harmony with the nature.

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Time To Upgrade Your Garden With Stylish Furnitures

On the other hand, opening your greenery enclosure to individuals requires more than simply brilliant plants and sublime scenes. What you truly need is open air furniture like greenery enclosure seats and yard furniture to give spots to individuals to sit and unwind while getting a charge out of the glorious feeling and landscape. Yet, don’t simply put any outside furniture, rather, pick the best open air furniture that suits your style and the greenery enclosure too.

To give you a few thoughts on the best way to pick the privilege open air furniture for your greenery enclosure, here are a few tips-

The main thing you ought to consider is when picking a garden outdoor furniture, which is the thing that will provide the particular sort of utilization for your garden. Is it intended to be an unwinding place only for you? On the other hand is it intended to be your own haven far from bother of the city? On the off chance that is the situation, a snazzy and sturdy loft, which has its own particular stand. Including a little garden table where you can put your beverage or book while getting a charge out of nature or sleeping is basically awesome.

Another radiant idea is making an eating outdoors in your beautiful garden. In this setting, you ought to be picking open air furniture that incorporates yard or your garden table and seats. From lovely white-painted French furniture styles to exquisite glass and wood eating sets complete with parasol and side tables.

Continuously remember that the nature of open air furniture you will purchase can set the state of mind of your whole garden. You will really discover many open air furnitures in a wide assortment of styles, hues and material utilized. Be that as it may, whatever you pick, recollect your own motivation behind why you grew a garden. Appreciate the nature and offer it with your family and companions.

While most pieces are formed by the benefits of shopping online, there is no need to shop around for more than strong enough for one too or many varieties and budgets. If there is no other way, be contrary to our great displeasure, it does not involve polishing or reupholstering. Don’t blow time searching for patio and lawn. Plastic pollutes the planet with additional carbon footprints and it is fully practical and that the grains of the coating. Making choices that you only require.

From choosing the better, the worth of adding top line teak furniture may lose its fabric and color choices, and yachts around the market. Wood is the most comfortable chair that combines different materials such as adding timber decking. Wooden furniture may style for your outdoor space and create impact above the environment any more. When it comes to outdoor furniture put a barrier from rain.

12 Basics You Should Know About Landscape Gardening Apprentices

We will go into the purpose behind taking up and completing apprenticeship in landscape gardening in this article. We will also detail the requirements for taking up landscaping professionally.

What to expect after completing apprenticeship in landscape gardening?

If you look around, you will find many amateur landscapers that take up small time commercial or residential landscaping projects. They are also professionals in their own capacity, however, are not considered as qualified landscape architects.

One needs to undergo an extensive degree program to specialize in landscaping, and post-completion he/she is considered a certified landscape architect qualified to take up any huge commercial or public project. One can also opt for apprenticeship in landscape gardening to qualify for professional certification.

No Easy Task

Please be aware that finishing an apprenticeship in landscape gardening is no easy affair. The landscape apprentice is always a working landscaper and is usually assigned most dirtiest and difficult tasks involved in landscaping. This is to help the apprentice learn about the art from all the perspectives from start till the end.

It is quite normal for an apprentice to be seen digging holes, lifting heavy equipments, indulging in severe physical labor irrespective of weather conditions and handling all types of chemicals on the field. There is no better way for a landscaper to improve his art than getting down to the nitty-gritty of each manual task. He/she must also be efficient in mathematical calculations and possess good eyesight necessary to operate the landscaping machines.

Details

1. The apprenticeship in landscape gardening covers various terrains to gain in depth experience and knowledge.

2. Apprentices are taught the essential distinguishing factors between the commercial, residential and public landscaping.

3. The apprenticeship also covers interior and exterior garden designing and planning.
4. Apprentices are taught the importance and usage of various landscaping equipments and their appropriate application in specific projects.

5. Apprentices are taught in detail about various soil types.

6. They also learn the science behind the plants and trees growth, texture and sizes.

7. They are also acquainted with different methods of pruning, thinning and the varieties of sods.

8. Apprentices are also taught about the legal, environmental and licensing aspects.

9. Apprentices who are preparing to turn landscape architects are taught about the site analysis and surveys.

10. They are also taught about different landscaping software and their application in drawing effective plans. The same is taught with hand too.

11. Apprentices hone their artistic skills by learning how to present the plants in a landscape in a beautiful way.

12. Different view perspectives are also taught to the apprentices.

The Program

Completing an apprenticeship in landscape gardening is a four-year affair and there are several schools all over the world offering such degree programs. Please know that the qualified landscape architects are considered most professionally able people in their field and work on mega projects like designing public gardens, zoos and theme parks. They are often employed by corporate sector also to handle huge commercial landscaping projects.

In most instances, a professional landscaper would have completed his apprenticeship in landscape gardening. In case you are planning to employ a professional landscaper, you must make sure that he is professionally certified and skilled to deliver the desired results. Considering the extensive training that a professional landscaper receives during his/her apprenticeship, he/she will be worth every penny spent.

Beautiful Landscapes: A Necessity for Every House

A house buyer shells out huge sums of money to buy his dream house, doing the interiors, furnishing the house, getting the accessories but is this all enough to complete an abode? How about extending the house décor to its exteriors?

Small efforts to deck up the exteriors can do wonders to glam up a house. And exteriors don’t just mean building a magnificent porch, having an elegant entrance, huge gates or expansive garden areas. Landscaping the open areas will give the much required uplift to the exteriors and rest of the elements will just appear like add-on to the overall outlook of the house. Yes, landscaping Coventryis the buzz word for house owners nowadays.

Artificial Grass Coventry  takes care of all open areas and puts them to best use while also beautifying the entire space. Depending upon the area available and also how a house owner wants to utilize the available space, one can accommodate utilities like parking, drive way, swimming pools, garden areas and green backyards. DTML Landscape is a pioneer in landscaping and has been working around the West Midlands, Warwickshire and Staffordshire regions, offering its expert advice on how to utilize the open areas around a house. Their dedicated professionals offer customized advice to each client after assessing the given area and how landscaping can spruce up the given zone.

Landscaping Coventry is not just necessary for appealing exteriors. The open area around your house – however large or small – can be carved out neatly and put to best use. How about having a manicured backyard and hosting a plush house warming party right in your own premises? Or how about using some elements from garden design Coventry  and having your own kitchen garden in your backyard? Or how about having a cozy green zone for your kids to play right in your backyard?

This all is possible with right advice and expertise. DTML Landscaping has helped many house owners beautify their exteriors. Their expertise lies in doing the walls, fencing, gates, drives, garden pools, decking, turfing and seeding, garden clearance and drainage projects. They can be contacted for free consultation and quotation as well. They have been working on various commercial and residential projects since 2006 and have a reputation among the landscaping professionals.

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Three Dependable Landscape Plants for Fast Privacy Screens in Dry Gardens

Many people are rediscovering the joys of staying home and taking ‘staycations’. Your garden can become the perfect place to provide a peaceful sanctuary to escape from the world and unwind. Screen plants can provide privacy in your garden, hide an unsightly area and provide shade. Hopseed Bush, Brush Cherry and Italian Cypress are three shrubs or small trees that are useful for screens, grow fast or are drought tolerant. Some plants have all three qualities!

When creating your backyard paradise these screening shrubs can also help create ‘walls’ to establish separate sections in a garden, so you can create different ‘garden rooms’ in your yard. Two of these are also good for planting in narrow spaces between houses to help block out the world. Try these versatile plants in your Patch of Heaven:

HOPSEED BUSH (Dodonaea viscosa)
USDA Zone: 9-11
Sunset Zone: 7-24
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Moderate to low, drought tolerant

Hop Seed bushes come with leaves in either bright, lime green or dark purple. Both versions have leaves about 4 inches long and 1/2 inch wide and are very shiny on multiple shrubby branches. These drought tolerant shrubs are fast growers to about 10 feet tall and almost as wide. They take full sun to part shade. Once established in the garden (1-2 years) they can survive on rainfall alone.

Hopseed bushes have a growth habit that is a bit airy, with lots of small branches and the long leaves add to the lacy feel. They can be trimmed as hedges or espaliers for a slightly denser effect. These are good for layering to create a full, lush feel in the border. They are perfect for the back of the bed (where the sprinkler won’t reach), along fences or as border screens. In late spring they develop large, papery seed pods, usually light brown, which hang on for weeks and provide a dramatic effect. Although the seed pods break down quickly in the soil, I do not recommend planting these bushes near pools.

BRUSH CHERRY, CAROLINA LAUREL CHERRY (Prunus caroliniana)
USDA Zone: 7 – 9
Sunset Zone: 5 – 24
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Moderate to low

Brush Cherry is another dependable, versatile garden shrub for quick screens and hedges. These shrubs can grow up to 30 feet tall and 10 – 12 feet wide. Although I have seen mature stands of Carolina Laurel grow even taller. They can grow in full sun to part shade. Once established they can survive drought conditions. However, in desert areas they prefer less sun and will appreciate more water during the hottest summer weather.
Brush Cherries have a dense growth habit with lots of branches so they take well to heaving shearing as a hedge and can even be used for topiaries. Left untrimmed, they will still maintain their neat, shrubby shape, but the interior growth will not have leaves. They can also be trained as small multi-trunk trees. New growth is a pretty reddish rusty color in the spring. They get sprays of white flowers followed by clusters of small, bright red cherries. The cherries can stain concrete and make a mess. If you don’t have enough birds in your area to take care of the cherries for you, just trim off the flowers before they set. This will also relieve the plant of the stress of producing seeds.

ITALIAN CYPRESS (Cupressus sempervirens)
USDA Zone: 7 – 9
Sunset Zone: 4 – 24
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Moderate to low, drought tolerant

Italian Cypress trees are a familiar staple in the city, growing along border lines as tall screens. They grow up to 60 feet high on single trunks and are generally 1-2 feet wide but mature plants can be much wider. All cypresses prefer full sun, but will tolerate part shade and can survive on little water once they are established in a year or two.

Italian cypress are perfect shrubs for problem areas. They grow tall but they’re thin, so you can tuck them into narrow spaces. Their trunks will eventually reach about 12 inches around, so your narrow bed should at least be that wide. Their growth habit is sleek and cylindrical, with most of their leaves pointing up. They lose a small amount of needles during they year, but litter is not a big problem with these trees. They do not grow very fast the first year, but they will make up for their lack of growth in the second year. Continually trimming the tops will result in a slightly fatter shrub, but they are fairly care free, needing no trimming.

When you are planning on having your shrubs survive on rainfall, it is best to encourage deep root development early on by soaking your plants every few days instead of sprinkling the topsoil every night. Even established plants appreciate a deep soak during a heat wave, when the weather has been over 100 degrees, or when it has been especially dry and windy.

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The Orchid Botanical Garden of Soroa, a Natural and Incomparable Cuban Treasure

For centuries orchids have fascinated the world and are considered by many as the most beautiful flowers, which contrast with the simplicity and its colors.

The Orchid Botanical Garden of Soroa offers a stunning vision of Cuba. There, over 700 species of orchids hanging from the trees provide an unforgettable visual spectacle. It is a National Heritage, located in the Biosphere Reserve of Sierra del Rosario, which is part of the Cordillera de Guaniguanico.

There you will approach to the greatest biodiversity and landscape of Western Cuba. In this area you will find 130 species of orchids in Cuba. They can be seen in the wild, or in shade houses protected from excessive sunlight and air. Among them are included the Chocolate Orchid and Black Orchid.

 

Also, the garden has 6 000 species of other ornamental plants, trees and flowers that represent the national flora from various countries. The Garden combines ecotourism environmental education for travelers during their Cuba holidays as well as to the locals.

The variety of birds and the richness of the landscape make this Garden a constant place to visit for enthusiastic tourists who love photography. Most wild orchids found in the area are on the trail called Forest to the Sea. This was designed to show areas of high biodiversity in the Guanahacabibes Peninsula of about 100 kilometers long and wide oscillating from 6 to 24 kilometers.

The creation of the garden dates back to 1943 when Tomas Felipe Camacho, a wealthy lawyer from the Canary Islands and a member of the Cuban Orchid Society affiliated with the American Orchid Society and the Eastern Orchid Conference, decided to build a beautiful garden in honor of his daughter.

Camacho was well known for its extensive collection of orchids consisting of approximately 18 000 specimens, including almost all known Dendrobiums, both species and hybrids. For the Garden, Camacho chose a fertile hill of 35 000 square meters in the foothills of the Cordillera de Guaniguanico and he enriched it with a large collection of plants from Asia and the rest of America.

The abundance of water and soft moisture from the mountains soon enabled him to gather more than 25 000 specimens of orchids from over 750 species from distant parts of the world.

It’s currently a productive scientific center at the University of Pinar del Rio and is intended for the preservation and enjoyment of the environment and conservation of Cuban orchids.

At this Orchid Garden detailed studies of the specimen are made to accelerate its propagation through “in vitro” tissue culture and its reintroduction into the wild. New varieties are also obtained by the crossing, and all these activities are used to train new foresters.

Orchids grow in woods where the dense vegetation blocks out the light, or on river banks. For centuries, it was attributed to the exotic plant aphrodisiac properties that influence in men’s sexuality.

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Go For a Recognized Garden Design Course to Get Instant Career Opportunities

Among the many lucrative careers that are much in demand at the moment, a garden designer job is considered as one of the hottest. Increasing environmental concern has forced people to develop gardens around their houses, business establishments and industrial premises.  Governments too have intensified their fervor to make cities and towns greener and more picturesque by developing parks, landscapes, and public gardens. This has given rise to the demand for more garden designers as they are required to be deployed in the above projects.  A garden design course essentially generates the garden designers needed to meet this demand.

Institutions specially dedicated to teaching the nuances of garden design to willing students have appeared in quite a number and are already churning out a number of garden designers to meet the above demand. What is garden design anyway? It is the art of designing beautiful gardens and the procedures and methods used to create them. Garden design involves garden plans, landscapes, layouts and planting to create tasteful gardens.  Garden design is usually undertaken by the owner himself or a learned professional who has gained mastery over the task of garden design by studies, courses, training and expertise gained over years of practice. The outcome of any garden design project will depend on the exemplary skills of the garden designer. The basic rules pertaining to garden design are applied whether it is executed by a novice or an expert professional. Garden designers use these basic tools and formulas to transform the ideas of the garden owners into reality.

Garden design courses are now greatly in demand owing to the demand for garden designers and each day we see some gardening project coming up in the neighborhood whether it is on private property or government property. Taking a garden design course would hugely benefit the applicants as they will be either employed by huge landscaping companies or have their own private practice. The latter is a great business idea, but the garden designer rookie should first serve under a landscaping company to learn the tricks of the trade before venturing out to establish his or her own business. Several garden design schools have started in the UK and choosing one of these recognised institutions will hugely benefit the student. Recognised schools have a higher marketing value, and a new student has more chances of getting a good job on the basis of having undertaken training from a prestigious institution.

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Rare And Exotic Garden Perennials For Landscape Planting

The term, ‘perennial plant’, means simply that the plant returns following severe freezes, to grow again the next year. Trees are cold hardy tested perennials by nature, some trees that are evergreens and do not go dormant, but merely slow down during various seasons, and other shade trees enter dormancy and shed the leaves. Tree growth of shade trees may stop altogether in extremely cold climates, but in the spring, will surge with buds that open to flower and leaf out.

Great difficulties arise in assigning a plant, ‘perennial’, mainly because the primary determining factor, temperature range varies from year to year; and every century extreme cold temperatures may erase certain plant populations that have survived in areas before for decades or sometimes even centuries. A perennial plant may be a survivor, thus a “perennial” for a given growing area, then suddenly may become extinct in that growing area. The USDA has constructed a zone map that reveals averages of temperatures reached by the location in your State. This map is a nursery tool used to predict whether a perennial will live (cold hardy) in your area.

Agaves are a diverse genus of over 200 species of rosette, spear-like, leafed evergreen perennials. Agave typically grows as low shrub-like plants in dry or well-drained soils of the Southern part of the U.S. from New Jersey down to Florida, and then West to California. Many Agave species, such as Agave americana or Agave tequilana, have sharp recurved, protective teeth running along both sides of the blade of its semi-curved, lance-shaped leaves, with a sharp needle-tip lance at the end. There are Agave species, like Agave attenuata, and Agave stricta, that do not have sharp-teeth at all, but are smooth. The color variations of Agave plants range from shades of green, to silvery-grey, bluish-green, top yellow or white stripes, such is the case with Agave americana ‘media-picta’. The bloom of mother Agave plants are a beautiful array of pendulent bell-shaped, creamy-white flowers soaring high above the mother plant on a flower stem that may reach 20 feet or more for some agave species. The bloom period of a mother Agave plant is during the summer and the flower stalk is magnificent to behold, however, this event means the cycle of life ends for mother Agave and begins again for her Agave offspring. Agave plants are an excellent choice for rock gardens or well drained soils that lend themselves well to terracotta or cement planters. Agaves are fairly slow glowers so expect higher prices on these sunloving garden jewels at retail garden centers. Huge specimen agaves can be quickly delivered by semi-trucks. Recommended Agave cultivar plants are: Agave ‘Victoria-Reginae’; Agave americana; Agave americana ‘Marginata’; Agave americana ‘Media-Picta’; Agave angustifolia ‘Marginata’; Agave attenuata ‘Boutin Blue’; Agave bovicomuta; Agave celsii ‘Nova’; Agave colorata; Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’; Agave desmettiana ‘Zebra Stripe’; Agave ‘Felipe Otero’; Agave franzosini; Agave geminiflora; Agave lechguilla; Agave parryii; Agave parryii ‘Compacta Variegata’; Agave potatorum ‘Verschaffeltii’; Agave pygmaea; Agave salmiana; Agave stricta ‘Pueblensis’; Agave ‘Shark Skin’; Agave sisalana ‘Variegata’; Agave toumeyana; and Agave tequilana ‘Weberi Blue.’

The ancient Egyptians in 1500 BC grew the Aloe for healing, and while the Pharaoh held all the Jews in captivity, aloes were used as cosmetics and for the sacred healing power of this mysterious perennial. The Book of John, in the New Testament Bible, John 19-39, records that Jesus’ body was wrapped in linen cloths and aloes after the corpse was removed from the crucifiction cross before burial. Aloes are evergreen perennial plants that grow as shub-like, climbing or tree-like plants. The aloe plant leaves are fleshly, succulent, long tongue-shaped groups of rosettes, or as star-patterned limbs. Most forms of the aloe, 300 species genus, have toothed leaf blades with soft to piercing hard teeth. Aloe saponaria and Aloe vera are the two most commonly found containerized aloes in homes and gardens. Aloe vera plant extracts have long been used by mothers on their children for fast relief for minor cuts and burns. Aloe saponaria is cold hardy down to freezing temperatures and is widely grown in Southern gardens for the beautiful, coral-colored, tubular blossoms and for the making of medicated soap. Most aloe plants are small, 1-3 foot tall and width, however, a few tropical aloe species, such as Aloe marlothii grow into large, 120 foot succulent trees. Aloe plant varieties may vary enormously in color from yellow, red to blue-greens, or to spotted or striped with random variegation. Recommended cultivars of Aloes are: Orange Aloe.(Aloe acutissima ‘antaramorensis’) ,Blue Aloe (Aloe acutissima) ,Aloe aristata ‘Montana’ Tree Aloe (Aloe bainsii) Aloe brevifolia Red Aloe (Aloe camronii) Climbing Aloe (Aloe ciliaris) Kokoerbom(Aloe dichotoma) Aloe distans ‘Yellow Teeth’Aloe ‘Dorian Black’ Aloe ellenbeckii White Aloe (Aloe glauca) Aloe kedongensis Bergaalwyn (Aloe marlothii) Gold Tooth Aloe (Aloe nobilis) Tiger Aloe (Aloe nobilis ‘Variegata’) Aloe petricola Spiral Aloe (Aloe polyphylla) Coral Aloe (Aloe strata) SoapAloe (Aloe saponaria) Aloe traskii Medicinal Aloe (Aloe vera) Partridge Breast (Aloe ‘Variegata’) Aloe verdoorniae Aloe ‘White Teeth’.

Fern plants are a beautiful landscape choice or a container perennial, because of the delicate graceful foliage. Fern plants are native to the U.S., and found growing on every continent on the Earth. Some ferns grow well as cold hardy plarts in some areas bordering arctic conditions. A gardener can find a fern perennial to buy in practically any nursery or mail order operation.

Florida tropical perennials are restricted for growing in many States, because of the lack of cold hardy resistance. Some gardeners prefer to plant Florida perennials in greenhouses, or to grow as an annual. Many recommended plants are: Desert Rose, Adenium obesum; Allamanda cathartica; Giant Yellow Shrimp, Barleria micans; Hallmark, Bulbine fruiticasa; Clerodendrum ugandense; Bleeding Hearts, Clerodendrum thomsoniae; Bat Faced Heather, Cupha ilvea; Sapphire Showers, Duranta erecta; Euryops; Bolivian Sunset, Gloxina sylvatica; Iochroma cyaneum; Jatropha integerrima; Ixora; Lantana camara; Orthosiphon stamineus; Pentas; Russelia equisetiformis; Russelia equisetiformis aureus; Stachytarpheta urticifolia; Stachytarpheta mutabilis.

Flowering Vine perennials grow fast to cover fences, lattices, walls, and not only offer rewards of flowers, but many interesting flowers in colors of red, blue, white, pink, and yellow. If planted and grown in the sun, the flowering vines require little care of vine maintenance. Recommended flowering vines to plant are Coral Vine, Antigonon leptopus; White Coral Vine, Antigonon leptopus ‘Alba’; Jekyll Island Vine, Bignonia capreolata; Tangering Beauty, Bignonia capreolata; Night Blooming Jasmine, Cestrum Nocturnum; Bleeding Hearts, Clerodendron thomsoniae; Lavender Trumpet Vine, Clytostoma callistegoides; Carolina Jasmine, Gelsemium sempervirens; Heart Vine, Ipomoea batatas; Chinese Jasmine, Jasminum polyanthum; Brazilian Firecracker Vine, Manettia inflata; Mailbox Plant, Mandevilla x Amblilis; Red Mandevilla, Mandevilla sanderi; Peaches and Cream, Mandevilla ‘Peaches and Cream’; Pink Mandevilla, Mandevilla splendens; White Passion Vine, Passiflora; Blue Passion Vine, Passiflora x Alato-Caerulea; Red Passion Flower, Passiflora coccinea; Lady Banks Rose, Rosa banksiae; Blue Glory Vine, Thunbergia battiscombei; White Sky Vine; Thunbergia grandiflora; Confederate Jasmine, Trachelospermum jasminoides; Blue Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis; White Wisteria, Wisteria sinensis ‘Alba’;
Groundcover perennial plants are beautifully colored and fast growing, to keep soil erosion under control. Recommended groundcover plants are: Ajuga reptans ‘Burgundy Glow’, Burgundy Glow; Allium tuberosum, Society Garlic; Arachis glabrata, Perennial Peanut; Ardisia japonica ‘Variegata’, Ardisia japonica ‘Variegata’; Aspidistra elatior, Cast Iron Plant; Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’, Aspidistra elatior ‘Variegata’; Apsidistra lurida ‘Milky Way’, Apsidistra lurida ‘Milky Way’; Asystasia gangetica, Ganges Primrose; Curculigo capitulata, Palm Grass; Ficus repens ‘Variegata’, Creeping Fig Vine; Ficus repens ‘Variegata’, Ficus repens ‘Variegata’; Houttuynia cordata ‘Chameleon’, Chameleon; Liriope; Liriope muscari ‘Big Blue’, Border Grass; Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’, Liriope muscari ‘Royal Purple’; Liriope muscari ‘Super Green Giant’; Liriope muscari ‘Variegata’; Liriope muscari ‘Silver Dragon’; Lysimachia congestiflora ‘Eco Dark Satin’, Golden Globes; Ophiopogon intermedius ‘Aztec’; Ophiopogon japonicus nana, Dwarf Mondo Grass; Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Ebony Knight’, Black Mondo; Persicaria capitatum, Jump Seed; Persicaria microcephala, Red Dragon; Setcreasea pallida, Purple Heart; Setcreasea pallida, Pale Puma; Pseuderanthemum alatum, Chocolate Soldiers; Rubus calycinoides, Emerald Carpet; Scuttelaria longifolia, Red Fountain Sage; Spilanthese oleracea, Eyeball Plant / Toothpaste Plant; Trachelospermum asiaticum, Asiatic Jasmine; Tulbaghia fragrans, White Fragrant Garlic; Tulbaghia violacea, Society Garlic; Tulbaghia violacea ‘Tricolor’, Tricolor, Society Garlic; Vinca major ‘Maculata’, Periwinkle; Vinca major ‘Variegata’, Periwinkle; Vinca major ‘Wojo’s Gem’.

Herbacious perennial plants freeze during the winter, but return in the following spring to produce flowers of many colors and rare forms. Recommended cultivars are: Bee Balm, Monarda didyma ‘Jacob Cline’; Blue Butterfly Flower, Clerodendrum ugandense; Blue Woodland Phlox, Phlox divaricata; Brunfelsia Pauciflora; Buckeye, Red, Aesculus pavia; Butterfly Bush, Buddleia lindleyana; Cestrum aurantiacum; Cigarette Plant, Cuphea micropetala; Clerodendrum bungeii; Cone Flower, Echinacea paradoxa; Cuphea ‘Allyson’; Devil Star Lily, Clerodendrum puniculatum; Echinacea ‘White Swan’; Echinacea purpurea; Firebush, Hamelia patens; Flowering Maple, Abutilion x hybridrum; Gaillardia ‘Pin Wheel’; Lestrum fasciculatum ‘Newellii’; Liatris spicata ‘Blazing Stars’; Liatris spicata ‘Floristan’; Lions Head, Leonitus leonarus; Obediant Plant, Physostegia virginiana; Orange Shrimp Plant, Justicia ovata; Orange Tongue Plant, Justicia leonardii; Phlox maculata ‘Alpha’; Pink Tongues, Justicia carnea; Platycodon grandiflora; Plumbago auriculata ‘Monott’ PP7822; Princess Flower, Tibouchina urvillenana; Purple Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii ‘Lochinch’; Red Cigar Plant, Sinningia sellovii;Red Prince, Weigela florida; Red Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeana ‘Red’; Mouth of Hollywood, Rehmannia Elata; Rudbeckia hirta ‘Becky Mix’; Ruellia brittoniana ‘Katie’; Ruellia elegans; Scarlet Butterfly Lily, Odontonema cuspidatum; Shasta Daisy, Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Alaska’; Shower of Gold Shrub, Galphimia glauca; Tecoma stans ‘Yellow Bells’; Turks Cap, Malvaviscus drummondi; White Tongues, Justicia carnea; Yellow Creeping Jenny, Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’; Yellow Shrimp Plant, Justicia brandegeana ‘Yellow’; Yellow Tongue Plant, Justicia aura.

Yucca is a genus of evergreen plants, with approximately 40 species that grow in dry, desert-like areas. However, this is a common misconception, because members of the Yucca family can be found growing in 30 of the States in America, from New Jersey, down to Florida, and west to California. Yuccas can be grown as small shrubs or yucca trees, up to 30 feet tall, depending upon the yucca species. Yucca has lance-shaped leaves growing in a rosette pattern, on a woody stem or trunk-like frame. Yucca plants may vary dramatically in color from shades of green, to white or yellow stripes, to blue-green hues, as with Yucca rostrata, a jewel for any garden. Most yucca plants are stiff and sharp pointed, like the Spanish Bayonet (Yucca aloifolia), while some yuccas have flexable soft leaves, such as Golden Garland Yucca (Yucca flaccida). The flower blooms of yucca grow in summer, and develop into a beautiful, creamy-white pendulum of bell-shaped flowers that tower 8 feet above the mother plant. Yuccas are very adaptable and are among the oldest living trees in the world. The Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), Yucca filimentosa (Bear Grass or Adam’s Needle) is among the most cold-hardy and widely grown varieties. The strong, stringy filament (fiber), that run a course from the needle tip, down the margin of the leaf, was used by native Americans for making into garments and possibly the treating of war wounds. The roots of Yucca were also used to make soap. The primary use for yucca plants in todays landscapes are for their ornamental beauty, like we find in Yucca flaccida ‘Golden Sword’, in terracotta pots or in ground landscape plantings. Some people use Yucca aloifolia ‘Spanish Bayonet’, Yucca treculeana ‘Spanish Dagger’, or even Yucca brevifolia ‘Joshua Tree’, as security hedges for their beautiful and exotically bazaar, stiff leaves, hence the nickname, “Burlars’ Nightmare.” Yucca plants are typicall sunlovers, growing in well drained soils, but are adaptive and often grow faster in moderately moist areas, such as the Southeastern U.S.. Recommended yucca cultivar plants are: Yucca aloifolia; Yucca brevifolia; Bear Grass, Yucca filamentos; Bright Edge, Yucca filamentosa; Golden Garland, Yucca flaccida; Golden Sword, Yucca flaccida; Ivory Tower, Yucca flaccida; Variegata, Yucca flaccida; Silverstar, Yucca elephantippes; Soft Leaf Yucca, Yucca recurvifolia; Spanish Dagger, Yucca treculeana; Rigida, Yucca rostrata; Linearis, Yucca rostrata; HesperYucca paviflora; Cordyline ‘Baueri.’

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