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05 Aug 2011

Interior Trees that Works Best for your Home

 

The summer season brings hot weather. It’s the time when we appreciate the shade of a beautiful interior trees. Trees provide other benefits, too. They can block the wind, help clean the air, provide fruit and nuts and create a hospitable habitat for wildlife. Trees can also serve as a great place for the kids to play. If you want an interior trees in your home, do you know how to select the right tree—one that will live a long time?

If your yard doesn’t have interior trees at the moment, you may want to think about planting some. Studies show that trees and landscaping add value to your property. Even if you do not intend to sell your property, trees can provide years of enjoyment. If you have interior trees in your house, check to see that they are healthy. If they are near the end of their life or show signs of decline, you may want to plant new trees that will become established before the old trees are removed.

Benefits for Planting Trees

Have you wondered what you could do to reduce greenhouse gases and address global warming? Planting trees will help! One of the greenhouse gases causing the most concern is carbon dioxide. Plants take this gas out of the air and use it in photosynthesis. Carbon is stored in the wood and living tissues of trees. When leaves fall and are composted, carbon is added to the soil. This improves the soil for plant growth and stores more of the carbon in the form of soil organic matter. Carbon can be stored for hundreds of years in the trunks of trees or in the form of lumber, furniture, and other wood products. By planting trees in your yard, you can help reduce greenhouse gases.

A large shade tree planted on the southwest side of the house can provide cooling shade in the summer and help lower air conditioning costs. Once the leaves drop in the fall, the winter sun is free to warm your house on cold winter days. Evergreen trees can be planted to block cold winter winds and help reduce winter heating costs.

Trees also give shelter and food for a variety of wildlife. While installing bird feeders will help attract birds to your yard, providing them with nearby trees and shrubs to escape danger, build nests, and obtain food, will be even more effective. When picking out a tree, consider what value they may offer to the wildlife in your community.

interior trees

Trees can offer years of enjoyment. Planting trees and watching them grow can be part of your family’s memories. Consider planting a tree to commemorate a milestone in your family’s life. While raking leaves may seem like a chore as you get older, jumping in piles of leaves can be a treat for children. Hanging a swing, building a tree house, or simply relaxing under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day can be a memorable experience.

Selecting the Right Interior Trees

When looking for that perfect interior trees for your home, pick one with good form. Most trees should have one main leader (trunk) and a balanced number of side branches. They should look healthy and free from insect damage–and show evidence of growth. Be sure to get your interior trees from a reputable nursery that has inspected and certified stock. Select a tree that is native to your area because it will have an easier time growing and prospering than a tree that is not used to the conditions of your area.

interior trees

When buying interior trees it is really important to make sure that the tree will transplant well from the nursery to your designated area inside your home. There are many different ways to transport a tree and some may have different needs than others. Balled and bur lapped trees usually transplant well. The tree’s root system is contained within the ball of soil; the soil remains firm around the root system to minimize transplant shock. You do not want a tree that has been allowed to dry out. Make sure your tree’s root ball is kept moist prior to planting.

Container grown trees spend at least part of their life in a pot. These trees transplant well from early spring into fall. The root mass will come out of the pot intact if it is a container-grown tree. There should be plenty of feeder roots–those thin, hair-like roots–but not so many roots that the tree has become pot-bound. Make sure to check the roots for damage. Rodent damage is easy to spot—you will see evidence of chewing and, possibly, tunnels or holes. Avoid any tree with a foul odor coming from the root area because it is probably suffering from disease.

Bare root trees are usually extremely small plants. Most of these trees are best planted in winter if the ground is not frozen or in early spring before the leaves come out. The roots are exposed, so the trees must be stored in a humid, cool place, where the roots are kept covered with a moist material until planting time.

What are the Best Interior Trees?

 

There are a large variety of different accessories to look at when it comes to decorating your home, but one item that many people overlook is interior trees. These trees can really bring a room together, and it’s always nice to have a little bit of greenery in the interior of your home. Whether you’re looking for something to bring life into the office or you just want to have something to look at on a lazy Sunday in your own home, these trees are some of the best options to look at.

Schefflera Tree

Also known as the umbrella tree, the schefflera tree has large leaves that work when you are trying to create a tropical or island feel in your home. They do need a bit more light than most other options during the day, but it’s definitely worth it if you can make it work in your building. These trees can grow to be up to eight feet tall.

Dragon Tree

Many people are first drawn towards this tree because of its name, but you may have also heard of it referred to as the “Madagascar tree”. This is a great option when you want something that is easy to maintain because it does not require very much extra maintenance on your part. One of the most interesting aspects of this tree is that you can actually control the direction that the branches grow over time.

Rubber Tree

A third option when you are looking to add a tree to your home is the rubber tree. Most people like to keep this tree short and thin when they place it in the interior of their home, and the big, dark leaves can make it work in any room around the house. This is another tree that can grow to be up to eight feet tall if you don’t trim it on a regular basis.

Lemon Tree

Perhaps the most useful tree on this list, the lemon tree will be able to offer you beauty and fresh lemons. The aroma that comes from this tree is powerful enough to freshen your entire home while it is in full bloom, so you won’t have to worry about getting home air fresheners for a while. The usual routine with this tree is to have it in the patio during the summer and bring it back inside during the winter.

Interior trees add so much to the home landscape! They provide shade, clean air, habitat for wildlife, value to your property, and even memories. Knowing what to look for will help you select the right interior trees. A healthy tree will last a long time and provide many benefits. Happy planting!

Interested in more interior trees ideas? Contact us at 805-773-5395 or click-for-consultation

22 Jul 2011

How to get your Dream Yard

dream yardDo you find yourself daydreaming about what your yard could look like someday? When you are looking through gardening magazines filled with beautiful trees, shrubs, flowers and beautiful pictures of landscaped yards with all of the lovely ponds and garden statues, do you wonder what is best for your dream yard? Before going overboard with ordering dozens of plants or simply giving up because you are overwhelmed at what to do, here are some things to consider.

A common challenge in landscaping for your dream yard is creating the right environment you want. While fencing can provide privacy, also think of using a buffer strip of shrubbery between your yard and the yard next door. Many shrubs will grow within a couple of years and act as a screen and provide a habitat for a variety of birds. You may want to plant native shrubs because they are usually well adapted to local conditions and may provide the best habitat for local wildlife. Additional things to consider are whether the plants have special characteristics such as flowers or fruits, how large they will eventually be, and how much maintenance they require to maintain healthy and in scale with your yard. You can check with your local nursery or garden center for recommended species.

If you always thought it would be fun to have a pond, give it a try. With so many choices of materials on the market, anyone can have a garden pond, regardless of the size of the yard. If you have lots of room, you can build one right in the ground. You can purchase a pre-formed mold or dig a hole and line it with a plastic pond liner. A simple type of pond consists of a plastic lined barrel or tub. Just add water, plants, a pump, and even fish–and you have a pond for your patio. Be sure to consider your sources of electricity if you need to add a pump. Also, be certain to use caution and take necessary security measures if small children have access to your yard and the pond. Another factor to keep in mind is maintenance. A pond can require a lot of effort to keep it clear of algae, leaves, and debris.

If you do not want to spend your weekends doing yard work, a wildflower garden may be right for you. Depending on where you live, this could be a prairie, desert landscape, or alpine garden. Check on local zoning ordinances to make sure you follow any necessary rules. Some communities have not yet recognized the value of “native landscaping” and may consider this within their landscaping options. If you want a more maintained yard, consider ground covers instead of grass and use mulch to control weeds in foundation plantings and flower beds.

When choosing plants, make sure they are acclimated to your area. Consider both the minimum and maximum temperatures, amount of moisture, amount of sunlight, and soil characteristics. You need to decide if you want an annual that will need replanting annually or a perennial that comes up year after year? Do you want cut flowers for inside your home or to give to friends? All this should play a part in your decision.

Native plants are usually better adapted to local conditions and need less maintenance. Be cautious about introducing new, exotic species that may become invasive or may be prohibited in some areas.

The main thing is, choose what you like for your dream yard. There is an enormous variety of plants that will add beauty to your yard as well food and shelter to a wide variety of wildlife. With a little planning, you can get started on the yard of your dreams. If you need more help with your landscaping, the professional landscapers at Evergreen Landscaping are here for you. Contact us today at 805-773-5395 to get started!

17 Jul 2011

Gardening Gifts for All Occasions

If you have a friend who loves gardening then why not give them a gift related to their favorite hobby? There are lots of gardening gifts so just find something that fits your budget and go with that.

If you have a tight budget, go for things like gloves, kneepads or even a fun hat. A pretty pot (or a watering-can) filled with a small bag of potting mix, a packet of bulbs, some gloves and a small trowel or other tool can be a great gift as well and don’t worry if they already have one, spares are always good to have on hand. Or consider making an array of hand tools (think of those kitchen utensil sets that go on countertops and use hand tools instead).

Or how about a subscription to a gardening magazine or website? If you have some time, you can create a list of websites that your friend can use for reference. Doing that research can take time but you will be giving them a great list of resources to draw from. You could take it a step further and create your own list of favorite articles, tips and tricks that you find and give them a print out (or save the paper and just put in together in a nice e-book format).

Your friend may have been longing for a specific plant that is hard to get. Maybe something you have to special order. Keep that in mind so you can time the gift appropriately.

If money is no object, then perhaps a more expensive tool that your friend has been without. A pull-trolley is easier to use than a wheelbarrow and, like some electric tools, is still not terribly expensive. Small electric tools such as whipper-snippers can retail for as little as $20.00. Or if your friend has a hose but not a hose reel, then that would be a more useful gift to keep them tangle free.

If you are going all out then automatic lawn mowers, electric cultivators, hedge trimmers and brush cutters might be an option for you. Just make sure to find out what they already have. If this is a gift they typically could never afford on their own, then it’s a great idea. Maybe you can split the price with another gift-giver.  Imagine the look on the recipients face when they get a gift related to their favorite hobby. What a hero you’ll be.

08 Jul 2011

Gardening Benefits For Kids

gardening benefitsUnfortunately, it’s far too obvious that nature is neglected these days.  It’s disheartening to realize that people no longer pay attention to or care about today’s environmental problems.  But what can we do about this? Children’s education and involvement with eco-friendly activities are a great way to start. One great environmentally friendly and educational activity that children can easily be included in is gardening. Why consider teaching about gardening to your children? What are the gardening benefits this kids will get?

Here are some of the gardening benefits that children can acquire today

1.  Science

Children are indirectly shown the wonders of science, such as the plant’s life cycle, and how human interaction can change the environment for better or for worse.  By planting, your children can have first hand experience on the miracle of life through a seed.  This is most certainly a new and fascinating experience for the kids.

2.  Life

Observing a seed sprout and grow into an entire tree is just as wondrous as the conception, birth, growth of a child.  Over time, your children will learn to love both the natural beauty of the plants and appreciate the life they represent. Gardening will actually help replicate how all life should be treated – with care and respect. The essential requirements for life will be emphasized to your kids with the help of gardening – water, sunlight, oxygen, and nutrients. These necessities are indisputably similar to human necessities, and in fact all forms of life on the planet.

3.  Relaxation

Studies show that gardening can reduce stress due to its soothing and calming effects. This is applicable to any age group. It’s also an activity which stimulates all five senses. In fact, gardening has been used as a form of therapy for abused children or those who have been members of a broken home. It helps build one’s self-esteem and allows one to have time to meditate while in a relaxing and stress-free environment.

4.  Quality Time with the Family

While gardening, you can enjoy enjoy the soothing and relaxing effects that gardening brings, and forget about work; at least for the time being. You and your children can spend quality time together while sharing the experience of gardening.  You may decide to chat while watering the flowers or planting seeds, or perhaps you can work quietly beside them and simply enjoy each other’s company.  The fundamental thing is, always include your children into your gardening time. Who knows, you may just discover a plethora of new things about your child you never knew while mingling with them in your garden.

Let your children be aware of and care about their environment’s needs. And a great way to jump start that environmental education may be through gardening with them.  It’s hitting two birds with one stone – teach them to respect life while you bond with them.

Want to hear more about gardening benefits?  Talk to our experts!

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10 Jun 2011

Best Plants for your Garden

Choosing the Best Plants

Many times we buy plants on impulse then find there is nowhere in the garden that really suits them. Before buying plants, carefully examine your garden to see how much sun and shade it gets, whether the soil is well drained or waterlogged and whether your aspect is sheltered or windswept. You’ll then be equipped to go and buy the best plants for your situation; shade-loving plants for the sheltered areas, sun-lovers for the warm spots, drought-resistant plants for the parched areas which may be either sunny or shaded, and swamp plants for the poorly-drained parts.

But wait! Test your soil first, to determine the pH level of your soil and what kind of nutrients you need to add, if any. Is the soil acid or alkaline? Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, but there are some that must have alkaline soil to grow. You can alter the soil’s pH level, but it’s much easier to simply plant for the soil you have.

Now you are ready to plant. Well – almost. Will you plant in groups or singly? If you buy ‘one of everything’ your garden may seem rather spotty. Group plantings are organized, harmonious and you can vary the color for interest.

Before planting out, place your chosen best plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look. Re-arrange them until you are satisfied. Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers. Be sure that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants. Tall plants should go to the back, or the center if your garden will be viewed equally from all sides. Try to keep your plants away from trees. The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your flowers.

best plants

The right color scheme is one way to maintain the harmony in your garden. Imagine the color of the flowers when they are in bloom. Some colors may clash with others, but can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season. Foliage color is also important. Many flower plants have silver, grey or purplish foliage that is just as attractive as the flower. This means that they are still attractive well past the blooming season and so have added value.

Picking a Healthy Plant

When it comes to getting started with your garden, you have two choices; planting seeds, or buying entire plants. Both have their own benefits. If you plant seeds and care for them every day, you will find it is a much more rewarding experience when you have a full, healthy plant. However, this method is a lot more risky. I can’t tell you how many seeds I’ve planted and never seen any trace of whatsoever.

If you choose to buy the best plants from a nursery and install it in your garden, it reduces a lot of the work involved in making it healthy. However, I have found in the past that many incompetent nursery workers will absolutely ruin the future of the plant by putting certain chemicals or fertilizers in. I have adapted to this incompetence by learning to choose the healthiest plant of the bunch. Here I will discuss some of the techniques I use in my screening process for plants.

best plants

It may sound superficial, but the one thing you need to check for on your prospective plants is how nice they look. As far as plants go, you can truly judge a book by its cover. If a plant has been treated healthily and has no diseases or pests, you can almost always tell by how nice it looks. If a plant has grown up in improper soil, or has harmful bugs living in it, you can tell from the holey leaves and wilted stems.

If you’re browsing the nursery shelves looking for your dream plant, you want to exclude anything that currently has flowers. Plants are less traumatized by the transplant if they do not currently have any flowers. It’s best to find ones that just consist of buds. However if all you have to choose from are flowering plants, then you should do the unthinkable and sever all of them. It will be worth it for the future health of the plant. I’ve found that transplanting a plant while it is blooming results in having a dead plant ninety percent of the time.

Always check the roots before you plop down the money to purchase the plant. Of course if the roots are in absolutely terrible condition you will be able to tell by looking at the rest of the plant. But if the roots are just slightly out of shape, then you probably won’t be able to tell just by looking at it. Inspect the roots very closely for any signs of brownness, rottenness, or softness. The roots should always be a firm, perfectly well formed infrastructure that holds all the soil together. One can easily tell if the roots are before or past their prime, depending on the root to soil ratio. If there are a ridiculous amount of roots with little soil, or a bunch of soil with few roots, you should not buy that plant.

If you find any abnormalities with the plant, whether it be the shape of the roots or any irregular features with the leaves, you should ask the nursery employees. While usually these things can be the sign of an unhealthy plant, occasionally there will be a logical explanation for it. Always give the nursery a chance before writing them off as horrendous. After all, they are (usually) professionals who have been dealing with plants for years.

So if you decide to take the easy route and get your best plants from a nursery, you just have to remember that the health of the plants has been left up to someone you don’t know. Usually they do a good job, but you should always check for yourself. Also take every precaution you can to avoid transplant shock in the plant (when it has trouble adjusting to its new location, and therefore has health problems in the future). Usually the process goes smoothly, but you can never be too sure.

Interested to learn more on choosing the best plants for your garden?                                                                          Contact the experts at 805-773-5395 to schedule an appointment.

03 Jun 2011

Flower Gardening

flower gardening

Flower gardening is very popular nowadays. Flowers can brighten everyone’s day, they smell nice, and are a great hobby. Flower gardening is easy, cheap, and loads of fun. Flower gardening can be done for yard decoration, simply as a hobby, or even professionally.

flower gardening

Decide what you would like your garden to look like before purchasing the flowers. For instance, mixing different heights, colors, and varieties of flowers together in a “wild-plant style” will give your garden a meadow look and can be very charming. If short flowers are planted in the front of your garden and work up to the tallest flowers in the back you will have a “stepping stone style”.

Most people will go to the nursery and buy actual flowers and then transplant them, but you can also order seeds for flower gardening from catalogs or buy them from a nursery… After you have prepared your garden area and bought flowers, it is a good idea to lay the flowers out in the bed to make sure you like the arrangement and that they will be spaced properly.

One of the easiest processes in flower gardening is planting the seeds, because you can just sprinkle them around in the flower bed. For transplanting, dig a hole a bit bigger than the flower, pull the container off, and set the flower in the hole right side up. Cover it with the loose soil and press down firmly, then water.

Flower Gardening Tips

Knowing how to properly care for your flower garden can make a huge difference in the look and health of the plants. Here are some super easy hints to help your garden look its best:

1. Take care of the essentials first.

Your flower garden must have an adequate supply of water, fertile soil, and sunlight. If your plants’ basic needs aren’t being met, the garden will fail. Keep on mind that during dry spells, your flowers will need to be watered more often.

flower gardening

Make sure to plant your bulbs at the correct depth. When planting out shrubs and perennials, make sure that you don’t pile soil or mulch up around the stem. You want to make sure that water has a chance to sink in instead of rolling off and the stem could develop rot through overheating.

2. Mix perennials with annuals.

Before you plant flowers, you need to make some important choices. You must decide if you want annuals that live for one season and must be replanted every year, or perennials that survive the winter and return again in the summer. You will also want to pay attention to plant flowers that can live happily in your particular area and climate.

Perennial flower bulbs don’t have to be replanted since they grow and bloom for several years while annuals grow and bloom for only one season. Put some Perennials in your garden to keep blooms year round.

3. Deadhead to encourage more blossoms.

Deadheading is snipping off the flower head after it wilts. This will make the plant produce more flowers. Discard your deadhead away from the garden or you will end up with mildew or diseases that will harm your plants.

4. Know your bugs.

Most garden insects do more good than harm. Sow bugs and dung beetles together with fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms are necessary to help in the decomposition of dead plant material, thus enriching the soil and making more nutrients available to growing plants.

flower gardening

Butterflies, beetles and bees are known pollinators. They fertilize plants through unintentional transfer of pollen from one plant to another. 80% of flowering plants rely on insects for survival. Other insects like lacewings and dragonflies are natural predators of those insects that do the real damage, like Aphis.

5. Add organic nutrients.

Maintaining a flower garden is even easier than planting one. It is a good idea to fertilize your flower bed early in the season. To save yourself work during the next season of flower gardening, rid your garden of all debris and spread out organic nutrients like peat moss or compost. Don’t forget to turn over the soil to properly mix in the fertilizer and rake smooth when finished. If you have perennials planted be careful not to disturb their roots in this process.

Extra notes:

An occasional application of liquid fertilizer when plants are flowering will keep them blooming for longer.
Always prune any dead or damaged branches. Fuchsias are particularly prone to snapping when you brush against them. The broken branch can be potted up to give you a new plant, so it won’t be wasted.

Need a jump start with your flower gardening? Contact Evergreen Landscaping for a free consultation. Or just reach for your phone and dial 805-773-5395.