Celebrate Spring with Bloom’n Gardens Landscape at the Spring Atlanta Home Show

Bloom n gardens Atlanta Home ShowToday we celebrate the Spring Equinox, the date that the day and the night share equal hours.  As a gardener we mark the calendar each year for celebration that there will now be more daylight hours to get things done outside, at least until the Fall counterpart shifts the tide. What better way to usher in Spring than a visit to the Atlanta Home Show.  Bloom’n Gardens Landscape will again celebrate our green thumbs with a unique landscape design in booth #1216. We love how the show allows us to connect with friends and customers and hope to create a garden space that gets you thinking about your OUTBACK. [Read more…]

No “Bones” About It

Belgard paversThere is a very common old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Which we all take to mean it’s what a person has on the inside that counts not the overall outward appearance.  What makes each of us unique is the combination of flesh, bones, and soul that all combines to make us who we are, Individuals.   This same concept can be translated to your homes landscape, as well. I know it might seem like a stretch, but hear me out on this.  Of course, when we first look at a landscape, we hope to see pretty plants, clean beds, and freshly laid straw, these items are known as the “Softscape”. This outward appearance can be fussy, or as low maintenance as you like.  The important thing in making a good first impression is clean and neat, but all the fluff is what takes a landscape from good to great. Think about your morning routine, does it take a little or a lot of effort to create your unique look.  Do you make a good first impression? Let’s hope so. [Read more…]

Focus on “Special Effects” for Your Garden.

Bloom n gardens fat lambNow that March has come in like a lamb, the most exciting (and frustrating) time of the year begins for garden folks.  Every day it seems that something is exploding into bloom, tempting us to put out the summer annuals and tomatoes that are starting to show up in garden centers.  Even though it doesn’t seem possible sometimes, there is always the danger of frost.  So what’s a gardener to do?  Channel that spring energy into inspirations for landscape “special effects”.  Is there a cherry tree right outside your window?  Make it pop by planting some dark evergreens behind.  Are your hellebores blooming beautifully?  Encourage visitors to discover them by adding one of the many fragrant early spring flowering plants nearby.  Looking for ways to accent your garden is also a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather!

How to Cure Cabin Fever in the Southern Garden

Do you ever get a case of Cabin FBloom n gardens daffodilever? Being from Maine, I heard that term every winter. Of course, winter there can be really brutal and……………LONGGGGGG!  I cannot say that I miss those winters much. Sure, I love to see snow every now and again, but being cooped up in the house all the time can wear on you a bit.  One of the great things about Georgia is the fact that we do see a variety of seasons, but they definitely are mild compared to our neighbors to the north.  We are lucky that we don’t typically have weather events that relegate us to the interiors of our homes for days on end very often, but alas that was not the case this year. Here comes SNOWPOCOLYPSE 2014 ROUND I AND II, whew!  Is it possible to suffer from Cabin Fever after just a few days? Well I say, of course! And my recommended method of treatment is to go outside, now that it is beginning to warm, and explore all the plants that begin to pop out just as the thermometer climbs out of winter.   [Read more…]

LISTEN! to what your garden has to say

Bloom n gardens sound in the gardenDaffodils and cherries are starting to bloom, peepers are singing, and soon lightning bugs will be floating on the breeze.  The warm rays of the sun, the colors and scents of flowers, and the taste of fresh berries readily come to mind when we think of gardens in spring and summer, but what about sound?  When it comes to the landscape, the sense of hearing is usually ignored, unless, of course, there is noise to buffer.  But what about using sound to enhance your outdoor space, instead of just block out the drone of traffic? [Read more…]

Location, Location, Location……….

Perennial Bed_FotorBelieve it or not, we will be changing pansies for petunias very soon!  Annual color is a great accent, but the twice a year change-out can get old.  Perennials can be a great solution, but they can be higher maintenance.  Now, I know you are scratching your head, saying “But perennials are LOW maintenance!”  And you would be right.  Most commonly available perennials are tough, drought tolerant, long blooming, and don’t require a lot of fuss to thrive.  BUT in the wrong spot, perennials might require a lot of care.  How is this possible?  Well, you have to understand the qualities of perennials vs annuals. 

Annual/Perennial…What’s the DIfference

Annual plants put most of their energy into blooms.  They have to set as much seed as possible all through the season so that the species can continue.  Annual varieties are bred for more abundant and more rapid bloom cycles than they would have if left to the hand of Mother Nature, and cultivars that have larger flowers and that easily shed old blooms make a constant show of uniform color.  Perennials, on the other hand, have to live through multiple seasons.  They have to put some of the energy they “earn” from the sun into a “savings account” to get them through the winter, which means that their bloom cycles are more distinct.  Regardless of how healthy or well located the plant, there WILL be times when perennials look messy or tired.  Which brings us to maintenance.

How to Use Perennials Effectively

In general, for an area that is seen up close all the time, perennials need to be frequently groomed to keep them looking their best.  Otherwise, they are less “lush English garden” and more “weed patch”.  (By the way, those lush English gardens usually had a full time staff!)  BUT, if you need color on the far side of a wide lawn, or somewhere that will be typically seen from a moving car, you can use the “plant and forget” method.  Garden phlox and coreopsis are ideal for this type of situation.   Like real estate values, perennial maintenance requirements are about 3 things: location, location, location!

Every (Snow) Cloud Has a Silver Lining…..

bloomngardenslandscape snow framingThe Great Snowtastrophe certainly caused a lot of headaches and woe, but believe it or not, all that white stuff can be a boon to the landscape.  Besides insulating from extreme temperatures and soaking moisture into the soil to prep for spring, it is a great design tool! What the heck does a snowfall have to do with landscape design, you ask?  Well, it covers up potentially distracting details and creates a perfect opportunity to look at the big picture in your outdoor space. 

A white blanket of snow allows you to clearly see the lines of the landscape, areas of dramatically different texture, and masses of trees and shrubbery that frame views.  Next snowfall (IN FIVE YEARS!!!!!), suit yourself up till you can’t lower your arms, put on your cleats, go out into your yard and look around. 

Look at areas you see every day, paying special attention to entrances and exits.  Without traffic, you can safely walk in the road and see what visitors see as they arrive at your house!  Look for the landscape lines.  What do they point to?  Look for masses of vegetation at the edges of open areas.  What’s the picture in that frame?  If there is not anything to interest or excite you, go inside, make yourself some cocoa, and get settled in with books, magazines, or the good old internet! 

 Now how’s that for a silver lining to the snow clouds?

Outdoor Entertaining: Lighting the Perfect Al Fresco Dining Space

I don’t know about yours, but with all the rain we have had this spring, utilizing my patio has not been on the forefront of my mind. I typically love to entertain and dine al fresco; one of the cornerstones of my garden is a a wonderful outdoor kitchen that my family loves to utilize just about every night. Hopefully, the constant rain showers will soon come to a close and we can again enjoy our patio regularly. To help welcome the sunshine back, I’m making some changes and upgrades to the space to make it more appealing and functional.

patio lighting in Georgia

Creating a welcoming, functional space with the proper lighting for your outdoor area.

Add ambiance and functionality through proper lighting

One element that I will be adding this year in order to extend the use of my outdoor space is landscape lighting. You might see this a frivolous add on, but it can really help to get the most out of the investment you make in your landscape.

I have friends that drag out a multitude of tiny strings of white lights (think Christmas lights) every time they want to throw a big party. This is a great way to get started lighting the landscape, but setting up the lights each time can be very time consuming, not to mention that these types of lights seem to wear out quickly and, in the long run, can be very expensive.

Understand your patio lighting options

When looking at landscape lighting, think beyond the flood lamps that are installed for security.  There are uplights, downlights, and lanterns offering you the perfect option for any situation. All you need to get started is an electrical receptacle, transformer, wire and few fixtures.

Tips from the team

When designing your outdoor lightscape, a few tips will help you achieve professional results:

  1. Make sure to maintain proper voltages. Improper voltage amounts will shorten the life of your fixtures and transformer.
  2. Use enough variety in your fixture types to make things interesting.
  3. Avoid too much symmetry; this is especially important when utilizing path lights. Straight lines can be reminiscent of a landing strip, and can be avoided by staggering lights.
  4. Balance your lighting across your space to avoid dividing your garden up.

If you want a more intricate landscape lighting design, or aren’t too sure of yourself when it comes to electricity in an outdoor space, it is always best to seek the assistance of a professional. In the end, a properly done lightscape can increase your overall enjoyment of your outdoor space, thus maximizing the investment you have made into your home.

Celebrating Wonderful 7 Years

Bloom'n Gardens Celebrates 7 Years in BusinessThis month, we are celebrating our 7-year anniversary of being in the lawn/garden design & maintenance business. It seems like time has gone by so quickly! We have had the fortunate pleasure to work with so many wonderful clients from all over Atlanta, Mableton, Smyrna, & Vinings. We have won over 20 industry awards including the Vince Dooley WOW award and many others at this year’s Southeastern Flower Show. As many small business owners would agree, the first client is often the most memorable.

I can remember our very first major installation like it was yesterday. In Spring 2006, my first design and install I ever sold was to the Bartram residence. They just had a really bad experience with another company so we had the extra pressure to make a great impression. At the time, I only had one guy, Tony, working with me. Being short-handed, I did a lot of the installation myself. We did subcontract the front yard turf to Southern Sod Sales who I still use to this day. As you can imagine with just two people it seemed like the install took forever, but in the end I was really pleased how it came out. [Read more…]