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…]

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…]

Don’t Get Convicted of…….CRAPE MURDER

As early as mid December, I began seeing crimes committed all over the area, terrible, heinous crimes of the landscape.  What is sad to say is that most people do not even realize they have committed CRAPE MURDER; they are simply following the lead of their neighbor’s neighbor. Unfortunately, for those folks, I feel my advice may be a bit mute for this year, but if you have not pruned your crape myrtles yet, please heed my warning and instructions. 

First and foremost, you must prune your crape myrtles during the right time of year.  If you prune them later in the year, say November or December, you run the risk of having them try to produce new growth, if we get a warming trend in January, that new growth will freeze when temperatures cool again and this will be very stressful for your plant.  In actuality, pruning tells a plant it is time to grow, so hold off until later in January and February.  The next important factor to consider is to use good, sharp tools that will make clean cuts.  It is most healthful for a plant if cuts are clean and free of jagged edges or tears otherwise you are opening up the plant to potential invasion from unwanted pests and disease. 

Bloom N Gardens Crape Myrtle-001When you begin your pruning, first start by removing any dead, diseased or crossed branches, this is also a good time to remove any suckers from the base.  Next, begin thinning the canopy, a general rule of thumb is to remove twigs that are less than a pencil width.   With that done, as you examine your tree, you will typically see two lateral branches emerge close to where you cut the previous year.  You will want to head back these branches to within 6” of last year’s growth; this will prevent the “knuckle” look that can be so unattractive and unhealthy for the plant

One of the biggest excuses many people have for pruning their crape myrtles incorrectly is that they do not want their crape myrtle to be too big.  This problem is best solved by removing the tree and choosing one that is better suited to the confined space. There are many varieties of crape myrtle that grow from shrub sized to giant sized and all sizes in between.  Choose wisely from the beginning and you will be happier in the long run. Additionally, there is a fallacy that drastically pruning a crape myrtle will make them bloom more.  In reality, a correctly pruned crape myrtle will produce twice the number of branches, and therefore, twice the number of blooms than the previous year.  Additionally, the branches will be stronger and better able to withstand the weight of the heavy bloom. 

If you have a crape myrtle that has been incorrectly pruned for many years, there are ways to improve the overall health and look of the plant by reconstructive pruning, a process that you may want to bring in a professional to provide. Good luck and happy pruning.

An English Garden Oasis

The English garden has been a staple of home decorating and style magazines for years. Something about the sprawling trees, idyllic wildflowers, and perfectly placed garden ornaments reminds us to let go of our carefully manicured everything and let nature take its course. The perfect blend of unkempt and tended, the English garden is the perfect landscaping style for recovering perfectionists, free spirit gardeners, and anyone who loves a splash of color.

The Rise of the English Garden

We may all dream of creating a “secret garden” of overgrown flowers and artfully crooked cobblestones, but the English garden (or simply “landscape garden” in the United Kingdom) wasn’t an accepted gardening style until the 19th century. Landscapers developed this freeform gardening method to balance the clean symmetry and intensive details of the 18th century French style garden. It’s no surprise that English style gardens gained quick popularity, both in Europe and across the pond in America. English gardens strongly influenced the development of public parks and estate landscapes.

Characteristics of an English Garden

Parks and estate grounds offer expansive examples of English gardens. Ponds, grassy knolls, and artfully aged rotundas serve as a backdrop to bright, barely tamed flowers and shrubs. Smaller homes display stone statues, architectural touches on benches and pavilions, and seemingly forgotten florals that add a touch of whimsy to the landscape.

Creating an Idyllic Oasis

garden urnIncorporating touches of English-style gardens to your landscape adds a pastoral atmosphere to your backyard. Plant flowering shrubs and thick bushes along fences and pathways. Place classic garden ornaments like birdbaths, Hellenistic statues, and stone sundials. Plant-life grows into wooden elements like woven trellises, creating a sense of structure while maintaining the careful disarray of the style. When pruning trees and shrubs in an English garden, avoid creating crisp, groomed shapes. Meld the English style with Southern attention to detail by balancing wild blooms with manicured grass.

Call Bloom’n Gardens Landscapes for expert advice on choosing a garden style that suits your Vinings home.

The Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival is almost here!

If you’ve “Liked” us on Facebook, chances are you’ve seen a lot of the hydrangea centered posts and articles Bloom’n Gardens has been sharing lately. While the hydrangea is indeed a plant to be celebrated, our recent enthusiasm is centered around the upcoming Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival, set for June 1st and 2nd in Douglas County, GA. We’re beyond excited about this event, and can’t wait to see you there! Here’s a bit of what to expect:

hydrangea-festival

The Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival, held in various locations throughout Douglas County, will feature several display gardens (some with free admission, others with a fee), a garden tour, a celebrity speaker, a festival market, and a flower show. The event celebrates the life of Penny McHenry, the founder of the American Hydrangea Society, as well as the beautiful shrub itself that marks so many Georgia summers with it’s gorgeous blooms.

While at the festival, you’ll be able to enjoy all of the beautiful garden displays, showcasing various placements of hydrangeas in containers, in beds, and more, along with purchasing items for your own home garden while talking to industry professionals for a few know-how tips and tricks. Bloom’n Gardens will be present at the event, so don’t forget to stop by and say hello when you see us! For full details on admission, exhibits, and more, please visit the festival website.

Looking for a few tips ahead of time to help you with your hydrangea blooms? Check out our Hydrangea 101 Guide to learn about pruning your hydrangea properly as well as how to alter the color of your blooms!

 

Hydrangeas 101: The Basics You Need to Know For Hydrangea Success

If Spring were to have a poster child, it would be the hydrangea. These beautiful, clustered blooms are the darling of weddings, Spring table settings, and gardens, offering a burst of color and softness to any niche or bouquet. While effortlessly popular, these blooms are anything but effortless. Caring for your hydrangea isn’t a painstaking process, but it does require some basic knowledge and know how to grow them successfully.

Hortensialilac

Hydrangeas are gorgeous, especially when properly pruned and nourished. 

Pruning Your Hydrangea

Not all Hydrangeas are created equal. Different hydrangeas have different pruning needs, and for these flowering shrubs, timing is everything. Hydrangea Macrophylla, also known as “big leaf hydrangeas,” are the the large, typically blue-blooming hydrangeas many of us are used to seeing. Bloom’n Gardens recommends following the advice of the United States National Arboretum, which recommends regular pruning for this variety of hydrangea with the following stipulations:

“Removing about one-third of the oldest stems each year will result in a fuller, healthier plant. This type of pruning is easiest to do in winter, since the absence of leaves makes it easier to see and reach inside plants.  [As] igleaf and oakleaf hydrangea…flower on previous year’s growth, [they] should be pruned shortly after flowering is complete.”

Hydrangea Paniculata, or “panicle hydrangeas”, require a different style of pruning, as they “flower on current year’s growth and can be pruned anytime from late summer until early spring.”

Altering the Coloration of Your Hydrangea

When buying hydrangeas, the name of the plant does little to tell you which color it will bloom. “Nikko Blue, Pretty in Pink, Forever Pink and Blue Deckle, all have an almost equal chance of blooming pink or blue, depending on the soil they are planted in,” says Gardeners.com. If you wind up with a hydrangea that’s a different shade than what you wanted, don’t worry; there are things you can do to alter the coloration of the blooms.

While you can’t exactly turn a white hydrangea blossom blue or turn even the brightest of pink hydrangeas red, you can alter the coloration of your hydration with soil additives. The vibrancy and shade of your hydrangea can vary based on the pH of your soil; most Georgia soils are low in pH, leaving you a lot of room to alter the balance by adding lime or ammonia sulfate. First, you’ll need to test your soil’s pH level. Once you know that, find the target pH for the color you’re trying to achieve:

  • Having a pH of 5.2-5.5 will encourage blue coloration
  • Having a pH of 6.0-6.2 will encourage pink coloration

To raise soil pH, you will need to add garden lime, wood ash, or dolomitic limestone. The amount of each item you will need to add will depend on the soil you’ll be planting in; follow directions on your product packets carefully.

To lower soil pH,  ammonium sulfate or aluminum sulfate. If you prefer a more organic approach to gardening, you can try adding naturally acidic items such as ” conifer needles, sawdust, peat moss and oak leaves.”

See Hydrangeas at Their Finest

Planning to get a hydrangea, but not sure what to do it with it yet? Trying to decide which additives to try for your hydrangea’s coloration? Kate and the team from Bloom’n Gardens will be at The Penny McHenry Hydrangea Festival on June 1st and 2nd. Come out and see other competitors in the Flower Show or take a Garden Tour. Have questions about Hydrangeas? We’re happy to help!

 

Are you growing hydrangeas? Have you tried soil additives? Tell us about your growing experience, successes, and woes in a comment!

We Handle With Care

There’s the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”  In Atlanta, we are actually halfway through the time of the year when we see the most rain. Statistics show that north Georgia’s rainy season begins in February and continues through April. Now that the weather is beginning to consistently warm up, our lawn and garden plants will come out of dormancy and begin to rapidly grow. It takes a thoughtful lawn caregiver, like Bloom’n Gardens, to properly maintain your lawn to insure that it stays healthy and happy all year long.

Rainy days can be problematic when caring for our lawns. There’s the likelihood of frequent over saturation and added concern of possible foreign invaders such as weeds, disease and insects. Although we love the rain and definitely do not even want to mention the word DROUGHT, rain can be problematic for scheduling our grass cutting operation. Bloom’n Gardens provides professional lawn maintenance services to people and businesses that value their outdoor space. Each and every week we are on your property, we make a determination if the lawn can and should be mowed. Grass that is excessively wet or even just saturated ground beneath it can be damaged or unsightly ruts created if we try to mow it at the wrong time. Therefore, please have patience during this rainy period. Rest assured if we cannot mow, we will do everything in our power to give you the service you deserve and will use the time to catch up on other garden tasks that need to be completed. Rest assured that you are in good hands when it comes to your lawn and garden!

What’s Bloom’n Now?

bloomngardenslandscape Helleborus orientalis 2

You might expect Hellebores to be blooming now…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

bloomngardenslandscape Camellia japonica Tama Americana

 

Or Camellia japonica….

bloomngardenslandscape Iris 1.29.13 flower detail

But what about Iris?