Help! My Roots Are Showing

A question I often receive from homeowners goes something like this:

“I have this big pine tree out in my front yard. Nothing grows very well under it, making that area basically an expanse of dirt and weeds. Over the years, some of the roots have become exposed, making the area even messier-looking. Is it OK to cover the area under the tree with a load of loam, then plant perennials in that soil?”

Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? Read more…

Landscaping with Trees: Adding Contrasting Color

This landscape design for trees and shrubs will add contrasting early spring color. This free do-it-yourself tree and shrub landscape design provides a show of spring flowers highlighted by an evergreen backdrop of the Green Giant Arborvitae. This planting can serve as a great focal point or accent piece to any yard I call it the “Flowering Green Giant

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Tree and Shrub Rain Garden Design

Tree and Shrub Rain Garden Design

Turn a moist or poorly drained area of your yard into a beautiful garden that provides year round color and habitat for songbirds. The trees and shrubs in this design have been selected both for their beauty and their ability to thrive in moist areas.

Rain Garden Specifications:

Included Species:

1 – Sweetbay Magnolia

3 – Redosier Dogwood

3 – Winterberry Holly

Hardiness Zone:

5-7

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8 Great All Season Trees

All season trees add a lot of interest to your yard, providing a spectacle of changing colors throughout all four seasons. Here is a pick of 8 great all season trees guaranteed to brighten up your yard.

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Top Trees for Winter Landscaping

Many gardeners are proud of their spring, summer and autumn gardens, but they find winter landscape design very difficult.  

There are many trees and shrubs which may add a lot of color with their red or yellow berries, or unusual bark hues.  Others, like evergreen trees, add visual interest in black and white landscape.  Many of those trees attract wild birds providing them with food and shelter. 

When you are looking for your winter trees, choose trees with berries, lovely bark or interesting branch pattern. 

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Foundation Plantings

If you’re looking for an easy way to improve the look of your home, consider planting shrubs and trees near the foundation. There are several species of shrubs and trees that can thrive near the foundation of your home. Please remember to take note of the mature spread and consider the root zone when planting along your home’s foundation.

Recommended shrubs to enhance your home or hide your foundation

Colorful shrubs are great way to accent your home’s outer appearance. Consider the color, size, and texture of the plants as well as the number needed to accent the architectural lines of your house. With careful planning and placement, the landscape will visually direct guests to the entrance of your home.

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Small Trees for Landscaping

Across the nation we are seeing more and more people move to the city.  Never in our history have we seen as many urban dwellers as we do now.  This fact is changing many things, but as far as landscape design goes we are seeing people design for smaller yards or incorporating trees in their garden.  Lets look at some great small trees that you can use at your home.

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Top 9 Fall Foilage Trees

Every autumn as the days get shorter trees across the country produce spectacular displays of fall leaf colors.  Adding trees with great fall foliage trees is a great landscape design technique because of the color it adds to your yard.  Here are 9 trees that I thought had great fall color.

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Fall Foliage Trees: The Good, the Bad and the Invasive

We take our consolations in life where we can. I live in a cold climate and dislike the onset of winter, which brings harsh weather, along with shoveling snow, scraping ice off car windshields, etc. As if the dreariness and the drudgery weren’t bad enough, winter robs me of one of my chief passions in life: my outdoor plants. Oh, sure, I can still enjoy my evergreen shrubs and ornamental grass; and other plants inject some visual interest into the winter landscape via interesting branching patterns and whatnot. But none of this makes up for the loss I’ve suffered. I’ll mourn till spring.

That’s why I drain every ounce of satisfaction out of fall foliage season. Whether it’s “leaf peeping” on vacation or selecting superior fall foliage plants for my own yard, fall foliage is a big deal to this Hyperborean: It’s my ultimate consolation as another long winter stares me in the face.

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Smoketree

If you should ever find yourself luxuriating in the French Riviera, and in the unlikely event you grow tired of the sand and sea, a walk in the hills will introduce you to the unique woodlands of the Mediterranean.   There, among the scrubby oaks and umbrella pines you will find a familiar bush or small tree, the European smoketree – in its native environment.

There are only two species of trees in the genus Cotinus.  One is the American smoketree, the other is its close relative from Europe.  For both, their claim to fame is the wispy clumps of filaments that look all the world like smoke.  The mirage has given rise to other names such as mist tree, cloud tree, wig tree, and Jupiter’s beard.  By whatever name, the site of this tree is what Minnesota garden writer Don Engebretson has called “one of the most arresting shrubs available to…gardeners today.”
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