Archive for the ‘Potted Displays’ Category

Some favorite herbs

Friday, March 26th, 2010

This past week has been a very busy one for our company.  We began year-round service for several new clients whose landscapes all have great potential.  We also have been planting and placing our Herb planter displays.  These displays allow you to enjoy an edible display garden all year.  Although there are a few herbs that disappear during the winter, there are many that continue to produce.  Some of our favorite year-round (most years) herbs are:

Rosemary – great for its flavor and beautiful blue/purple flowers, this herb is a favorite for small hedges and planter centerpieces.  Cuttings can be dried and used in arrangements, and prostratus varieties of rosemary make a great overhanging plant.

Thyme – this great ground cover has been a desired seasoning for poultry and soup since the beginning of thyme.  All kidding aside, this herb is a very dependable and flavorful addition to your garden.  Some varieties, such as lemon thyme with its crisp lemony taste, have a very distinct flavor of their own.

Parsley – flat leafed Italian or moss curled French, parsley has been said to be good for your heart and found its way to your plate.  Parsley is a popular garnish as well as a great addition to your salad, and is excellent on fish, in chowder, or most any Italian food.

Oregano – usually found in Italian or Greek varieties, oregano is an essential part of Italian and Greek cooking.  Some of our favorite varieties for planter displays are the yellow and green variegated types, as they add extra color as well as texture to the mix.  Whether it’s pizza, Greek pasta, or spaghetti, you’ll find oregano in the best of dishes.

Celery – the fresh or dried leaves of celery are great in clam chowder.  Dried leaves tend to give the strongest, somewhat peppery flavor and can be stored for months.

Chives – if you like onions then you like chives.  I really enjoy walking past a clump of chives in the heat of  summer and picking a few stems to chew on.  The onion-like flavor is not too strong and has a pleasant aftertaste.  Chives are great in soup, salad, atop baked potatoes, and sprinkled on chicken about to be baked.

There are several more great herbs that do great in our climate, but these basics will do any herb garden proud.

From all of us at Sure Lawn,

Thank you for your patronage.

Potted Displays

Thursday, March 11th, 2010

This week we have begun planting and placing our potted displays. These include flower, herb, fruit, and vegetable displays. A great potted display will have a tall centerpiece surrounded by gradually shorter layers of plantings at least half the height, with the final layer hanging over the edge. Here are tips for potted flower displays.

Soil is very important, choose a soil that’s well draining and fertile. we generally use a good 1 part sandy loam, 1 part compost and 1 part composted manure.

The centerpiece is not always centered in the planter. For example if along a patio edge or against a wall, you may plant the centerpiece toward the back and center. With the centerpiece in the back and center you’re able to plant more layers.

For potted flower displays we like to use one of the following centerpieces:

Tree Rose
Rose Bush
New Zealand Flax
Tree Daisy
Espalier Camellia
Espalier Cottoneaster

There are many more centerpieces worthy of mention, these are just some common yearly guests. The centerpiece is important because you generally should choose one that will endure the season or year. Many good centerpieces will last for years at a time with proper maintenance. Height is important, as you wouldn’t want a centerpiece that’s shorter than the plants surrounding it. Using a lasting centerpiece allows you to plant and replant around it without replacing what’s generally the most costly plant.

The second tier goes immediately in front of or around the centerpiece. Your second tier should usually be only half the height of the centerpiece. The second tier should compliment the center in both color and texture. For example you don’t want to plant soft green leaves next to soft green leaves or yellow flowers next to yellow flowers. If textures and colors match then what could be to great flowers become muted within each other.

For potted displays we like to use one of the following second tiers:

Lavender- for tall centerpieces like a tree rose etc.
Dusty miller

This second tier has a much larger range of great plants these are only some. Always keep in mind what and where you started so that textures and colors compliment each other. You must also be aware of the available space. For instance with a centerpiece in place and your plant palate chosen are you adding just a second tier or more. Sometimes we’ll have great space and can add several tiers. When this happens we often go all out planting several tiers or make a very thick second tier, which is just fine.

Final step, the overhang. The overhang provides additional texture and color and makes your display have greater depth. We use hanging plants will take little room at the top edge of the planter and grow down the side all summer. Your overhanging plant can be annual or perennial and may bloom more than once per year.

For potted flower displays we like to use the following overhanging plants:

Candy tuft
Variegated Ivy
Rosemary prostratus – a hanging variety
Vinca minor

There are several more great vines and hanging flowers that will compliment your display.

Well good luck with your adventure in the planter, May you have a beautiful year.

Great tips for March:

  • Schedule your spring window cleaning and gutter cleaning.
  • Fertilize most plants mid Feb.-March with a balanced fertilizer such as 16-16-16.
  • Apply Lime on turf areas to help balance soil pH.
  • Remove dead rose and raspberry canes, tie this years raspberry canes.
  • Divide dahlia and daylily tubers throughout march and prepare planting area.
  • Remove 1-2 old trunks from bush type lilacs.
  • Keep ahead of the weeds now so you don’t fight them all summer.

In addition to our landscape maintenance, flower displays, and window cleaning, we will be promoting our container herb, vegetable, and fruit farming. Over the past two years many of our clients and their friends have asked that we plant Herbs, Vegetables, and Fruits in small container gardens. Through much study, trial and error the result is a bountiful harvest of homegrown healthy foods. Over the coming months we plant to update our blog and our website with pictures of these modern day farmers and their crops.

From Every One at Sure Lawn,

Thank you for your Patronage!

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