Tag Archives: Gardens

Fresh Start- Garden Inspirations and Weathering the Cold Spells

I always look forward to the beginning of a new year. There is something really exciting about a fresh start. I specifically find the month of January to be a great time to look forward and think about all the things I want to accomplish throughout the year. I know the thought of planning out the entire year can seem really daunting, but when it comes to setting goals it is really helpful!

Nothing brings me more joy than spending time outside with my family.  There is something magical about planning, planting and then finally enjoying our outdoor spaces.  Spending long summer days in the garden are my favorites and this year I cannot wait to introduce my daughter to joys of gardening and watching things grow.

There is no better place to collect ideas and dream a little bit than on Pinterest. So, here are some things that are inspiring me for 2014:

Playing ‘dress up’ with my yard. One big trend this year is incorporating everything from decorative throw pillows to decorative insect traps and shabby-chic mason jar humming bird feeders. Who wouldn’t want their yard to have a ‘personal stamp’ on it?

A sweet looking Fairy Garden, in a planter that my Mom and I love:

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Of course, we would have to fill it up with gorgeous and fun dwarf and miniature conifers. This set would be perfect and is a collection especially for Fairy Gardening!

Fairy Gardening Collection of Dwarf and Miniature Conifers

I love the Thuja occ`Amber Glow’ ( a mini arborvitae) and Cham lawsoniana `Ellwood’s Nymph’ (a mini Port Orford cedar)  that come in this box. Can’t wait to get started on this project!

A Fun DIY project for later this season:

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We are looking to work on expanding our deck and this is a beautiful example of planters incorporated into the deck.

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However, in order to get to warmer weather, many of us have to endure severe temperatures and bone-chilling conditions this week. Just a small reminder- don’t forget about your plants!

Here are some cold weather tips for your dwarf and miniature conifers:

–       Dehydration- This is a problem for plants too! They lose moisture and will need a good watering after the cold spell breaks.  Just tread lightly, if you think there may be root damage, don’t over do it. You don’t want  over watering to cause rotting.

–       Root Temperature- If you have dwarf or miniature conifers, consider bringing containers inside into a garage if possible. Light is not necessary, just aim to protect the roots from the cold. In some cases, when you bring plants indoors, you might also need to worry about critters getting into them too. Its amazing what creatures turn up when the weather turns nasty.

–       Wind Damage- Wind is drying and causes dehydration. It will also burn foliage up. If you can’t move things, consider trying to shield them.

What are some of your 2014 inspirations? Any tried and tested cold weather tips? I hope everyone is staying warm and enjoying a Happy New Year!

Tutorial: Updated Container Gardening

While browsing my latest edition of Better Homes and Gardens, I came upon an article on “What’s Hot” in Container Gardening. Right now, monochromatic plant combinations are in! Blend foliage in similar hues but mix in shapes, sizes and textures for interest.

Living in the Pacific Northwest, fall and winter can be drab times. Take hold of the last bit of nice weather and use this as the perfect way to update your containers for the season. All you need are some cute little dwarf and miniature conifers in rich hues to keep things cheery and fresh throughout the coming season.

When you are searching for the perfect plants for your update, consider these helpful tips:

Add texture.  Abies koreana `Blauer Eskimo’ is a miniature, blue, globe form of Korean Fir. The spiny texture adds dimension to your garden.  Very hardy, and growing just one inch a year makes it a perfect plant for rock gardens or troughs.

Blauer_eskimo

Do more with a column or spire.  Height adds drama and makes any freshly planted container look more complete. A great choice is Juniperus communis `Compressa’.  This is the best columnar plant for trough or rock gardens. It has silvery-blue foliage on a tight, columnar arrow.

Compressa

Variegated colors. Staying in the same color family, but adding a little variation will complete the look.  Each of these plants has a silver-blue hue to them. Picea glauca `Blue Planet’ is a miniature Alberta Spruce. It might be just a tight little compact ball, but its showstopper leaves have tiny little buds and steel-blue foliage. This plant is a miniature and in three years it will only be the size of a quarter.

Blue_Planet

Each example above has a blue hue to it. There are many color choices for dwarf and miniature conifers, head to your local garden center for more information.

One last handy tip: plant in odd numbers for the most visually appealing arrangement. Groups of 3, 5 or 7 will be the most pleasing!  Try 2 textures, 2 variegated colors and a spire for a well-rounded container.

Keep posted here for more tips on how to transition these containers through the holiday season and into spring.