Archive for 'Ornamental Trees and Shrubs'

So…what about no snow in MN? We gardeners think we need lots of snow for spring plants to prosper…however, the run-off from the snow is actually more of a flood danger rather than helping with the moisture level. The ground is frozen and will accept very little of the water as it runs along its path. What gardeners will be praying for is an early spring rain…Now is the time to go out and do some of that winter pruning of trees and shrubs. You can see where the limbs are crossed and where the branches are too close together…trees needs to have some space for the air to whistle through and that also helps the undergrowth. The health of your trees depends upon you. It is easier to care for trees than to take an old one down and wait for the time for it to grow up into a healthy addition to your landscape.

Well, in my little corner of the world…MN…Richfield…we are now considered Zone 5…however, I’m not fooled! Mother Nature has a way of playing games with us. Yes, I have planted a few Zone 5 plants in the past and they have survived for a few years and then have perished in the winter’s harsh winds. I am going to continue to purchase Zone 3 and perhaps go as far as Zone 4 for my Gentle Garden clients…after all I don’t want them to be disappointed. The issue is time, especially for trees and shrubs. It takes several years for a tree to be a real asset to the landscaping…imagine waiting for it to be the specimen tree you were always looking for and then have to supersize it’s winter protection year after year. It’s hard work, wrapping and mulching and etc. So, my theory, plant Zone 5 perennials and stick to hardy Zone 3 for the trees and shrubs. Happy Gardening, Gentle Gardeners!

Gentle Gardens used a long tree pole trimmer today…the hedge was out of hand. Smile. Oh well, it looks lots better. We didn’t cut the top off straight…we like to leave them looking natural, just like they grow. That means it’s really a branch by branch pruning. You can only do this if it a small distance from start to finish. A considerable lengthly hedge would be difficult to get the tops approximately the same length. I’ve seen a few of those that look like roller coaster work…they are hard to get back into shape. Always cut some, stand back, look, cut a little more. It’s easier to take more off than to use Gorilla Glue or duct tape if you’ve cut off too much. Now is the time to go after the trees…although today it is warm…wonderful weather.

Magnolia Tree…a fun addition to any garden…need protection from the winter winds and squirrels who LOVE those soft swollen buds.

Many plants have systemic effects on animals. f you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or call the ASPCA 24-hour emergency poison hotline directly at 1-888-426-4435.

Blueberries make great interesting shrubs in the garden, and they are sooooooooo delicious. Tommy uses them every chance he gets…even tops ice-cream with them. What a guy. Love from Gentle Gardens.

Pansies are in season…they are everywhere and brightening up our gray, cold, winter like days. Maybe some snow in the forecast…I refused to take the burlap off of the Magnolia tree…the squirrels like the buds and the buds get frost nipped so easily. Well, just plant pansies and take naps. Soon Gentle Gardens will be taking over the nap time. Happy Pansey Days from Gentle Gardens

Dirt vs. Soil. Dirt is what you sweep up from the kitchen floor…Soil is the community of living micro organisms and produces the tomatoes and flowers. Gentle Gardens is doing some spring seed sowing with several home school children…we’re looking forward to it…keep in touch.

Conifers are a favorite staple in landscapes, they offer nice color and structure in the garden and require little maintenance. There are many dwarf conifers available, some are slow growers, some are actually dwarf in nature…besure to choose the right tree for the right spot…saving headaches in the long run.

Bearberry Shrub – Arctostaphylos uva-ursi- is excellent groundcover for US zone 2-4.