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Nature Hills Nursery Garden Blog

  • Growing Clematis And Roses Together

    Clematis And Rose FlowersFrom Rhonda Fleming Hayes. A Master Gardener and contributing writer for Nature Hills Nursery.

    The rose is probably the most well-known, well-loved flower in the garden. Clematis is called “queen of the vines’. Such is the beauty of these two flowers; they can hold their own in any landscape. Combine them, and the effect is magical.

    I first saw this done while living in England. The British are masters when it comes to roses. Roses plants aren’t left to stand alone with their bare legs exposed. They are integrated in the herbaceous border or underplanted with perennials like lavender or lady’s mantle in formal beds. Their climbing roses often intermingle with twining clematis. Continue reading

  • Fernleaf Peony

    Fernleaf Peony FlowersA fernleaf peony is a flower that must be displayed front and center. The flower is a deep red double bloom that emerges early and lasts long. The foliage of a fernleaf peony is very frilly and looks like a fern. The blooms are large, but unlike taller growing peonies, the fern peony grows only about a foot high and has no problem of falling over under the weight of the bloom.

    The fernleaf peony is very interesting to look at indeed. With foliage of a light green, the bright red blooms stand out strikingly. The green foliage shoots off of the sturdy stem in a way similar to the needles of a conifer tree. The new spring foliage has a reddish tint to it before turning a lovely green in the spring, followed by bronze and purple tints in the autumn. Continue reading

  • Planting Perennials

    Assorted PerennialsPlanting perennials requires extra care than planting annuals does. This is due to the nature of the plants themselves. Most flowering perennials will generally not bloom their first season, due to the necessity of strengthening the root system for the coming winter. When planting, many factors must be taking into consideration to ensure long plant life.

    The first factor to take into consideration is the location. Some perennials can withstand colder winters than others. To check which plants can survive in each region, you can look at the plant hardiness zone map. Sunlight and soil conditions must also be taken into consideration. Obtain this information before planting perennials in any location of the garden. Continue reading

  • Growing Salvia

    Purple Salvia PlantsGrowing salvia is very easy to do. They require very little care, as long as the proper conditions are given. Salvia plants require full sun in order to grow and flower. Good drainage is needed to help prevent root rot, and salvia will thrive in a variety of soil and water conditions. Growing salvia is one of the most rewarding tasks that any gardener can accomplish. Continue reading

  • Planting & Transplanting Roses

    Yellow RosesPlanting rose bushes in a garden is easy to do, and has many rewards as these beautiful plants bloom. The first step to planting rose bushes is preparing the site. Roses prefer partial sunlight, and should be shaded from the hot afternoon sunlight. The site should have a slightly acidic soil content, and a heavy clay loam is ideal, but they will grow in nearly any soil condition.

    The second step to planting rose bushes is to prepare the plant itself. Most rose bushes, when purchased, will be pruned prior to purchase. If not, it is best to cut back the stalks of bedding roses to about six inches, and the climbers to about eighteen inches. Planting rose bushes that have dried out can be detrimental to the health of the plant. Dried out plants should be moistened slightly before planting. Continue reading

  • Pruning Rose Bushes

    Rose BudsPruning rose bushes is an important step in the care of roses. Many gardeners do not understand fully the process of pruning rose bushes. Improper pruning can result in a weak plant, or one that will not bloom fully, if at all. Pruning roses is, despite popular belief, a very easy process, and can be done by any gardener.

    Pruning rose bushes should take place in the springtime, just as the buds break. Stems should be cut back to within one-quarter inch of an outside bud. This will help to encourage the rose bush to grow outwards, instead of inwards. Pruning rose bushes should always be done with a sharp pair of pruning shears, as the wood can be tough, and cuts that are not clean will damage the plants. Continue reading

  • Transplanting and Planting Peonies

    Almost Blooming Peony FlowerPeony plants are beginning to show up more in gardens all around the world. This is due to more gardeners receiving the word about how beautiful these plants can be when placed in the proper setting. Peony plants are also somewhat easier to grow than other plants, due to their nature to be able to sustain themselves without much human interference.

    Peony plants work in a variety of setting in the garden. They make excellent focus points, with their dense green foliage and large bold blooms. The lower growing peony plants, such as the fernleaf peony, also make excellent border plants and accents. The fernleaf peony plant is also very useful to plant in front of other flowers in order to hide foliage that may fall off earlier in the season than others. Continue reading

  • Planting Ornamental Grasses

    The narrow purplish brown inflorescences contrast well against the green foliage during mid to sometimes late summer.Planting ornamental grasses successfully begins with soil preparation on a site that has good drainage. Ideally, the soil should be prepared in the fall. Begin by deep tilling the soil. The fall tillage improves the soil till workability. Spring tillage for planting ornamental grasses is also satisfactory.

    Ornamental grasses do not require large amounts of fertilizer. Soil that is high in organic matter is preferred. Amend the soil, if needed, with ample organic matter, while tilling the soil. Small amounts of a general-purpose fertilizer can also be added while tilling. Continue reading

  • Landscaping With Ornamental Grasses

    OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOrnamental landscape grasses vary in size, shape, color and texture in both foliage and inflorescence (seed head). Ornamental grass landscaping makes use of mature plants that range in height from 6 inches to 14 or more feet. Grass forms vary from low mounding to fountain shaped to tall vertical. Foliage color includes shades of green, yellow, blue, red, brown and variegated (green and white mixed).

    Ornamental grass landscaping takes advantage of the displays of grasses that change foliage color in the fall. Fall colors of straw yellow, orange, red or purple are available. Landscape grass foliage texture varies from fine to coarse (blade width from 1/8 to 1/2 inch). Continue reading

  • Planting & Transplanting Iris Plants

    Purple and Yellow Iris FlowerPlanting iris plants is very easy to do, and can be a rewarding experience. When an iris is purchased, it will be either in bulb or rhizome form. If the iris is in bulb form, planting it is just like planting any other bulb plant. Planting iris bulbs should be done at a depth of about three inches, making sure that the bulb is facing the correct way up. This should take place in the fall, as the plant will then become dormant for the winter and then grow in the coming spring.

    Iris rhizomePlanting iris that are in rhizome form requires a little bit more effort. The rhizome should be planted at or near the surface of the soil, while the roots shooting off should be planted down much further. The best way to do this is to dig a trench and have a mound running down the center. Place the rhizome on the mound, and spread the roots down the sides. When planting iris in bulk, it is important to ensure that all the rhizomes are facing the same direction. This will prevent crowding in early years. Continue reading

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