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Nature Hills Nursery Garden Blog

  • Pruning Fruit Trees

    PENTAX ImageThere are many reasons for pruning fruit trees in the garden. Pruning fruit trees stimulates growth by limiting the amount of buds that the tree has to grow.

    Pruning fruit trees can improve the tree structure. Thinning of the fruit will result in better quality and larger fruit. Fruit tree pruning can also be dwarfing, and may be used to control the size of the tree.

    Pruning fruit trees should almost always be done during the winter, or dormant season. This is when the leaves have all fallen and the structure is more easily identifiable. Continue reading

  • Planting Fruit Trees

    Fruit Tree FarmMany gardeners decide to plant a fruit tree in their home landscape. Before planting fruit bushes & trees, there are several things to consider. The first is what type of fruit tree to plant.

    It is best to plant a fruit tree that is local to the region, and matches the soil conditions. It is also important to understand that many fruit trees do not self-pollinate. For this reason, more than one fruit tree must often be grown.

    Once the type of fruit tree is decided, the actual tree must be chosen. Most fruit trees are sold bare root, meaning their roots are exposed.
    It is best to plant a fruit tree with a strong straight stem, which will provide the best support. Planting fruit trees with low branches will hinder the growing abilities and can encourage pests. Continue reading

  • 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

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