Blog

  1. Flower Gardens Bring Butterflies and Beneficial Insects

    Plant Flowering Trees, Shrubs and Plants for Butterflies

    Want to know a secret? The key to attracting butterflies, beneficial insects and pollinators is to grow plants that flower.

    Now, you can certainly refine your approach to this, but planting flowering plants is the first step. Bees, birds, butterflies and beneficial insects love blooming plants as much as you do!

    These animals play an incredibly key role in the ecosystem. Declining populations from industrial agriculture and pesticides are wreaking havoc on our fruit, flower and food crops.

    At Nature Hills, we have expanded our plant palate to include many more natives and plants for your yard. You’ll be amazed at the many options to attract these important and beautiful creatures to your yard.

    Get Started Building a Butterfly Garden

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  2. Almost Everything You Need to Know About Privacy Trees and Shrubs

    Learn About Privacy Fences at NatureHills.com

    One of the top questions we get asked is how to use trees and shrubs to get more privacy without making your house and yard look like a fortress.

    There are so many different challenges modern homeowners face, and plants can solve these problems in a beautiful way. Use plants and hardscape together to create your ultimate backyard oasis. 

    • Do you want a fast way to completely screen out and block something ugly or a bad view?
    • Are you a little “too close for comfort” with a nosy neighbor?
    • Are you looking for a soft, breezy way to create a sense of separation, without sacrificing sun or sky views?
    • Do you dream of relaxing next to a live, flowering garden wall?
    • Are your guests being blown away by harsh winds at your backyard barbeques?
    • Do you live on a
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  3. Plant These in Autumn for Spring Blooms

    Spring Blooms

    Unfortunately, fall is the forgotten season when it comes to planting. Big box stores usually don’t even stock plant materials in the fall except for mums or pumpkins. Garden Centers don’t want to overwinter plants, so they typically want to dump whatever is left over and picked over all season long. These retail stores want to get rid of anything and everything. Note, these may not necessarily be plants that would transplant well in the fall.

    Shhh…. Is Fall Planting the Best Kept Secret?

    We’ll spill the beans. Did you know that many plants do extremely well when planted in the fall of the year? In fact, fall is the best time of year for planting.

    One of the best benefits of fall planting comes from warm soils an

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  4. Pruning 101 from the Nature Hills Horticultural Team

    The goal of pruning is to improve the overall health and usefulness of a plant:

    • Prune to correct broken or damaged branches.
    • Prune to remove diseased portions of a plant.
    • Prune to control the size and shape of a plant.
    • Prune fruit trees to keep it easier to harvest the delicious fruit.

    Pruning by the Pros

    Plant materials grown by a quality grower will have been pruned correctly from the start, so you shouldn’t need to worry about corrective pruning for a while. A good example is shrubs. Plant nursery staff work to encourage branching lower to the ground, so the plants don’t have voids and aren’t "leggy". For trees, the nurseries prune for nice straight single leaders and uniform, open branching.

    Tree Pruning Tips

    After you plant your trees, you should pay attention to your plants as they

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  5. Fall Cleanup to Prepare for Winter Garden Interest

    Before your fire up your weed eaters and trimmers and rampage through your yard cutting down and removing everything in sight this fall, stop! Take a step back. It’s time to reconsider your winter clean up protocol. 

    Let’s take a look and change your perspective to see your winter landscape in a new way. You don’t need to cut everything down. Do you have any perennials or other plants that may offer winter interest if you left them untrimmed until after winter?

    What Does Your Landscape Look Like in Winter?

    Evergreens, ornamental grasses and hydrangeas definitely offer winter interest. Perennials can also add interest to the winter landscape, so don’t be too quick to cut them down. Study shapes, colors and form.

    Not all dormant regions get dumped with snow. Some regions have lighter snowfalls that can highlight and sculpt the snow, cr

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  6. Change Out Container Gardens to Celebrate Autumn

     

    Have you spied the hottest new garden design trend in your neighborhood? It’s time to start changing out your container gardens to reflect the beauty of each season!

    Transforming container gardens at your front door and your patio is easy and fun. Use featured, seasonal plant materials to help you celebrate every season at your home.

    Seasonal Container Gardens Make Beautiful Memories

    A few weeks ago, we gave you easy tips and tricks for the latest trends in container gardens for the height of the summer season.

    How have your container gardens weathered the summer? Perhaps it’s time to do a bit of freshening up of your pots. Some annuals outgrow their space, leaving leggy growth with fewer leaves and limited flowering.

    Now is the time to

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  7. Protecting You, Your Plants, Your House and The World

     

    At Nature Hills, we offer huge numbers of amazing plant material options. Every plant is best suited to a specific growing condition.

    Please be careful to select plants that are hardy for your immediate area.  Just enter your zip code in the box on our website which will give you the proper hardiness zone. Read the Plant Facts to make sure the plant will grow well in your unique site.

    Eliminating the Sale of Invasive or Diseased Plants Across Restricted Areas

    One of our biggest jobs is to manage around government plant restrictions at the state and local level. Unfortunately, plants can behave in a highly invasive way in certain climates. Plants in some areas may have been exposed to insects, viruses, or diseases.

    We have to protect

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  8. Bringing Citrus Trees Indoors

    Watch our "Fruit Whisperer", as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, answers Jill Winger's question on how to best care for her new Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree during the winter.

    Planting, Managing Pests, Making the Move, Fertilizing & Watering

    Ed has some really helpful hints for the home gardener in cold climates, like Wyoming (and let's not forget all the other hardy souls living in places like New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and our friends in Illinois!). If you want to grow Citrus Trees, but must bring them inside for the long winter - here's a video overview of what you need to know.

    Dwarf Meyer Lemons are so much fun to grow, and they'll do well for you inside. Just follow along with Ed for the best practices.

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  9. New Trends in Container Gardening

    Is it time to shake things up in your container gardens? After all, modern container garden trends have evolved, the same as modern foundation plantings and shrub borders.  Not only have the plant varieties changed, so have pots and soil mixes.

    Now, people are using an enormous variety of plant materials, including improved cultivars. They are also combining plants together in exciting new ways.

    Homeowners and renters alike demand the “curb appeal” that beautiful container gardens lend to their doorway, staircase, garage door. They want the “wow factor” on decks, patios and kitchen windows.

    Today’s containers may include shrubs, perennials, grasses, annuals, succulents, evergreens, and even cactus or tropicals.  The mix of plants, colors and textures is endless.  Learn what does best in your area and pay attention to see if those favorites are grown i

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  10. Boxwood Tips & Tricks for a Beloved Classic!

    We would be remiss if we did not mention that Boxwood have been used as trimmed hedges as far back as 4,000 BC, in the gardens of Roman villas.  Boxwood have been used in Italy, France, Germany and England - all throughout Europe because it makes incredible clipped hedges. 

    Boxwood remain wildly popular today. 

    Their popularity comes from the innate ability to train this plant into many different forms.  They were used to create English knot gardens, topiaries, creating pieces of sculpture in the landscape.  Boxwood can be easily sheared in to tight forms.  The small, rounded leaves are evergreen and remain on the plant year round. 

    How to Use Boxwood in the Landscape

    Not only do Boxwood make classic low hedges-- governing direction and movement through the landscape with the structure they bring – they do so year round because they

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