Blog

  1. Care Tips for Small Ornamental Trees in Your Landscape

    Small ornamental tree by front door

    The first crop that sells out on the Nature Hills site is our super popular smaller ornamental trees. Some customers call them “Patio Trees.” No matter what you call them, we see the trend to use smaller trees in both front and backyard landscapes getting bigger.

    To keep up with the demand, we’ve really beefed up our numbers of smaller, more ornamental trees. After all, they fit so nicely into your landscape, and help you enjoy time spent outside on your patio.

    Short on Space? Choose a Small Tree

    With higher density housing in many areas, modern yards are not huge. Where space is limited, people want to choose plants with more ornamental attributes.

    We’ve talked before about plant trends for more color and more seasons of interest. Plant breeders have introduced selections of hig

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  2. What’s the Difference Between #1, #2, #3, #5, #7 Container Sizes?

    Plants grown in nursery containers

    We get a lot of questions about what the different container sizes really mean for your landscape. On every product page, you’ll see a tabbed navigation under the photos. This navigation will give you a lot more detail about the plant you are considering.

    You’ll also see a Plant Sizes tab with a helpful comparison video. Now, read on for a behind the scenes look at the trade secrets of the nursery industry.

    Too long, didn’t read? Just know that in general, container size is relative to the age of the plant with a few notable exceptions such as miniaturized Bonsai trees, or the galloping growth of Willow Hybrid trees.

    The older the plant, the more developed the root system. That’s what make a BIG difference in your landscape. Buy the biggest plant you can for immediate impact in your

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  3. Reduce Risk with Firewise Landscaping Resources

    Create a defendable space around your house

    Devastating wildfires in California have made everyone more aware of the dangers of living in fire prone regions. While nothing can totally eliminate the threat of wildfires in these areas, there are things which can be done to lessen the impact.

    Research is ongoing on ways to protect your house using firewise landscaping techniques. You might also hear this as "firescaping" or even fire safe landscaping.

    This post is designed to give you a quick rundown of the overall principles, then share with you some of the best web resources we've found on this important topic.

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  4. Stressed? Create a Meditation Garden

    Create a Meditation Garden

    Many homeowners focus on beautiful outdoor spaces specifically for entertaining, which may include a pool area, eating and bar areas set in incredible outdoor kitchens complete with plumbing, cooking and lighting.

    But what about creating a garden space just for yourself? What kind of outdoor space would you use? Here are some ways you can create a deeply personal retreat that will support you and ‘fill your bucket’.

    Planning Your Meditation Garden

    Meditation Gardens come in all shapes, sizes and stylesHave you heard of meditation gardens? They are a deeply personal sanctuary – large or tiny – that give you much needed respite from the daily grind.

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  5. How A Florist Creates Magnificent Winter Containers

    DoorScapes Winter Greenery Kit

    The winter months can be such a festive time to transform your outdoor container gardens. In October and November, it's time to make the switch from flowering plants and tropicals to cut boughs arrangements.

    We asked our in-house professional florist for tips and tricks on how to create gorgeous winter containers to extend your season and welcome guests to your home.

    First, let's talk about your options to get materials:

    • Some people prefer to contract with local landscapers for help. This is a great option but be sure to place your order early. The waiting lists are long and understand that you'll pay a premium for that convenience.
    • Finding professional grade materials is another hassle. Some hobby and grocery stores carry limited selections, bu
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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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