Bush and Shrub Care

  1. 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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  2. Boxwood Offer Beauty, Versatility in Any Landscape

     

    Boxwood - sometimes known as Box - has been around for a long time. They were introduced to North America from Europe in the 1600s. There are almost 100 different species and almost 400 different selections that have been made over the years, and the popularity of Boxwood continues today.

    Boxwood (Buxus) is a broadleaved evergreen. The small, round green leaves remain on the plant year round.  Different Boxwood species can be grown from zones 4 to 9, so when selecting Boxwood for your home, be sure to select the type that will grow where you live.

    This fine textured, green-leaved plant is equally attractive year round as it really does not change throughout the seasons.  For that reason, they have remained extremely popular in the landscape.  They are easy to maintain and can be ma

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  3. You Can Change the Color of Some Hydrangeas

    There are many kinds of Hydrangeas available today. Maybe the plant breeders went a little crazy introducing new selections recently. The good news is there are a lot of Hydrangeas with new color options, smaller plants, and more flower power!

    Nature Hills offers many options with some of the newest and the best.

    There is one group of Hydrangeas with pink or red flowers that can be changed to blue or purple flowers by altering the soil pH. This group is called Bigleaf Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) and the flower color can be changed by growing the plants in a lower soil pH.

    There was a breakthrough with this species of Hydrangea that opened the door to growing them in colder regions. Then the plant breeders went to town introducing many new varieties with many new shades of reds, pinks

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  4. How to Prune Hydrangeas

    It is important to know what kind of Hydrangea you have before you do any pruning. The reason it is important to know so that you are not cutting off any flower buds, really the reason for growing Hydrangeas!

    It is probably easiest to break down the types of Hydrangeas and suggest pruning for each of the different types. Each group of Hydrangea includes some of the selections available from Nature Hills. 

    Hardy, Panicle type Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata selections)

    These are woody type, hardy Hydrangeas that love the sun and are very forgiving needing little care.  You can’t change the color of this group to blue, but they offer quite the show opening white, and age to pink or red before turning brown in fall and winter.

    Pruning for Hydrangea paniculata shrub form and tree form should be done in early spring b

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  5. Pruning Woody Hydrangea Paniculata Type Shrubs

    Now is the time to prune your woody, sun-loving panicle type Hydrangeas (like Limelight, Quickfire, Diamond Rouge Little Lamb, Pinky Winky, Fire Light, Little Lime, Strawberry Sundae, Vanilla Strawberry and any other species in this group).

    The best rule of thumb is to cut back these woody plants by reducing about 1/3 of the length of last year’s growth, removing the brown flower heads that remain on the plant. 

    Leave the overall shape som

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  6. Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle

    A classic smaller suckering shrub lives in sun or shade, tolerates moist or wets soils, and even exhibits salt tolerance.  No insects or disease seem to affect this versatile little shrub.  But let’s talk about the real beauty of this bronzy leaved little gem – the perfect shrub for holding soil on steep embankments many times used in place of grass to mow – brilliant!  How about protecting your shoreline along a river or lakefront property too?   Pictured you see we used it in a parking lot where it gets virtually no care at all.

    This past spring, we just mowed this shrub off right down to the nubs.  Look how graciously it responded with beautiful with fresh new stems coming from the roots.  Incredible foliage and such an effortless way to maintain your Diervilla plants. 

    Now, picture this plant in many colors.

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  7. The Wonderful Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla)

    Tired of mowing those dangerous hillsides?  Maybe you have an area that is just too shady for grass to grow well.  Maybe your lake property needs some bank stabilization?  Edge of the woods ground cover?

    Maybe you can’t get much to grow on that terrace along the road or along your driveway?  Or…maybe those shrubs you planted that get crushed by snow being plowed on them need replacing? 

    Diervilla is a super little native plant that has been getting a lot of attention lately.  It is commonly known as Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle, but it is not like the large, gangly shrubs that are invasive, but it is a very different animal.

    Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle grows in sun OR shade and has NO disease or insect problems.  They get about knee high and send suckers under the ground to form dense colonies of stems with great leaf color and even y

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  8. Unraveling Hydrangeas Pt. II: Woody Types

    Pinky Winky

    Let’s look at the three woody types of Hydrangeas, how to best care for them, and what to expect from each.

    Hydrangea paniculata types are the sun loving plants that have woody stems. This group currently up for sale from Nature Hills includes: Fire Light, Quick Fire, Little Lamb, Phantom, Vanilla Strawberry, Pinky Winky, Limelight, Strawberry Sundae, Little Quick Fire, Bobo, Little Lime, Silver Dollar, and Zinfin Doll.

    This group all goes through the same transformation when it comes to the flower colors. Hydrangea paniculata types cannot have their flower changed from pink to blue by growing in acidic soils. No matter what the soils are, they start out with green leaves, flower

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  9. Unraveling Hydrangeas Pt. I: Planting, Pruning, and Care

    Grateful Red HydrangeaLet’s look at a couple different kinds of Hydrangeas, how to best care for them, and what to expect from each.

    Hydrangea macrophylla types are a part sun loving group that appreciates some relief from the hot afternoon sun especially in warmer climates. The Hydrangea frenzy started with this group and has grown to include many selections too. This group that Nature Hills currently have up for sale include: Endless summer, Big Daddy, Twist and Shout, Blushing Bride, Let’s Dance Moonlight, Cityline Rio, Grateful Red,

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  10. Gardenia Shrubs Rock: A Cheat Sheet for Making Them Work for You

    ]Crown Jewel Gardenia

      Why Choose Gardenia Plants?  One would think that if you googled summer a picture of a Gardenia should come up. In the dictionary, if you looked up the word summer there would be a description of the fragrance of a Gardenia flower. Gardenia flowers have a sweet, heady, fragrance that really just says summer.  That is why everyone wants to have Gardenias in their landscape, as cut flowers, and as popular bridal bouquets. The foliage is deep, dark, shiny green and evergreen, wow!

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