Gardening Articles

  1. The Forgotten Season: Fall Planting is Ideal For Many


    Fall is an amazing time of the year to plant many kinds of plants for your yard. Warm soils, and cool air combined with the possibility of better moisture makes for the opportunity for incredible root production. Lots of new roots in fall makes your plant ready to roll in the spring.

    Now, the plants … we are always broadening our palate of plants by working with the finest growers. As some of you may already know, Nature Hills has partnered with some of the best growers in many different parts of the country; quality plants are being grown in the best regions for a particular palate of plants.

    We have done this so that we can offer a broad array. Our citrus trees are grown in California - where they should be. Our Maple trees and Lilacs grown in Wisconsin so they are super hardy and can withstand the cold winters of the northern states. Our Magnolias and Dogwood trees are grown in Tennessee and Florida where they do best. Many shrubs and perennials are produced in Kansas where they get the heat to thrive. And let’s not forget an Alabama location that rocks out some beautiful southern shrubs, trees and perennials.

    Nature Hills sees the need to have these plants produced where they will be planted so they will acclimate quickly to their new home in your yard no matter where you live. This broad range of growing conditions at our production areas allows us to offer a massive variety of plants for sale.

    So, how can Nature Hills offer so many different kinds of plants for your home? We can successfully do so because we put the expertise of growing the best plants back to the nurseries that we have partnered with to bring you the best varieties, the broadest selection, and quality that you might not expect.

    Let’s plant this fall! Many people forget about benefits of fall planting.

    All of our plants are coming right from our growers. They are not old, overgrown, rootbound plants that garden centers are trying to unload before winter. We are selling a fresh new crop of plants right from the production areas. Nursery stock that is grown outside under natural conditions.

    As mentioned earlier, the warm soils make fall plantings so successful. Warm soil quickly allows new roots to grow and develop so quickly and the quicker your plants make new roots, the sooner they become less dependent upon you to care for them. New roots continue to develop late into fall.

    Watering is important for any new planting at any time of the year. In the fall, watering becomes easier because the plants are starting to use less water as the plants start to shed their leaves. The night temps are cooler and the daytime length is shorter.

    In spring, those plants installed in the fall will have a HUGE advantage and really act more like plants that have been in the ground for an entire year and not just a month or two.

    As our fall weather changes in our production areas, we will be seeing frosts and plants are starting to shut down. Some plants shut down earlier than others and the same holds true at our nurseries. We also group some of our plant close together so they can better winter. Sometimes the leaves will have some leaf spotting and some are turning yellow, red or brown. There is no reason for concern as these plants begin to go dormant.

    Green leaves make food for the plants to store. When the leaves have done their job, the shorter days and changes in temperatures let the leaves know they have done their job – and they can stop making chlorophyll (what keeps them green). When that happens, they start turning color.

    Remember the colder weather and frosts may cause some leaves, flowers to turn brown. Plants like Hydrangeas that might have beautiful white, pink, blue or red flowers on them will also be turning brown. Customers always call about the brown flowers on the Hydrangeas still and just know that is a very normal occurrence – especially at this time of the year.

    As mentioned earlier, our nursery production areas are outside growing in the natural elements. Our nursery stock in not mass produced coming out of greenhouses.

    For our fall shipments, please know that our plants can be in varying stages of going dormant. A rose or Spiraea shrub may look perfectly normal, but an Annabelle Hydrangea may have brown flower heads on them so just know that is normal for fall.

    Another interesting offering from Nature Hills is supplying BARE ROOT PLANTS. What is a bare root plant and why would you want one?

    Bare root plants are dug from our nursery with a digging machine like a potato digger – a big blade that goes under the roots and lifts the plants out of the ground shaking off all of the soil from the plants. We just started digging some of our bare root nursery stock in the more dormant areas.

    Bare root plants get dug, soil shaken off, and they go into our huge cooler facility where the plants are kept dormant. These fresh dug bare root plants can be held dormant from now until about mid-June. We do not offer all of our plants bare root, but we do have a great selection of trees and many shrubs. We also grow all other plants in either pots or grow bags that get shipped year-round.

    Why would you want to buy bare root? Bare root plants are lightweight, cheaper to ship, less expensive and easy to handle. Bare root plants have excellent roots and root hairs intact making them transplant beautifully.

    Bare root plants are most simply handled by digging a hole deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the roots shipped with the plants. Use all of the soil that was removed from the hole to back fill in and around the roots. Water extremely well and the water will settle the soil in around the roots. Never plant your plants deeper than they were grown at the nursery or in the pots.

    Bare root plants shipped in fall many times still have leaves attached that may be dry or brown and that is very normal and no reason to have concerns. The leaves will drop when it is time.

    There is no better time to renovate or update your landscape than this fall. Get a jump on the spring planting and get some of your plants bought this fall. You will be pleased you did.

    Don’t forget fall planting of spring flowering bulbs made easy with our new Easy Bloom Pads. Spring flowering bulbs planted in groups of 8 at a time are making quite an impact in your landscape. Check them out HERE.

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  2. Five for Fall 2017: The Top 5 Garden Trends You’ll See This Year

    Fall is…well…almost in the air. It’s still too hot to break out the sweaters and scarves in most of the country, but it’s not too early to start planning your perfect autumn garden! With that in mind our intrepid trend spotters have pulled together a list of the top five trends you’ll be seeing this year. (So if you want to be ahead of the curve and have the Jones’s trying to keep up with you, work one or two of these into your fall plans.)

    1. Small is really big. Dwarf versions of your favorite shrubs are all the rage. Dwarf Nandina, Dwarf Yaupon Holly, and Little Henry Virginia Sweetspire are petite versions of classic landscape shrubs. This means they’ll fit into smaller urban gardens and are perfect in containers. Play with scale in your garden for some great effects. Many smaller shrubs in a large garden add dimension and interest and fill the space in a more dynamic and fresh way than a few oversized shrubs.
    2. It’s time to talk about the birds and the bees. No, no…not that talk. It’s time to rethink pollinators in your garden. Fall is the perfect time to plant flowering shrubs - and especially natives – that will provide plenty of food, forage and cover for the local fauna for winter. Try adding native coneflowers or Oakleaf Hydrangeas that will put on a beautiful fall flower show AND make your feathered furry and fluttering friends happy!
    3. Get hip with Hygge. The Danish have given the world some great things – insulin, Lego’s and fluffy, flaky pastries, to name a few. (Actually the Danish pastry comes from Vienna, via Denmark, but we’re not quibbling since we never quibble when our mouths are full.) But the most recent thing to cross the Atlantic is Hygge (pronounced hue-ga). This is the Danish idea of finding cozy contentment by enjoying the simple things in life. You’ll be seeing this idea used in gardens more and more frequently. Cozy garden ‘rooms’ with sweet-smelling flowers, burbling water features and snug seating areas are rolling off of designer’s drawing boards in droves. Which leads us to trend number 4.
    4. Get cozy around a firepit. Don’t wait for it to get cold to add a firepit to your garden. Do it now so that you can just bring out the cocoa, marshmallows and toasty blankets to enjoy the warmth of the fire while your neighbors try to build a firepit wearing mittens. Plant some lavender and garden mums to give your firepit color and fragrance. (As a bonus, toss a little bundle of dried lavender into the fire for a scented boost.)
    5. It’s time to consider losing the lawn. Use this great planting season to plan on un-planting the lawn and replacing it with easy-care, low-maintenance, drought-tolerant groundcovers like ajuga or sedum. The “lose your lawn” revolution is in full swing due to the excessive droughts of the last few years. Hop on board! If you plan well, you will be sipping iced tea next spring while your neighbor mows their lawn.

    We’re wishing you the best autumn ever and remember that is here 24/7 to help you have the best garden ever!

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  3. Juneberries, Serviceberries, or Amelanchier...all the same thing


    No matter what you call this plant, you will find it a winner in all seasons. Amelanchier plants can be grown as large shrubs or smaller trees.

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  4. A Unique Way to Use Strawberry Plants In the Landscape

    Maybe you don't have a vegetable garden at your home, and maybe you don't want to add one now, but check this new idea out:

     Include your favorite strawberry plants in your landscape as a ground cover plant. Beautiful glossy green leaves are just starting to grow in many parts of the country right now. Soon after they start growing their glossy green leaves, they make beautiful white flowers. The flowers come on hard and strong. Soon after the flowers, you will be picking the fruit.

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  5. Witch Hazel- The Shrub That You Didn't Know You Needed

    Common Witch Hazel in the Fall

    Witch Hazel,  The Shrub You Didn't Know You Needed

    If you're ever disappointed that after the last flush of flowers in the fall, very little is thriving to get you through the winter months, despair no longer - there is a plant that blooms from October through December. Hamamelis virginiana- common witch hazel - is sure to be the star of your garden next winter.

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  6. 8 Plants That Rebloom for 3 Seasons of Flowers

    flower-bed-912178_1920   After the first flush of spring flowers, gardeners are often left wanting – the centerpiece shrubs and perennials to their yard only provide color for a few weeks. But, there’s a solution in rebloomers! Rebloomers are landscape plants that will continue to bloom after their first blooming period. Read on for eight fantastic solutions for reblooming perennials that you should have in your yard if you want three seasons of blooms. 
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  7. Top 10 U.S. Colleges to Attend for Botany Degrees


    Admit it. You love plants. You wouldn't have found your way to Nature Hills Nursery if you didn't. Of course, there are different levels of love. There is the "I want my yard to look nice" level. Or the "I want to know all of the plants native to my area" level. There is even the"I'd" like to learn the Latin names of all my neighbor's weeds level. But if you are at the "I" want to work with plants every day for the rest of my life and change the world while I do it level, then there is only one path for you. You need a degree in botany.

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  8. Health Benefits of Aronia Berries

    Aronia Shrub also called Chokeberry Aronia Shrub (also called Chokeberry)  

    Aronia plants are known as chokeberry plants. We know that name is not very appealing. On the contrary, Chokeberry plants offer multi-seasonal interest with flowers, fruit, fall color, and fruit that persists all winter long.

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  9. 9 Perennials to Use in Cut Flower Arrangements


    Bringing flowers in from your yard will be sure to have guests consistently asking you "who's your florist?". Consider these nine species for eye-catching, dramatic arrangements that will spike conversation and be one of the beautiful focal points of your entertaining space.

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  10. 9 Plants for Early Spring Color

    87-12739443078Swj   After a long, dreary winter, everyone is ready to start seeing flowers begin blooming in the spring. Enjoy these nine plants that will bring you fantastic spring color early in the season.
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