Gardening Questions

  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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.

    Eastern RedbudEastern Redbud  

    Redbud - Cercis canadensis

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  4. Ash Trees in the Urban Landscape


    Common Ash Tree Common Ash Tree

    Why is it that Ash trees became so popular to plant anyway? Green, Black and White Ash are native over a large portion of the US and Canada. Many nurseries have some incredible selections from the native species that are seedless, have great fall color, and beautiful upright and rounded forms. Municipalities, homeowners, and Landscape Architects began noticing the beautiful seedless selections that were coming on the market. They began being used on most all the projects not only because of their varied forms and fall color, but because of their adaptability of different soil types, and hardiness. If you have ever seen an Autumn Purple Ash in fall color, you know just how unbelievably and intensely gorgeous they can

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  5. Russian Sage, Salvia, and Veronica: How to Tell Them Apart

      Sage_Veronica_Salvia

    Little Spire Russian Sage Little Spire Russian Sage

    Russian sage, veronica, and salvia can appear to be very similar at first glance, but there are so many nuanced differences that will make one better for your space compared to the others. Flowers can be a key indicator in this situation. Salvia and Veronica have similar coloring, which can range from dark purple to rose pink to white. Russian Sag

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  6. The Difference Between Rhododendrons and Azaleas

    At first glance, rhododendrons and azaleas seem to be nearly the same plant. Classified into the same genus, Rhododendron, and with very similar flowering and growing habits, it's easy to say that it was some sort of confusion between common name and scientific name when discussing the same plant. Azalea Leaves (left) Rhododendron Leaves (right)

    In reality though, they are completely different species. Rhododendrons (common

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  7. Top 5 Winter Interest Plants

    Winter is the ever-returning friend and foe of gardeners.  You may rue the arrival of Jack Frost every year, driving you inside and sapping all the color from your garden.  But did you know that there are a number of plants that can keep your garden pretty all through the cold season? Looking to liven up your white-washed winter landscape?  Dust the dreariness with one of these winter interest plants:  

    dogarctic1

    #5 

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  8. The 4 Main Types Of Hydrangeas

    Hydrangeas! Everybody loves them. They are at home in almost any garden, and gardeners know it. Their lush greenery and long-­lived flowers make them a favorite among landscapers and amateur gardeners alike. Hydrangeas bloom year after year, stay in bloom from early spring to late autumn, and some of them have the ability to change floral color like magic. Because hydrangeas are such a favorite, they tend to be a big seller. Retailers offer a range of different types of hydrangeas. It's important to know what you are getting, because there's a lot of variety. Some are different species, some are merely different cultivars. Cultivars are different ­looking plants of the same species (think: dog breeds.) Gets a little confusi

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  9. Tapping Maple Trees for Syrup

    How to Tap a Maple Tree for Syrup:

    Learn how to use a "Spile" to tap into your maple tree to harvest syrup from the tree and make your very own delicious home made syrup.
    1.  Get a syrup spile, drill, and the correct size of drill bit.
    2.  Drill at an upward angle into the tree, deep enough for the spile.
    3.  Hammer in the spile and attach the bucket.
    4.  Cover the bucket to protect from the elements.
    5.  It is best to do this early winter when daytimes are above freezing, and nighttime is freezing.

    Transcript: Here I am, I'm about to install some maple spiles, which here is one of them right here. I'm going to install this into one of my

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  10. How do I choose shrubs for the landscape?

    How do I choose shrubs for the landscape?

    "How do I choose shrubs for the landscape?" This is a great question that we get asked all the time here at Nature Hills. People want to have a beautiful yard and want to make sure that they're spending their money on the right thing. We get it. In the end, the plants you pick are a personal choice of course. Some people love roses and their yard wouldn't be complete without them. Other people hate the upkeep and scent. Some people want one of everything they see in the garden center. Some people only want three types of plants in their whole landscape for a 'clean' look. To each his own.

    Here are a few suggestions, though, to get you pointed in the right direction:  
    1) For year-round interest or an ornamental and creat

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