backyard landscaping

  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. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Is September the Best Time to Plant?

    You know you love to get your hands in the dirt come springtime. Even before the weather turns nice, avid gardeners are out there finding jobs to do: winter cleanup, pruning your dormant oak or fruit trees, mulching beds, and most importantly, planning for all the new plants you want to try this year. We totally get it!

    Now, in fall after a wonderful growing season spent enjoying your garden, you may find yourself not quite ready for your long winter rest. So, what can you do now?

    Take a close look at your garden. Are there any late-blooming perennials that could be divided to fill in bare spots? Have you been thinking about adding a garden bed? Or are you tempted by some of the fabulous new cultivars on the market? Would you like to add more spring color?

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  9. Proper Plant Site Selection is Key for Successful Plantings

    Nature Hills fields a lot of calls from our customers who are looking for something to grow in a specific spot in their yard...and with the huge palate of plants offered, there is really no better place to call than Nature Hills Nursery to find something that will work for you.  

    Use the Nature Hills Plant Facts listed on every product page to help you determine if a plant will tolerate the conditions of the spot you have in mind.  During this post, you’ll get an in-depth understanding of the most important factors to consider.

    Use Nature Hills Plant Facts to understand exactly what a specific plant can tolerate.  The Plant Facts provide details about the specific conditions a plant needs to survive and thrive (which is what we want for your new plant!)

    Study Your Landscape to Make the Best Plant Selection

    As you research your Pl

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  10. Introducing an Improved, Well-Behaved Spirea

    To reduce the possibility of plants escaping gardens and becoming invasive, Nature Hills has been working with a breeder to bring us Nature’s Best Plants - “plants that stay put.” From that first round of breeding brings us a sterile Spirea that we call PowderPuff™.

    PowderPuff™ can be planted without concern of becoming invasive because it is seedless and very well behaved. Best of all, it’s gorgeous and offers reblooming through the summer season.

    Get to Love This New Spirea PowderPuff

    Soft pink flowers are born in clusters on the tips of each branch in profusion. Flowers become showy in June. Closer inspection of the flower clusters reveal a raspberry red eye of each of the florets intensifying the soft pink color with an almost lavender cast overall – just beautiful.

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