Learn How to Care for Patio Plants | NatureHills.com

  1. How To Prune Crape Myrtles Without Murdering Them

    How NOT to prune your Crape Myrtle

    Ouch! This picture shows a horrible "Crape Murder."

    Please, don't use heading or topping cuts to pollard Crape Myrtles, it's just won't give you that natural look you want. You'll also avoid creating those knobby knuckles, which sadly wreck the appearance of that beautiful Crape Myrtle bark.

    Instead, let's watch Ed Laivo, one of Nature Hills horticulturalists, as he gives valuable information on how to correctly prune this beautiful tree.

    The Right Way to Prune a Crape Myrtle

    The goal is to get air circulation and sunlight into the canopy of the tree. You also want to allow your Crape Myrtle to showcase the beautiful bark as part of its character.

    In the video, you'll learn when to prune Crape Myrtles, and get a step-by-step approach to determine your pruning plan. Hint, start

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  2. Choose the Right Crape Myrtle for Your Landscape

    Gorgeous Black Diamond Red Hot Crape Myrtle

    The Crape Myrtle has been renowned for its wonderful long-lasting bloom, its wide range of adaptation, and its versatility as both a tree and a shrub. With the introduction of exciting new varieties, the love affair with the Crape Myrtle is sure to continue.

    All Crape Myrtles sold in the United States are deciduous. They are mostly admired for their long bloom period from late spring to fall. Most also feature an outstanding fall color display of oranges, reds and yellows. This fall color varies in degrees by variety.

    They are tolerant of a wide range of soils but do require good drainage. Once established, they are quite drought tolerant, good news for water-wise landscapes.

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  3. Plum, One of The Easiest Fruit Trees to Grow in Your Backyard

    Delicious, Easy Care Plum Trees Are Easy for Beginning Gardeners

    People have loved Plums for a long time. Cultivated Plum tree varieties trace back to the beginning of human history, and Plum remains have been discovered in archeological sites back to the Stone Age.

    The two primary varieties of plums that are most common in our diet today, Prunus domestica (European Plums) and the Prunus salicina (Japanese Plums) are not found in nature at all, but rather are a human creation. These varieties are the results of selective hybridization over the course of centuries.

    Plum Trees are Great for Beginners

    Because there are so many varieties available across a diverse set of climates and zones, growing Plum Trees are the ideal fruit for the beginning home gardener. Plum varieties like the American hybrids, Burbank, Superior and Toka have adapted to the

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  4. Caring for Cara Cara Navel Oranges

    How to grow great tasting Cara Cara oranges

    Late November and early December is the peak time for one of the finest oranges available. The Cara Cara orange possesses the most unique flavor of any orange. Imagine cherry, berry and orange flavors, all in one incredibly convenient fruit. That’s the flavor of a Cara Cara orange.

    The Cara Cara orange is also a nutritional powerhouse, with plenty of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, folate, and lycopene. These antioxidants give your heart a boost, and protect your cells from free radicals.

    The Cara Cara is an easy tree to grow, so you can enjoy this healthy fruit from your own yard. Not only is it adapted to any landscape wherever citrus grows well, the Cara Cara can also grow up to 15 to 20 feet without pruning. For ideal picking and pest control, the Cara Cara Orange is best when kept pruned at 6 to 8 feet.

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  5. Are Roses Hard to Grow?

    Carefree roses are easy to grow and love

    Think only green thumbs can enjoy a rose garden? Think again! Unlike the old-fashioned fussy selections grown decades ago, modern roses are hardy, versatile plants that can thrive on neglect. In fact, roses are much easier to care for than you think, especially when you select the right variety for your garden’s unique climate and soil.

    From small city balconies to water-wise landscapes, the amazing, versatile rose can be at home in almost any garden.

    What Makes Modern Roses So Easy to Grow?

    If you’ve been hesitating to start a little rose garden of your own, consider this:

    1. Most modern roses have disease resistance built into the plants.  No need to lose sleep over black spot or mildew worries.
    2. Once esta
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  6. 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 high

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  7. 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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  8. Change Out Container Gardens to Celebrate Autumn

     

    Have you spied the hottest new garden design trend in your neighborhood? It’s time to start changing out your container gardens to reflect the beauty of each season!

    Transforming container gardens at your front door and your patio is easy and fun. Use featured, seasonal plant materials to help you celebrate every season at your home.

    Seasonal Container Gardens Make Beautiful Memories

    A few weeks ago, we gave you easy tips and tricks for the latest trends in container gardens for the height of the summer season.

    How have your container gardens weathered the summer? Perhaps it’s time to do a bit of freshening up of your pots. Some annuals outgrow their space, leaving leggy growth with fewer leaves and limited flowering.

    Now is the time to s

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  9. 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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  10. New Trends in Container Gardening

    Is it time to shake things up in your container gardens? After all, modern container garden trends have evolved, the same as modern foundation plantings and shrub borders.  Not only have the plant varieties changed, so have pots and soil mixes.

    Now, people are using an enormous variety of plant materials, including improved cultivars. They are also combining plants together in exciting new ways.

    Homeowners and renters alike demand the “curb appeal” that beautiful container gardens lend to their doorway, staircase, garage door. They want the “wow factor” on decks, patios and kitchen windows.

    Today’s containers may include shrubs, perennials, grasses, annuals, succulents, evergreens, and even cactus or tropicals.  The mix of plants, colors and textures is endless.  Learn what does best in your area and pay attention to see if those favorites are grown in

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