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Plants for Mom – Mother’s Day living gifts

Plants for Mom

A living gift is a great idea for Mother’s Day. Whether she lives in an apartment or in a house with a big yard, there is a plant for every mom.

Hanging baskets can brighten up a porch, balcony, or sunny window. Many garden centers offer a variety of sizes and color combinations. They can be moved easily, so she can bring them indoors if we anticipate a late-spring frost.

Fragrant Plants

To make Mom’s porch, patio, or yard smell great, look for fragrant flowers like heliotrope or dianthus. Heliotrope features lots of small, beautiful, blue/purple or white flowers that have a great sweet scent. Its smell is so lovely that it’s been used in perfumes since the 1800s. Dianthus often known as “pinks,” have a bit of a spicier scent—some say they smell a bit like cinnamon or clove.

Plants that show the love

A unique way to show Mom that you love her is to include some plants with heart-shaped leaves or flowers. The petals of the Petunia Amore Queen of Hearts are bicolored, with the pink color coming together to form little hearts. Sweet potato vine has lovely heart-shaped leaves, as does Brunnera macrophylla, which is often called Siberian bugloss. Both of these plants do well in containers.

Flower suggestions

  • Hanging baskets; Confetti Hot Spring Fling, Kwik Rocky Mtn High, Trixi CO Kaleidoscope – Verbena, petunias & calibrachoa in basket are waterwise. TIP: Can just insert whole plastic pot into moss basket for aesthetics and better water retention.
  • Geranium Big EEZE Foxy Flamingo – Geraniums are Japanese Beetle resistant, and easy to grow.
  • Petunia Hells Glow – Waterwise, Unique color (Orange not typical of petunias)
  • Salvia g. Hummingbird Falls, – Very waterwise, attracts hummingbirds, 1st trailing variety of this type.
  • Dahlia Venti Red & White
  • Perennials – Waterwise choice, come back year after year.

If you want to give Mom a living gift that will truly keep on giving, consult a landscape professional. Talk with your garden expert!

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Invite beneficial bugs to your yard

beneficial bugs

There are those of us who don’t relish contact with insects and worms while working in the yard, but many of them are actually quite beneficial.

For instance:

  • Ladybugs and lacewings prey upon damaging aphids and whiteflies.
  • Ground beetles eat caterpillars and Colorado potato beetles, so they may serve an important function in your garden.

By establishing your landscape, you’ve created an ecosystem, and many of those insects serve a purpose. If pests are damaging your plants, you can consult a landscape professional or a garden center to bring in more of those beneficial insects.

If you find exotic plant species like bindweed, knapweed, or Canada thistle wreaking havoc on your landscape, you can even call in the Department of Agriculture for insect assistance. Their Request-a-Bug service operates an insectary that provides biological pest controls—aka, bugs that prey upon those invasive plants. Colorado residents may request the bio controls for a fee, and if supplies are sufficient, the Department of Ag will ship them to you, along with instructions for releasing them in your landscape.

Fees currently run around $30 depending on the request, and they’re due upon delivery. Supplies are limited and vary year to year. Consequently, the Insectary may not be able to provide mites for every request per season.

The advantages of biological controls include lessening or eliminating the use of pesticides and establishing useful populations of predatory insects. As with other treatments, more than one control might be required.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Need spring color now? Plant some pansies

Need spring color

After recent snows gave them a dose of moisture, and with temperatures heating up along the Front Range, some early spring bulbs are hinting at the color to come. Crocuses, hyacinths and even some daffodils and tulips are showing their faces.

The warm days might inspire you to add some color to your landscape. However, keep in mind that April in Colorado could still bring us heavy snowfall. Wait at least six weeks to plant most annuals.

If you’re really feeling the itch to get out and garden, consider planting some cool-hardy pansies. Pansies are anything but when it comes to withstanding the frost.

When you go pick out your pansies:

  • Check with garden center staff that the flowers you are purchasing are ready to plant. Pansies should be hardened off before putting them in the ground. If they have been kept outdoors at the garden center, they are probably hardened off and ready to plant.
  • Be aware that pansies that haven’t yet been hardened off need some protected outside time to get used to the outdoors. They need to adjust to night-time temps more than they need sunshine. Keep them outside on the patio in a protected area for about five nights before planting. If there is a frost or hard freeze, bring them indoors.
  • Keep an eye on the temperatures at night. Once planted, pansies are frost-hardy but will be seriously damaged by a hard freeze. If temps fall below 28 degrees, protect the plants from freeze damage like you would annuals in the early fall. Cover them with household items like sheets, blankets or towels (but not plastic).

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Dealing with wind damage

Dealing with wind damage

This week has certainly been a windy one! The part of your landscape that can take the most wind damage is also one of the most important—your trees. They provide shade and keep buildings cool. They clean the air of toxins, and they produce much of the oxygen that we breathe. So what are the best ways to address damaged trees and potentially cracked limbs to keep them from becoming a liability?

Inspect your trees, and as you do:

  • Be aware that the tree’s age will likely impact how it weathered the wind and that not all issues are easily visible. While young trees typically do not sustain serious damage, mature deciduous trees not only can be seriously damaged but have problems that aren’t obvious to an untrained eye.
  • Be wary of cracks and splits in the limbs. Broken limbs pose grave threats to people and property. Often, split limbs may be hanging on by a thread, so to speak, and these “hangers,” may not be so readily noticed. A little more wind or late spring snow can send them crashing.
  • Look more closely for hangers if there has been some obvious damage to a tree. Cracked limbs can be more difficult to see. One tell-tale sign that a limb is cracked is that it is bending down and/or resting on a limb below.

What to do with cracked branches:

  • Most cracked branches continue to live. In spite of the cracks, nutrients will still move through the branch to keep offshoot branches and leaves alive. The tree will try to callous over the wound to “heal,” but the bark will not grow back together, and the limb will remain a hazard.
  • If you have large deciduous trees or think you have trees with cracked branches, consider having them inspected by an arborist or landscape professional. Play it safe and remove wind-damaged limbs before they become a liability.

What to do with split trunks or large branches:

  • High winds can also cause tree trunks or branches to split vertically or even uproot the tree. As with broken limbs, splits can be hazardous and need to be dealt with right away.

Simply sawing off a limb behind the break won’t be aesthetically pleasing or healthy for the tree. It’s critical to call in a qualified arborist or maintenance professional to remove broken limbs so that they are cut properly for the long-term health of the tree.

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Too soon to plant perennials?

plant perennials

It’s all too easy to go into a warehouse or hardware store right now, see a bare root perennial display and find yourself walking out with Echinacea, daisies and others in anticipation of springThese kind of perennials do grow well in Colorado, but is it too early to plant them now? 

Unfortunately for all of us who want to get outdoors and start planting, it’s really too soon to plant perennials and to expect them to survive the recent snows and possible hard freezes ahead. The first clue that it’s too early to plant them is that you’ll see any in your garden are still dormant (especially after our recent snow). In many places along the Front Range and at higher altitudes, especially, the soil can’t be worked yet either.

So what do you do if you already bought these plants? 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Because these perennials have been in cold storage all winter, they have been kept dormant. But bringing them inside the store where it’s warm has forced them to break dormancy – and they will start to bud. If planted outside now, these buds will likely freeze – and depending on the temps, the roots may freeze as well. Protecting them with coverings like a wall of water or other material won’t work in a hard freeze.
  • The best plan is to get these plants into pots so that the roots can begin developing and you can water them to keep the roots moist. Keep plants in a cool place indoors.
  • On warm days, start setting the plants outdoors so they can begin to harden off – but move them indoors at night to prevent frost/freeze damage. When night-time temps are consistently above 28 degrees and the soil is workable, they can be planted.
  • After planting outdoors, protect them just like you would protect annuals from frost or freeze damage whenever the forecast predicts frost/freezing temps. Normal low temps by the end of March are around 30 degrees along the Front Range, but bear in mind that we had a record-low temp day this March. At higher elevations, hitting 30 degrees will be later, of course, based on the location. Monitor the weather and get plants in the garden when the conditions are comfortable for them.

In the meantime, if you want to satisfy that urge to plant something, plant cool season veggie seeds such as carrots, lettuce, spinach and radishes. These seeds will sit quietly under the soil until it gets warm enough for seeds to germinate. Watch the soil between times of precipitation, and if it gets dry, apply water to keep your plants moist.

Be patient–growing days will be here soon!

Click “DO IT FOR ME” to request a FREE quote.

Source: in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado


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