How to Have a Beautiful Winter Garden

brown banner with text on it

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…and nowhere else is this more obvious than in your garden! ‘Tis the season to get chilly, but wintertime can also become a picturesque backdrop for memorable gatherings when done right.

 

Echo outdoor winter elements in your interior decor

 

Plan your get-togethers in winter carefully by coordinating details inside and outside the house. It will make your home look harmonious and welcoming. If you aren’t big on the usual Yuletide palette (bright red, green, and gold), patterns (plaids and doilies), and decor (Christmas ornaments), you can play around with color, texture, and other details of winter instead. Take inspiration from your own garden to make your interiors just as lovely as nature makes the outdoors.

Stick to a minimalist winter palette such as pale blues, silvers, and whites for big elements like rugs, curtains, and pillow covers. Consider snowflake patterns or fluffy fabrics to echo snow. Then add a few pops of winter-inspired color from your garden- the bright red of berries or poinsettia, the green of fir, or the burnished gold of pine cones- with accessories and small decorative touches all over the place.

 

Highlight the qualities of winter blooms and trees

 

Wintertime may not wear as colorful and vibrant a cloak as autumn, but with a few well-chosen plants, it can be equally as gorgeous. The key is to work not just with visuals, but with the other senses, as well. For instance, the boldly-textured bark of silver birch and cherry trees can add a tactile element to your garden. You can wrap fairy lights on their trunks or drape paper lanterns on their branches to highlight them.

Another trick to having a beautiful winter garden is to make it obvious that you have one even if it’s covered in snow. How to do this? Select aromatic plants! Jasmine, daphne, gardenias, and Stargazer lilies give off exquisite scents especially in the clean, crisp air of winter because they are not competing with the aromas of spring or summertime.

 

Create cozy corners

 

Bring out the flickering tea lights in glass containers or floating candles in their vessels, because nothing can cozy up your home more than winter and a warm glowing nook. Those unlit corners of your patio, porch, or gazebo  will give off a welcoming glow with a bit of candlelight (consider LED tea lights if you’re worried about open flames). If it gets too cold to appreciate your winter garden outdoors, view it through a fairy lights-framed window seat instead.

 

Prettify your pathways (while making them slip-proof)

 

Outdoor safety can be a thing of beauty, too. You can line up your pathways with landscape lights so you won’t slip or trip on anything going home. Choose prettily shaped LED path lights or solar powered ones if there’s enough sunlight to charge them – this way, even if they are on all night, you won’t have to worry about high electric bills.

While you’re at it, consider lining your paths with rubber mulch. It won’t freeze in cold weather because it doesn’t absorb water, and because it’s made of rubber, will provide enough traction as you walk confidently through your winter garden.

 


Resources:

http://www.saga.co.uk/magazine/home-garden/gardening/ideas/how-to-create-a-beautiful-winter-garden

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/garden/516804/How-to-create-your-own-spectacular-winter-garden

http://www.thedailynewsonline.com/bdn05/master-gardener-try-these-fragrant-flowers-for-christmas-20151208

 

 

Swing Mats Make Safe Playgrounds

Playground and Swing and slide

With winter snow melting and the spring rainy season on it’s way, it is time to start thinking about how to keep your playgrounds safe and reduce maintenance time and costs.  A quick tune up of some key areas can pay big dividends for the rest of the year.  Kids love to drag their feet when swinging and they will inevitably leave a rut at the bottom of the slide.  A quick and easy solution for loose fill mulch; wood or rubber mulch-is to install swing mats under the equipment.

Divits and holes hold water and create trip hazards resulting in playground injuries.  Parents, grandparents, and managers will find that kids stay cleaner and safer when mats are installed.

We offer two styles of swing mats and they are very affordable check it out in our store.

Mulch For the Holidays and Spring

With the holiday season quickly approaching, who doesn’t want their property looking great for their in-laws and guests?  Now that the summer heat has let go it is a great time to mulch and save some money going forward.

Just think, you can make your home more attractive than ever and know that when the snow melts it will look just as great!  Everlast Rubber Mulch looks great year after year. Available in 7 rich and vibarant colors…colors that last.  Remember the old adage “the only thing you get with a pile of wood mulch is a coupon to go back and bet more”.  Mulching once with Everlast Rubber Mulch not only reduces weed growth but also keeps your landscape budget working for you.  Next spring you can buy more annuals and perennials, enjoy your weekends by not having to mulch, and forget about lugging bags or wheelbarrows once or twice a year across the lawn!

We can ship direct via our online store or find a dealer near you.

Don’t forget that every bag of Everlast Rubber Mulch reduces landfill use…recycling at its best!

red landscape rubber mulch in garden

Colorfast Over a Decade and No Weed Block Expense!

Rubber Mulch-Heavy Rains-Reduce the Chances of Fungus

This time of year we are asked daily if “rubber mulch will float”.  One of the original reasons we started with rubber products here in our nursery was the fact that it does not float.  Rubber is heavier than water and with all of the rain we have had lately I suspect our wood mulch sales will increase significantly by summer’s end due to the material wash out and color fade typical in wood mulch.  This also applies to wood mulch used in playgrounds.  Spring wood mulch is starting to weather and will need to be freshened up for the fall…..keep an eye out for fungus.  Artillery fungus is another issue see post here.

Summer is a great time to install Everlast Rubber Mulch.  By removing years of decaying wood mulch from your landscape beds you can reduce the threat of fungus which will be very prominent especially in the South Eastern U.S. this summer.  Removing mulch fungus starts with removing organic wood mulch.  Rubber Mulch doesn’t hold any water and allows proper soil aeration greatly reducing the fungal threat in your landscape.  Installing rubber mulch now will guarantee that your fall and winter beds will look fantastic for visiting relatives during the holidays.

You can finally throw the coupon away-you know the coupon at the bottom of every wood mulch pile-“See you again!”

Gardening and Rubber Mulch for Mental Health?

I just read a great article in American Nurseryman magazine by the editor Sally Benson who was paraphrasing a radio program she heard recently.  The discussion revolved around the fact that our daily lives are immersed in rigid geometric shapes….from the TV, cellphone, computer screen, rooms in our homes, offices, SUV’s, etc.  Seems like everything around us is just another box.

stress relief through gardening

Stress Relief

I believe that second only to pets, gardening can provide a fantastic outlet and stress reliever for those of us living in a busy and urgent world.  Every morning I look forward to checking on my gardenia’s progress from the day before.  My home landscape is covered with blooming beauties and of course a few different colors of my “Nearly World Famous” Everlast Rubber Mulch.

I love to landscape due to the fact that my mind relaxes while I check on the progress of all my favorite plants and I am constantly expanding my plant varieties.  I thoroughly enjoy mixing colors and creating refreshing contrasts to my world which is full of black bordered monitors and sterile websites and data streams.

I am extremely busy but still make time for my landscape in part because I don’t have to spend my time weeding my beds….I am lucky because I get to focus on the fun side of gardening-the sensory experience that doesn’t involve sweat!

Do yourself a favor and take a good look at our low maintenance rubber mulch products….the dividends can be life changing.

Control Weeds for a Low Maintenance Garden This Spring

One of the best reasons to consider rubber mulch is the fact that it acts as a weed barrier. Every day in our nursery someone comes by frustrated with weeds in their landscape or turf and they are looking for solutions.  Everlast will help prevent new weeds from appearing but existing weeds and weed seed do need to be dealt with properly for best results.

There are many forms of weed killer.  Weeds that have already sprouted need to be treated with a post-emergent product.  Weeds that have yet to sprout need to be handled with pre-emergent weed killer. Chemistry varies between products but Roundup or equivalents seem to be the go to product for many homeowners looking to kill existing weeds; but they are often frustrated by poor results.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient and you can think of it as suntan lotion for green leaves. It prevents the plant from utilizing the sunlight.  It is imperative that this type of product be applied when the plant is growing because that when it needs the most energy.  Applying weed killer too early in the season will not yield the best results.  Persistent tougher weeds may need to be coated more than once and I recommend 7 to 10 days between applications.  Some products contain a small percentage of diquat which is my favorite.

Yesterday a young lady came in complaining of dollar weed that seemed to be unaffected by the products she was using.  I have had great success using Roundup Quick Pro that contains just under 3% diquat.  I re-apply once the dollar weed starts to yellow and have had good luck keeping it under control.  When the dollar weed is in my turf I have to be very careful applying the product as it is non selective meaning it will affect nearly all varieties of plants not just the dollar weed.  My turf suffers a bit if I am not too careful but the results are worth it to me as the dollar weed gets the worst of it.

A quick note on Everlast and weed control with rubber mulch.  Our products stay dry.  Weed seed that blows into the beds gets trapped in the rubber which is why we recommend a 2″ depth.  All the water runs through the mulch since it never mats like rotten wood mulch.  We don’t recommend a weed fabric so organic material is never trapped in the mulch-weed seed won’t find any moisture above grade.  It is just that simple.

Simple DIY Low Maintenance Flowers This Spring

gorgeous spring flowers

                                       Spring Flowers Add Color

care free hanging baskets

Care Free Hanging Baskets

One of my neighbors loves her spring flower baskets.

Unfortunately, her husband is ill and she was worried that she could not keep her flowers watered this year she needed an easy gardening solution.

Now she has drip irrigation forever more.

Most people know us as “the nearly world famous” rubber mulch folks.  Our products offer low maintenance solutions to mulch, weeding, and watering.  My neighbor knows we love low maintenance landscape solutions so she asked me to help her keep her flower baskets and pots looking great without the daily watering hassle.

Here is the solution:

  1. Plant flowers and use soil moist.  I won’t plant anything without it.  What is soil moist?  It is a soil additive that looks like granulated sugar.  It holds numerous times it’s weight in water. It swells up and retains water at the root level keeping your plants hydrated.  A small pinch will do and it is worth it’s weight in gold during hot summer months especially in hanging baskets that have a small amount of soil.
  2. Use drip irrigation.  Simply buy some black poly hose and string it through the branches or bury underground.  It is inexpensive and lasts for years.  Once this Sycamore fills out no one will ever know the irrigation is from above!

DIY irrigation for spring flowers

3. Install little barb fittings to connect 1/4″ hose to the pot waterer.  They come in many different forms.  Short and tall watering spikes that shoot water out in a fan, as a drip, or with a little adjustable sprinkler head like these that can shoot out up to 3′.

drip irrigation save water spring flowers

Drip Irrigation Saves Time and Water

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Pick up a small battery powered timer that connects to a garden hose.  You will need an adapter to go from your garden hose to the black poly pipe.  The timer can be set to water any day or any time you like.  Now you can maintain your busy lifestyle and come home to gorgeous flowers all season long!

drip irrigation how to

One Adapter-Two Hose Clamps and a Piece of Old Hose Connects Your Hose to Poly Pipe

This is project makes a great mother’s day gift or project to enjoy with your kids.  I did 10 baskets for under $100 and it will be there for years to come.

 Now you can make it rain anywhere you want anytime you want.

UPDATE

A few weeks have gone by and now you can see how the drip irrigation and some Osmocote have helped!  Best thing is the owner has not done a bit of work!

flower bed with drip irrigation and rubber mulch

Low maintenance withe DIY irrigation and rubber mulch.