Friday, September 21, 2007

Welcome to the World of Dirty Hoes

Even if your goal in life is not to become a Master Gardener, there are a lot of benefits to knowing your way around the garden and the garden center. You will save both time and money, and you will make smarter purchases that better suit your needs.

Like kids, plants need food and water. They can get both in a number of ways.

Food: Water-soluble fertilizer, slow-release fertilizer. There are chemical and organic forms of both. You are probably familiar with the three numbers on the back of fertilizers, but you might not know what they mean.

1st number is Nitrogen. It greens leaves and encourages leaf growth
2nd number is Phosphate. It encourages blooming and rooting.
3rd number is Potassium. This also encourages root growth.

A plant that is all green would prefer nitrogen, but not need as much phosphate, because it doesn’t bloom. Alternatively, your flowers would like a fertilizer with a lot of phosphate, but might not need as much nitrogen.

Water: Rain, sprinklers, soaker-hoses, watering cans, etc.
This may sound obvious, but certain plants may do better with different methods.

As we all know, water can be a best friend or our worst nightmare, and with plants, it is no different. Plants require different amounts of water, so it is important to educate yourself on the water needs of your particular plants. Next, recognize the different effects of different watering methods.

Sprinkler Systems are very common, but they will let you down if you don’t recognize their limits. For example, does yours reach all of your plants? Is it drowning your Palms? Is it fully saturating the bedding plants that require it? Often systems provide a false sense of security, and it may be better to water by hand until you are accustomed to the needs of your plants.

Tackle These Garden Situations
With Your Inner Garden Goddess!

Scenario 1
Your in-laws are coming over and your patio, porch, or deck looks like Animal from the Muppet Show had his band over for a party! No problem. Gather up the stray Sponge Bobs and Doras, and try this on for size.

Pots of herbs situated near where company sits will smell good and create the illusion that you have nothing to do but cook gourmet meals with them all day long. Come by the H&Z, and we’ll help you put the right herbs in the right pot!

Goddess Tip: You can buy the 4 inch pots of herbs, place them in a pretty basket, and put moss around the top. This makes a great center piece, and you can plant them later!

Scenario 2
Your neighbors just had their yard landscaped, and your yard looks like it got run over by a Tonka Truck! No problem! Try these fixes. They will take some time, but are worth it for the satisfaction they will bring!

Grab your electric hedge-trimmers, the best purchase you’ll ever make, and consider what needs some buzzing. Remember, some plants form buds for the next year early, so call us and talk to us before you trim. 897-5581 This will instantly make your yard look more maintained. Next, buy annual flowers! For $14.99 you can buy 36 flowering plants like: Snap Dragons, Violas, Pansies, Impatiens, and Begonias! Come by H&Z and we can help you choose pots and flowers that will suit your environment. Lastly,mulch your beds. No matter what mulch you choose, a fresh layer on top will redefine your beds and help retain moisture in them as well.

Goddess Tip: Buying different types of flowers in a similar color pallet makes a bigger impact from the street and ties together your landscaping. Fertilize your annuals once a week with “Blooming and Rooting”. Being consistent will make all the difference in the number of flowers your neighbors see from the curb!

Scenario 3
Your plants have a problem. You don’t know what it is, and the thought of spraying the wrong thing makes you want to pave the yard. Take a clipping and bring it over to us! We’ll diagnose it and suggest a treatment!

Creativity Is Not a Four-Letter Word
(but DuLL most certainly is!)

When we are strapped for time and money, it is tempting to fall in the same ol’ routine. Sometimes getting customers to try a new flower over an old standard can be like pulling a favorite blanket from a child!

“I want my Montego Tahiti Orange Snap Dragons. I’ve used them every year since the dawn of time, and I’ll do so until the day I die. I cannot sleep without them!”

Tahiti Orange Snaps ARE lovely, but how about we unclench a little bit and try some exciting new combinations! Come by H&Z and we can come up with containers that will dazzle you, your mom, your cousin Shirley, and her kid with the unusually large eyes.
Women are naturally creative all the time, but for some reason, they are reluctant to put that skill to good use in the yard. Smartly dressed women come in all dolled up wearing color-coordinated ensembles, and yet finding three plants to put in a container together is terrifying to them. The following might help a bit:

Date Night Outfit/Landscape Design

Your make-up=The foundation for your plants also known as soil.
If it’s good your relationship grows. If it’s cheap, you look like a tramp, and
your relationship might wither and die.

Your Clothes=Your evergreen plants in the landscape.
When putting on your clothes, you do not put everything from the waist up or the waist down. You spread the clothes out so they are evenly distributed all over your body. No matter what the season, certain areas of the body and yard are always covered.

Your Jewelry and Accessories=Your Annuals and Perennials
We like to put some extra sparkle on to draw the eye around, and that is what flowers do for your yard. Symmetry is what people most often prefer. Like your favorite earrings, which frame your face, flowers can draw attention to a front door. Like your necklace pulls out the color from your earrings, your bedding plants compliment the flowers by your home’s entrance. Like your shoes compliment your scarf, pulling the hue from the door out to your mailbox, or another focal point, completes the cohesive design. Consider using birdbaths, shepherd’s hooks, trellises, garden art, and colorful ceramic pots.

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