Friday, January 28, 2011

Time to Shine!

Although most plants in the garden are in a dreamy dormant state, now is the time for a number of patient plants to steal the spotlight with their showy flowers, fragrances, berries & bare branches. Below, I've listed just a few of my winter favorites. These plants are sure to add color and cheer on the grayest winter day.

Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold's Promise' - Witch Hazel
This is a wonderful deciduous shrub that showcases it's long lasting, yellow firework-like flowers around January & February. I love using this colorful shrub in the mixed woodland garden as it does well in partially shady exposures with well draining, organic soils. Make sure to give this Witch Hazel room to grow as it can reach 8-10' tall & wide within a short 10 year time span. You're in luck if yellow isn't your color, there is also 'Jelena' with it's coppery-orange flowers and 'Diane' flaunting a rich-red hue.

Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire' - Midwinter Fire Redtwig Dogwood
This uninhibited shrub turns heads after dropping it's leaves in the fall and revealing the brightly colored branches beneath. The name aptly describes the warm glow of the orange and ember red stems that radiate from the glowing yellow base. The bright colors standout against dark green conifers and it's erect habit looks great shooting above soft feathery textured grasses. And don't forget to include it when planning your winter containers. This plant does best in sun and partial shade and prefers moist, well drained soil. And another reason to love this plant is that in contrast to other Redtwigs, this shrub maintains a compact size closer to 4' allowing it to fit into almost any corner of the garden. But one word of warning: unless your garden is fenced to keep deer out, you can expect that the deer will pull up a chair and invite their friends to enjoy this delicacy - and I'm not talking about it's winter color. Bummer.

Pyracantha coccinea - Firethorn
This plant boasts long lasting fiery orange, red and even yellow berries maturing in the fall and persisting well into the winter months. They provide a great resource of food for birds as well as protective hiding in amongst the dense and woody branching structure. Although this plant has many attractive qualities, it tends to get a prickly reputation as it's often used in the landscape as a security barrier discouraging trespassers with it's long, woody thorns. This tough as nails plant tolerates poor soil, reflective heat and is drought tolerant. For a stunning display, try espaliering this plant against a brick or stucco wall.

Sarcococca ruscifolia - Fragrant Sarcococca or Sweetbox
I can't rave enough about the intoxicatingly heady fragrance of this wonderful evergreen shrub. In fact, I dedicated a whole post to it last year. Scroll down or link here.

Hopefully these showy plants will encourage you to look closer and explore your own gardens or even your native plant border and admire the berries, branches & textures of winter!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Winter Texture

A great reason not to trim back those grasses too early! They add so much texture in the winter especially when the frost settles in or we have a dusting of light snow. Just for fun - how many different types of grasses can you spot in this photo?

A Look Back at 2010!

Another year has come & gone and we've been busy! Here's a look back at some of the projects & accomplishments for our business in 2010.

The Website
As soon as the ball dropped, we got busy setting goals for another successful year. Top on the list - continued growth for our business. It was a no-brainer that creating a website was a solid investment to help us accomplish and continue to hit this goal. We worked closely with website designer Lisa MacLeod to create an online portfolio that truly highlights the wonderful work we do and the services we offer. It's been a huge success and not only have we gained new clients but we've also had great feedback from our existing clients, friends & family too! We'll be updating pictures soon in our website portfolio and adding a new testimonials section so be sure to check it out.

Let's take a look back at some of the projects we worked on this year!

Thanks for sending me a copy of this photo Ray!

Gardens around the Historic Dockton Trailhead

Before - Lewis Home Entry


The "Grand" Staircase at the Giller/Sorensen Residence

Detailed Herringbone Pattern

Our "Signature" Fence at the Runyan's

A new trellis for the Spangler's Potager Garden

Potager with a stunning view! at Bart & Andrea's House

Raised Beds

A sturdy trellis replacing the one the rose ate!
A collaboration by Schafer Specialty, Ian Metler & Colin Brynn - thanks guys!


More Containers.....

Even More Containers.
We could do a whole post on just the containers we've done this year - WOWZA!

What a great year it's been and we can't wait to share the projects already under way in this New Year. Keep checking back!