Hydrangea Quercifolia Oak leaf

Summer color

Summer color

Fall color

Fall color

…Is the newest addition to my garden, and I just love it. One of the few hydrangeas’ native to the United States, the oak leaf has a white bloom in the summer and generates four seasons of interest with its various colored leaves and blooms.
Equally as lovely in the fall as in the summer, the summer’s large white blooms and green leaves give way to multi-colors shades of yellow, red, brown and burgundy foliage, with the bloom turning shades of purple.
The Oak leaf’s bloom has two forms: single and double. Its name comes from the large shape of the leaves; they thrive in sunny locations and grow rapidly without much water or help from the gardener. Check out my new favorite plant this summer…

Finished Backyard Project

The backyard project is complete and we are thrilled with the results. See how the boxy-rectangular shaped backyard has been transformed into an organic oasis, complete with a variety of areas for dining, entertaining, relaxing and even meditating.

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Diana Lapins – Owner, Hunt Woods Manor
Diana is an interior designer with over 28 years of experience in the interior design profession. She has been actively renovating residential homes since 1994, and is currently on her 6th home renovation project.

Autumn Gardening Tips

“Just before the death of flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season
When nature is all aglow.”
-Author Unknown

A Garden Is An Ever Changing Tapestry Of Natural Beauty
If you haven’t started that garden journal, go out and buy one today. It helps assess your landscape by listing your ideas for changes and additions. It also helps to decide what you most want to do right now and in the seasons to come. While still in the garden mode, make notes for things to do or buy next spring. Write down the names of that wonderful annual combination you had this year or remind yourself what did not seem to work well in that one corner. Throw in some pictures too!

Roots Establish Better In Fall
Fall is a great planting time and gives you a jumpstart on next year’s garden! Just don’t forget to pay attention to the water needs of those new additions. Without adequate snow or rain you will need to occasionally water new plantings in the winter. A warm winter (such as last year) will intensify this need.

Plant. Transplant. Divide.
Early blooming perennials like irises and peonies can be transplanted. Be careful not to replant too deeply or they will not flower. Divide daylilies if they are in need of thinning – this can improve flowering for next year.

Dig Up & Store Your Bulbs
After the first frost, dig up your tender bulbs and tubers (gladiolas, dahlias, cannas, etc…) and put them in a dry and cool spot (around 40 degrees) for the winter in an open, airy, shallow box.

Clean Your Beds
Continue weeding, deadheading and cutting back perennials as needed. Remove diseased leaves and spent plant material from the beds which will reduce possibility of disease and harmful insects overwintering in this material. Add some compost to your beds as you clean them, before you mulch for the winter.

Snip & Pinch!
Notice which perennials need staking so that you can be pro-active with this chore next year, or opt to try spring “pinching” to shorten their ultimate height – many, but not all perennials respond well to this. This method also delays flowering a bit, which can be a plus in your garden. (ex: Shasta daisy, Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’, Summer phlox, Bee balm). Try this method selectively, on the front row of flowers for a graduation of flowering heights. Add this info to your journal as a reminder for next spring!

Stop Your Clippers!
Pruning of your roses and subshrubs (such as lavender) should stop now. Pruning can encourage new growth that will be subject to frost. Wait until March to prune, before new growth begins (climbing/rambling roses are an exception).

Ready For A Treat? I Promise. No Tricks.
Give yourself a treat for next spring, buy some spring flowering bulbs now (but wait until the weather cools down in October before planting). If you plant them among your hostas or daylilies, the declining foliage of the daffodil or tulip will be hidden by the newly emerging perennial leaves next spring!

Garden Looking Tired? Add Some Color
Don’t forget to add some fall color to your yard (can replace any tired looking annuals). Mums, ornamental cabbage and grasses all do the trick quite nicely! (along with a few well-placed pumpkins of course!!) Pansies give you the added bonus of returning early next spring in full color!

Fertilize Your Garden
Fertilize shrubs and trees with the appropriate product, such as Hollytone for your acid-loving evergreens.
Grass seeding should be finished by now, but do continue to fertilize.

Move ‘Em On In
If you haven’t already done so, begin the transition of your houseplants to indoors by bringing them in at nighttime only at first. First clean and prune them and don’t forget to check for insects! Stop/reduce fertilizing of these plants until late winter.

A Quick “Snip” Tip
Cuttings from coleus will root easily and can be brought indoors for winter color in your home, and can then be returned to your garden next spring.

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Backyard Project: Initial Steps

Welcome to the beginning of our project with Diana. I’m Deb Phillips from Nature’s Cradle Nursery and I’m the Landscape Designer that will be working closely with Diana to accomplish her goals in the back yard. Time is short so Raffi Ishkanian, our Design Team Lead, will join me to help quickly develop and implement a design that will fit her home, her budget, and her hopes for the backyard.

Backyard Plan

So lets get started. With every design project there are steps to follow and landscaping is no exception. Today, our first step was to create a list of Diana’s likes, dislikes, color preferences, intended use of the yard, and any special elements she may be looking for like a patio, lighting, water features, and others. The next was to note existing site elements like sunlight, shade, elevations, and existing large trees and other plant material. We also know that Diana wants to re-use as much of the existing plant material and stone as possible which is a great way to save on budget and reduce waste.

Just an hour later, armed with this information, Raffi and I sat down in Diana’s yard and traded ideas for different areas of the property while listening to the hum of saws and watching the amazing climbers prune Diana’s large oaks. We quickly sketched our ideas and raced back to the drawing board to produce a concept design for Diana’s approval.

Next steps, detail design and estimates.

Learn more about our Landscape Design & Implementation Services.

Deb Phillips – Landscape Architect
Deb is a certified Commercial Horticulture and Landscape Designer who loves to create beautiful landscapes. She currently works at Nature’s Cradle Nursery.