How to Plant a Heather Garden

Written by David and Alissa Dewitt

Continued from page 1

FOUNDATION PLANTINGS - Use heather in a foundation planting to eliminaterepparttar straight lines and formality that is often created with more typical plants. Inrepparttar 140924 Northeast, Taxus, Rhododendron and Juniper are commonly used; heather is a natural companion to these evergreens. Use them to hide bare branches atrepparttar 140925 base of shrubs, to fill voids between larger shrubs, and to bring entire plantings away fromrepparttar 140926 house. A long, curving line is more natural and can be creatively designed withrepparttar 140927 different heights and foliage colors of heather. The evergreen foliage can berepparttar 140928 finishing touch needed to bring a foundation planting together.

PERENNIAL BEDS AND BORDERS - Gardens of perennials often lack visual interest duringrepparttar 140929 winter months whenrepparttar 140930 herbaceous species are dormant, waiting for spring's call of warmer temperatures. Inrepparttar 140931 late summer months when many perennials are waning, many ofrepparttar 140932 Callunas are flowering heaviest. The structure and foliage color of these evergreens can also be used to an advantage. The winter blooming Ericas are natural selections for winter color. Erica carnea and E. x darlyensis start forming buds in early summer, that open as early as November in shades of pink, rose or white. These long lasting flowers are colorful all winter untilrepparttar 140933 first of May when many ofrepparttar 140934 spring bulbs are in full bloom. The soil requirements are a bit different than those of some perennials but you may be able to provide them with a site that has a well drained soil that has not had a lot of fertilizer and manure added.

NATIVE AND WILD GARDENS - Fifteen plants of Calluna vulgaris were originally planted some 80 years ago atrepparttar 140935 edge of a pine barren here on Cape Cod. Overrepparttar 140936 years, seedlings have taken a foothold inrepparttar 140937 sandy native soil and have naturalized . Little care has been given to this area that is now over 80 feet long and 30 feet wide. The natural succession that has occurred has left this area with 3-4 dominant natural cultivars which bloom in August and is spectacular. The same effect can be achieved by planting some ofrepparttar 140938 taller cultivars we offer, spaced about 2' apart . Prune heavilyrepparttar 140939 first 3-4 springs to obtain a broad sweep of thick foliage and heavy flowering.

Happy Gardening!

David and Alissa Dewitt are the owners of Rock Spray Nursery, the largest US grower of the hardy Heath and Heather plants. Visit their informative website at

Tips to Improve the Functionality and Atmosphere of Your Patio with Plants

Written by Nicole Martins

Continued from page 1

No two patios are exactly alike

While it is very common to find a patio directly offrepparttar back ofrepparttar 140716 house, there are no rules or regulations that make thisrepparttar 140717 ultimate location. Also, patios come in various sizes and shapes and may contain any number of hardscape materials: flagstone, concrete, tile, brick, pebbles and such. As for layout, a large patio may include definition and enclosure with low walls and planting beds; while a small patio may have just a ground plane dressed in flagstone with enough room for a table and chairs (see and some planters and pots. Each patio example can take full advantage of plant forms to create pleasing effects that will maximize every ones pleasure outdoors.

Small patios: Designing with plants

Small patio spaces rely not so much onrepparttar 140718 horizontal plane as onrepparttar 140719 vertical plane whererepparttar 140720 greenery of plants can produce handsome walls, create a sense of enclosure and privacy, and, screen out unwanted views. Vines are very useful in small spaces, and garden structures such as trellises and pergolas can assist them to grow upward without claiming too much valuable patio space. This is especially true if plants are grown inrepparttar 140721 ground versus being planted in pots which will likely take up more room. For certain climates, evergreen shrubs such as boxwood and privet provide permanent architecture year round and can be clipped to maintainrepparttar 140722 right scale for your needs. To find comparable plant choices for your zone consult with local nurseries and landscapers. Ask for recommendations of upright or vertical shrubs and trees that donít take up a lot of horizontal space and/or can handle being pruned to keep them upright.

With all ofrepparttar 140723 nice plant choices available, make use of perennials, shrubs and trees to create inviting effects. A patio shining with beautiful hardscape is wonderful, but dull withoutrepparttar 140724 bountiful greenery of plants to balance.

Nicole Martins is a contributing author and publisher to, an online resource that provides you with great information, articles of interest and reviews of the best selling outdoor furniture and patio accessories online.

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