Written by Tammy Clayton

Copyright © 2005 Tammy Clayton

Morning coffee withrepparttar internet has become a tradition of mine in recent years. The internet holds a much greater variety of information thanrepparttar 113337 newspaper, as well as less depressing things to read atrepparttar 113338 beginning ofrepparttar 113339 day. No one should have to wake up with murder and mayhem in their face. A more pleasant mindset is found in waking to checkrepparttar 113340 weather, respond to a note from a friend, or reading about an exciting new plant. This morning I went to look for further information on a particularly nifty new plant on one of my vendor’s sites. Not finding that I clicked on another link that caught my attention in their Garden Writers section.

"Meatballs, Soapboxes and Tuna Cans", to be precise.

To a person who has never been employed withinrepparttar 113341 landscape industry, that phrase would bring to mind food. To insiders it would have a far different meaning. Of course where I worked it was baseballs and cubes. So this morning’s coffee was sipped between chuckles.

The author (head of sales) I would venture to say is younger than 50. Those over 50 feel that these balls, cubes, footballs or tuna cans are a staple that is required inrepparttar 113342 landscape. Forrepparttar 113343 life of me I have never understood why we must have them. What is so necessary about using a shrub far to large for its placement and whacking off it’s limbs to shape it into an unnatural form? Off with its head! It should wear a size 42 long jacket, but we will force it to fit comfortably into a 10 short. It is interesting to note that also helpless poodles have also fallen victim to this manner of unnatural shaping and they are not plants. A month ago I witnessed a house cat shorn in this manner.

Mr. Woods, who wroterepparttar 113344 afore mentioned article, has developedrepparttar 113345 opinion that it is an inherent human instinct. That we humans have so little that we actually have complete control over that our psyche has tuned in torepparttar 113346 helpless shrubs in our yard. While I giggled often while reading his words, it struck me that he has a good point. Why else would we so cruelly inhibitrepparttar 113347 wild beauty of a shrub? In my early years I had no reason to argue with my father,repparttar 113348 professional landscaper as to why we must do this. Quiterepparttar 113349 contrary, originally I assisted him in his whacking while trying to mimic his methods. It wasn’t until I started to design plantings and began to see plants for their own individual beauty that I began to question this barbaric practice. It has come to be a long standing argument between us overrepparttar 113350 years. He refuses to budge from his Pro Juniper stance, insisting we simply MUST haverepparttar 113351 prickly old things. Yews and Burning Bushes have their place and are quite lovely if not placed where they can be gently shaped not beaten in submission twice a season.

During my contracting days, I would arrive at a clients home for a meeting about a landscape facelift to findrepparttar 113352 sad remains of Burning Bushes, Yews and Junipers that had resided alongrepparttar 113353 walk or foundation for decades. All of them left much to be desired inrepparttar 113354 looks department afterrepparttar 113355 last harsh whacking. Common sense told me that following decades of cruel treatment,repparttar 113356 poor things have given up growing hair. Why should they continue to grow it if forrepparttar 113357 past 25 years every attempt was quickly lopped off? How much squelching of creativity can a being endure before throwing inrepparttar 113358 towel? In voicing this thought to successful lawyers and surgeons , I must admit I was rewarded with raised eyebrows. Why do we insist on planting a shrub that will grow eight foot tall and 12 foot wide in a 30 inch wide space and insist it does not exceed those confines? I am in agreement with Mr. Woods, it is one area to have complete control over in our lives.

Concerning Mulch - PART TWO

Written by Tammy Clayton

Copyright © 2005 Tammy Clayton

The use of shredded wood mulch exists for reasons unknown to many of us. It is true and a good point thatrepparttar mulch does in fact control erosion in a new planting prior torepparttar 113336 roots taking hold ofrepparttar 113337 soil. The wood mulch does retain more moisture and insulaterepparttar 113338 roots from extreme temperatures. Thereforerepparttar 113339 addition of a mulch is in deed beneficial for a newly installed shrub and tree landscape. The truth is folks have been successfully growing landscapes and gardens for centuries prior to this modern innovation commonly known as shredded mulch. Sorepparttar 113340 mulch is put down initially to aidrepparttar 113341 plants in adjusting to their new home with less setbacks and repercussions. Butrepparttar 113342 renewal of mulch is whererepparttar 113343 problems seem to begin.

Firstly there should never be more than 3 inches of shredded wood mulch applied afterrepparttar 113344 installation of new plants. Some seem to think that more is better, this is not true of mulch. Exceeding 4 inches holds too much moisture and can cause plants to decline from rot and even die becauserepparttar 113345 soil cannot breathe or soak up warmth fromrepparttar 113346 sun to rid itself of excess moisture that may be present at times. Incidentally,repparttar 113347 presence of mushrooms in a lawn or planting bed is totally due to decomposing wood matter. Whether mulch mixed with soil or an old tree stump’s roots that reside beneathrepparttar 113348 current lawn. Rotting wood and moisture have always caused mushrooms to grow. It is best if one is to cultivate mushrooms to plan ahead and cultivate those that are edible and cut down onrepparttar 113349 grocery bill rather than those that just make a mess inrepparttar 113350 landscape

What happens to all those additional layers of mulch you add torepparttar 113351 beds because you likerepparttar 113352 “fresh” look it gives you yard? Perhaps first it would be best to ask yourself, what happened torepparttar 113353 FIRST layer of mulch. The same thing that happens onrepparttar 113354 floor ofrepparttar 113355 forest. Over time, every leaf, twig and fallen limb decomposes to replenishrepparttar 113356 soil available onrepparttar 113357 forest floor. The very same thing is happening in your planting beds...the mulch becomes soil. Whenrepparttar 113358 pretty mulch has disappeared a nice young man in a uniform appears after a phone call and puts a nice thick new layer where you direct him to do so. The lumber company who made money on a waste product is very happy. The mulch company is happy because you paid you bill. The nice young man inrepparttar 113359 uniform is happy because he got paid. You are happy withrepparttar 113360 fresh new appearance of your yard. The one soul who is not questioned about this practice, isrepparttar 113361 one that is effectsrepparttar 113362 most...the plants! Over time, this freshening ofrepparttar 113363 mulch can cause unexplainable health problems.

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