Oh, the beautiful and sometimes pesky vine.
So, you’ve decided to grow vines in your yard to increase your yard appeal, hide an unsightly fence, or for whatever reason. But you’ve heard that they can quickly become a nuisance. Well, growing vines can indeed get out of hand and take over your yard (and even your neighbor’s). Nevertheless, not all vines are invasive. In this post, you will learn which vines to use and which to avoid when growing vines in your yard.
Vines to Grow in Your Yard
There are several vines that won’t take over your yard when you grow them. Of course, they also twine, climb, lean, sprawl and twist around objects and trees. But, they don’t spread and become a nuisance you have to fight to remove. Here are two notable vines we think you should grow in your Pacific Northwest yard.
This spectacular vine is not just beautiful, but it also has a heavenly scent. While some Clematis bloom all year round, some bloom at different seasons, and all in a variety of colors. So, you can plant different types of the vine to give your yard a new look every season. We particularly love the Avalanche and the Wisley Cream.
2. Climbing Hydrangea
Even compared to other non-invasive vines, this vine grows really slowly. So, you don’t have to worry about it taking over your yard. However, it has heavy vines. Hence, you may have to provide something sturdy for it to lean on. Better still, grow it close to a fence or near a sturdy structure allocated for the vine.
Other non-invasive vines to grow in your yard include:
- The Star Jasmine,
- The Black-Eyed Susan Vine,
- The White Bark Raspberry
Vines to Avoid Growing in Your Yard
Don’t be tempted by their attractive looks. Avoid invasive vines at all costs. No, you can’t curb their natural habit of growing and spreading rapidly, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Some would even attach themselves to your house and cause destruction. Here are two vines you should avoid growing in your yard.
1. Chinese Wisteria
Gorgeous pink at full bloom, but this vine will sprout a new root wherever it touches the ground. Then, it would fling open its seed pods to spread its seeds all over your yard. If you really want a Wisteria in your yard, the native American Wisteria is a better choice
Planting imported plants is a great way to make your garden stand out. But, the Kudzu is a vine you should avoid. You may have heard that they are great for erosion control. But, they are also very invasive and will strangle the other plants, and even trees, in your garden.
Other invasive vines to avoid growing in your yard include
- Winter Creeper
- Five-Leaf Akebia
- Japanese Honeysuckle
Need help growing vines in your yard? Contact us today at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping!
When it comes to using natural elements for garden décor, most people think of landscaping with rocks. But, did you know that tree branches can be used to improve your garden decor? Yes, those hanging or fallen tree branches all over your garden can do much more than serving as fuel for your fire pit. In this post, you’ll find ideas for easy garden decors with tree branches.
3 Ways To Use Tree Branches To Decorate Your Garden
Stop letting those tree branches in your garden go to waste. Here are three ways you can repurpose them to decorate your garden.
1. Build a Garden Arbor or Chair
You can build a simple garden harbor or lounge chair with tree branches and twigs if you love DIY projects. You don’t have to make it elaborate for it to be a beautiful addition to your garden. Just punch in some holes and nail the branches together to build the chair or arbor, and the rustic look will add charm to your garden.
2. Provide Support for Plants
If you’re trying container gardening in the Pacific Northwest, you can construct a potholder for your pots or containers instead of just placing them on the ground. This will give it an elevated garden look. You can also construct a tree branch ladder to serve as a trellis for climbing flowers to twine around.
3. Create Borders & Boundaries
You can use tree branches to build a picket fence to give your garden a rustic look. They can also be used to create boundaries around different parts of your garden and borders to protect specific plants. Furthermore, you can strip a couple of inches of the side of small branches to make a decorative plant marker. You can write creative names for your plants on the markers to add a personal touch to your garden.
Need more creative ways to decorate your garden? Contact us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping today!
organic or non-organic?
Although most people will argue that organic potting soil is better than inorganic potting soil, the truth is neither of the two is perfect
Are you thinking of starting a container garden or potting your vegetables before transplanting them to your garden, but can’t decide on the type of soil to use? You’ve heard that you can’t just use your yard or garden soil for potting your plant. But, which potting soil is better: organic or non-organic? Continue reading to find out.
What is Potting Soil?
Potting soil is soil that is specifically made for growing plants in containers or pots. Unlike garden soil, which gets easily compacted in pots and prevents roots from growing easily, potting soil is fluffy. It also lacks contaminants like weed seeds and debris that may be in your garden soil.
Organic Potting Soil
First, you should know that organic potting soil is not free from chemical compounds. They are referred to as organic because they are made from decaying natural organic materials such as seaweed, bone and fish meal and worm casting, and are rich in nutrients and microbes. These materials enable adequate aeration and hydration, and promote nutrient retention.
Inorganic Potting Soil
As the name implies, inorganic potting soil is made of materials that are not organic. Also known as potting mixtures, it is often made from three essential components: peat moss, perlite and bark. These essential components don’t contain “harmful chemicals” and give the soil a neutral PH. However, the mixture isn’t nutritious, so synthetic fertilizers are added to provide nutrients to the plant.
Organic Vs. Inorganic: Which Is Better?
Although most people will argue that organic potting soil is better than inorganic potting soil, the truth is neither of the two is perfect, depending on the plant type and needs. For example, organic potting soil is best and safer for vegetables, as you won’t have to worry about chemicals from fertilizer seeping into a crop you intend to consume. On the other hand, plants like succulents will do well in inorganic potting soil.
Another factor to consider is cost. Non-organic potting soil is cheaper than organic potting soil. You can also opt for already made potting blends for the specific plant you want to cultivate. The bottom line is that good quality potting soil, whether organic or inorganic, will help your plant grow better than just using just any soil.
Can Discarded Furniture Be Used To Plant Flowers In The Garden?
When you have furniture to discard, you probably think of your local thrift shop. Or, you come up with reasons to keep that old sofa and find ways to can still use it. If the question, “can discarded furniture be used to plant flowers?” ever crossed your mind, then the answer is absolutely! Yes, you can use discarded furniture to plant flowers in your garden. Continue reading to learn how.
How To Use Furniture To Plant Flowers
No matter the type of furniture you want to discard, you can repurpose it into a planter for flowers in your garden. Here’s how some discarded furniture can be used to plant flowers in the garden.
Desks and Dressers
Desks and dressers have drawers that can serve as containers for planting flowers. First, line the inside of the drawers with plastic garbage bags, and drill a couple of holes through the bags and drawer bottoms. This will enable sufficient drainage of water and prevent the wood from decaying quickly. Next, fill the drawers with potting soil and plant your flowers. Then, open some drawers a little and others entirely to create a layered effect.
Yes, even a broken chair can be used to plant flowers in your garden. Just cut out the seat and hang a plastic container in it to plant your flowers. You can even grow climbing plants that will twine around the back of the chair.
You can literally put the bed in “flowerbed” by planting flowers in an old bed. After taking out the mattress, cut out some sections of the bottom wood of the bed frame. Then, fit in several planters or containers to plant your flowers.
The bottom line is that discarded furniture can be repurposed as planters. So, before you discard that old piece of furniture, first think about how you can use them to plant flowers. If you need more creative ideas to make your garden look even more fabulous, reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping today!
Partition Your Garden Using Boundaries, Borders, and Clever Planting
Partitioning your garden is a great way to improve your garden design, create a private area for socializing or relaxation, and even keep prying eyes out of your garden. Whatever your reason for deciding to partition your garden, you can use boundaries, borders and clever planting.
How To Partition Your Garden
Thinking of partitioning your small or spacious garden? Outlined below are some ideas for creating partitions in your garden with boundaries, borders, and clever planting.
1. Climbing Plants
You can use climbing plants to create a boundary or border with an archway. Also, climbers that grow vigorously, such as clematis and jasmine, can be grown near a dividing wall or trellis to make a luscious green boundary.
2. Bricks & Stones
Bricks can be used to build a low wall to partition a private relaxation nook. Drape the wall with rambling plants like nasturtiums for a pop of color. You can use stones to create borders around different sections of your garden, as well as pathways between them.
3. Trees & Branches
Deciduous trees like Shadwood and Birch trees can help provide boundaries at the edges of your garden. These trees have airy foliage that allows sunlight to still get through to your garden plants. Also, fallen tree branches can be used to create rustic short fences around different sections of your garden.
4. Hedging Plants
Plant evergreen hedges like Yew and Beech to use as green borders. You can even trim the hedges into attractive topiary shapes. Bright flower hedges like foxgloves can also be used to block outsiders from looking in, while giving your garden a pop of color.
5. Pergola or Arbor
Building a pergola or arbor will create a section of your garden where you can relax with family or socialize with friends. You can border the area with a trellis made from tree branches, and decorate it with climbing plants.
Need help creating beautiful partitions in your garden or yard? Reach out to us at Levy’s Lawns & Landscaping today!
So, the trees in your yard look like they’ve seen better days, and you’re considering pruning them. It’s a great idea. Pruning will help restore their structure and improve their health. It’ll also manage the direction of their growth and reduce the risk of causing damage to people or property. But where should you focus your pruning efforts? Read on to find out.
How To Decide Where To Focus Pruning Efforts
Two major factors determine how much you should prune your tree: the age and the health status of the tree.
- Is the tree matured or young? You should prune a matured tree lightly, as its growth rate has slowed down. On the other hand, a young tree can withstand heavier pruning, as it will grow back its branches rapidly.
- Is the tree healthy or diseased? If a tree is suffering from a severe disease, you’re likely to do more pruning than you would from a healthy tree. Branches that won’t be removed from a healthy tree would have to be cut because they are diseased.
Parts of The Tree To Prune
Sometimes, all you need to focus on is removing some twigs and overgrown branches. Other times, you would need to remove more. In any case, here are the several tree parts to focus your pruning efforts.
- Diseased, dying or dead branches
- Twigs sprouting at the trunk’s base
- Branches growing across the tree’s center
- Branches that cross and rub together or may rub in the future
- Vertical branches that may grow into additional or secondary trunks
- Overgrown foliage and branches affecting buildings, power lines or visibility.
How To Prune Your Tree
When pruning, you should cut back to a bud, twig or branch to encourage healthy new growth. However, you have to do it carefully, so you don’t cut into the trunk and remove or expose live tissues, as this will create an entry for insect pests and diseases that may damage the tree. You can avoid this by cutting branches just before the points where they spring from the trunk (i.e., the collar). You can find a more in-depth pruning guide here, or reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn and Landscaping for professional help.