If you’re thinking of growing trees in your Pacific Northwest garden, ensure you plant fast-growing trees. Imagine planting a tree, and 4 years later, it isn’t mature enough to flower. So, it can’t beautify your yard, let alone provide shade from the sun or serve as a windbreak. How much longer would you have to wait? You can avoid waiting for years, and find out the fast-growing trees to plant in the Pacific Northwest in this post.

3 Fast-growing Trees To Plant in your Pacific Northwest Garden

From Alaska to Oregon, there are several fast-growing trees to plant in the Pacific Northwest. But, we’ve outlined our best three fast-growing trees below.

1.     Pacific Silver Fir

This type of fir tree stands out among firs. It isn’t popularly known as the “lovely fir” for nothing. The underside of its leaves and the tree bark are a silver color, hence its name. It can grow as tall as 50 to 80 feet. The Pacific Silver Fir is the perfect fast-growing tree for your yard if you reside along the coast between Northern California and Southern Alaska, as it loves wet and shaded areas.

2.    Weeping Beech

No, this tree doesn’t drip water or any fluid. It’s called a “Weeping” Beech because it branches hang downward, giving its foliage a graceful weeping form. It has vibrant purple foliage that will add color to your garden and grow more than 50 feet tall and wide. Also, its growth slows down after it attains maturity, so you don’t have to worry about pruning all the time.

3.     Japanese Maple

This tree showcases different shades of colors through the Spring and Fall season. Its ferny foliage, which creates a crisscrossing canopy, takes on a bright orange-green color in early spring and transforms into a striking red in the Fall season. The Japanese Maple lacy leaves allow light to sift through it, giving it an unforgettable luminous sigh. Furthermore, it is compact, so it’s the perfect fast-growing tree to plant in a small yard or garden.

Other fast-growing trees to plant in the pacific northwest include western red cedar, the cherry, the incense cedar, and the common juniper trees. If you need help strategically planting the trees in your garden to beautify your yard or provide shade for relaxation, you can reach out to us at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping today!

 

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.

1.     Clematis

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

2.    Kudzu

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.

Broken Chairs

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.  

Bed Frame

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!

 

 

Not all plants can thrive in the shade of Seattle. As a gardener, knowing what plants fits where is the first step to cultivating a beautiful garden. So, if you’ve recently moved to Seattle or found it challenging to find plants that can thrive in the shady areas of your Seattle garden, this post is for you.

Top 5 Shade-Tolerant Plants For Your Seattle Garden

Whether a particular part of your garden is shaded for a couple of hours or does not get direct sunlight all day, these plants will bloom in the Seattle shade.

#1: Lenten Rose

The Lenten Rose is a low-growing perennial plant that blooms with beautiful tropical foliage. If you fancy a colorful garden, then you should definitely plant the Lenten rose. They come in various colors, and due to their dense nature, they can help control weed growth.

#2: Hostas

Hostas can thrive beautifully under shades. They even attract animals such as bumblebees, hummingbirds, and slugs. They can do well without much attention, but when in need of water, they start wilting. However, they don’t die quickly, and will regain their glow immediately they are watered.

#3: Bleeding Hearts

This plant thrives excellently in shades, and when summer comes, it goes dormant. Its flowers come majorly in three variations; white, red, and pink. Depending on your garden goals, the bleeding hearts can be a beautiful addition to your garden.

#4: Indian Plum

The Indian Plum is a deciduous plant. The female species have pendant-like white flowers that give off a faint fresh scent. During the fall, the leaves of the Indian Plum turn yellow. Having the Indian Plum means your property will be home to birds as they are attracted to the tiny plum fruits of this plant.

#5: Ferns

Unlike the previously discussed plants, ferns don’t have beautiful, colorful flowers. In fact, they have no flowers at all, and this can be discouraging for many gardeners. Nevertheless, ferns can be a great planting option for your shady garden as they are durable and can survive harsh weather conditions.

Need more suggestions or help planting beautiful plants in the shade of your Seattle garden? Contact us today at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping!

 

 

Trying container gardening in the Pacific Northwest, and wondering what containers to use? There are different types of pots to use for plants in your container garden. We’ve put together a list of pots that will not only protect your plant from diseases and pesky pests, but also decorate your landscape.

5 Types of Pot Plant Containers for your Garden

If you are exploring container gardening, here are the different types of pots you can use for your planting:

1.     Terracotta Pots

These are sometimes referred to as clay pots as they are made from clay. They are usually very durable and can be affordable or expensive depending on your pocket’s weight. Given their colors and warm appearance, terra cotta pots can give your garden a classic look.

2.    Metal Pots

As the name implies, these are made from metal materials such as aluminum, tin, and steel. You can turn almost every metal container you no longer use into a planting pot. This way, you reduce waste and save money. Metals pots can serve your garden for years before they give into corrosion.

3.     Wooden Pots

These are favorites for many gardeners, and this is because wooden containers offer a kind of flexibility that other containers do not offer. You can construct your wooden containers yourself, which means you can make them to fit perfectly into a space in your garden. If properly maintained, wooden pots can serve your garden for years.

4.    Concrete Pots

Concrete pots are like clay pots, only heavier and made from concrete. They have a range of striking designs that can give your garden a classic or contemporary look. Concrete pots are long-lasting and can endure years of freezing and thawing without breaking down.

5.     Plastic Containers

Although technically not a pot, plastic containers can serve as pots to use for plants in your container garden. What’s more, you don’t have to buy them. You can repurpose some of your old gallon jugs and plastic bowls for planting.

These different types of pots will serve you, whether you’re short on yard space or new to gardening and want to start small. If you need any more help with planting a garden in your yard or corridor, reach out to us at Levy’s Lawns and Landscaping today!

 

Many times, we’ve had people reach out to us asking what plants would thrive in the sunny and rainy Seattle climate. To put that question to a final rest, we’ve curated a list of some of the sun-loving plants for Seattle.

Top 5 Plants for Full Sun Gardens in Seattle

These plants will transform your yard into a beautiful garden with their colorful blooms radiating in the sunlight.

#1: Cranesbill

This is a blue-flowered geranium. It can thrive in partial or full sunlight. The great thing about the Cranesbill is that it is easy to grow and requires little to no maintenance.  It is also quite resistant to most pests and diseases.

#2: Rock Rose

This is not exactly a rose flower, but it has the same appeal as one. The Rock Rose colorful flowers can transform your landscape into a stunning space. Typically, its flowers come in shades of white, yellow, orange, and pink. The plant thrives better in full sunlight. At maturity, it grows to 15cm-30cm in height.

#3: Russian Sage

The Russian Sage is a tall flowering plant that grows up to 60-90cm in height. It thrives in both full and partial sunshine and produces violet-colored flowers. The flower is aromatic and, when bruised, produces a sweet-smelling lemony scent.

#4: Catmint

This is a favorite for many gardeners in Seattle. The plant can survive several harsh conditions ranging from drought to poor soil and pests. The Catmint love full sun, and at maturity, they grow up to 90-120cm

#5: Painted Daisies

The Painted Daisies plant bears breathtaking flowers, and they thrive in full or partial sunshine. The flowers can be as wide as 7cm with a large golden center that contrasts with the petals’ colors. Furthermore, they produce chemicals that repel insects, so having them in your garden helps prevent pest invasions. The Painted Daisies grow to 60-90cm at maturity.

Need more suggestions or help planting sun-loving plants in your Seattle garden? Contact us today at Levy’s Lawn & Landscaping!

 

pruning basics by levy's lawns and landscaping washington

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.