3 Steps to Prepare Your Garden and Landscape For Winter

The summer is over, clearly autumn has arrived, and winter can’t be far behind. It is time to prepare the garden and surrounding landscape for the harsh months ahead. Here are 3 simple tips to help you get started.
 
Clean Up: Before the first killing frost do one last weeding in the garden. This will prevent seed heads from dispersing and give you a head start in the spring. Remove any diseased plants or foliage to prevent diseases from spreading or even lying dormant in the ground until next spring. Do not compost diseased materials. Cut back foliage that is done blossoming and unattractive at 2 to 3 inches off the ground. Plants such as lavender, Russian sage and astilbe bring interest to the winter garden if left untrimmed. Phlox, peonies, and monarda (bee balm) should always be cut back because they are highly susceptible to disease. Plants that still look good, annuals, hostas, sedum and others can be cut back after the first killing frost. Unfortunately, raking is a must for a healthy, attractive lawn and garden. 
 
Cover Up: You might be surprised to discover that most perennials do not need to be covered up or protected. However if you are trying to grow plants or shrubs that are not hardy for your agricultural zone, or it’s a first year perennial, or it is expensive or special you might want to take extra precautions. The preferred method for protecting garden perennials is to mulch, but mulching does not mean covering up your plants. The mulch material should be placed around the base of the plant, not covering the center or crown and should not be done until after several hard frosts. The idea is to prevent the ground around the plant from unthawing and refreezing causing the plant to heave or start spring growth prematurely. Materials for mulch can include shredded leaves (run your mower over the leaves several times), processed manure, or shredded bark. It is advantageous to use something that will break down over the winter and add nutrients or amend the soil.

Tender shrubs and roses often require some protection from the harsh winter winds, temperatures and animal damage. Plastic or wire hardware cloth can be used around the shrubs to protect the bark from rodent damage. To protect from winds and temperatures shredded leaves can be put in as well. Hybrid tea roses should be protected before the temperatures drop below 25 degrees F. There are products such as The Garden Dome that offer a simple frame and secured cover for shrub and plant protection. Continue to water evergreens and newly planted shrubs as long as possible.

Collect: Walk around your garden and yard and collect the decorative elements that would take a beating; statuettes, wind chimes, gazing balls, etc. Don’t forget about  ceramic bird baths that are susceptible to freezing and cracking. Take clippings of any annuals that you want to bring indoors. Consider cleaning out your containers and storing before the weather is miserably cold. Be sure to drain and bring in hoses and if you do not have freeze proof faucets those should be drained and shut off as well.
 
A garden prepared for winter is a protected investment. A little time and energy spent now will bring a more pleasant result in the spring.

How to Decorate With Black Bamboo

A member of the grass family, bamboo is one of the world’s greenest materials, capable of replenishing itself in a single growth cycle. Surprisingly durable, bamboo can be used for a variety of functions and products, as well as for a variety of decorative styles. From a chic, contemporary room with blond flooring, to a fun, tropical-themed room with bamboo-framed beach signs, the sturdy grass is an affordable and renewable material that is as versatile, as strong and as attractive as wood.

When it comes to decorating with this versatile material, black bamboo raises the bar on style. The sable color and natural form has a look of exotic elegance. Evoking scenes of luxury, it adds a layer of sophistication to homes, both indoors and out. No matter what the decorative style of a home, including accents or furnishings crafted from the glossy black canes adds an international flair to the design, as if the furnishings were collected carefully over time through extensive travel.

While black bamboo poles have the look of rare and expensive ebony wood, they are far less costly. Affordable, they can be used without restraint to make the most of their striking appearance. As a bundle displayed in a large vase, they make a strong design statement that adds style, depth and texture to a room’s decor. They can be used to create distinctive frames for black and white photographs. These poles can quickly transform a simple mirror into a handsome accent.

Professional decorators and landscapers value the color black as a design element. Black adds weight, mass, depth and gravitas to both interiors and exteriors. When the color is available in a natural material, it becomes even more useful in design. Indoors, the inky color adds a feeling of weight and durability to a coffee table crafted with bamboo poles and a glass top. Outdoors, using black outdoor bamboo fencing will make a yard or garden appear larger than it is, while adding a note of modern style to the scene.

Natural elements, such as canes, grasses, wood and stone, are valuable design elements as well. They can be used to give rooms the exotic feel of a tropical jungle or to create the serene mood of the seaside at sunset. Both indoor and outdoors spaces are always more effective when the goal is to create an environment that best suits those who inhabit them. Using natural, renewable materials like black bamboo is an affordable way to establish atmosphere with style.

Decorative Stones For Landscape Designs

These days, many home owners like to use decorative stones in their landscape projects. Decorative stones like Walnut nuggets, Western Sunrise, Arctic rainbow, Spanish tile, Walnut pebbles, Silica pebbles and Royal Gorge offer a classic look to your landscape.

There are some landscape supply companies that provide variety of decorative stones for exterior embellishment. These stones do not require more maintenance. You simply need to rinse them with a garden hose, whenever they become dull.

Decorative stones like Beachwood pebbles are man-made silica stones and are brown in color. They are lightweight and very simple to install. They offer an exquisite backdrop to your landscape design. You can order these beautiful stones at any credible landscape supply company.

Royal Gorge is yet another type of beautiful stone that add beauty to your landscape design project. You can get this decorative stone from landscape supply companies. You can easily install them and can enhance the elegance of your garden. You can use these decorative stones in between paving creatively and can create a unique landscape design.

Walnut nuggets are popular type of decorative stones that come from the Merrimac River near St. Louis. These beautiful stones offer an economic solution to your landscape design problems. Unlike grass or paving, they do not require more maintenance work. You can use them in patios, domestic driveways and anywhere in the garden.

You can install the decorative stones directly onto the soil in your garden. However, it is advisable to use a membrane, which can help to minimize the growth of weeds. This in turn can make your landscape project perfect and maintenance-free.

Flagstones and wall stones are significant for your landscape look. You can get variety of flagstones like Ohio blue flagstone, Canadian Buff flagstone and Slate flagstone from a landscape supply company. Using flagstone in your landscape design project can offer a striking appearance to your landscape. In addition, flagstones help to retain a cool surface in your garden, even if it receives direct sunlight.

Wall stones are equally important for your landscape project. You can use wall stone varieties like Armour stone, Canadian limestone and Canadian Wall stone for any of landscape design project that requires stacked stones. You can use them for retaining walls, borders around gardens and pools or for free standing walls.

Rosetta Stone Products are a high quality wall stone perfect for steps and landscapes. You should look for a preferred vendor of Rosetta Stone Walls, Steps or Accent products. They have the design and installation expertise to transform your landscape into a beautiful space that you will love and enjoy for years to come.