Green Gardening Tips for a Tree Healthier Planet

Can anything get more green and planet-friendly than a garden? Well, it depends on how exactly your garden is designed. The regular American lawn for instance, as beautiful as it can be, is about as good for the environment as owning a gas guzzler is – it uses up a lot of natural resources, and it needs petroleum-based additives to keep it going. Let’s try to look a little deeper with gardening tips on how you can design your lawn and your garden to be as light on the planet as possible.

Let’s start our list of green gardening tips on a friendly note. Have you ever thought about how attractive your garden is to local wildlife – birds, little animals and such? Building hedges out of native plants for instance, is the best way to give local birds a place to hide out in, and to find food in. In a residential neighborhood that’s filled with manicured lawns, a garden with local plants is going to be such a welcome oasis for your little feathered friends. Your garden has to be all about a dead branch or two for insects to swarm on and to provide birds with something to eat. A thicket of trees and bamboo shoots should help squirrels and other little creatures have a place to hide out in. It ecologically helps the local environment – it’s what the land is meant for.

Gardening today is all about being frugal with water. In most counties across the country, it’s even illegal to use your water supply to water your lawn. You need to completely rethink the relationship your garden has with its water supply to be able to be an environmentally friendly gardener. Most gardening tips to do with using water wisely will ask you to pick the right kind of grass – drought-resistant Buffalo grass that can even grow in places like Arizona and Nevada with whatever little natural rainfall there is, is a great idea. There is a little mowing to do and even less watering. But there is more to running an environmentally friendly garden than choosing the right kind of grass. You can choose the right kind of plants all around. Plants that are native to your region are likely to use water far more efficiently and to not need anything more than what the rains in your area provide. Unnaturally transplanting plants that don’t belong to a region is environmentally unfriendly. It uses up a disproportionate amount of precious local resources, the plants aren’t adapted to the pests in the area and need more chemicals to survive, and it just makes little sense – economical or environmental.

A Very Special Apple Tree

A friend of mine sent me this little tale about his favorite tree from his childhood::::

When I was a young boy, our family moved into a house that had an apple tree in the back yard. As a matter of fact, that was one of the big draws when we moved in, because my parents knew that we would have a lot of fun with it, and they were right. The apple tree in my parents’ back yard has featured prominently in my life, and as odd as it may sound, sitting under it is still one of my favorite things to do.

When we first moved in, I would go out and gather apples and bring them inside to cool in the refrigerator. At that time, my biggest fear was that I would find a half-eaten worm inside one of them, but my mother assured me they were OK. I probably ate two or three apples a day for the first month that we lived in that house. My mother would bake a pie, and ask me to pick some apples to use in it, and I always took great pride in picking the most appealing apples possible.

As I got older, I enjoyed going out and gathering apples to make cider. It was a very interesting experience for me because I had never even heard of making apple cider until a friend of mine from New England came over and told me about it. “It’s one of the best parts about having an apple tree!” he told me. I picked apples for that, as well.

On a sadder note, whenever my pets would pass away as a child, I always wanted to put them in a very special place, and invariably, I would bury them under the apple tree. I guess that I figured that if I enjoyed it so much, they would too.

When I graduated high school, I put on about 80 pounds. I was really struggling with my weight and becoming extremely frustrated at myself for my seeming inability to lose weight. I expressed my concerns to my doctor at a visit one day, and he told me that I needed to get back to the basics, and eat a healthy, balanced diet, which included plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. My first stop was the apple tree, where I picked the fruit that helped me to drop the weight, and get back down to within a healthy weight range.

The apple tree has featured prominently in my life and is something I always think about with great fondness. Even to this day, whenever we go to visit my mother, I sit under the apple tree and remember how things used to be. I guess some things never change, and I hope it never does.

Under Tree Flowering Shade Plants

Create a masterpiece in your shady garden spot: flowering shade plants make a delightful spot in summer’s heat!

Many gardeners bemoan that shady part of the garden due to tree branches and leaves, believing that nothing will really thrive in such a sunless environment. This is a myth. There are literally thousands of flowering shade plants you can use to brighten up any shady corner, creating a lovely summer retreat where you can kick back with a book and a tall glass of lemonade, enjoying both the restful moments and the spectacular view. Let’s see how this might be accomplished without trimming your trees.

Using flowering shade plants to create your masterpiece garden may take more than one season, especially when planting perennials and plants that bloom at different seasons. However, the effort will be well worth your time. After all, you probably haven’t been making the best use of the areas under tree shade now is your chance to make that spot ready for House & Gardens!

You’ll want to map out your area, measuring as closely as possible, noting pathways, tree drip lines and the like. Decide what types of plants you want there and give some consideration to color schemes. Next, give Google a whirl with an image inquiry on flowering shade plants. This is a quick way for you to determine flower shapes, plant heights, flowering seasons and colors that suit you while factoring in what tree growth will happen with over hanging limbs. Remember that different plants may require an acid or alkaline soil. Many do enjoy a more acid environment, as is found in woodland, shaded areas and especially under pine trees. Copy images of those you find pleasing, or just jot down a few notes on each plant, growth habit, flower color and whether it is an annual or perennial.

Many shade gardens benefit from plantings of various heights and seasonality, resulting in a more diverse landscape. Remember, too, that bulbs may be effectively integrated such that when a spring or fall-blooming bulb is spent, another of your shade flowering plants is ready to fill the gap.

Before making your purchases, check with your local nursery to be sure your choices are hardy to your growing region. Below, we’ve identified some lovely shade bloomers to get your imagination going. A few of our recommendations are not actually flowering shade plants, but have foliage that is so colorful in every season, they provide that color you’re looking for under your existing stand of trees.

For late winter and early spring color, Helleborus, also known as Christmas Rose, provides a lovely deer proof ground cover for tree shaded areas. Azaleas and Rhododendrons are spectacular early to mid-spring blooming shrubs, most commonly found in white and a variety of pink shades, with large, glossy leaves that really make a statement. Consider dogwood trees for a romantic springtime touch, under-planted with early winter-blooming crocus. Hyacinths make a beautiful, early flowering border or equally eye-catching potted display. Lilac is found in both lilac and white flowering, shrubbing plants that make a nice backdrop for shorter plants that flower later in the season, such as anemones, bellflowers, wind flowers, impatiens and lobelia. For spring to summer color, Clematis comes in white, blues and purples. Grow this garden lovely as a vining shrub. Hypericum, with its star-shaped yellow flowers and low-growing mounding habit, blooms from spring throughout the summer and is useful as a border or on slightly sloping areas with modest tree shade, a true star among the choices. The large-leaved, tall Cimicifuga is a deciduous perennial with showy white flowers in blooming in mid to late summer. Shade flowering plants which may be grown as hanging, potted plants include the begonias, fuchsia, Swedish ivy and cyclamen, perfect for a shady porch or entry area. Happily, all of these are perennial. The Swedish ivy, brought in as a houseplant when the days become shorter, can extend its flowering period into mid-winter even after most of your tree leaves have fallen! The popular wishbone flower is a good container or hanging plant which attracts hummingbirds as an added bonus.

It’s easy to see that there’s no shortage of plants you can use under the shade of your trees! Create that oasis of tree shade you’ve been yearning for. Be sure to make space for that lounge chair. All you need do is then, enjoy!

Landscaping to Mate with Your Trees

Landscaping is known to be among the most relaxing and rewarding activities and this is the reason why quite a number of people will be found ding it as a career while some will be found doing it for money. If one is new in the business or they have exhausted their ideas they should know that there are very easy landscaping ideas that can be of help to them. Prior to making all the ideas come to life it is important however that a person comes up with a good and solid plan to see them through the project. This is because landscaping can be quite a time consuming and difficult job to carry out not to mention having to return the tools to the shed. When coming up with a plan and ideas for landscaping it is important that a person notes that landscaping has quite an organic and dynamic canvass that one can work on.

When coming up with the easy landscaping ideas it is also important that the landscaper considers factors such as trees growing, plants dying and rains eroding when they are working on their project. To be a successful landscaper one has to focus on both the science side as they are on the artistic side and they also have to work with engineering just as much as they working with inspiration. When landscaping, some people are known to engage in piecemeal work and this often results in lack of uniformity. One thing that can blend it all together is a comprehensive mulch plan. Many tree service companies provide mulch that is made from “chipping” tree limbs from various tree removal or tree pruning jobs that they have performed in the past. You could ask the local arborist to save you the mulch made from any of several tree varieties that he has recently serviced.

If the landscape is to have a unified look one should start from the scratch. There are also the features of the land and existing trees and these should be factored in when landscaping it is advisable that a person takes advantage of their land’s features. Such features include the amount of sun the property receives through and around the tree leaves, how heavy the soil is, is the property hilly or flat, can the area support plants growing all year round, how much moisture will the tree roots rob from the soil? Carrying out a research can help one come up with the most ideal grasses, plants, watering plans, architectural features and flowers that suite their property.

Among the easy landscaping ideas is also the fact that when one comes up with plans for their landscaping, they should make things like trees, retaining walls and ponds small in their mind so that when they implement their plans everything is sizeable. The best landscaping ideas also consider proportion and this is in regards to both the project scale and the time dedicated towards building as well as well as maintenance. The features build should also not have a larger size as compared to the home or vice versa. This is because bigger features such as massive waterfalls made of stone often look awkward when done outside smaller homes such as cottages. The reverse is true as well because small features like a small, single flower bed look equally awkward when done in front of large homes. With the above ideas coupled with some research, it should not be so difficult to have a good landscape in the home.