Did you know that there are a number of shrubs, ground covers, and trees that can be utilized within your landscape that will not only look fantastic but also give you back in return beneficial medicinal healing properties that have been known and used throughout history ?
I have been receiving quite a number of request for various landscape designs that incorporate natural, herbal, medicinal, and otherwise people and pet friendly plant choice's to beautify one's landscape. The use of shrubs like Rosemary, Lavander,and Roses have brought not only beauty to my client's landscape but medicinal value to their projects also.
I have listed what I call the " Simple 7" landscape shrubs,trees, and ground cover that is simple to grow and in most cases easy to grow in various climates within the United States and other parts of the globe.
Here is my list:
Aloe Vera: The gel from this plant is good for burns, wounds,dry skin, insect bites, and fungal infections, anemia, poor digestive function, and liver disorders.
Apple: Consume fresh apple slices for constipation, sour apples as a diuretic, infusions for rheumatic pains, feverish colds. The juice used undiluted or mixed with olive oil as a household standby for cuts and abrasions.
Lavender: Take the flowers and dry them in bunches covered with paper bags to harvest the flowerets as they fall. Also harvest towards the end of the flowering of the plant.
Applications include use as a essential oil, massage oil, and as a infusion for feverous exhaustion.
Mint: Infusion for nausea, travel sickness, indigestion, migraines.
As a wash for inflammation, repel mosquitoes, scabies.
As a massage oil for headaches, and fever.
Rose: Cream for dry or inflamed skin.
Lotion as a moisturizing lotion.
Rose hips for diarrhea, stomach weakness.
Massage oil to relieve stress and exhaustion.
Rosemary: As an essential oil, stimulant in feverous exhaustion.
As a massage oil for aching joints and muscles.For the scalp for hair growth. and around the temples for headaches.
Yarrow: Use as an infusion wash for eczema, inhalation for hay fever and mild asthma. As a poultice for cuts and grazes. As a compress, infusion of diluted tincture to soothe varicose veins.
As you can see, there are many beneficial uses of numerous commonly used landscaping plants, shrubs, and trees that will not only provide you with years of horticultural beauty, but also with years of beneficial medicinal uses.
* I researched the excellent book by Penelope Ody " The Complete Medicinal Herbal" to obtain my above mentioned information
Many consumers and professional landscapers are installing various landscape projects that require or may I say 'Suggest" utilizing various types of landscape fabrics ,mesh tarps, pond liners and yes even frost protection fabrics to reduce weed growth,help protect wind sensitive plant materials plus, create safe puncture proof 'buffer zones' when building pondless and other water features plus protect against extreme weather and climatic conditions.
Every home gardener and landscape pro has purchased and installed landscape fabric or as it is commonly called 'Weed Block' down before putting down mulch in planter beds, or in areas where you do not want weeds to rear their heads. There are various types of landscape fabric and I will give you a quick refresher course on some of those fabrics and also give you some of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly when installing some of barrier materials.
Your local home store probably carries a inexpensive brand of landscape fabric that normally comes in 3- 5 ft. to 50 to 100 ft. rolls. A lot of times this fabric is made out of some inexpensive rubbery/plastic like material made with a series of small holes in it throughout the square footage of the roll to allow air & water to penetrate through but, it is also designed to not allow weeds to grow up and through the fabric . This fabric is okay but really does not hold up well in the long run due to the thickness of the fabric and the quality of the material it is made from. You know this stuff, you can almost tear it apart with your hands ! May I suggest you steer clear of these types of fabrics as it will just break down through time and activity within the areas it has been installed and just give you weeds and frustration.
Spend the extra money and shop for some quality landscape fabric. What I mean by quality fabric is normally one made from NEEDLE WOVEN or NEEDLE PUNCHED FABRIC materials. The strength of these fabris far out weigh the inferiour 'homeowner brand' of fabric and it will last longer and provide more weed blocking power than the the later.
Speaking of weeds, please keep in mind that weeds are pretty flexible in where and how they grow. They seem to come up any and everywhere you do not want them but more importantly, thy are either wide bladed weeds or grassy bladed type weeds. Some examples of wide bladed weeds would be clover,dandelions,splurge and your grassy type weeds would be bermuda grasses,crabgrass, etc... The grassy weeds will still from time to time come through the weave of some of the woven fabric as when the grassy weed blade germinates and grows, it is almost like a sewing needle with is point that goes right through the weave seaking out sunlight. Just apply some horticultural grade vinagar to the grassy weed or a shot of glyphospate if your not to concerned about contaminating the world with weed killer and go about your business gardening.
When installing the fabric, make sure your area where you are installing is as clear and level of rocks and soil clumps so that you can get a nice level installation and when installing the fabric, I always use a strong steel fabric pins to help hold the fabric down and secure it to my project area. Search out the 'SQUARE TOPPED STAPLES' as they finish flush to the ground and the ' HOOP SHAPED STAPLE' is really ment to secure down drip tubing when installing drip irrigation.
Over-lap say 1/2 inch to 1 inch of the landscape fabric over each other when laying out your fabric in the project area and I usally install the pins with a rubber mallet every 5 feet or so along the overlap seam and in various areas on the fabric where it seemed loose..
Follow-up with your mulch if you are mulching and enjoy the beauty of your newly install landscape.
I will share other the uses of other types of landscape fabric I mentioned earilier in future blogs so come back soon.
* Blog Bonus ! Send me back your comment on this months blog and recieve back a really cool gift.
* Offer expires 12-31-17
Summer time and the living is easy right ?
Not so true for some native and drought tolerant plant materials and shrubs. As you probably already know, installing drought tolerant and native plants and shrubs during the hot summer months is not the best idea for the shrubs or for your pocketbook. The hot days and warm nights combine to create a continual evaporational effect to the soil and creates a interesting challenge for the home gardener and professional alike who want only for those shrubs to flourish and display beauty within the landscape. The best time normally to install drought tolerant shrubs and native plant materials is in the fall and spring when the weather conditions are not as extreme and the newly planted shrubs roots can enjoy stretching out underground in the warm through the day and cool in the night soil temps. During the hot summer days evapotranspiration takes place which draws the available water from the soil into the air. Plus, gravity is doing it's thing and drawing water down words away from the root zone of the newly installed plant or shrubs causing extra stress on the establishment of the root system and the proper hydration of the shrubs in order for it to survive.
Native shrubs ( At least those here in Southern California ) get most of their supplemental water during the fall and spring months. By installing native shrubs in the middle of the year you are actually reversing a natural growing process the native shrubs are born to perform. The plant stresses out from not enough water at the root zone because of gravity and evapotranspiration and it also stress out from its roots being saturated with water it "Normally" does not receive during the hot summer months so what do you get ? A HEADACHE and FRUSTRATION.
Some "Sage Watering Advice" from our friends over at Tree of Life Nursery ( www.californianativeplants.com ) will help you during these hot summer days.
* Pre-irrigate the planting hole so there is adequate moisture around the root system.
*Apply 1-2 inches of organic mulch ( No Manure ) around the root zone of the plants but keep the mulch and excess soil well away from the stems and crown.
* Water by hose,drip,or low volume sprinkler in the early morning and avoid watering in the heat of the day or night.
* Water only when the soil in the root zone ( 6-8" down ) begins to dry out.
* For best results, avoid using overhead irrigation for long durations ( Especially in the sun ) because prolonged leaf wetting during the dry season can promote disease.
By understanding the ideal planting times for natives and drought tolerant plants and shrubs plus incorporating thoughtful and effecting watering habits to newly installed and existing plants materials, you will have better success and less stress and money loss from over watering or under watering your landscape kids.
" Have A Successful Day "
Conversion of conventional sprinkler popup to Little Tuffy Micro-Spray and rotator nozzle configuration for an existing shrub bed.
* www.valvettesystems.com - Little valve shrub heads
* www.rainbird.com _ Rainbird 1800 popup drip conversion kit.
* www.toro.com - Toro Percision Rotary nozzles
Cross - linked Polyacrylamide crystals have been around for a long time.
They were first discovered and developed in the 1950's. The crystals can absorb up to 400 times their it's weight in deionized pure water. Cross-linked polyacrylamide is a rock-salt sized granular material which soaks up free water in the soil and swelling up to 1/4 to 1/2 inch in diameter with the ability of storing the water for the plants use. The roots of the plants grow through the gel-like hydrated crystals and absorb water as the plants need it.
Polyacrylamide crystals can be applied in various ways such as injection, gel-seeding, roto-tilling the crystals into the soil, manual seed spreader ,slurrys, and other creative application styles.
I have used polymers many times when doing new lawn and shrub installations and have had fantastic results from their use. The use of polymers by bedding plant growers has shown that ploymer use can help reduce the labor cost of watering bedding plants . The use of polymers as a nutrient rich jello for many various types of plants and shrubs not to forget lawn turf is a great way to help conserve water on lawn installations. There are companies out there today that can provide you with some of the best polymers in the U.S. One such company JRM Chemical out of Cleveland Ohio ( www.soilmoist.com ) provide a 99.7% Crossedlinked polyacrylamide that is a great performer in the landscape and garden. Polymers also have the ability to help reduce fertilizer and insecticide. and fungicide useage. The crystals when buried at a depth of 2-6" in the ground along side of the shrub or tree root ball or, sprinkled in the planting hole of bedding plants, add great survival rates for all newly installed plant, tree, shrub, and grasses.
Go out today and pickup a package of Cross-linked polymers crystals and experiment with some of your potted plant materials or, take the plunge and start incorporating the polymers with your installations of larger shrubs, ground covers, and turf areas. You will be on your way to saving money and doing your part to help conserve water.
* Some of this information was derived from the Summer 1990 edition of the Colorado Green magazine article " A Polymer for the drought years" by Daniel J. Wofford Jr. and Anthony J. Koski, Ph.D
Spring time brings the traditional season to do rose pruning. When properly pruned, your rose's will give you a display that will be the talk of your town. Rose pruning is very important to the health of your rose's. Giving the rose time to take a break from blooming is a great way for them to regenerate energy and produce new shoots for the year ahead. There are great books and brochures on rose pruning that you can purchase at the local nurseries and home improvement stores and, you can also find great information on proper rose pruning online. Be sure to purchase yourself a set of quality pruning shears and loppers for your project. Corona is a household name in quality pruning products so be sure to check out what they have available. Applying a insect retardant such a volck oil after your pruning will provide your rose's with protection from "Over-Wintering" pest that find their way into the cracks and crevices of the rose bark. The application of a systemic fertilizer will also provide energy and pest protection for your rose's. The last finishing touch to round out your pruning experience is to add a quality mulch on top of the base/root zone of the rose bush. The mulch adds protection to the root system and also helps to retain moisture for the rose to draw from. By incorporating these simple steps, rest assured your rose's will give your a fantastic show for the new year ahead.
Seasonal Color Changes
Every gardening loyalist loves the thought of having various splashes of seasonal color through out the year in their gardens. The sight of different textures,colors,and scents adds excitement,class and pleasure to the gardener and/or business owner. The cost of doing seasonal color changes may cause many folks to abandon the idea completely as the cost of installing flats of color can be expensive depending on what type of plant materials are being used and how much planter bed area needs to be covered. For many years, I have suggested to my clients that love a lot of color in their planter beds to entertain the idea of planting various flower bulbs within the planter beds along with the foundation shrubs and plants that set the stage for the color display. Iris,tulips,cycamens and the like are fantastic bulbs to incorporate in the planter bed areas. seeing the various types of bulbs pop their heads through the chipped mulch and ground covers is a beautiful site. Being able to cut fresh flowers for your living room or dining room table adds class and savings to your home or business desk. Spending the extra money on quality bulbs is important and also making sure the bulbs you choose are the best selections for your planting zone is a must. By going on-line and reviewing the numerous bulb supplier catalogs and planning what bulbs grow well under certain conditions and areas within the planter beds. Through time your bulbs will multiply and you will be able to share your bounty with friends and business associates. A gift of some special home grown bulbs is a special and unique gift that your friends will always remember. Look for the end of the year specials on bulbs at your favorite nurseries right now but just be careful and pick and choose those bulbs that are healthy,plump and suitable for your growing region or zone.