Silver Spring Landscaping

cortaderia-selloana-pampas-grassTypically, we wait until the very end of winter to cut back ornamental grasses in Silver Spring.  But for some reason, this year they’ve been looking more tattered than usual, despite the absence of heavy snowstorms that generally decimate them.  We have, however, been blessed with one or two days each week when the temperatures have climbed to 50 degrees or more, and this allows us to tackle some ...

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Garden Hose Storage – Time to Get Reel

Quality hoses, an essential tool in any garden, are a worthy investment and should be stored properly during the winter to protect and preserve them.   Hoses should be brought inside (e.g., garage, basement, shed) and stored, preferably on a shelf or hanger, rather than on the floor.  It is essential to drain all water from the hose before storage to prevent freezing and mildew growth.   ...

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Protecting Your Trees: Look for Tree Root Girdling

Many people have reported to me cases of severely damaged or downed trees after recent bad storms.  I experienced very severe tree limb loss from big old trees that I’ve had pruned regularly by tree companies, just to prevent the weaknesses that ultimately led to the losses I unfortunately experienced.  I was, understandably, surprised at the tree damage.

It is important to have a licensed tree expert ...

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2013 Perennial Plant of the Year: Solomon’s Seal

Once again, I am delighted to learn of the latest – 2013 – selection of  “Perennial Plant of the Year” by the Perennial Plant Association:  Polygonatum odoratum ‘Variegatum’ (Variegated Solomon’s Seal).  This outstanding plant has been one of my all-time favorite perennials mainly because of its stunning foliage, habit, and vitality that add color and spark to the shady woodland garden.

Solomon’s Seal stands 2 ½ to 3 feet tall and ...

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Design Consideration – Water Feature

Studies have shown that the presence of a water feature is one of the biggest draws in the landscape – particularly the sound of running water.  Water brings soothing sounds, a sense of calm, and a sensation of coolness in the summer.  The sound of running water, particularly if hidden, can entice the visitor through the landscape.

Water features can range from a large fish pond ...

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Ornamental Grasses Add Pizzazz

Every landscape should include a nice selection of ornamental grasses. They are very easy care plants – generally only needing shearing back close to the ground in early spring. They like lean soil – no need to fertilize. They are reliably deer resistant and pest free. They provide a range of benefits in the landscape – e.g., they make useful screening ...

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Design Consideration – Year-Round Interest

This time of year when we are, quite frankly, tired of a somewhat barren landscape, it is the opportune time to consider adding some plants that perform admirably throughout the year.  The best are those that exhibit desirable features that differ with the changing seasons.  Clearly, evergreens provide year-round interest, and your landscape should include many of them, interspersed with your deciduous plantings that shed their leaves ...

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Featured Weed: Japanese Stiltgrass

Japanese Stiltgrass, an exotic invasive grass species introduced into the U.S. in Tennessee in 1919, has invaded our landscapes with a vengeance recently.  Since this annual grassy weed is well adapted to low sunlight, it will invade disturbed shaded areas near woods.  Deer avoid foraging on this species in the woodlands, thus hastening its spreadA single plant is able to produce 100-1000 seeds, which are ...

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Featured Wildlife Issue – Deer . . . .

Many of our treasured plants succumb to insect and disease problems in the long hot, humid summer.  As herbaceous plants die back to the ground for the winter, and deciduous trees and shrubs lose their leaves, we get a break from many pest and disease problems.  Nourishment for wildlife, however, is more limited, and can pose a particular challenge.  With green material at a premium in winter, deer ...

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What to do about Weeds

The best thing you can do to lower garden maintenance is to get your weeds under control.  Correct weed removal is not an unskilled labor task.  Workers must be able to distinguish noxious weeds from often similar-looking desirable ornamentals.  If the entire weed is not dug out with a proper tool (many cannot just not be hand pulled), new growth will soon sprout.  Hand weeding is tedious and ...

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Featured Plant ♦ ♦ ♦ Peony Hybrid

Peony2The perennial Peony hybrid, Paeonia x, provides a very long season of interest in many conditions.  It grows well in full to part sun, and it is reliably deer resistant.  It is commanding, growing to 2 ½ feet tall by 2-3 feet wide, making a good specimen, or it can be used to fill in borders.

It produces very large fragrant blooms in mid to late spring, in shades of white, pink, ...

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Brown Marmorated Stink Bug

Most people have noticed increased populations of Halyomorpha halys, commonly known as the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB), which was identified in Maryland in 2002. The pest, native to Asia, was introduced into the United States via trade goods shipments, and has rapidly spread through the East Coast and westward, mostly through transportation carriers.

Invading the House

The BMSB tends to seek warm shelter in houses in the fall and, therefore, caulking and ...

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