Monday, September 30, 2013

Gardening Is All About Change.

Plants grow and die. We need to watch what is going on in our landscapes and take action as needed.

We can not be afraid of change but rather embrace it realizing the potential to grow our gardens and experience them anew.

If a plant should die or become too retched that it must be pulled - Look around first at what you have. Can another plant that may have out grown its space be transplanted? Is this a good time to reduce the size of the bed? Can a large stone or a grouping fill the space?

I had a Japanese Maple loose half of its branches to a heavy snow fall. Instead of tossing it I transplanted it up against a large stone angled in such a way as to hide the scar of the missing branches. This created a small story of a tree growing up the side of a mountain.

I then populated the surroundings with other stone a Hosta pulled from another location added some Ivy to the mix a Liriope also scavenged. I added some moss to the rock and petunias as color. More plants soon joined and became players in the story.

Today the story needs to change again. The supporting players have become to big and need to be rearranged. The Hosta and the Liriope pulled out from under the maple's branches. The Ornamental Grasses need to be split as they are taking over the story. And the Holly needs some attention.

But this is part of the ever changing story of the landscape and a welcome one. As we grow in experience through living our own lives our stories change. We meet new people move to other homes begin families and nurture them towards their own discoveries and adventures.

We must at least provide a little of that care to our landscapes or they will reflect exactly how much we do.

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Maryland's New Fertilized Law

Fertilizer Business Licenses are Required by Professionals under the law going into effect October 1, 2013.  Seneca Gardens obtained its license and is in compliance with the regulations effecting everyone from farmers, municipalities, counties, commercial applicators, and home owners.

The new law is designed to protect the Chesapeake Bay from excess nutrients that contribute to explosive algae growth that rob the waters of oxygen. Algae block sunlight from reaching Bay grasses, robbing the water of their oxygen production through photosynthesis. With out that oxygen, or the plants that produce it, the Aquatic Life is dying off in large numbers.

We need to be responsible with our use of fertilizers both as a company and as a homeowner. By following the regulations of the State Law and the recommendations of the Maryland State University we can enjoy a healthy Chesapeake Bay.

And someday I can take my 22 foot sailboat out onto clear Bay waters of the Upper Chesapeake with the hope of an overnight stay, after a relaxing swim and then dinner of fresh caught healthy fish.

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Do Not Cut Ornamental Grasses in Fall

My Ornamental Grasses  provide my landscape with a sense of grandeur over Winter. I use them as a barrier, screen and wind break through out most of the year. In the winter they contrast nicely with a denuded Japanese maple and the conical shapes of evergreens. Their large volumes provide interest in an otherwise drab winter setting.

Ornamental grasses take full shape at the end of spring and only turn brown once the first freeze arrives and the grasses go dormant.

To often I see people cutting back these beauties at the end of Fall. This is a waste as the grasses maintain their form through out Winter and need very little maintenance until Spring.

Spring is when the grasses are cut back so that they can begin their new growth and provide the fabulous interest to the landscape.

Many a Winter on milder days with the wind gently blowing through the grasses their hypnotic movement and the rustling of their many leaves provide memories of warmer times on quite beaches.

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Bold text

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Is There Snake Sushi In My Lawn?

When your lawn gets tall enough to hide pests - snakes will arrive.

Will mowing keep out snakes?

Yes. Snakes hate mowers. They slither away from them as fast as they can. Keeping your grass mowed leaves them little to hide in. Mowing keeps out their prey: rodents, bugs, and rabbits.
But if the snakes are are not fast enough then Sashimi!!!not Sushi is what you get. Sushi requires vinegared rice and thats not what we get here.
If you find yourself with a large portion of Snake Shashimi after mowing - You need to mow more often or - Call us at 301-980-9005 to schedule for Mowing.
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Fall Clean Up

When it comes to Fall there are a lot of preparations that must be accomplished to maintain the health and appearance of your outdoor spaces.

First remove all the leaves from the lawn. If you leave the leaves on the grass over winter it could very well kill the grass. And Trying to remove them in the spring will be that much more difficult as they will be wet and matted down.
Next remove all the weeds from the beds as well as dead foliage from perennials. Remove any left over mulch from Spring as you will be adding about an inch of mulch for over Winter. If your beds have natural edges these need to be freshened up with a square edging spade or mechanical edger.

Next plant any Spring bulbs and Mums or Pansies. Pansies planted in fall will over Winter well and bloom again in the Spring. Finish with a thin layer of newspaper (optional) and 1" of shredded hardwood mulch.
Gather your debris and leaves and add them to your compost pile. Prune any dead or diseased branches from trees and give all your trees a good last watering. And now would be a good time to empty any rain barrels and disconnect them from downspouts for Winter. Also shallow water features should be emptied and the pumps turned off and stored for winter.

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