Budget Conscious Color
Spring Getaway Contest | Customer Spotlight | Plant of the Month| Did You Know
Cost-Saving Color Tips
While economists say the green is flowing a little more freely, most companies are still looking for ways to trim costs. Here are a few tips to stretch your landscaping budget and still get the “wow” factor on your property.
Mix and Mingle – Create combination beds of annuals and perennials
A bed that includes perennials and annuals offers both continuous color and savings on the number of annuals planted. Since many perennials have a shorter bloom time, select plants with foliage that can add interest and color when the plant is not in bloom. Perennials with longer bloom times, such as Knockout Roses, Daylilies, and Verbena, are also good options for adding color. Perennials are an investment that will save you money over time, but plan for the upfront cost of adding these plants.
Location, Location, Location – Strategically place your color
Spreading your color too thin – or spreading your color budget amongst many smaller beds – will not deliver the same impact as planting color en masse in a few strategically placed beds. If you have a lot of little beds around your property, decreasing the number of smaller beds while increasing the size of beds that are the most visible – such as at the entrance to the neighborhood or business, and around the clubhouse during the summer months – will give you the most bang for your buck.
Think Big – Choose large plants that will fill space quickly and beautifully
When you think of seasonal color for the summer, you might think of more petite sized plants like Impatiens and Vinca, but it takes several flats of these plants to fill a space. If you have a space where height and bulk is needed, consider larger plant options like the perennial Canna. Its large, tropical looking foliage adds color on its own, plus the blooms are vibrant and eye catching. Maiden Grass, an ornamental grass, is also an excellent choice and works well on its own or as a background plant.
Seasonal color is not just for landscaping beds. Many properties add splashes of color using containers. These pops of color can highlight positive features or draw attention to a walkway or entry. In neighborhoods, they are most often used around club houses, pool decks, and patios, but they can also be placed in landscaping beds and multiple containers of varying heights can be grouped together for impact. Plus, containers are convenient (they can be moved anywhere) and cost efficient (not as many plants are needed to make a statement).
The most eye-catching containers usually follow the golden rule of three types of plants – a thriller, filler, and spiller. Keep in mind that the same design principles apply when planting a container or a bed. For instance, colors should blend with or accent each other as well as the container itself and the surrounding landscape and hardscape; texture adds interest and should be balanced with color; and, most importantly, selected plants should have similar light and water requirements. Here are the purposes of each type and some plant examples.
|Purpose||Thrills with its height, color, and shape. Balance height with size of container – a thriller for a small container may be filler for a large container.||Fills in the middle and adds mass. May also cover bare stems of thriller, and connects the thriller and spiller.||Spills or cascades over the edge of the container. Softens container edges and acts as an anchor.|
*Drought tolerantContainers are normally part of a customer’s seasonal color package. If you would like to add colorful containers to your property, contact NatureScapes at 770-923-7023.
Perennial Favorites - The Summer Edition
While annuals add instant color, perennials are a more permanent option that will pay off over time. With proper care, perennials add color and interest to a landscape for years. Although many perennials have a shorter bloom time, there are some that offer color for an entire season. Following are three of Landscape Designer Aimee Cantrell’s low maintenance perennial picks.
Bath’s Pink Dianthus (left) produces an abundance of light pink, fringed flowers in the spring; however, when not in bloom, it provides color interest with green-gray foliage. Dianthus is sun loving and tolerates heat and humidity. Bath’s Pink is named in honor of Georgia resident Jane Bath who is an accomplished landscape designer, author, and speaker.
Homestead Purple Verbena (center) not only has a long-lasting bloom time with flowers on and off the entire summer, its vibrant purple color combines well with many other plants. This variety likes full sun and well-drained soil.
Stella D’Ora Daylily (right) is a prolific bloomer starting with a big show late spring followed by more pops of golden yellow blooms all summer. Full, grassy foliage adds to its elegant look. Daylilies also like full sun.
For more information about perennial options, contact NatureScapes at 770-973-7023.
Plant of the Month: Encore Azalea
With blooms in the spring, summer and fall, you will want to give your Encore Azalea a round of applause over and over again. This frequent bloomer, which is evergreen, comes in a variety of colors and will complement almost any existing color scheme. While azaleas typically prefer more shade, the Encore Azalea prefers full sun to filtered shade. Too much shade can affect its bloom cycle. Once established, this azalea does not need a lot of water unless there are drought conditions, and it does like soil that drains well. A raised bed is a good option. While pruning is usually unnecessary, any trimming should be done after spring flowering. All living things should be fed, including plants, so fertilize after the last spring frost. If you choose to fertilize a second time, do so before August.
"NatureScapes has done an outstanding job for Indian Brook.
They are proactive, responsive and open to suggestions. I also appreciate
that they present me with options that make sense to a layman. Most importantly,
they make me look good! I have received kudos from the owner
because the property is in exceptional shape."
-Richard Brown, Property Manager, CB Richard Ellis
Did You Know...
April is National Lawn Care Month, and according to the The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), there are many advantages to grassy spaces:
- Well maintained lawns (and landscapes) can significantly increase property values.
- Healthy turf is important to the environment. A 50-foot by 50-foot lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four.
- Lawns cool the atmosphere. Eight healthy front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning, which is enough for 16 average homes.
- Grass converts carbon dioxide to oxygen, a process that helps clear the air.
- Dense, healthy grass slows water runoff, removing contaminants and trapping soil. Fresh, filtered water returns to the underground water supply.