Advice

Shade Tree Benefits

Adding a shade tree to your yard can have multiple advantages. Below are some of the top reasons to plant one today!

Maximizes Energy

By planting a shade tree, you not only cool off your home and garden in the heat of the summer, it also acts as insulation during the winter, blocking your home from the cold and wind.

Increases Property Value

According to the Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers, the value of a mature tree varies between $1,000 and $10,000 depending on the tree’s location, size, and health.

Attracts Beneficial Wildlife

With trees in the yard, they will provide shelter to birds, bats, and frogs. All of which help eliminate harmful insects in your garden!

Improves Soil Quality

The leaves that fall from shade trees add nutrients to the soil once they break down. You can also save the leaves in a pile to begin composting and have nutrient rich soil available year round!

Improves the Outdoor Living Area

Shade trees bring a sense of peace and tranquility to the yard. By adding one to your outdoor living space, you will want to spend more time outside enjoying the shade and nature it brings!

Top Shade Trees for Our Area

Live Oak

These native trees have large beautiful canopies that will last for years to come!

Red Maple

Red Maples are quick growing trees that offer color in the spring and again in the fall. Their new growth is a red color which is displayed in the growing season, and the leaves change slightly during defoliation in Autumn.

Magnolia

This tree is a staple in the south. With its gorgeous white blooms and large glossy leaves, this tree is beautiful year round!

Winged Elm

These fast growing trees have cork-texture growths on the bark which are called “wings.” They have a beautiful growth structure that will add interest to the yard with and without foliage!

 

 

Info from a Beekeeper

How long have you had bees? I’ve been keeping bees for a little over 2 years, I’m a third-generation beekeeper 🙂
What kind of plants do you keep in your yard? I keep a plethora of pollinator plants in my garden not only for bees but for other pollinators such as butterflies and birds.
-Lantana
-Lavender
-Lion’s ear
-Jatropha
-Salvia
-Mexican Heather
-Bat Face Cuphea
-Echinacea
-Sunflowers
-Pentas
-Passion Vine
-Gaillardia
What are some of your biggest challenges? Some of the biggest challenges of backyard beekeeping are pesticides from neighboring homes. Protecting the hive from Varroa Mites, Hive Beetles and Wax Moths which can lead to (CCD) Colony Collapse Disorder. Make sure to stay protected especially if you are new to beekeeping (I was stung 18 times!). When doing a hive inspection, make sure it is a clear sunny day with not a lot of wind. Bees can be more aggressive when the weather is cloudy, rainy or windy and will affect the bees temperament. It can be a harm to your pets and neighbors and even yourself.
Any interesting facts you’d like to add?
-Honeybees have 5 eyes
-They can fly up to 20MPH
-There is only 1 queen in the hive, and she can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day
-We need honeybees for survival to produce food
-Honey bees love color, so make sure to plant lots of color in your garden. They are most attracted to red and Purple.

Maia Waldroff

Color Tips

Choosing colors for your yard should be easy… start with the colors you like! There are no right and wrong answers. However, try some of these tried and true color schemes to ensure beauty and harmony in your yard.

The Monochromatic color scheme is most frequently seen using whites. It can be done using your favorite color such as red, or yellow. You can create contrast by using different size, variegation, textures, and hues in foliage.

The Complimentary color scheme is achieved by using colors on opposite sides of the color wheel. For example, blue and orange, purple and yellow, & green and red. Try using different hues of one color to create a harmonious contrast in your yard that will be sure to catch the attention of your neighbors and local pollinators!

Analogous color schemes may be the easiest to execute because there little room for misstep. Gardens can be drawn from anywhere on the color wheel so you may create a nice warm feeling yard by using reds yellow and oranges, or a cool effect when blues and purples are combined.

Why Landscaping Should be one of your New Years Resolutions

It is no secret that 2020 was hard for everyone. Why not secure a session with the cheapest therapist around? Mother Nature. Research has continuously proven that gardening has a positive effect on our mental health and overall wellbeing.

  1. It’s Easy. You don’t need to have a green thumb, a huge yard, or a plethora of plants to feel the effects of gardening. A few pots on your patio, plants in your window, or a small bed will do the trick. Try using low maintenance plants like Succulents, Pothos, Sanseveria, or ZZ Plant to get started.
  2. Release Anger & Frustration. Give your pillow a break from the beating and grab a shovel, machete, or clippers. There’s nothing like hacking away at that overgrown shrub or breaking the ground to plant something new. Ten minutes in and you are sure to feel better!
  3. Exercise. Those twenty minutes you just spent trimming or digging helped your body release feel good hormones which are great for both mental and physical health. Dopamine and Serotonin- the feel good hormones are realeased, and Cortisol – a hormone associated with stress is lowered with physical activity. Say adios to the gym membership!
  4. Relax. Working in the yard can be tiring, which leads to better sleep at night. It also helps calm those thoughts about your bills, work, drama, etc. Not to mention you can sit back and just enjoy being outside in the area that you have created and tend to. Studies show that nature doesn’t only assist in improving your state of mind, but improves blood pressure and heart rate.
  5. Create a space you love. Personalize your home with your favorite color flowers, add some fragrant plants to enjoy, plant herbs and vegetables that you can enjoy in your meals, add privacy shrubs to enclose your space and have privacy. There are no right and wrong answers when it comes to gardening – and if you have questions on what plants will do well – we can help!
  6. Increase the value of your home. Adding plants, trees, and palms can help increase your curb appeal and house worth!

How to Treat Cold-Damaged Plants

December and January are typically the coldest months in Florida and occasionally, sensitive plants need to be protected either using fabric or plastic. If your plants suffer from cold damage, there still may be hope! Follow these tips to help spring life back into your yard!

Water. Even injured plants need water. Drenching the soil will provide nourishment for the plant and additionally help thaw the soil around it.

Pruning. We know that having brown lifeless foliage is not ideal in your landscape, but it is important not to prune too early. This foliage will help insulate the plant from further damage. If you do decide to prune right away, be aware that the new growth is vulnerable to cool temperatures. Herbaceous plants like begonias that die down to the ground should be removed so that fungal and bacterial issues do not arise.

Fertilizing. It is best to wait until spring to fertilize your damaged plants. You do not want to encourage new growth before the winter season is over. Once we are in the clear of freezing temperatures, go ahead and give your plants a boost of nutrients. We recommend fertilizing three times a year, March June and September.

What material should you use to cover plants?

Plastic – Plastic is typically lightweight and easy to use while covering your plant materials. However, if it is laid directly on top of plants, there is no insulation and this is where damage can occur. In addition, heat can build up under plastic if the temperature rises and the sun is out. It is important to remove the plastic at that point, or ventilate. You can use stakes to prevent both of these issues while using plastic to protect plants during cold snaps.

Fabric – Using things that you already have on hand like old blankets, sheets, or landscape fabric can also be used to protect sensitive plants. The advantage of this is that air is trapped in the fibers and provides better insulation so plants are less likely to be damaged. If rain is on the forecast, this can weigh down the fabric and potentially cause damage, you can prevent this by using stakes to hold the fabrics up or removing beforehand.

 

Any material used should go down to the ground and held by rocks, pots, etc. The heat from the earth is what helps protect your plants. You may also layer materials for extra protection during particularly cold days and nights.

Transplanting Tips

There are many reasons you may want to move a plant that is in you yard. Perhaps it needs more sun, or the opposite, needs more shade. Maybe you are tired of trimming the Viburnum your builder put next to your window and you rather have it in the backyard where it can grow and give you some privacy. No matter the reason, there are a few simple tricks to help ensure your plant thrives in years to come.

  1. Water the day before you plan on transplanting. This will make sure the plant is hydrated before the stress, that the roots will adhere to the soil, and will make it easier to dig!
  2. Dig the hole in the spot where you wish your plan to be moved to, making sure it is at least double the size of the existing root system. This will allow the roots to move easily through the loosened soil and have an easier time establishing.
  3. Push your shovel into the ground around the entire plant’s root system and gently lift it out of the soil, trying to preserve as much of the roots as possible. Never leave the root system exposed for too long as the sun, wind, and heat can cause damage quickly.
  4. Place the plant in the hole. The soil level of the plant should be slightly higher than the ground level. Planting the tree or shrub to low in the ground is one of the main causes of root rot and disease.
  5. Water daily (unless there is rain) to ensure a successful transplant!