• Rebecca Jones

How to Bring your Landscaping to the Next Level

One of the most important things on the exterior of your house or business is your landscaping. Whether it's the front of your house, or the back, landscaping plays a large role in the overall look and curb appeal. And there are a few things that you should know before you start re-designing your landscape this summer.

 

INCORPORATE DIFFERENT HEIGHTS- There are many different shrubs and perennials out there, all of which have unique heights and characteristics. It is crucial that you choose taller shrubs for the back, short perennials for the front, and different sizes for all of the space in between. This helps to create an organized, layered look.


USE BOTH COLORFUL BLOOMS AND FOLIAGE- While we are all attracted to the shrubs that have large, bright blooms, those blooms won't last forever, so we recommend choosing shrubs and perennials that have a variety of foliage colors as well as blooms. It looks great when you mix a dark leafed shrub with a variegated (striped-leaf) tree or shrub. It is fundamental to think about how your landscaping will look when none of the shrubs are in bloom.


TEMPERATURE ZONES- Different shrubs and trees require different temperatures during the winter months. Here in Rome, we are classified as a zone 5, so all of the plants that we carry can survive the winter here. But, if you live in an area north of us, which are classified as zones 3 or 4, you have to be more selective when it comes to choosing plants, as only some will survive the colder winters.


MAINTENANCE LEVELS- All of the plants that we carry have different maintenance levels. Some plants don't need to be trimmed or pruned, whereas others need to be trimmed and even fertilized multiple times throughout the year. For new landscape installations, we recommend using fertilizer spikes. These spikes are inserted around the roots of the plant and act as a slow release- releasing more fertilizer each time they are watered. It is also crucial to water new plants every day for a substantial amount of time.


BLOOM TIME- We find it essential to choose plants that bloom at different times throughout the year. When you do this, you will have some type of color at each time throughout the season. If you stagger your blooms, you can have nonstop beauty during the warmer months.


ANNUAL INCORPORATION- Some people want landscaping that they do not have to replace every year, but others like to incorporate seasonal flowers into their landscape. If you would like to do this, it is important to leave vital space in your landscape bed.


SPREAD/SPACING- Lastly, it is important to leave substantial room between your shrubs. To do this, you will need to know how large the plants are going to become, and make sure that they will not become cramped as they grow.

 

Being around shrubs and perennials every day causes us to become partial to certain plants. Below, we have created a list of our favorite trees, shrubs, and perennials.


CRABAPPLES- This hardy, flowering tree requires very little maintenance, and flowers in pink or white. Throughout the summer, the trees, which then lose their flowers have gorgeous foliage, and a strong, sturdy trunk.



HYDRANGEAS- These flowering shrubs are a favorite because of their massive blooms, vibrant colors, and hardiness. Available in a variety of colors, hydrangeas are a wonderful landscaping focal point. Hydrangeas can be purchased as shrubs, or in a unique tree form!




NINEBARKS- This tall rust-colored shrub has button like white flowers in early summer, acting as a subtle, yet elegant addition to your landscaping.



DWARF BURNING BUSH- Starting as an emerald green shrub and turning bright red in the fall, dwarf burning bushes bring hard-to-find fall color.



SPIREAS- These low-maintenance, easy to grow and care for shrubs have button-like flowers in early summer. Spireas can grow to be four feet tall and wide, but their size can be controlled with trimming throughout the year.



BUTTERFLY BUSHES- Long cone-shaped flowers adorn these emerald green, circular shrubs. Available in pink, purple, or lavender-blue, these shrubs attract pollinators of all kinds!




STONE CROP- Available in green, red, and purple-grey tones, stone crop has a bright pink or purple flower depending on variety. With succulent foliage, and a gorgeous mounding form, this perennial is great for filling frontal areas in landscapes.



CONE FLOWERS- These hardy perennials come in various bright shades, and attract pollinators of all kinds. They bloom throughout the summer, offering continuous summer flowers.


DAYLILIES- One of the most common perennials in the CNY area, daylilies are a staple flower for front and backyard landscapes. They are very low maintenance, and fast-growing perennials.



 

After choosing your plants, it is important to prep the landscaping bed correctly. Primarily, it is important to clear all of the shrubs, perennials, and weeds that you want to dispose of. You may also want to clear all existing mulch, stone, and debris. After this, you will need to spread a layer of topsoil in the area that you are landscaping. We recommend putting weed block over the topsoil to prevent the growth of weeds in your landscape bed. Once this is completed, the shrubs can be planted. It is fundamental that proper space is left between plants. Labels on the shrubs and perennials should list proper spacing. Once everything is planted, you can cover the area with the material of your choice. Options for this would be mulch, or landscape stone.


Lastly, it is extremely important to water new plantings every day, and fertilize if necessary. Happy landscaping!