Garden Inspiration

Extend Crape Myrtle Blooms

The summer beauty of all the blooming Crape Myrtles is everywhere.  Wouldn't it be lovely if we could enjoy these blooms year round?  Although that's not possible, there are some ways we can prolong the crape myrtle's blooming season.  Here are some tips...

  • Now is the time to deadhead it (cutting off the dead blooms and seed heads as soon as they fade), which can often make it bloom again.  Don't confuse developing seed heads with seed heads though because they can look very similar.  Keep in mind this can be done anytime throughout June and July.
  • After deadheading, try to boost the blooms by feeding your Crape Myrtle with a water-soluble, bloom-booster or even Miracle Gro.
  • Avoid pruning in the fall, since pruning can stimulate new sprout growth that may be killed by the coming cold weather.
  • Remember the best time to prune crape myrtles is in February, since this is when the fully dormant Crape Myrtle's naked branches give you a view of its structure and frame.  But definitely avoid the "Crape Murder" trend of your neighbors!

Living Expression Landscapes is a full-service landscape design and maintenance company.  Call us to take care of all your year-round landscape needs, including pruning and fertilizing, so your yard always looks at it's best!

By Living Expression Landscapes

By Living Expression Landscapes

Tips to Conserve Water

Nearly 70 % of California is considered to be in extreme drought, while Texas recently experienced flooding amounts of rain.  No matter the weather, we should ALL treat our water as the precious resource that it is since it's the most vital resource on earth.  Here are some easy tips to conserve:

1. Compost rather than feeding the garbage disposal

Compost - 8 by szczel/CC BY
Compost - 8 by szczel/CC BY

In-sink garbage disposal contraptions require a lot of water to fulfill their purpose.  Instead, add your food scraps (non-meat, non-dairy) to the compost bin! Here is a great article we wrote about composting 101 if you are unfamiliar with why everyone should compost anyway.

2. Turn off the tap

Turning off the water while you are brushing your teeth instead of letting it run the whole time saves a great deal of water.  Just how much water can this simple good habit save?  The average faucet releases two gallons of water per minute, you can save up to 4 gallons of water every day, per person by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth (if you brush for the recommended two minutes).

*Likewise for men, rinse your razor in a pool of water in a stoppered sink or cup rather than under running water.

3. Fix Leaking Faucets

A leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons per year. That's the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!

4. Harvest Rainwater

Funnel the rainwater from your gutters into a barrel or cistern and save it for a sunny day.  Rainwater is free and is better for your plants because it doesn't contain hard minerals.

Remember that a rain barrel doesn't have to be an eye-sore either.  They can be integrated in the landscape design behind a large bush or lattice climbing vines, or even decorative wine barrels often make excellent features out in the open landscape.

5. Regulate Your Automatic Sprinkler System

-Another big waste of water comes from a sprinkler system that does not have a rain sensor.  In fact, due to city ordinances we are required to install rain sensors on all sprinkler systems we service.

6. Water-Wise Landscapes & Maintenance

- Plant water-efficient and drought-tolerant grass and plants that are native to your area.  We have written a blog suggesting many beautiful native and drought-tolerant plants to help you get started.

- Time of Day to Water: If you need to water your lawn or plants -  only water in the early morning or late evening.  Otherwise, the water could simply evaporate due to mid-day heat.

- Conserve water moisture by using mulch.  Using mulch around your trees, shrubs, and plants will make them more tolerant to heat, reduce runoff, retain moisture, moderate soil temperature, slow weed growth, reduce erosion, and make your landscape more beautiful with less maintenance needs.

Living Expression Landscapes can design an attractive, water-wise landscape for you.  See our photo gallery or call us for a consultation today.

Magical Mini Fairy Gardens

A Fairy Garden is an adorable, miniature garden complete with structures and actual living plants that you set up in a container.  This imaginative blend of crafting and gardening has become quite popular, appealing to all kinds: young, old, male, female, and it's a great way to get kids involved in gardening too!   Some say it will even attract magical creatures like fairies and bring good luck to your home.  At least it's fun to pretend so! 

They are a wonderful way to enhance an outdoor OR indoor living space, and it's relatively inexpensive to build depending on your DIY attitude.  Just a touch of inspiration, a container, some plants and a few accessories are all it takes to get the magic of a fairy garden growing.  The design and components of are limited only by your imagination!:

  • The setting for a Fairy Garden can be anything from a bowl, to an old wheelbarrow, to a birdbath, to the base of a tree stump!  Just make sure to drill holes in the bottom of any containers to allow drainage for plants.
  • Before planting, gluing and otherwise setting up the garden, either sketch out where things will go on a piece of paper or position items loosely around the container. You'll quickly see whether you have too few or too many items as well as any other issues that might pop up.
  • Find accessories to implement in your Fairy Garden such as miniature cottages, birdbaths, watering cans, walkways made out of pebbles — anything precious and cute that might appeal to the fairies.  You don't have to go buy anything if you re-purpose things around the house.  For example you could turn a clam shell into a fairy pool or make a painted door or bridge out of Popsicle sticks.
  • Like any garden, what you plant should be based on what thrives in your area.  Think about if your container will have full sun all day, or will it be a bit damp and shaded?
  • Two inch baby plants can easily look like “miniature garden plants" because they are small and cute – for now.  Just wait a month or two....
  • Don't let a brown thumb scare you off.  creating your miniature garden can be as simple as sending the kids out to the garden to look for small plants.   Let your kids pick out what looks good to them, stick the whole thing in a semi-sunny spot and hope for the best.  You can always replant it!

Find inspiration and get those creative juices flowing with these Fairy Gardens on Pinterest:

**Living Expression Landscapes is here to give you the latest on gardening trends and tips!  Bookmark our blog or follow us on Facebook to always get the latest!

 

 

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