You are an artist and your plot of land is your canvas. What will you create this year? Something beautiful? Functional? Sustainable? The better you define your priorities at the start, the more you can tailor your landscape to meet your needs and desires.
Train small trees, shrubs and vines to grow up a trellis or wall. Certain trees and shrubs—including some apple and pear tree varieties—can be trained in the espalier style, growing in a pattern against a wall or weaving in and out of a trellis. There are many vegetables that grow well on a trellis, including varieties of cucumber, squash, indeterminate tomato, and even a perennial climbing spinach vine. Vertical gardening is a great option for small spaces or places that could benefit from a living privacy screen.
Xeriscaping is landscaping with a focus on water conservation. Limiting turf areas, choosing drought-resistant plants, installing strategically positioned shrubs and trees, and incorporating turf alternatives such as rock gardens all have a place in xeriscaping. When correctly installed and fully established, this landscape style is very low-maintenance and does not require excessive fertilization or attention.
Install a raised bed next to a patio or along a pathway to add a new dimension to your landscape. Raised beds can be a good place to contain certain flowers or plants that you enjoy but that have fairly aggressive spreading tendencies. Raised bed gardens drain well and their height makes them easy to weed and tend to. Consider wood frames, cement blocks, or brick, or think outside the box with reclaimed materials. Fill the beds with compost or organic fertilizer before planting, and select varieties that contrast and complement each other in height, color, texture and shape.
Herbs make a fragrant and flavorful addition to your garden space or landscape border. You may be surprised how many interesting and colorful variations of well-known herbs you may find, such as lemon basil and chocolate mint. Perennial herbs come back year after year, while some annual and biennial herbs “seed themselves.” You can interplant herbs with flowers for a beautiful effect, but be sure to remember which plants are okay to eat and which ones are strictly ornamental.
Growing your own fruits and vegetables is deeply rewarding. With some research, practice, patience and a little bit of luck, you can grow some of the best produce you have ever tasted. If you are interested in growing your produce organically, limit synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and find out how to cultivate a mini-ecosystem in which plants, soil microbes and beneficial insects all help each other flourish. If this is your first attempt at vegetable gardening, start small, prepare the soil, and plant at the right time. Also, make sure to double-check how large the plants will grow–you don’t want a melon plant unexpectedly taking over your yard!
Installing native plants in your landscape have several major benefits. Many native species are so well-adapted to our climate that they require little additional water during our extreme St. Louis summers, so they are easy on resources. Native plants and flowers provide nourishment and habitat for birds, bees, butterflies, and other local wildlife. Choose plants that flower at different times or that produce colorful berries so that you have color for three seasons of the year and you keep a steady supply of food for your garden’s little visitors. There is something very comfortable and homey about bringing native plants into your yard—it gives your landscape a very “Missouri” feel.
We are happy to offer your home or business our expertise and professional installation skills. Call our office at 314-657-7050 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free initial design consultation.
Reduce Runoff while Retaining Cash
Landowners in 19 participating municipalities, including residents, schools, churches, and businesses are eligible to take part in the RainScape Rebates Program. This voluntary program financially assists landowners in the Deer Creek Watershed wishing to landscape their yards to improve stormwater management.
Watch this video on how to save money and reduce stormwater runoff via the Deer Creek Alliance’s RainScape Rebate Program. Click on the image above or follow this link to watch the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKj7royML3o
Rebates of up to $2,000 are available. The application deadline is February 12, 2014. Visit www.deercreekalliance.org to learn more.
In addition, for a limited time Missouri Botanical Garden in offering a RainScaping Prize Drawing. Go to www.mobot.org/rainscaping by February 11, 2014 for a chance to win a $500 gift certificate for Shaw Nature Reserve’s Spring Wildflower Market in May or one of five other rainscaping prizes valued at $350 to $1000.