Here is my the “Go For It” list for the landscape. If you are an avid gardener or you just want to spend lots of time in the landscape, you may deviate from the list below. But, for the rest of us, this is the list that works year after year. It’s simple, proven, reliable and a time saver.
Use zinnia. It’s tuff, easy to grow, colorful and attracts butterflies. Full sun.
Use pine straw, black mulch or mini pine bark nuggets 2- or 3-inches deep.
Use landscape fabric.
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Use arborvitae “Green Giant” instead of Leyland cypress.
Use cherry “Okame” instead of Bradford pear.
Use lorepetalum instead of privet or barberry.
Use hollies instead of mahonia.
Use rose “Knockout” instead of hybrid teas.
Use metal edging installed 1 1/2 inches above ground around all beds that touch the lawn. Brick works well, too, but it’s expensive.
Use wire hanging baskets with coconut liners. Bigger is better, and add black plastic to the inside of the liner to hold in the water.
Use tuff annuals that behave like perennials.
Use a nice bird bath, armillary, sundial or statue as a focal point. Less is better.
Use the non spreading variegated liriope.
Use dwarf purple fountain grass, or muhly grass instead of pampas.
Use plants in groups of five, seven or more for impact.
Use tamer vines such as mandevilla, crossvine “Tangerine,” clematis or rose “Zephirine drouhin.”
Use your county extension to get a soil test for your lawn.
Use bright, sunny colors on seat cushions and umbrellas.
Use bluebird houses. Bluebirds eat lots of bugs.
Use quality outdoor furniture. Aluminum is a good never rust choice.
Use plants that are as large as you can afford.
Use large 22-inch or 24-inch thick terra cotta containers with saucers.
Use high quality potting soil, fertilizer and soil amendments.
Use shovels, rakes, hoes and hoses with lifetime warranties.
Use a professional landscape designer. Although it will cost a little up front, these professionals can make your dreams a reality while working within your budget.
I am ready for fall! It’s time to put the hot summer in the past and get outside and work in the landscape again.
Todd Goulding can be reached at GouldingDesignGroup@gmail.com or 345-0719.