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This week in your Massachusetts garden & landscape

Week of July 24, 2017

The mixed border is such a beautiful place.  Whether you are designing a perennial garden with annuals included to accent or a larger scale project such as a privacy border, there are a few things to consider.

  • Choose your color scheme to compliment your home or existing gardens.
  • Consider fragrance in the gardens and its placement.
  • Layering is a technique that increases each plants’ exposure and allows you to enjoy each and every one.  The tallest plants placed in the back row, with the medium-sized plants next and finally, the border or shortest plants in the front.   Trees are the first choice of consideration when planning a privacy border.  Some varieties of evergreen trees that will not outgrow their space and be, somewhat, of a low-maintenance plant are Baby Blue Eyes Blue Spruce or Baker Blue Spruce.  Another great benefit is that the deer do not like them!  Some deciduous trees to consider adding in for interest are carnival hedge maples, little king river birch or white fringe tree.  These trees also are very well behaved and tend to be more low maintenance.
  • Add in some shrubs for year-round interest choosing varieties that flower and others whose bark is most interesting.
  • Finally, some perennials and annuals for a bold look of color finishes it off perfectly.

As always, check with your favorite garden center for the best choices of planting materials.  Creating a mixed border is a fun project and the results truly are beautiful!

What else should you be doing in the garden and landscape this week?

  • Continue deadheads (removing spent blossoms) on perennials and flowering shrubs to encourage additional blooms.
  • Prune forsythia removing the new growth to maintain size and shape.  Be sure to remove the dead wood in the center of the plant to let light in and provide adequate air circulation.  Using pruners rather than hedge trimmers offers the best results.
  • Consider adding ornamental grasses to your landscape.  They add interest and beauty to the gardens.  There are many varieties to choose from with plumes of different shapes and sizes.  Just watching them sway back and forth when there is a breeze is reason enough to be sure that your landscape has one in it.  Visit your favorite garden center for the best selection.
  • As the strawberry harvest has come to a close, watering the plants once a week when the weather is dry will aid in determining the size of the fruit buds for next year.  Watering will help to increase next year’s strawberry yield.
  • Water container gardens on a regular basis during the dry, hot days of summer.  When applying water, be sure to saturate the soil.

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