Category Archives: Conifers

Water, water, water!

Contributed by Christie Dustman

Summer’s wonderful sunny weather is here in full force and we humans love it!   But our plants experience summer differently.  The Boston area is entering a drought ……… and this follows a winter and spring of low moisture.

While it occurs to many of us to water the Evergreens + perennialsperennials we have, few of us think about our shrubs and trees. Perennials and perhaps the temperamental Blue Mophead Hydrangeas wilt more easily, triggering our compassion.  More established shrubs and trees, on the other hand, are stalwart in the face of lack of water though at a more severe point may lose inner leaves or show fall colors out of season.  Much like we think to pack water for our kids, we may forget our adult water bottles at home.

True confession:  Every day when I get home, I pull out my hose and get to work on systematically watering my shrubs and trees. Dinner and the dog can wait.  I start in the back left corner and work around my garden 360 degrees.

I recommend deep watering for large shrubs (3’ tall+), evergreens (hedges too!), and trees Deepwater-tree-hose(smaller and large canopy trees) to get moisture down into the top 18” of soil where the majority of water-absorbing roots are found.  The ideal method is the slow-soak method – put your hose at the base of the plant and turn on a low trickle from your hose for ½ -1 hour per plant.  For a large shade tree, water on both sides of the trunk, so 2 hours total. The goal is for the water to seep into the ground and not run off.  Keep track with a kitchen timer so you don’t forget and leave the hose running.

I will be deep watering my larger plants once per week until the natural rainfall comes back – most likely into the fall – and encourage you to do the same. Check out the links below from our friends at the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery & Urban Forestry and feel free to email me if you have specific questions!

Dry, Dry, Dry… Resources for Landscapers

Long-term Drought Effects on Trees and Shrubs

U.S. Drought Monitor: MA

Enter the Cone Zone

Enter the Cone Zone!Grout Hill Farm

Come take in 4 exquisite private gardens nestled in Southwestern New Hampshire this summer.  New Hampshire boasts natural beauty – mountains, farming, granite, forests and water and this natural scenery is the backdrop for these four gardens.  We will explore a garden in cultivation for 45 years, two in cultivation for 25 years and a new 10 year old garden.  In addition to conifers, Beech and perennials, we will view a Sugaring house, a natural cranberry Fens (floating bog), a farmstead built in 1790’s and a newly built medieval style manor house complete with stonework by renowned mason, Dan Snow.  Stay a few days and take in Brattleboro Vermont, the White Mountains of NH or hike Mt. Monadadnock.

Follow the link below for tour details and registration with the American Conifer Society. Join Christie and the crew this summer for some spectacular gardens!

2016 Northeast Regional Conifer Meeting

Spruce up your entryway! Or Pine, or Cedar, or …

2015-11-19 winter container tall pixSubmitted by Tim Wholey

It seems like just last week we were discussing changing out our summer containers, but that was over two months ago now! People are already starting to ask when we will be making the switch over to our winter arrangements. I am still trying to experience the fall we are having. It is hard to picture a scene of drifting snow and barren trees while we still have such a colorful display all around us. Perhaps this is where the challenge lies between the two seasons: in one we are competing with the exuberance of nature’s own palette and in the other we are adding color to where there is almost none.

Yes, we were all pretty fed up with the perpetual mountains of snow of last winter, but I have to admit there is nothing prettier at that time of year than a backdrop of fresh fallen snow against a colorful display of evergreen cuttings of Pine, Spruce, Blue Atlas Cedar, Arborvitae and red-berried Holly.   Then of course there is that smell you get from freshly cut evergreens! It’s a lovely way to be greeted upon arriving home on a frigid evening, just before going inside to sit by the fireplace with a hot cup of tea. Keep color and texture in your life – let us spruce up your winter containers at home.2015-11-19 wint cont pine cropped

Please email us and we will send you our container questionnaire that helps us customize your arrangement.

Cones, Conifers and a Road Trip

2015-8-12 pix - conifers

 

Don’t look for the whole crew and I on August 14th – 16th.  We will be in Philly for the Northeast regional meeting of the American Conifer Society.  The Society’s purpose is “…to promote the use of conifers in the garden and landscape and to educate the public about their care and preservation.”  If you have met me, you know I spread the gospel of conifers everywhere I go.  Much like Johnny Appleseed spread apples, I can’t plant a job without adding some conifers and I can wax poetic about my favorite specimens like old friends.

Over the 17 years that I have been a member, I have visited countless gardens all over the US and in England that use conifers, but also showcase great garden design and other plants. Think of what you collect – pottery, art, salt/pepper shakers, pens, etc.  I happen to collect conifers and other plants.  And this plant society gives me entry into some of the best venues to see other people’s collections- many privately owned gardens.  Seeing plants all over the country and talking to other confirmed plant fanatics is a great way to spend a weekend.  And I bring home a couple new plants each time!

Check out www.conifersociety.org.  There is still room for the Northeast meeting in Philly!