Category: Planting Ideas

Fall Is Ideal for Softscaping

Your landscape can be broken down into two main categories: hardscapes, which are all the solid and permanent elements like patios, walkways and walls, and softscapes, which are all the living elements like trees, shrubs, and annual and perennial plants. Over time, landscapes can become overgrown for their space, crowding walkways and blocking windows. If the plantings in your landscape are due for a refresh, fall is a great time to tackle softscape renovations.

Replacing overgrown trees and shrubs with properly sized plantings is a surefire way to give your landscape a fresh look.

Why Plant in Fall?

Most homeowners think of spring as the best time to plant, but there are several compelling reasons why autumn is the ideal season for adding softscaping to your property.

Plants Prefer Fall Temperatures: In autumn, the soil retains warmth, which is great for root development, while cooler air temperatures reduce heat stress on the above-ground portions of the plant.

Fall Is Prime Time for Root Growth: As temperatures cool, plants shift their efforts away from top growth and toward root growth. This natural shift in plant growth behavior helps new plants establish a stronger root system before winter.

Reduced Pest Issues: Pests and insects tend to be less active in the fall, further reducing stress to new plantings.

By planting in the fall, you give your plants a head start for the following spring.

Springtime Beauty Starts Now

Whether you need something simple like new walkway perennial beds or a more substantial renovation of your foundation shrubs and ornamental trees, fall is a perfect time to set a plan for new softscapes in motion. Contact us to get the process started!

Let Us Help You Get Ready for Fall

Fall weather can be a wild card. Days go from mild and sunny to cold and gray literally overnight. Once the weather turns, the notion of yard work becomes less attractive. In spite of that, it pays to give your yard a thorough fall cleanup before winter sets in.

Leaf Removal

Typically, the biggest cleanup task at this time of year is leaf removal. Thick blankets of leaves left to lie can damage grass by blocking needed sunlight, thus weakening the turf’s viability. If left on the ground through the winter, fallen leaves can also render your lawn more susceptible to winter damage. Hively offers leaf removal as part of our fall cleanup service.

Fall leaves with rake

Fall Bed Cleanup

Cutting back perennials and removing dead or dying branches from trees and shrubs will help prepare both for go-time in the spring. Plant beds are also notorious for collecting dead leaves, debris, and trash during the fall. These messes only get worse over the course of the winter. By the time the warm, wet spring rolls around, you’ll find yourself with mucky beds full of slime. In addition to being unsightly, unkempt plant beds are also breeding grounds for pests and fungus.

Plan Now for Spring-Blooming Bulbs

Colorful blooms from bulbs will be a sight for sore eyes after another gray winter. Spring-flowering bulbs of all kinds are a major contributor to year-round color in any landscape. It’s important to remember that different bulbs have different blooming times. Bulbs look great in massive plantings of single types or in beds that combine many varieties. As a general rule, bulbs provide the best display when planted in groups of 15 or more.

Fall Is For Planting, Fall is for Planning

Living landscaping such as shrubs and trees is a big investment in your home. When handled wisely, these landscape elements can mature into prominent aspects of your property that can be enjoyed for years and even decades. If your landscape needs some reworking or a complete redo, fall is a great time.

When you plan new landscape additions, proper timing goes a long way. Planting in the fall gives new trees and shrubs the best chance for long-term health and vitality. New plants are put in a tough situation when planted at the height of summer. The mild weather of fall spares new plantings the intense, dry heat of summer.

The cooler temperatures of autumn allow new root systems to develop and establish themselves in advance of winter. New plantings will go into winter dormancy equipped for a vibrant spring emergence. Next year, when the weather warms, your new trees and shrubs will green up and bloom in spectacular fashion.

Are you ready to finally add the patio or outdoor kitchen you’ve been wishing for? Make next year’s outdoor season complete by having it put in now. You’ll be able to enjoy it from the first warm days. Whatever your landscape needs, we’re ready to help. Living landscaping can shape your property for years to come. While spring planting may seem like the most logical timing, fall planting is actually better. If your landscape could use some improvements, don’t hesitate.

a large mulch bed at the corner of a home. a couple smaller stones, trees and various shrubs are scattered throughout.

Just Mulch It (but do it correctly!)

Mulch is Easy

Just as sure as daffodils and cherry blossoms, fresh mulch popping up on landscapes throughout your neighborhood are a certain sign that Spring is here!  Mulch is a simple and cost effective way to give any landscape a fresh appearance and it really is beneficial, too.  Check out this link for more info on these benefits https://www.hivelylandscapes.com/2015/05/choosing-the-right-mulch/Continue reading

flower bulbs laying in mulch

Planting Fall Bulbs: What to Know and Expect

With the cold weather starting to present itself, it seems like a strange time to be thinking about spring flowers! However, fall is the ideal time to plant those flower bulbs and give them a great jump-start for next spring. The folks at Hively Landscaping wanted to bring you some tips and tricks for maximizing your beautiful flowers in the springtime by preparing right now.

Invest in Quality Bulbs

Planting high-quality bulbs in the fall is an easy way to kickstart your spring flowers. While the bargain bulbs look enticing, they are often the weaker, smaller bulbs that either won’t flower come springtime, or will look rather pitiful next to your other blooms.

When choosing bulbs, look for a large size and firm texture. Small, mushy bulbs often yield small, weak flowers, or even none at all. You’ll pay more for good quality bulbs, but they are much more likely to come up strong in the springtime and flower more than the cheaper bulbs. Continue reading

pumpkin, mums, straw and other fall decorations

Add Color to Your Landscape with These Fall Flowers

Leaves are falling and Autumn is knocking at our door. For most fall color means the browns, reds and oranges of those falling leaves, but if you are wishing for more color, plants that are hearty enough to withstand the falling temperatures. To get you started, we’ve created a list of our favorite fall flowers.

Mums

With a variety of available colors and a reputation for being one of the easier plants to care for, Chrysanthemums or mums, have become a fall staple for many gardeners and homeowners. Reds, pinks, purples, oranges and yellows can be combined and arranged to create depth and dimension to your landscape.

Mums that can be purchased at the store tend to be of the non-hardy variety, and will more than likely die before winter. Selecting the right variety, along with early planting, can help you maintain that pop of color throughout the cooler months.

Pansies

Like mums, pansies are another fall flower favorited by many. While the plant family offers the warm colors of fall, it also offers cooler colors to balance out your landscape palette: blues, purples and even blacks.

One reason pansies are so popular is their versatility. Pansies can be used in container gardens, as ground cover or companion and border plantings.

Ornamental Cabbages and Kales

While these plant varieties do not produce blooms, they can still provide vibrant color to your landscape. Whites, pinks and purples are available in a range of textures.

Asters

If mums bring the warm tones of fall, asters give the cool colors of the season. Asters, or Michaelmas Daisies bloom in vibrant pinks, purples, blues and whites. As their nickname suggests, these flowers resemble daisies, but can be found much later in the year than the real deal.

Sedum

Sedum, also called Showy Stonecrop, takes a while to bloom, but is worth the wait. This shrub-like plant produces bright pink and purple blooms that become richer in color throughout the season.

Want to bring some color into your fall? Let the experts at Hively design and install a landscape that will keep its vibrancy all season long. Contact us today to get started.

fenced in and landscaped backyard. includes flowers, flower pots, stone steps, paver patio, and outdoor furniture

Container Gardening Tips

Container gardening isn’t just for the urban landscape, or those of us with attention deficit issues.  Containers and planters are a great way to add POP to your landscape and create visual focal points that might be hard to achieve with traditional landscape techniques.  Planters can also be used to rotate seasonal flowers and decorations, even in the cold winter months.

Don’t be fooled, however, while container gardening can be easier than traditional landscaping, it does not guarantee success. Follow our tips for the best results.

Choosing the Right Planters

When it comes to selecting containers, the sheer volume of available styles and sizes can be overwhelming. However, there are some basic qualities you should look for in every container or planter you choose.

Look for containers that allow ample drainage and are made from non-porous materials. This will help you with keeping your plants watered, but not flooded.

The best containers will be flat-sided or wider at the top. If you are planning on planting annuals, you will want a container that is at least 8 inches deep. Grasses and shrubs will need more room, between 16 and 24 inches deep. If you are looking to add a variety of plants within one container, be sure that it is at least 12 inches wide.

Prepping Your Container

Before filling your planters with soil, be sure to add some stones to the bottom, particularly over the drainage holes. This will help maintain moisture.

We recommend bagged potting soil for flowering annuals. This will help prevent disease, while keeping your planter lightweight. Be sure to select a potting soil that contains a slow-release fertilizer to help your plants to stay healthy longer.

Choosing Your Plants

When selecting plant material, be sure to choose plants that are still fairly small. Smaller plants are easier to install and larger, more mature plants may be root bound in the original container, which will cause them to lose moisture more quickly.  Properly planted and fertilized material will quickly fill in and make your container(s) look great!

Use bold colors, or variations of the same color, to design eye-catching displays. Do not be afraid to mix textures. The best arrangements use a variety of heights within the same planter. For example, choose tall plants like sedge grasses for the center or back of the planter, add medium height plants like begonias to the middle, and hanging or trailing plants such ipomoea around the outer edges of the planter. This will add visual interest to your container garden.

If you plan on adding a variety of plants to one container, choose plants that will grow harmoniously together, meaning that they match as far as watering and sunlight needs.

Maintaining Your Container Garden

If you plan on switching out plants based on season, consider using smaller pots within larger containers. This will make removing and replacing plants easier- when the season changes simply lift out the old and drop in the new!

Be sure to water your potted plants often and to place them where they will receive appropriate sunlight.

For flowering plants, be sure to trim off any dead blossoms to make room for new flowers.

Need Inspiration?

If you are looking for a professional design for your porch, patio or landscape with a container garden, talk to Hively. Our specialists will select the right plants, planters and accessories for your home, and we can maintain your plants, ensuring that they stay beautiful all season long.

 

residential landscape plan

Winter Planning Leads to Early Spring Installation

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Ben Franklin said it best, and we’d like to think he was referring to planning spring projects over the winter months.

We don’t blame you for putting your landscape on the back burner during a busy holiday season, where you certainly want your home looking great for those extra guests who will be stopping by. We encourage you to not forget your landscape, however, as this is your best opportunity to get a jump on next year. Here are just a few reasons one of the best kept secrets to landscaping success is as simple as and preparation.

Don’t wait until after the holidays

Early winter seems to fly by with the flurry of holidays and family gatherings. By the time you recover from the holidays and have everything cleaned up, spring may have already sprung. So now is the perfect time to jump in and start planning your landscaping projects for next season, as everyone else is caught up in the busy season as well. Continue reading

fall plants

Add a Dash of Color to Your Fall Landscape

Whether the local thermometers agree or not, fall is underway here in Pennsylvania. Summer 2016 was another scorcher, and while York, Lancaster and Adams counties aren’t currently in a declared drought, many of our neighboring counties are.

It may not be obvious yet, but the dry weather is wreaking havoc on our landscapes. For example, most trees will begin going dormant early and without much color, as the leaves will simply turn brown and begin to drop. We expect 75 to 80% of the leaves to be off trees before Thanksgiving arrives, which is 3 to 4 weeks earlier than recent years.

Despite the lack of rain, we can still count on colorful fall shrubs and perennials. Here’s a list of some of our favorites to add around your home. We’ve broken them down by size for easy reference. Continue reading

White Dogwood

May & June Bloomers

If you’re looking to plan your garden for year round color and want to know what some of the best late spring garden options are, you’ve come to the right place! All of the suggestions listed on this page are hardy for our area, so you won’t have to worry about losing them over the winter if you follow our tips and the weather turns sour as it has the last few years. We broke them down into a few common categories to make it easy for you. Continue reading