This cultured stone is a fabricated product that includes tones of gray and orange with plum accents. Companion plants for this type of product include Wine & Roses weigela (Weigela florida ‘Alexandra’, zones 4 to 8), Coppertina ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Mindia’, zones 3 to 8), ‘Apache Sunset’ threadleaf giant hyssop (Agastache rupestris ‘Apache Sunset’, zones 5 to 10), Crimson Fire fringe flower (Loropetalum chinensis var. rubrum ‘PIILC-I’, zones 7 to 9), and ‘Orangeola’ Japanese maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Orangeola’, zones 5 to 8), in addition to ‘Blue Star’ juniper (Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Star’, zones 4 to 8) and cheddar pinks (Dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch’, zones 3 to 9).
For most plants requiring full sun, you need at least six hours, and preferably eight or more, of direct light. Western exposure can be the most challenging, because it is where plants will become very dry in the intense afternoon heat. The sun builds radiant heat on the earth’s surface over the course of the day. By late afternoon a lot of heat has built up on surfaces and radiates back into the atmosphere. This can cause plants to languish and wilt. For this reason, western exposures are great for drought-tolerant plants that thrive in the heat. Be sure to add organic matter to your soil and mulch a steep west-facing slope will be very dry from the combination of afternoon sun and fast-draining soil.a steep slope can intensify the effects of sun exposure in both positive and negative ways.Underneath the overhangs of your roof, you will have what’s called a rain shadow, where little rain reaches the ground.
Plants in a container go through soil nutrients in standard potting mix fairly quickly in the course of a season. To give plants a midseason nutrient boost, fertilize with a higher phosphorous (the P in the NPK you see on a fertilizer bottle) fertilizer for more flowers, or choose one with higher nitrogen (the N in NPK) for lush foliage. Try fertilizing potted plants (both indoors and outdoors) lightly but frequently. Drop a few tablespoons of your water-soluble fertilizer of choice into a watering can about every other week to perk up summer containers. Cut off the blooms of annuals and perennials that are past their prime to keep containers looking fresh and to encourage plants to keep producing flowers. Remove large flowers like dahlias or zinnias one by one.
If you want a ground cover, woolly thyme (Thymus pseudolanuginosus) is a fast-growing option that’s hardy to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 28.9 degrees Celsius (zones 5 to 8). It’s happy everywhere from underfoot to spilling over a wall, and it is known for attracting butterflies, bees and beneficial insects. Small pink flowers appear in summer.
Flowering plants that attract butterflies include: Alyssum (Lobularia maritima, all zones) Aster (Symphyotrichum spp.) Beebalm (Monarda spp.) Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) Lantana (Lantana spp.) Lavender (Lavendula spp.) Milkweed (Asclepias spp.) Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, zones 3 to 9) Salvia (Salvia spp.) Verbena (Verbena spp.)
Many flowering plants, including shrubs, perennials and annuals, attract hummingbirds. Here are a few favorites suitable for growing in containers: Aloe (Aloe spp.) Beebalm (Monarda spp.) Dianthus (Dianthus spp.) Daylily (Hemerocallis spp.) Foxglove (Digitalis spp.) Mexican honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera, zones 9 to 11) Lantana (Lantana spp.) Penstemon (Penstemon spp.) Petunia (Petunia spp.) Salvia (Salvia spp.) Phlox (Phlox spp.)
When it gets darker earlier in the evening, a well-lit porch can make a big difference in boosting your mood and your home’s curb appeal. In updating your exterior lighting, think about including multiple light sources: wall sconces paired with pendant lights or recessed ceiling lights. Choose bold fixture designs that look good — even when unlit — and match your home’s architecture.
Mulching in fall and winter helps prevent stormwater runoff and protects tender perennials, bulbs and shallow-growing roots from cold damage as temperatures drop. Spread a layer of mulch 2 to 4 inches deep (the deeper the better for cold protection) on top of any areas of bare soil in planting beds, making sure to keep the mulch 2 to 4 inches away from the trunks of trees or shrubs.
Rain Chain Transform the sound of falling rain into a musical burble with a rain chain. Used in place of a downspout and connected to the gutter of your home, a rain chain directs the flow of water running off your roof into a series of beautiful linked cups. To enhance your rain chain even more, consider adding pretty stones, river rocks or tumbled sea glass to the ground where the water will eventually flow.
Mix a bucket of sand with oil (mineral oil, baby oil or any other nontoxic oil) until the sand is just moist. Push the blades of your shovels, pruners, hand tools and so forth into the soil to sharpen them and to oil the metal and keep it from rusting. You can plunge the tools into the soil up and down to further scrape and file the edges.
Since cutting your plant can introduce bacteria and disease, it’s especially important to keep your pruning tool clean — an easy way to disinfect between uses is by swiping it with a disposable bleach wipe.
silver carpet is one of the lowest growing — from 2 to 4 inches tall — walkable ground covers out there that can be used as a lawn replacement. “It holds up to foot traffic very well and is, in fact, soft and squishy to walk on — in a good way,” says landscape designer Beth Mullins of Growsgreen Design. The silver-leafed plant thrives in quick-draining soils and is drought-tolerant once established.
Take stock of views beyond your garden and where your eye is naturally drawn to in the landscape.
Cover a Bare Patch With a Pumpkin This is a gardener’s hack, if we’ve ever seen one. If you’ve pulled out some tired-looking summer annuals but don’t have the time to hunt down a replacement plant, plunk a pumpkin down to cover the bare spot. Go for a classic deep orange pumpkin for a bright hit of color or pick out a knobby, fairytale pumpkin in an interesting shape.
integrated step lights
Over time, lawns often become compacted and grass plants start to show signs of stress. Bare spots, yellowing patches and areas with more weeds or moss than grass plants are all common issues with established lawns. Start by addressing soil health and compaction. If you can’t stick a stake in your lawn, it’s compacted. Soil compaction. Wheatley-Miller recommends using a core aerator to help with drainage and compaction issues. She says her team applies compost to help feed a lawn naturally. Raking can also help break up moss in lawns and lightly aerate the soil.
To help break up heavy soils, Pell recommends adding calcium slowly over several years. (
Building healthy soil is key for the long-term health of all plants in a garden. Over time, lawns and high-traffic areas can become compacted, and beds can become depleted of essential nutrients for plant growth. Lawns can benefit from core aeration. To help break up heavy soils, Pell recommends adding calcium slowly over several years.
Hot temperatures don’t affect just the parts of the plant that are above the ground; they also impact the roots. Adding a layer of mulch around trees, shrubs and ground covers will help keep the soil several degrees cooler while preventing it from drying out. Apply mulch about 3 inches thick around your plants, spreading it to the drip line (where the branches extend out to) and taking care to keep it 6 inches away from the trunks of trees.
Plants in a container go through soil nutrients in standard potting mix fairly quickly in the course of a season. To give plants a midseason nutrient boost, fertilize with a higher phosphorous (the P in the NPK you see on a fertilizer bottle) fertilizer for more flowers, or choose one with higher nitrogen (the N in NPK) for lush foliage. Try fertilizing potted plants (both indoors and outdoors) lightly but frequently. Drop a few tablespoons of your water-soluble fertilizer of choice into a watering can about every other week to perk up summer containers.
Path Lights A welcoming front yard begins with a stylish pathway that draws you in. The lower to the ground you can keep path lights, the less they will give off glare. Many path lights are designed to look good but not to effectively light up a path. A great way to keep path lights low to the ground is to add LED strip lights. For a more traditional look, path lights with domes hide bulbs from view and direct light downward. This will reduce light pollution and put light where your feet need them most, right on the path. 2. Step Lights linear LED strip lights under stair treads push light down onto the steps and keep the focus in the right place. Pendants pendants above the door should either avoid bare bulbs completely or use low-wattage bulbs and dimmers. Never rely on lanterns and pendants for your main usable light, as they may constrict your eye’s iris and make it even harder to see in the dark. Use translucent glass in fixtures, such as milk glass or amber mica. A highly shielded fixture will also work, especially if it directs light downward. Spotlights Many spotlights and security lights make it harder to see because the light they emit is often aimed directly into yo...
Increasing the width of your home’s central path or stairway can help create a welcoming path to your door.
Layer carbon-rich materials, such as small twigs and dried leaves, and nitrogen-rich materials, such as plant and grass clippings, between sheets of cardboard. Allow the whole mixture to rest for 4 to 6 months, during which time worms and soil microbes will help break down the layers, turning them into loose, nutrient-rich topsoil.
To boost your soil health in garden beds this season, work 3 to 4 inches of organic compost into the soil before planting.
chevron on sidewalk or driveway
large pebbles where grass won't grow
stone-lined side of steps