Stone Creek Landscaping

If you are a fan of watching The Masters, you might view partially for the golfing, but also for the blooming azaleas. The glorious shrubs might possibly be some of the most amazing in the South. And it might come as no surprise, that Southern Living, calls azaleas, the “number one must-have plant in the South!”

According to Southern Living: “Rhododendrons and azaleas are arguably the South’s favorite shrubs. Many people think of them as entirely different plants, but they both belong to the genus Rhododendron, which comprises more than 800 species and 10,000 named selections. Even to the untrained eye, one difference between the two groups is obvious: rhododendrons generally have much larger leaves. From a technical standpoint, rhododendron flowers are bell-shaped and have ten or more stamens, while azalea blooms are typically funnel-shaped and have five stamens.”

With the right attention to light, soil and the correct selection, azaleas can be grown throughout the South.

Planting Tips:

“Plant azaleas with the top of the root ball slightly above soil level. Don’t cultivate around these plants, as they have shallow roots. Because they absorb water through their foliage, wet both the leaves and root zone when you water. Overhead watering with sprinklers works well, but to prevent fungal diseases do this in morning so that leaves dry by afternoon. Avoid drip irrigation―it doesn’t wet the root system uniformly.”

Sun:

“The sun tolerance of azaleas varies by species and selection. In general, most types prefer the partial sun or filtered shade beneath tall trees. The east and north sides of the house are better locations than the west and south. Too much sun bleaches or burns the leaves; too little results in lanky plants that don’t bloom.”

Issues:

“Don’t worry when a few leaves turn yellow and drop off, especially in the fall. All evergreens drop some leaves during the year. If autumn is mild, azaleas will often bloom. There is nothing you can do to prevent this. Enjoy the fall blooms, because flowering could be sparse the following spring.”

For more personal gardening tips, turn to the experts at Stone Creek Landscaping. And for a free estimate call 404-647-4297.

*Source SouthernLiving.com

 

Roses are a beautiful addition to any flower garden, however many are afraid the upkeep will be too hard to maintain gorgeous blooms. This actually not true, and pretty much anyone can grow roses.

According to GardenDesign.com, you should “plant your roses in a sunny location with good drainage. Fertilize them regularly for impressive flowers. Water them evenly to keep the soil moist. Prune established rose bushes in early spring. And watch for diseases like powdery mildew or black spot.”

Not sure what type of rose to plant? Almanac.com has made it easier to learn about all types of rose bushes.

“Rose bushes come in a variety of forms, from climbing roses to miniature rose plants, blooming mainly in early summer and fall. One way to group roses into classes is according to their date of introduction:

  • Old roses—also called “old-fashioned roses” and “heirloom roses”—are those introduced prior to 1867. These are the lush, invariably fragrant roses found in old masters’ paintings. There are hundreds of old rose varieties—whose hardiness varies—providing choices for both warm and mild climates.
  • Modern hybrid roses, introduced after 1867, are sturdy, long-blooming, extremely hardy and disease-resistant, and bred for color, shape, size, and fragrance. The hybrid tea roses, with one large flower on a long cutting stem,are one of the most popular hybrids.
  • Species, or wild roses, are those that have been growing wild for many thousands of years. These wild roses have been adapted to modern gardens and usually bloom from spring to early summer. Most species roses have single blossoms.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac also gave these great tips on planting roses.

PLANTING ROSES

  • Wear sturdy gloves to protect your hands from prickly thorns. Have a hose or bucket of water and all your planting tools nearby.
  • Soak bare-root roses in a bucket of water for 8-12 hours before planting.
  • Prune each cane back to 3-5 buds per cane. Any cane thinner than a pencil should be removed.
  • If planting container grown roses, loosen the roots before planting.
  • When you plant the rose, be sure to dig a much bigger hole than you think you need (for most types, the planting hole should be about 15 to 18 inches wide) and add plenty of organic matter such as compost or aged manure.
  • Soak the newly planted rose with water.
  • Mound up loose soil around the canes to protect the rose while it acclimates to its new site.
  • Some old-timers recommend placing a 4-inch square of gypsum wallboard and a 16-penny nail in the hole to provide calcium and iron, both appreciated by roses.
  • Don’t crowd the roses if you plan to plant more than one rose bush. Roses should be planted about two-thirds of the expected height apart. Old garden roses will need more space, while miniature roses can be planted closer. Space between plants allows for good air circulation.

 Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

If you are having issues with your flower garden, call the experts at Stone Creek Landscaping at 404-647-4297. Their experts can help maintain your current flower gardens and provide landscaping ideas for future gardens.

Lawn maintenance can be an overwhelming project to some. If you are one of those our first tip is call us! However, if you are looking for preventative measures you can take on your own, here are some tips from the University of Georgia’s Extension Office.

First, you want to make sure you properly prepare the soil for successful turf grass establishment. It is recommended that you take soil samples to determine proper lime and nutrient requirements.

Next, make sure you are planting a turf grass that is good for your climate. For advice, visit www.GeorgiaTurf.com, the University of Georgia’s turfgrass website.

It is highly recommended that you purchase your sod or sprigs from a reputable producer.

Purchasing tip:

“Before planting, consider the time of year and the remaining length of the growing season. With adequate moisture and time, most turfgrasses will recover from the shock of harvest, transport and planting.”

Always maintain the recommended mowing height and be sure to follow proper irrigation practices.

Mowing tip:

“Mow turfgrasses often enough so that not more than 30 percent (1/3) of the leaf blade is removed in a single mowing. If more plant material is removed, the grass can become stressed and more susceptible to disease causing organisms and insects.”

These are only a few tips that can be found on the UGA website. And for a complete lawn care service, call us at Stone Creek Landscaping at 404-647-4297.

Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

We offer a full service maintenance program that will protect and keep your property looking its best.  From deadheading flowers, trimming shrubs, removing debris, and keeping grass well manicured, we are clearly committed to you and your investment.

The sun is out, at least for today, and it has everyone thinking of Spring! With those thoughts might come the question of what flowers should I plant in March? While there are many out there to choose from, here are two of our favorites we found in gardenguides.com.

Dahlia

“Dahlias (Dahlia) can be planted in March once the chance of frost has passed and the ground has begun to warm up. Dahlias grow best in sunny conditions with moist, well-drained soil. Excessive moisture should be avoided since this can result in root rot. Once established, dahlias grow easily with a minimum amount of care, reaching between 20 and 30 inches in height. Dahlias begin to bloom at the end of July and continue to produce flowers until the first frost. Along with white, dahlias bloom in a variety of warm-colored flowers, including red, yellow, pink and orange. To promote larger flowers, all side buds should be removed during the plant’s flowering season. Dahlias will bloom continuously if all dead flowers are promptly detached.”

Zinnia

“Zinnias (Zinnia elegans) can be planted in March once the air has warmed and all danger of frost has ended. Blooming begins in the summer and continues into the fall until the arrival of the first frost. Zinnias produce a varied selection of brightly colored flowers, including yellow, orange, red, rose, pink and purple. Zinnias flourish in at least six full hours of sun per day, although in extremely hot areas, a few hours of shade in the afternoon is preferable. While zinnias are relatively hardy and can tolerate most soil conditions, they grow best in moist, well-drained soil, according to the website National Garden Bureau. When watering, it is best to wet only the roots and keep the foliage as dry as possible, as zinnias are susceptible to fungal diseases. Zinnias live up to a week once cut, and their longevity, as well as attractive stems, makes them an ideal fresh flower choice.”

Time to Clean up the Roses

March is also a great time to clean up your garden, including your roses. according to Better Homes & Gardens. Clean up rose beds, removing any fallen leaves from last season. Refresh mulch around roses. Feed plants with a slow-release rose fertilizer. As new leaves emerge, start weekly sprays for black spot. Double-check irrigation systems to ensure all is working fine.

And if you need help deciding which flowers are right for your yard, call the experts at Stone Creek Landscaping. Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

 

Whether you live in the north or the south, maintaining a nice yard in the winter months is still a priority. Here are a few tips we found from Better Homes & Gardens that will help you enjoy your yard throughout the coldest of seasons.

Bark

Yes, deciduous trees lose their leaves in wintertime, leaving their branches and trunks in view. However, that can be a good thing, Barbara Pierson, nursery manager at White Flower Farm in Litchfield, Connecticut, says, “if you have any interesting ornamental trees that have really visually distinctive bark, which will end up adding winter interest.”

Berries

Many trees and shrubs have berries they maintain during fall and winter, and those can provide food for birds throughout the winter. Holly with berries is also a lovely addition to any yard in the winter.

Evergreens

Evergreens are great in a winter landscape for many reasons, including color. Evergreens are not just green; they’re available in yellow, such as Gold Thread false cypress, and blues, including dwarf blue spruce, and all colors in between.

Use Summertime Containers

Window boxes, hanging baskets, winter-hardy containers: All are indispensable for winter landscaping. Miniature dwarf Alberta spruce and broadleaf evergreens, such as Japanese Andromeda, holly and rhododendron, are perfect for wintertime, but they all have to be watered during dry periods. You don’t have to spend money on plants, Pierson says. “Fill containers with evergreen boughs of different textures and colors and interesting twigs,” she says, “anything with color in it.”

Not a fan of working in the cold? Let Stone Creek Landscaping maintain your yard even during the winter months.

Many will use beautiful poinsettias for their indoor holiday decorations. Their vibrant colors and gorgeous leaves make a beautiful statement in any home. However, their care can be slightly different from other house plants. 

The Spruce.com offers some great tips on keeping your poinsettias alive and thriving throughout the holiday season. Here are some of their top recommendations:

When You First Bring Your Poinsettia Home 

Light – Place it near a sunny window. South, east or west facing windows are preferable to a north facing window. Poinsettias are tropicals and will appreciate as much direct sunlight as you can provide.

Heat – To keep the poinsettia in bloom as long as possible, maintain a temperature of 65 – 75 degrees F. during the day. Dropping the temperature to about 60 degrees F. at night will not hurt the plant. However, cold drafts or allowing the leaves to touch a cold window can injure the leaves and cause premature leaf drop. If you’ve ever seen a leggy poinsettia in bloom, with only a couple of sad looking leaves hanging on, it was probably exposed to temperatures that were too cool or to extreme shifts in temperature.

Water – Water the plant whenever the surface feels dry to the touch. Water until it drains out the bottom, but do not let the plant sit in water. Wilting is another common cause of leaf drop. A wilted plant can be revived and salvaged, but it will take another season to improve its appearance.

Humidity – Lack of humidity during dry seasons, in particular winter, is an ongoing houseplant problem. If your home tends to be dry and your poinsettia is in direct light, you will find yourself watering frequently, possibly every day.

For more great gardening tips for your indoor and outdoor plants, follow along at Stone Creek Landscaping. Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help. 

 

 

‘Tis the season for mistletoe, holly and yes, Christmas trees. And if you are a live tree lover, you know it takes more than plugging in the lights to keep your tree fresh and smelling good throughout the month. We too were interested in learning the best tips of making our tree last, so we turned to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. Check out some of their top suggestions and even witty tips passed down throughout the years:

CARING FOR YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE

  • When you bring your tree home, saw a couple of inches off the bottom of the trunk before setting in water. When trees are cut, pitch oozes out and seals the pores. By sawing off the base, you will open up the pores, and the tree will be able to absorb water.
  • Watering is critical. A freshly cut tree can consume a gallon of water in 24 hours!
  • Fill the tree stand with water and keep it filled.
  • Never let the water level go below the tree’s base.
  • Indoors, keep the tree away from heating ducts or other heat sources. In fact, the lower the temperature, the better the tree will do.
  • One old Vermonter we knew always packed his tree stand with well-watered soil and planted the tree in the mixture. The soil should be kept wet.
  • Some people add aspirin or sugar to the water; we can’t say whether either helps. Again, water is the vital element.

Not sure which tree to buy? The top-selling Christmas trees, as reported by growers across the United States, are the Scotch pine, Douglas fir, white pine, and balsam fir.

Shoppers Tip: If there are a great deal of needles around all the trees on the lot, you might want to think about shopping elsewhere.

Although we can’t take of your Christmas tree inside, we can take care of your lawn outside. For more information about how we can create your dream lawn, visit us at StoneCreekGA.com.

 

If you have walked into your local grocery store, chances are you were greeted by mums. They go with fall like … well like, pumpkin everything! They look great at the front door, in flower beds, and even in your home. But how can we keep those fall flowers looking great?

Southern Living shared some great tips regarding mums and we want to share them with you today:

Tip 1
When night temps drop (mid-September), buy plants as they start to break bud. You’ll maximize bloom time. To find the color and type of flower you’re after, check plant tags and cross-reference with already opened blooms. Garden centers usually group like selections together.

Tip 2
For impact, sport no more colors than are on your team’s jersey. You will stretch your dollars by choosing darker shades such as bronze and burgundy. They look better longer; spent flowers are less noticeable. The same is true for mums with double, as opposed to single, daisy-like blooms.

mumsTip 3
What you see is what you get: Buy the bigger plant. Once buds start to open, you’re pretty much guaranteed flowers―no matter where you display them. They’ll be happiest in sun, but if you’re planning to compost them once the show is over, it’s fine to bend this rule.

Tip 4
Keep flowers coming by watering and pinching. Soil should be moist, but never wet. Check daily while weather is warm, every other day when it’s cooler. Fertilizing is not necessary. Remove faded blooms to encourage even more buds to open and you’ll have color through October.

If plants dry out, submerge in a bucket of water, or jab a sharp pencil into the soil several times and then water.

Put these tips to use, and your mums should look beautiful throughout the fall season. For more great gardening and lawn maintenance tips, visit Stone Creek Landscaping for all of your landscaping needs.

During the fall months there is a lot that can be done in one’s yard. From lawn care to planting vegetables and flowers, September can be quiet the busy yard month.

Lawn Care

September and October are excellent times to reseed and repair lawns. According to Better Homes & Gardens, “you’ll need to water daily until the seed has sprouted and established. Wait to plant grass seed until October in warmer regions when there are cooler temperatures and rain.”

Vegetable Planting

It is also a great time to plant veggies: In the Middle, Lower, and Coastal South, now is the time to plant your fall vegetables. Set out transplants of lettuce, collards, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and arugula. Southern Living reminds that if you are planting on a budget, sow seeds of lettuce, arugula, collards, beets, and radishes. They also offer a great tip of even planting these veggies in pots if you find yourself with no room.

Caring for flowers

Better Homes & Gardens also suggests, “when annuals — especially petunias — or perennials get leggy or scraggly, cut them back by one-third or more. It will not only make them look neater, but it also will often encourage a fresh flush of growth and/or bloom. Continue to fertilize containers containing annuals and perennials. Halt fertilizing of perennials. It will only encourage them to grow throughout the winter when they need to rest for best overall health.”

Need help preparing your lawn this fall? Call the experts at Stone Creek Landscaping. We are here to assist with all of your lawn and landscaping needs.

Fall is in the air. Well it’s kinda in the air as the temperatures are a tad bit lower. It’s not time to break out the sweaters, but there is college football this weekend! So yes, fall will soon arrive, and with it comes the planting of beautiful fall flowers.

Better Homes & Gardens knows everyone will plant the typical southern flowers … mums, pansies, violas, cabbages and kale, but they have some not so common suggestions as well. Here are a few of their favorites:

Purple-leaf wintercreeper (Euonymus fortunei ‘Coloratus’) is a low-growing groundcover with purple-red fall foliage.  Learn more about wintercreeper.

Loropetalum chinense ‘Razzleberri’ has burgundy foliage year-round with occasional shocking-pink, spidery flowers.

Rockspray (Cotoneaster horizontalis) produces glossy green leaves that turn red in fall along with bright red berries.  Learn more about cotoneaster.

Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica ‘Henry’s Garnet’) contributes brilliant red-purple fall foliage on arching branches.  Learn more about Virginia sweetspire.

Encore azaleas (Rhododendron hybrids) are a surefire hit. ‘Autumn Embers’, for example, features reddish-orange blooms that combine well with nature’s autumn cloak.

Stone Creek Landscaping is here to help you with all of your fall planting. From flowers, to shrubs or even a complete landscaping overhaul, call us today for an estimate. Stone Creek is your complete landscape solution regardless of your property’s current condition.  Whether you’re looking for maintenance, design and install, or just a splash of seasonal color, our skilled and professional crews are here to help.

Come on, you know we have all had one. The neighbor that might not cut their yard each week? The neighbor who thinks the more yard art the better? Yes, chances are we have all either lived by one or have had one in our neighborhood. So what is a good neighbor to do?

We found some excellent tips on Gardenrant.com. We love the tips the author gives for “perfect privacy screening.”

Permission

The author, Susan Harris, lives in a townhouse and faced many rules and restrictions. However, after some planning and investigating, she came up with the perfect screen.

IMG_8336

“It was allowed by the rules because rather than an imposing 6′ tall screen, it’s just 3′ high and mounted 3′ off the ground, so it screens just where it’s really needed. With the shrubs growing beneath it, I don’t even notice the open bottom,” she writes.

“The view above from my house shows ‘Ogon’ spireas and an oakleaf hydrangea, with Bignonia capreolata in bloom. The vine is so vigorous I bet it’ll cover most of the screen by next summer.”

She goes on to explain her plant choices:

“Luckily there’s room on the other side of the screen to plant the new trees seen in this view from the interior sidewalk. On the left is a ‘Rising Sun’ redbud and on the far right, a Japanese maple. (Weirdly, its cool tricolor leaves – green, white and pink – quickly changed to all green. Oh, well.)”

If you find yourself in a situation like this one, try out the author’s great tips. Not ready to go it alone? The call us at Stone Creek for all of your landscaping needs. Pro Tip: Fall is coming and it’s time for preparation for the cooler months. Come back here for more tips and suggestions to make your yard just as wonderful in the fall!

 

Whether we like it or not, August is happening … next week! What does that mean for your yard? Actually, not a great deal, but there are some tips to get you through the last weeks of summer. Here are some of our favorites:

Maintenance

    • Water, water, water! Early morning is the best time to water – target plants directly, and water deeply. Avoid getting leaves wet in the hot sun, and avoid soaking containers during the hottest part of the day – both of these can burn plants.
    • Continue mowing.
    • If you have Bermuda grass, reseed areas that have thinned down from the heat. This is your last chance to overseed, as warm-season grasses require heat to grow.
    • Keep close watch on your birdbath, water features, and hummingbird feeder – take steps to correct or avoid mold, stagnation, and mosquito larvae.
    • Continue weeding, to reduce competition for water and nutrients.
    • Beware of powdery mildew, which is caused by moisture and humidity. Help prevent mildew by watering in the cool of the morning, when roots can absorb water but excess will evaporate as the day warms. Also avoid overhead sprinkling in mildew-prone areas. Do not compost leaves that are mildewed.
    • When the temperature is over 85 degrees, avoid chemical applications such as fertilizer, fungicide, or insecticide.
    • Add compost and mulch to keep your garden cool and to prepare for fall planting.
    • Deal with late-season pests – such as aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites – with a spray of water from the hose.
    • Treat diseased plants, and remove diseased foliage before leaves drop.
    • Prune back vigorous climbers such as wisteria, and train them around trellises while the growth is soft.

And should your yard, or you, need a hand, call the professionals at Stone Creek Landscaping! We are here to help you all year long.