So now you know :)

I hereby declare Fridays, ‘Factoid Friday’!  Obviously, I’m a tad behind this week.  :)

Each Friday I will present a fact or interesting tidbit related to gardening, landscaping or just plants in general.  Here’s your first one (drum roll please)….

 

Taxonomically, Rhododendron is the correct genus name for all azaleas and rhododendrons.  Azaleas generally have smaller flowers, bloom a bit earlier, and have much smaller leaves that may be deciduous or partly so.  Azaleas also generally have one bloom per stem, where Rhododendrons have multiple per stem. Rhododendrons usually have larger flowers, bloom later, and have large leaves that persist during the winter.  

the difference between rhododendron and azalea

Rhododendron

the difference between azaleas and rhododendrons

Azalea.

So, now you know!

Wishing you a very merry weekend!

Plant Shopping!

Alright, so we just had some unexpected snow (8+ inches!) that made us wonder if we’d gotten sucked into some kind of time warp. Sure this would’ve been great at christmas time, but we were just gearing up for bulb planting and starting those veggies! sheesh!

Now that it’s melted (and we pray it doesn’t happen again this spring) let’s continue with our spring and summer planting, shall we?!

In my last post I mentioned nurseries. I wanted to give my two cents on local places that I (ahem) deem worthy. :)

Lucky for those of us in Eugene, we have a pretty splendid array of choices for plant shopping. I have had the pleasure of perusing the majority of them.  In fact, I’ve spent quite a bit of time searching out specific species of plants, scrounging for the best deals on rhodies, and taking note of the most supple groundcovers sitting on the shelves of nursery showcases. Although they all have their own little niche (i.e. Duckworth’s is superb for native plants and Gray’s has just about any rose you could ever want), I have my favorites.  Three favorites, to be exact.  So here’s a little shout out to them.

1. Bloomer’s Nursery.  These guys know their stuff and they have a nice set-up. There’s lots of room for browsing (and plenty of room for pulling around the garden cart), it’s well organized, and their staff is very knowledgeable.  Downside: they don’t have a great selection of groundcovers (no biggie because one of my other favorites has quite a bit). And they do seem to be under-staffed at times. I’ve had to comb the vast nursery, lugging my cart around in order to find someone to help. That’s okay though. It happens. These guys are still worth the drive. http://www.bloomersnursery.net/

2. Greer Gardens.  I love this place! It’s huge! They have just about everything you could possibly want. I especially like that they have a little bonsai section and if you’re ever in need of a japanese maple, these guys have the most varieties I have ever encountered.  I’ve bought a few japanese maples from here and I’m telling you, I walked around for more than an hour just scoping them all out! They also have the largest selection of rhodedendrons that I’ve ever seen. Their staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Best of all, they’re usually willing to negotiate pricing with you. Not that it’s always so necessary because they have some of the best prices in town. I highly recommend this place to the plant enthusiast. Even if you’re not looking to purchase anything, just go out and have fun browsing around this place….it’s a wonderland of plants I tell ya!  http://www.greergardens.com/

3. Fox Hollow Creek Nursery.  Although I find it hard to pick a favorite, if I had to choose one, I’d have to pick this nursery. Mostly due to the fact that it’s owned and operated by a local couple who (I believe) do all of the work.  Michael Kaszycki (owner) is always a joy to shoot the breeze with and the man knows his plants! I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting his wife (co-owner) but I’m sure she’s just as knowledgeable. If you head over to their retail site (at 28th and Friendly St. right next to Dari-mart) you’ll find Michael there, tending to his hoard of plants. This couple has managed to collect a huge variety of them. From trees to perrennials. From the common to the exotic. Their retail space is relatively small, but I kind of like that. I like browisng through the jungle-esque atmosphere with friendly wisps of plants brushing my arms and legs as I walk by. It’s a tickling experience! Oh and there’s usually no need to worry about quantities here. If there isn’t enough of what you want on hand, they almost always have surplus at their actual nursery site and will get it to you upon request. Michael (if you ask) will also work out deals if you buy in large quantities (this is why it’s my favorite place to go for groundcovers ;) ).  They don’t have an official website, so I’ve included their phone number and a link to an article celebrating a business of the year award they received in 2005.

Fox Hollow Creek Nursery (541) 345-4084 http://www.lanecc.edu/mpr/news/rel00689.htm

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get out there and oogle the possibilities!

Happy shopping!

Check out the variety of japanese maples available

Japanese Maple ('green cascade') lovely tree. great price. (At Greer Gardens)

Dreams of summer

Fawn Lily of spring.

In my attempt to get over the dreary and cold March days, I’ve been concentrating on getting myself excited about all the wonderful blooms already beginning to take flight. Forsythia and crocuses have already made an appearance while the bleeding hearts and tulips wait patiently for the end of this crazy, bi-polar weather. In fact, a lot of spring bulbs are waiting for their chance to brighten our gloomy days….which reminds me that we have bulbs in need of planting…soon!  Since I’m thinking of it, I thought I’d throw the reminder out there. In our glee over spring blooms, let’s get our summer bulbs ordered, purchased, or dug up from the neighbor’s yard (just kidding! please don’t do that!).

When talking about bulbs, most of us think of nestling them into the ground just as the leaves begin to fall and witnessing their splendor before the leaves return in spring. But summer also holds a bountiful display of color and scent for us if we, while admiring spring beauties, get those summer bulbs in the ground.  Don’t know what to plant? No worries, I’ll share some favorites later on!

Oh summer bulbs, how I love thee! During the hottest months of the year, I can give my garden a hit of exotic color and fragrance. It’s easy. It’s satisfying.

Decide what you want and where you want it. They work great in groupings, borders, or planted singly in containers to showcase throughout the yard. However you decide to do it, just make sure they’re prepared in well-drained soil. Next month should be prime for planting. So order, purchase, or divide existing bulbs in your yard. And do it now. :)

Explore the options! Let those peeking hyacinth bulbs be a catalyst for summer planning. As much as I love spring tulips and daffodils, their bloom time seems to end almost as suddenly as it begins. That’s why summer bulbs are so satisfying; they’re heat-hardy and have long-lasting blooms. Their toughened skin also makes them ideal for cuttings as they last (sometimes) for a few weeks in water. Who wouldn’t want to show off those striking dahlias and lilies on the dining table?!

Here’s to the making of a bright and fragrant summer! Some common summer bulbs that will undoubtedly give your yard a boost!

Daylily: with a range of reds, oranges and yellows, these are not only hardy, but will thrive here in Eugene (most likel you already have them around the yard). They multiply quickly, so be sure to divide them up every two years. (full sun-partial shade)

Tuberose, Oriental and Asiatic Lilies: I group these together because they not only offer the headiest scents, but are also among the showiest bulbs. (i.e. tiger lily)–(plenty of sun)

Dahlias: these big, intricate and stunning flowers give us one last show of color as they bloom August-October. I adore these! All dahlia cultivars are gorgeous and worth having! (full sun)

Gladiolus: these lovely bulbs are rewarding because they’re so easy to grow and they offer a wide range of colors. If you stagger the planting time (a handful each week), then you’ll have blooms all summer. Just note that they do not typically overwinter very well, so you may have to dig up the bulbs and keep them snug after the first frost. (full sun-partial shade)

spruce up your landscape this summer with asiatic lilies like the tiger lily

Tiger Lily of summer

Crocosmias: Another of my favorites. With bright, delicate blooms, crocosmias are awesome planted in rows or in groupings that compliment other perennials/annuals. I plan with color in mind. I love the deep red crosmias next to simple white daisies, for example. (full sun-partial shade)

This will just get you started. There’s a lot more to discover!

I’ll be offering my two cents about local nurseries soon so be on the watch for that one!

Until next time, happy planning!

 

 

 

Welcome to Our Blog

Early signs of spring. Sweet little crocus

Hi, my name is Aimee and I’m an owner here at Turning Leaf Landscape Maintenance. My husband Mark and I decided to start this blog for our customers as a way to provide useful information in a fun and enjoyable format. We hope this blog proves to be a useful and easy way for our customers to stay up to date with what’s going on in their yards and gardens throughout the seasons.

So here’s what we hope to do:

1. Share tidbits of advice/suggestions about general plant care. This will be the part where we get all bossy and tell you how and when to prune, cut, feed, water and sing to your plants.

2. Offer planting advice and suggestions.  Should you plant your summer bulbs now? Yes. OR Should you plant pachysandra in full sun? Only if you want it to die.  Things of that nature :)

3. Rant from time to time or wax poetic about the state of plants and landscapes.

4. Answer questions any of you might have related to landscaping, gardening or any other service we provide.

5. Share any new information (regarding plants/landscapes, of course).

6. Have fun! We’ll definitely be posting favorite quotes, essays and other people’s musing about gardening, landscaping, and plants.  In fact, let’s do that now: here’s an essay I read about a year ago. It perfectly articulates our feelings about gardening and landscaping and we’re happy to share!

The Meditative Gardener

We look forward to sharing the spring with you!