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How to Prune your Knock Out and Drift Roses

Roses can be intimidating for many gardeners. After all, roses, in their seemingly infinite variety, attract the most ardent flowering plant enthusiasts, bolstered by an enormous body of literature full of detailed advice about how to best grow and care for these ancient and treasured blooms.

The truth, though, is that roses are tough customers that can stand up to a good pruning and even tolerate mistakes more readily than many other plants. There are several types of roses to choose from, each blooming slightly differently:

Topics: Landscape and Garden Maintenance

Getting Ready for Summer in Your Garden: 4 Tips to Prepare for Long Days & Heat Ahead

Here’s a timeless gardening truth -- after spring cleanups are completed, and mulch is refreshed in the gardens, most homeowners do not do anything more to support or prepare their landscape for the long hot days of summer.

The reason is simple. We have escaped the winter doldrums, and spring is such a gift that we accept it gratefully and simply sit back and enjoy it. Leaves spring out, the grass grows, and trees and shrubs are flowering. We are lulled into thinking that we don’t need to do anything more. But sooner than you think, the blooms are gone, the weeds explode, and you stand there, stunned, saying “what the heck happened?”

Topics: Seasonal Garden Interest

Garden Editing: A great way to re-invigorate your landscape

This may seem obvious, but it bears stating here: there is a direct correlation between how long you let your landscape go without maintenance and the increased amount of work it takes to restore it.

While many folks might shake their heads and say, “well, DUH!” it’s funny how many still tackle the out-sized problem of an overgrown landscape with ineffective, status-quo pruning and trimming. The fact of the matter is, a seriously overgrown landscape needs some seriously major work. The first question is where and how to start.

Topics: Horticulture In The Garden Landscape and Garden Maintenance

Instagram Your Garden with Monique

Let me start off by thanking all of you who subscribe, read, and comment on The Garden Continuum's Garden Design & Fine Gardening blog. We totally appreciate your engagement with us!

We try to keep the information concise and relevant by posting in-depth articles that we hope are helping you to develop into a better gardener and to build and maintain a beautiful landscape that brings you joy and satisfaction in every season.

But even with that focus, I'm guessing that there are times when reading an entire informational blog post isn't possible. Am I right? 

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Gardens With A Theme

Why Every Landscape Needs a Fine Gardener

There comes a time in many a property owner’s life when he or she looks around and realizes that their landscaping is boring. Same old boring shrubs that need to be trimmed every year. Same old trees that need to be pruned, beds weeded, grass mowed. Boring, boring, boring.

Topics: Landscape and Garden Maintenance

The Top 25 Perennial Picks for Peak Performance and Low Effort

Okay, so maybe this month’s blog post title is a mouthful, but it’s an important one as we head toward peak growing season. Why? Because it’s all about the role of perennials in adding color and vibrancy to a garden without adding a lot of extra work.

Let’s face it – it’s hard to know what plants are good choices for hardiness and the ability to provide color and visual interest all season long. This is especially true for the non-gardener who at least recognizes the value of having perennials in the garden, but doesn’t want to get bogged down tending to them or end up having to hire a professional gardening service every week.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Seasonal Garden Interest

How to Divide Siberian Irises

Irises are highly popular flowers in many gardens and for good reason – they’re hardy, reliable, and beautiful. Many gardeners prefer them because, in addition to being graceful and colorful – after all, the word “iris” means “rainbow” in Greek -- they attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

Among the over 300 species of irises worldwide, Siberian Irises in particular are popular because they are among the easiest to grow in a temperate climate like ours, easily adapting to USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 3 to 8. While the name might sound like they prefer a colder climate, they are in fact a group of hybrid flowers developed from two blue-flowered Asian species. The Siberian Iris (Iris sibirica) sports amazingly long lasting flowers in a cool and consistent spring. Too much rain and heat will wilt flowers prematurely. The most common is ‘Caesar’s Brother’ (photo).

Topics: Landscape How-To Videos

Assessing Your Landscape - How to avoid big money renovations

Every landscape – both natural or managed – is dynamic. Nothing is frozen in time. Without proper, ongoing care, all built landscapes and managed environments will experience a slow and steady degeneration until the only remedy is complete renovation. Even with care the maturing and aged landscape of 15 plus years can start to outpace the space.

What’s needed to avoid major landscape surgery is periodic, year-round assessment that enables you to see and gage your landscape’s performance and determine what needs focused, more proactive attention and what can coast along with minimal care. Take notes and photographs to refer back to later in the year. Use them to review progress at each new phase and season and to act as a baseline for change. Keep in mind, that you can only put off care and change for so long. If you see an issue, address it as soon as you can.

Topics: Landscape and Garden Maintenance

2017: The Seasons in Review

It’s that time of year when it’s interesting to look back and review all that’s happened in the past 12 months. Even in gardening and landscaping, a lot goes on.

Now, I’m one of those people who embraces seasonality. I love to witness nature slowly turning -- the changes each season brings to the landscape and all the living things in it. I, like a lot of gardeners, deeply sense the cycles of nature – the rebirth of spring, the growth and vitality of summer, the maturing of autumn, and the quiet slumber of winter. Each season brings its demands and rewards for gardeners and lovers of nature.

What has made me so happy about gardening in 2017 is that we really did seem to rebound from two devastating drought years. It didn't seem possible at the end of 2016 that we could recover so well from the damage of drought. But I think we did. Plants were thriving all over the landscape. Roses and hydrangea bloomed with abandon. Perennials, groundcovers, and annuals put on a fantastic show. Fruits and seeds abounded post-bloom -- especially the winterberries. This happy native plant is now in full, glorious display. You will notice them bursting with red throughout landscapes wild and managed. Maybe you have some in your gardens -- if you don't, you should.

Topics: Seasonal Garden Interest

Grand Landscapes in Compact Spaces

Do you have a small space to landscape? That doesn’t mean you can’t think big. Many homeowners today find themselves working with smaller lots and bigger houses, often leaving them with relatively tiny areas to landscape. Frustrated by the lack of space, some simply give up thinking that they can turn their property into something fun and functional. Others, faced with a compact space, settle for a boring solution because they mistakenly believe that only rich people can afford to turn an uninspiring space into something beautiful and usable. Neither attitude could be further from the truth.

Topics: Designing Gardens and Landscapes