personal garden guidance
Get the guidance you need,
when you need it!
Are you wasting time and throwing money away on plants that don’t do well in your yard?
Is that ugly, problem area driving you crazy since nothing you’ve tried will grow there?
Do you want a pretty yard that you know how to take care of?
And… would you like someone to personally teach you
what you need to know to have
the beautiful, easy care yard you’ve dreamed of?
You got it!
When we work with you on your property during personal garden guidance sessions, we will take a look at the things you are sick of struggling with, we’ll answer your questions, and we’ll teach you — step by step — how to take care of the plants you have so your yard looks its best.
DON’T WASTE TIME & MONEY ON PLANTS THAT STRUGGLE
We routinely see gardeners struggle with situations like these:
I thought it was drought tolerant!
This is probably the most confusing, most frustrating phrase in all of gardening for people who live in Texas. A plant is labeled “drought tolerant”. You buy it, plant it, and water it weekly, but it isn’t doing well. Even watering it every other day doesn’t help, and it dies.
Here’s the key to success with drought tolerant plants: they have to be watered well — and consistently — when they are first planted. This helps them become “established”, which takes two weeks to two months, depending on the plant and the time of year you planted. Once they are established, then they are drought tolerant.
My “full sun” plant doesn’t seem to like full sun… ?
It’s 105 degrees and the plants you bought — that were labeled for “full sun” — are wilted and look bad.
Some plants like to have their roots in shade, but their foliage and blooms in full sun. Or the problem could be that your plant would thrive in full sun in Illinois, but full Texas sun is too much for it. (Unfortunately, plants not suitable for our hot Texas summers are sold all the time in DFW nurseries! 🙁 ).
What’s wrong with my rose?
The rose bush you planted looks sickly. Although It gets a couple of hours of direct morning sun, it isn’t blooming, and the leaves are yellow with black spots.
It’s true that disease or pests could be the problem, BUT — in our experience — the #1 reason people have problems with roses is because they place them where the plant doesn’t get enough sun. Move your struggling rose to an area of your yard where it gets at least 6 hours of straight, full sun and it should improve very quickly.
In all these situations there is information you needed that you didn’t have before you bought your plants. When you work with us, we will guide you as you select plants for your outdoor spaces.
Some of the things you can learn right away are how to properly establish drought tolerant plants, how to select plants that will tolerate full, blazing Texas sun, and where your roses should be planted to bloom their best.
With knowledge like this in your arsenal, you will feel confident as you buy plants that you will know:
- how to plant them properly
- what the right location is for them in your yard
- how much water they need (and how often)
- what to do if they look like they’re struggling after you plant them
And, you can always ask more questions! When we accept you as a personal garden guidance client you can email us, or text us pictures and questions as you work on a project.
GET SOLUTIONS FOR DIFFICULT AREAS
The best thing about a sustainable approach to remaking a difficult area in your yard in is that you can do it in stages, adding just a few plants at a time, and only having to buy a few bags of mulch and compost at a time to complete each phase of your project.
You’ll be amazed at how radically you can transform a difficult area with just a few hours of work each weekend over the span of a month or so!
There are dozens of drought-tolerant, water-wise plants we can recommend for you that bloom, attract butterflies and ladybugs, and provide shade — which also lowers the overall soil temperature in your yard.
Native grasses are a terrific option for hot, sunny areas. We’ll provide you with reliable seed sources, give you tips and guidance on soil preparation and planting, and make sure you know how to maintain your grass once it is established.
Tree roots galore
If you want to add a flower bed, create a seating area, or build a structure (like a pergola, or deck), it is critical to work carefully on the root zones of your mature trees. We will guide you as you work on your project, offering recommendations about applying nutrients and amendments, minimizing the damage to the roots of your trees as you work, and providing alternatives to digging that will still allow you to add plants, but in a natural, sustainable way that doesn’t harm your trees.
A steep slope
With hard work and an expert to guide you, you can convert a steep slope — in manageable stages — from a dangerous lawnmowing nightmare to:
- a tiered rock garden with a water feature
- terraced planting beds
- a unique seating area or focal point
- a xeric garden
- a natural, wildflower area
- a vertical garden
Choosing the perfect plants for an area like this is a critical factor. Planting them properly so they get established and well-rooted is also a major issue. The right type of mulch, and the correct application of it, are also important considerations when you’re dealing with a steep slope.
Not only will we guide you through the plant selection process — and provide you with the know-how to plant and care for the additions to your newly-beautified slope — we will also make sure that soil preparation, proper mulching, and any structural concerns are all considered as you plan and develop your project.
HAVE THE PRETTY YARD YOU WANT AND KNOW HOW TO CARE FOR IT
The single biggest factor in having a pretty yard is knowing how to take care of it — or knowing how it should be taken care of so you can tell your landscape maintenance service what type of work you’d like them to do. All too often landscape service workers simply do what they see other services doing — even though it may not be the right way to trim a tree or shape a shrub.
Crape myrtles are a perfect example of this: many maintenance services (and homeowners) cut all the branches and foliage off the top of the tree every winter, leaving just bare, ugly, massacred trunks. Then — every spring — the tree has to re-grow ALL of its upper branches and foliage. This is not the way crape myrtles should be pruned!
Shrubs are also a problem area for many homeowners. 99% of the time, landscape maintenance companies use electric trimmers and repeatedly shear shrubs into contrived shapes. You can do this to most shrubs — for a while — but eventually, the shrub will get ”leggy” and be mostly branches without very many leaves. This is the point where fine maintenance is required, not more shearing.
There are basic guidelines for pruning and fine maintenance of your plants that — with practice — you can easily learn as we work together during your garden guidance sessions. Once you are able to apply the basic principles as you prune, your plants will flourish as you cut them back to encourage more blooms, remove dead wood so the plant will regenerate, or cut one side of a shrub back so that it gets more sunlight inside the plant to encourage growth of new foliage.
And your learning doesn’t end there!
We will also recommend practices that we know will save you money and time in the future. Things like:
- replacing annuals with long-lived perennials
- adding 3″ thick layers of densely packed native hardwood bark mulch to your planting beds, tree root zones, shrubs, and ornamental plants
- installing soaker hoses, drip irrigation, or rain barrels to make watering easier, cheaper, and more effective
- replacing alien or invasive plant species with native and well-adapted plants
As you re-work your landscape using practices like these, you will save time and money as you develop a more water-wise, drought-tolerant, sustainable outdoor space.
Two more components of a sustainable landscape that we will help you with are:
Proper lawn care
Did you know you can have a healthy lawn without having to apply synthetic fertilizers and herbicides? We’ll recommend organic amendments to beautify your lawn and improve the health of your soil, as well as helping you to establish a watering schedule that benefits your lawn and your wallet.
Creating a balanced ecosystem in your yard
Establishing populations of beneficial insects and creatures on your property will put a hurt on unwanted bugs and critters like mosquitoes, grasshoppers, fleas, chiggers, aphids, mealybugs, and whiteflies. As you include native plants that provide food sources, you’ll find that beneficial creatures, like birds, bees, butterflies, dragonflies, ladybugs, and hummingbirds (that eat many of those unwanted bugs) will visit to your yard to eat, drink, rest, and just be. 🙂
All of this is information you need and want to know.
Through personal garden guidance , hands-on instruction in fine maintenance, and continual development of a sustainable landscape, we will provide you with the intellectual ammunition you need to make sure everything in your outdoor space is healthy, cared for properly, and looks its beautiful best!