After the long, harsh winter we’ve had, the charm of cozy fires and blustery snowfalls wore off weeks ago and I’m ready for spring! I’m eager to get outside even with all the spring clean-up my yard desperately needs. I’m sure my yard isn’t the only one in need of some TLC this spring, so I’ve asked Marion Gorski, Design Executive at GROW Residential to give us his expert advice.
- It’s been a very snowy and cold winter. Now that Spring is on its way, what issues should we be addressing as the snow melts?
- How do I know if a plant/shrub/tree is worth trying to save if it’s been damaged from the weather?
- How do we “gear up” for patio season?
- Are there plants that can go in now for early Spring color?
- When should we start planning if we want to overhaul our landscaping?
- How can you help?
- How can we find you?
Although we are excited about seeing green grass and flowering plants, the melting snow is a great indicator of drainage concerns. Standing water and improper drainage can cause leaky basements, plant material loss and mosquito issues in summer. Many of these concerns can be resolved with proper grading, drain tile installation and the use of “French Drains”.
Plants are quite resilient if they have been planted in the proper location. Winter snow and ice can cause branches to bend or even break but proper pruning can minimize damage. Wildlife as deer, rabbits and mice can do irreversible damage during a harsh winter. They will forage on small stems, remove bark and girdle shrubs at the base, killing the plant. Have a landscape professional visit your property to do an overall plant, lawn and tree assessment to determine any damage or replacements to make.
This winter people will see their evergreens “bronzing or browning” on sides most exposed to the sunny side, in windy areas (mostly the west sides) or near areas having been salted. Unlike trees that lose their leaves, evergreens have needles or scales that still trans-locate water in winter. When the ground is frozen they can absorb water from the soil, making their outer edges turn brown. Not to worry – plants adjust quickly and these needles will be replaced when the weather warms. Plants near roads or walkways where salting is heaviest in the winter may take longer to recover and these plants should be protected by wrapping before next winter.
All of us are ready to enjoy the outdoors after such a long winter! Create your outdoor environment like you would your indoor entertainment space. Seating and lounging for family and guests, a mix of sunny areas and shade allow people to choose their preferences. Urns and decorative pots on your patio allow flowering plants to be enjoyed up close. A mixture of bulbs for spring, annuals for summer, mums for fall and holly and bows for winter gives you an enjoyable mix for all seasons!
Unfortunately, for early flowers such as daffodils, tulips, etc., these would have had to have been planted in the fall of last year. All bulbs require about 16 weeks of freezing ground temperature in order to bloom. Consult a landscape professional regarding the best varieties to choose for early blossoms. A landscape architect chooses plant varieties that cover nearly every week of the growing season… to always have something in bloom as most plants have about a 2 week window of bloom time. By choosing multiple plant types you will have flowers to enjoy throughout spring, summer and fall.
Sooner as usual in any planning…..is always better. Our staff will schedule to meet with you, discuss what you are hoping to achieve, evaluate your new or existing site conditions and provide you with professional guidance and suggestions with how we can help.
As landscape architects and contractors, GROW Residential provides both master plans for full property landscapes and complete installation services. From natural stone and cast brick terraces to all levels of planting; our certified, award winning staff will help to create an outdoor environment that reflects your taste and personal lifestyle. We would be happy to hear from you!
Please visit our website at www.www.growresidential.com or call my cell phone with any questions at (224) 374-0111.
Thank you for helping us with our spring planning, Marion!