Bower & Branch https://www.bowerandbranch.com Bower & Branch - Plant Creatively! Sun, 16 Feb 2020 12:20:21 -0500 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.13 Mini Live Christmas Trees for Small Spaces https://www.bowerandbranch.com/mini-live-christmas-trees-small-spaces/ Mon, 25 Nov 2019 18:31:20 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9873 Mini Live Christmas Trees for Small Spaces and TabletopsDid you know?We have mini live Christmas trees for small spaces! Christmas Trees in apartments are not limited to artificial or cut trees anymore.The scent of real, living evergreen trees is possible for even the smallest of spaces. Who needs the hassle of cut trees, the stands that […]

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Mini Live Christmas Trees for Small Spaces and Tabletops

Did you know?

We have mini live Christmas trees for small spaces! Christmas Trees in apartments are not limited to artificial or cut trees anymore.

The scent of real, living evergreen trees is possible for even the smallest of spaces. 

Who needs the hassle of cut trees, the stands that go with them and then, the fight to recycle the tree? Especially in a small, one bedroom apartment! Potted, live, tabletop and full size Christmas trees are an option today with modern growing practices of our Bower & Branch Family Growers. 

One of our primary objectives here at Bower & Branch is to provide a connection, access and an experience for all of us, in all our living and work spaces, to trees. Providing real, living and growing Christmas trees is one way we can get trees nearer to people.

Bower & Branch Family Growers have perfected the art of growing live evergreen trees and have learned how to grow these in containers with lightweight soils to make it easier to move and deliver.

These Fresh Evergreens, alive with the fragrance of the holidays, can be planted outdoors for ongoing benefit after the Holidays – talk about perfect recycling! These Trees may also be grown in containers on the patio or even on the fire escape through the year if desired.

Mini_christmas_trees_small_spaces 

Apartment Christmas Trees come in various sizes and varieties. The best types of mini live Christmas trees for small spaces and apartments can be found here: Bower & Branch Living Mini Christmas Tree Selections. 

The fresh pine and spruce scent we all long for is provided everyday, every hour with our line of mini Live Christmas Trees for small spaces. Bonus? Living trees are no danger to pets and require minimal care while indoors. Keep the Holidays real in your apartment while making a sound and beneficial environmental choice this year – Christmas trees grown to be planted – not grown to be cut down, not manufactured from plastics, what an awesome concept!

Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, White Pine – all of these beautiful, live Evergreen Christmas trees are available in sizes for nightstands or centerpieces and all the way up to 4-5’ trees – large enough for gifts!

Mini_Christmas_Trees_Small_Spaces

Mini live Christmas trees for small spaces should be watered using a few ice cubes each day. The number of ice cubes depends on how large the Christmas tree is that you have. Ice cubes provide a true slow release irrigation system in the simplest form and will even assist in keeping soil temperatures in the range best for the living tree. 

NO WATERING – NO MESS 

One more clever, trendy apartment Christmas Tree — the Bower & Branch American Holly Tree. What a unique and awesome idea – real living boughs of holly in the form of the native American Holly tree or Blue Princess Holly!

For large live Christmas trees, shop here!

Live_mini_Christmas_trees_small_spaces

For care instructions, read here!

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Live Container Grown Christmas Trees – How to Care for Them https://www.bowerandbranch.com/live-container-grown-christmas-trees-care/ https://www.bowerandbranch.com/live-container-grown-christmas-trees-care/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2019 19:59:53 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9860 HOW TO CARE FOR LIVE CONTAINER GROWN CHRISTMAS TREESLive container grown Christmas trees can be planted outdoors for ongoing benefits after the holidays – talk about perfect recycling!  A real, living Christmas tree provides native bird habitats, a great landscape addition and wonderful family memories.Remember to order your Tree Marker – Memorializing this year’s Christmas!1. […]

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HOW TO CARE FOR LIVE CONTAINER GROWN CHRISTMAS TREES

Live container grown Christmas trees can be planted outdoors for ongoing benefits after the holidays – talk about perfect recycling!  A real, living Christmas tree provides native bird habitats, a great landscape addition and wonderful family memories.

Remember to order your Tree Marker – Memorializing this year’s Christmas!

1. Water with Ice Cubes

Live, container grown, Christmas Trees can be watered by using a few ice cubes each day. The number of ice cubes depends on how large the container is; add ice cubes as required to keep soil moist and do not allow the Evergreen to dry down at all. Ice cubes provide a true slow release irrigation system in the simplest form and will even assist in keeping soil temperatures in the range best for the living evergreen.

  • Water regularly while Indoors
  • Potted trees will dry out more quickly – keep the soil moist but not soggy.
  • Use the ice cube Home irrigation system! Add 12 ice cubes daily to maintain even moisture throughout the entire time your live Christmas tree is indoors.

Live_Container_Christmas_Trees

2. Mind the Roots

  • Place the tree, still in the Bower & Branch grower pot undisturbed, into a decorative basket, container, or tree collar of your choice and style!

3. Choose the Right Bright and Sunny Spot

  • Place your live Christmas tree by a window, where it’ll receive as much light as possible.
  • Keep away form fire places or other direct heat sources
  • Cool windows are the best windows!
  • LED lights are preferred.

4. Bring the tree outside

Once the holidays are over, bring your potted evergreen outside for some cool, fresh air and admire it as your new front door tree until planting time.

Live Christmas trees are best planted as soon as possible. Follow these simple rules of thumb to insure your Christmas tree lives for years and years:

  • Dig your planting hole long before Christmas on a warm and sunny late fall day.
  • Store your soil in your garage where it will not freeze or some other location that provides some protection from extreme cold or freeze.
  • Keep your soil right in your wheelbarrow – makes for easy planting later!
  • Use Bower & Branch Composition Planting Mix at planting time.
  • Recommended 10-14 days indoors and decorated.
  • Un-decorate your tree after Christmas, move to mild temperature area (garage or outdoor shed or area protected from wind)
  • Water well after moving outside!
  • Plant 3 days after hardening-off period on a nice, calm and sunny early Winter’s day.
  • Follow Bower & Branch Planting instructions.
  • Keep moist whenever possible and protect from wind through the winter.

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Live Tabletop Evergreen Trees – How to Care for Them https://www.bowerandbranch.com/live-tabletop-evergreen-trees-care/ https://www.bowerandbranch.com/live-tabletop-evergreen-trees-care/#respond Wed, 20 Nov 2019 18:44:08 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9850 HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR LIVE TABLETOP EVERGREEN TREES INDOORS… AND AFTER THE HOLIDAY SEASONThese fresh live tabletop evergreen trees, alive with the fragrance of the season, are easy to care for and can be planted outdoors for ongoing benefit after the holidays – talk about perfect recycling!These evergreen trees may also be grown in […]

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HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR LIVE TABLETOP EVERGREEN TREES INDOORS… AND AFTER THE HOLIDAY SEASON

These fresh live tabletop evergreen trees, alive with the fragrance of the season, are easy to care for and can be planted outdoors for ongoing benefit after the holidays – talk about perfect recycling!

These evergreen trees may also be grown in containers on the patio, or on the fire escape through the year.

1. Water with Ice Cubes

  • Your live tabletop evergreen can be watered using a few ice cubes each day to keep soil evenly moist for the time you are enjoying indoors. Ice cubes provide a natural slow release indoor irrigation system for your trees and plants and may even help to keep soil temperatures cooler as desired for your living tree.
  • Size AAA – 3 ice cubes a day
  • Size AA – 6 ice cubes a day
  • Size A – 12 ice cubes a day

 

How_to_care_for_tabletop_mini_live_tabletop_evergreen_trees

2. Mind the Roots

  • Do not disturb the tree in the pot provided until planting outdoors or planting into larger container.
  • Keep roots moist with regular ice cube watering as needed.

3. Choose the right bright and sunny spot

  • Place your live tabletop evergreen by a window, providing as much light as possible.
  • Cooler air by the window will help your tree enjoy the indoors so much better.
  • Keep away from fire places or other direct heat sources.

4. Move it out!

  • If desired, after the Holidays, your evergreen can be placed outdoors in an area protected by wind or extreme cold.
  • Plant as soon as the ground allows.
  • Protect from freezing temperatures until spring.
  • Keep moist through the winter.
  • Cover the plant with burlap, a blanket – just keep the evergreen a little warmer than cold!
  • Follow Bower & Branch Tree planting recommendations. Enjoy!

Any more questions, please talk (or chat below!) with our Plant Whisperers directly; they’re always happy to help! (866) 873-3888 // plantwhisperers@bowerandbranch.com 

Growers’ Note

Moving Evergreen Trees indoors for the holidays provides so much enjoyment and brings a true, real and fresh feeling into your home or apartment.

While indoors, keep moist, in a sunny and bright location – do not allow to dry out. If you prefer, after the Holidays, you can slowly harden off your tree and return the tree to the outdoors. Be watchful of freezing, drying and wind damages. Most winter tree loss is caused by drying roots and foliage. Protect from wind and severe cold. Have fun and enjoy for even more seasons! 

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How to Care for your Indoor Florist Azalea Plant https://www.bowerandbranch.com/how-to-care-for-your-indoor-florist-azalea-plant/ https://www.bowerandbranch.com/how-to-care-for-your-indoor-florist-azalea-plant/#respond Tue, 19 Nov 2019 19:21:07 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9836 HOW to CARE for your INDOOR FLORIST AZALEA PLANT1. Keep soil moist.Bower & Branch recommends simple ice cube watering – depending on the pot size, drop 2 or more ice cubes in daily to keep soil moist. Ice cubes provide slow release indoor irrigation and does not allow the soil to dry down – which […]

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HOW to CARE for your INDOOR FLORIST AZALEA PLANT

1. Keep soil moist.

  • Bower & Branch recommends simple ice cube watering – depending on the pot size, drop 2 or more ice cubes in daily to keep soil moist. Ice cubes provide slow release indoor irrigation and does not allow the soil to dry down – which azaleas just don’t like! Add ice cubes as needed to keep soil evenly moist.

Care_guide_florist_indoor_plants_azaleas

2. Keep in bright spaces.

  • In between dinners and parties and company, move your azaleas to areas of bright light for best results. If you plan to grow on, consider using Bower & Branch Radiance, our indoor grow lights. Place back as your centerpiece or focal point!

3. Fertilize once a month with Elements water soluble fertilizer.

  • Spray on foliage only, not flowers, and water fully mixed with our fertilizer. See more instructions on the Elements® Fertilizer label or contact Bower & Branch Plant Whisperer.

Elements_Fertilizer_Soluble

4. Not Hardy in the North!

  • Transplant into larger container in spring, grow as Patio plant through summer. Use Bower & Branch Composition Planting Mix for your growing soil.
  • In the south, plant outdoors after any danger of freeze.

 

Flroist_azalea_topiary_trees

For more information on indoor florist azaleas, click here!

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Florist Azaleas vs. Poinsettias https://www.bowerandbranch.com/florist-azaleas-vs-poinsettias/ Thu, 07 Nov 2019 21:31:12 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9688 Let’s talk FLORIST AZALEAS vs. POINSETTIAS…OR IN ADDITION TO?!Florist Azaleas are a game changer, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Poinsettias are wonderful, they’re traditional, the quintessential holiday house plant! We love them at Christmas and we love growing them in the greenhouse. Some people say that poinsettias simply make the holiday season […]

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Let’s talk FLORIST AZALEAS vs. POINSETTIAS…OR IN ADDITION TO?!

Florist Azaleas are a game changer, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Poinsettias are wonderful, they’re traditional, the quintessential holiday house plant! We love them at Christmas and we love growing them in the greenhouse. Some people say that poinsettias simply make the holiday season and they want to decorate their homes as early as they can with poinsettias, maybe even before Thanksgiving!

Elevate your poinsettia Christmas tradition and add in blooming florist azaleas! Unfortunately, poinsettias are disposable, they have a shelf life. They can be a little on the needy side and then, when the season ends, so do they.  So into the trash go the once wonderful poinsettias, along with the once fresh wreaths and garland. But your florist azalea is a keeper!

Once the tree comes down and the house is clean and full of open spaces yet again, we quickly turn our attention to house plants, searching for that color to brighten the winter days. After all, it’s still a long time until Spring arrives!

Florist_Azaleas_Poinsettias

 

WHAT ARE FLORIST AZALEAS?

 

Bower & Branch was introduced (blessed really!) to florist tabletop azaleas last year through one of our family growers and we have become major fans of them…who can blame us though, they are flowering Azaleas for the indoors!

Our florist azaleas come in seasonal colors but our favorites are the Christmas Colors! For the holiday season, we enjoy the red and the candy cane red and white floral mix. But when it comes down to it, we are pulled toward the classic, pure white blooms – that scream nature’s Christmas to us given that we are always dreaming of a white Christmas for the holidays!

Have florist azaleas replaced our love for poinsettias? Will they be the new holiday trend and tradition? We almost hate to say it, but YES!

Why We Love and Prefer Florist Azaleas

  • Indoor azaleas continue to flower for many weeks (45 to 60 days), well past their season or the holidays
  • Safe indoor house plants
  • Azaleas can bloom again next year
  • Longest blooming flower of all flowering occasion/holiday indoor house plants
  • Easy to care for – all that is needed are ice cubes! (View Care Instructions here!)
  • Indoor azaleas are unique and uplifting with their daily and long-lasting beauty
  • They brighten up any room
  • They are the perfect unexpected gift
  • Can become a great patio tabletop plant or, in southern regions, a beautiful landscape addition

What Forms do Florist Azaleas Grow In

Shrub Form Florist Azaleas

These florist azalea forms can be used on tabletops or for centerpieces. You can use these blooming azaleas in several places depending on the smaller and larger sizes!

Check out our Merry + Bright Azalea shrub or our Jack Frost Azalea shrub!

Florist_azalea-shrubs

Topiary Tree Form Florist Azaleas

At Bower & Branch, we particularly enjoy the topiary tree forms of the florist azaleas. We are into trees and topiary (in case you didn’t already know this) so having them in bloom is even better! Not to mention, the stems of the topiary tree azaleas are braided and absolutely stunning.

Check out our Winter Wonderland Azalea Topiary Tree and Mistletoe Azalea Topiary Tree!

Florist_Azalea_Topiary_Tree

Wreath and Heart Form Florist Azaleas

YEP! Our indoor azaleas come in shapes! They are grown in a heart topiary shape for Valentine’s Day and wreath topiary shape for the holidays of course! (We are in love with mixed red and white azalea wreaths for Christmas!)

Bower & Branch has redefined indoor flowering plants for all occasions and holidays. The largest florist azalea grower in the country is a Bower & Branch Family Grower – they are the experts (and artists) in growing these beauties for us…and you! We are happy that they are apart of our family – and yours!

Florist_azaleas_topiary_shapes_shrubs

 

HOW to make your FLORIST Azalea BLOOM again

  • Requires 6 weeks of chilling temperatures
    • These azaleas require a chilling period of about 6 weeks where temperatures are maintained at 45-55 degrees
    • Not a perfect science – many times, simply allowing your azalea to experience typical Fall weather before freezing temperatures will do the job
  • Move into warmer temperatures and provide bright light! 
    • After your azalea experiences Fall, flower buds have been set and developed. At this time, bring it in to the warmth of your home and place it in bright sunlight.
    • In place of sunlight, install Bower & Branch Radiance Grow Lights
  • Remember to continue to fertilize through the entire season outside and inside weekly. Keep the soil evenly moist.
  • Bower & Branch Plant Whisperers can help you enjoy this experience in full – remember, our experts are the best growers in the country. Chat with them on the site, email them at plantwhisperers@bowerandbranch.com or give ’em a call! (866) 873-3888

Enjoy all over again!

  • There is no better feeling than growing, no better reward than a seeing a flower and no better experience than to watch others enjoy your work!

 

For more information on how to care for your indoor florist azalea, click here!

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Recognizing Signs of Fall https://www.bowerandbranch.com/fall-signs/ https://www.bowerandbranch.com/fall-signs/#respond Tue, 03 Sep 2019 21:26:55 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9490 Recognizing Signs of fallBy recognizing signs of fall, you’ll know how to care for your trees in late summer and early fall.The calendar says the first day of Fall 2019 is Monday, September 29 – the Fall equinox, when day and night are equal lengths.  For our Bower & Branch Growers and our tree planting customers […]

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Recognizing Signs of fall

By recognizing signs of fall, you’ll know how to care for your trees in late summer and early fall.

The calendar says the first day of Fall 2019 is Monday, September 29 – the Fall equinox, when day and night are equal lengths.  

For our Bower & Branch Growers and our tree planting customers and fans, fall actually takes place so much earlier. Growers learn to see the early signs of the coming season change, signs and signals provided by the trees for sale on the nursery and in our landscapes.

Growers seeing signs of fall on the nursery

Generally around early to mid August in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and the upper Midwest, tree growth stops and the season of preparing for winter begins. As you move further south, the change in season happens later of course, but still, the change happens well before fall officially ‘kicks in.’

How Trees Signal Fall:

  1. New young growth comes to a full stop.
  2. Leaves begin to lose the glossy, fresh, new appearance.
  3. Trees surrender to leaf spots and leaf diseases, allowing some leaves to even drop to reduce water requirements while the summer sun is still high is the sky.
  4. A small percent of the leaves begin to show signs of fall color and some leaves are actually going dormant and food is being stored already.

Leaves showing signs of fall and going dormant

Growers Know

On the nursery, growers can delay the start of fall and extend the growing season for a few weeks at best, if desired, but only a few weeks. Eventually, fall will win out and growth will cease.

In the landscape and garden, it is much more difficult to control the environment and extend the season.

Growing in the Fall

  1. Expect leaf spots and leaf drop: It is time to stop demanding perfect spring like leaves, allow your tree to rest and prepare for winter.
  2. Fall Fertilizing: Every Fall, on the first day of fall, in northern states and in the south, on Halloween, get out and fertilize your trees and plants! Our Growers have set the dates, do what the experts do! Learn about Bower & Branch Elements® Fertilizer.
  3. Care Beds: Care beds done with our Elements® Composition Planting Mix are very important to trees. Like any other garden, the cleaner and less competition from other plants, the better results we can expect. Clean gardens equal less pests, less work and better health.

See the Bower & Branch Planting Guide for how to freshen your care beds and apply the Bower & Branch Grower recommended products. 

What to look for in fall and what to do

 

Growing at Home

Our growers want all of our tree customers to rest as well! Follow nature’s lead, take the time to rest!

Allow nature to take its course, allow your tree to enjoy the season and allow the leaves to fall after a hard year’s work!

Expect your trees foliage to change, to be so much less than perfect, so much less than spring. Fall foliage is different and your expectations should change with the seasons. 

Fall Images of Leaves falling and changing

Enjoy the fall change, enjoy your tree and enjoy the process of it going into dormancy – it is a remarkable event for every tree!

Read here for more Fall planting tips!

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Bagworms: Are They Harmful and How Do You Get Rid of Them? https://www.bowerandbranch.com/bagworms-pest/ https://www.bowerandbranch.com/bagworms-pest/#respond Tue, 03 Sep 2019 16:37:44 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9462 Bagworms: Are They Harmful and How Do You Get Rid of Them?Bagworms are Native Pests in North America with heavier populations in the Eastern US, they can also be found globally.What do Bagworms look like?Bower & Branch captured video of a rare sighting of a mature bagworm, carrying his bag, while looking for a new […]

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Bagworms: Are They Harmful and How Do You Get Rid of Them?

Bagworms are Native Pests in North America with heavier populations in the Eastern US, they can also be found globally.

What do Bagworms look like?

Bower & Branch captured video of a rare sighting of a mature bagworm, carrying his bag, while looking for a new home.

Our families of professional growers are very familiar with this pest, but in all their years, they have never seen such a large bagworm be THIS mobile. Creeps us out!

Bagworns upclose and in evergreen tree.

Bagworms can go unnoticed.. unless you are intentionally looking for them. And once you see that first bagworm, all the rest become easily visible to you.  

Bagworms like evergreen trees – like spruce, pine, juniper, cedar and arborvitae. But we have seen very high populations and infestations on Japanese Maples and many other tree types. For control at home and on the nursery, always focus attention to your evergreens. 

Bagworms attacked evergreens in a line

Bagworms moving from evergreen to evergreen

Eggs hatch in early spring, with up to 1,000 eggs per bags that were laid in the fall. These small worms, about pin head size, are blackish little caterpillars that go unnoticed.

Bagworms use their silk to fly through the wind each spring in search of new homes and food sources. 

Bagworm leaving silk behind on evergreen trees

Once landed, they begin to form their bags for the season and then in early fall, they emerge to mate and fly as moths, uninteresting grayish moths. 

Bagworms begin to eat as soon as they land, primarily eating tender buds and young foliage, leaving holes in the leaves and wrapping silk around stems, causing more damage.  By the time you notice the bags hanging like ornaments (sometimes mistaken as cones), they have already begun to wreak havoc on the young tree. Heavy infestations can really harm your tree, and if more than 80% of the foliage is destroyed, the tree may actually die.

HOW DO YOU GET RID OF BAGWORMS?

  1.  Remove by Hand – YUCK! Trust us, we know! Simply go to work cutting off the bags and the silk if possible, one by one. Not our favorite job, but with small numbers, it is practical. These bagworms are also just ugly – so we do remove them at home and on the nursery as soon as we see them.
  2. Spring (May and June) apply an ingestible insecticide.  There are many on the market that easily control the pest. When applications are successful, you may be able to destroy your local population and not experience the problem again for many years. Young worms are easiest controlled, so spring treatment is the preferred method by professional growers. 
  3. In some years, second generations may form, but this is generally not experienced, but worth being aware of. In these cases, a second treatment may be required.
  4. The key is early detection. Trying to destroy bagworms once their bags are formed is not easily accomplished through sprays. Many times, physical removal is the only effective option and waiting until the following season to treat with sprays.
  5. Organic Multipurpose Insect Killers work well, but require multiple applications every 1-2 weeks through spring to get rid of bagworms. 
  6. Dormant Oil applied on bagworms over the winter provides control on these adults. Only the Male Moths fly.
  7. Spread is relatively slow because the wind or crawlers each spring are the only pathways to expansion.

Reach out to our Plant Whisperers for any questions or advice!

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Top Ten Perennials to Attract Hummingbirds https://www.bowerandbranch.com/top-ten-perennials-to-attract-hummingbirds/ Wed, 12 Jun 2019 18:16:28 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9227 Are you ready to attract Hummingbirds? What’s more fun than watching hummingbirds flit from flower to flower? If you love both gardening and bird watching, you’re in luck—you can have both all summer long with these ten perennials to attract hummingbirds! Keep in mind these perrenials will not only attract hummingbirds, but they should return […]

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Are you ready to attract Hummingbirds?

What’s more fun than watching hummingbirds flit from flower to flower? If you love both gardening and bird watching, you’re in luck—you can have both all summer long with these ten perennials to attract hummingbirds! Keep in mind these perrenials will not only attract hummingbirds, but they should return year after year to please both you and your pollinator friends. Where we could, we’ve included some additional varieties under each perrenial. So, let’s get started with our list of perennials that are sure to attract hummingbirds to your home.

1. Echinacea (Coneflower)

Attract Hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees who all love coneflowers—and we can’t blame them. These colorful wildflowers light up the landscape with their daisy-like blooms that keep pollinators flying by all season long. Your summer garden isn’t complete without them! Below are some of our favorite varieties: Ruby Star, Tomato Soup, Kim’s Knee High, and Sombrero® Adobe Orange


     


     


     


     

2. Hemerocallis (Daylily)

Did you know there are tens of thousands of daylily varieties out there? Below are three of our favorites to use in the garden to attract hummingbirds: Stella de Oro, Pardon Me, and Happy Returns! These cheery perennials are a welcomed sight in any garden, and they really stand out in borders. Hummingbirds won’t be able to resist these beauties!

3. Nepeta (Catmint)

Catmint is a necessity in any butterfly garden—and hummingbirds love it, too! In late spring, this voracious perennial starts putting out tons of lovely purple-blue blooms, and they’ll last all summer long. Even without the flowers, you”ll love catmint for its velvety soft foliage! Our favorite varieties include Walker’s Low Catmint, Little Titch Catmint, and Purrsian Blue Catmint.

4. Baptisia australis (Blue False Indigo)

Blue False Indigo is a hummingbird magnet! It’s also a real people-pleaser, with neat stalks of fragrant purple flowers that are perfect for cutting. And with how many flowers it pushes out during late spring and summer, both you and the hummingbirds will have plenty to enjoy!


     

5. Crocosmia (Montbretia)

Montbretia is a handsome perennial. Lucifer Montbretia, one of our favorite varieties? Devilishly so. Hummingbirds adore its striking red blooms during summer, and dramatic spikes of foliage add visual appeal during the rest of the year. 


     

6. Agastache (Hyssop)

Pollinator central! Whether you’re trying to attract hummingbirds, bees, or butterflies, hyssop belongs in your landscape. Blue Fortune Anise Hyssop is one of our favorite varieties, and you’ll know why just by glancing at it. Just look at those tufts of purple-blue blooms! 


     

7. Salvia

As it does with butterflies, salvia excels at attracting hummingbirds. They can’t get enough of its spikes of soothing blue flowers, which hang around for months! As an added bonus, salvia is incredibly easy to grow, so it’s ideal for beginners. One of our favorite varieties is Blue Hill Salvia.

 

     

8. Penstemon (Beardtongue)

Beardtongue is a real beauty. We’re particularly fond of Husker Red Beardtongue. Hummingbirds love its charming white blooms, which look striking against rich burgundy foliage. A true winner in the landscape—and it’s deer resistant to boot!


     

9. Liatris (Blazing Star)

Dynamite! Blazing star is a knockout with spiky foliage and vibrant clusters of blooms that almost seem to shoot out like fireworks and is known to attract hummingbirds like wild. It’s a must-have for your landscape. There’s nothing quite like it! One of our favorite varieties is Kobold Original Blazing Star. All that purple? Yes, please!


     

10. Hibiscus syriacus (Hibiscus/Rose of Sharon)

We’re sure you’re familiar with this one. Hibiscus, also known as Rose of Sharon, adds such a lovely tropical vibe to the landscape, and it looks great on the patio. Hummingbirds are drawn to their flashy blooms, coming and going all summer long. Check out three of this favorite to attract hummingbirds – we think you’ll love it too!: Lady Stanley


     

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Ten Perennials Butterflies Love https://www.bowerandbranch.com/ten-perennials-butterflies-love/ Fri, 07 Jun 2019 19:08:34 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=9194 In addition to being beautiful and fun to watch, butterflies actually play an important role in the garden. They are an important part of the ecosystem, just as birds and bees are. But butterfly populations could use our help—and the easiest way to help them is to plant for them! Here are ten perennials butterflies […]

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In addition to being beautiful and fun to watch, butterflies actually play an important role in the garden. They are an important part of the ecosystem, just as birds and bees are. But butterfly populations could use our help—and the easiest way to help them is to plant for them! Here are ten perennials butterflies adore – and you’ll love them too!

1. Echinacea

More commonly known as coneflower, there are many varieties of echinacea, and they all come in beautiful colors. Ruby Star Coneflower, for instance, has bright purple blooms while Tomato Soup Coneflower has vibrant orange-red blooms. Many other varieties, such as Kim’s Knee High Coneflower, are pink. Whichever variety you choose to plant, you can expect coneflowers to attract plenty of fritillaries, monarchs, swallowtails, and painted ladies. 

2. Achillea

Achillea, or yarrow, has feathery, aromatic foliage and neat clusters of brightly colored blooms. These perennials are easy to care for, thriving in most soil conditions and needing little water. Better yet, they’re deer- and rabbit-resistant! We’re particularly fond of Saucy Seduction Yarrow (below), which adds a pop of neon pink to the landscape. 


     


     

3. Phlox paniculata

Garden phlox is a charming perennial. You’ll love it as much as the butterflies do! It’s perfect for beginners, as it’s quite easy to grow—just give it full sun and slightly moist soil for an abundance of blooms!

Our favorite varieties are Coral Flame™ Phlox, Flame™ Purple Phlox, and Pink Flame™ Phlox  

4. Asclepias

If you’re interested in planting perennials butterflies are attracted to, you’re definitely familiar with this one! Asclepias is, of course, milkweed, which is a misunderstood but very important perennial. Planting milkweed is actually crucial to the monarch butterfly population. Monarch caterpillars rely on it as their one and only food source, and monarch butterflies lay their eggs on it. Plant milkweed in a meadow or a more naturalistic area of your landscape and watch it flourish! We love Butterfly Weed, Soulmate Swamp Milkweed, and Ice Ballet Swamp Milkweed.

5. Monarda

You’ll know monarda as beebalm. This beloved perennial is a must-have in the landscape if you’re trying to attract butterflies—and not just butterflies! Bees and hummingbirds are fond of it as well, and we know you will be, too! The spiky flowers of Jacob Cline Beebalm and Coral Reef Beebalm will delight, adding a truly unique element to your garden. 


     


     

6. Salvia

Salvia is simple to grow, and it adds a calming element to the garden with its blue flowers. It blooms for months with very little maintenance or water required, making it an excellent perennial for beginners. And, of course, butterflies can’t resist it! Our favorite varieties are Blue Hill Salvia, Caradonna Salvia, and May Night Salvia

7. Sedum

Sedum (or stonecrop) isn’t typically seen as a perennial that butterflies would flock to. However, it’s difficult to keep them away once stonecrop starts to bloom! These perennials are incredibly underrated, and they have lots of uses. You’ll love their foliage as much as you’ll love their vibrant blooms! We’re particularly fond of Autumn Joy Stonecrop (below, left), Neon Stonecrop, and Kamtschaticum Creeping Stonecrop

8. Coreopsis

Coreopsis (tickseed) is a butterfly favorite! Pushing out plenty of beautiful blooms during summer and into fall, these perennials keep pollinators coming by again and again. Plant them in borders for a ton of color that demands attention. Check out three of our favorite varieties: Moonbeam Tickseed, Red Satin Tickseed, and Zagreb Tickseed.

9. Gaillardia

Gaillardia (blanket flower) is similar to the coneflower in appearance, with equally colorful blooms. While butterflies will certainly love flitting from flower to flower, you’ll love the energy and drama they bring to the landscape. Plant them all over, you won’t be disappointed! Two varieties we love: Arizona Red Shades Blanket Flower and Arizona Apricot Blanket Flower


     


     

10. Lavandula

We know you’re familiar with this one! Lavandula is, of course, lavender! People love it, butterflies love it…really, who doesn’t love it? It’s the queen of herbs, after all. You’ll love the heavenly aroma and the charming purple flowers. You’ll even want to give lavender as a gift! Explore our favorite varieties (Phenomenal Lavender, Provence Lavender, and Munstead Lavender) below!

Pssst! Want to get started on creating your own haven for butterflies? Our butterfly garden collection is exactly what you need! This kit contains six perennials absolutely loved by butterflies of all kinds. Get it here and start planting perennials butterflies love!

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Using and Maintaining Topiary in the Landscape https://www.bowerandbranch.com/using-and-maintaining-topiary-in-the-landscape/ Mon, 20 May 2019 20:18:49 +0000 http://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=2529 What is Topiary?Topiary is the ancient craft of shearing plants (usually evergreens) into shapes, like boxes, balls, and pyramids. There are a few different shapes and forms. One especially popular type of topiary is the spiral topiary tree, which may take the form of a single spiral of foliage looping around a tree or a double […]

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What is Topiary?

Topiary is the ancient craft of shearing plants (usually evergreens) into shapes, like boxes, balls, and pyramids. There are a few different shapes and forms. One especially popular type of topiary is the spiral topiary tree, which may take the form of a single spiral of foliage looping around a tree or a double spiral of foliage winding its way to the top. Poodle trees are topiary trees with single trunks that are pruned so that two or more “balls” circle the trunk in tiers, like a poodle’s tail. In some poodle trees, one or more of the balls may be replaced by a box, a teardrop, or a spiral shape. Pompoms are topiaries pruned so that each branch ends in a “pompom” of foliage. They may be upright, like a tree, or more shrub-like and lower to the ground. 

What Trees and Plants are Used in Topiary?

The ideal topiary plant is an evergreen that is slow-growing, hardy, long-lived, amenable to pruning, and resistant to pests and diseases. Small leaves are also a plus, because they hide pruning cuts better than large leaves. Boxwood topiary, for example, is less likely to have a “just pruned” look compared to privet topiary. 

Some evergreens that make great choices for topiary are yew, Dwarf Alberta SpruceEmerald Green Arborvitae, Boulevard False Cypress, Gold Mop False Cypress, and Scotch Pine.

Many junipers lend themselves well to the art, too, and some offer blue or gold foliage in addition to green. Witchita Blue, Old Gold, Sea Green, Hollywood, and Hetzi Columnaris make handsome juniper topiaries.

A few plants form a sort of natural topiary without any pruning at all. They have a dense, rounded shape that requires no shearing on your part. Globe Blue Spruce is one no-shear “topiary” that we offer; it is sold in a low-grafted form and also in a high-grafted standard (lollipop) form. We sell the natural topiary Little Gem Spruce in a high-graft form as well. This dapper dark green standard tree keeps its tight globe shape without any trimming. And don’t forget about our high-grafted Dwarf Korean Lilac, which takes on a nice rounded form with little to no help from you. This tree is deciduous with the added bonus of lots of fragrant blossoms in the spring.

What about Ivy Topiary?

The definition of topiary can include vines and other plants that are grown on special topiary frames. Ivy or other climbers may be planted at the base of a metal frame, the vines eventually filling in to cover the support. Topiary frames are sometimes covered in sphagnum moss and then planted with succulents or annuals to make an accent piece for the patio or even for indoor decoration.

Hedging as Topiary

Hedging is a form of topiary, too. If you maintain a hedge, you may already be a practitioner of this time-honored craft! Of course, hedges can take many shapes besides the traditional boxy form and may be fashioned into serpents, waves, or castle walls. They may be “cloud-pruned” to resemble fluffy clouds, as is the tradition in Japan and some other Asian countries. 

Low hedges can be used to create parterres or elaborate knot gardens, and taller ones can make living mazes that you can get lost in. The gardener’s imagination is the limit when it comes to hedge art!

Using topiary in the landscape

Successfully integrating topiary into your landscape is a matter of placing it where it can shine and become the star it wants to be. Keep underplantings low; go with a short evergreen groundcover or close-cropped grass. Better yet, surround your plant with wood mulch or gravel. A solid background in a contrasting color will make the unique shape of your topiary really pop, so site it where it will stand out from its surroundings. Consider stringing lights on a spiral topiary or adding spot-lighting to any type of topiary accent to extend its appeal after dark.

Formal Landscapes

Topiary and formal landscapes go together like champagne and caviar. Since Roman times, topiaries have been associated with grand formal estates, and they also fit nicely into more modest but formal landscapes where that classic, polished look is highly valued.

If you love manicured gardens with clean lines, good structure, and neatly trimmed shrubbery, then topiary will mesh effortlessly with your garden style. It will be the final touch to make your landscape picture-perfect.

Informal Landscapes

Perhaps you favor a more informal landscape design. Maybe you like your garden to be full of wildflowers, native trees, colorful perennials, and ornamental grasses. You may enjoy a free-spirited informal garden where plants are allowed to assume their natural forms, gently caressed by the wind, blurring hard edges, and spilling onto pathways.

In that case, topiary can have an important role in your garden, too. Topiaries, along with neatly clipped hedges and regularly mown lawns, bring a needed element of structure and order to free-form plantings. They add human touch to informal landscapes, affirming that the plantings are not simply meadows or wild spaces, but well-cared-for gardens.

Front Yards

When looking for landscaping ideasespecially front yard landscaping ideasthink topiary! Topiary adds distinction to the landscape, along with instant curb appeal.These small evergreen trees fit into any garden, no matter the size, and they may easily be maintained so that they never outgrow their allotted space. All year long, they can be the perfect focal points in your garden, looking sharp even in winterespecially when topped with a frosting of snow.

Where in your landscape topiary will work best depends on your particular site. In general, though, these sculptural trees are well-suited to the areas closest to your house, especially in the front yard landscape, where visitors get their first impression of your home. A matching pair of topiaries on either side of a door, walkway, or gate makes a balanced and pleasing picture, although a single specimen can also hold its own in an island bed or foundation planting.

Backyards

In the backyard, topiaries at the corners of the patio or on either side of a sitting area are logical choices. Or, you may want to take a page out of the landscape architects’ handbook and place a topiary at the far end of an axis in your garden. From a favored vantage point, you would look out across the yard and see a topiary focal point at the other end of your line of sight. Frame that view with a couple of shade trees, and you’re on your way to become a professional landscape designer!

Green Animals, and Where to Find Them

Some of the most remarkable topiary forms are those that depict people and animals. These living sculptures take many years to create, but they are quite impressive once they take shape. Several public topiary gardens in the U.S. feature “green animals” and other characters carved out of topiary plants like boxwood, yew, and privet.

The Ladew Topiary Gardens in Monkton, Maryland is home to a fox hunt scene clipped out of topiary plants. Riders on horses follow in hot pursuit of a fox sprinting across the lawn.

Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania has a topiary garden on its grounds with yews sheared into bold geometric shapes and an open-mouthed dog that often appears to be “chomping” on somebody’s head.

The Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth, Rhode Island is a fun destination for kids and the young at heart. It features over 80 works of topiary art, including elephants, giraffes, camels, and bears.

In Columbus, Ohio, the ambitious Topiary Park reproduces the famous George Seurat painting, “A Sunday Afternoon,” on the Island of La Grande Jatte, in plants.

Finally, in Bishopville, South Carolina, the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden is a magical place where topiary artist Pearl Fryer has shaped trees and shrubs (many of them originally damaged nursery cast-offs) into fantastic, whimsical forms.

Isn’t Topiary Difficult to Maintain?

Topiary Trees are difficult to CREATE. Knowing where to make each cut to create a perfectly symmetrical poodle, pompom, spiral, or double spiral topiary takes a great deal of expertise. (Try it sometimeit’s really hard!) Our talented growers begin with young plants, pruning them carefully over a period of years to fulfill the vision conceived for them at the start. So, topiary trees are difficult to create, but they aren’t difficult to maintain. The hard part is already done for you.

You can do this.

The main thing to remember when maintaining topiary is to keep up with the pruningdon’t fall behind. Your trees will push out new growth in spring and may also produce some new foliage later in the growing season; at least a couple of times a year, you’ll want to shear that new growth off.

First, put down a tarp if you want to make cleanup easier. Then, using manual pruning shears, trim off the new growth, starting at the bottom and working your way around the plant and up to the top. Don’t cut into the old, woody growth. Stay within the outer couple of inches of young, green growth. Most evergreens aren’t very forgiving of deep cuts and won’t re-sprout on old wood. Small gaps will eventually be hidden by the surrounding foliage, however.

Don’t rush it.

Take your time. Step back several times and look at the plant from different angles, making sure you are staying true to the original form, nice and symmetrical. You can always snip a little more, but you can’t undo a hastily made cut. After a few tries, you just may find that this kind of pruning isn’t a chore, but a pleasure. You get into a rhythm and it can be quite meditative.

We’re here to help!

We hope you consider the curb appeal that topiary trees can bring, as well as the big impact they can make to all types of gardens, despite their compact size. Most of all, we hope you don’t feel unnecessarily intimidated by the maintenance needs of these special beauties.

Know that we are standing by to help and we are happy to walk you through the process of caring for your new topiary, should you need some more guidance. In fact, you can reach us at plantwhisperers@bowerandbranch.com to discuss how to care for any of the trees in our collectionFrom topiary to pollination to mycorrhizae, our experts will answer any tree questions you have!

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