Bower & Branch https://www.bowerandbranch.com Bower & Branch - Plant Creatively! Thu, 27 May 2021 20:38:35 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3.8 Monarch Caterpillar Care Tips https://www.bowerandbranch.com/monarch-caterpillar-care-tips/ Thu, 13 May 2021 19:00:14 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=12235 “MONARCH,” THE KING OF BUTTERFLIES.In the past 20 years, the monarch butterfly population has declined by 80%. Headlines have called it the “Insect Apocalypse” because this rapid decline is also occurring with many insect populations. The reason is largely driven by the fact that today’s agricultural landscape is about 50 times more toxic to insects […]

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“MONARCH,” THE KING OF BUTTERFLIES.

In the past 20 years, the monarch butterfly population has declined by 80%. Headlines have called it the “Insect Apocalypse” because this rapid decline is also occurring with many insect populations. The reason is largely driven by the fact that today’s agricultural landscape is about 50 times more toxic to insects than it was 25 years ago.

Bower & Branch is part of the solution growing our native milkweed neonicotinoid and chemical-free with our certified growers leading the way to better our ecosystem. Learn more on how to be a part of the change by planting native milkweed and restoring the Monarch population.



 




-It is easy to attract Monarchs to your yard. Just plant it, and they will come. Female Monarch’s can smell Milkweed from a far distance away, and chances are that there is one close enough to smell it, visit, and lay eggs.

– On the Trail of Monarch Eggs? A Monarch is in the egg stage for 3-8 days. You can usually find the eggs on the underside of the leaves, though sometimes they can be seen on the stems or flower buds as well. About the size of a needle head, the eggs are tiny! So it is important to be very careful when handling Milkweed plants so you don’t accidentally crush the eggs.

– Nothing is wasted in nature! Once the eggs hatch, they immediately eat their shell. A Monarch is a caterpillar for 7-17 days, and an obvious early sign of baby caterpillars is how they begin to prune your Milkweed leaves.

– Make sure to plant multiple of the same Milkweed plant for your very hungry caterpillars to flourish, and the reward of a gorgeous butterfly garden!


Caterpillar Care:

If you are outsourcing caterpillars, it is crucial for their health to know what type of Milkweed they were feeding off of before. Was it Swamp Milkweed or Showy Milkweed, etc.? Their food source must stay consistent in order for them to survive.

Though Monarch Caterpillars only feed off Milkweed, they are only tolerant of its toxins. They can suffer if exposed to higher concentrations of these toxins because all Milkweeds are not equal. Research has shown the chemical profiles in their sap are not the same across all species.

When trying to raise Monarch Caterpillars, it is best to continue feeding them what they were found on. It’s best to feed them from plants that aren’t being continually clipped over time. The clipping can cause the plants to raise their level of toxicants, thus harming the caterpillars’ health.





Important notes:

  • It is not recommended that you raise thousands of Monarchs; having over-crowded conditions will foster disease.
  • Monarch caterpillars are voracious eaters, and if they run out of food, they will die. You can’t have too much milkweed around when you’re raising Monarchs. It is recommended that you’ll need one milkweed plant for each caterpillar.
  • Neonicotinoids, Pyrethroids, and Pesticides are the primary culprits behind insecticide toxicity. It is important not to use any chemicals on your milkweed plants.

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Cicadas are Coming! https://www.bowerandbranch.com/cicadas-are-coming/ Tue, 20 Apr 2021 17:51:20 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=12038 DO I NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THE CICADAS COMING?A note from our Founder, Don Eaton, a ‘seasoned’ grower:I have been growing now through two major Cicada cycles. The last in 2004 was much less than expected. In fact, they were of no concern in 2004 – 17 years ago. The period before that, in […]

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DO I NEED TO BE WORRIED ABOUT THE CICADAS COMING?

A note from our Founder, Don Eaton, a ‘seasoned’ grower:

I have been growing now through two major Cicada cycles. The last in 2004 was much less than expected. In fact, they were of no concern in 2004 – 17 years ago. The period before that, in the 80’s I was growing in Tennessee, where it was amazing and awful at the same time. 

Right now, it is an estimated four to six weeks of noise is ahead of us potentially. Crazy numbers of Cicadas are expected – 1 1/2 Million per acre! For the last 17 years, these creatures have been feeding on the root sap of your trees and mine, and now comes the time to breed. Moving up from the soil towards the light, they leave dime-sized holes in the ground and race to anything heading up. They prefer trees but also go for large shrubs.  

 

Expect Cicadas when soil temps reach 64 degrees or warmer; some arrive early, some late. For Maryland, the forecast is for your area to be the epicenter of this event. Some will arrive early May, peaking late May through early June. 

The main damage that cicadas can inflict on our landscapes comes when female cicadas drill holes into slender tree branches, where they then lay their eggs. To protect younger or vulnerable trees, cover with netting to keep the cicadas away.

The eggs deposited by the females will eventually hatch, producing nymphs the size of a grain of rice. Those nymphs fall off the trees and burrow underground, beginning their 17 years of subterranean life. While above ground, their parents end their life stage, the carcasses piling up under trees and on the grass, returning nutrients to the soil that will feed the trees and eventually the next generation of Cicadas who will survive off the sap of the tree roots.

Bottom line: After 17 years underground, more than a billion Brood X cicadas will emerge in spring 2021 across parts of the United States.

PRACTICAL GROWER ADVICE

1) Apply NO pesticides; the numbers are just too great to overcome.

2) Cicadas on tree stems – use the same method as repelling Gypsy Moth or Spotted Lantern Fly and add barriers around your favorite trees to stop the Male Cicadas from climbing up your tree. It won’t stop all, but it will help.

3) Netting – the only practical method to protect young and smaller trees. Large mature trees will survive. Only younger trees are in jeopardy.

4) The females prefer pencil size branches and stems to drill their eggs into. This can cause the branch to break off and drop or leave scars. The eggs laid look like train tracks about 2 inches long – you can easily see where the bark has been disturbed. 

5) Go ahead and plant – yes to netting. The tree will still grow and flourish. 

6) What I witnessed growing hundreds of acres of younger trees through 2 Cicada broods is that trees survive well, and the grower and the tree quickly forget this event.

For any serious damage to take place, Cicadas will have to choose your tree out of millions. The real challenge is that young trees have smaller branches for egg laying and the drilling required. Any netting will help.

NOTE – I remember that rain and irrigation provided a deterrent, and cicadas would avoid if given a choice. Spraying your trees with your garden hose and being a nuisance to the cicada might help you and your plants!

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Got Milkweed https://www.bowerandbranch.com/got-milkweed/ Sun, 21 Mar 2021 05:24:00 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=11848 Got Milkweed: The Plight of the butterfly.Now more than ever, restoring native plants is vital to preserving the dwindling population of our beloved pollinators! Bower & Branch is committed to growing and distributing native plants that are critical to the establishment and restoration of biodiverse natural ecosystems. Our Got Milkweed program is here to accommodate […]

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Got Milkweed: The Plight of the butterfly.

Now more than ever, restoring native plants is vital to preserving the dwindling population of our beloved pollinators! Bower & Branch is committed to growing and distributing native plants that are critical to the establishment and restoration of biodiverse natural ecosystems. Our Got Milkweed program is here to accommodate your native plant and garden needs with our team of professional and expert growers tuning into exactly which milkweed is integral to your garden. 

Gardening can be like a beautiful puzzle, and with Got Milkweed, our expert growers are here to help put the pieces together in a gorgeous butterfly garden handpicked just for you! By choosing this program, you can rest assured the perfect milkweed will be chosen that is native to your area. Our horticulturalists can identify this by your zip code within your order, delivering the specific native milkweed to your landscape in hopes to begin restoring the puzzle pieces of saving our Monarch butterflies (butterflies and bird habitats) together.


The Importance of Milkweed

Growing a thriving green space while also making a big difference in the environment: Native milkweed with its strong personality, alluring scent, and brilliant seasonal changes adds a touch of exuberance to your quiet garden beds, though it is so much more than good looks and curb appeal. It provides various environmental benefits by rebuilding habitats, mitigating global warming, and restoring natural biodiversities.

Milkweed is an American beauty, indigenous to North America, adapted to local conditions and seasonal temperatures requiring less fertilizer and care than non-native plants. Drawing in a bevy of curious local wildlife, this is especially important for nature lovers, who enjoy local bird sightings in their garden each morning. Also, attracting butterflies and other important pollinators that can have a positive effect on your landscape.

You may have heard that Milkweed is important for monarch butterflies. While it is a source of nectar for them, it’s more than that, it is actually a necessary host plant for them. This is because the monarch butterfly caterpillar only eats milkweed, and this is why mature butterflies only lay their eggs on them. Without these host plants, the caterpillars will starve. Planting milkweed is such a simple way to help the monarch butterfly population!

What are native plants?

In the United States, a native plant is defined as one that was naturally found in a particular area before European settlement. Native plants are the foundation of a region’s biodiversity, providing essential food sources and shelter for birds, especially those threatened by the changing climate. Since native plants are adapted to local precipitation and soil conditions, they generally require less upkeep, therefore helping the environment and saving you time, water, and money. – The National Audubon Society / audubon.org


A new beginning to a more colorful world

Got Milkweed is an absolute must-have this summer to start your own native butterfly garden! Famous for its vibrant bold blooms, and many butterfly visitors, especially inspirational to our ever missed Monarch’s! Plant this Spirit near your favorite summer sitting area while curious pollinators join along, attracted to these fragrant flowers and their nourishment. This native plant’s qualities are inspirational to our little winged friends as they are grown neonicotinoid free, which means they can enjoy rich nectar unharmed. The benefits of having native Got Milkweed planted in your garden are bountiful and endless!

You don’t have to own a farm to make a difference, even the smallest of gardens can make a big impact. Got Milkweed can play a significant role in enriching conservation efforts for our pollinators. Bees are very fond of the blossoms and its nourishing nectar. It can feed the bees enough to make a small crop of honey. They say, “Bee the change you want to see,” more honey is the sweetest reason to plant.

Oh, to be a butterfly or Ruby throated hummingbird and flutter upon a delightful feast; gorgeous clouds of petite flowers saturated in sweet nectar! These local pollinators certainly do their fair share in bringing seed and fruit production to neighboring crops, and always pleasing to watch. Butterflies of all kinds, and particularly Monarch’s have enchanted mankind for centuries. A population that is dwindling as humans destroy habitats. An amazing way to help is by planting a Got Milkweed Garden in multiples! Even the smallest of gardens can bring uplifting change!

Milkweed in your Garden

Where to plant, and care:

Milkweed loves to bask in all-day sun, and it will grow in just about any type of soil as long as it’s well drained. Once it’s established, the plant will be quite drought tolerant. Milkweed develops a thick taproot to enable it to survive during dry periods, which makes it difficult to transplant, so don’t try to move a well-rooted plant. Deadhead spent flowers to encourage rebloom. Cut back plants any time before new growth appears in the spring. Be patient—this Spirit is slow to emerge. You may want to mark its location before winter comes, so you don’t forget where it is! Once you’ve determined what conditions your plant needs to thrive, plant them somewhere you (and butterflies) can enjoy them! 

How do I water?

For many varieties, you don’t really need to! As long as your area is not prone to drought, you can leave your plants alone and they will do just fine.

How do I care for Milkweed over winter?

Milkweed, will enjoy the protection of a little mulch during colder months, most varieties require very little winter care. Once the plants start to die back in the fall, you can trim them all the way down and wait for them to re-emerge in spring.

Got Milkweed is grown neonicotinoid free. What does that mean and why is it important?

Neonicotinoids are systemic pesticides chemically related to nicotine which are used to make plants and trees less susceptible to insect damage.  A growing number of studies have shown that neonicotinoid pesticides harm birds and pollinators – both by leaching into the soil and causing neurological effects, and by killing off insects that some species rely on for food. For this reason, our growers do not use this to protect our winged friends.

Is Milkweed toxic?

Butterfly Weed secretes a milky sap (hence its name). This sap can be harmful to humans, pets, livestock, and other animals—but ONLY if it is consumed in very large quantities. Fortunately, the sap tastes so foul that most critters (monarch caterpillars excluded!) are more than happy to leave the entire plant alone. Thank goodness for common sense!

 

Dealing with aphids and other pests

Aphids (often very small and bright orange-gold in color) suck sap from plants. To deal with a severe infestation of aphids, spray plants with cold water (but be careful not to harm any monarch butterfly eggs in the process). Cold water should be sufficient in removing aphids; if it does not solve the problem, you can spray affected plants with insecticidal soap. This should only be done if absolutely necessary. 

These plants are also extremely attractive to slugs, which will eat holes in the leaves and badly damage flowers. If you see large holes in your plants’ foliage, check for slugs in the evenings. Dropping slugs into a bucket of water mixed with dish soap is an effective and mess-free way to remove these pests from your garden.




 

 

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Bower & Branch Tree Sizes https://www.bowerandbranch.com/bower-branch-tree-sizes/ Tue, 02 Mar 2021 16:21:48 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=11759 The post Bower & Branch Tree Sizes appeared first on Bower & Branch.

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Bare Feet In The Garden https://www.bowerandbranch.com/how-to-plant-bare-root/ Mon, 01 Mar 2021 19:45:19 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=11752 BAREROOT FRUIT TREE CAREHow should I take care of my bareroot tree until it is planted? What happens if it gets frozen?You should keep trees above the freezing point until they are in the ground. Once planted, trees are safe from freezing temperatures. Keep trees in a cool, dark location, out of direct sunlight until […]

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BAREROOT FRUIT TREE CARE

How should I take care of my bareroot tree until it is planted? What happens if it gets frozen?

You should keep trees above the freezing point until they are in the ground. Once planted, trees are safe from freezing temperatures. Keep trees in a cool, dark location, out of direct sunlight until they are planted. Make sure packing material around the root system stays damp, not dripping wet. Store in a cool basement, shed, or unheated garage. Check periodically. If the tree happens to get frozen while above ground, let it thaw slowly and avoid handling it when it is in this state. Chances are it will still push out come spring if the freezing duration was not long or frequent.

 When should I plant?

ASAP, within a week’s time. If you cannot plant for several weeks or more, plant as soon as you can get a shovel in the ground. Continue to store trees in the conditions listed above. Or, heal the roots of the trees in a temporary planting bed until you can re-plant in the proper location later.

Note: DO NOT store trees in the same room with fruit or produce. Ethylene gas is emitted from certain fruits (like apples) that will eventually kill stored trees.

 How should I prepare the hole and how deep should I plant the tree?

The deeper and wider the hole the better. Soils around many new homes have been compacted from the equipment used in house construction. This compaction lessens the oxygen in the soil. Loosening up the soil around the new root system aerates this soil. This extra oxygen in the soil plays a key role in root initiation. Plant your tree so that the graft union is visible at the soil line, not out of the ground and not buried under the soil. Why? Planting too low would cause suffocation from the lack of oxygen. Planting too high may cause anchorage problems, excessive sucker growth and a possible entry point for borers. Fruit trees like well drained soil, not soils that stay boggy or wet. This is especially true of peaches, cherries, plums and apricots (stone fruits) which will not tolerate wet ground at all. Pear trees will tolerate the most water, while apple will tolerate some. At planting, you may amend the soil with either peat moss or compost. Use 1/3 organic matter with 2/3 of your existing soil when back-filling the hole.

Now that the tree is planted, how do I care for it?

Fertilization

The first year you can fertilize with a water soluble fertilizer which has to be applied more frequently for best results. The second year you can fertilize with a granular fertilizer applied 2-3 weeks before bud break – late March in south central Pennsylvania. Once a year should be sufficient.

Watering

Water your trees weekly with a slow, deep watering. Do not give your trees one gallon of water every day. It is much better to slowly apply 5 gallons once a week, more in cases of severe drought conditions. Why? Frequent, light watering will moisten the top roots of the tree, but neglect deeper roots and may force rooting near the surface where they are more drought susceptible. The tree can become stressed, weakened and more susceptible to disease and insects. A slow, thorough watering enables those deeper roots to be nourished and promotes healthy, strong growth.

Mulch

Mulch can be laid around the tree in a 3 foot diameter circle to hold in moisture, control weeds and prevent lawn mower damage.

Pruning

Pruning back a bareroot fruit tree at planting time by 1/3 will help lessen the transplant shock. One fourth of the root system was lost in the digging process. To compensate, reduce one third of the growth to reestablish the plant’s previous shoot to root ratio. This can be done several ways.

One way would be removing an entire limb such as a competing central leader on an apple tree. This would lessen the amount of leaf buds that the tree must push the first year. For example, if the tree has two leaders in the center, we remove one so that only one remains. Apple trees should be shaped like a Christmas tree with longer limbs on the bottom and shorter and shorter limbs as you proceed up the tree.

Another way would be to head back or shorten various limbs. Heading back limbs will force them to shoot side limbs approximately 12 inches below the new cut. The optimum angle for a side limb originating off the central leader would be 45 degrees. Peach and plum trees are trimmed to an open vase most often. In this case, a newly planted tree could be headed back, leaving 4-5 side limbs for the main structure of the tree. This pruning at planting time helps reduce the bud count, but also is used to start developing the ultimate shape of the tree.

 What do I do to take care of pests?

Protect your new trees the first year from leaf eating insects like gypsy moths and Japanese beetles. Sucking insects such as aphids, mites and leafhoppers can drain those new leaves of color and vigor. These little fellows may require a hand lens to identify. Penn State puts out a good publication Fruit Production for the Home Gardener (https://extension.psu.edu/fruit-production- for-the-home-gardener) which is invaluable in identifying diseases and pests, as well as other cultural information. Pesticides are tools that should be used wisely. Using the best material on the market at the wrong time or on the wrong pest or disease will surely fail its expected task.

Keep those new leaves healthy! A young tree does not have many leaves and if they are damaged, you are reducing the food production potential of that tree which supplies energy and strength to the tree. Inspect weekly (when you are watering works nicely!)

Look closely and carefully at both sides of the leaves to see if holes are appearing or if the color of the leaf is different.

We recommend an all purpose fruit tree spray for most problems that occur on fruit trees. These sprays have a mix of fungicides and insecticides in them already blended to cover a wide range of problems. The first year you can spray on an “as needed” basis (controlling insects). The second year, or once the tree starts to produce fruit you would spray more often or on a schedule to help control fungus diseases on the fruit and leaves. Most directions recommend once every 10-24 days. Shorten the time period between sprays during wet weather, as rain removes the protective coating of the fungicide.

 



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Introducing USDA Certified Organic Trees & Plants https://www.bowerandbranch.com/usda-organic/ Thu, 31 Dec 2020 19:54:53 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=11409 Tread lightly, shrink your footprint, and let yourself grow with USDA Certified Organic Trees! Pondering the Meaning of OrganicThe word “organic” is everywhere. Showing up in our grocery stores, stamped on our apples, and labels of beauty products. Though what does Organic mean?Unlike the words “all-natural” or “non-toxic,” Organic is regulated by the USDA following […]

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Tread lightly, shrink your footprint, and let yourself grow with USDA Certified Organic Trees!

Pondering the Meaning of Organic

The word “organic” is everywhere. Showing up in our grocery stores, stamped on our apples, and labels of beauty products. Though what does Organic mean?

Unlike the words “all-natural” or “non-toxic,” Organic is regulated by the USDA following strict guidelines. Say goodbye to toxic and synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, which means fresher, healthier fruits and edibles for you! Not only are there health benefits to eating organic food, but also on how organic farming impacts the farmers, their communities, and our planet.

What does it mean to be USDA Organically grown?

  • USDA Organic crops are grown exclusively on land that has gone without having non-USDA Organic approved substances applied for three years.
  • No pesticides for us, please! Organically grown crops are highly regulated on what can and cannot be used for pest control—worried about harsh chemicals that have been sprayed on your plant? There is only a small number of approved synthetic chemicals that are allowed to be used. Otherwise, farmers use strict biological, mechanical, and physical management practices.
  • Not just any type of seeds are used to grow and harvest organic plants: farmers can only use organic seeds or organically raised seedlings in their organic fields.
  • Only the best handling is allowed! Organic and non-organic crops are not allowed to be commingled or near each other. Cross-contamination can occur, botching the organic plant’s purity due to non-organic substances that could have been sprayed on non-organic harvests; this would cause the organic plant to be considered compromised.
  • Fields are carefully cultivated through crop rotation and proper tillage practices to ensure that the soil and the soil’s nutrients are kept at a happy balance. Animal manure, not sludge, is allowed to help infuse the soil with nitrogen to support the growth of the organic crops.

 

Good for the soil, good for the soul

Soil nutrition is something many of us don’t really think about. It’s dirt; what is there to worry about. Though so many factors go into healthy gardening, healthy farming, and healthy eating. Conventional farming can strip the soil of its nutrients, which leads soil to become unusable and no longer farmable—then leading to empty fields, habitats that have been cut down, unusable. In a world of overpopulation, we are also growing an increasing amount of empty, unusable farmland.

Think of it as long-term food security or gardening – the more nutritious the soil, the more nutrients our fruits and vegetables have. If you think about it, we eat food for nutrients (or at least we try..2021, here we come!). Plants get nutrients from the soil, so when that peach or pear is growing in soil that isn’t healthy, that piece of food isn’t going to have as many nutrients in the long run.

Bonus! Organic soil retains more water, meaning less water is needed to grow in organic soil, less runoff, and few chemicals in our water supply! Drink clean, and eat clean!

 

Organic Farming Boost Biodiversity: All things Big and small

Biodiversity is the variety of life found on earth, boosting ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play, from pollinating to enriching our soil. The ecosystem in organically grown areas is able to flourish!

Decades of intensive land-usage have reduced habitats for wild species worldwide. Conventional agriculture has contributed to biodiversity loss by using toxic herbicides and insecticides, which accumulate in ground and surface waters. This pollutes the natural habitats of wildlife, pollinators, and fisheries.

Since organic farming uses natural practices and zero chemicals – biodiversity is able to flourish! Cultivating a better ecosystem for insects and pollinators, in turn bringing up our bird and animal population!

 

 

The benefits of organic food

I think we can all hit ‘refresh’ for this next year! What a better way to ring in 2021 than with clean, healthy eating with USDA organic fruit and nut trees! So the big question – is eating Organic better for you? The answer is YES! No harmful or toxic chemicals found here, like pesticides, synthetic hormones, or artificial coloring. Studies have shown an increase in vitamins and nutrients in organic fruit; 70% higher levels of antioxidants in fruits and vegetables.

Organic even taste better! With richer soil, and no chemicals, these fruits and vegetables are able to flourish in their natural sweetness and taste! Maybe you’ll be able to get kids to eat their greens after all!

 


Organic farming has sprung up drastically in importance and influence,  spreading worldwide the philosophy of deeply rooting nature in harmony and enriching the soil we stand upon. Benefitting the gardner, enhancing biodiversity, preserving nature’s wildlife, and a true direction to protecting our environment. Choosing organic trees on your property, whether they are fruit, nut, ornamental, or shade trees, begins with their soil and cultivates change taking root in your backyard. Take one BIG TREE step for your garden, and one giant leap towards a greener world! SHOP NOW

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Winterizing Perennials https://www.bowerandbranch.com/winterizing-perennials/ Tue, 10 Nov 2020 18:49:21 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=11313 Sleet, snow, and frost, oh my! Winter is just around the corner, and in the garden, that means most of your perennials are going dormant. With these cold temperatures on their way, it is time to put your perennials to bed for the winter. While it may seem like your garden has gone quiet during […]

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Sleet, snow, and frost, oh my!

Winter is just around the corner, and in the garden, that means most of your perennials are going dormant. With these cold temperatures on their way, it is time to put your perennials to bed for the winter. While it may seem like your garden has gone quiet during these chilly days, a lot is happening underneath the soil. Winter gives plants a time to rest before they can bloom come spring; below the ground, your perennials are growing roots and leaning on the nutrients and moisture from the soil. These winter care tips are all about protecting the roots – otherwise, you may not find your plants healthy and vibrant as spring and summer arrive! With a little love, your perennials can live long and prosper!

Pruning

Many perennials will die back as we move from fall to freezing; winter prep often starts with pruning back dead leaves and stems. It is important to protect these perennials by cutting back dead foliage to just a few inches above the ground. Your perennials will hide quietly away and emerge victorious when the frost is gone, and spring greets us.

However, it is important to note that there are some perennials that provide a much needed food source for birds during the Winter. Perennials such as Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Sedum and Coreopsis provide food for a wide variety of birds with their dried flowers and seedheads, so consider what you cut before you cut!

 

Mulching

Forming an insulating blanket on the garden using mulch helps keep in winter moisture and protects the root system from tissue damage during freezing temperatures. Add a layer of insulation on top of the soil; about 2-3 inches of mulch. Mulch materials should be organic matter; you can even use pruned evergreens, dried leaves, or clean straw as mulch. We all need a warm blanket to snuggle under during those cold days.

 

Watering

Some winter months, we’re waiting for the snow, but it doesn’t come. When the ground isn’t quite frozen during those dry spells, it is good to water your plants at least once a month! Keep a little irrigation going, so they have something to drink while they rest till spring!

 

*Winterizing your perennials is beneficial for your plants to be nice and cozy as they get ready for their big blooming show next season! For your specific questions or needs please reach out to our Plant Whispering Team for all your winter care tips! 

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What Dogwood Personality are You? Barking up the right Tree. https://www.bowerandbranch.com/what-dogwood-personality-are-you/ Wed, 16 Sep 2020 05:50:04 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=10967 Dogwood trees are known for their delicate beauty, introducing us to a new spring each year with intriguing canopies of colorful layers and blooms—each one with its unique personality and its own set of appealing traits. What’s in a name and the meaning behind each one of these trees. See which Dogwood you identify with […]

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Dogwood trees are known for their delicate beauty, introducing us to a new spring each year with intriguing canopies of colorful layers and blooms—each one with its unique personality and its own set of appealing traits. What’s in a name and the meaning behind each one of these trees. See which Dogwood you identify with the most, and you can bloom and grow together!

The thinker.

Just like the revolutionary Scarlet Fire Dogwood, you are the thinker getting lost in your thoughts and motivated by learning, invention, and thinking outside the box. You love to investigate new solutions and a quest for never-ending developments. You have a tenacity to improve systems and ideas while also being gracefully beautiful!

scarlet-fire-dogwood

 

As a natural abstract thinker, the Scarlet Fire is a problem solver resisting disease and being low maintenance – they got it! Rich fuchsia blossoms like no other! The lush, dense foliage highlights those vivacious blooms lighting up your landscape in late spring and early summer! Also, keep an eye out for the Stellar Pink Dogwood, as they have a very similar personality!

 

 

the conservationist.

More than just a pretty face, you have a beautiful big heart for nature and especially for the birds. You are inquisitive and curious, spending time being creative on ways to be the keeper of the natural world. Your unique style and generous heart make everyone gravitate towards your calm spirit.

pagoda-dogwood

 

Pagoda Dogwood trees are full of compassion for birds and butterflies, as this delightful native plant is packed full of beneficial qualities and delicious fruits! Also referred to as “Pigeonberry”—a reference to the fact that passenger pigeons once adored the fruits. Help the National Audubon Society’s conservation efforts and stand out from the rest with unique branching structure and sweetly scented white flowers. Pagoda Dogwood is the gift that keeps on giving to not only your landscape but to our pollinating friends!

 

 

The Bashful one.

As the Little Poncho Japanese Dogwood, you may be bashful and quiet, but you’re also highly conscientious and a friendly listener. You are very interested in those around you, seeking out authenticity and attention to detail. Letting others have the spotlight is your gift because you genuinely want to softly encourage. Little do you know that sometimes the most extraordinary things come in small packages. Your humble heart doesn’t go unseen, and your gorgeous colors always shine through as many of those around you easily fall in love with your sweet spirit.

little-poncho-dogwood

 

A petite gem, the Little Poncho Dogwood is the lustrous spirit we all didn’t know we needed. Blooming generous amounts of ivory flowers all summer long as the deep green foliage takes a backseat. Small touches of detail shine through the happier this tree gets with crimson-red fruits blooming late summer. It’s the bashful tree that isn’t aware of its beauty – commanding attention without overpowering your overall landscape design! If you like this adorable fella, you’ll also fall in love with the Red Pygmy Rutgers Dogwood!

 

the blissful one.

Being on Cloud Nine is something we all seek, and for the Blissful One, it happens naturally. Every situation- especially if it’s challenging- is a learning opportunity waiting to happen. Joy sings through your soul; your heart is quick to forgive as if you emanate an aura of peace and love that lifts up everyone around you.

cloud-nine-dogwood

 

Bring your landscape into a state of euphoria with Cloud Nine Dogwoods. Marvel at their striking beauty and light-hearted personality. Rarely is it seen not full of color; even in the cool fall months, it puts on a sensational burgundy-red show. Illuminate your gardens, and brighten your mood – even the birds gravitate towards its cheerful fruit

 

The old soul.

The original Japanese Dogwood, the old soul of the group. You have an insatiable appetite for wisdom and knowledge – yearning for a more peaceful simplistic life, with a record player filling your home with soothing jazz or Motown bops. You give advice well beyond your years while always looking fresh and spritely.

Japanese_kousa

 

Enjoy year-round beauty and grace! Japanese Kousa Dogwood is a timeless classic and will turn heads boasting in brilliant white flowers. There’s nothing more majestic than a dogwood in spring, decked out with fabulous blooms! Its story began thousands of years ago, and to this day, we continue to learn more from this ancestral tree as we create exquisite cultivars stemming from this beauty! Looking for a little bit of a brighter color, though still want that classic touch? Check out the Pink Flowering Dogwood!

 

A VALIANT Leader.

Bravery is not the absence of fear, but rather the triumph over it. You’re willing to take chances and be fearless to follow your vision. As the Cherokee Brave, you are courageous to stand up for what you believe in—pursuing your purpose, while also helping to build others up to be valiant leaders as well.

Cherokee-brave

 

Lucille Ball once said, “I am not funny; what I am is brave.” Cherokee Brave Dogwood encompasses a vigorous strength for being disease resistant while displaying brilliant blush toned blooms. Completely unafraid to show off its elegant colors in your garden as one of the first to emerge new life each spring. Never a dull moment in your backyard with this Dogwood. Check out its counterpart – the Cherokee Princess Dogwood!

 

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How to Water Your River Birch Tree https://www.bowerandbranch.com/watering-birch-trees/ https://www.bowerandbranch.com/watering-birch-trees/#respond Fri, 17 Jul 2020 12:38:20 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=10751 The facts: You can NEVER over water a River Birch! No matter what you think, during the summer months, you are most likely not watering enough. And that thunderstorm? Didn’t do much help either!You wouldn’t know this until mid-summer – when the heat is at its hottest, the air conditioner can’t keep up, and your […]

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The facts: You can NEVER over water a River Birch! No matter what you think, during the summer months, you are most likely not watering enough. And that thunderstorm? Didn’t do much help either!

You wouldn’t know this until mid-summer – when the heat is at its hottest, the air conditioner can’t keep up, and your Birch’s sashaying leaves have suddenly turned bright yellow. It’s time to water!

Birch Trees are known for their water-guzzling habits (we’re lookin’ at you River Birch!), so it is essential to increase your watering for those trees during the summer. If you see the leaves on your Birch, begin to turn yellow, water water water! When using the Bower & Branch Water Element, our Growers recommend filling it every 3-5 days. This allows the pressure within the bag to maintain, so water is continuously dripped at a rate in which the Birch will receive a sufficient amount of water.

Here are a few steps to keep your River Birch healthy and happy:

  1. Water the river birch tree once every 3 to 5 days in the spring. Using a trickling hose – water the tree slowly and deeply, over a one to two hour period. The river birch likes moist soil and should receive between 30 and 40 gallons of water a month, rainfall included. Note that during the heat of summer months, it is essential to water daily! Watering is crucial during those heat waves!
  2. To protect the tree’s shallow roots and reduce weed competition, spread a 2 to 4-inch layer of organic mulch around the tree every spring. This will improve the soil and help to retain moisture.
  3. Early in the spring, you can feed your tree Bower & Branch Elements™ Fertilizer for optimum growth. Spread the granular fertilizer evenly over the tree’s entire root zone. 

Birch planters, LISTEN PLEASE, your newly planted Birch requires extreme amounts of water in the first year of growing. We must water deeply; sufficient water is probably the most critical factor in maintaining a healthy birch tree. This could require hours of slow drip hose watering on your tree, repeated 3 to 4 times weekly through the summer months. You will not kill your tree from overwatering in any way – it wants to grow, it wants to thrive today – the only limiting factor is available water deep in the ground where your roots are.

Turn on your hose today – We are in the heat of summer, and your new tree needs you!

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How to use Lenten Rose in Your Home Garden https://www.bowerandbranch.com/lenten-rose-garden-uses/ Wed, 04 Mar 2020 16:17:10 +0000 https://www.bowerandbranch.com/?p=10171 Helleborus, also known as Lenten Rose – an often overlooked, but absolutely essential addition to your landscape – are a plant that have to be seen to be believed! And where better to catch these winter wonders than in YOUR garden? Bower & Branch is excited to highlight two superb varieties this spring – Helleborus […]

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Helleborus, also known as Lenten Rose – an often overlooked, but absolutely essential addition to your landscape – are a plant that have to be seen to be believed! And where better to catch these winter wonders than in YOUR garden? Bower & Branch is excited to highlight two superb varieties this spring – Helleborus ‘Ivory Prince’ and Helleborus ‘Pink Frost’! To best beat the winter blues here are a few suggestions on how to enjoy the Lenten Rose, trust us, it will quickly become one of your favorite perennial Spirits!

Woodland Gardening WITH LENTEN ROSE

Being a shade loving perennial, the Lenten Rose require copious amounts of, you guessed it, shade! As a result, woodland gardens are the perfect spot for planting. Added bonus? Deer and rabbits need not apply here — bitter tasting compounds in the leaves and other parts of the plant keep your new addition from becoming a salad bar for those pesky rabbits. Tucking them between hostas and ferns will add to the texture of your landscape, while strong (re: long) blooming performance in the winter months will provide true four-season interest!

Decorative specimen – LENTEN ROSE

Hellebores do a fantastic job anchoring that part of your landscape you just can’t seem to find the right plant for. Even when it’s not in bloom, its’ brightly colored venation in the leaves, and its short, wide stature provides the right balance of color and impact. Plant Lenten Rose in an elevated area outside of a well-glazed window, or alongside a walkway where it’s sure to be seen.

Dry Locations FOR LENTEN ROSE

Lenten Rose has outstanding drought resistance and while a dry, shady spot seems counter to conventional thinking, such areas do exist. Supplemental watering is necessary while your new plant is stretching its roots and becoming established as with any new addition. The difference here is once rooted it largely takes care of itself – even throughout the summer months – save for a trim pre-Spring to relieve the plant of the previous years’ older foliage.

Cut Flowers OF LENTEN ROSE

Helleborus – Lenten Rose cup-shaped blooms work very well in a vase on their own as a single cultivar or as a part of a Hellebore bouquet with different varieties. For best results take cuttings when the blooms are a bit more mature. A good rule of thumb is after the seed pods start to set. Place your freshly cut flowers in water as soon as possible and enjoy the color that can last week after week!

REMEMBER

While there are a vast amount of different approaches to making Lenten Rose your own, these considerations are just the beginning. We encourage you to try new and different ways to create your plant palette the way you choose!  For more information connect with us through our expert Plant Whisperers! You can chat, call (866) 873-3888 or email them at plantwhisperers@bowerandbranch.com!

For more fun ways to use Lenten Rose in your garden, check out what Laura, at How’s it Growing?, is doing with her Bower & Branch Lenten Roses!

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