Home Garden Show: Celebrating Michigan Garden
Archives for March 4, 2017
Spring is quickly coming upon us.
With it meets a renewed vigor to begin our landscape projects. This is our busiest design season — helping people re-imagine their outdoor spaces.
Over the past several years there has been a strong shift in design styles. Clients typically begin redecorating or renovating their interior spaces then shift their focus outside.
The contemporary style de jour has been swiftly gravitating toward modern design.
Sleek profiles and geometric shapes have become a prominent fixture within our commercial and residential projects.
Seamlessly flowing from interior to exterior spaces these design transformations have come with specific needs from our clients.
Here is what is on the horizon for 2017 landscape design trends.
Many do not want to fully envelop their living spaces with modern embellishments. Instead of completely converting their home and landscape it is becoming a prominent trend to merge traditional with modern.
This could be exhibited with built elements in the landscape through a sleek trough-like water feature, a minimalistic seat wall, or oversized poured in place concrete pavers.
Accent pieces of contemporary pottery and outdoor furniture are design elements that give a new feeling to a space.
These items can be juxtaposed with existing traditional elements like a brick patio or statues with an old world feel.
We have played around with plant combinations in our demonstration gardens that lend to this idea. Placing structural plants — like Agave and succulents — amongst roses and fruit trees create a modern cottage garden that is aesthetically pleasing.
Using color and a bold suggestion to the overall atmosphere is becoming more prominent.
Instead of focusing on each individual space consider how the area works together in its entirety. From furniture to plants, from wall color to pottery — look at the space in broad strokes with significant focal points.
Create bold masses of monochromatic plant material that cohesively accentuate a bold focal point, such as a specimen plant or piece of pottery. In patio spaces, you can paint a focal wall that will enliven the patio furniture and potted arrangements.
Outdoor Active Spaces
It is becoming more prevalent for people to create a diverse outdoor entertaining space.
Creating play spaces for social gatherings has quickly come in as a second request to outdoor kitchens.
Bocce ball courts, fire pits, putting greens with artificial turf, and dining areas are all hot ticket items.
Constructing an environment that is dynamic and functional makes the yard a usable space instead of a weekend chore.
People have reevaluated their use for their landscape since going through a drought. It has become a common request to include plants that are useful to our everyday lives.
Many have the mindset that if they are going to irrigate the space, they want to utilize the vegetation they are watering.
Concepts of permaculture have become commonplace within our landscapes. Including herb gardens near the door, dwarf fruit trees in pots or within the landscape and continual integration of edible and ornamental plants is increasingly growing in popularity.
We have redesigned a tremendous amount of yards these past few years with little to no lawns.
I feel that this is a strong trend people are going to pursue this coming year. Clients are analyzing what they need their lawn for and then making the decision of how much they need. If you want a traditional lawn for your kids or pets stick with Bermuda.
It is tough and has the lowest water requirement of the lawn varieties. If you want to explore some lawn alternatives look into native bunchgrasses, such as Carex, for a meadow effect.
You can also consider ground cover shrubs that have low water requirements. Species of Myoporum, Cotoneaster, Ceanothus, or Baccharis are some of my favorites.
From shrubs to edible trees, people want smaller. Less pruning and maintenance are a welcoming addition to the live-in yard instead of the work in the yard.
Those who are fans or ornamental grasses consider Pennisetum ‘Hameln’ or ‘Little Bunny’ for a dwarf version of the ever popular Fountain Grass. Green leaves give way to low white plumes barely reaching two feet tall.
Traditional favorites, such as Loropetalum (Razzleberry), Hydrangeas, Plumbago, and Azaleas have new varieties that mature to half the size of their original counterparts.
We love all things home and garden and would love to help you get started with your spring project.
Come by The Gardens for plant advice or schedule a design consultation.
Devon designs and manages The Gardens at Cal Turf in Tulare and can be reached at email@example.com
Upcoming Events at The Gardens
Saturday-Sunday, March 18-19: Step into Spring Sale
10 a.m. Saturday, March 25: Spring Herb Planter Workshop. $35 per person. RSVP
9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 22: Spring Open House
950 N. J St., Tulare. 559-688-2084 or www.thegardensshop.com
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Finally, Eric Peiffer could relax next to his “Pictured Rocks” waterfall as the 2016 West Michigan Home and Garden Show prepared to open its doors at the DeVos Place convention center on Thursday, March 2.
Peiffer, a landscaper with Outside Inc. of Marne, is one of 13 landscapers who are competing for top honors at the show, which runs through Sunday at 6 p.m.
Each landscaper was asked to create a Michigan-themed garden that will be judged by professionals, their peers and the public.
Peiffer said he started building the water feature center with a co-worker early Monday morning. They stayed still 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday, coming back 3 1/2 hours later to building the bridge, stacking boulders, plant trees and hook up the plumbing for their woodland waterfall scene.
Though they considered building an arch made of rock over their bridge, Peiffer said they decided to install picture frames in which visitors could pose instead.
At the other end of the convention center, Steve Essex of Essex Outdoor Design, was sweeping the patio blocks after installing his homage to Michigan’s four seasons with a setting that included a stuffed black bear, a whitetail deer, a fox, a coyote, beech martens and a bobcat.
“It’s a great way to get your name out there,” said Essex, who said a crew of eight has been working on the project since early Monday. “It’s a great place to give out ideas.”
While Michigan’s mild winter allowed them to continue working on outdoor projects this year, Essex said they are hoping the visitors to this year’s show will have enough cabin fever to leave their homes and yards.
“A little bit of winter is on our side,” he said. “If they want a breath of spring, they’re going to come here.”
This year’s show also will feature Carter Oosterhouse, star of home improvement programs on ABC, HGTV and TLC. Oosterhouse will host a seminar on home improvement and design trends on Friday at 7 p.m.
Don Engegretson, otherwise known as “The Renegade Gardener,” will host three gardening presentations. Engebretson spent four seasons on HGTV and has served as landscaping consultant to the popular PBS television show Hometime.
Author Ellen Ecker Ogden, who has written five books and has appeared on PBS’s Victory Garden, and HGTV’s Garden Smarts, will present “The Art of Growing Food” on the Cooking Stage.
IF YOU GO
The 2017 West Michigan Home and Garden Show will be held on the following days at DeVos Place Convention Center, 300 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids.
• Thursday, March 2: 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Friday, March 3: Noon to 9:30 p.m.
• Saturday, March 4: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Sunday, March 5: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m..
Single day adult tickets are $10, all-show tickets are $18. Children aged 6 to 14 are $4 while children five and under are free. Discount weekday adult admission coupons are available online at www.GRHomeShow.com and at participating Wendy’s.
For those of us who regard “snow” as a four-letter word, the annual Lehigh Valley Flower Show is a welcomed reprieve. Held March 10-12 at the Allentown Fairgrounds, the show’s timing feels hopeful — a colorful antidote to the muddled brown landscape outside and a reminder of the spring delights around the corner.
This year’s theme, “Gardens of The World,” aims to appeal to gardeners and travel bugs alike. The main exhibition is made up of the efforts of ten different landscapers, each of whom has chosen a different country to represent in their fantastical garden display. The United States, Brazil, The Netherlands, Lithuania, Switzerland, Japan, Canada, France, the UK and Norway will be among the countries represented at the show.
David Kerper, marketing director at Ballantine Management Group, the company putting on the show, likens the experience to miniature version of Disney’s Epcot, “it’s a condensed version of the country’s contribution through flowers and things apropos to that particular country,” Kerper explains.
In coming up with this year’s theme, Lisa Hyland, manager of presenting sponsor ABE Fence, says she envisioned guests would be able to travel to different countries through their flowers.
“My hope is that people see the gardens of the world and get ideas for their own landscaping,” Hyland says.
Those looking for garden inspiration won’t have to look far. While last year’s theme of “Keeping up with the Joneses,” was all about well-manicured lawns and grandiose gardens of Smalltown, U.S.A, organizers like Kerper hope this year’s theme will be educational and exciting — showcasing the flowers, plants and gardens of different countries. In addition to gardens, each of the 10 exhibiting landscapers will also display a hardscaped element that gives a nod to their country of choice. While Hyland doesn’t want to ruin the surprise for event-goers, she says ABE Fence is hoping to pull out all the stops to create a dazzling display, complete with boulders, cactus and other interesting materials they source for landscapers.
For other exhibitors like Jerry Tumolo, owner of Bucks County Nursery Florist, the flowers are main event. When tasked with choosing a country, Tumolo didn’t hesitate choosing The Netherlands: “we wanted to pick a country with beautiful flowers — tulips — so everything in our booth is in reference to Holland in the spring.” The good news for die-hard tulip fans? If you fall in love with a certain variety showcased in their exhibition, you can purchase the same variety in their booth next to the display. “We wanted to display tulips that guests can use in their own yard, instead of showing a variety that doesn’t grow well here,” Tumolo says.
Guests wanting to take a piece of the show home with them will have the opportunity to browse booths from more than 50 vendors displaying a wide variety of garden-related merchandise — think plants, outdoor decorations and equipment. In addition to the retail component, Kerper hopes the marketplace will “expose guests to new products and new techniques.”
Penn State Master Gardener Randy Feb hopes his talk on global warming will be well received. By showcasing research from Penn State and other universities, Fey aims to demonstrate trends that have real-life implications for local farmers and gardeners alike.
“Research is showing a warming trend that could affect when farmers will be planting, when insects will be pollinating trees — some that may have already flowered — this trend can change growing dates, and even hardiness zones as we’ve seen in the past,” Fey says, “we used to be zone 5, but we’re now considered zone 6.”
Focusing on local impact, Fey will also touch on how global warming can affect Pennsylvania’s hardwood industry, the latest drought in the Lehigh Valley and how past planting indicators are changing. For the last part of his talk, Fey will speak about sustainability and what we can do as gardeners and citizens to protect microclimates in the area.
“If more people were aware of their surroundings, hopefully there could be a domino effect of people doing good,” Fey says. Hint: plant more trees.
While horticulture education is at the forefront of the seminars offered at the Lehigh Valley Flower Show, students in Celeste Ball’s agriculture program at Kutztown High School will learn firsthand what it takes to plan, design and construct a garden from scratch. As one of the educational exhibitors in the show, Kutztown High School’s Future Farmers of America program will be designing a water feature featuring live ducklings as part of their design, along with a shelled corn play area for kids (in lieu of a traditional sandbox) and a planted landscape.
The students, who are in the 75th year of Kutztown High School’s FFA program, find the show to be a unique outlet to put the skills they learn in their agriculture classes to work.
“It’s nice for the kids to go to the flower show because it’s a hands-on opportunity to build something from the ground up,” Ball says. “They also learn a lot of good lessons working alongside professionals.”
Working in a small space with a limited budget, the students are tasked with coming up with creative solutions with limited resources — a skill that Ball says will serve them well later in their professional life. “We don’t have a big-dollar budget, so it forces the kids to be creative and think of whimsical ideas,” Ball says. “They do great with very little.”
Liz Sellers works in the Ferguson Bath, Kitchen and Lighting gallery at the Home Expo on Friday, March 3, 2017, at Sloan Convention Center. (Austin Anthonyfirstname.lastname@example.org)
Landscaping is typically viewed as a chore by homeowners, many of who enjoy doing some work on their lawns and gardens. But only few homeowners may recognize the potential dangers of lawn maintenance.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 230,000 people per year are treated for various injuries resulting from lawn and garden tools. Common injuries include loss of fingers, lacerations, broken and dislocated bones, eye injuries, and burns. Many of these injuries are entirely preventable if homeowners prioritize safety when tending to their lawns and gardens.
Understand the equipment
Homeowners should not assume they know how to use all of the tools necessary to maintain lush lawns and bountiful gardens. Familiarize yourself with the proper operation of manual and motorized equipment by reading the owner’s manual thoroughly, making special note of recommended safety guidelines.
Take some time to locate the power buttons and other parts by comparing them to illustrations in the guide. Once you feel comfortable handling the equipment, then you can begin to use it.
Wear appropriate protective gear
Failure to wear protective gear can lead to injury. Personal protective equipment includes gloves, eye protection, ear protection, boots, and a hard hat if necessary. When working during visibility conditions or at night, wear a reflective vest.
Other protective items include a hat to shade your eyes from the sun’s rays. Sunscreen will protect the skin from UVA and UVB radiation. Long pants and sleeves can guard against flying debris.
Watch your surroundings
Thousands of injuries occur to children and pets who get hurt around mowers. It’s best if children and pets remain indoors when homeowners are mowing or using other power equipment that may kick up debris. Children under the age of 12 may not have the strength or ability to operate lawn tools. Also, never make a game of riding a child on a riding mower. Nobody under the age of 16 should operate riding lawn mowers.
Get approval before digging
It’s difficult to know what is beneath the ground without having a property surveyed and marked. Digging without approval can result in damage to gas lines or water/sewer pipes. Always check with the utility company before digging trenches or holes.
Unplug or turn off all equipment
When not in use, keep lawn equipment off. Do not try to repair or fix a snag or obstruction in equipment while it is on. Don’t modify the equipment in any way, such as removing protective guards.
Exercise caution with chemicals
Follow manufacturers’ safety instructions when using pesticides or fertilizers. Avoid application on windy days or right before a rainstorm, as this can spread the product and damage the ecosystem. Keep people and pets away from treated areas.
Maintaining the yard is both a necessity and a hobby. Homeowners who prioritize safety can greatly reduce their risk of injury.
The city is in bloom, in shades of white, pink and purple, as showy azalea shrubs indulge our passion for spring flowers.
BROWNSBURG — With spring quickly approaching, many Hendricks County residents are eager to get out and work on their spring landscape improvements.
The month of February brought unseasonably warm temperatures to the area, bringing garden center shoppers out sooner than normal.
Stephanie Sheldon, general manager at Frazee Gardens in Brownsburg, said normally the first of April to mid-April is when their busy season really picks up.
As the busy season approaches, Sheldon said it’s important that Frazee Gardens helps people with their spring improvement needs.
“I think it’s good to have some knowledge and background to help the customer because sometimes plants can be misleading and we want to make sure they are buying the right plant for the right site otherwise you’re not successful and we want the customer to be as successful as possible with their purchase,” Sheldon said. “That makes the whole experience for everybody important.”
Frazee Gardens offers a full range of plant material from perennials and annuals to hanging baskets, shrubs, trees and evergreens. Mulch, stone products and garden décor are also large parts of the business.
Additionally, trees and the tree planting service have been a big hit for customers of Frazee Gardens.
Sheldon said typically March is a good time of year to clean out landscape beds, cut grass, use weed control and start mulching. Then in April, she encourages people to begin planting shrubs and trees. Annuals are to be planted in late April to early May.
Whether a newbie to landscaping or a pro, Frazee Gardens hopes that every person has good customer service.
“We kind of pride ourselves on our customer service taking care of our customers, answering their questions, service with a smile, our knowledgeable sales staff we have,” Sheldon said. “It sets us a little bit above going to a box store.”
Depending on a landscape budget, Sheldon offers tips on spring landscape improvements.
It can be something as simple as a container on a front porch to incorporating new perennials to removing overgrown plants and starting fresh.
Even thinking small, adding a deck planter to a back porch of an apartment can go a long way.
“It’s always fun to add new plants to your landscape and watch things change and grow through the seasons,” she said.
For those who want help with major landscaping, Sheldon suggests going to Brownsburg Landscape, the parent company of Frazee Gardens.
Frazee Gardens’ current winter hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Spring hours will start back up in mid-March.
To learn more about Frazee Gardens, visit the website at www.frazeegardens.com.
Follow Hendricks County Flyer reporter Sara Nahrwold on Twitter at @saranahrwold.