Were you aware that tropical plants can grow in North Carolina and some are even shade tolerant? Tropical plants can offer large, lush leaves and interesting textures to your landscape. Read on to learn about some tropical plants for NC shade gardens.
I used to take walks on the American Tobacco Trail since it’s close to my house. During the 2020 pandemic, I started walking along the neighborhood streets to avoid the crowded trail and began to pay more attention to the front yards. Read on to learn about some cool finds on my neighborhood walks. Continue reading Cool Finds on My Neighborhood Walks→
At the start of 2020, I had no plans for significant work in my back yard – in fact, I was looking forward to a break from projects as we were in the process of completing a very involved basement renovation. Once we knew we would be spending a lot more time at home this year I started thinking about how to make our property as comfortable and enjoyable as possible during this challenging time. Our desire to spend time outside with friends and family led to an almost complete renovation of our back yard.
Dry creek beds have gained popularity for stormwater management. They can be successfully designed when considering 3 elements: Environment, Shape, and Planting. Read on to learn more about 3 elements for dry creek bed design. Continue reading 3 Elements for Dry Creek Bed Design→
Bright Leaf Landscaping provides landscape design and installation services to Durham, Chapel Hill, and Hillsborough. Boulder placement has been tied into many of our landscape design projects. Read on to learn about highlighting boulders in your garden.
Clients want boulders incorporated into their gardens for many reasons. I’ll create a bed of low growing plants around the boulders. I like to use a variety of groundcovers and spiky textured plants. The idea is to showcase the boulder, not cover it up. You can even install a spotlight for a nighttime view.
If you’ve seen flowers still blooming into the holiday season, it could be an Aster. Fall Aster varieties are native and are available in an assortment of colors and sizes. Read on to learn about choosing Asters for fall color.
I love the beautiful containers I see in magazines throughout the year – a combination of petunias, cannas, and other warm-season annuals in the summer, or conifers, pansies, and kale in the winter. Unfortunately, these plant combinations almost never work for me – inevitably one plant doesn’t grow, one grows too much and flops, and it never achieves the lush look I’m going for. Read on to learn what I do instead.
Use cold hardy shrubs, perennials, and grasses in containers.
Step stone paths are a great option for a walkway. Size, spacing, and material are important considerations. Read on to learn more about my suggestions for step stone paths. Step stone size is a key factor to a functional path. I commonly see 1×1 step stone pavers that drive me crazy. They are too small and are less visually impactful. I suggest choosing step stones that are approximately 2’ deep by 3’ wide for a comfortable walk.
Manmade Paver Step Stone Path with Unnatural Color and Size
Step stone spacing is another important element to a functional path. Placing the step stones too close makes it awkward to walk. I suggest spacing the 2’x3’ step stones about 2.5’ from each center. You’ll naturally land in the middle of the step stone with each pace.
Natural Step Stone Path with Proper Size and Spacing
Step stone material is a big choice to make. I suggest choosing a natural stone for your path. You can easily find the size and color you want. The stone comes in irregular shapes that provide a more natural appearance. You can also choose cut stone with rectangular shapes for a formal or modern look.
Are you considering a step stone path with your next planting? Contact us at 919.619.4460 or fill out our online contact form. Landscape design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!
As the weather heats up shade trees become more important in the garden. Read on to learn about three factors involved in shade creation – time, plant selection, and spacing.
One of the great things about gardening is that it forces even the busiest person to be patient. You can’t force it to be spring or fall, you can’t force grass seed to germinate faster, or bulbs to come up before they are ready. This is especially true with shade creation – most trees that we plant will never provide shade for us, maybe the future homeowner, or our grandkids, years down the road.
For clients looking to create shade as quickly as possible, I would advise starting with as big a tree as you can afford, while still making sure it is a tree that works in the space at maturity. There’s nothing worse than planting a large tree too close to the house and then having to cut it down once it’s tall enough to provide shade.