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Plants with Benefits

Plants add beauty to every room and every yard that they are added to, but what many people do not know is that many of these plants have health benefits as well. The following plants are the best houseplants to add to your home to purify the air and keep your home clean.

Boston Fern: Boston ferns are great for shady spots of your yard or for hanging under a porch. They also make great houseplants and clean many air pollutants that can be found in your home.  When kept indoors, Boston ferns need to be watered and fertilized regularly.  It also helps to mist their leaves. Kimberly Queen ferns, which look similar to the Boston fern but stand more upright,  These ferns can handle dryer air that many of our homes have in the winter time.






Palm Trees: There are a wide variety of palm trees that you can use in your home to help clean the air.  From the smaller varieties, like the neanthe bella palm, to the larger Emerald Palms, these all are fairly easy to care for. Palms do well in the cooler temperatures, but do need moderate to bright light.  They typically need to be watered about once a week, but check the soil to be sure it does not need it more or less often.










Rubber Plants: Rubber plants are a great houseplant for homes without a lot of light or for darker offices. While they do not need a lot of light, they can do wonders for purifying the air.  Rubber plants do, however, need water regularly.














English Ivy: This common houseplant is another great way to clean the air in your home.  It prefers a bright room and misting its leaves on a regular basis helps keep it healthy while indoors. 









Peace Lily: Peace lilies are amazing houseplants that do not need a lot of light, but are one of the few houseplants to bloom.  Peace lilies remove many VOCs that are emitted by harsh cleaning products, making it a wonderful addition to any home or office.  


Living Privacy Walls

Part of the charm of the suburbs is having neighbors.  Neighbors, however, can also be a hindrance. Sometimes all you want is a little bit of privacy in your backyard, and one great way to do that is with living privacy walls. 

The first type of privacy wall is to plant a line of evergreen shrubs or trees.  These give you year-round privacy. While fences may need permits to install, trees do not.  But be sure to pay attention to the height, width and the surroundings of your natural fence. 

If you have power lines above where you are going to plant your fence, be sure you select a tree or shrub that will not interfere with these.  Checking the width of maturity is important as well, because this will tell you how far apart to plant your evergreens and how many you will need. While they can grow in an area with less sun, they will not grow as quickly if they were in a sunny location. 

Some of the best evergreens to use as privacy walls are arborvitae (much like the ones here at the greenhouse), cypress and juniper.  All of these range not only size and shape, but in the color  and texture of the foliage. 

If you want something that is a blooming privacy wall, you have both annual and perennial choices.  The important thing to note is that these will not be a year-round wall. However, if you really only use your outdoor living space during the summer, this won’t be a problem.

Some of the perennials you can choose from are vines like clematis, climbing hydrangea or honeysuckle that will grow up on a trellis.  Other perennials are different varieties of plants that grow to be taller, like hardy hibiscus, rudbeckia, bee balm, Joe Pye weed and hydrangeas. 

Finally, you can always go the route of perennial grasses.  Choosing a taller, fuller grass will give you privacy you may be looking for, without having to prune off dead flowers during the season.  Grasses can even be left during the winter months to add some visual interest.  They will not be green throughout the winter months, and will need to be cut back in the early spring, but they will still provide that privacy for you through the cooler months of the year.

Finally, your final choice for a privacy screening is to install a living wall.  These are typically made of wood and range in size.  They have rows for you to plant your flowers and foliage plants to create a literal wall of plants.  Some people plant herbs and succulents, keeping it basic and a useful tool to keep nearby your home.  Other people plant a mix of blooming plants and colorful foliage to add a lot of interest to your patio or deck.

Living walls can be beautiful with colors and textures that vary more than just an evergreen, but these too will not survive the winter and will need to be re-planted each year.  These will also take more care and maintenance throughout the summer, with both watering and pruning.

No matter which route you take, living walls can add a lot of texture and color to your yard and add privacy to your outdoor living space.


Introducing: Bounce Impatiens

Image from gpnmag.com

The past few years, shade gardeners have been having lots of trouble due to impatiens downy mildew. With having such a cold winter last year, we had hope that the disease had been eradicated. Unfortunately, the disease started to pop up again late last summer in the Midwest.

Luckily, horticulturists have created a variety of impatiens that is resistant to impatiens downy mildew called Bounce Impatiens. These impatiens look similar to New Guinea impatiens, but there are two key differences.

The first difference is in the name of these impatiens. Bounce impatiens get their name from their ability to "bounce back" from a missed watering or two, without losing blooms or buds.  The second difference is that Bounce impatiens have more of a traditional impatiens growth and flowering habit.  Bounce impatiens grow wide, filling up garden beds and containers as the classic impatiens would, as well as long bloom times and they are easy to grow.

Bounce impatiens come in cherry, lavender, lilac, red, violet and white. Just like impatiens, they need to be planted in part to full shade and need no deadheading.  

This summer, when looking for a pop of color for your shady spots in your garden, give Bounce Impatiens a try.


Happy Easter

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and become obedient to death --- even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

-Philippians 2: 5-11


The Art of Bonsai: April 11

Call to register today! 630-323-1085