Fall is a Great Time to Prepare Your Garden for Spring

Source: luigi diamanti via Freedigitalphotos.net

Just getting started is often the hardest step in planting a spring garden. With all the work involved, it can sometimes seem like an overwhelming task. A great solution to this annual problem is to start the work in the fall.  Here are some easy ways to get ready for next year’s planting:

Compost Heaps – While not directly beneficial to the garden at this point, it will allow you to jump start it when the spring finally arrives. Just keep adding your compostable material and rotating it throughout the off-season.

Cover Crops – In addition to preventing soil erosion, the right cover crop can add valuable nutrients and minerals to your garden with little or no effort from you. Some good choices are rye, buckwheat and clover.

Discarded Leaves – Collect them, shred them and add a 2” layer over your garden bed. They will decompose over the winter. In the spring, you can then turn them into the soil to keep it loose and mineral-rich for your new plants.

For more information on planning your next year’s garden, contact us at Marvin Gardens by calling  203-544-2020.

Ideas for Designing a Showstopping Front Yard

Source: Marvin Gardens

People’s first impression of your home forms at the first moment they set their eyes on your front yard. Even a beautiful interior design can’t shake off a bad impression once it’s already established.

For this reason, your front yard deserves a makeover if it’s currently making a lackluster impression. For this simple renovation project, think of a good outdoor design idea which you can easily execute. Start with a unifying theme that ties in all elements together for a harmonious look.

If you love the farmland aesthetic, for example, you can collect garden sculptures of farm animals and pair them with your plants and trees in your front yard. Continue the theme with farm-style fencing surrounding planting areas or an attractive farmhouse gate leading to your front porch.

If you want something less whimsical and more classic, try focusing more on attractive arrangements of flowers and other plants. You can add variety with container plants and classical statues.

There are many ways to decorate your front yard, but the final design boils down to what you like and what suits your home. Let your creativity take the reigns on this one! To get more ideas, visit us at Marvin Gardens or request more information.


How to Care for Your Kimberly Queen Fern in Fall

Source: Marvin Gardens

Nothing makes a home feel more welcoming than a well maintained Kimberly Queen Fern. They are so elegant and rich looking!  Plus the health benefits to having interior ferns are well documented.

But now that seasons are changing, certain things need to be done in order to ensure your fern will continue to flourish during the cooler months.

  • When relocating your fern indoors, make sure to place it near a window where it can get a minimum of four hours of sunlight daily. At the same time, don’t place it too close to a direct source of heat.
  • Fertilize at least once a month, though you may need to fertilize twice a month if the fern seems to be going through a growth spurt.
  • Raise the humidity level by installing a cool mist humidifier in the same room. If that’s not possible, spray the fern several times daily with tepid water.
  • Take care not to over water. The soil needs to be kept moist but with no standing water on top of the soil.
  • Reduce the heat at night. These ferns need a period of cooler temperatures in order to thrive.

Need more information? Contact us at Marvin Gardens for all your garden care needs.

Decorate to Entertain Outdoors

garden design accessories
Source: Marvin Gardens

Entertaining outdoors is many people’s favorite pasttime. Whether you’re throwing a weekend get-together or an end-of-summer bash, follow these basic tips for decorating your outdoor entertaining space.

Don’t Be Afraid of Patterns

Mixing and matching patterns is scary, but it can help make your outdoor space lively and fun. When mixing and matching patterns try to make sure the patterns share at least one unifying color.

Use Mirrors

Outdoor mirrors aren’t common, and most people don’t think about putting a mirror outside. However, if you have a small outdoor space, they can really make it feel bigger. Using mirrors outside can also make your space feel more formal and elegant.

Sports Fans 

If you regularly have backyard barbecues or just have casual get-togethers in your outdoor space, adding a television to your entertaining area makes sense. While you obviously can’t put a television in an area where it will be exposed to harsh weather, open air spaces that are fully covered are perfect spaces for a TV. Add heat lamps and you can use your space almost all year.

Visit Marvin Gardens for more information and to find garden design accessories perfect for your outdoor space.

Succulent Spotlight: Echeveria

Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

If you’re looking for a new plant to spruce up your garden, then succulents are the way to go. Succulents will provide your garden with an incredibly unique look, and they are easy to care for as well. There are plenty of gorgeous succulents to choose from; personally, we recommend checking out the Echeveria succulent.

Echeveria succulents tend to thrive in milder climates and can be found in California as well as the American Southwest. They are one of the more popular succulents among homeowners due to the fact that they boast a colorful foliage throughout the year. While they are sensitive to cold, they make for a fantastic container plant, which means you can just take it inside during the winter months.

While they don’t need to be watered often to survive, Echeveria succulents do look their best with moderate watering. They also need full sun, but give them some shelter from especially harsh summer sunlight. Additionally, they are also tolerant to drought and resistant to deer, which means you don’t have to worry about your succulent becoming an afternoon snack!

For more advice on succulent arrangements, contact us at Marvin Gardens USA.

Garden Features to Fill Your Yard With Butterflies

garden design ideas
Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

Many homeowners bend over backwards to attract birds to their yard. While we have no objections to our avian friends, we also like to see a wide variety of insect life, including the magnificent butterfly, in our yards.

Butterflies thrive in a variety of conditions, but here are three ways to ensure that you always have a large, varied population in your yard:

  • Choose the Right Plants – Butterflies are quite picky in their choice of flowers. For example, monarchs are particularly fond of Blazing Star while swallowtails love Queen Anne’s Lace. Check with your local arboretum or garden pro for advice.
  • Add a Splashing Water Feature – Naturally, butterflies need water but will only drink from small droplets or mud puddles so a good “butterfly” fountain will spray water all around the area.
  • Put Off that Winter Yard Cleaning – Most butterflies spend the winter in a cocoon nestled in the dead material in your garden. Cleaning it too soon just eliminates the next year’s butterflies.

For more ways to attract wildlife to your backyard or for other great garden design ideas, contact us at Marvin Gardens. Find us online at MarvinGardensUSA.com or call us directly at 203-544-2020.

Tips for Watering a Container Garden

container gardens
Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

Keeping a beautiful container garden  is an easy way to boost the curb appeal of your home, and it allows you to move your plants inside more easily during the cooler months. However, if you don’t water your garden correctly, your plants will not thrive. While some plants, such as succulent arrangements, don’t require much water, some need moist soil almost constantly. The following are a few tips to help you water your container garden:

  • How Often – Succulents generally don’t need much water. The soil should be completely dry between each watering. If you water your succulents too much, it can lead to them declining.
  • How Much – You’ll want to add water to your container plants until it begins running out of the drainage holes in the pot. This will help to ensure that the root mass is watered sufficiently. However, if the soil is completely dry, which with succulents will probably be the case, you’ll want to water a second time to make sure the soil becomes hydrated.
  • How to Water – Avoid getting the leaves of the plant wet. Instead, focus the watering on the soil.

For all your gardening needs, be sure to contact us at Marvin Gardens.

Your Pets Can Enjoy Your Garden Too!

planning your garden
Source: stock.xchng

Odds are you’ve put a lot of thought into planning your garden; after all, you have to consider the wants and needs of everyone in your family. However, you don’t want to forget about your pets, because there’s a good chance your pets will spend more time in your garden then you will. The following are a few pet-friendly features that you could implement into your outdoor area:

  • Water Fountain – Set up a fountain and refresh its water on a daily basis with your sprinkler system. This will give your dogs a fun way to keep hydrated.
  • Cat Post – If you have a cat, then why not put up a tall wooden stake? Wrap it in rot-proof rope so that your cat can spend its lazy afternoons climbing up and down as well as scratching the post.
  • Dog House – Give your dogs their own little spot by building a small dog house. Don’t forget to add on a porch so that they can rest easy while enjoying the weather!

These are just a few ways that you can add pet features to your garden. For more assistance planning your garden, contact us at Marvin Gardens USA.