Concrete Accents That Style a Rain Garden

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A rain garden is a wonderful innovation not only in containing natural beauty, but as a means of protecting and restoring natural resources as well. We also love rain gardens because of their ability to nurture and grow native plants, intercept runoff, infiltrate storm water to restore aquifers, reduce flooding, purify water and improve the base flow of streams and rivers. Further, a rain garden can be just as beautiful as it is useful with the proper concrete accents bringing contrast to the natural lushness.

Some Ideas include:

  • Concrete stones which can be used to bring the green elements together with the water elements for the purposes of creating lovely waterfall effects.
  • Concrete walkways that wind throughout the rain garden can not only offer a safe path to enjoy the garden on, but also offer a marvelous juxtaposition to the flora.
  • It is also important to have areas within your rain garden reserved strictly for the people seeking to enjoy it, as such combining a concrete base with matching outdoor furniture can create the perfect environment for a pleasant day or evening spent enjoying your rain garden.

What do you think of having a rain garden at your home? Share your ideas and thoughts with us on the Marvin Gardens Facebook page!

Springtime Containers: Fun Ways to Arrange Your Succulents

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Succulents are great for any season, but while you need to wait until summer to really appreciate your floral arrangements, you can create and enjoy outdoor succulent arrangements as early as the last frost. Succulents are extremely versatile and easy to take care of, owing to their shallow roots, easy propagation, and tolerance of low moisture. The different colors, shapes, and sizes of succulent plants can be combined to create a myriad of arrangements.

You have many choices when choosing an arrangement for your succulents. While you could use a regular pot, if you’re feeling creative you can use more interesting containers. Here’s a beautiful example of a succulent arrangement we made using a stone container. Due to their shallow root system, you can even create vertical succulent arrangements, something you can’t easily do with floral arrangements. Vertical arrangements can even be laid into wreaths and other fun designs.

Contact Marvin Gardens for more ideas to help you plan the perfect arrangements for your succulents. And make sure to take advantage of our moving sale! We’re moving to a new location and holding the sale until March 31st.

Terrarium Inspiration

Terrariums can be the perfect accented touch to any room in your home, office or outdoor living space. Gardens under glass can prosper in nearly any enclosed object that allows light through and requires extremely low-maintenance, making them ideal for anyone. Of course, one of our favorite ways to build these little havens is to re-purpose an object, making the decor perfectly unique. You can easily re-purpose old bottles, vases, aquariums or even an old light bulb for your terrarium.

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These tiny environments work perfectly as a centerpiece at your dining room table, or an urban environment that lacks that touch of nature, or even as an addition to your outdoor garden. Your terrarium design determines what plants you include and where you place it. Whatever plants you include in your terrarium need to have similar needs so the location suits them all the same. You can easily mimic a miniature desert, jungle, flower patch, beach or any imaginable environment regardless of where you live.

Anyone can create a terrarium and we encourage you to do so! For more information or tips to help get you started with your own terrarium contact us at Marvin Gardens, we can assist you in finding the perfect fit for any space in your life.

3 Creative Tools To Help a Garden Grow Vertically

garden design
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Planting a vertical garden is an excellent way to add visual interest to your landscaping design and to maximize the space in your yard. There are many different types of flowering plants that thrive in vertical gardens including black-eyed susan vines, lantana, trailing impatients, and verbena. Each of these varieties has a small root structure, won’t add excess weight to the vertical planters, and are hearty plants.

Consider growing your vertical garden on:

  • Trellises You can build your own trellises or purchase them ready to install. You can also increase the usefulness of the trellises by strategically placing them in the garden to provide shade for other plants.
  • Gates or decorative fences Wrought iron or other decorative fences and gates are inherently beautiful but a vining flower adds depth and character. These can be functional or simply added to a garden for decoration.
  • Spiraled metal poles These can be placed amidst a horizontal garden to add vertical interest. Flowers will easily grow up and through the poles.

To learn more about tools for a vertical garden contact the professionals at Marvin Gardens. We understand the unique need of each garden and are committed to creating custom designs for your home.

Bring a Mirror Outside: How a Mirror Can Bring New Life to a Garden Design

garden accessories
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If you’re trying to think of an outdoor design idea that will really help to spruce up your garden area, consider using an indoor element, such as a mirror. Mirrors can be used in a number of different ways throughout the garden, and they even have several benefits. Not only do they help compliment natural light by reflecting it to where you choose, mirrors can also help the area seem larger. The following are just a couple of ways that you can integrate mirrors into your garden design.

  • Small Spaces – If you have small or narrow planting areas, then you can immediately increase the perception of space by hanging a mirror nearby.
  • Mirror Collage – Do you have a small shed in your garden? Create a visual interest on those boring shed walls by hanging a number of different style mirrors together in a collage.
  • Tabletop – Reflect beautiful blue skies and white clouds by using a mirror as the top to your garden table.

These are just a few ideas that you can take for using mirrors in the garden. For more outdoor design ideas, be sure to visit Marvin Gardens on Facebook.

Antique Trucks To Suit Any Style

antique trucks
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For more than a century, Americans have had a love affair with the automobile. This love of all things automotive stretches across every make and model including the most utilitarian of vehicles, the humble pick-up truck.

It is not just the auto enthusiast who understands all the workings of a combustion engine that can appreciate a beautiful car. There are countless people who simply love the style and beauty of an antique automobile.

These national treasures are becoming scarcer by the year and any antique trucks for sale make a great investment and a great focal point for anyone with a backyard, a garden or a landscape vision. Finding these gems may take some digging and some time, but they are certainly worth the effort.

The process of finding vintage, antique trucks for sale may seem a daunting task but here at Marvin Gardens, we’ve had the opportunity to collect several antique trucks that we adore and would love to pass along to our wonderful clients. Our team is always thrilled to help you identify the right vintage truck for your needs and show you a few that just might fit the bill.

Planning Your Garden Setting for the Spring

spring garden planting
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Winter is finally coming to an end, which means you can begin using your garden setting again, whether it’s for preparing the garden for spring planting, or setting out your patio furniture to begin entertaining. The following are a few tips to help with planning your garden for this upcoming spring.

  • Prepare for Spring Planting – Make sure to test the pH level of your soil. For example, if it is lacking calcium, then add gypsum. Make sure the soil has plenty of nutrients for when you begin planting by adding a layer of compost to the soil. Begin planning out what you are going to plant and where. Some vegetables that are perfect for spring include arugula, carrots, kale, lettuce and spinach.
  • Prepare for Entertaining – Take out any furniture that you stored during the winter months and make sure you clean them off thoroughly, as they may have gotten dusty or dirty. Add to the atmosphere by picking up vases, small tables, extra chairs, throw pillows, garden statues and more.

Be sure to visit us online at Marvin Gardens to find all the garden inspiration that you need this spring.

Downton Abbey: A Look at a Divine Garden Design

garden designs
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“Classic” and “divine” are two words that can certainly describe the gardens in the 19th century Highclere Castle, the backdrop scene for our favorite Downton Abbey television series. In grand English fashion, Lancelot Capability Brown set out the garden purposely to heighten the English aesthete worthy of his fabulous name. A garden design idea or two can be taken from his impressive outlay that can be used in our own gardens.

Brown sprinkled free-standing architectural ornamentations throughout the gardens. They called them ‘follies’ and we called them statues, or unique or re-purposed items that enhance the flow of the landscape. They can be whimsical, quirky or vintage. For example, blocks of discarded industrial, retro pieces can easily be re-purposed. Outfitted with vegetation or gorged with beautiful flowers, they create a distinctive setting, as any garden should.

Spreads of azaleas, rhododendrons and rare acers dotted Brown’s gardens. There were also plenty of fruit trees. Weeping Beech trees were used for dramatic effect and cedar trees by the hundreds were planted. Snapdragons, dark lobelia and astrantia were found along walls.

The beautifully planned gardens of Downton consummate taste can be a reflection of your own yard, no matter what size. Visit Marvin Gardens to experience the inspiration it takes to create a setting reminiscent of Downton Abbey.

Signs to Look For That Indicate You’re Over-Watering Your Garden

Watering the Garden
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Sometimes the simple task of watering your garden can turn into a classic case of too much of a good thing. Proper garden design takes into account the critical role water plays in the survival of plants. All gardeners learn early on to be aware of the dire consequences of insufficient water. This concern with avoiding under-watering and its consequences sometimes results in a temptation to be over-attentive and water too much.

Over-watered plants are basically suffocated: excess moisture in the soil prevents the absorption of vital oxygen. Unfortunately, the early visible cues of over-watering are often very similar to the symptoms of under-watering. Over-watering can result from simply applying too much water too often, or it can be a consequence of faulty garden design that provides inadequate drainage and results in excess water retention in the soil.

Over-watering requires immediate corrective action to avoid plant death. Here are a few of the visual signs of over-watering:

  • Yellowed lower leaves on the plant.
  • A wilted or sagging appearance.
  • Stunted root growth and/or rotting roots.
  • Failure to thrive in the growing cycle.
  • New leaves turn brown quickly.
  • Algae growing in the soil causing a green appearance.

If you notice these signs in your plants, assess your watering habits to know if you need to simply water less or if you need to address an issue with your garden design.  Share your own tips for maintaining a healthy garden on our Facebook page!

Keep Weeds Under Control With These Easy Tips

Get Rid of Garden Weeds
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When spring has finally sprung, you’ll want to enjoy the sunshine and beautiful weather, not spend your time pulling weeds out of your garden. Here are a few easy things you can do to prevent weeds from ever becoming a problem, courtesy of The Farmer’s Almanac.

  • Mow them down. Keep your lawn well-manicured; mowing regularly (particularly along your property’s edges) to help keep the weeds at bay and stop them from ever invading your garden.
  • Mulch, mulch, mulch. The benefits of mulch cannot be overstated. It provides your plants with important nutrients and enhances garden design tremendously, but, perhaps most importantly, it can block sunlight from reaching the weed seedlings, thus stunting and preventing growth.
  • Stay together. Try planting your seeds closer together than you normally would. The more spread out your plants are across your garden design, the more room you leave open for weeds to sneak in.
  • Ready the guillotine! If weeds have already invaded your garden, one easy way to remove them without spending an entire morning is to just cut off their heads before they get a chance to flower.

Have any other helpful tips for beating back weeds? Share them on our Facebook page!