Planning Your Garden Setting for the Spring

spring garden planting
Image via Pinterest

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.

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

Watering the Garden
Image via Organic Gardening

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
Image via Fine Gardening

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!

The Beauty Behind a Rain Garden

Rain Garden
A rain garden provides a beautiful setting for creating a sustainable garden.

The beauty behind a rain garden is not only aesthetically pleasing for your yard but it’s also beneficial for the environment. You can assist your community by reducing the amount of stormwater pollution you produce, and using that water instead to benefit your gardens. A rain garden is even easy to build and very affordable as well.

Building a rain garden allows for rainwater to be captured from your property. The water that comes down from the roof, driveway, and sidewalks is then transferred to a garden that allows for a slow absorption into the ground. Rain gardens are typically dug four to eight inches deep, allowing them to hold a great deal of water at one time. Pollutants are filtered out at a higher rate than your lawn would and in turn your garden will flourish, sustaining itself.

The beauty of a rain garden runs deep. These gardens are a lovely and beneficial choice for personal use and even for an entire community’s use, as they are often used to provide drinking water for communities. Simply put, a rain garden is a wonderful way to boost the unique attributes of your home garden while helping to sustain our environment.


Image via Guardian

Attracting Hummingbirds to a Garden

Of course we love the unique and antique enhancements that can be brought to a garden, but one of our favorite garden features isn’t something that can be purchased at all – it’s only found in nature. Hummingbirds, one of nature’s surest signs of the season, are a delightful part of many home gardens. They bring a bit of excitement and wonder to a garden that can only be found when you take a moment to enjoy the setting. To keep up the view, there are specific things you can do to entice them to visit.

garden hummingbird
As one of the garden's finest natural additions, hummingbirds simply need a welcoming environment for them to visit.
  • Plant nectar rich flowers. Hummingbirds are most attracted to red plants but will visit any nectar rich flower, regardless of color.  Bleeding hearts, salvias, and honeysuckles are a few of the flower varieties perfect for attracting hummingbirds.
  • Attract insects. Hummingbirds also feed on insects in your garden.  Refrain from using pesticides or insecticides that will kill insects and consider planting insect-attracting flowers.
  • Install a feeder. Invest in a nectar feeder specifically designed for hummingbirds. You can choose from a wide variety of feeders including gel packs, inverted tubes, or saucer dishes. Of course, you can get creative with the project by stopping by Marvin Gardens. 
  • Focus on moving water sources. All birds like water, but hummingbirds will rarely use a bird bath.  Instead, they are attracted to moving sources of water such as misters, fountains, or moving sprinklers.  Hummingbirds are known to find a perch in a spray or fly through a sprinkler stream to cool off.
  • Provide perches. Hummingbirds tend to use a perch to rest and preen between feedings.  Providing thin perches such as clotheslines or wires near food sources will give the hummingbirds a reason to stay in your garden.

Happy Memorial Day from Marvin Gardens!

This time of the year is certainly something to be celebrated. With the warmer spring weather and exciting events around every corner, we trust that you’re enjoying the Memorial Day weekend and the spring season so far.

As we celebrate Memorial Day, we thought we would take a look back at some of our most popular posts from the Marvin Gardens Blog. We enjoy using this method of communicating with our clients and friends, and we hope you do too. Simply click on the links below to see our most popular posts.

Prepare Your Garden For Fall Succulents

Marving Gardens

With a Vertical Garden There is No Excuse for No Space

marvin gardens

5 Festive Winter Plants

Marving Gardens

Add a Touch of Cottage Style to Your Home

 Marving Gardens

Do you have a favorite? Leave a comment and let us know about it.  We wish all of you a Happy Memorial Day!

Add Architectural Interest with Garden Obs & Spheres

Along with the fabulous accents and blooming flowers in a garden, your outdoor arrangement should include a few statement pieces that ground the design and provide a focal point. Creating this sort of arrangement doesn’t come easily, which is why we are so enthralled by the use of architectural elements in a garden.

Architectural garden additions are distinctive pieces that add visual interest while providing a dimension of artistry. As you can see from our installations below, the orbs and spheres can be used in large, open areas or alongside a property’s fine landscaping.

What do you think of the orbs? Have you seen them in person yet? If not, we encourage you to stop by Marvin Gardens. Even if an orb may not work for your home, the structures are striking to see in person.


Garden Orb

Garden Orb

Garden Orb

Garden Orb

Looking for Local Garden Artistry?

Garden Accessories at Marvin Gardens
Pushing your creative boundaries for gardening is exciting here at Marvin Gardens.

Sometimes the best design items are the ones that are closest to home. We know this because we search high and low, across the country and beyond for the rare and unique garden accessories that you find at Marvin Gardens, yet many of our best products are brought to us by local artists and dealers.

In being an outlet for this sort of design, we’re able to offer the best of both worlds! For the artist, we’re able to provide a location for them to showoff their work. For our clients, you’ll find items that are truly one of a kind and fashioned close to home. From innovative ideas to re-purposed items, these selections are lovely accents to outdoor spaces.

Have you found your specialty garden accessories yet this year? If so, we would love to hear about it! We enjoy hearing how our clients find ways to reinvent and decorate their gardens each year. If you haven’t found these items yet, take a moment to stop by Marvin Gardens this week!

Cast Iron Plant Markers Bring a New Style to Garden Organization

Garden at Greenwich Estate
Taking on a spring garden is a fabulous way to enjoy the season!

As you think through all of the lovely flowers and plants you would like to plant in your gardens this year, what are some of your favorites that come to mind? Of course we love the succulents and sedums we mentioned last week, or the vibrant flowers of the spring season, but don’t forget to include your favorite herbs in the garden as well!

Growing your own herbs is a wonderfully rewarding experience. A garden full of fresh herbs means that they can be grown in an environment that you control and will be contained in a convenient place for cooking.

The only thing you’ll need? A little help with organizing your herb garden! At Marvin Gardens, we offer permanent herb markers to help you keep the herbs organized. The markers are made of cast iron, so not only are they beautiful, but they’ll last through the years to come. Now, labeling your lavender, oregano, basil, thyme, chives, and sage can be more convenient, and lovely than ever!

Email to mail order your selections!

Designing Your Own Garden (Part II)

Spring is in the air, leaves are on the trees, and flowers are blooming! This is a great time of year to put your green thumb to work.

Earlier this week, we began to detail the steps that you should take in order to start the planning your own garden.

After you’ve analyzed your space and drawn your garden, you will want to make a list of the different elements that you plan on including. Are you planning an arbor? How about a perennial bed?

Now that your space has a well defined style, it’s time to get to work putting it all together. You’ll want to keep the following two tips in mind when determining what type of plants to install:

  • Use plants with similar care requirements (i.e. watering, soil, sunlight)
  • Plant with the proper mulch that will keep the soil moist in the summer heat

When you’re ready to take it a step further, here is a great article on garden design that is published on

And of course, feel free to consult with Marvin Gardens for more specific, custom design ideas.