What Not to Do in Your Garden

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Source: Marvin Garden Facebook

Gardening is a great way to relax, and many people that try it find a lifelong hobby. However, when you’re new to gardening it’s easy to make simple mistakes that can harm your plants. Use this guide to avoid big mistakes that are commonly made by beginning gardeners.

Using the Same Soil

Using the same type of soil for everything in your garden area can seem simple, and after all, soil is just soil, right? The short answer is no! When buying soil, especially if you’re going to use it for indoor plants, make sure you ask a garden professional for the right kind.

Staking All Trees 

When planting young trees in really windy areas, staking is a good idea to keep them from toppling to the ground. However, if you’re not in a windy area, allowing the trees to sway actually helps roots grow deeper, making a stronger tree.

Always Using Mulch Rings

Not all trees need mulch rings. In fact, all they do for many varieties of trees is extend the drip line, making them need more water.

Visit us at Marvin Gardens for beautiful garden accessories to make your healthy garden even more beautiful.

Make the Most of Autumn Leaves When Gardening

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Autumn brings with it the falling leaves, which are a rich source of nutrients that are often mistaken for a hassle rather then the opportunity they truly are. Leaves provide a rich source of nutrients that can easily be harnessed and used in garden care.

Mulch
Leaves provide a great mulch that can be stored or immediately used in gardens and lawns. Rather than tossing the leaves, use a lawn mower to chop them up. If you want to leave it on the lawn, remove the bag from the mower and let it blow out onto the lawn. Through the winter the pieces will settle into the lawn and disappear come spring thaw.
If the plan is to use it in the garden, you can place whole leaves or the chopped up leaves directly into the bed. Over winter they will decompose and come the spring they can easily be tilled into the soil.

Insulation
Piling leaves onto plants, even potted ones, is a great way to insulate the plants and pots from the winter months. Terracotta pots can be insulated well enough with leaves that they do not have to be moved indoors.

Contact us for more tips to keep your garden healthy.

Great Container Plants That Survive Cold Weather

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Gardening in the winter months can be tricky. Most plants can’t survive the frigid weather associated with the season, but there are some container plants that actually thrive in the cold and are perfect for keeping your green thumb active during the coldest part of the season.

The Autumn Fern

The autumn fern is one of those plants that can grow pretty much anywhere in the winter months – partly because it doesn’t have any flowers to get damaged by the snow, rain or any other kind of bad weather it could be exposed to. Best of all, it can easily be potted with more colorful plants to make a unique looking container suitable for small spaces.

Red Twig Dogwood

The red twig dogwood is perhaps the hardiest of all dogwoods, which means it can thrive in even the coldest climates and snowiest areas. Its beautiful copper-red foliage is also a sight for sore eyes in the winter months – especially in areas where big white patches of snow are the norm. Red twig dogwoods also pair well with ferns.

Contact Marvin Gardens for more information and to find garden design accessories and planters for your outdoor area.

Save Water by Planting Drought-Tolerant Plants Instead of Grass

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Keeping a lawn lush and green throughout the hot summer months can be an expensive proposition. To cut down on water usage and monthly bills, some homeowners have replaced parts of their traditional lawns with drought-tolerant plants.

Here are some suggestions for attractive, hardy and water-stingy plants:

  • Grasses – The fine fescue and buffalo varieties of grass are extremely drought-tolerant. Both also thrive in direct sun and create a soft carpet of blades that is very enjoyable to walk on.
  • Shrubs – For the more colorfully-minded homeowner, a lawn space can be filled with ground cover such as creeping thyme and an array of colorful, drought-friendly shrubs like Spanish lavender.
  • Flowering plants – The variety of colorful, flowering plants that are also drought-tolerant is staggering. Even an average garden can include reds, yellows and purples with the planting of daylilies, smoke bush and blue fescue.

For more information on using these drought-tolerant plants or other creative ideas for designing an outdoor space, please contact us at Marvin Gardens. We can be found online at MarvinGardensUSA.com or reached directly at 203-544-2020.

Make Your Garden More Low Maintenance – and Green!

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`Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

With just a few simple adjustments to your routine, you can make your garden far easier to maintain and much greener  – in both a color and environmental sense. Here are some quick and easy ways to accomplish this goal:

  • Place a Water Catch – Just add a wooden barrel or some clay pots at strategic places where they will catch rain water. This water is free and, according to many experts, superior to tap water for your plants.
  • Add Mulch – Mulch is a great addition to any lawn or garden for two reasons. First, it reduces the amount of mowing and weeding that you must do. In addition, it protects the damp soil underneath from the hot rays of the sun.
  • Mow Less – How great does this sound? Just extend the intervals between mowings. You’ll work less and pollute less. Your grass will grow a little longer, but evenly. Plus, the longer blades will cut down on water evaporation.

For more information on making your garden greener and other creative garden design ideas, please contact us at Marvin Gardens. We can be found online at MarvinGardensUSA.com or reached directly at 203-544-2020.

How to Care for Your Garden This October

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Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

The month of October will most likely be your last chance to get your garden ready for the perils of the coming winter. Here are a few garden tips to help you get it ready:

  • Harvest your “Crops” Now – Even a slight frost will turn the hardiest flowers an ugly black so harvest them and use in a centerpiece. The same goes for herbs. Use them or lose them – or get them inside for a few more weeks of use.
  • Plant Your Garlic Bulbs Now – If you love fresh garlic – and who doesn’t? – you’ll want to get it in the ground in October so that it can establish itself before winter. Then you will have a great summer yield to flavor all your favorite dishes.
  • Take Pictures of Your Successes – Why reinvent the wheel? Take a picture of your floral arrangements, whether they are in pots or freestanding, so that you will gain a head start on a great garden next Spring.

For more information about this and other fall garden care tips, please contact us Marvin Gardens. We can be found online at MarvinGardensUSA.com or reached directly at 203-544-2020.

Add Some Storybook Charm to Your Garden

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Source: Marvin Gardens Facebook

A great garden can turn an average home into a spectacular one, and a well-appointed garden space is an ideal place to spend time alone or with friends and family. To really put your garden over the top, try adding some charming pieces that are right out of a storybook. You’ll never want to leave your garden to go inside!

Add Charming Seating

Many backyard gardens don’t have any seating at all, which prevents people from enjoying the garden up close. To make your garden more appealing, try adding some interesting or whimsical seating to your outdoor space. Wood benches are ideal for an outdoor garden space because they’ll blend seamlessly with the nature around them, but other materials like stone and concrete can work just as well.

Create Unique Pathways

A garden that isn’t broken up by pathways is hard to navigate and may look unorganized. To make pathways, you don’t need fancy pavers–you can make pathway dividers from a variety of materials, including these decorative fish from Marvin Gardens, which give the garden a whimsical, fun look.

Contact Marvin Gardens for more information and for all your garden design accessories.

Ideas for Designing a Showstopping Front Yard

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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.

 

Decorate to Entertain Outdoors

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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.

Garden Features to Fill Your Yard With Butterflies

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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.