Journal

Planning a private paradise: Landscaping tips for privacy

Planning a private paradise: Landscaping tips for privacy

Privacy is hard to come by in many neighborhoods around our area but we've got a solution for that! Plan your own private paradise this fall. It's the best time of year for planting trees and shrubs that will create a sense of natural wonder and privacy in your yard. 

Winter color: Trees & shrubs to brighten your landscape

Winter color: Trees & shrubs to brighten your landscape

Your landscape doesn't have to goto shambles in the winter. No need to think it's all dead and gone. The Fall season is actually the best time to plant trees and shrubs to maximize growth and color. Take a look at just a few of our  featured evergreen trees and shrubs that stay colorful all year long. 

Eight Fall Flowers for Cutting

Eight Fall Flowers for Cutting

Not all flowers are created equal. We're not just talking about size, shape and color. When it comes to flowers that will stand the test of time, there are only a few that thrive once they're cut for floral arrangements. And come Fall, the pickings are even more slim. But, we've got good news! These eight Fall flowering plants are perfect for any cut flower arrangement and we carry them all at GSCO!

Flower power: How to make fresh cut flowers last longer

Flower power: How to make fresh cut flowers last longer

There is no greater gift we can give ourselves than the flowers we pick from our gardens. And while we love to gaze at them outdoors, the dog days of summer are here and that means it's time to–snip-snip–take them indoors! Try these simple steps when cutting your fresh floral arrangement for maximum viewing pleasure!

Garden to Table Recipe: Anna's Bread & Butter Pickles

Garden to Table Recipe: Anna's Bread & Butter Pickles

Cucumbers are best straight off of the vine but no need to let the extra cukes go to waste if you can't eat them all while they're fresh out of the garden. When life gives you cucumbers, make pickles! Try this time-tested recipe from Anna–one of our gardeners! We think you'll love it. 

Bring the outdoors in with five vacation-proof house plants

Bring the outdoors in with five vacation-proof house plants

The dog days of summer are here, the North Carolina humidity is kicking and it's time to get out of the outdoors and off on your vacation. But as your well-awaited time away approaches, perhaps you're thinking you want to bring the outdoors in with an oasis of house plants. No need to sweat it out in the garden and there's no need to wait until after you get back from your week off of work! There are plenty of easy-care, indoor plants that are vacation-proof. 

Read about these five plants that don't mind if you go:

Lilies for your pad: Our top 5 lily varieties of the summer

Lilies for your pad: Our top 5 lily varieties of the summer

Lilies are some of the most prized blooms we find in our gardens each summer season. It's hard to pick our favorite of the thousands of varieties of lilies out there so we've narrowed it down to our top five lily varieties of the summer.

Get Memorial Day garden party-ready with reds, whites & blues

Get Memorial Day garden party-ready with reds, whites & blues

Memorial Day Weekend is almost here! Planning on gathering around those grilling dogs, partaking in a game of corn hole and grabbing a cold one? Spiff your garden up with patriotic hues for the occasion. Here are a few reds, whites and blue to get your Memorial Day garden party ready! 

Six plants to repel mosquitos

Six plants to repel mosquitos

Mosquitos have headlined the news for months due to the Zika virus outbreak. While there are shelves full of chemicals to repel those pesky insects, there are also many plants we can add to our gardens to detract mosquitos. Using citronella as a mosquito deterrent is common knowledge, but did you know that these six plants repel mosquitos too? 

Baby Shower DIY Decor

Baby Shower DIY Decor

So your friend– a gardening gal like yourself–is expecting and you're planning the baby shower. You already know who you want to invite, what food you want to serve and what games you'll have on the slate, but you're not sure how to decorate the place. No need to search Pinterest for baby shower decor. Let the baby shower brainstorming end here! 

Blooms with a boom: Summer annuals & perennials that add color to your containers

Blooms with a boom: Summer annuals & perennials that add color to your containers

It's getting hot out there! So take out all your pots. It's time to refresh those container gardens of yours with a pop of color. Need a little help deciding what colorful plants will work best for your containers? 

Outdoor Spring Cleaning: How and when to prune trees and shrubs

March is here and you know what that means! It's time for spring cleaning. Now that the winter weather is fading away and the forecast is looking sunny, you might as well start your spring cleaning outdoors. Save that closet cleaning for later!

March is the best time to prune all of your trees and shrubs except those that are spring blooming. So skip the azaleas, cherry trees, quince, forsythia, pear trees and other spring bloomers and get those pruning shears out for all of your other trees and shrubs. 

Here's how:

  • Do you see where the trunk meets the branch? This is called the collar. Cut just above this area on your tree branches at a 45 degree angle.

 

  • Begin with your tree's branch stubs (1) And damaged branches.

 

  • Does your tree have a few of those funny-looking branches that shoot straight upwards? These are water sprouts (3). They can take excess energy from your tree, so these should be pruned out.

  • Now, check out the bottom of your tree. Do you notice any suckers (4)? These are branches that shoot up beside the trunk. Prune these to keep your tree looking nice and clean.

 

  • Take a step back. Do you notice any closely spaced branches (5)? Prune these branches so that they're not so close together to promote even growth and appearance.

 

  • Last but not least, you'll want to look for weakness. Branches with a narrow angle between the branch and the tree (6) are generally weak and should be clipped.

Still have questions? Make a visit to see us or fine out more about our landscaping services here. We can save you the trouble of doing it yourself!

Fire Pit Art by Rick Wittrig

Firepit

We’ve previously put up a post on Fire Pit Fun where we talked about the many exciting benefits of fire pits. If you’re interested in fire pits, we have a selection right now from Rick Wittrig from FirePitArt.com. Rick lives and works out of Tennessee making beautiful functional steel art of high quality. If you’re thinking of getting a fire pit, check out the pieces we have because they make a statement, are built to last, and would be the perfect outdoor gathering spot for your friends and family!

 Firepit

Firepit

 IMG_3796

IMG_3796

 IMG_3797

IMG_3797

 IMG_3798

IMG_3798

Unusual Conifers Are Here!

Slenderina Blue Spruce

Conifer trees have unique leaves or needles which are mostly evergreen. They are often fast-growing trees and can be large in size or small, depending on whether they are a dwarf variety. These trees need little pruning unless needed to keep them the right size for the space they are growing. Conifers can make a statement in your yard or have a utilitarian use as a hedge. They provide structure for yards and are important in winter months—not only do they provide green when most trees are bare, they also offer protection for birds from wind and precipitation. We have a selection of unusual conifers in right now which would be a distinctive addition to your yard:

Slenderina Blue Spruce

This tree grows up to 20 feet tall and can spread as much as 12 feet. It has a unique blueish color and grows in a graceful drooping pattern. It is slow growing with a low canopy, and can live for 80 years or more.

 Slenderina Blue Spruce

Slenderina Blue Spruce

Weeping Blue Alaskan Cedar

This tree is an eye-catching addition to any landscape. It can grow up to 35 feet tall with a 5 foot spread and takes on a conical shape with branches that curve downwards.

 Weeping Blue Alaskan Cedar

Weeping Blue Alaskan Cedar

Habari

This is an extremely dwarf selection that grows 36 inches tall and only a few inches wide. Foliage is compressed on irregular, stubby branches and evergreen.

 Habari

Habari

Falsecypress

This evergreen plant is upright and narrow with twisted growth. It is a great screen plant for a narrow hedge and is deer resistant. This conifer grows to 4.5 feet tall and 2.5 feet wide and likes full sun.

 Falsecypress

Falsecypress

Nana

This is a dwarf hinoki cypress is an extremely dwarf conifer, growing 8 inches high and 12 inches wide. The bright green mounding foliage creates interest in any season. It likes full to part sun.

 nana

nana

Boulevard Topiary

Soft textured silvery-blue foliage on this specially pruned conifer give it a unique look. To keep its shape, pruning is needed.

 Boulevard Topiary

Boulevard Topiary

Japanese White Pine

This is a hardy tree that thives outside in the sun and is very ornamental. It grows in an irregular but mostly conical shape that can get up to 25 feet tall and just as wide.

 Japanese White Pine

Japanese White Pine

Golden Pillar

This conifer has beautiful bright golden-yellow foliage and is conical growing. It reaches 20 feet tall by 8 feet or more wide and full sun is needed for best color.

 Golden Pillar

Golden Pillar