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Questions to ask when choosing plants.

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Choosing plants that need less support over time create a wonderful look.

 

We have all been there, 20 minutes deep into deciding between two plants – neither of which you have any experience with. Seeing any outdoor or indoor plant flourish in your care is a great accomplishment. The flip side, however, is when you realize your lack of knowledge left it silently screaming for the right caretaker. It’s okay. It happens. Follow these simple guidelines and let’s see if choosing plants can become a little easier and more successful.

 

Some of our selected plants for projects getting ready in the nursery at Snow Creek Landscaping

After choosing plants, they wait for their home at the Snow Creek Landscaping nursery.

 

Location, Location, Location!

The location of any plant is incredibly important for multiple reasons. If it aesthetically looks great positioned next to the open and sunny walkway, but it is a plant that survives only in shady areas – it isn’t going to last or reach it’s full potential. Let’s break it down into three areas of location.

Geographical location:

While indoor plants have the capability to live in the environment you create for them, outdoor plants often are stuck with what mother nature provides them. Tropical plants inside? Yes. Tropical plants at your lake house on the border of Canada? Not so much. We can learn from our mistakes, but some things just aren’t meant to be!

Choosing plants for your home or office must be based on whether or not you can provide the right habitat that they were meant to live in. For us, the winters and climate of Asheville, NC aren’t habitable to many plants that people associate with the south.  Get native, get results.

Property placement:

You found it, the perfect bush that both attracts your eye AND thrives in your area. These days, we relatively can alter the soil and environment that will welcome the success of specific plant species.  If changing your environment isn’t an option, however, you must take into account the needs of the plant.

Learn the environmental needs of a plant and compare them to what your space can offer. Will it be able to breathe or does it need direct sunlight? If your backyard is heavily clay based, will you need to add additional soil and nutrients to allow it to flourish? Is it accessible to your cat who ultimately loves to break potted plants? Hey – it’s a thing!

Ask yourself these questions to help find the perfect environment within your home.

Aesthetics:

This is a big deal for both the look and feel of either your home or place of business. Though, at the end of the day this is ultimately your decision. In your environment, you are the decision maker.

Note: you still can’t change the biological needs of a plant.

Take time researching the thousands upon thousands of examples on the internet. Get a feel for what makes you feel good at the time, but also what will grow into it’s environment. Most importantly, have fun with it!

Choosing plants based on your commitment.

Maintaining happy plants means working with their needs. There is no simple way around that.

Personal Commitment

If you want your office to be tropical oasis, but you have historically never watered your plants – start small. Learn to create systems that will help you remember to take care of your new green friends, then progressively add additional ones as you become comfortable. Set reminders, create visuals, or download an app. Yes, it is a thing.

Don’t put yourself in a situation where you invest in greening up your environment, then see it wither away. Write down a list of your previous strengths and struggles as a plant or yard owner, and start there. It all starts with what you can provide.

Additional support

We have helped many clients in the Asheville area create the perfect landscape to emphasize their surroundings. Hand selected plant species are tailored to work with their specific location. For many, they already know that they cannot provide the maintenance to keep it thriving and looking great. Others can upkeep the occasional needs, but may need a larger upkeep during the year.

 

If you are in the greater Asheville, Western North Carolina area and looking to expand your yard into a personalized oasis, reach out to our team and see how we can assist your needs. We have a staff of highly qualified naturalists, arborists, botanists, and horticulturists on our natural resource management (NRM) team to work with our designers and clients.

 

 

Building a Patio: For You and Your Home.

Summer is the time of barbecues, star gazing and socializing outside with your friends. Building a patio allows home owners to transcend the walls of their home and extend the comforts into an outdoor environment. Many outdoor living areas become the birthplace of memories that last a lifetime. Who doesn’t love a good backyard party?

Building a patio before and after picture with additional space, outdoor kitchen, and finished landscaping.

Building a patio before and after.

All of us can use more fresh air, sunlight, and getting away from the confines of your home or work. For majority of us, we just feel good being outside.

Building a patio means added home value.

Increasing the look and accessibility of your backyard is automatically going to add value to your home. Spending the money now, could potentially benefit the owner if selling the home ever becomes an option.

Introduce the outdoors as an extension of your home.

One of the great aspects of a patio is the ability to be on the same level as the rest of your house and yard. By creating an accessible transition from your outdoor living room to the grassy backyard, you are increasing that connection between nature and your home.

Work with your environment, not against it. 

Creating an outdoor living area does not mean taking away from your yard. A well-planned site will minimize disruption to the natural terrain. Designing an outdoor living room should emphasize nature, while giving you a better place to relax.  A well designed backyard is more likely to increase your property value, than one that doesn’t flow with your house.

The added benefits for your health and social life.

Are you tired of being inside all day? Relaxing in a comfortable outdoor environment is often the best way to end a long day. Want to be the talk of the summer? Creating a comfortable and relaxed outdoor environment can increase your urge to invite your friends over!

Better focus.

In a study by University of Michigan, researchers concluded that being in nature can help give your brain break from the overstimulating aspects of one’s life. While you may not be able to go hiking or backpacking every weekend, you can certainly create your own natural environment at home.

Be the talk of your friends.

Wanting to have a great yard to host your friends is a justified reason to invest in a outdoor living room. Spending quality time with your social circle is something that can make a bad day seem not so bad.

If you are in the Western North Carolina/Aseville area and looking to create your dream backyard, reach out to and let us work with you in making that dream come true.

See some pictures of one of our recent projects we worked on.

Outdoor cooking area.

Work on your cooking skills outside this year.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.

Easy place to relax outside.

Outdoor living area on patio in western north carolina.

Bar area with comfortable landscaped area.



 

 

 

 

Fall Color in the Nursery

Even though most of the trees have dropped their leaves, we still are seeing some nice color around the Snow Creek office. Enjoy!

 
American Beautyberry in fall

American Beautyberry – Callicarpa americana

Amsonia hubrictii in fall

Bluestar – Amsonia hubrictii

Ilex verticiallate in fall

Winterberry Holly – Ilex verticillata

blueberry fall foliage

Blueberry – Vaccinium corybosum

witchhazel fall foliage

Witchhazel – Hammamelis orientalis

Panicum Northwind fall foliage

Switchgrass – Panicum ‘Northwind’

maple fall foliage

Maple – Acer sp.

Tasks for the Fall Garden

leaves

After the long, summer growing season, it’s time to put the landscape to rest for the winter. Here are some pointers for getting things in shape.

– After the first frost, pull up annuals and compost them. Don’t include diseased material in the compost pile, though. Bag and put in the trash instead. Leave perennial seed heads in place for reseeding and for food for birds, like Goldfinches.

– Check irrigation and adjust the frequency since fall typically brings more rain.

– Dig any tender bulbs and tubers that need to be stored inside such as dahlias, gladiolus, and begonias. Store them in a cool place like the garage.

– Plant some colorful, cold tolerant annuals such as pansies, chrysanthemums or flowering cabbages.

– As late as the first week of October, a new lawn whether by seeding or sod is still a possibility.

tulip planting

– Start planting spring flowering bulbs later in the month, such as narcissus, hyacinths, and tulips as well as more unusual ones like alliums and scillas. Plant three to four times deeper than the height of the bulb, e.g. a 1” bulb is planted 3-4” deep.

– Plant perennials and ground covers in areas that need more color or cover. There are often good plant sales this time of year as garden centers and nurseries clear out their stock.

– This is a perfect time for planting new trees and shrubs in your landscape or relocating ones that aren’t in the right spot.

– Mulch leaves from your lawn and add to plant beds. Oak leaves are especially good for rhododendrons and azaleas since they add acidity to the soil.

Snow Creek Landscaping is a full service landscape company. For more information, call 828.628.2227 or visit us on the web at www.snowcreekinc.com.

 

 

 

10 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Outdoor Space

 

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1 Fire – A fire pit or outdoor fireplace changes everything in cool weather. Long after most people have retired to indoor living, you can gather around a fire to enjoy the beautiful weather of fall and even winter, on the milder days. With our mountain weather, a cozy fire is delightful on a cool summer evening. Who doesn’t love S’mores?

 

2 Water – For thousands of years, humans have found water essential to any garden, not only for the plants, but for enjoyment. The sound of a bubbling fountain is peaceful and relaxing. Running water attracts birds, especially during migration, and they will stop in for a drink and a bath if the fountain is shallow enough.

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3 Lighting – Most of us have glaring outdoor spotlights to light the way when we want to spend time in our yards after dark, but there’s a better solution. Some simple uplighting into trees, and pathway lights make the outdoors not only more attractive , but more accessible.

 

4 Patios – A patio built large enough to accommodate a group of people is a treasured feature of a home. Plenty of space for tables and chairs means you can set up areas to gather and entertain during the warm months.

 

5 Seating – Rocking chairs, gliders, hammocks, outdoor sofas, porch swings. All are classic pieces of furniture for outdoor comfort. Add some soft pillows and cushions, for color and comfort, and you’ve branched out from the big box store patio set.

 

6 Scent – Night flying insects, such as moths, need scents to guide their way in the dark. Plant some Flowering Tobacco (Nicotiana sp.), Night Blooming Jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum), and Moonflower (Ipomoea alba) which all release their fragrance come nightfall to attract their pollinators. Good thing for us, because this means we can enjoy their scent, too!

7 Destination – Give your landscape a destination. There’s something about following a trail into the woods or seeing a glimpse of a structure hidden in the trees, that draws humans along. Create a place to go to and you will find yourself using more of your property than before.

 

8 View – We are very lucky in the mountains to be able to glimpse beautiful views from our homes. Take a soft approach to clearing for a view – keep some trees in the foreground and open up the vegetation with a few selective cuts of branches so you having something to look through, framing the view.

 

9 Habitat – Planting trees, shrubs, and flowers that are native assures you will be able to enjoy the flora and fauna that make this region special. We live in one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the world, so take the opportunity to grow plants that are specific to here, and that feed and house the butterflies and birds that depend on them.

 

10 Screening – Your house may be right beside your neighbors’, but that doesn’t mean you have to look at them every day. A well designed barrier of trees and shrubs can give your yard privacy without it looking like a solid green wall. A screen of trees can also shield your home from cold winter winds and hot summer sun, thereby decreasing your heating and cooling bills.