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Earth Day 2017 – Asheville, North Carolina

EarthDayAsheville2017Everyone here at Snow Creek Landscaping has gravitated into this field because of one thing; the environment. Many of us just feel more at peace working outside. With others, it’s the deeper relationship between man and nature that makes us really look at how our community responds to the environment both physically and aesthetically.

Earth Day came to be a movement in the 1970’s, and continues to be on the forefront of pushing the environmental focus in today’s society. During the time of its origin, the United States – and many parts of the world – had very little concern with what happened as a result of industrial byproduct or an overall concern of the natural world.

Inspired by the current events happening around him, Gaylord Nelson, a U.S. Senator, pushed to create a “national teach-in” about the environment. Together, with 20 million people, April 22nd in 1970 became a day where people realized the vast common interest in protecting, preserving and holding the environment to a higher American standard.
Rain Garden
Earth Day means something different to each person. Some families have more of an environmental focus in their core family values and activities, where others may have less. That’s okay! The point of the Earth Day is to allow everyone in our community to learn and experience the appreciation for the natural world around us.

Like everything in life, we want to learn and grow to be the best for ourselves, community and future generations to come.

Don’t have plans for this Earth Day?

Check out some of the activities happening around Asheville with links to their event pages!

Salvage station – Earth Day Kid’s Festival – Presented by RiverLink and Prestige Subaru – 9 AM – 2 PM with FREE admission. Inviting “Families and people of all ages to come out and enjoy environmental education, arts and crafts, performances and more! ” Event website – http://riverlink.org/earth-day-kids-festival/

Earth Day Celebration – Sweeten Creek Brewing – 11 AM – 9 PM. “Enjoy a day of earth-friendly fun, delicious beer, and good food out on our Creekside Lawn. Live music from the Circus Mutts from 2:30 – 4:30pm., plus fun Earth Day activities for the entire family!”

Family Yoga & Mandala Making – Special Earth Day Celebration 1 PM – 4:30 PM at Violet Owl Wellness. 10$ per person. “This is a family-friendly event where yoga meets creativity! We’ll be incorporating an all levels, fun yoga class and an surprise Earth Day mandala!”

BearFest – WNC Nature Center – Year of the Bear WNC Nature Center from 10 AM – 4 PM. “Celebrate Earth Day and “the Year of our Bear” at the WNC Nature Center with a family festival to honor one of WNC’s most beloved species, the American black bear.”

Earth Week with City of AshevilleAll Weekend.  Greenway ribbon cutting, sustainability tour, and more! – “With multiple events at different locations over three days, Asheville Earth Week organizers hopes this celebration reinforces a mantra that our community embraces: ‘We are all connected.'” Check out their website – http://coablog.ashevillenc.gov/2017/03/asheville-celebrates-earth-day-2/ for more information on what’s going on and where!

Earth Day Film & Panel Discussion – Seed the Untold Story – Organic Growers School at Lenoir-Ryhne University Asheville – 5:30 PM – 9 PM. Cost: by donation at the door. “Join us for this wonderful film, discussion and seed exchange. In partnership with Asheville Greenworks, Bountiful Cities, Green Opportunities, and Sow True Seed, Seed: The Untold Story tells a beautiful tale of seed diversity and its sad demise.”

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Want activities to do at home?

Here are are some a list of activities that are family focused, educational, and fun (Well, we think so!). Remember, not everything has to be a super planned out activity to be memorable. Enjoy the moment and the reasoning of celebrating Earth Day.

Start your garden or plant a native plant.

It’s okay, not everyone has their garden planned out before the days getting sunnier and warmer. Don’t worry! Whether big plans or small, the act of growing a garden or plant can have both short and long term benefits to everyone – regardless of age.

If you don’t have the space or time for a garden – try a container plant. Check our list of list of native plants and see what could be planted in a container around your house. Take some time this Saturday to just get your hands dirty!

Reduce your footprint.

Walk or bike to a destination. Even taking public transportation can help reduce your carbon footprint. Try and think about how much electricity you are using, or better yet, try and go a day without using it!

Recycled Art Projects.

Feeling crafty? Whether some DIY home improvement jobs or arts and crafts time with the kids, take some time to think about what using recycled objects does for the environment. If you weren’t using them for a project – where would they end up? How long does it take for each item to break down? If you don’t have anything laying around, hit up the multiple thrift stores that the Asheville area has to offer. Bonus points for walking there! :)

Get Outside.

It seems simple, right? Getting in touch with nature doesn’t need to be some extraordinary adventure through the wilderness (though, that sounds fun!). Western North Carolina is very lucky to have such wonderful outdoor activities within miles of downtown Asheville. Pack a lunch and head up the Blue Ridge Parkway for some fresh air or take the family floating down the French Broad. Note* You may find out Sales guy Jimmy relaxing out there on the river!

Whatever you plan on doing this Earth Day (and every day for that matter!), take the time to think about your own relationship with nature.

-Team Snow Creek.

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.

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.

Fall Plants for the Garden

Lowbush Blueberry Foliage

Lowbush Blueberry Foliage

There’s a saying that the best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The next best time is today. We are lucky that in the WNC mountains, it’s a great time for fall plants in the garden. This list of everything from perennials to trees, will get you thinking about some selections for your own yard. All of these plants offer something great to enjoy this time of year.

1 –Apple Serviceberry   Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’
A beautiful tree that blooms with delicate, white flowers in spring and has showy, edible fruit in summer. The foliage turns a lovely orange-red in the fall. All around great small tree that shows strong disease resistance as well.

2 – Staghorn Sumac   Rhus typhina
This plant can get a little crazy, but if you have a bank that needs something unusual to cover it, this is a good choice. It suckers and forms colonies and has interesting leaves and berries. The showcase is the brilliant fall color.

3  – Spicebush   Lindera benzoin
Spice bush is a large native shrub that has a lot going for it. It can grow in full sun or part shade, has unusual greenish yellow flowers that attract butterflies, and bright red berries that birds love. An added bonus is the bright yellow leaves when they turn in the fall.

4 – Switch Grass   Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’
An easy to grow grass, Switch grass, offers wonderful texture for the fall garden. It has tall panicles of flowers and seeds that sway in the breeze atop reddish foliage. Though this plant is great for fall, it is probably best planted in the spring when the ground isn’t so soggy.

5 – Lowbush Blueberry   Vaccinium angustifolium
Highbush BlueberryVaccinium corymbosum – Both of these types of berry bushes have lots to give all year round. You get pretty white flowers in the spring, followed by delicious blueberries, and the the pinnacle of perfection, brilliant red foliage in the fall. You can incorporate these into your regular landscape because they have nice form in addition to being trouble free.

Container Gardening

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Container gardens can be an improvement to nearly all landscapes. They bring a splash of color and texture that makes outdoor areas more inviting. Whether containers are used to liven up an entryway, or to grow vegetables, they are a welcome addition to the home. Here are some tips for getting started that will make the whole process easier.

  • Anything can be used as a container to grow plants – buckets, wooden crates, wire baskets, window boxes, ceramic pots, and any number of things. When choosing a container for planting, always use one with drainage holes. This allows the soil to drain freely and minimizes the risk of overwatering.
  • Choose a container that suits the size of the plants you are growing. Plants grown in containers always require more water than those grown in the ground. Don’t undersize your pot and then have to water twice a day. On the other hand, don’t put a tiny plant in a large pot or you will be risking root rot because the soil will stay too moist. Also, choose a soilless potting mixture to fill your vessels, since garden soil is too heavy and will not provide proper aeration when in a pot.
  • Vegetables and herbs can be grown on porches and patios allowing for a quick harvest at meal time. Group plants together with like light requirements, which for herbs and veggies is around 6-8 hours of strong light per day. If you have a sunny wall, plant some pole beans and tomatoes in a trough in front of it, and stake to a trellis attached to the wall. Window boxes are also a great place to grow herbs. Once you experience the enjoyment of snipping a few fresh herbs to add to dinner and you’ll never be without a little kitchen garden again.
  • Group containers together for interest. There’s something about odd numbers that the eye finds more pleasing than even numbers, so put plantings together in groups of 3 or 5. Repeat colors and textures of plants among the pots to tie it all together.

Snow Creek has a professional garden staff who can advise on container plantings or even do the job for you. Give us a call to schedule a time to stop by and see our container collection.

828.687.1677 www.snowcreekinc.com