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Jeff VanBuren

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Green Velvet Boxwood VS. Winter Gem Boxwood (comparison)

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

Boxwood Green Velvet VS. Boxwood Winter Gem 

Green Velvet and Winter Gem Boxwoods are two of the most popular smaller sized evergreens sold in our area. They have many similarities such as: they are both boxwoods, stay small, evergreen, deer resistant, bloom in April, grow about any where,  have shallow root systems, hardy in zones 5 – 9, low maintenance, can take heavy pruning, and they both work great planted as hedges or just as single plantings. They have gained in popularity over the last decade because they are just so easy. They can be trimmed or left to grow naturally. They will grow in about any soil but prefer a moist, yet well drained soil. They will grow in sun or shade, but the ideal location would be either a morning sun and afternoon shade or a filtered sun. Both of these varieties are less prone to getting the "bronze" look in winter that many types of boxwood get. If they are in full sun and the temperatures are really cold even these two can get the bronze color. But, if planted in shade they will rarely aquire that coloring.

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Tags: Plants, Evergreens, Shrubs

Best Ornamental Grasses For Creating A Screen

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

What Are The Best Ornamental Grasses For Creating A Screen

Ornamental grasses can be used for a variety of reasons, but one reason people may overlook is using them as a living screen. Many people think of using evergreens as living screens, which they do work well for, but several grasses can be a great alternative and take up less room too. Let’s say you live in a neighborhood where the houses are fairly close together. You have a patio off the back of your house that you love to use for entertaining. One of your neighbors seems to always be out on his patio every time you want to be out on yours. You have a flowerbed along the patio between the two of you, but it is only four feet wide. You think to yourself “what can I plant in that narrow of a space to screen out my neighbor?” You run through a list of Holly, Arborvitae, Yews, Junipers, and Boxwoods, but they either get too big, grow too slow, or are too prickly.Then it hits you “ I’ll use grasses!” They won’t be there in the winter, but you probably won’t be out on your patio very much in the winter either.

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Tags: Plants, General, Perennials

Best Grasses For Small Areas

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

The Best Grasses For Small Areas

You know that small spot in your landscape where you just don’t know what to fill it with? Annuals would work great, but you don’t want to have to replant them every year. Well how about using one of many small ornamental grasses? 

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Tags: Plants, Perennials

Are Azaleas Really Hard To Grow?

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

How To Plant And Care For Azaleas

Azaleas are absolutely beautiful while they are blooming, but they probably don’t get used as much as they could because the perception is that they are hard to grow. If you know a few things about Azaleas before you choose to put one in your yard you will probably have a much better success rate than the average person who sees an Azalea blooming, buys it, and just sticks it out in the yard.

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Tags: Plants, General, Shrubs

Best Magnolias For Zone 6-(Reviews)

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

What Are The Best Magnolias For Zone 6-(Reviews)

When I hear the name Magnolia I typically think of large Southern Magnolias lining the drive of a southern plantation. The large glossy leaves. The huge white fragrant flowers. Ahhh I can picture it and smell the lemony scent of them now. What most people don’t know is that it is not the only type of Magnolia, and they aren’t just for the deep south.

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Tags: Plants, Local, Trees

New Reblooming Hydrangeas-Review

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

Reblooming Hydrangeas

One of the best plants to provide summer long color with a large flower is the reblooming Hydrangea. Each year more reblooming Hydrangeas are introduced to the market. This is a brief overview of the varieties available as of spring 2013. I will not go into great detail about most of them, but will hit the highlights of each variety as far as bloom color, size of plant, and their hardiness zone. You can use this as a quick reference for choosing a reblooming Hydrangea for your garden.

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Tags: Plants, Branded Plants, Shrubs

Best Spreading Junipers In The Midwest

Posted by Jeff VanBuren

Best Spreading Junipers In The Midwest (Reviews/Ratings) 

When you hear the word Juniper, do you think about that overgrown prickly bush in front of your grandma’s house? I think visions of such a bush come to many people who hear the “J” word. Well that’s just not true anymore. There are varieties of Junipers that would look great in just about any landscape anywhere. Spreading Junipers have about as many uses as there are varieties, and that’s a bunch. Three of the best-selling Junipers in the Midwestern area are Sea Green, Grey Owl, and Saybrook Gold and trust me these are not your grandma’s old Junipers. 

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Tags: Plants, Local, Evergreens, Shrubs