Plants

This year for my little girl I ordered pink and red Lipstick tm Tulips (pictured left) and Pipit Daffodils (pictured below- right). She just loves plucking the petals off of the stems. She’s about 19 months now and is getting stronger everyday. By next seasons bloom time she will probably be able to rip them right out of the ground…. Ah what we do for our kiddos. There are tons of colors to choose from. I look forward to making my selections every year. pretty soon she will be picking them herself. Maybe even planting them too.

Check out our suppliers tulips site to see what colors and color blends are available. You need a password to get in but no worries — here it is..    Password: Shovel     There’s a link on the left  with their recommendations for the South, which is what these 2 beauties shown here are. It’s a nice variety of sizes and colors.

Unfortunately for the most part Tulips are treated as annuals here. They don’t come back bigger and better ever year like they would up north. You can lift them after blooms fade and store in a fridge but if you’re like me fridge space is at a premium. These bulbs are harvested in October and pre-chilled until December for planting. You can typically plant them as late as January – of course they still will have to be pre-chilled. If you would like to order Tulips or Daffodils please feel free to give us a call for a quote and order information. Whether your planting them yourself or wanting them professionally planted we can help you with your spring color needs.

Maria Bargellini is the President of  Dallas Curb Appeal Inc, which also operates several helpful websites such as; DFW Christmas LightsLawn Sprinklers Dallas and the Outdoor Lighting Expert. Please visit our sites for helpful information on all your outdoor needs.

Landscape Ideas: Fall Annuals

Landscape Ideas: Fall Annuals

By Maria Bargellini of Dallas Curb Appeal Inc.

We are lucky here in Texas to have great fall weather and a nice long season. The perfect time for planting your annuals is right now. There are two common mistakes people make with planting fall annuals.

Planting too Late
Planting too Early

Most common reason why these mistakes are made

My begonias look fantastic
Landscapers just want to plant now
It doesn’t feel like fall yet

Choosing your Plants–Early Fall to Frost

Mums: Love Chrysanthemums, nothing says autumn like mums. Unfortunately the blooms do not last long so when you buy them don’t expect to see those gorgeous blooms for more than a few weeks.

Crotons: There are many varieties of Crotons available on the market. These beautiful plants have a long growing season here-lasting from spring till frost with care.  They are sold as annuals because they cannot handle our frost but they are actually evergreen or ever tropical and can be brought inside to over winter. The foliage colors on these plants scream autumn with golds, orange, red, and green leaves.

Peppers: Ornamental peppers come in many varieties. My favorite is the black pearl. With dark purple foliage and black fruit that ripes to red it is a striking plant. It will die down at frost but miraculously sometimes they will come back in the summer.

Fall to Winter

Pansies: Bigger flowers don’t necessarily mean more followers or better displays.  I know-I know–everything is bigger in Texas– In my experience I find that the mid to smaller size pansies flower more profusely, handle the freeze better and stay around a bit longer in the heat–no that that should stop you from planting summer plants but you can definitely use them in early spring when in some shade. The collasus or XXL Pansies are very pretty but are never really as full as their smaller cousins. Both are attractive and it’s your personal choice, you can always mix them too.

Ornamental Cabbage: This isn’t the kind that you eat but it’s much prettier. Cabbage also comes in a variety of colors. The most popular is red, which is more of a purple to pink color, and green which has a white center. They do well in our weather and look fantastic all season. In the early spring it will grow these tall yellow flowers. I cut them off because I don’t like how they look but you’re free to leave them if you like.

Flowering Kale: Ornamental Kale is a really pretty plant ans it is often confused with Cabbage. My Favorite is the Red Bore Kale. It’s taller and has a great purple color. Red or White Peacock Kale has scalloped edges and isn’t as common as the Kale normally seen. Some of these also flower at the end of the season and you can either keep or cut these also.

Dallas Curb Appeal Inc., also owns and operates DFW Christmas Lights and The Outdoor Lighting Expert. 

Landscape Ideas: Fall Annuals for Dallas

By Maria Bargellini of Dallas Curb Appeal Inc.,

It’s Fall and it’s Pansy planting time. Pansies come in a large variety in sizes and color. You’re guaranteed to find one in a color and size that you’ll love. You can find them in ready mixed colors or you can create your own mixes. My favorite is the Delta Cool Water mix which is a combination of blue, purple, and white.

Viola Pansy

This is my favorite Pansy. Yes it has smaller flowers but it flowers profusely. It’s typically loaded with happy little flowers all season lone. Johnny Jump Up is a common viola with tiny yellow and purple flowers.

Colossus Pansy

You’ll love these huge 3-4″ flowers with brilliant colors in Yellow, White, Purple, Blue, Red, Orange assorted Blotch colors and more. They don’t flower as much but they are gorgeous flowers.

__________________________________________________________________________

Crown Pansy

These are mid sized, solid colored pansies with flowers that are about 1.5-2″ big and look great in mixed colors.

Majestic Pansy / Majestic Giant Pansy

These are mid to large sized pansies with dual colored petals or Blotches of color in the centers.

Dallas Curb Appeal Inc. owns and operates DFW Christmas Lights and The Outdoor Lighting expert.com

Dallas Landscape Contractor: Shade Plants for Dallas

Shade Plants for Dallas: Oakleaf Hydrangea

By Maria Bargellini, of Dallas Curb Appeal

Believe it or not the Oakleaf Hydrangea is actually native to the United States, most Hydrangeas are native to china.

We here in Dallas use the Oakleaf hydrangea in our shady gardens to add interest to our gardens all year long. It’s gorgeous blooms add a dramatic yet fragile look to any landscape. It blooms best in bright shade, or when planted in gardens with north facing, morning sun. What’s bright shade you ask? Well there are varying types of shade; dry, moist, bright and deep or dark shade. Hydrangeas look their best in bright shade. That’s dappled or indirect sun. Afternoon sun will scorch this plant and eventually kill it.

When incorporating them into your Dallas landscape, make sure to plant them toward the back of your beds as they do tend to be tall, ranging from 4-8 feet. In addition, the weight of the large cone shaped followers will weigh woody stems down to give this shrub an arching shape, which will require some room, at least 4′, unless you like the look of the arching stems over your smaller plants in front of the Hydrangea.

Hydrangeas also have a higher water requirement unlike our native Texas plants. So if your thinking about adding this plant to your garden, make sure you are adding it to a bed with plants with like water requirements. Otherwise somethings gotta give. You will either over water your existing plants or underwater your Oakleaf Hydrangea. And just because they like extra water doesn’t mean you can drown them either. They do not like to have their feet sitting in water as you might find in moist or deep shade, where sprinkler water does not have as much an opportunity to dry out of flower beds. This water tends to collect at the base of plants and will rot out their roots. The term most commonly used here in Texas to describe this is “wet feet”. FYI Hollies and Azaleas also don’t like wet feet.

Although they are not evergreen, they do have some winter interest and are winter hardy here in Texas. When they do lose their leaves in the fall or winter they expose an interesting exfoliating bark much like our Crape Myrtles, where the outer layers appear to be peeling off of the stems. When the white blooms start to fade they will sometimes fade to a pink color. When cut, at any color, Hydrangeas make  for great follower displays for your home, whether they are freshly cut or dried out..

Dallas Curb Appeal also owns and operates DFW Christmas Lights and The Outdoor Lighting Expert.

Landscaping ideas Dallas–Pruning Hydrangeas

Landscaping ideas Dallas–Hydrangeas

By Maria Bargellini, of Dallas Curb Appeal

If you’re in TX and have shade, chances are you know and love Hydrangeas. It’s a safe bet to say you also have tons of Hydrangea questions. Hopefully this article can help you out. If you have additional questions feel free to comment below and we’ll be sure to send you the answer.

Pruning– When do you prune them– why didn’t they flower?

There are 2 main categories of Hydrangeas when considering pruning.

  • Those that bloom on current year’s growth–arborescens
  • Those that bloom on old wood, more commonly know as last year’s growth–macrophylla

The arborescens Hydrangeas that bloom on new wood are typically the white hydrangeas like Annabelle and Paniculata Grandiflora (PG).  They put on new growth in the spring and then later in the summer the flower buds are actually produced right at the end of that new growth.  That’s why the Annabelle and PG are such prolific bloomers.  They set flower buds and almost immediately those buds produce big, beautiful, abundant flowers. So these types can be trimmed down once they lose their leaves. Annabelle and PG hydrangea and other hydrangeas that flower on new wood can be pruned during the late fall, winter or early spring.  Once they start growing in the spring do not do any pruning until after they bloom.

Macrophylla or Hydrangeas that bloom on “old wood”  include Nikko Blue, Endless Summer and many
other popular pinks and blues. OK so what all this means is that next season’s blooms will appear on the last years woody stems. They are all busy right now story food and preparing for next years big beautiful flowers. So if you prune them you will be cutting off any chance of blooms next spring. With the Blue and Pink Hydrangeas (macrophyllas) all kinds of things can go wrong with the flower buds.  Since the flower buds are produced in August and September they may have to make it through a harsh winter before they can bloom.  The flower buds can be damaged by extreme cold. Pruning?  You should prune macrophylla hydrangeas right after they bloom, before they have a chance to start making new flower buds.

One of the most popular new varieties on the market is “Endless Summer Hydrangea” and it is known to bloom more than once in a season.  It’s in the macrophylla family and sets flower buds on old wood, but it is also known to set more buds and produce flowers during the growing season.  It should still be treated as a hydrangea that blooms on old wood.

So if your hydrangea did not bloom then the flower buds might have gotten pruned off, or they may have been damaged over the winter–lucky for us, harsh winters are not common. Of course now that I opened my mouth we’ll have 12″ of snow. Hydrangeas like more water than most plants, they are quick to droop and let you know just how unhappy they are. In our HOT TX sun they do best in shade. North facing or morning filtered sun is best. We also suffer from low acidity in our soil and Hydrangeas have better color when acidified compost, or other food is added to the soil.

[tube]cvRnnCMkW0o[/tube]

I’m a  fan of the Fan Flower (Scaevola), it’s a greatannuals for Dallas. This plant grows 6-12″ tall in part sun to part shade, blooming mid summer to early fall. It has rounded basil like leaves and can be propagate by taking soft wood cuttings in late spring plant. They should be planted 8″ apart, a little closer in shade as they will take longer to grow. The ’New Wonder’ cultivar can survive temperatures into the low 100s and down to freezing. It’s can be used as a tender perennial in these parts and is originally from eastern Australia.

Fan Flower is a heat and drought tolerant plant so it’s perfect for Texas. One look at it’s blooms and it isn’t hard to tell where it got it’s name from.The petals are arranged around a yellow center which is a nice contrast. The flowers are a pretty shade of blue but are also available in Pink. do look like a fan. ‘Blue Wonder’ is the cultivar most commonly found. Other varieties are ‘New Wonder’ and ‘Purple Fanfair’. These plants are easy to grow and require little care often not being to particularly bothered by pests. You can prune Fan Flowers by pinching them to keep them bushy.

This self cleaning, low maintenance plant is more expensive than your typical annuals but it’s worth every penny. It looks best when planted in masses. A good companion plant is Coleus, Persian shield and Ti/Thai plant.

Landscape Ideas for Dallas: Sun Patiens

Landscape Ideas for Dallas: Sun Patiens

When are impatiens not impatiens–when they are SunPatiens of course. In the northen United States impatiens are grown in the sun. Now we too can grow these beautiful bountiful plants. SunPatiens were bred in Japan by Sakata Seed. Sakata is well known for pansies and is the originator of the well known ‘Majestic Giant’ Pansy, which we are all grateful for.  Daylily and Lavender make great companion plants.

Click here for more info from SunPatiens

SunPatiens compact series

Sun Pateins spreading series

Sun Patiens Vigorous series

If you would like to have SunPatiens installed in your garden by a  Landscape Company in Dallas please contact us at sales@DallasCurbAppeal.Com or call us at 214-257-8155

Landscape Ideas for Dallas: Pentas

Posted under plants by dca on Thursday 27 May 2010 at 2:12 pm

Landscape Ideas for Dallas: Annuals-Pentas

By Dallas Landscape Contractor

Maria Bargellini

Pentas or Star Clusters are great annuals for Dallas. These African natives come in bold colors like red, hot pink and purple. part sun (the morning kind) to dappled shade in Dallas. This is not adrought tolerant plant. As with most annuals it will require regular watering. What does that mean you ask? Well here goes. It needs to maintain it’s moisture. Annuals are typically bought in 2-6″ containers. When the first 2 inches are dry it needs to watered. Place these great Dallas annuals close to your entry points so that they can be hand watered when necessary. Expect your blooms in late spring through to fall.

This is also  a great plant for butterfly gardening in Dallas. It mixes well with the usual annuals like Begonias and Dusty Miller. I like to plant them with Gregs Blue Mist Flower (Ageratum), which is also widely used as a butterfly garden must have. If you want to take great pictures of butterflies, especially Monarch’s go to the Texas Discovery Garden and hang out by the Mist Flower–you won’t be disappointed.Pentas are widely used in borders or bedding plants but they also do well when grown in containers.

Please consider becoming a member or volunteering at theTexas Discovery Garden. It’s a fantastic place to go to with your family or just yourself. There’s great people that work there. I have and will continue to volunteer there. I learn something new every time I go. The people that work there are not only great to talk to but extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the Texas Discovery gardens. They have educational program throughout the year and are definitely worth taking a look at.