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February 2011 Newslettervolume two, issue one
In This Issue
Late Winter's Beauty
Care for your Garden Now
Hot Topics in Horticulture
Artist Inspired by Nature
Late Winter's Beauty 
Rhododendrons after a snowfall
Grow Native!,
Winter has its own special  beauty, showcased by snow and frost on the ornamental grasses and evergreen leaves; brilliant red berries of the winterberry, Ilex 'Red Sprite'; peeling bark on river birches and paperbark maples; and bright red, coral, or yellow stems on various dogwood shrubs. 

Thoughtful plant combinations can be breathtaking.
Is your winter landscape as memorable as it could be? We'd love to come by and have a look. Now is the ideal time to sign up for a consultation or design that we can implement this spring.
Join Our Mailing List 

Happy 2011! We finished our field work in mid-December and have been taking our winter break until recently. Living with the cycles of nature is always a pleasure for me and my staff. We know that we too need some winter dormancy to bloom our brightest in the spring!
First Crocuses of Spring 2010
Some of the first crocuses of last spring.
With the arrival of seed catalogs and the first crocus bulbs blooming later in February, this time feels like the deep "in breath" before the exclamatory ooohs and aaahs of spring. Let's get ready! 
Care for Your Garden Now
(Because Spring IS Around the Corner!)
Grasses and Winterberry in the Snow
Grasses and winterberry in the snow.
Just another month of cold, ice, and snow to come... When the snow stops, consider taking a walk through your property to enjoy it!
As you walk, look for plants that are showing excessive strain from the weight of the snow. In those cases, very gently remove the snow from those bent limbs. However, leave the ice alone to melt off naturally; forcing it off is more apt to damage the plant. Also consider using "pet safe ice melt" as it is also safe for your plants and soil. Try to avoid walking on the lawn as doing so may cause dead spots in it in the spring.
After the snow melts, when you can see the ground again, head outside again and look for piles of late-falling oak leaves, other wet plant debris, and foliage still clinging to your roses, peonies, iris, or daylilies. Removing it all now will minimize the opportunities for insects and diseases to thrive and spread.
While you are looking at the ground, observe if any perennials' roots have heaved out of the ground during our numerous freezing and thawing spells. If so, gently replant them (only after the surrounding soil dries out) and add a little extra mulch around each crown. Verify your roses are still wearing their winter mulch coats too.

Now is also the time to prune diseased or broken tree and shrub branches before they come out of dormancy.  Restoratively pruning fruit trees should also happen by early March, before they break dormancy.
Cedar apple rust gall

Cedar apple rust gall.

Photo by Edward L. Barnard, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services,

Finally, the last task on your winter walk is to look for signs of disease or insect infestation. Look for cedar apple rust galls on junipers; bagworms on crabapples, arborvitae, spruce, juniper, and oak; and black knot on cherry and plum trees. Cut the diseased branches off immediately. If you see scale on your pines or magnolias, apply a dormant oil. Another pest to look for is the tent caterpillar.  If you see their gray egg masses in branches, remove them too. But only remove gray masses! Tan egg cases are often the beneficial praying mantis that you will want to leave alone.
Bagworm, black knot, and magnolia scale.
Left to right: Bagworm cocoon, black knot, and magnolia scale.   Photos by William Fountain, University of Kentucky (left and right), Mike Schomaker, Colorado State Forest Service (center),




If the snow does stop and the soil dries out before we chat again, please do water your evergreens and any fall-planted plants.

As always, we would be happy to do any of these tasks for you if your fingers get too cold...or if you want to keep enjoying winter from indoors!
Hot Topics in Horticulture
(And Other Fields!) 

After having attended a few conferences and doing a bit of reading this winter, I'm reminded again of how deeply my industry, the "green" industry, is engaged in protecting and improving our environment.

Breeders are trying to create more highly pest- and disease-resistant plants. Arborists are promoting i-tree
(, which has an easy-to-use tree benefit calculator, among other consumer-friendly features. 

Biologists are reviewing more ornamental grasses and other non-edible plants to consider for biofuels. University extension services are keeping awareness raised about pests like the Emerald Ash Borer moving across our country and how to slow it down.
Exotic bush honeysuckle infestation.

Exotic bush honesuckle infestation.

Photo by Chris Evans, River to River CWMA,

Environmentalists are working to eradicate invasive plant species like bush honeysuckle and spreading the word on how truly destructive it is to native ecosystems. Municipalities are implementing strong stormwater management principles to prevent toxic run-off from continuing to enter our sewers and streams. Landscape architects are shepherding the new Sustainable Sites Initiative through its initial stages as responsible planning and building benchmarks; see

Homeowners are requesting rain gardens and other water retention solutions to maximize the water that naturally reaches their properties. Conservationists are spreading the word about the positive impact of protecting and even encouraging certain wildlife on our properties.

More new bee-keepers are starting hives every year, trying to offset the devastation of colony collapse. Ecologists are researching the historic benefits of native ecosystems and the benefits of incorporating more native plants into our environments. Corporations, subdivisions, developers, and schools are installing new, sustainable landscapes.

New generations of families are starting their first vegetable gardens inspired by memories of their grandparents' gardens. Horticulturists are focusing on the fun, beauty, and ease of gardening so clients can readily engage with nature.

It is a truly exciting and challenging time to be living on this planet, and a remarkable time to be making our living as gardeners, caring for the earth and you, our clients. All of us at Glorious Gardens feel so lucky to be doing what we love. Thank you for expressing an interest in your outdoor environment and allowing us to be there with you.
There are mountains more I could write about these and other topics! I'd be happy to chat or just direct you to additional resources.
Another Artist Inspired by Nature
I like to attend many art shows and festivals to discover others' creative work. It is always fun when I meet another artist with a similar focus to mine of creating transformative art or spaces, especially using nature. That happened to me this winter with Allison L. Norfleet Bruenger at The Foundry's Big Red Box Sale.

Allison is a mixed-media artist who creates one-of-a-kind pieces that lift the spirit and engage the soul. Many of her pieces are inspired by nature, as in the necklaces shown below. If you are drawn to her work as I am, please go to her website to see more and contact her:
Allison L. Norfleet Bruenger necklaces

Necklaces by Allison L. Norfleet Bruenger.

Barren Tree with Patina (left), Falling Flowers in Copper (right).

Thank you for reading this. If you liked it, please forward it to a friend. If you would like other topics discussed, please let me know!

In this new decade, we want to continue to be your trusted source for garden aesthetics, advice, and service. We value your trust and will continue to do the very best for you.
Rhonda SchaperSincerely, 

Rhonda Schaper
Glorious Gardens, Inc.