Landscaping Newsletter and Garden Tips 
May, 2014     Volume 119

I had to replace a lot of plant material this spring. 

Some of these plants didn't make it.

The "Beauty Berry" bush didn't make it either.  No word yet on the "Jacinta Bean" vine (behind the bush.)  It grew like a purple power-house over the fence at the road last year.

The harsh winter weather caused several azaleas to fail too.  And, my beloved Rosemary bush that was the inspiration for so many recipes over the years, turned brown.  Even my dwarf nandinia bush at the corner of the roadside white picket fence lost its' bright red berries and passed away to plant heaven.

I've managed to come to terms with my losses.  Melissa and I like to grow a lot of things from seed.  Sometimes, I think I enjoy the process of planting a lot more than the actual plants themselves. 

And, local nurseries are FULL of gorgeous plants.  Recently, I picked up some purple phlox to fill in parts of a border that had died off.  Their phlox looked so much prettier than mine in the border area.  Sigh...

That day, I escaped without more plants.  My next trip to the garden center...well that's a story for another day.
May Garden Tips

*  May is a busy month in the garden.  However, our last freeze was only two weeks ago.  Hope you didn't plant too early this year. 

*  We loved this garden tip from "Better Homes and Gardens." 
"Maximize harvests using the cut-and-come-again technique.  Begin by picking outer leaves only from young plants.  As plants mature, cut off every other plant just above the soil, leaving a 1-inch stem stub.  A small pair of scissors works well for this task.  Fertilize lightly with liquid feed after harvest. The stubs will resprout." 

Garden Tip of the Month
*  Purchase annuals that don't have any blooms.  Odd suggestion?  Not really.  You may be able to enjoy these annuals longer because the blooming plants are more established already.  Blooms may already be spent by the time you're ready for planting.

*  Finish preparing your landscape beds for planting or just give them a thorough spring clean-up.  You'll probably want to add a pre-emergent herbicide before mulching.  This will help reduce future weed growth. 

Here's a local garden that features beautiful purple "Japanese Iris."  They're taller and thinner than their "Bearded Iris" cousins.

*  Plant gladioli bulbs in mid to late May.  Gladioli are stunning plants that can add vertical interest to a challenging area.  Even after the foliage is over, the stalks are interesting and may attract birds. 

This bright assortment of jewel tone gladioli is just our style.  They fit beautifully in that cut crystal vase that belonged to Melissa's grandmother.

Planting gladiolus in full sunlight will help the plant store more energy for growing the following year. Gladioli prefer well-drained soil with added fertilizer.   
Strong winds can knock them over, so plant in a sheltered spot.
  Question:  By the way, do you know the origin of their name?   
  Answer:  Since the plant resembles a sword, (due to their tall    stalks) they were named after Roman gladiators. 

*  We strongly recommend deer repellent here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.  Deer and their offspring love those tender fresh bedding plants you're installing in your gardens and landscape beds right now.  Often, they nibble just the shoots, then come back for more later.

Deer are responsible for destroying acres of
valuable landscaping plant material each year.

For your information, we offer an organic deer repellent service.  It's a periodic treatment that protects your landscape trees, ornamental shrubs and blooming flowers from deer damage.
The spray is safe for plants, animals and the environment.  It won't harm deer, but it will repel them by using a formula that smells amazingly like peppermint candy.
Please give us a call for a no obligation estimate. 

Our Tick Repellent Service

It was sheer panic on my part.  I was on a local property because they had a problem with ticks. 

I'm used to this.  By the time most folks call me because of a problem with ticks, it's a pretty bad situation. 

However, this time it was different.  I stopped to investigate a creepy feeling.  It was about a dozen ticks crawling on my leg.  I must have hit a nest as I walked through the grass. 

If you've ever found a tick on yourself, you'll remember the feeling of disgust as you dislodge the tick from your skin.  Because of my previous tick-borne illnesses, I get upset whenever I see a tick on or near me.


Let me take a moment to tell you why I developed our very effective tick repellent program.   


Our technician, Bill, sprays a large local property.   It's next door to a horse farm.



Ticks carry deadly toxins that can affect people and animals.  I've had two incidents of tick borne disease.  The first time was bad.  The second incident was almost fatal.


I was bitten by a tick about seven years ago, which caused a severe infection.  I landed in the hospital for several days.  Then, I had to take two courses of antibiotics.  The effects lasted several months.  The antibiotics were almost worse than the infection.


Then, four years ago, I was bitten again.  This time, I developed Ehrlichiosis.  This is a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite.  It attacks, infects and may kill off white blood cells.


I developed respiratory and circulatory problems.  By the time I was admitted to the hospital, I was in the initial stages of delirium.  Fortunately, for me, my doctor diagnosed the disease correctly from the first day. Unfortunately, I spent five days in critical care as the disease took its' course.


Even after I returned home, I wasn't well enough to work.  I suffered severe headaches from the spinal tap, which my doctors used to test how far the disease had progressed.  After a month in bed, I was finally able to resume a light work schedule.


I provided these details for you, just to prove how serious a tick bite may be.  In response to my health problems, I decided to make effective tick repellent my mission.   And, I've been providing tick repellent service to people for the past seven years.


Although not in uniform, our manager, Dave, sprays a barrier tick repellent at a local home.

I developed our tick repellent program after my first bout with a tick borne illness.  After extensive research, I now offer a perimeter spray for ticks that is guaranteed to be effective.  We'll return to your property and respray selected areas, if you find another tick.


We've also added an additional layer of protection to the program. Damminix tubes are one of my favorite parts of this service.


They're cardboard tubes, much like the roll from paper towels.  They contain cotton balls which have been soaked in permethrin.  It's deadly to ticks, but not for mice, squirrels and birds who take the cotton back to their nests.


Permethrin rubs off on the fur of the mouse or squirrel.  Ticks are killed in their nests and can't be transferred back to you.

Please contact us for a no-cost estimate.  We spray your property once in the spring and once in the fall for guaranteed results.