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Cedar Run Landscapes News
April 2013
An Interest in the Landscape
Have a Thin Lawn?
Project of the Month
Spring Pond Maintenance

An Interest in the Landscape  

Temple Amblers Colibraro Conifer Garden


As the designer at Cedar Run Landscapes, this time of year brings me a great deal of excitement and anticipation. The beginning of Robert Frosts poem "Nature's First Green is Gold" couldn't describe it any better.


Nature's first green is gold,  
Her hardest hue to hold.  
Her early leafs a flower;  
But only so an hour.  
Then leaf subsides to leaf.  
So Eden sank to grief,  
So dawn goes down to day.  
Nothing gold can stay.

 ~ Robert Frost


Our landscapes are starting to become dotted with the beauty of precious spring buds popping from their stems. Sooner than you know it, these buds will unfold into foliage and the arrival of spring will be lost to summer. So I ask all of you to make an effort this spring to get out into the garden. Admire the emerging new life and beauty taking place in our landscape.


Taking my own advice, I visited Temple Ambler this past month to check out the gardens. Still a bit early to see buds popping, the plants that did stand out were the evergreens especially in the Colibraro Conifer garden.


Colibraro Conifer Garden

If you take a look at the landscapes around your neighborhood right now, what stands

out to you? Most likely you'll be noticing those plants that have held onto their leaves this winter, in other words evergreen plants. But once all the other landscape plants begin to emerge and fill in the many empty spaces we see today, these structural and significant specimens will start to fade into the background. So I'd like to highlight them before they do.


First let's explain the differences between evergreen and conifer. Conifer refers to trees and shrubs that produce cones where as evergreen describes plants that hold onto their leaves year round. Now most conifers are evergreen, but not all. Some examples of deciduous conifers include European Larch, Bald Cypress and Dawn Redwood.


The Colibraro Conifer Garden is located at Temple University's Ambler Campus in

front of the Greenhouse along a pedestrian path on the western side of campus.

This large berm garden has a wide range of conifers. The selection of species and cultivars allows one to compare the differences in habit, color and size of

the conifer plant palette. Below are some of my favorite specimens showcased

in the garden.     

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar 


Elegans Nana Dwarf Japanese Cedar
Elegans Nana Dwarf Japanese Cedar


Nana Lutea Hinoki False Cypress

Evergreen conifer trees and shrubs provide seasonal interest and structure to the garden. Larger specimens give the perfect screening to create intimate and private outdoor living spaces, a weeping habit can be shown off as a specimen, or there are even unique dwarf varieties for the smallest of spaces. 



Do You Have a Thin Lawn?

Top Dress and Seed This Spring 


Has this past winter left your lawn looking sparse? Thinned out lawns and dead patches frequently occur even on otherwise nice lawns when winter's poor growing conditions take their toll. It's essential to address these issues early in the season as bare soil provides the chance for weed growth. Top dressing, aerating and over seeding this spring will prevent weed colonization, boost nutrient levels and prepare your lawn for the heat this summer.


Top dressing is the process of applying a thin ("-") layer of compost over the surface of the lawn. This adds organic matter containing microorganisms that help restore a balance to the lawn while naturally providing the necessary nutrients needed for your grass to grow successfully. Applying compost in conjunction with core aeration allows nutrients and microorganisms an enhanced opportunity to alter your soil structure. Once the soil has been reinvigorated the seed is spread, pressed into the soil, and watered.


If applying seed make sure you have not used any type of pre-emergent weed control to the area as this will prevent the grass seed from germinating.


Cedar Run Landscapes provides all types of lawn care services from simple mowing to whole lawn restorations. Thinning lawns also opens up the discussion of how much lawn do you really need? Spots that are difficult to grow a thriving lawn can be great environments for native plantings.  Please contact us for any of your lawn care needs.  

Project of the Month

Philadelphia Water Department and Permeable Patios


Cedar Run Landscapes has been selected to participate in PWD's Rain Check pilot program. With each permeable patio or rain garden created through this program, we are helping to minimize stormwater runoff. Head over to our blog to learn more about the program and the projects we are installing.    

Spring Pond Maintenance

Getting Your Pond Up and Running 


Pond clean-outs should be done before plant life begins to fully emerge and pond bacteria haven't started colonizing, usually before the water temperature reaches 55F. A full clean out replaces nutrient rich water with fresh clean water, a process similar to the way spring rains and snow melt naturally flush out our natural ponds and lakes.


Cedar Run Landscapes provides full pond services and will soon be starting our annual spring clean outs. Even if you think your pond just needs some tidying up we would be glad to assist you. To be added to our list of pond maintenance customers, contact us at

We hope you enjoyed this months newsletter. If you need assistance in getting your outdoor living space ready for the spring, please contact us.  


Kaitlyn Dibble