Nothing beats standing under a huge tree and staring up into it's seemingly never ending branches, enjoying it's shade on a hot day or watching the wildlife community that calls the tree home. A towering tree can invoke a sense of aw you just won't get from a shrub and perennial garden. However, large trees should be used sparingly in small yards and planting spots should be chosen carefully to allow for the mature shape and size of the tree. It might be a while before your tree is a giant but it will be enjoyed for generations. Here are a few options for large trees that thrive in Michigan's climate.
1. American Beech
Beech trees are unmistakable because of their smooth gray bark. These trees provide an abundance of shade when full grown but can also tolerate a fair amount of shade when their young. Most American Beech trees will reach 80 - 100 ft in height but can grow up to 120 ft in favorable conditions.
2. Norway Spruce
The Norway Spruce is a fast growing, attractive evergreen with drooping foliage on bowed branches. In full sun, Norway Spruce makes a thick screen. It works well as a street barrier or a back drop for the back of a property. They quickly grow to 60 ft tall but can eventually reach 100 - 150 ft.
3. Tulip Tree
Tulip Trees are tall, thin trees which are great for small yards or street trees. They have large showy flowers in spring and interesting and recognizable leaves. They grow to be 70 - 100 ft tall but can occasionally grow taller. Even a very tall Tulip Tree won't grow more than 50 ft wide, letting it fit into spots other trees will overgrow.
4. White Pine
The state tree, the Eastern White Pine, has a presence that can't be matched. It has a natural look and when grown in a group, will eventually lose it's lower branches but have a green roof that creates a "room effect". Most white pines will reach 100 ft but can grow up to 150 ft.
5. White Oak
Last but not least, the White Oak is the grandfather of Michigan shade trees, They grow slowly so the planter will never be able to to appreciate their full glory. What they lack in speed, they make up for with their tremendous size. White Oaks are strong trees with huge trunks. They reach 70 - 100 ft tall and wide with an attractive shape can be admired as much in the winter as it can in the summer.
Landscape Design in Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, MI
Every year there's a slew of new landscape plants in magazines and nurseries. Trends come and go but these 5 flowering shrubs are as great now as when your grandparents planted them.
1. Vanhoutte Spiraea
One of the well known varieties is "Bridal Veil". These were once planted everywhere but have been passed up for the more popular Japanese Spiraeas such as "Little Princess". Vanhoutte Spiraea are much larger and will either need lots of space or an annual pruning. Both are great shrubs but spring flowering of "Bridal Veil" is something to behold. The shrub will be completely covered with white flowers that appear to be cascading down to the ground.
2. Common Lilac
Common Lilac works well as a back drop. They grow tall if left unpruned and are a great way to take up empty space along the side of the house or as a green wall at the back of the yard. Lilacs have large purple or white flowers in May that have a pleasant and distinct fragrance.
You know that spring has arrived when the forsythia blooms. It's often the first shrub to bloom and looks like an explosion of yellow that can't be missed. It's foliage is not especially interesting but the blooms make forsythia well deserving of a spot in the garden. Forsythia grows fast and can be used as a screen. It can also be used as an accent plant if pruned annually and kept small.
One of the best things about roses is the never ending variety that is available. In the last few decades, rose breeders seem to have focused on making roses that bloom for the entirety of the growing season. Many old fashioned roses bloom less often but have larger and more interesting flowers. Climbing roses were also very popular in the past. They can be a great way to add a vertical element to the flower garden.
5. Annabelle Hydrangea
These easily recognizable flowers are as versatile as they are impressive. They can be placed singularly among other plants in an eclectic garden. They also look great when placed behind a short boxwood hedge in a formal setting. They can be kept short by cutting them to the ground in the fall or spring or left unpruned to reach their mature size. Annabelle flowers are know for being large and pure white.
Landscaping When Selling Your Home in Ypsilanti, MI
If you're getting ready to sell your home, spending some time on the yard can affect how much money you get for your home and how long it takes to sell it. It is said that potential home buyers know if they like the house or not before they've even stepped inside. Fortunately, you can get your yard sale ready without spending a fortune.
Skip the plantings
Plants can be expensive. Their price tags add up quickly and when first planted are not all that impressive. Save that money to buy plants for your new home. That way you'll be able to watch the plants mature and reap the full benefit of your purchase.
What should be focused on
- Weed the beds
Weeding costs nothing in materials and can make a huge difference in how a property looks. Furthermore, when someone buys a house, they already have plenty of work to do. The thought of spending their free time pulling weeds in the garden can be off putting.
- Fresh Mulch
Spreading new mulch does cost some money in materials but typically goes quickly and is well worth it. Right after mulch is spread, it looks great. The color starts to fade eventually but right after it has been spread is a good time to have an open house.
- Focus on the entrance
If both the front and back yard need to be cleaned up and you have pick one, focus on the front. Make sure the walk from their car to the front door is free of any eyesores. This will set their mood and influence what they think when they enter the house. The back yard is often an afterthought.
Be creative and do what you can with what you've got. You can make your yard presentable and your home sale ready without doing a landscaping overhaul. Save your landscaping budget and big ideas for the landscape at your next home.