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.
Ornamental grasses add variety and a natural feel to landscapes. They can be used in groups or as specimens that will catch the eye through the winter. Most grasses are happy without supplemental water and only need to be cut back once a year in the spring. There are many types of ornamental grasses but a few stand above the rest because of their appearance and hardiness in Michigan's climate.
1. Feather Reed Grass (Calamagrostis)
Feather Reed Grass has two qualities that set it apart from the rest on this list. The first is that it is a cool season grass. This means it puts almost all of its growth on during the spring once temperatures reach the 50's. Many of the other grasses don't get much size until around June or July. This means Feather Reed Grass compliments later blooming flowers like Black Eyed Susans and Autumn Joy Sedum nicely. The second is that that Feather Reed Grass has stiff , upright stalks unlike the cascading appearance of Fountain and Silver Grass. This appearance works well in certain situations where other grasses might appear too busy.
2. Fountain Grass (Pennisetum)
Fountain Grasses are known for large, showy seed heads. Many varieties are on the shorter side, although larger varieties do exist. Dwarf Fountain Grasses such as "Hameln" and "Little Bunny"are great for adding flare to gardens with space restrictions. Fountain Grasses also do well in low water conditions.
3. Switch Grass (Panicum)
Native to Michigan, along with much of the rest of the Midwest and Central United States, Switch Grass is great for naturalization. It has a wild look but does a good job of staying in neat clumps that don't grow out of hand. It's a medium sized grass growing 3 - 4 ft. tall. It's a good option for native gardens and tough areas like next to heavily salted pavement. Two popular varieties are "Shenandoah", which has a reddish tint and "Heavy Metal" which has a bluish tint.
4. Silver Grass (Miscanthus)
Silver Grass makes a statement! Most large grasses you see in Michigan are likely Silver Grass. Many varieties grow to be around 6 ft. tall but there are types of Miscanthus that get up to 12 ft. tall. Silver Grass is beautiful and a great option for larger landscapes. It also works well as an alternative option for hedges. Unfortunately, Silver Grass takes more care than some other types of grass. Since the plants tend to be bigger, there is more to clean up in the spring. Miscanthus also spreads horizontally through rhizomes. This means the plants can become overwhelmingly wide if not occasionally cut back.
5. Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium)
Little Bluestem is another great option for naturalization projects. It grows naturally in most of the U.S. It's a little shorter than Switch Grass. It also has a different color and texture. Little Bluestem can be used in place of Switch Grass or along side it to create a prairie feel.