Author Archives: Priscilla Warren

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo for Landscapes

Bamboo And Ornamental Grasses

From a whispering rustling of leaves to a colorful stand of poles with feathery foliage, ornamental grasses and bamboo can provide drama and stature to any landscaping design. Homeowners often think that the only way to add color in their garden is by planting flowers. However, there are many ornamental grasses and bamboos available that have beautiful gold, ice blue, purple, yellow, green or black designs. For example, a blue stemmed phyllostachys can measure 15 feet in height and provide any landscape with drama and striking color.

ornamental grasses variety

Grasses are exceptional way to add a splash of color or unusual design. There are many excellent choices that have spectacular scarlet tips or striking yellow stripes. Grasses are also a great choice when either planted with perennials and annuals or on their own. You can add design interest and structure to any patio by using a tall leafy grass with long, soft flowery heads. Grasses make any container look more attractive. Bamboos can also make a container look striking but a bamboo plant in the container will require more care.

If you are thinking about creating a hedge or screen in your yard then you should consider densely planted types of bamboo. A dense hedge made from bamboo is both unusually attractive and it will be a perfect windbreak. It is best to use a non-invasive type of bamboo such as fargesia. In fact, it may be advisable to talk to an expert before you plant an invasive type of bamboo because bamboo is very difficult to eradicate.

You can also use miscanthus, which is a deciduous grass, for screening. Their dried flowers and stems will offer cover in the winter but they will need to be completely cut down in the spring. During the springtime the plant will not offer any shelter but within a few weeks the new growth will once again begin its job as a perfect screen for a patio area.

If you own a large piece of property you can use a variety of soft grass species to provide a bright annual flowering Native Grassesmeadow. They often are use to make the perfect summer hay meadow because of their decorative seed heads and attractive feathery flowers. This type of grassy meadow only needs mowing 1 or 2 times a year The grassy meadow will be a perfect place for invertebrates, butterflies, and colorful insects.

Both evergreen and deciduous grasses can offer a textural contrast to perennials. They will provide the perfect airy foil for any group of shrubs. Tall grass is an excellent way to provide a backdrop for herbaceous plantings that are located in a sunny area. There are so many beautiful sedges and grasses that you can choose from to accent a flower or herb bed.

You should never confuse ornamental grasses or bamboo with the type of grass that is on your lawn. Ornamental grasses and bamboo are normally not meant to be mowed or cut. They are not used as a ground cover. Some of the more popular grass choices include blue fescue grass, Mexican feather grass, Japanese forest grass, zebra grass, bamboo, purple fountain grass, New Zealand flax, Japanese blood grass, blue oat grass, pink muhly grass, black mondo grass and Egyptian papyrus.

Before choosing any of the more common above grasses or bamboos it is important to understand how they grow, how they look, and other important information. It is amazing how much information you can get online to help you choose the perfect grass or bamboo for your landscaping. Of course, not every nursery will have all of the above varieties so you may be limited in what you can actually purchase.

For example, many homeowners choose blue fescue grass because it grows very low in height. This type of ornamental grass is often used for borders and edgings. The seeds of this grass were introduced into the United States in the early 19th century. Seeds were brought into the United States from Europe.

Elegant Ornamental Grasses VarietyYou probably have seen Mexican feather grass in your community. You even sometimes see it grown on a green roof. The reason why this grass is often so apparent is because of the seeds that are on the extreme tips of a feather-like blade. Even during the most gentle of winds these seeds will be blown throughout the community. Mexican feather grass can be cut back often and it will continue to thrive. The grass grows best in dry conditions and you should be aware that it will proliferate all over your sidewalk cracks, yard, and may even enter into your neighbor’s yards.

Japanese forest grass originates near Mt. Hakone in Japan. It is very popular because of its exotic clumping habit and beauty. The grass is easily identified by its very slender stems which often resemble tiny bamboo. The darker green plants with purple flowers are especially striking in a container or as a color accent for an edging or a border. The two varieties of this grass are golden Japanese forest grass and Nicholas Japanese forest grass.

Zebra grass is a popular plant that is often called porcupine grass. It is a greenish yellow grass that stands upright. The grass will die during the winter but it will come back very strong in the spring. A clump of this grass can grow easily 5 feet wide and 5 feet high. Zebra grass has an exotic, tropical appearance. It is often planted with colorful flowers such as hibiscus, canna, and plumeria.

Many people may be surprised to know that bamboo is actually a member of the grass family. Banboo grows quickly and will often over take an area if neglected. The bamboo plant is a native of China and was brought to the Western world around the mid-19th century. Some of the different types of bamboo that are popular for landscaping include blue, black, arrow, bissett, fernleaf, Mexican weeping, temple, tortoise shell, and umbrella just to name a few.

Yes, there is no doubt about it that ornamental grasses and the different varieties of bamboo will enhance any landscaping project. Simply do some prior research on what types of grasses grow best in your area and then search for nursery that can provide you with these beautiful and colorful plants.

Planting A San Pedro Trichocereus Cactus Cutting

garden-cactus-cutting

Planting A San Pedro Trichocereus Cactus Cutting

The Sand Pedro Trichocereus Cactus is an upright or columnar succulent that can successfully be grown from a cutting. This process is also called rooting and is used to propagate most cactus species. The most significant feature of this cactus are the stunning, fragrant flowers that it produces.

garden-cactus-cutting

You can buy quality cuttings online to be delivered directly to your door. There are, however, a few steps that you need to take in order for the cactus planting & propagation process to be successful.

Step 1 – Wear Gloves

Cacti have spines and prickly bits so in order not to be harmed, I recommended you wear a thick pair of gardening gloves when handling the cutting.

Step 2 – Check Your Cutting

Make sure that the end of the cutting you have received has been dried out to stop the sap from leaking out. It is also best to ensure that the cutting is fresh. Don’t expect it to be in perfect condition – it may have some scars and blemishes but this will not affect the success of the propagation.

Step 3 – Check Your Soil

Your soil needs to drain well and be porous. Adding sand or gravel should give you the right consistency. Alternatively, check with your online cutting supplier or local nursery if they can provide you with the ideal soil for your cutting. Soil should be slightly moist but never wet.

Step 4 – Choose Your Pot

A medium to large size plant pot with drainage holes should suffice. Fill the pot with your soil, leaving a few inches of space at the top. Insert the cutting gently into the plant pot by pushing the dehydrated end into the soil. For tall or heavy cuttings, support with a stick so that it remains upright.

Step 5 – Finding The Right Spot

A dry, shady area, with minimum direct sunlight is ideal for the San Pedro Cactus to start taking root. Normally, it will take 3-4 weeks for the roots to begin taking hold. Gently pull on the cutting – if it comes loose, replace it and wait a few more weeks after checking if rot or other problems are preventing roots from growing.

Step 6 – Watering

I do not recommended you water the cutting until a root system is in place. Use a watering can to gently wet the soil, ensuring that it is draining well. Allow the soil to dry out entirely before the next watering. Keep in mind that wet soil is the enemy of cacti. However, your San Pedro Trichocereus Cactus will require water to survive and flourish. If you notice a lack of growth, rot or a lack of flowers, you are probably over-watering it.

I recommended you then move the cactus to a sunny area once the root system is thriving. Cacti love hot, dry and sunny conditions however, direct sunlight for an entire day may cause sunburn. I recommend you introduce your potted Trichocereus Cactus from shade to sunlight slowly to allow it to adapt.

Please contact me if you have any questions or need more help with this. I’d love to help you get started.

Growing Mushrooms in Your Own Back Yard Garden

mushroom-garden-sponge-basket

Growing Your Own Mushrooms Is Easy

Are you hoping to grow your own mushrooms? Mushrooms are one of the healthiest foods available and are full of antioxidants, vitamins, and other nutrients. It’s certainly possible to grow your own mushrooms, but you’ll have to set up the right conditions and find good, healthy spawn to get started. Most of the time, mushrooms are grown indoors, but it is possible to grow them in a garden.

The easiest and quickest way is to purchase a mushroom growing kit, but if you can create a special place for growing mushrooms, you can raise them yourself.

 

 

The first decision is the type of mushroom you will grow.

There are a few that are easier to grow than others.

These include oyster mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and white button mushrooms. The white button is the type you commonly see in grocery stores.

You can find spawn or spore either locally or online. Spawn are like seedlings and spore are like the seeds. It is easier to start with spawn.

Once you choose your mushroom, you’ll need to choose the growing medium. If you choose to grow shiitake mushrooms, they are usually grown in hardwood dust or directly on some type of hardwood. White button mushrooms grow well in composted manure and oyster mushrooms in straw.

 

mushroom-shiitake

 

Once you choose a mushroom to grow and get the right growing medium, the rest of the growing process is pretty much the same for any type of mushroom. You will need a cool, dark, and damp place. The most common place to grow mushrooms is in the basement, but you could also use a closet or a cabinet. It must be somewhere you can control the humidity and temperature and create almost total darkness.

Put the growing medium in a container or pan and then raise the temperature under the pan to 70 degrees. Put the spawn in the growing medium. The spawn will take root within the growing medium in about 3 weeks. Lower the temperature to 55 degrees and cover the spawn with potting soil. Place a damp cloth over everything and keep the cloth damp.

Small mushrooms should begin to appear within three to four weeks. When the caps have separated from the stem and are fully opened, they are ready for harvest.

Growing funghi garden mushrooms is simple and doesn’t take long. Mushrooms you’ve grown yourself also seem to just taste better.