There’s an old saying: “Nothing is sure except death and taxes”. Quite true. But I’d like to add a third item to that list: “If you don’t water your plants in the winter, they’re going to die.” That statement is probably not quite as sure as the first two, but it becomes increasingly more certain with each passing year.
KC Has Had Extremely Dry Winters for a Decade
The late fall and winter seasons in Kansas City, over the past decade or so, have been very dry. Whatever the reason, changing weather patterns, warmer temperatures as plants go into dormancy, or pure coincidence, plants in our area—especially evergreens, suffer in the winter.
What Is Winter Kill?
Of course, plants starving for water any time is bad, but it is doubly bad in the winter months as the ground freezes and water becomes immobile in the soil. Sunny, warm days in winter encourage plants to begin growing, and azaleas, hollies, spruce, arborvitae, and others break dormancy, using up their stored water reserves. As the plant calls for water to replenish its cells, the frozen ground refuses to release water and the plant “burns” from a lack of moisture. This is what is known as “winter kill”.
Water during Mid-Winter Thaws
That is why it’s so vitally important to thoroughly water your trees, shrubs, and perennials (particularly new planted ones) in the fall before the ground freezes. And, that is why the occasional mid-winter thaw is a perfect time to add moisture to the ground as it briefly “opens up”.
We encourage you to water your plants well this spring to help them get a good start to the spring season. Chances are they are VERY thirsty!
If you need help with your fall or winter watering tasks, call the gardening pros at Greenleaf to help, and be sure to ask about tricks and tips to help your garden survive the winter woes! Call us at (816) 916-5171 or contact us online.
An existing landscape that isn’t working for you may not need a complete overhaul for you to be able to enjoy your landscape again. We have customers who like their landscape but need to make a few changes. Perhaps the loss of key plants left holes to fill in. A good maintenance visit may be just what you need to get your landscape ready for a refresh. With a well-maintained landscape, it is easy to see where a few tweaks can make a difference. Sometimes a landscape is just missing a wow factor, so adding more color or structure can refresh a tired look. We can tweak your existing landscape to be anything you want it to be. Simply tell us what your vision is, and we’ll choose the right plants for the job.
A Carefree Landscape with Lots of Color
This home, in South Overland Park, was professionally landscaped several years ago, but the owner wanted to make a few changes. She likes to spend time in her pool and enjoy the landscape from the water as well as from a raised screened porch and from her vantage points inside the house. Some of the originally installed plants failed in her yard for varying reasons, but she still wanted to get a full-coverage look and interesting spaces. Her ultimate goal was to have a carefree landscape that is interesting and full of colors without all the mess. Letting us take care of maintenance allows her to enjoy the view.
Layering Creates Interest through Fullness and Variety
The row of large evergreens along the pool already created a nice privacy fence. We moved a mass of tall grasses to create a layer, mixing a new texture and then repositioned a row of low growing Coreopsis in front of that for even more depth and variety. In other areas, we added masses of groundcovers and low-growing perennials for color that comes back every year. The hardscape lends itself to the goal of interesting places with paths that lead you out of the space. We lined the existing walkways and bed spaces with decorative gravel to correct drainage and allow water to run off as needed without sacrificing aesthetics.
Containers Add a Splash of Color around the Pool
We also planted a large number of containers that are placed around the pool as well as in the beds to add constant seasonal color without worrying about space limitations like in the case of perennials that might have short bloom cycles. There’s no limit to what you can put in a container to fill a space perfectly. And they’re portable, so you can change your mind and move them around.
These pictures showcase how an existing landscape can be tweaked to enclose a space and create a gorgeous backdrop of beauty. This is a constantly evolving garden that changes every year. Greenleaf will be there next year to help transform it into a beautiful, colorful, vibrant landscape again. Front, back, sides and even poolside – wherever you need help, we have the answer.