The buzzzzz about (Bees)

There is nothing like looking throughout a garden’s landscape to see these little remarkable machines at work. Their attention to detail and work ethic are unmatched, but sadly their under attack.

According to the USDA, pesticides play a key roll in their demise, as do the Varroa mite, bad weather and starvation. The good news is statistics are showing progress in the right direction. Key factors to this positive news is education. By collaborating with farmers and educated them when to use pesticides has helped bee colonies become less stressed which studies show gives the bees a Fighting Chance.

The Varroa mite, which is a blood sucking parasite that can wipe out a colony in weeks has been a thorn in beekeepers side for decades now. Positive steps have been made in figuring out ways to defeat this little monster, and it starts at the hives entrance. Check link below to see how this process is being accomplished.

http://beecare.bayer.com/media-center/videos/detail/a-new-solution-for-healthy-honey-bee-hives
Bees play a huge role in the economic development of not only our country but the worlds. Farmers across the globe rely on these little workhorses to pollinate crops to ensure a successful bounty at the end of the growing season.

It is my hope that after you read this, you understand the importance that bees play in our ecosystem and that you stop and appreciate them a little more the next time you look through your garden. I end with a resource of trees, plants and shrubs you can incorporate into your landscape to ensure a healthy bee population.

Home exterior Preparations  (Winter)

A home’s exterior if not managed properly can have costly effects throughout the winter months. Ice dams, fallen tree limbs, chimney fires, frozen pipes are just a few costly and potentially dangerous events that can occur during the cold season. Urbanyardology recognizes that all our clients homes are generally the largest investment they’ll ever make. So naturally, we as a company want to make sure you protect that investment. We came up with a list of costly problems that could potentially add to those winter Blues. Remember as a homeowner the works never done.

Gutters– Remove any debris that could prevent water from flowing. This is one step to ensure ice dams don’t occur.

Now if this is out of your comfort zone please hire a professional to do this gutter job for you. Urbanyardology maybe?  😉

Fireplace -be sure to to have it cleaned annually. Built up creosote can lead to fire in your chimney which could easily spread. Many critters can see an opportunity to nest in your chimney which may also have catastrophic results.

Chimney cleaning service

Frozen pipes- make sure to have lawn irrigation blown out before the water in the lines freeze. If you have an unfinished basement without a heat source make sure all pipes are rapped. Be sure to shut off outdoor water spicket from inside basement, then turn on from the outside to rid any excess.

Irrigation Services

Trees-  look up!! Do you see any potential trouble spots like dead limbs over any structure on your property. Stinky snow load and winter winds can bring these down without warning. Protect yourself and your home by having them removed by someone with the right equipment.

Tree Services central Maine

Tree Services southern Maine

Homeowners…keep ahead of potential problems and continue to GROW your home.

Garden Simple (Plants)

As the dog days of winter approach it’s easy for gardeners in zone 4 and 5 to become green thumb deprived. We look out our Windows to a Barren landscape, all perennial gardens have been put to bed and the annuals have been pulled and composted. Now we wait and stare at a stagnant exterior environment until the last frost in the spring. Sometimes as gardeners it’s hard in the fall to practice leaving some perennials alone. We just want to get everything done and have things look as tidy as possible. This practice does not have to happen with all perennials. By leaving some plants in your garden you leave behind some visual interests and the birds that do not migrate will entertain you on those boring days as they feed on seeds.

This Sedum (Autumn Joy) for example has great color, would look great in any white landscape and the birds just love to nibble on their seeds. Again… this is not for everybody, some like to have a tight compact garden and don’t mind a simple white landscape. Now keep in mind, not all perennials look good without a good pruning, in fact some should be pruned hard to prevent foliage disease or to not give shelter to harmful insect and pathogens. In that case all debris should be disposed of and NOT composted. The important thing is to just know your plants and their characteristics.

Below are some helpful links that I’m sure will help guide you.

Fall Clean up and Pruning 

Garden Pests

Plant Disease

Plants for Feeding Birds

Preparing for Fall and Winter

With summer wrapping up, now is the time to start planning for fall.

Some areas to keep in mind for this fall:

Aerating your lawn and feeding it will help the water and nutrients reach the soil for a healthy lawn come spring.

It is also a good time to plant new shrubs and cut back the perennials. Planting shrubs in early fall gives the plants a head start at establishing roots in the season’s cool, moist soil.

Don’t forget your walkways and patio’s!
The fall is an important time to fill in cracks and ensure that your walkway will hold up through Maine’s harsh winter.

UrbanYardology will prepare your yard for fall and winter. We also do seasonal garden design. Weather you want a fall theme or holiday decorations, if it is outside, we do it all!

Landscape Maintenance – Pruning

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Pruning helps direct plant growth to where you want it. It helps plants grow taller, wide and stronger, ti can also prevent awkward stems and branches from getting out of control while inhibiting disease.

When you are dealing with a hedge you want to time the pruning process with the natural growth surge in late spring, midsummer and early fall. Stop the process when winter is at least six weeks away to avoid damaging new growth by the cold, in this way you will avoid brown tips throughout the winter.

Spring blooming plants generally develop their buds in the fall when they become dormant. You should not prune until flowers fade in the late spring to early summer so the plant has time to develop.

Early summer bloomers including roses often benefit form a light fall prune to thin the branches. Mid and late summer bloomers are prunable anytime they become dormant and often benefit from a thorough prune in the late winter to early spring, which will lead to a heavy set of flowers.

Shrubs

image of a rhododendron




Shrubs are what I call the workhorse of the garden. They define space, direct foot traffic, create privacy and mask trouble areas. When designing I always take into account that every well dress property includes a foundation shrub which visually anchors a site. Like magic a foundation shrub creates a textured transition between lawn and home.

When you are selecting shrubs, take all four seasons into account

  • Colorful Stems
  • Branch Patterns
  • Foliage Color
  • Flowers and Fruit

The natural shape of a shrub is called its “form”.

Round and upright create structure and are used generally to create screens and backdrops or visually anchor the corners of a home. yew

 

 

 

Cushion/mounding shrubs naturally grown into mounds so they are ideal for foundation plantings where neatness is a priority.

dwarfboxwood

Open and upright are a fine accent plant because they usually are deciduous plants with showy blooms, ideal if they are weaved in with evergreens. rhode.gif

 

 

 

 

 

Spreading shrubs have a low horizontal pattern so they can be used almost like ground covers.
creeping juniper

Fountain shrubs provide amazing fireworks when in bloom. They are used to accent corners, anchor large flower beds or define boundaries.