5 garden chores to do after a heavy rain

After a heavy rain, there are a handful of garden chores you will want to do before the soil dries out again.

#1. Weed

The moisture in the soil makes weeding so much easier than after a week of dry weather. The soil is soft and you have a better chance of pulling the whole root out.

#2. Deadhead

After a heavy rain, some perennials and annuals may need to be cut back if they were damaged or flattened. And any spent flowers can be trimmed off.

 

Gerber daisies – deadhead spent flowers and they will rebloom all summer long

#3. Check for wet spots

Area that are slow to drain and stay wet for days after a storm need special attention. If this area is up against your house foundation, you may need to reroute your gutters or install a French drain.

If it is a spot you would like to plant, you will need to choose wet-tolerant plants. Many trees, shrubs, and perennials can thrive with “wet feet” (like river birch, dappled willows, Ligularia, Siberian iris, Chelone, and the ground cover Lysimachia.)

#4. Plant

Again, the moisture in the soil makes digging easy. After you’ve cleared out the weeds and deadheaded spent flowers, you will see spaces in your garden that need color.

When you visit the nursery, the perennials and shrubs blooming now are the plants that will bloom at this time every year. Shopping and planting throughout the season this year is a way to guarantee continuous color for years to come.

 

Show-stopping lupines will spread by seed and naturalize in your garden

If you have a young garden and you are waiting for perennials and shrubs to grow to their mature size, you can fill in holes just for the summer with annuals.

#5. If you haven’t already, lay down a 2″ to 3″ layer of mulch. Mulch helps retain the moisture in the soil during the hot dry spells that can happen throughout the summer.

Happy, Happy Herb Boxes

 

Growing herbs, especially in easily accessible pots near your grill or kitchen door is one of the true luxuries of summer. Grabbing a fist full of fresh oregano or thyme to throw into a dish in progress will make you happy! But there are some unusual edibles we’d like you to consider this summer:

 

Corsica mint

Corsica mint is one of our favorites, because it is so so fragrant. When you pet the tiny, densely packed foliage, it releases a heavenly, minty fragrance. We recommend you plant a full pot of it near a lounge chair for relaxation and aromatherapy purposes, but it can also be planted in the ground as a steppable ground cover. Use it in iced tea or sprinkle the little leaves over fresh greens.

Another one of our favorites is French Sorrel. You need to harvest the leaves before the plant bolts (throws up its flowers) and you can harvest it multiple times through the season. The baby leaves add a lemony bite to fresh salads or a wonderful herb and aromatic to throw in with fish dishes, but French Sorrel soup is the best use of this leafy green!

French Sorrel

Chocolate mint can be used to infuse milk for homemade ice cream, but chocolate mint mojitos are also a crowd pleaser. Mints have a tendency to take over in the garden, so they are the perfect herb to keep in a container.

Chocolate mint

 

Cold hardy, perennial herbs—like mint, sage and thyme—can overwinter in pots outside, but more tender herbs—like rosemary—need to be brought inside in the fall or planted a new each spring. Pots of herbs perform best in full sun, but no fertilizers are needed. Most herbs thrive in lean soil and like to dry out in between watering. That said, they can perform just fine in a mixed container if you want to throw an herb in with blooming annuals.

Sage

 

Rosemary

 

Lovage

 

Golden Oregano

 

Variegated Oregano

 

Salad Burnet

 

Sweet Marjoram

 

We also love the idea of an all edible mixed pot. Here are a few edible flowering plants to brighten up your grill side herb boxes: violets, pansies, and violas. The small, delicate flowers can be used to decorate desserts or garnish any main dish. Nasturtium is a prolific annual with red, yellow and orange blossoms. The flower and the foliage are both pretty and peppery. They make a spicy addition to salads or fish dishes. The thick, juicy petals of Tuberous Begonia taste like lemon water. They can be tossed into salads or drinks for a colorful, tart crunch. You don’t see these commonly used, maybe because most people feel the flowers are too beautiful to eat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our favorite Columbines – spring blooms

Lacy and graceful, Columbine are a lovely spring bloom.

Deer resistant, sun and shade tolerant, and–with a little help from you–columbines will naturalize. (More on that later.) Here are a few of our favorites.

#1. Aquilegia vulgaris plena ‘Black Barrow’

The deep purple (almost black) color of the bell shaped flowers are an elegant addition to any shade garden.

#2. Aquilegia canadensis ‘Corbett’ is a variety of wild columbine.

Humming birds, bees, and butterflies love the nectar rich wild columbines.

#3. Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Clementine Salmon Rose’

New varieties of columbine appear all the time because of the cross-pollination caused by natural pollinators. Plant a few varieties and see if any hybrids bloom in your yard!

#4. Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Clementine Blue’

Columbines of all varieties do best in moist spring soil, followed by drier summer soil. If planted in a swampy or often flooded area, crown rot can kill the plant.

The delicate foliage can occasionally develop powdery mildew. If this happens, cut your columbine down to the ground. If it persists, think about relocating them to a an area with more air flow.

#5. Aquilegia canadensis ‘Little Lanterns’

Red wild columbines have twice the amount of sugar in their nectar than other columbine species native to North America and ornithologists have noted that the ruby-throated humming birds follow the blossoming of Aquilegia canadensis as they travel north.

Later in the season finches will eat the columbine seeds, but–if you want to naturalize columbine through out your property–don’t let the seeds go to the birds!

Let the seeds dry on the plant. When they rattle collect the seeds and check the Weather Channel. Right before a thunderstorm, sprinkle the seeds everywhere you’d like them to be, and next spring you will be rewarded with glorious volunteers.

One final note: Columbines die back after flowering, so be sure to mix them in with summer blooming perennials, wildflowers and grasses.

Dramatic Before and After: Poolside in Olivebridge

And just think, this was the “before”:

 

Finished Pool Project in Olivebridge, NY

The finished project was an exciting collaboration between Walter Cudnohufsky Associates (landscape architect) and Victoria Gardens (garden design).

The front yard was an example of reclaiming space by eliminating part of the driveway. Where there was once asphalt, the front walk now leads visitors through a peaceful grove-like garden to the front porch and welcoming entrance.

Before

After

For the multiple levels of gardens, low maintenance, drought-tolerant plants were chosen to create a tapestry of textures and colors to reflect a more modern feel and enhance the stone walls and paths.

Before

After

We can help you with your landscape project… big or small.

Victoria Gardens in Rosendale, NY has been designing and installing gardens in Ulster County for 30 years. We’d love to help you shape the backyard of your dreams.

Call to schedule a design consultation today: (845) 658-9007

Also, we weed!

Beat the heat and have the Victoria Gardens’ crew weed your garden!

When we finish a landscape and garden renovation project like the collaboration above, we will often set up a maintenance–once a month, twice a month–in order to keep the gardens looking picture perfect.

All you have to do is enjoy the view (and the pool!)

Call to schedule your mid-summer weeding session:
(845) 658-9007

Landscaping Before and After Photos in Olivebridge, NY

After almost 30 years garden design, landscaping installation and maintenance in Ulster, Dutchess and Sullivan counties, Victoria Gardens has made clients happy by thinking out of the box.

And sometimes out of the driveway!

This before and after is the perfect example of a driveway that was inhibiting how the clients were enjoying their outside space.

The gravel driveway came all the way up to the back door. This separated the house from a set of outdoor stairs, which led to the pool.

You had to traverse across sharp gravel, weave in and around parked cars, and run into the FedEx guy in your bare feet and bathing suit every time you wanted to take a dip in the pool!

Not even consciously thinking about it, that becomes a passive barrier blocking the client from spending optimal time enjoying their pool.

But what’s a person to do? Isn’t the driveway literally set in stone?

No!

You are not limited by existing walkways, garden beds, or even driveways. Victoria and her crew have dramatically transformed outside spaces to the surprise and delight of clients.

We brought in the backhoe and tore up the driveway.

We brought in stone dust and flat stone for the new patio.

The patio was designed to blend in with the natural rock outcroppings in the hillside next to it. Victoria picked out ferns and sedums to be planted in and around the rock outcroppings to feel natural at the edge of the wooded area near by.

And we brought in square stone for the retaining wall and stairs that would define the new reclaimed yard from the now (much!) smaller driveway.

We moved the fence back to around the pool area. Then we brought in new soil to make garden beds and level out where we had dug out the old driveway – adding to the size and openness of the backyard.

We planted grass seed.

IMG_6974.jpg

And waited for the grass to grow!

Now our clients walk out their back door into the privacy of their new backyard, across the new relaxing patio, past their newly planted garden beds, and head to the pool.

The new garden beds were planted with a variety of deer resistant perennials, ferns, grasses, and ground covers.

Victoria Gardens helped our clients reclaim hundreds of square feet on their property for their privacy and enjoyment.

But what about the poor cars?

Don’t worry, there is still enough driveway to park 3 or 4 cars if necessary. And now there is a real entrance! As you climb a few stone steps, you are led on a whimsical curving path of stepping stones to the front porch. Leave the outside world behind as you step into a backyard that feels like a sanctuary in the country, instead of a parking lot.

Any project by Victoria Gardens begins with an hour long consultation with Victoria. The purpose of a consultation is to allow the designer to see your property and gives you the opportunity to ask any questions and to express your vision, wishes, and requirements for the project.

  • Design Consultations
  • Garden Installation
  • Garden Maintenance
  • Weeding & Mulching
  • Spring & Fall Clean Ups
  • Deer Spray

Call (845) 658-9007 to make an appointment or visit our Nursery and Garden Center on the corner of Rt. 213 and Cottekill Road, between Rosendale and High Falls.

At Victoria Gardens you will find a selection of trees, shrubs and perennials that are chosen specifically for our area and for our customers most frequently voiced problems: deer, dry soil, wet spots, and shady areas.

Our knowledgeable staff will help you find the perfect combinations, so you only have to plant once!

  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Perennials
  • Annuals
  • House Plants
  • Seeds
  • Soils & Mulches
  • Tools

Landscaping Before and After Photos in Accord, NY

This cheerful home is set on top of a gentle slope overlooking a picturesque meadow. When you approach the house, you drive up the hill, through the sunny meadow and pull around the back of the house to a shady courtyard.

To make the transition from “driveway” to courtyard and welcoming entrance, Victoria Gardens added a gently trickling water feature. The sound has a soothing effect. It allows the residents and guests alike, to leave the stresses of the outside world parked right next to where they left their cars.

In a corner with the client’s house on one side and a retaining wall on the other, creating a natural looking water feature was essential to a sense of “belonging” in the setting. Victoria’s crew brought in and arranged large stones, burying them in the ground to create a landscape within the landscape.

Inspired by Buddist traditions and aesthetics, Donna artfully builds the Asian-influenced water feature. River stones edge the water feature and the pea gravel walkway. Bright green perennial sedum and deep purple, flowering Ajuga were planted in-between the rocks, and water plants function both as ornamental features and as natural filters.

“Flowing water’s soothing sounds have long been associated with meditation, a well-known relaxation method. Michael Wenger, dean of Buddhist studies at the San Francisco Zen Center, tells us that, “Moving water is ‘white noise,’ in which you can hear many things. Each individual may hear a different song in the water. Just listening to the sound–not tying it to anything, just letting sound wash over you–is a way of letting go of your ideas and directly experiencing things as they are.” This notion is exemplified in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, one of the most important works of 20th-century Buddhist fiction. In it, the title character, while meditating upon the sound of a river and its “many-voiced song,” has a life-changing experience, whereupon he ceases to fight against his destiny and thus achieves enlightenment.” – Water’s Wonders by Hollis Kline and Laura Schiff (Psychology Today)

 

Victoria Coyne and her crew at Victoria Gardens have been designing, installing and maintaining gardens in Ulster, Dutchess and Sullivan counties for almost 30 years.

Click here for details about arranging a design consultation or call 845-658-9007.

Or visit our landscaping portfolio to see more of Victoria Gardens’ projects.

 

Landscaping Before and After Photos in Glenford, NY

This dramatic before and after began by redoing the front sidewalk. A wide curved walkway leading to the house makes visitors feel relaxed and welcome.

Using the bluestone from an old, damaged walkway and some imagination, the Victoria Gardens’ crew created a beautiful, functional walkway.

The soft, chartreuse foliage of the Japanese forrest grass, brightens up this shady front garden. And planters with annuals and sweet potato vines add an ornamental flourish to the entry way.

The entire front garden was planted with a selection of evergreen shrubs and small ornamental evergreen trees, Japanese maples, and shade perennials. All of the plants selected are extremely cold hardy to survive the Ulster County winter.

Many foundation plantings can be damaged by snow and icicles at the roof line. To prevent damage, manage drainage away from the house, and as an ornamental detail, Victoria used river stones in the front garden.

To the left of the entrance way, Victoria added a dry stream bed to deal with drainage issues and built up the garden beds, creating a lush planting winding its way down and around to the back yard.

Around the side of the house, an existing stone retaining wall was washed out and not planted. Victoria added soil, created a level grass walkway, and planted both sides of the walkway leading to the back yard.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the before and afters of this garden makeover. Hopefully you’re inspired to make your garden even more enjoyable and more beautiful!

Whether your outdoor space needs a major transformation or a minor adjustment, Victoria Gardens in Rosendale, NY can help.

After almost 30 years designing, installing and maintaining gardens in Ulster, Dutchess and Sullivan counties, Victoria and her crew have seen first-hand what plants thrive in our area.

But more specifically plants that are:

  • road-salt tolerant
  • deer resistant
  • black walnut tolerant

Plants that thrive in:

  • wet areas
  • hot dry spots
  • full sun
  • deep shade

Call Victoria Gardens for:

  • weeding
  • mulching
  • planting
  • garden design
  • an extreme garden make-over!
  • or just some minor tweaking (the next step in your own garden’s evolution)

(845) 658-9007

Victoria Gardens: our own before and after

It is hard to believe, that when Victoria Coyne and her husband, Wayne Waddell saw this turquoise, abandoned, cement block building, that they had a vision of a unique garden center with mighty white oak trees holding up the high, lofty ceiling. Or that the back doors would open onto a shelf of bedrock that would become home to the Victoria Gardens’ nursery.

This is a short chronicle of the dramatic “before” and “after.”