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Moss Lawns: How Can I Get One? I’ve always thought of moss lawns and nooks as magic, a place where fairies live, because those places seem to appear magically in early spring and disappear in summer. Perhaps it is more like a Houdini trick. Moss is technically a Bryophyte or non-vascular plant that lacks true branches, leaves and roots. It absorbs water in other ways and when there is no water there appears to be no moss. Voila! Unlike other plants, moss has no seeds, but has spores that are released when the plant dries. Moss grows in colonies that will knit together to create the nice smooth carpet upon which the fairies dance. I find the best way to encourage moss is to keep clean the area where moss has chosen to grow. Regular use of a blower to remove weeds, duff, and leaves seems to prevent plant competition and create a seedbed for the moss spores. Leaf build up at any time of the year smothers those plants. Moss can take periods of direct sunlight, but not for long because it absorbs water above ground, not below. Early spring, when there is not much competition for water and light is when moss appears to come to life. And that is when the fairies come out. Marcia Weber Gardens to...

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On a cold, windy February day we might feel like giving it all up to go fishing someplace where the sun is shining brightly on a shimmering sea. I found boats waiting for me at the Darien port in historic Darien, Georgia.  I’m a working girl, and I like a working boat.  These classic shrimp boats can’t be bettered when it comes to hauling in the best tasting shrimp in the world, Georgia White shrimp, grown sweet from the unique mix of fresh water and sea water that flows through the marshes of Glenn.  I didn’t get to go out into the bay, but I did find my haul of shrimp and fish at the Darien Hardware.   That is not a typing error; I did indeed purchase my fish at the hardware store!       Inland, the camellias were shimmering in the sun and promising spring is at hand.  These big old fashioned varieties such as Grace Albritton and Professor Sargent have even begun to bloom in protected spots in Atlanta.  Tonight’s cold will knock off a few buds, but there will be more flowers to come.  And if we protect our coastline there will be more shrimp to come. Marcia...

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Here at the Gardens to Love offices we do our best to put a positive spin on the month of August. We try to avoid phrases such as, “vile weather,” “hateful air today,” or “disgustingly hot.” I do my best to deflect those questions about whether or not the A/C is turned down to 76 degrees. (It is not!) After all, where will that talk take us? Instead, we focus on all the good garden upkeep and installations the team accomplishes in spite of the heat, humidity and air pollution. There will be a cool pops treat in the downstairs café at the end of the day. Looking back on the month, August begins to feel awfully good…The Zeon Zoysia sod installed at Mr. Smith’s looks fabulous in August, especially after the haircuts from the reel mowers. I love zoysia’s soft touch on a hot summer day. And when well mown, it really feels like a thick green carpet. The pruning and the seasonal cleanup done for Mr. George makes him so happy after returning from summer vacation out of town. Mrs. Scott is thrilled to see changes in her back patio, because she is planning a big event in the fall. Gardening in August brings flowering joys such as refreshingly pure white cleome, Royal Standard hostas, Clematis autumnalis; bright notes in the shade from Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ and Encore azaleas; lingering phlox and crepe myrtle flowers in pink and white; zinnias are stars in the cutting gardens. Late afternoon showers followed by a cool evening still and cooler dawns in early mornings combine to make August downright inspirational. Marcia Weber Gardens to...

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Magnolias, hydrangeas, geraniums, roses galore, honeysuckle, confederate jasmine, daisies, lawns and weeds. All these beauties and more are in glorious bloom right now, in May. Many of these make for a sweetly scented walk down my driveway and through the garden. Here and there I see the last remnants of pansies. Yes, it’s true; pansies will last until the end of May. Atlanta gardening is a great joy this time of year. In May, even bad gardens can seem good. The lushness of the exuberant spring growth covers a multitude of sins. But don’t let Edward Scissorhands get started with the mechanical shears too soon. Growth needs to harden before that first shearing of the season. Other cuts should be made thoughtfully just as a haircut to your head should be made thoughtfully, artistically and with care. The first flush of Magnolia blooms in May always reminds me of my long deceased neighbor, Joe Rutland, who had a small second story screened porch on the back of his house. This porch was surrounded by a massive Magnolia grandiflora. In the soft summer evenings, Joe enjoyed a gin and tonic drink and the perfume of the magnolia while becoming intoxicated by both. Marcia...

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Atlanta Garden Ideas It starts tentatively, almost a game of hide and seek.  The fragrance of Lonicera fragrantissima is first out on an early February day.  Then a group of February Gold daffodils appear offering their shy but clear scent. In spite of winter’s polar vortex, by mid-March the aptly named Daphne odora is filling Ansley Park sidewalks with the rich scent that the makes the evening strollers swoon. Bright and buxom Camellia japonicas lure me into the garden with heavy showy flowers that are essentially devoid of any olfactory allure.  It is the nearby hedge of Burford Holly that is drawing me and the bees closer with its unassuming, but sweetly scented flowers.   I often confuse the scent with Osmanthus fragrans.  I have both plants in my garden, and I am lured by both.   At my feet are late flowering Darwin Tulips with black stamens offering a distinctive and exclusive tulip fragrance. By late March and early April the scents of spring in the garden are piling up like rush hour traffic southbound on I-85. It is the heady Viburnu burkwoodii that causes my first crash with Johnny jump ups, dianthus, late flowering daffodils with all their light fragrances stacking up, one on top of the other.  This is the time of year to get out of the traffic and the car.  Walk through your garden and neighborhood, or perhaps the Atlanta Botanical Garden and woods to take in the sweetly scented air that is a bit of what makes spring in Atlanta so special.  If you want Atlanta garden ideas these are great inspirations, and they are what make these seasons differ so drastically from each other, even within our same great capital city of Georgia. And these are all great considerations for your own beautiful home garden! At Gardens to Love we have been lucky enough to take note of such magnificent plants and gardens in our work here in Atlanta over the years. Gardens and ideas are our business, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder – you! Marcia Weber   Read more on our experience and approach to landscape design and garden planning here in Atlanta, Georgia. Photos from top to bottom: 1) Gorgeous Sophie is on the scent, 2) Fred admiring the holly, 3) Virburnum burkwoodii, 4) Marcia enjoying tulips in a client’s garden....

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