Choosing the Right Pruning Tools

Choosing the Correct Pruning Tools

Choosing the Correct Pruning Tools for California Plants (and other Pruning “ABC’s”)

Remember when you first planted your garden plants, trees, and shrubs? Every plant looked so lonesome at first. But now the space is getting crowded! So now what to do? You wouldn’t dare want to get rid of any healthy foliage or shrub, so it’s time to master your pruning skills!

When beginning to prune, always start with dead branches and stems. Next move on to damaged, then diseased branches. Last, remove any branches or stems that cross or break the natural pattern of the rest of the plant, shrub, or tree, such as a weeping or dropping stem or limb.

Remember your ABC’s; First anvil, then bypass, then clean cut! Use an anvil pruner to cut dead wood, or for removing material up to the point of the desired cut; The anvil pruner is much more sturdy, but it also can crush the plant. Complete the cut with the bypass pruners.  Bypass pruners are less stable, but give a clean and sharp cut.

If using a saw to prune, make sure it’s a pruning saw. The pruning saw works with a pulling motion,  whereas a carpenter saw requires the user to push the blade to make the cut. This can be very dangerous and difficult on a wobbly or diseased branch.

If you are considering pruning large trees, remember safety first.  Sawing limbs on trees is a risky job no matter how many precautions you take, but using saws attached to long poles increases the danger. Adding a ladder into the mix makes it even more of a risk.  If the job seems to big and you aren’t sure where to cut, call an Arborist. Save your self time, money, and possible harm to yourself or surrounding structures.

Here are some other favorite gardener and pruning tools, that you may want to pick up on your next trip to the home improvement store:

  • Loppers for large pruning jobs
  • Holsters that can clip into your belt (keep your pruning tools close and less risk of losing them).
  • Folding pruning saws (which have a cover on the blade, so you can safely carry in a holster)
  • A Hori Hori knife, to use as a trowel. It has a measurements on the blade, and one side is serrated for easily cutting roots.
  • A hand-held Hula-Ho (or Loop Ho) designed to pull weeds by the roots.

In closing, remember to always wear gloves and protective eye wear that also protects from the sides. Clean your tools with bleach or alcohol, and oil them after use. Sharpen your pruners with a carbide sharpening tool instead of a file. The carbide blade is stronger; files can actually dull your blades.

If you live in the Bay Area or Santa Clara County, California and need a professional & certified Arborist to prune your larger to reach trees and shrubs, we confidently suggest Arbortek Trees. Contact Arbortek today to schedule an appointment!

Santa Clara Rebates for Lawn and Water

How To Renovate Your Yard (And Get Paid To Do It)

Did you know:  You can get paid $1-$2 per square foot to convert your yard to a more sustainable landscape. Yep, it’s true.

Because of the extensive drought affecting California for the past several years, an old program that pays property owners to make their landscape more sustainable has been reinstated. By removing non-native, water-intensive plants and replacing them with approved plants that grow naturally without extra water you can qualify for a cash rebate from the water district.

What’s the catch? Well, first, you have to live in Santa Clara County in California. The program is run by the Santa Clara Valley Water District with the San Jose Municipal Water System, City of Morgan Hill, and the City of Cupertino joining as partners.

Depending on the type and size of your property and the city you’re in, you could receive up to $2,000-$3,000 for a single family dwelling or up to $20,000-$30,000 for a commercial property.

To qualify, commercial or residential property owners must call and request a pre-inspection to receive approval for inclusion in the program. Once approved, property owners must replace high water usage plants (like irrigated turf grass) with at least 50% plant coverage using plants from the water district’s approved plant list.

Check out the Santa Clara Water District website for all the rebate details and numbers to call for pre-inspections.

Even without the Santa Clara Water District rebate, converting your landscaping makes a lot of sense. The benefits of a sustainable landscape are many:

  • Spend less money on water and fertilizer – Lawns are especially thirsty, and often require a fair amount of fertilizer and weed mitigation to thrive in soil they aren’t adapted for. By contrast, native plants are accustomed to the local environment. That allows them to thrive with little to no help from your pocketbook.
  • Reduce time spent doing maintenance – You can probably think of a few things you would rather be doing than mowing the lawn (again). Pretty much all landscaping is going to require some maintenance, but grass in particular is pretty time-intensive compared to succulents or shrubs.
  • Increase energy efficiency – As the previous points suggest, plants that can survive on their own are require significantly less energy. Water, fertilizer, maintenance, all of these things require energy to transport, create, and apply.
  • Restore habitats – Native vegetation is the cornerstone of a vibrant, healthy local ecology. That helps to promote and protect local food supplies by, for example, increasing the number of pollinators needed for crops. A more natural environment also contributes to our own mental well being.
  • Enjoy the unique beauty of local flora – Why should your outdoor space look the same as someone who lives in the Midwest or East Coast? Bay Area cities like San Jose and Santa Clara are home to all sorts of unique plants. For some idea of the incredible variety of California’s native plant life check out Cal Flora.

The value of sustainable landscaping has never been higher, and the timing has never been better to make the switch. Bayscape has helped numerous clients update their residential landscape, improving aesthetics, efficiency, and the value of the property.

If you’d like to discuss options for your property don’t hesitate to give us a call!

Reduce Embers and the Home Ignition Zone

Preventing Wildfire Destruction: Removing Embers from ‘Home Ignition Zones’

Research by the National Fire Protection Agency around home destruction vs. survival in wildfires point to embers and small flames as the most common and frequent way that the majority of homes ignite in wildfires.

What is an Ember?

Embers are burning pieces of airborne wood and/or vegetation that can be carried more than a mile through the wind. Embers can cause spot fires and ignite homes, debris and other objects. 

Experiments, models and post-fire studies have shown homes ignite due to the condition of the home and everything around it, up to 200’ from the foundation. This is called the Home Ignition Zone (source: Firewise USA).

Homeowners can prepare their homes to withstand ember ignitions and minimize the likelihood of flames or surface fire touching the home or any other structures on the property.

What are Home Ignition Zones?

The Home Ignition Zone, or HIZ, was developed by retired USDA Forest Service fire scientist Jack Cohen in the late 1990s, following breakthrough research into how homes ignite from effects of radiant heat. The HIZ is divided into three zones, Immediate, Intermediate, and Extended Zone.

 

What actions should Homeowners take to Reduce Ember Ignition in the Immediate Home Ignition Zone?

 

The home and the area 0-5’ from the furthest attached exterior point of the home; defined as a non-combustible area, is the Immediate Zone. This is the most important zone to take immediate action on, as it’s the most vulnerable to embers. The following steps will help prevent embers from igniting your home:

  • Clear leaves and debris from gutters and eaves.
  • Remove dead vegetation and other items from under decks and porches, within 10′ of the home.
  • Screen or box-in areas below patios and decks with wire mesh to prevent combustable debris from accumulating.
  • Remove flammable materials (firewood, propane tanks, gas cans) within 30′ of the home’s foundation and outbuildings – including garages and sheds.
  • Prune trees so the lowest branches are 6 to 10′ from the ground (wildfire can spread to tree tops).
  • Keep your lawn hydrated and maintained. If it is brown, cut it down! Dry grass and shrubs are fuel for fire!
  • Think about switching to some Xeriscape, or more sustainable landscape options, to cut back on the amount of lawn exposed.
  • Dispose of lawn debris and cuttings quickly. Don’t let those sit on your property!
  • Replace or repair roof tiles that are loose or missing, to prevent ember penetration.
  • Cover exterior attic vents with metal wire mesh no larger than 1/8 inch to prevent embers from entering.

 

What actions should Homeowners take in the Intermediate Home Ignition Zone?

 

5-30’ from the furthest exterior point of the home, is considered the Intermediate Zone.

  • Consider careful Landscaping and hardscaping installation, for example create breaks that can help influence and decrease fire behavior
  • Create fuel breaks with driveways, walkways/paths, patios, and decks.
  • Clear vegetation from under large stationary propane tanks.
  • Keep lawns and native grasses mowed to a height of four inches.
  • Remove vegetation under trees, sometimes called “ladder fuels” so a surface fire cannot reach the tree crowns.
  • Prune trees up to 6 to 10′ from the ground; for shorter trees do not exceed 1/3 of the overall tree height.
  • Space trees to have a minimum of 18′ between crowns with the distance increasing with the percentage of slope.
  • Tree and shrubs in this zone should be limited to small clusters of a few each to break up the continuity.

 

What actions should Homeowners take in the Extended Home Ignition zone?

 

30-100′ out to 200′ is the Extended Home Ignition zone.

  • In regards to landscaping, the goal here is to interrupt fire’s path and keep flames smaller and on the ground.
  • Trees 30 to 60′ from the home should have at least 12′ between canopy tops.
  • Trees 60 to 100′ from the home should have at least 6′ between the canopy tops.
  • Dispose of heavy accumulations of ground litter/debris.
  • Remove small conifers growing between mature trees.
  • Remove deadwood (Visit Arbortek Trees’ helpful blog on how to remove deadwood safely).

    Firewise Defensible Space

    Photo from Firewise USA

Thank you to Firewise USA for this valuable research and insight! If you have a large property and would like assistance with clean up of your defensible space and tree canopies, we are a phone call away. Now is the time to get proactive before wildfire danger arrives!

How to Budget and Plan a New Residential Landscape

How To Plan and Budget a Residential Landscape Installation

New year, new beginnings! January is a perfect time to start planning your residential landscape for the year. As we list our New Year’s goals, start visualizing your dream landscape design.

We have listed some frequent residential landscape questions and answers to help you start planning your dream landscape for 2018, as well as a checklist to help you get your ideas formulated.

General questions to as yourself, before beginning a residential landscape project:

  • Where am I landscaping? The backyard, the front yard or both?
  • What piece of the landscaping project gets top priority?
  • What, if any, outdoor activities do I want to enjoy in my yard?
  • Do I have a deadline for this landscape project? Does it need to be installed within the next 3-6 months? The next 6-12 months?
  • Can my landscape project be completed in phases (Possible constraints such as availability of finances and/or weather conditions need to be considered in the timeline.

 

How much should I budget for residential landscaping installations?

When it comes to a landscape project, think of it as you would any other home remodel. The most expensive part of the installation is typically the hardscape. If your new landscape design requires a new driveway, walkways, patios, stone walkways, water fountains, or permanent planters – this will require approximately 60 to 70% of your budget.

The remaining 30 to 40% of your landscape budget will go to plants (consider all shrubs, flowers, and trees), irrigation (hopefully you are installing smart irrigation), mulch, grading, and drainage.

…Psst…look for local rebates for smart irrigation! Check out our article How To Renovate Your Yard (and Get Paid to Do It!)

You will want to check with your local nursery during the landscape budget planning stage as well. Find out when plants are in bloom – you will want to see them in bloom before you purchase a large amount. Then determine best availability for your choices, then the cost. If buying in bulk, you may be able to work a discount!

Is there an ideal time to begin a residential landscape installation?

Weather is typically mild for us in the California Bay area, so any time of year is a great time to start and complete a residential landscape project. If you don’t live here in the Bayscape Landscape service area, check out Farmers Almanac or hop on over to Yelp for local landscape designers or landscape maintenance companies.

No matter where you live, there are factors to be considered for determining the perfect timetable for your residential landscape project. First, when finances will be available. Second, if there are any major events happening at your home this year that required that landscape to be finished.

Ok, you are ready to get started!

If you have a completed design or are considering working with professional landscape designer, we would be happy to provide you with an estimate and guide you through the process! Head over to our contact page and drop us a line! We are happy to assist in your new residential landscape installation.

Bay Area CA Winter landscaping and gardening list

Best of List: Winter Landscaping Tips for the Bay Area

Proactive winter gardening and landscaping in the San Jose, Santa Clara, and surrounding Bay Area, California, requires taking care of gardening tasks that are of extreme importance to keep your annuals, perennials, biennials, and lawns, safe from winter damage.

We may have a mediterranean climate that isn’t exactly synonymous with winter plant protection that, for example, our neighbors to the north, midwest or northeast, will have to endure.

However, there are some very important winter landscaping tips for Bay Area residents that will save you a lot of money and headache if you take care of now.

We’ve culled our top 5 winter landscaping tip blogs (and some from our sister company, Arbortek Trees) to get you prepared. Ready, set, go! 

1) Winter landscaping tip #1! Gutters are out of sight out of mind, but neglecting them is very costly. Read this blog to learn more on how to keep that spare holiday change in your pocket.

Clean Gutters Before They Clean Out Your Bank Account

2) Still pruning during frost season? Stop! We uncover when and what to prune during winter. Also, should plants be brought inside during a Bay Area winter? Get all the answers here.

Pruning During Frost Season? Stop!

3) Want beautiful, blooming, and bold roses next year? Winter pruning for roses is a separate set of instructions, and we break them down here:

Pruning 101: Step-By-Step Winter Rosebush Care

4) Brrr….It’s time to winterize trees. Dormant trees still need to be winterized to remain healthy. Have young trees? This blog is for you.

Brrrr…It’s About Time to Winterize Your Trees!

5) Got deadwood? Get it out of your yard before it’s a hazard to others. Determine which deadwood should be removed, and which should remain for important ecosystem development.

Why Removing Deadwood Is Worth Every Penny

That should do it, our “Best of” winter landscaping tips for the Bay Area! Time to get to work! Give Bayscape Landscape a call if you need help getting all of these winter gardening tasks into your busy schedule.

Pruning Rosebushes in Winter

Pruning 101: Step-By-Step Winter Rosebush Care

In the San Jose and surrounding Bay Area, roses never really go dormant, as our climate is mild. However, roses do rest and this is a very similar and vital process to their longevity and health. You may feel a strong urge to do something to rose bushes right after they have stopped blooming. Stop! Don’t do it! It is after they have done their work that they rest and collect starches and sugars and go into dormancy.

In the Bay Area, many debate on whether rose bushes should be pruned in spring or winter. You can try experimenting with both approaches. We’ve seen success both ways, but for this blog, we are going to focus on the most traditional time to prune rose bushes, in winter.

We never know how erratic the weather will be for the next two month up here in Santa Clara County and the surrounding Bay Area. Our advice in summary, once “dormancy” (ahem, actually rest) is safely proven – when you are sure there won’t be another freeze -this is when you need to prune ASAP.

First, Pull out the Correct Rose Pruning Tools

Pruning requires certain equipment to prevent injury to yourself, or the rosebush.
Rose thorns are vicious, particularly when winter has whittled them hard and sharp, so wear gardening gloves. We suggest leather gloves for rose pruning so the thorns can’t poke through the gardening glove. You will need gardening shears, the same you use for cutting and maintenance will do just fine.

Next, Strip the Rose Bush before Pruning

Never skip this step! Strip rose bushes of all foliage two weeks before you prune. You may need to keep an eye on the 10 day forecast to plan this out correctly. Once the leaves are removed, the rose bush is given a signal to rejuvenate the foliage process.

Pruning Rose Bushes in Bay AreaThe first sign bushes are bouncing back is when you spot swollen eyes where new growth is to appear – at the joining place of leaf formations and stems. When rosebushes are resting (or dormant) the eyes are not visible, but when they begin to grow (accelerated by stripping the rose bush) they will turn red and swell. These are your incision spots for making cuts in the right places.

The vitality and strength of rose wood can be determined by examining the pith (interior wood) within the bark. Green or milky white is healthy. Brown or blackened wood is dead or very old and will not produce blooming roses. Fresh wood is also much easier to cut that deadwood. You’ll learn quickly the difference by the pressure on your shears, so be extra careful!

Remove all twiggy growth, unhealthy wood or deadwood, and weak or broken tall growth (if the tall growth is twiggy and waves in the breeze, it’s time for it to go). Split bark is also a sign of bark to be removed at this time.

Next,  Decide how Severely to Prune the Rosebush.

Depending on where you live, the space you have, and your gardening goals for this rosebush; this will guide you on how severe to prune your rose bushes. Light pruning requires a minimum of cutting, removing only twiggy or deadwood, and leaves the rosebush tall. Light pruning will result in short-stemmed blooms on a large rosebush. You may favor moderate pruning if you have garden display in mind your are attempting to design. Moderate pruning leaves 6 to 10, 1 1/2’ to 3 1/2’ canes per bush, depending upon its growth habits. Usually half the length of each cane is removed. Severe pruning leaves only three to four canes, sometimes less than 1’ tall.

Pruning height will vary by variety. Bushes don’t grow the same; they can not be pruned identically. Some grow tall, and no pruning technique you apply is going to make a difference! In fact, if you try to manipulate some of the natural growth patterns, they may spend their time during growing season to get back to the height at which they are most happy for blooming. Until they get there, they may not bloom at all (stubborn lil’ rosebushes!).

Now, Begin Cutting the Rosebush

Once you’ve pruned the rosebush to a height that suits you, look carefully for dormant eyes, which will be readily apparent to you if you’ve stripped bushes of foliage two weeks before pruning (see step #1!). Make cuts a 1/4″ above the eyes that point outward from the center of the bush (the direction in which you want new growth to develop). Angles formed by cuts are ideally 45 degrees, with the downward slope toward the rosebush’s center.

Lastly, Critique Your Pruning Techniques and Heed our Advice

Expert advice to remember: You can always take growth out, but you can never graft it back onto the rosebush. Well-cared-for rose bushes may last for more than 50 years, and the bud union will become big and gnarled. Remember that new canes are produced every year and are considered young only for the first two years, then middle-aged for one year. After that, they are old. How did the rosebushes make it through winter? Did they bloom as expected in spring? Note your techniques year after year, the results of your efforts, review them each fall or winter, and you’ll be an expert rose gardener in no time!

How to add fall color to a garden

How to Add Bold Color to a Fall Garden

How to add Bold Color to a Fall Garden 

As we switch our wardrobe from shorts and tanks to long sleeves and jeans, we must also switch to fall colors in the garden. Fall colors in the garden can be started in late summer or early autumn. In this blog, we will show you how to spread your dollar to attain the richest and boldest colors in a fall garden.

First, lets talk about how to build a garden bed in fall. First, choose plants that can grow in similar conditions. For example, part shade or full sun plants should be grouped together in the planting bed. Place small plants in the front of the garden (or we call these border plants), and start working next largest behind the border plant, and work up to tallest plant in the back.

A good fall border plant start is the Begonia. Begonias are great for the lowest level and thrive in sun or shade. If you have cuttings, you can plant these in fall. In the winter time, we suggest bringing in before the frost.

Anenome are a great fit behind a border plant. They can adapt to a variety of soils, but like well drained soils. They will bloom in many colors until the first frost. These go a long way, so plant 18″ apart. The Anenome is a great “bang for your buck” type of garden plant.

No fall garden is complete without the bold colors of Chrysanthiumums. They love the morning sun! They also bloom in response to the shortened fall days. We love the Chrysanthiumums for the wide variety of colors, shapes, and textures these beauties behold. You can plan on these blooming through late fall.

You can’t pass a grocery store without seeing rows and rows of Mums for sale. Mums certainly are the flagship plant of the fall. Go ahead and buy some these year, but forget about buying them again. Cut stems down to about 1 ft. in December, and they will come back in spring. They are a hearty plant that will keep coming back if you prune them correctly. They need light watering and plant the roots shallow.

Next in your garden bed, try adding Black Adder. It’s a vertical plant addition, so place these towards the back of the garden bed. Black Adder attracts hummingbirds and butterflies. Important to note, Black Adders can not start from seed, you need to start from cuttings only.

In the very last row of your bold fall garden bed, we suggest a Butterfly Bush, named aptly for the insect they attract most. These can grow 36 to 96″ tall! These will bloom until October.

If you are going to start shopping for bright autumn garden color, only shop when the plants are in bloom! Plants in the same species will look different during the time of year you shop for them. Now is a great time to head to the nursery and design your fall garden bed.

If you’d like assistance from your friends at Bayscape, give us a call! Or visit our Seasonal Colors services page to learn more.

How to add bright color to a fall garden

Irrigation Systems Bayscape Landscape

Get Smart About Irrigation

July is our favorite month at Bayscape, as we celebrate Irrigation Month! We take this time to educate our customers about the vital role “smart” irrigation technology is to our Santa Clara County landscapes, as well as share resources and knowledge to help you get your residential or commercial property continually practicing smart irrigation.

The Irrigation Association started this initiative in 2005, aimed to promote the social, economic and environmental benefits of efficient irrigation technologies, products and services in landscape, turf and agricultural irrigation.

Whether your business property is big or small, multiple campuses, HOA, turf and landscape or golf applications, there are many ways you can get “smart” about irrigation. If you are a homeowner looking for ways to conserve water, have a more sustainable landscape, and cut your water bill, Irrigation Month is a month you should take stock of your current irrigation practices and systems.

Here’s your Irrigation Month Checklist for Ultimate Water Savings:

1. Always get your irrigation system checked in early spring. We’ve discussed this topic quite a bit over the last few years! This is the time of year repairs and leaks can be repaired. Not checking your system yearly, costs not only thousands in dollars, but wastes gallons upon gallons of our precious resource, water. If you missed this spring, do it now!

2. Install a wi-fi or web based irrigation controller! Companies such as Hydrawise, Bluespray, and Postscapes offer complete wi-fi irrigation control systems (we do not officially endorse these brands). 24/7 support, unlimited start times, history usage reports and more, will decrease water usage. Some allow for remote monitoring and control zones from your Android or iOS phone using wi-fi or ethernet connectivity. Each product has something a little different to offer, so please check them out online.

3. Remember your “Water Use It Wisely” techniques you can practice at home or in the office. Although this is not specifically irrigation related, it still counts towards water conservation! This website even offers educational games you can practice with children, to teach them young about water conservation.

4. During the month of July, our Bayscape Account Managers are on stand by to answer your questions about irrigation technologies. We will work as your advocate and partner to obtain all of the rebates available to you in your municipality for irrigation system upgrades, installs, or repairs.

Give us a call! Irrigation Month lasts until July 31st!

Turf Fertilization

Let’s Talk Turf

Fertilizing  turfgrass isn’t just about enhancing green color for aesthetic. Fertilizing turf maintains the lawn density and plant vigor, and encourages growth and recovery from turf damage and seasonal stresses (such as a drought season). If you own a commercial property, manage an HOA, or a facility manager at a municipality, you’re probably well-informed about this subject already. But do you know that your window of time to fertilize is short? Are you working with certified and licensed landscapers skilled in the fertilization testing and application process? We aren’t talking about regular ‘ol landscape maintenance. We are talking TURF. And having unhealthy turfgrass is out of the question for your facility or property.

What happens when you don’t fertilize turf?

Unfertilized turf will gradually lose density. Undesirable grasses (such as crabgrass) and broadleaf weeds (such as dandelion and clover) will encroach and the risk for soil erosion then increases. Properly fertilized turf better tolerates heat, drought, cold, and regular wear from traffic.  Malnourished turfgrasses are also more prone to damage from diseases and insects — this damage is more noticeable and recovery takes longer.

Applying the correct fertilizer at the right time helps turfgrass accumulate and store the essential plant foods (sugars/carbohydrates) that it requires for healthy growth and development. Dense, properly fertilized lawns require fewer pesticides to manage weeds, insects, and diseases in the long run.

Fertilizing turf should be handled by a professional, to achieve the best results. The process includes soil testing, tissue testing and reviewing the “fertilizer basics.”We review the phosphorus and potassium levels, as well as nitrogen sources. We review the nutrients offered in fertilizers and compare to turf testing results. From there, we calculate the ratios for turfgrass fertilization.

We strongly encourage our commercial, municipal and HOA clients to take the next month to have your turf tested and fertilized. Please contact us to schedule an appointment.

Before and After Turf

The turf on the left has not been fertilized for three years and is malnourished. The leaves are yellowing (chlorotic) and the soil is becoming visible near the canopy base. The turf on the right has been regularly fertilized. It has a pleasing green color and much higher shoot density to resist pests. Photo and caption from Purdue Extension.

Bayscape Blog

Free Summer Gifts You Can Grow In Your Own Backyard

Have you ever thought about a flower garden as a source for thoughtful gifts? With so many potential uses, and the side benefit of having a beautiful yard, we think it’s an idea worth considering.

Gardeners love annual flowers for their beauty, variety, and flexibility. They make great additions to container gardens, fill in flowerbeds, and some can fit quite nicely in window boxes. The broad diversity of annuals allows gardeners to create interesting and exciting combinations of flowers that bloom across the Spring and Summer seasons.

That variety also makes annuals a great choice for creating your own fantastic bouquets that you can bring to dinner parties, give to friends and loved ones, or use to decorate your own home.

California’s largely temperate climate provides a lot of flexibility when it comes to planting annual flowers, so there are many annuals that grow well here in the Bay Area. Some of the more common types include:

Cosmos – These plants produce bowl or open cup shaped, daisy-like flowers atop long stems. They come in colors including orange, red, pink, maroon, yellow, and white.

Sunflowers – Big, tall, and bright, sunflowers are the iconic summer flower. Most are yellow, though there are red varieties, and most will grow quite tall (up to 16 ft.). Shorter versions have been developed if height is an issue in your space.

Petunias – A very popular flower, petunias have delicate flowers (that can be prone to damage from heavy rain). Grandiflora petunias have larger flowers, while Multiflora petunias have smaller but more numerous flowers.

Marigolds – Typically known for their gold colored, carnation-like flowers, marigolds come in a number of varieties. French marigolds and rock-garden marigolds offer smaller, daintier flowers. The great thing about marigolds is that they will usually put out bright blooms all summer.

Bayscape Blog Petunias

Petunias

Impatiens – With flowers somewhat like petunias, impatiens make good houseplants due to their preference for shade. They also bloom into the fall, which helps extend the life of your flower garden.

There are also a lot of interesting and more unusual varietals you can use to add a bit of flair:

Zinnias – Zinnias make great cutting flowers. They grow quite quickly and bloom heavily, with a single flower on each stem. Their bright colors can attract butterflies.

Mexican sunflowers – The big yellow Sunflower’s smaller cousin, the tithonia plant has
daisy-like flowers in a variety of colors, typically yellow, orange, and red. This flower is a preferred food for Monarch butterflies.

Bayscape Blog Mexican Sunflower Annuals

Mexican Sunflower

Lavatera – With abundant blooms of smaller flowers in vibrant lavender shades, these grow into bushy plants that provide plenty of cut flowers.

To add fragrance:

Stock – Stock flowers, also known as Gillyflower or Matthiola incana, produce attractive and interesting flowers in colors like pink, purple, red, and white that also happen to smell wonderful. Stock plants prefer cooler weather.

Reseda (mignonette) – While it may not be the best looking flower of the bunch, Reseda is very well known for its fragrance, having been cultivated for just that reason since before the 1700’s.

Nicotiana – A member of the tobacco family, Nicotiana are another type of fragrant, flowering annual. Their flowers are typically trumpet shaped florets, with lavender, red, rose, pink, white, and yellow colors. The flowers grow on slim stems, and the plants are usually 1 to 3 feet high.

To round out your bouquets, and garden arrangements, you’ll want some attractive foliage:

Caladium – Commonly called Elephant Ears, Caladium’s large colorful leaves really stand out. They typically prefer shade and can work well indoors, although some newer versions can handle some sun.

Coleus – There are low-growing, midsize, and tall types of coleus, with many color and texture variations among them. Bright magenta to buttery yellow, smooth to frilly, coleus can add a lot to a bouquet (or your garden).

 Bayscape Blog annuals dusty miller

Bouquet with Dusty Miller acccents

Dusty miller – The silvery grey foliage of dusty miller plants provide distinct contrast from other plants and flowers in your garden or bouquet. They hold up well through the summer and can tolerate some frost.

We’re already entering prime season for planting annuals, so don’t wait much longer.

If you need assistance, Bayscape Landscape can provide expert garden planning and installation services.