11 Garden Marker DIY Guides To Help You Label Like A Pro

Add a splash of color and creativity into your garden with any of these unique, personalized garden marker ideas!

1. Lean into your mason-jar obsession with these simple but trendy markers.

marthastewart

Traditionalists know that in the days before Pinterest, gardeners marked their produce with the empty packets of seeds stuck onto a stick. It was a simpler time, before aesthetic became so important, and yet this theme lives on with these mason jar markers. These are truly just the same seed packet on a stick, with the added bonus of protection from the elements by encasing the packet it in a glass jar. Find more about making these on MarthaStewart.com!

2. Spell out success with these Scrabble-inspired markers.

Scrabble Leter

Utilize your old board game pieces to spell out the names of your fruits, veggies, and herbs hiding below the ground! Materials include: Scrabble Tiles, Paint Paddle Stirring Sticks, Red Decorator Spray Paint, and Glue! Find the full guide on The Farm Girl Gab’s!

3.  Add a rustic vibe to your garden with a basic brick marker.

Woohome

All you need are some bricks and an Expo marker to create these crisp and clear garden pieces! The writing runs the risk of fading due to exposure to outdoor elements, and although some homeowners may prefer the weathered look, you can avoid fading by investing in a layer of clear topcoat paint to hold the color in place. Find the full DIY guide on the Simple Details Blog.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Protecting Your Home From The Cold – Plumbing & Chimney Edition

We at Twin Pines know that proper preparation is the best way to prevent damage, especially when it comes to snow and low temperatures. Our guide to Protecting Your Landscape from Snow provides tips for preventing damage to the area outside of your home from the landscaping experts at Twin Pines. This edition of the Protection Plan for your Home, will feature advice from our Plumbing and Chimney experts, and will highlight how to keep these vital aspects of your home safe in the cold.

Plumbing Preparation.png

Bursting pipes and damaged plumbing systems are always a hazard in the extreme cold. One of the most sufficient ways to prevent this damage is with proper insulation. In areas that are most vulnerable to temperatures, including attics, crawl spaces, and walls on the outside of the home, wall insulation should surround pipes to help keep them warm and safe.

Continue reading

Creative Flower Displays For Fall

Whether we want to admit it yet or not, fall is on its way; The air is getting crisper, the leaves are starting to turn, and the sky is getting dark at 7:00pm. While that might mean saying goodbye to full days spent in your yard enjoying the outdoors, it doesn’t mean you should stop finding new ways to make your landscape unique.

Last year, we shared our expert guide to Fall Flowers (Part I. and Part II.), which outlined some of the most vibrant and season-appropriate flowers to feature in autumn. This year, we want to show you some exciting and innovative ways to arrange and display them outside your home!Petunia Flowers

One of the funnest ways we’ve come across of displaying fall flowers, is actually within the hollowed out trunks of old trees. The easiest way to create this unique arrangement is to locate a broken tree with a very thick trunk that is already living in your yard and prep it for the flowers. Hire a qualified tree specialist (like those at Twin Pines) to remove any excess branches or pieces of the tree that crowd the broken trunk and level out the surface. The specialist should also carve out the hole in the center of the trunk which the flowers will grow in.

Next, simply use the hole in the trunk as a flower pot! Spread nutrient-rich soil within it, plant the flowers, and watch them grow in this natural display!

climbing-hydrandra-creative-solution-to-hide-old-lamp-post-urell-1Another great way to highlight the fall florals in your yard is around a lamp post. The expert Landscape Design team at Twin Pines has years of experience with shrubs like these, which can grow upwards and out when cared for correctly. This tip is ideal if you happen to have outdated or mismatching posts; instead of investing in a full light post remodel, use pretty plants to spice up the look!

Lamp posts and tree trunks aren’t the only items in your yard that can act as a useful base for flower displays. Old wheelbarrows make great containers for featuring plants and Simply Swissflowers. While some feel that the more vintage the wheelbarrow the better, we’ve found that its all based in style. Wooden carts like the one featured in the photo here make for a more rustic look, where a more contemporary, painted one could give a modern-feel. Either way, this simple and pretty display choice can act as a great focal point for your landscape!

Another common household item often utilized in flower displays is a ladder. Trends lately have shown wooden ladders being used more as shelves than actual steps in homes across the country. Used as both an indoor or outdoor display case, each rung of the later can be transformed Harvest timeinto a multi-level shelving unit, maximizing display opportunities! What’s more, because ladders comes in a variety of colors and finishes, the ladder can be customized to compliment the look of your unique home!

Overall, the best advice the experts at Twin Pines can give for making your flower displays stand out this fall, is to add a little creativity into the mix! Combine types of flowers, mix and match colors, and find a fun and innovative way to arrange them! These simple steps will take your designs to the next level.

Keep mind, you don’t have to stick to these few ideas either; there are a plethora of options out there for you to play with. Switch out a flower pot for an old painted watering can or use an old barrel or basket to grow your plants in; try something new and innovative to help your landscape stand out!

Whatever display option you chose, make sure you have some fun with it! Your landscape is a great way to show off your personality, and adding statement pieces like these are a simple and fun way to do that! And if you need a little help along the way, feel free to reach out to our experts at Twin Pines! We would be happy to provide you with a consultation on your landscape this fall, and help make sure it reaches all of its potential. Give us a call today at (508) 358-4231, or email us at sales@twinpines.biz!

Twin Pines’ Guide To Holiday Decorating

The holidays can be a stressful time, especially for homeowners. You, of course, want to keep your yard and home looking festive, but that isn’t always possible given the chaos that surrounds this time of year.

This season, get a jump start on decorating for the holidays! Read through the expert tips from Twin Pines and get started on spreading the holiday spirit today!

Glittery Gold Background

Christmas trees are often thought of as a pivotal plant come winter, but they aren’t the only one that can be featured! There are many gorgeous holiday flowers, trees, and decorative plants that can be added to your home and yard to help bring out the spirit of the season.

Continue reading

Mother’s Day Bouquets – Unwrapped

Mother’s Day is a wonderful opportunity for children and families to show their mother figures how much they mean to them. More often than not, this gesture comes in the form of a bouquet of spring flowers. It’s the perfect gift–beautiful, fragrant, and fun. The only downside can be the often pricey options offered at florists around the country during this time of demand for such flowers.

However, purchasing these pricey arrangements isn’t the only option when it comes to Mother’s Day flowers. Try growing them yourselves in your garden this year!

Twin Pines took the liberty of collecting images of beautiful Mother’s Day flower arrangement from across the country and dissecting them to figure out what the most popular kinds of flowers are for the occasion. We then consulted our expert landscapers and gardeners, and compiled some of our best tips for planting and growing these flowers yourself!

As you can see by browsing through the images above, there was a wide variety in flower types used in arrangements this Mother’s Day. Yet, we were able to identify the top three species of flowers as Roses, Tulips, and Daises. These flowers are all very common, and are fairly simple to grow and maintain in a personal garden! Check out our step by step guide below for each plant, then [Tweet] us your questions or thoughts!

Roses: 

Roses were the number one most popularly used flower in Mother’s Day flower arrangements. Perhaps this is due to the variety of colors, the sweet fragrance, or the fact that people often associate the flower with love. No matter the reason, roses are a great choice for any bouquet throughout the year, and are thus a great choice for growing in your garden!

While there are many varieties of rose species, many of them have the same basic growing principles, including the fact that they should be planted in spring months.

Pink rose in hands

Before you plant roses there are quite a few factors to consider, including the location of your plant. Roses need at least 5-6 hours of sun each day, so they should be planted in a fairly open area. It’s also important that their roots have plenty of opportunity to receive nutrients. If roses are planted too close to other shrubs or trees, the competition may be too great for the flowers. You should also considering planting rose shrubs roughly 18 feet apart from one another as they grow in masses. If you are trying to create a hedge or cluster look in your rose bushes, certain varieties of the flower cater to that.

Roses also thrive in a very specific type of soil, with a near-neutral pH count of 5.5 to 7.0. If soil is too acidic—which is often a problem for rose gardeners—try adding in lime to help with the balance. (Expert Hint: To find out which rose varieties will grow best in the soil in your area, check your local nursery and see what they are selling. While those plants may be fully grown, you then know what kind of seeds or budding plants to look for!)

Plant roses as soon as possible after you buy them, as the longer they are kept out of the ground, the weaker they can become. Monitor the roots of the plants pre-installation to make sure they never go dry, and make sure to soak the entire plant overnight before inserting it into the ground.

When it is time to plant your roses, start by digging an area for them that is deeper and wider than you would anticipate. This will allow the roots to grow properly over time. Make sure to mix soil from the dug-up hole with compost and other necessary nutrients, and then insert the rose plant at least two inches below soil level. In areas with very cold winters like New England, four inches may be a better choice. This is the opposite of most plants, which should be plated 1-2 inches above the soil level.

After the initial planting, watering is the most significant part of your rose-care. You should water your plants between one and two times per week, depending on the dryness of your climate. Make sure to water deeply, so that it reaches the roots. However, make sure to not drown the plant, as it will not thrive in too much water, either.

Spring pruning roses in the garden

In terms of fertilizing the flowers, apply a balanced granular fertilizer about once per month from April to July—the key growth months.

This is just one important form of maintenance, however. Pruning is incredibly important when it comes to rose-care. The plant should be pruned every spring season right after the last frost. Make sure to wear proper gloves, goggles, and arm protection to prevent cuts or scrapes or other bodily harm from pointy thorns.

The main goal of proper pruning is to keep the plant trimmed to a point where air can circulate and reach to the center without a problem. Pruning should always be done right above the “bud eye” of the plant, otherwise identified as the area right above a set of mature leaves. Remove any sections that may become unsupported or that have died since the last pruning.

Tulips:

Tulips were another very popular part of Mother’s Day arrangements this year. These pretty flowers should be planted as bulbs in fall and will flower in springtime.

tulips

When choosing a location for these flowers, choose one that will allow for full sun and soil that will have proper drainage. Before you even begin planting, give yourself time to prep the soil by mixing in organic compounds.

When it comes time to plant the tulips, dig a hole at least 6 inches deep and insert the tulips pointed end-up. There should be at least 4 inches of soil resting on top of the bulb once it is buried, and you want to make sure the soil is several inches deeper than the bulbs you plant so roots can extend downwards.

In terms of layout, you should aim to plant roughly five tulips per square foot with about 5 inches between each of them. Tulips that have been grouped together like this will look best once they bloom. Once planted, firm the soil and give it a thorough watering.

Post-installation care for tulips is fairly easy, at least for the first year. Fertilizer is unnecessary, as the bulbs come with all the food they need inside them in order to bloom the first season. You also should not water again after the initial post-installation watering until leaves appear.

A good tip for those living in cold-winter areas, is to apply straw mulch to the soil about a month after planting has taken place.

Daisies:

Daisies come in a variety of species, but the most common in the North East are Shasta Daisies, which are the classic white daisies you see in many gardens. These flowers are common perennials and have large, beautiful blooms.

You can really choose any time of year to begin sowing seeds for daisies, however doing so in autumn or spring is ideal. The perennials should then be divided later in that season. Seeding directly is another option, which will result in blooming of the flowers the following spring.

daisis

When choosing a location to plant these daisies outdoors, make sure to pick a spot with full sun and moderately fertile, well-drained soil. Till garden beds using a garden fork to ensure the soil is loose before planting. Remember to mix in compost with the dirt, as well. The holes should be spaced one to two feet apart from one another at a depth twice as wide as the pot the plant first started in. If removing from a pot like this, be sure to place the partially grown plant in the hole deep enough so that the root ball is level with the ground. Then fill the area around the root ball in with the dirt/compost mix and water thoroughly.

In terms of post-installation care, water during summer months only if the flowers aren’t getting a lot of natural rain water. Be sure to prune the stems back after the first “killing frost” so that they are only an inch or two above the soil line.

Because they are perennials, it’s important to consider their long-term care, as well. You should divide the plants in early spring or late summer every 3-4 years to ensure their health.

Picking The Flowers For An Arrangement:

When it comes time to cut fully grown flowers to add to a bouquet, make sure to use a pair of sharp and clean shears. Aim to cut the plant right after it has reached the bud stage, as this is the ideal look and size for an arrangement. Make sure to water the plant before you begin cutting, then aim to the cutting itself in the early morning, before it gets to hot out. Cut the flowers at a 45 degree angle, remove any excess leaves, and place the plant in a bucket of warm water. Make a second 45 degree angle cut while the flower is resting in the warm water. This will keep the flowers looking fresh until it’s time to add them into your arrangement!


Taking the time to plant and grow the flowers for next year’s Mother’s Day bouquet is sure to put an extra special smile on Mom’s face! She will appreciate the gesture, and you will appreciate the savings! On top of that, there are many occasions throughout the year that are perfect for flowers, including Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, birthdays, and more!

While the flowers listed in this article are truly some of the most straightforward to plant, if you decide you need help, consider contacting your local landscapers to learn more about proper installation and maintenance techniques. You can also hire a landscape design and maintenance team like Twin Pines’ to plant and help grow these flowers for you!

If you are in the MetroWest MA area and need this assistance, feel free to reach out to us at Twin Pines by calling (508) 358-4231! We would be happy to help!

How Twin Pines Interprets Your Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, and often most significantly, food. With this idea in mind, Twin Pines decided to take a hand in sharing recipes for Thanksgiving foods that make the holidays great in your home. We collected recipes from over 60 blogs, websites, and personal cookbooks, and compiled them into an album on our Facebook page titled Twin Pines’ 2014 Thanksgiving Recipe Book, which gave us an easy way to share these tasty treats with all of our followers!

Continue reading

Twin Pines Gardening Guide

In case you missed our last post How Twin Pines Interprets Your Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes, Twin Pines has decided to create this Gardening Guide primarily as a way to teach our readers how to start growing their own fruits and vegetables, after collecting many Thanksgiving recipes that featured specific and easy-to-grow produce.

However, we at Twin Pines know that gardening, for all intents and purposes, is a hobby which people can take up for many reasons, including to spend time outdoors, bond with their children, or even to experience cultivating their own land.

At the end of the day, we think any reason to start a garden is a good reason! So, throughout this post, we will be walking you through the first steps in creating a vegetable garden, and maintaining it.

Continue reading

How To Grow 2014’s Most Popular Thanksgiving Fruits and Veggies

As you may have seen in our last post How Twin Pines Interprets Your Favorite Thanksgiving Recipes, Twin Pines collected a variety of recipes for our Twin Pines 2014 Thanksgiving Recipe Book After gathering all the results, we have narrowed down the most-used produce of 2014 to four delicious ingredients: onions, pumpkins, squash, and cranberries! Use this special edition of the “Twin Pines Gardening Guide”—the first edition of which can be found here—to help you grow these fruits and veggies for next Thanksgiving!

Continue reading