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Creating a Colorful Fall Garden

by The Hat Team

Fall gardens bring to mind vivid, jewel toned colors such as scarlet, deep purples and gold.  Planning for a fall garden needs to start early so that plants are established. Even if they bloom late in the season, they will be hardier and bloom best if they’ve been in the garden longer.  Before planting, research what kind of flowers and plants will do best in your area.  To help, here is a list of some that thrive in hardiness zone 8 (Montgomery, AL): Alabama USDA Hardiness Zone Map

Chrysanthemums:  Commonly called “mums”, these richly hued plants are true sign of fall. When buying mums, look for ones labeled “hardy mums” or “garden mums” for the best chance of having them thrive throughout the season.  Plant them as soon as you buy them.  Given the opportunity to develop a strong root system, they will last longer. Chrysanthemums: The Ultimate Guide to Growing Mums

Helenium: Part of the daisy family, this cheery flower blooms in yellow, orange and red bringing a vibrant ambiance to your garden. These tough, easy-to-grow perennials bloom late in the season and last a long time.

Asters: Available in a variety of hues in shades of pink, purple, blue and white, these perennials bloom from mid to late fall.  Loved by bees, butterflies and other pollinators, they provide a late feeding opportunity for them.   Plant them as soon as they are available in early fall so that they can establish a strong root system.

Pansies: One of the most popular cool weather annuals, pansies are favorites for fall flowerbeds. They are very hardy and can continue to bloom through winter and into spring, thereby adding lively color to your garden almost year ‘round! All About Pansies

Sedum (Stonecrop): Robust, carefree, pretty, and long-lasting, sedum is about as close to perfect as you can get for a fall flower.  Sedums comes in many various sizes and colors, including mat forming, creeping, and upright varieties. Easy to grow, they are great for beds, borders, or even a rock garden.  How to Grow Sedum

If you are thinking about selling your home this autumn, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of Professionals assist you with getting it on the market and sold for the best possible price!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

April Showers Bring May Flowers

by The Hat Team

Spring seems to fly by so fast. Especially in years when the temperatures stay cool longer.  Before you know it the end of April is here and you haven’t even started your spring planting.  But even if you miss the early spring planting period, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a yard full of fragrant, colorful flowers in late spring and through the summer. There are several types of plants that grow in the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8-10 that thrive in the summer months when planted in April.  And luckily, Montgomery falls right within those zones! Plant Hardiness Zone Map - Alabama

Here is a handy list of plants that are ideal for planting in late spring:

Bare Root Perennials

These plants are perfect for April planting because they are fast growers and will fill your landscape with radiant color during the summer.  Bare root perennials are sold by nurseries and online catalogs after they have grown for a year and had their growth trimmed to about an inch above the crown.  When purchased they are ready to be transplanted outdoors after removing soil from the roots.  Some examples of bare root perennials are: Daylily Plants, Astilbe, Clematis

Daylilies

Photo Credit: burpee.com

Annuals

There are several, easy to grow, summer-blooming annuals that can be planted in April. Sunflowers are quite sturdy and don’t require a lot of attention once planted.  They will thrive in a variety of soil conditions and they include short ones that grow a few feet tall, to tall plants that can grow to be 8 feet and taller.  Cosmos are easy to grow flowering plants as well and provide brightly colored blooms for your garden.

Sunflowers

Photo Credit: pexels.com

Flowering Shrubs and Citrus

Choose drought-tolerant shrubs to plant in April and they will do well through the summer.  Ceanothus, otherwise known as the California Lilac, produce blossoms of delicate, tiny blue and purple flowers.  Because there are so many, the entire bush looks like it is blue or purple.  Another good bush to plant in April is the Common Flannel Bush.  Also a California native, this bush produces vibrant yellow flowers that bloom all at once.  Rosemary Bushes have fragrant leaves that can be used for cooking and little blue or purple flowers for color.  Citrus Trees come in many varieties that have sweetly scented blooms.

California Lilac

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

So, if you didn’t get a chance to plant flowers in early spring, it’s not too late to add a garden full of vivid colors to your landscape!

If you are in the market to buy or sell a home, let Sandra Nickel and her Hat Team of professionals assist you with all your real estate needs!  Call them today at 334-834-1500!

Selecting Plants and Flowers for Home Garden

by The Hat Team

Many of us select plants for the garden at our Montgomery, AL home based on their visual effect—color, height, size of blooms, etc. And so we should, as the sight of our plantings should be pleasing to our sense of sight. As we plan our garden, however, we should also be aware of the other four senses—and include plants which appeal to each of them.

SMELL: Aromatherapy is a powerful practice. With nothing more than a simple scent, the brain can be triggered to remember long forgotten memories, emotions, and feelings. With that being said, it is important to carefully select the flowers you want in the garden of your Montgomery, AL home. With a few simple choices, you can create your own "memory lane' or relaxing oasis. In terms of fragrance, it’s hard to beat roses or lavender. Wisteria and jasmine are scented climbers which can really enhance the sensory pleasure of a garden, and amaryllis belladonna and spirea both add pleasant scents.

SOUND: Few of us associate the sense of sound with our garden, but the rustling of long grasses and the chirping of birds add a much-appreciated dimension. To attract songbirds, use fruit-bearing understory trees like dogwoods and service berries and shrubs such as viburnums and hollies and introduce low growing perennials and dwarf shrubs like creeping juniper and cotoneaster. You can also plant vines, ground covers, and sunflowers to increase chirping and tweeting.

TOUCH: Texture in garden design refers to the surface quality of the plant. Plant textures range from delicate and fine to coarse and bold. The feel of the foliage in your Montgomery, AL home’s garden is not the only element of texture, however, as the texture can change with the play of light and shadow and even with viewing distance. Plants with thread-like leaves call out to be touched, so consider adding cosmos, baby's breath, asters, and grasses. In addition, iris and lamb’s ear will each provide softer tactile experiences.

TASTE: The world of herbs is nearly without limits. Think about basil, chives, rosemary, chamomile, cilantro, mint, and parsley, to name just a few tasty garden additions. Consider, too low bush blueberries or ligonberries. Lesser known, but equally valuable as salad additions are the flowers of the hibiscus shrub, columbine, and daylilies.

Some of the plants you have selected for your garden will serve more than one purpose and will appeal to more than one sense, so be sure to sniff, feel, taste, listen to, and view each of them!

Courtesy of Montgomery AL Real Estate Expert Sandra Nickel.   

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