Winterberry Holly...bringing life to winter

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This is a very cool plant that shines when most others are dormant.  It's called Winterberry Holly, or Ilex Verticillata.  It has attractive foliage but the real beauty is in it's red fruit (not edible).  Here are some recent pictures I've taken.   If you want year-round interest in your landscape, this is an absolute must and Split Rock Design can help you.

Late bloomers!

We've all heard the song California Dreaming, "All the leaves are brown and the sky is gray..."  Well that's not entirely true, I'm going to do a series of posts on trees and shrubs that shine in the bleaker months.   Let's start today with Common Witch Hazel, a late fall bloomer that is stunningly beautiful.

Common WITCH HAZEL IN BLOOM

Common WITCH HAZEL IN BLOOM

WITCH HAZEL UP CLOSE

WITCH HAZEL UP CLOSE

Plant of the Month....Seven Sons Tree

If you've spent any stretch of time with me in the last few years, I've probably talked your ear off about some tree or shrub, I love them.  This tree, however, might be my new favorite and it is incredibly under-utilized.   Originating from China, this tree is handsome in every season.  It blooms in the late summer to late fall, but even when the leaves fall, the bark on this tree exfoliates and creates a really cool look. Fast grower, 20ft tall at maturity.

See Flowers, I took this picture Late October - Frelinghuysen Arboretum

See Flowers, I took this picture Late October - Frelinghuysen Arboretum

The bark I was talking about

The bark I was talking about

Water Feature Steps - Atlanta Botanical Gardens

I was in Atlanta over the weekend and I couldn't resist dragging my family to their famous botanical gardens (hey, it was either that or watch my child run around on a sugar high at the coca cola factory!).  Water features add a lot to a space, the tranquil sound of water flowing and the purity of a clear glass pool really help us to enjoy a space.  

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Plant of the Month...Dwarf Euonymus

Because there are so many plants I love, I thought I'd start sharing them with whoever's following on a monthly basis!   This month we are going to feature a beautiful fall bellwether called "Dwarf Burning Bush".  While an unassuming green shrub for most of the year, this season, you will see this plant turn a brilliant crimson red that will turn heads.  Be sure to plant the variety that is not invasive.  This one needs full sun and plenty of water and can reach 8ft tall upon maturity.   Enjoy the day and see you next month!

Annual Garden at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum

Annuals in a garden take some effort.  You have to plan them well and know that once your work has paid off and they are blooming with beauty in your garden, they will most likely not survive the winter.  Almost everything in this picture was started with a seed early this spring.  Compliments to the staff at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, what a superb job!

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Anthony thinks you should love Ornamental Grasses!

Ornamental grasses have slowly taken a respected place in the landscape.  Grasses come in all varieties, many are drought tolerant, low maintenance and fairly inexpensive.  Further, grasses planted in combination with a good mulch can really be attractive.  What's the downside?  Not much, but while many grasses look similarly sized when you buy them, certain varieties stay small while others are aggressive and can grow more than 8ft tall!!!

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Rain Garden in Hoboken...pretty cool

So I was walking around my old stomping grounds in lovely Hoboken with my lovely family when I stumbled upon this really cool Rain Garden.  For those that are unfamiliar, a Rain Garden is an area that is built to collect rainwater off of roofs, driveways or walkways and allows the opportunity for plants to absorb and even filter that water.  You want to choose water tolerant plants that will thrive in wet conditions, and now you've created a smart way to handle drainage and help the environment.   Split Rock Design offers Rain Gardens installation as alternative drainage.

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