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Tropical landscapes on the Outer Banks!

Outer Banks Tropical Landscaping

Tropical landscapes make a bold statement on the Outer Banks. These landscapes are not for everyone, but lets face it, tropical and the beach go hand in hand. Personally, I cant get enough. I love plants with huge leaves, bold colors, and a diverse mix of texture. A little goes a long way, and just a few of these hardy tropicals can have a huge impact on an outdoor space.

Most people think of palms when they hear the word tropical. Palms do play a big part in a tropical landscape, but palms alone do not create a true tropical feel. Its the lush foliage and rich color of the understory  plants that complete the look and feel of a cottage in the keys or a secret spot in Costa Rica. The funny thing is, a large number of these hardy tropicals have been used in traditional landscapes for years. Canna Lillies, elephant ears, ginger lilies, hostas, fatsia , are all great choices. There are many other hardy tropicals which can grow to a very impressive size. Some of the leaves on a Colocasia can reach up to 5′ in width. Hardy bananas can reach 15′ in height, and some brugmansias can provide over 100 large trumpet flowers in a season. Knowing which hardy tropicals will work in your area and where to find these beauties does require some research. You can always start with some of the traditional and more readily available  plants and then slowly add the harder to find tropicals.  Spacing and number of plants is a key part of creating a lush tropical look. Remember, a little hard work and a just a few of these monster plants will pay off big. Have fun, and dont forget the hammock!

Outer Banks Veggies in the Garden!

Anybody who likes growing a few veggies at home, usually gets excited this time of year. The birds start chirping, the daffodils pop up, and the warm days remind us that spring is right around the corner. Getting an early start on those spring veggies can be a lot of fun, but as we all know the weather on the Outer Banks can, and is very temperamental. You really have to watch for frost and quick drops in temps, not to mention the strong winds that can create make for some nasty wind chills. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you want to take a chance and get on it early.

 

  • Choose plants that  are suited for colder weather such as broccoli, cauliflower, and peas.
  • Make sure you have a way to cover your garden in case of frost or even the illusive late snow.
  • Use materials for cover that can withstand the wind that often accompanies the cold temps.
  • Plant only what you need. That way if you do have a loss it will be minimal and easy to replace.
  • Consider using a cold frame or some type of seasonal structure for cold season crops.
  • Incorporate manure and compost into the soil before planting. This will raise the soil temps as the material breaks down.
        Happy gardening!

 

 

Winter Trimming?

Winter can be a great time to do some pruning. Trees and shrubs need pruning throughout the year to encourage proper growth and increased number of blooms. Crapemyrtles are a perfect choice for this time of year. They have dropped all their leaves and are easy to work with. Opinions vary as to the proper technique when it comes to Crapes. I prefer to cut the branches from the last season back to the “nuckle”. The “nuckle” is the bulge at the end of the lead or main branches of the tree.   Crapemyrtles flower on “new wood”. Pruning back to these nuckles will stimulate lots of new growth without weakening the tree.  The right timing and technique now will pay off big time in mid-summer!

Outer Banks Childrens Museum Opening Soon!

When I first heard the term “childrens museum”, I didnt know what to think. I pictured myself trying to drag my kids through “what I think of when I hear the word museum”,  old relics, plaques with lots of historical facts, and maybe even the odd wax figure. Not a pretty site.  Turns out I had it all wrong. These creative play spaces allow you and your child to learn through play. What a great concept!

Here on the Outer Banks, “Children at Play” is not just a street sign on the side of the road….its a great place to hang out with your kids. The new museum takes math, science, health, and all kinds of other important subjects and mixes them into creative play areas, or “exhibits”. They also offer activities such as art and music on specific days. And, I hear rumors of a new Carolina flair fishing boat, complete with a fighting chair, coming in February.

Children at Play was flooded by hurricane Sandy, but will reopen this month in a bigger and better spot next to Captain Franks in Kitty Hawk. What a combo, legendary hot dogs, ice cream, toy stores, and a childrens museum all in one location. Sounds like good times in more ways than one. See you there.

 

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http://www.childrenatplayobx.com/

 

Think Spring!

Winter is here. Its almost the middle of January on the Outer Banks, and beleive it or not its time to start thinking about Spring. March 1st is really the time to start tackling those landscaping items at  your home or rental property. That means its time to find the right landscaping company for the job. Why not Green incorporated? We have over 18 years of experience in lawn care and landscaping. We also provide Organic Mosquito Control, Fence Construction, and more! We offer several discounts too. First month free for new lawn care customers and 10% off other services as well. So, give us a call for a free, no hassle consultation today.  252-207-9460