25 May

Colorful Flowering Shrubs for Gardens: Cornus (Dogwoods)

Cornus is a genus of woody shrubs and small trees from temperate regions of the Americas, eastern Asia and Europe. Commonly known as Dogwood, the genus of Cornus offers a wide variety of flowering shrubs, foliage plants, and small trees for almost any soil type. The flowering species like Cornus kousa are grown for their showy bracts that appear in spring and early summer. The deciduous species like Cornus alba are grown for their uniquely colorful stems whereas the winter flowering species like Cornus mas are grown in colder climates.

Cornus florida/ Image by Margit

Cornus florida/ Image by Margit

Most species of Cornus are quite easy to grow. They are not fussy about their growing requirements and do well in almost any soil. They are frost hardy plants that grow 10 to 20 feet in height but are easily pruned to achieve desired shapes. These lovely plants can be grown from seeds or cuttings and require full to partial sun. Generally, Cornus grow well in rich, well-drained but lightly moist soil under sunny conditions.

Popular species of Cornus include:

Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood) grows as a small deciduous tree with dense and fresh green foliage. The plant produces lovely flowers or bracts of cream color in early spring followed by formation of berry-like drupes.

Cornus alba (Siberian dogwood) is a deciduous shrub that produces woody branches and small flowers. The plant is grown for winter interest when it sheds its leaves and wears hues of bright-crimson on its twigs.

Cornus alba

Cornus alba/ Image by Marion Wacker

Cornus x ‘Venus is grown for its splendid creamy flowers that appear in mid-summer. The plant grows as a small tree and attains the height of 10 to 12 feet.

Cornus x rutgersensis ‘Stellar Pink’ is a lovely plant with dark green foliage that changes many colors (orange, red, yellow and pink) before falling in autumn. The plant blooms in summer and grows up to 20 feet.

Cornus kousa ‘Miss Satomi’ is a known for its dense and prominent pink flowers that appear in summer. It makes a lovely addition to the garden because of its pink flowers and autumn foliage.

Because of their flowers, colorful foliage and interesting stem colors, Cornus are popular plants among horticulturists and gardens who use them in garden borders, garden screens, and mass plantation schemes.

03 May

Wonderful Topiary Designs by Steve Manning

Steve Manning is a renowned topiary artist. He is known for his creative designs and wonderful skill of incarnating creatures in topiaries. His topiary designs include both living and artificial topiaries and are seen at exhibitions, garden shows, civic amenities, theme parks and landscapes. Some of his topiary creatures have won international recognition and fame.

Following are a few examples of his topiary designs. All pictures are taken from his website http://www.topiaryartdesigns.com.

Allegator topiary

animal topiary

Dogs topiary

Hipo topiary

Hunter topiary
Jiraffe topiary

Steve Manning topiary

Topiary design

07 Apr

Urban Landscape Designs by Alex Hanazaki

Today’s post features some beautiful examples of urban landscape designs by a landscape designer Alex Hanazaki. The landscape designs of Alex are a beautiful mix of complementing textures, colors, and forms – all blended perfectly with modern urban settings. The use of ornamental grasses in his landscape designs is an example of how simple yet beautiful a landscape design can be developed in urban lands.

The following is a selection of lovely urban landscape designs developed by Alex Hanazaki. (All image are taken from Alex Hanazaki website http://www.alexhanazaki.com.br/)

Grass for Landscape Design




Landscape design


Landscape with grass


Landscape with grasses


Lovely Landscape Design


Modern Garden


Modern Landscape


Poolside Landscape


Poolside Trees


Simple Urban Landscape


Urban Garden Design


Urban Landscape


Urban Landscape Design


Urban Landscape Idea

24 Mar

9 Beautiful Examples of Apartment Gardening

If you are living in a high-rise apartment or condo building or have small space for gardening, you just have to be a little bit creative to grow a beautiful garden. Need examples? Here are 9 beautiful examples of apartment gardening.

Apartment Garden

Apartment Garden / Image via globo.com

Condo Garden

Condo Garden / Image via Pinterest

Apartment Gardening

Small Garden/ Image via shelterness.com

Indoor Apartment Gardening

Indoor Apartment Garden/ Image via parentingpatch.com

Little Garden

Little Garden / Image via nashmadethat.blogspot.ca

Small Apartment Garden

Small Apartment Garden / Image via apartmenttherapy.com

Small Space Raised Garden

Small Space Raised Garden/ Image via apartmenttherapy.com

Small Garden

Small Garden / Image via Pinterest

Small Terrace Garden

Small Terrace Garden / Image via apartmenttherapy.com

These beautiful examples demonstrate that even small spaces can be utilized to grow wonderful gardens. All you need is the right selection of plants,  the right-sized planters and a little creativity is managing your precious space. In fact, a careful garden in your apartment’s balcony can grow your favourite show plants, vegetables, seasonal bloomers, as well as all-season specimen plants like ferns, succulents, and other foliage plants.

19 Mar

New to Gardening? Do it with ‘Sprout It’ iPhone App

I just came across a nifty iPhone app, Sprout It, that is built around the idea of providing step-by-step guide to growing a great kitchen garden.

Sprout It iPhone app provides with step-by-step guide to planning, growing and harvesting your vegetable and herb garden. I am writing down my initial experience with Sprout It.

The application has a built-in database of plants and varieties. You can read about the plants, their growth requirements, methods of growing, and care instructions.

Sprout it Library

Sprout It – Plants Library

Once you have selected plants that you want to grow, you can create a growth plan. The growth plan is customized according to your climate and growing conditions. Sprout It provides tips, tutorials, and resources for growing your selected varieties.

Sprout It Grow Plan

Grow Plan

After you have sown your selected plants, you can compare the growth and health of your crop with the virtual growth plan that Sprout It provides. While you can track and compare health and growth of your crop, the application provides you all the necessary alerts and reminders as your crop ripens.

Sprout It Crop

Crop Progress

Sprout It also provides interesting ideas for gardening experiments and interesting recipes that you can cook with your own herbs and vegetables.

Sprout It Gardening info

Tips & Guides

Sprout It is available as free iPhone and web application.