Tag Archives: landscape

Urban Columnar Apples Are Hot!

Are you looking for an apple tree that is perfect for that small space?  You can grow this tree on your patio, deck or even in your flower bed.   The new Urban™ Columnar Apples are your answer to the problem.  Introduced to the market in 2011 by Garden Debut® these trees grow 8-10 ft tall and only 2 ft wide.  They have short branches and grow straight up.  The flowers are pink in color.  They are USDA zone 4-9. 

There are 4 varieties of the Urban™ Columnar Apples:

Tasty Red™ -Bright red with sweet flavor

Blushing Delight™-Red green fruit with sweet flavor

Golden Treat™-green gold apples that are tart but get sweeter with age

Tangy Green™- Lime green fruit with crisp tart flavor

You will need two for cross-pollination.  Supplies will be limited this year so if you are looking for these please come early.  

I am trying these in my garden and so far I have been impressed.

For more information on these and other great new plants you can go to www.gardendebut.com.



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Filed under Landscaping, Plant of the Month, TimberPine

What’s all this snow doing to your landscape?

Ya know that warm feeling when you’re all snuggled up in bed on a cold winter evening?  When you’d rather refrain from the bathroom just to maintain the coziness of your flannel sheets under your thick down blanket.  That’s how your plants are feeling right now, buried under their own blanket of snow.  They’re like a bear in hibernation.  So don’t fret.  Don’t worry.  They’re better off suffocating beneath the snow than exposed to the harsh Iowa winds of winter.

And don’t freak out when come spring you find your tasty shrubs nibbled on by the neighborhood critters.  The rabbits and deer are really the ones suffering this nasty winter.

As that dang saying goes…..”Spring is just around the corner”.

I wish that corner was 5 feet in front of me.

Author: Katie Ketelsen


Filed under Landscaping, Rantings by Katie Ketelsen

“BOXWOOD” Plant of the Month~December

Green Mountain Boxwood

I love boxwood…and use it frequently in my landscape designs.  Why? Because it stays put.  I won’t have endless trimming, as with the yews; they won’t get large, as with the junipers, and it has a nice waxy leaf to it.

Most importantly, it is considered a broad-leaf evergreen~thus color in the deary winter months! They are perfect for hanging your Christmas lights on.

There are several different types of boxwoods and within them, there are certain varieties that will weather the Iowa winters better than others.  This shrub can withstand full sun to partial shade and prefers well drained soils.  I recommend not trimming Boxwood because as they say with Pringles, once you start, you can’t stop.  Sometimes the Boxwood can explode some sporadic branching, at which I would suggest gentle trimming with a hand pruner. (An exception to this “rule” would be if you were wanting to create a hedge.  Gardens with a cottage or Victorian flare have used the Boxwood in many forms)

Here is a quick list of some of the more commonly used Boxwoods in our area:

  • Chicagoland Boxwood: possibly considered a hardier specimen of the mounding varieties of Boxwood. Grows approximately 2-3′ tall, 3′ wide
  • Winter Gem Boxwood: 3′ tall, 3′ wide


    Winter Gem Boxwood

  • Green Velvet Boxwood: 2-3′ tall, 3′ wide
  • Wintergreen Boxwood: 2′ tall, 2-3′ wide
  • Green Mountain Boxwood: Probably one of my favorites is this pyramidal Boxwood; use this version to provide vertical accents along your front foundation.  Or in a cottage garden setting to create a small hedge. 3-4′ tall, 2-3′ wide

There are some considerations to be taken with the Boxwood.  Recently I have seen severe winter die back when Iowa has had harsh winters and crazy springs with late ice storms .  This year I’m protecting my Chicagoland and Green Mountain Boxwoods with a leaf shield you can spray on their foliage.  Wilt Pruf is a common product used to protect sensitive evergreens and the liking.

What types of Boxwood do you have in your landscape? Do you even like the plant?  Share your photos with us!  We wanna see what you’ve been up to.

Katie Ketelsen

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Filed under Plant of the Month, Rantings by Katie Ketelsen, TimberPine