Tag Archives: Asheville Landscapes

Top 7 Ways to Improve Your Early Spring Landscape

Spring has arrived about a month early in Asheville and the western North Carolina mountains. It’s fun to be outside enjoying the early spring. Now is a great time to take care of some gardening projects to protect your investment and keep your gardens looking beautiful through the year.

  1. Water your plants when we don’t get an inch of rain. The days have been warm, so the soil may dry out faster than expected and put your plants under more stress if not watered. If you have an irrigation system, it may not be turned on until danger of late spring freezes has passed. Check the moisture depth of the soil, and water your plants if the soil is dry below a couple of inches. Supplemental watering is usually not needed for established plants (installed over a year ago). It may two to three years for plants located under trees to establish their root systems, so supplemental watering may be needed.
  2. Apply compost or slow release fertilizer around your plants.
  3. Remove weeds. Cut back dead foliage on perennials. Prune deadwood from small trees and shrubs.
  4. Resist the urge to cut back foliage on your declining bulbs. They need their foliage to store energy for next year’s flowers. Plant perennials, ferns or groundcovers around bulbs to help hide unsightly foliage in key areas. It’s best to wait to plant new herbaceous plants until May.
  5. Edge your planting beds. This really gives a finished look to your landscape.
  6. After fertilizing, weeding and edging, install mulch to maintain a 2-3″ layer in shrub beds and 2″ in perennials beds. Be careful not to cover the crowns of your perennials.
  7. Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure that they’re clear and working properly. Clogged gutters can be a source of moisture problems in your house.

Although it’s tempting to rush out and buy flowers to plant now. We still have a potential for killing frosts and cold temperatures until early to mid-May.

If you need help caring for your landscape, please contact Terri Long Landscape Design at 828.299.2399.

Happy Spring!

Spring Beauties in your Asheville Landscape


Spring is my favorite time of the year. I’m always excited to see the new growth emerging after the winter’s rest and the cheerful colors of blooms and the lime green of new foliage.  There’s a sense of new possibilities and anticipation in the air. What a great time to start something new- hence, the beginning  of a blog by Terri Long Landscape Design. I hope that you find it interesting and useful. I look forward to your comments and questions.

Spring bulbs are one of the first harbingers of spring. Some even bloom in late winter, so with a variety of bulbs you can introduce flowers into your landscape early and for a long time. You can create or emphasize curving lines with large sweeps of flowering bulbs. Mass plantings of bulbs are a great way to add fast color to a young landscape and also provide a source for cut flowers.

We all know daffodils, tulips, crocus and grape hyacinths. Daffodils and crocus are pest resistant, so you don’t have to worry about them being damaged by squirrels, chipmunks, voles and other critters. As some of you know, I moved into a 70s neighborhood in  Asheville last year. I’ve been delighted to see the spring bulbs that were planted by previous homeowners appear and bloom. Although tulips are unreliable and short lived in the south, I’m happy to see buds emerging from the foliage and am eagerly awaiting the flowers to mature and bloom. I don’t even mind the grape hyacinths and violets in my lawn, since they add purple into a sea of green and really shouldn’t interfere with mowing. They’re not for those who like a perfect lawn, since the grape hyacinths seed themselves with abandon, even from well-maintained perennial beds.

Other bulbs that you may not have considered are Squill (Scilla), with beautiful blue or white flowers which are deer resistant, and Snowdrop (Galanthus), a white, bell shaped  flower that combines nicely with Hellebores. Both of these are good for naturalizing. For those bulbs that are prone to critter damage, you can plant them in wire cages or, better yet, plant them in PermaTill-Vole Bloc, which is made from expanded natural slate by a North Carolina company.

For native plants, look at Trout Lily and Spring Beauty, which are corms, and Crested Dwarf Iris, which are rhizomes rather than bulbs. Trout Lily and Spring Beauty are spring ephemerals, so they are visible for only a short time. The foliage of the Crested Dwarf Iris will last through the summer, except in very dry summer conditions. These natives look great in woodland and rock gardens.

The National Native Azalea Repository at the North Carolina Arboretum (www.ncarboretum.org) is an excellent place to see masses of trout lilies in the spring. Their mottled foliage resembles trout (not surprising that they are called trout lilies). Their small yellow flowers are a good reason to bend down to get a better look at their flowers and foliage, slow down and get in touch with nature.

You can see Spring Beauties at The Botanical Gardens of Asheville (www.ashevillebotanicalgardens.org), along with a multitude of common and rare native plants of our region.

Now is an excellent time to look at your landscape and see where you would like to add early spring color with bulbs. Planting bulbs is also an easy way to improve your curb appeal if you are considering putting your house on the market next spring. Take notes so that you’ll know where to plant your spring bulbs in October. Or better yet, contact me to evaluate your landscape, make suggestions, and we’ll come back and plant them for you in October. You’ll have more time to enjoy the wonders of spring and have something new to look forward to next spring.

Happy Spring!

Terri Long Landscape Design, Inc.

Enriching Your Life with Natural Beauty


Asheville, North Carolina

Creating Your Ideal Landscape

Do your outdoor spaces enrich your life? If not, then start dreaming. Don’t hold yourself back. Let your creative side run free. Look at photographs in magazines and books. Think about homes and gardens that attracted you. What is it about them that you like?

Outdoor fireplace

Is it a feature, such as a water garden, outdoor fireplace or colorful flower garden?

Water feature

Is it a certain style- natural, formal, cottage gardens?

Relaxing stone bench

Envision yourself in these spaces. How would you use them? How would they enrich your life? What kind of activities would you do? What kind of feelings do they evoke- peaceful, happy, joyful? Are you starting to get a picture of what your ideal outdoor spaces would be like?

I know that some of you may be thinking, that was fun but how am I going to make it happen? I don’t have the space, time, money, etc. What I’m suggesting is to start off without regard to your perception of reality. We’re not going to duplicate these features, styles and landscapes that appeal to you. They’re the inspiration in creating your ideal landscape. Without inspiration, vision and desire, you may end up with a pleasing landscape that is more about appearances than enhancing your life. With inspiration and vision, you can have outdoor spaces that you love to be in and enjoy with your friends and family.

There are many ways to create your ideal landscape. A large water feature may be reinterpreted into a small pond or fountain that reflects the sky and provides you with the soothing sounds of water.

Outdoor dining spaces

If this idea excites you but you feel overwhelmed and still don’t know where to start, contact me to schedule a complimentary consultation for your home in Asheville. This complimentary consultation will take about 45-60 minutes, and we’ll review your site, desires and dreams. If you decide to work with me, we’ll create a vision of your ideal landscape. I’ll guide you every step of the way in creating your design and turning it into your personal oasis. Click here to get started on creating the ideal outdoor spaces for your home in western North Carolina.