Plant a Legacy in Your Landscape

Live Oak Trees

Large trees create legacies. They can provide us with a sense of stability and hope with their large sizes and longevity. They connect us to the past while we enjoy them in the present.

My thoughts turned to the legacies created by trees and landscapes during a recent visit to Charleston and Savannah. I was overcome by the grandeur of the live oaks draped in Spanish moss that lined the historic streets and dirt roads and provided beauty and shade in historic sites and cemeteries. I thought about the vision of those people who not only had the foresight to plant these large trees and other plants but also those who have cared for them for many generations.  Their visions of future possibilities are what we enjoy today.

Although we don’t have live oaks in the Appalachian Mountains, we have other large trees that are majestic in their own right. I’m thinking of tulip poplars, hemlocks, oaks, and beeches. In Asheville and the surrounding area we find many locations where visionaries planted trees and protected the beauty of our Appalachian mountains. In the heart of Asheville is the collected vision of George Vanderbilt and Frederick Law Olmstead, the father of landscape architecture. When Vanderbilt acquired the property that is now Biltmore Estate, it was eroded, barren and unproductive farmland. Visitors today see the lushness of the woodlands as they travel around the grounds and think that it’s always been a beautiful forest. (www.biltmore.com)

It’s only been a short 75 years since the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (www.GreatSmokies75th.org) and only 74 years for the Blue Ridge Parkway (www.blueridgeparkway.org). We are surrounded by the vision and dedication of leaders who saw the value of protecting the natural beauty of the Appalachian Mountains with the creation of national and state parks.

Most of us want to leave the world a better place than how we found it. As we celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day (http://www.arbordayfoundation.org), I invite you to think of ways of creating your own legacy for future generations. There are many ways to do it. We can all take small steps in our own way that add up to big results.

Please let me know if we can be of assistance to you in your Asheville and western North Carolina landscapes.

Enjoy the beauty of nature and especially the beauty of trees!

Terri Long Landscape Design, Inc.

Enriching Your Life with Natural Beauty

828.299.2399

Asheville, North Carolina

Protecting Your Spring Blooms from Freezing Temperatures

What a difference a day makes! Yesterday I was weeding in the hot sun with temperatures over 70 degrees. Today, the temperatures kept getting colder as the winds blew in.  There’s currently a mix of rain and snow. It looks like the weather forecast for Asheville and western North Carolina may be accurate.

You can protect your most highly prized plants by covering them with either freeze blankets or bed sheets. Secure the edges of the blankets or sheets with rocks, bricks or landscape staples so that the winds can’t blow your protection off of your plants. Pillow cases can be used over smaller shrubs and trees and secured around the base of the plant. You will need to remove these coverings during the day or open them to allow air circulation to prevent the rising day temperatures from burning your plants.  Although  this isn’t practical to do for your entire landscape, it’s a very effective way to prevent or minimize cold damage to your most vulnerable plants, especially from the cold winds. Select the most important and expensive plants, such as Japanese Maples and shrubs that may be flowering or have tender new growth emerging.

It’s also a good time to create a floral arrangement with some of your flowers from bulbs, such as tulips and daffodils, and flowering shrubs. At least you’ll be able to enjoy them in your home. 

If you see damage on your plants, be patient. Don’t start pruning until after giving the plant a chance to recover and see the real extent of the damage.

I’m hopeful that we won’t have much damage and will be experiencing warm weather the beauty of spring here in the mountains of North Carolina in just a few days.

Happy Spring!

Terri Long Landscape Design, Inc.

Enriching Your Life with Natural Beauty

828.299.2399

Asheville, North Carolina