Landscaping in the Winter 

  1. DO NOT buy cheap mulch in your garden for the winter. It is a GREAT idea to add mulch to your garden in the winter, however, you must read the ingredients in the mulch, and make sure you are buying good stuff to last through the snow and freeze. Certain mulches that show a “discounted” price, will he harmful to your garden throughout the winter. Key to Landscaping in the Winter!
  2. DO NOT forget to rake the leaves. Don’t leave the leaves. Pick them up, do 1 last mow! Give your grass a chance to breathe in the winter.
  3. DO NOT cut the grass to0 short. Cutting the grass “too short” before the ground freezes.
  4. DO NOT Ignore the bugs. If you were having a bug problem, a spider problem, or worse before the snow falls, do NOT ignore it until spring. They can come back stronger than ever next spring. Key to Landscaping in the Winter!
  5. DO NOT miss out on the deals! After planting and gardening season wraps up, there are TONS of stores that practically give away their garden equipment. DO NOT miss out on the sales, and get garden supplies in the winter, to save in the spring!
  6. DO NOT use weed killer in the winter! Good weed killer should be applied in mild or warm temperatures. Do not use them in cold temps, it will cause more harm than good. Key to Landscaping in the Winter!
  7. Use the RIGHT fertilizer. There are different types of fertilizer that can be used in all 4 seasons. Make sure you purchase the correct one during the cold months. Here is a list of different types to use, if you are applying yourself.
  8. DO NOT forget final manicuring. Aeration should be completed well in advance of the winter freeze so you can give your landscaping a chance to recover before the ground freezes over.
  9. DO NOT forget to water your outdoor plants. If there is no snow or no rain, do not forget to water your plants. They still get thirsty in the winter.
  10.  Start planning for the spring early. It is never to early to start your ideas for planting. Have a plan and the right tools, so once that deep freeze leaves us, your garden season can last longer.

Landscaping in the Winter



Hardiness Zones: 4-9

Plant Height: 3 – 18 feet

Plant Width: 3-18 feet

Light: Partial – Full Shade



Hydrangea are shade-loving plants that offer huge bouquets of clustered flowers. They are available in various arrangements and bloom from summer through fall. The different varieties of hydrangea differ in size, flower color, and blooming time. These plants thrive in fertile, moist, well-drained soil in partial to full shade.


  • Consider the location of you hydrangea prior to planting, you want to choose a spot where it can reach it’s full size without pruning. The averaged sized hydrangea will reach 4 ft x 4 ft.
  • Plant in well-drained soil, heavy soil can cause damage and you will want to add roughage (such as mulch).
  • Do not over water, over watering can lead to root rot.
  • Plant at the same depth the hydrangea was planted in the pot as you do not want to plant too deep.
  • The best time to plant is in early summer or late fall.
  • To transplant a hydrangea, do so when it has become dormant and no longer has any leaves (late fall or winter).
  • Do not plant under a tree as the root system from the tree’s are often to aggressive and are grown to the rich moist soil hydrangeas love.
  • If you are seeking blue hydrangea flowers, check the pH level of your soil it should be in the 5.2-5.5 range. If your soil’s level is above this level you can apply aluminum sulfate in the spring to lower it to the range needed. The change in flower color is a direct result of the higher aluminum content and lower pH level in the soil.
  • Do not trim or prune hydrangeas in the fall unless you are removing spent flowers. Most hydrangeas bloom on old stems and removing these can remove next years flowers. The pest time to prune a hydrangea is when new growth has begun, in which you should remove any dead branches. This could be very late Spring.
  • In Michigan hydrangeas will benefit from winter protection or sheltered placement. Without protection most hydrangeas will not survive the winter if placed in an open area.



While this long cold winter continues to drag on, one thing is certain sunny and warm Spring days are on there way. Spring is a time of growth and renewal, spring bulbs will soon start popping up and tree’s will begin to bud.  However, before we can reach the growth and renewal phase we have to address the repair phase. The harsh elements of winter can leave behind a whirlwind of problems – broken limbs on shrubs and trees, sparse mulch, misplaced bricks from walks and walls, moldy leave piles, squashed grass and lots of debris. It is essential to address these problems before our landscape and gardens can shine this spring. Below are some of our favorite spring clean up tips.


  • Remove any left over fall debris such as fallen limbs and leaves.
  • If any areas of your lawn have been damaged from the winter, prepare these spots for Spring seeding.
  • Begin your fertilization treatment. (Having your lawns ph levels tested first is a great way to know what your lawn is in need of before you begin adding things to it that may be necessary or may cause damage).
  • Remove any protective covering from trees and shrubs as the weather begins to warm.
  • Prune away any damaged branches to allow for new growth.
  • Clean out any left over fall debris such as leaves and fallen limbs.
  • Cut back perennials as needed and pull up any annuals that are left over from the fall.
  • If you notice bare spots in certain areas, now is a great time to transplanting to fill those in. Try to do transplanting as soon as possible after the plant emerges. Plants will recover much more quickly when started early and the weather is still mild.
  • Being your fertilization, starting now will help strengthen roots and they begin to grow.
  • Mulch & Edge gardens. Fresh mulch adds a much needed protective layer to your garden and also offers a variety of benefits. Edging is the finishing touch and will give your gardens a clean and polished look.


Fall gardening with Hardy Mums
Fall Gardening With Mums
Fall Gardening With Mums

Fall gardening, can bring about a variety of challenges, especially in cooler northern climates. Chrysanthemums, more commonly known as “mums” are available in a variety of colors and can withstand the cooler autumn days of cooler climates.

These beautiful flowers make a great addition to any fall garden. They also look great in any pots you may want to move around your home for an extra pop of color once your summer flowers are gone.

Hardy Mums love full sun and bloom from September through October. There are different varieties that grow in a variety of different zones, so be sure to get an appropriate variation for your climate. Michigan Zones range from 4-6, the metro Detroit area being zone 6.

**In order to survive the winter hardy mums should be planted in the early spring.


Grosse Pointe Landscape Design

We can’t believe it is already August! It feels as if we we’re just welcoming in July, and here we are heading into the end of summer. August is typically a maintenance month for landscapers and gardeners, ensuring your landscape is well watered and weed free is essential. Below are a few of our favorite August landscaping tips.

  • Prune or shear your ground cover. Boxwoods, juniper, laurel and other ground cover will have little to no growth for the remainder of the year.
  • Have a tree blocking your view? Now is a good time to prune and thin, as there will be little to no growth for the remainder of the year.
  • Continue to deadhead annuals for more blooms.
  • If you have iris or daylilies growing, August is the best month to divide them. Dividing every 3-5 years is essential, when you do not divide blooming will diminish significantly.
  • Keep an eye on the edges of your lawn. Sections of lawns that border driveways and sidewalks may need more water than open areas, due to the added heat of concrete. If you notice your edges browning make appropriate adjustments to your irrigation system.
  •  Container gardens will require fertilizer this month. One handful of fertilizer is equivalent to one tablespoon. Additionally, containers may require watering twice a day this month during hot and windy conditions.
  • Looking for more colors to carry you into the fall? Plant your fall perennials towards the end of the month.
  • Shrubs require one deep watering once a week this month.




Marigolds are hardy annual plants, that are available in numerous varieties. Marigolds offer a variety of health and garden benefits. The flowers of the calendula marigold have been used for centuries for their health benefits. While the more common tagetes variety does not offer as many health benefits they do offer gardening benefits.


Planting marigolds in your vegetable gardens will help keep away moles, deer and other animals. Marigolds have also been said to repel insects, however is this not an accurate statement. Marigolds actually attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, parasitic wasps and lacewings which all prey on harmful garden insects reducing the amount of damaging insects found around your garden.

Marigolds also help eliminate nematodes, with toxins found within the plant. Nematodes, are small microscopic worms that damage the roots of vegetables. This a proven theory, which especially helps with tomato plants which are most affected by nematodes. In addition to these gardening benefits Marigolds are available in a variety of colors, which will help brighten up any garden.

July marks the increase of summer heat and the halfway point for the entire year! Can you believe that 2013 is half way through? We can’t.

 July Landscaping Tips

  • Buds are now forming on your shrubs that will bloom next spring. Don’t prune them now or you will miss the flowers next spring. These plants should be watered 2 to 3 times per week as tree’s and shrubs require less water then the lawn.
  • Spring bulbs have finished blooming and have now dried up. You can take your chances with what will come back up next spring or remove them and store them for summer.
  • Spring perennials are fading away, summer annuals are a great way to add more color into your existing landscape. Placing annuals in pots will give you more variety in where to place the additional color.
  • Water early in the day and later in the evening to prevent water loss. However, watering to close to sunset may cause mold and other diseases to spread at night, which occurs when your lawn doesn’t have the proper time to dry.
  • New growth on your evergreen shrubs and hedges can be sheared back to one inch of the new growth, as we head into summer new needles will come from the new growth.
  • Tree’s and shrubs planted within the past 3 years, need additional watering during dry periods.
  • Remember your container plants dry out more quickly then those planted in the ground and should be watered daily.
  • Remember to remove all Rose leaves that have fallen to the ground below, they can carry and spread fungus.