Monday, December 29, 2014

Unique. Valuable. Green ... Green & Growin 2015!

Come see us in Booth 600  at Green & Growin' January 8-9th!

The hustle and bustle of the largest nursery and landscaping trade show in the two Carolinas always brings old and new friends in equal measure to our booth. 

Here's a Trade Show preview of the material we may have on exhibit:

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Joy, Peace, Hope, and Love .... that's what was born those many years ago, and that's why we celebrate Him who was born.

So from all of us at Ben's Creek Nursery to all of our friends, Joy, Peace, Hope, and Love this season and in the years to come!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Fall Colors

Previous Years October Glory Maples
Fall colors this year are strangely muted. Last year looked more like the October Glory Maples shown above, with vivid strokes of red erupting across the landscape. But this year subdued instances of yellow seem to predominate. Which is to say, Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall may continue their eternal cycle, but locally, plants will express the individuality of their climate and circumstances. 

Which is not to say there are not some flashes of brilliance out there. These Sioux Crape Myrtles, for instance, are showing some vigorous burgundy leaves at our Iles Farm.

As are our Autumn Blaze Maples.

Click 'MORE' for more!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Between a Rock and a Hardscape

Photo courtesy Joe Mabel CC BY-SA 3.0
This is not one of our landscape projects - Texas is a little out of our sphere of influence. It is an Asian Sculpture Garden at the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas.

I include it here because I like it; but also because it highlights the use of decorative rocks in yardscape designs, something we have been doing for many customers over the years (see, e.g., here and here).

In that vain, herewith are photos of a recent hardscape bed planting project, which began with the grandaddy of all decorative rocks:

Click 'MORE' for more!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Wash Out!

As the seasons change the sudden weather shifts can produce surprises. That is why Fall usually brings us customers needing some fixes and repairs to landscape. Here we show some pictures of the effects of an early September rain, followed by a quick take on the consequences of an untimely wind.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer Maintenance Too

We look back briefly on our summer maintenance (see previous post) with some final photos from August. Here it's all about plant beds, but if you're thinking bright and colorful flowers you can think again.

These pictures should convince you that bushes, shrubs, and small evergreens can provide a great look to your yard. The flowery vividness these beds lack is more than made up with soft color contrasts and the juxtaposition of differing geometric sizes and shapes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Maintenance

Installation and other project-type work is good, but we are particularly fond of our recurring customers. These are the people who have hired us on an annual monthly maintenance contract.

A year's contract takes a great deal of faith, which we strive hard to repay with extreme diligence and care by everyone involved - from the newly hired laborer right up to the experienced supervisors and the boss himself, Robert Neville.

We feel that each customer should receive a yard and garden kept and maintained in the manner to which they have become accustomed - and that it is our job to accustom them to the highest standards! As a result, we are constantly chasing a rising bar of expectations, a challenge we relish.

Herewith a roundup of photos of yards and gardens around the Lake that we are maintaining on a monthly basis:

Click 'MORE' for more!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July Garden Tips

The gardening section of helpfully tells us:
... there's no definitive list of gardening chores for the July garden.
Apparently, the problem is that July occupies that netherworld of the calendar, on the cusp between the exuberant growth of Spring and the dog days of August. So, if you are going to intervene in the natural cycles of your plants and lawn in July, you must pay heed to the particular circumstances that confront you. In other words, in July, general rules of gardening should give way to the specific conditions of your yard and gardens.

Not least because we run the risk of hurting more than we are helping, as we cautioned against here.

Nevertheless, amidst all this uncertainty, provides a helpful list of chores to keep you busy in the summer heat.

Read the whole thing. As for me, I favor this heat-healthy suggestion:
... sit back and enjoy your garden and all the efforts you put in earlier in the year to get it where it is now.

Monday, June 16, 2014

June Garden Tips

Photo courtesy of the Royal Horticulture Society
From across the pond we get some June garden advice. Great Britain is more than a seven hour flight northeast of us, but because of the mollifying ministrations of the North Atlantic currents, its Plant Hardiness Zones approximate a good portion of North Carolina.

For the Brits, at the top of the list for June is what we all experience: the sudden appearance of weeds 'from seemingly nowhere:'
June 21 is the longest day of the year, and the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to put on an exuberant burst of growth. But this extra light and warmth also means weeds will sprout up from seemingly nowhere. Keep on top of them by hoeing regularly in dry conditions.
This advice is accompanied by a video with more detail on just how to 'keep on top' of weeds, all delivered in that great British accent which just exudes competence and authority.

But there's more: a top 10 list of things to do, and specific advice about flowers, trees, shrubs, lawns - and even ponds.  So take a trip to the Old Country and get your June yard in shape for the summer!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Your Plant Hardiness Zones

For all of you scientific gardeners out there (as opposed to the seat of the pants, whack a mole approach seemingly favored by people like me), we present the most current Plant Hardiness Zone map of these United States. These maps are published by the USDA, and divide the country up into 13 different zones based on the average annual minimum temperature that can be expected in each.   If you're a computer gamer type, here is an interactive version of this map.

There are actually many other factors that dictate whether a certain plant will or won't thrive in your particular geographic zone, e.g. soil moisture, number of annual frosts, risk of sudden cold snaps, and summer heat levels. But average annual minimum temperature is a nice initial qualifier of the range of plants that will and won't survive in a particular place. For instance, we are in Zone 7b, which tells me that I won't be planting any Roystonea regia around here - at least, not any that will last out the winter:

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Completed Projects: After All is Said and Done

It's tough to get our crews to do anything other than work when they are on the job, but as promised, photos of some completed properties are starting to roll in.

 Click 'MORE' for more!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Watch This Space!

Herewith a round up of a collage of a compilation of a collection of photos of the many different projects on which we are either proposing, or working on this Spring.

Watch this space for 'after' pictures to be posted soon!

Clean up
Freshen Pine Straw
Mulch steps
Commercial turf

 Click 'MORE' for more!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring Garden Tips, Tricks, & Shortcuts

Gardening is not something you can just read about (except this post of course) - you have to get your hands dirty. Most experienced gardeners have 100's of tips, tricks, and shortcuts that they have patiently learned through hands-on work over many years. But, if you are just starting on this rewarding activity, then HGTV helps you get a leg up on things with a list of 14 simple tips and tricks. The article begins:
From using leftover coffee beans to preventing dirt from getting underneath fingernails, master gardener Paul James shares his top 14 tips and shortcuts to make spring gardening a breeze....
Read the whole thing!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lawn & Landscape Made Simple

Could it be that a little clean up and sod can make all the difference in your yards and gardens? Here is a recent job that indicates the answer is 'Yes!'

Friday, February 21, 2014

To Do Too!

The crews are getting nervous. With the first presentiments of Spring these last few days, they are watching as Robert Neville compiles more To Do lists.  Herewith some photos of that which makes them nervous.

Back yard construction
Entrance drive
Fountain and landscaping
Click 'MORE' for more!