Plant Spotlight – Bobo Hardy Hydrangea

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Plant Spotlight – Bobo Hardy Hydrangea

The Bobo Hardy Hydrangea is a new dwarf hydrangea that is sure to get attention!  This showy shrub is showered in massive creamy white blooms in the summer months, offering a non-stop show until frost.  The Bobo Hydrangea is a petite shrub, growing just 3 feet tall with a 3-4 foot spread and a mounding growth habit.  The hydrangea blooms are held upright on sturdy stems and they continue to grow and lengthen as they bloom.  During the autumn months, blooms may become a pinkish tone.  Bobo Hardy Hydrangea thrives in full sun to part shade and does well in zones 3 – 8. 

This petite shrub is a benefit to any landscape bed where space is limited.  This plant does require regular watering in extreme heat.  To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this showy specimen into your landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Plant Spotlight – Visions Astilbe

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Plant Spotlight – Visions Astilbe

Visions Astilbe is a lovely landscape perennial that is perfect for a full to part shade garden situation.  This variety of Astilbe has raspberry colored blooms that emerge mid-summer and sit atop the deep green, Zen-type foliage.  Visions has a moderate growth rate reaching 14” tall and 12” wide and is nice in the front of a bed or in a container.  This plant is hardy from zones 4-8 and is spectacular with its purple flowers.  To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this stunning perennial into your landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Retaining Walls in the Landscape

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Retaining Walls in the Landscape

A retaining wall is a wall that holds back or “retains” the earth behind it. The force behind a large wall, keeping back loads of soil and water, can be immense, and significant expertise and skill is essential prior to embarking on such a project. Even a properly built wall could fail over time if the builder were to neglect to provide an appropriate outlet for runoff, as water pressure would ultimately develop to an unmanageable degree.

One of the most widespread roles of a retaining wall is to prevent erosion on hillsides in instances where  the use of plants in mass to evade erosion is both detrimental and unrealistic. You are misjudging the opportunities for these constructions if you view them as erosion-combatants only. Think about how you are modifying the lay of the property on your land when you raise a retaining wall. An expanse of soil that is leaning and unworkable can be smoothed behind the wall to establish an outdoor living area, such as a patio, pool, or to incorporate fresh landscape garden beds.

Do not ignore the visual element of retaining walls. There are numerous methods that can be utilized to accentuate this piece, involving choosing a textile that is in sync with your complete project objectives. For example, select a charming, pure textile for installation that will add to your landscape design in the way that any superior hardscape traits do by nature.   By contrast, concrete blocks are not incredibly natural-looking, which is sufficient in a landscape design where the natural look is not the intention. For example, if you have a patio fashioned from concrete pavers, then an adjacent retaining wall constructed with concrete blocks will complete it well.

To have a retaining wall designed into your landscape or outdoor space, call All American at 402-408-0000 today!

Plant Spotlight – Annual Coleus

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Plant Spotlight – Annual Coleus

No longer considered just a shade plant, annual coleus plants are simple to grow and now come in a wide variety of sun and heat-tolerant selections causing them to be trendy options for several areas including landscape beds and container plantings.  Coleus exhibit audacious yet gorgeous foliage making them stand out in any setting, shade or sun.  While Coleus have an extraordinary gamut of natural colors, plant breeders have gone above and beyond with selections including hot pink, chartreuse, and near-black.  To make it even more curious, Coleus have been bred with stripes, splotches and venation to add texture and uniqueness to the plant.  They come in a variety of shapes and sizes and while Coleus are non-toxic to humans, the sap can cause minor skin irritation.  To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this versatile and textured annual into your landscape beds or containers, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Plant Spotlight – PowWow Wildberry Coneflower

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Plant Spotlight – PowWow Wildberry Coneflower

A 2010 All America Selections Winner, PowWow Wildberry Coneflower boasts 3-4” deep purple to magenta blooms on stiff stems.  The fragrant flowers are fadeproof, lasting from summer until frost without deadheading.  Once established, this extremely versatile plant tolerates poor soil conditions as well as heat and drought.  This coneflower thrives in full sun and is hardy to zones 3-9.  It functions well in a garden setting, in mass or in a container.  To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this vivid perennial into your landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Paver Patios – A Landscape Extension with Flair

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Paver Patios – A Landscape Extension with Flair

The outdoor space that you enjoy is an addition to the space you live within. The most common way to augment it and develop the beauty and usable space is with a paver patio installation. Paver patio systems ensure easy upkeep, and in addition, they pose incomparable resilience to endure the freeze/thaw that the Midwest seems to experience. Weoffer skilled and precise landscape designs, as well as install of the product to code, and the care of several patio pavers, natural stone, and walkways to name a few.   Patios can be comprised of a variety of different materials, but we are certain that our pavers products are the finest offered.  

There is a considerable amount of benefit that paver patios offer to the homeowner.  First and foremost, they create a clean, usable space that gives your outdoor space a timeless, finished look for enjoyment and entertaining.  Paver patios, unlike concrete patios, do not suffer from freeze/thaw effects that we experience in the area.  They also do not call for staining to uphold the exquisiteness or efficiency of the design.  Due to the way they are “sealed”, paver patios rarely need to be weeded, as the joints are mortared together with a special sand product.  Once the sand sets, it becomes very firm and locks between the paver joints while still retaining flexibility and providing a long lasting, durable material.  From different shapes and sizes to changing up colors and materials, the options with paver patios and design are nearly endless.  To inquire how All American can estimate to install a paver patio for you as a homeowner, call our office at 402-408-0000.

Plant Spotlight – Weeping White Spruce

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The Weeping White Spruce is a unique conifer with a fun, dangling branching habit.  This tree is known to be stately, with a very straight trunk and pendulous branches.  It is perfect for tight spaces.  The needles are green with a blue cast and prefer part shade to full sun.  Weeping White Spruce thrives best in well drained soils and does well in zones 2 – 7.  It typically grows to a height of 20-25 feet in 25 years with a mature spread of 4-5 feet.

This evergreen makes a superb accent specimen or does well planted in groups as a windbreak or for a screening effect.  It should be watered regularly in extreme heat for best performance but will require less water once established.

To inquire further about how All American can incorporate this beautiful specimen into your landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Grubs in the Residential Lawn

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If you are experiencing brown patches in the residential lawn, areas that never turned green once spring arrived, white grubs might be the culprit!  To verify if it is grub damage, the affected area of turf will pull back like a roll of carpet and will have little to no root system.  Newly affected turfgrass will appear as oddly shaped dead areas, whether irrigated or not, in late summer or early fall.  An indicator that you may have a grub problem is that your turf has become spongy. Often one can notice this phenomenon before widespread brown patches appear. In a well-irrigated turf, sponginess may be the first indication that there is a grub problem.

It is best to treat the immature grubs because the insect is most susceptible to pesticides while young.  This requires applying necessary chemicals while newly hatched grubs are feeding on the turf root systems, which is mid-late summer.

Upon inspection of the soil in your residential lawn, it is important to understand that some grubs are okay.  Examine your turf to verify that white grubs are, indeed, present and establish the degree of the grub numbers.  A healthy residential lawn can effortlessly sustain a population of zero to five white grubs —and potentially numbers as high as nine per square foot.  While inspecting and the turf grass is elevated, pluck any of the white creatures that you can and drop them in to a bucket of warm, soapy water.  Always be sure to water the turf grass after replacing it so that it can root.  To inquire further about how All American combats white grubs in the residential lawn, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Bagworms in the Residential Landscape

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Coniferous, or evergreen, plant material in the residential landscape are often renowned for attracting bagworms to their needles or stems.  While evergreen species are popular choices for these unattractive insects, bagworms are showing to be less and less picky, attaching themselves to deciduous species of all kinds, including Honeylocust trees, Crabapples, ornamental shrubs, perennial flowers, etc.  Regardless, the insect can be destructive and if not properly managed can be fatal to the infected plant.

It is imperative to check your landscape plants throughout the growing season for bagworm infestation.  Adult bagworms are tiny, one to two inches in length, with brown bags made from dead plant material covering their bodies as they attach securely to the stem of the host plant.  If the bagworm is already present in the bag on the host plant and numbers are realistic to remove mechanically, picking them off the plant and dropping them in water and soap solution is the easiest form of control.  For chemical control, the only successful means to manage the insect is to target the young larvae in mid to late June.  The adult insects tend to feast on plant materials through the summer, which slows in August, so chemical control after the June time frame is less effective.

Chemicals such as Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), commonly known as Dipel or Thuricide, is available at most garden centers for chemical application to control bagworms in the landscape.  The affected plant material should be drenched in the insecticidal chemical in June to ensure that the insect consumes the product while they are feeding.  As always, thoroughly read and abide by all chemical label directions.  To inquire further about how All American handles bagworms in the landscape, call the office at 402-408-0000.

Flowering Perennials

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A well-designed landscape space offers fascination from early spring through late autumn, and after if you choose plants with winter interest. For the chief growing period, much of that benefit stems from flowering and foliage plant varieties. Homeowners who wish for a lesser maintenance landscape would be sensible to search out perennials that are both easy-to-grow and propose a lengthy blooming time. Many perennials bloom for two to four weeks, however, the lengthiest flowering perennials, like coneflowers and salvia, gauge their flowering time in months, not weeks.

When designing a landscape space with perennials that have flower longevity, the same essential guidelines of design pertain; select a blend of early, mid-season, and late-flowering specimens. You can also alter both the bloom period and duration of the flowering cycle with pruning methods; pinching, deadheading, and shearing.

It is not easy to find a long-blooming perennial for shady spaces, but Luxuriant Bleeding Heart does the job.  Extending up to knee-high, this resilient variety generates clusters of reddish-pink flowers throughout late spring and summer. Establish this shade-tolerant perennial in a woodland garden or shady border. Removing spent blooms will guarantee months of color.

Full Moon Coreopsis is a striking plant and among the longest flowering perennials with a season that extends from early summer to early autumn. Coreopsis has outstanding drought tolerance and is popular with the pollinators. With most Coreopsis cultivars, deadhead blooms as they are spent to promote new color.

Goldsturm Black-eyed Susan is extensively thought to be among the best perennials of all time. Goldsturm strikes the late summer landscape with weeks and weeks of audacious color that continues into October. The drought-tolerant plants cultivate to about two-feet tall and present the best visual effect when cultivated in masses. Deadhead blooms as they are spent to promote new color.

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