‘Best in Show’ Winners

Two decades of Southeastern Flower Show and Atlanta Home Show

Unique Environmental Landscapes took the top award for medium size booths at the Atlanta Home & Garden Show held at the Cobb Galleria March 20-22, 2015. Unique’s eye-catching garden was a popular spot all three days of the show, attracting the attention of landscape design/install seeking residential patrons. Highlights of the garden included a custom built natural waterfall pumping 4800 gallons of water per hour, a wood burning fireplace, Coral Bark Japanese Maple which was beautifully accented with uplights. A good deal of the plant material in the garden was selected from the Southern Living Plant Collection, a favorite in Unique’s plant palette for the Atlanta landscapes. To finish off the garden, Unique placed beautiful (and comfortable) furniture from Casual Image on Belgrade’s Lafitte Rustic Slab paver patio so patrons could picture themselves enjoying this beautiful landscape garden.

Relax in front of the fireplace in Unique Environmental's garden at the Atlanta Home & Garden Show.

Relax in front of the fireplace in Unique Environmental’s garden at the Atlanta Home & Garden Show.

A peek into Unique Environmental's garden.

A variety of shrubs, trees, and flowers used in Unique Environmental’s garden.

2014 Fall Seasonal Color Blends Announced for Atlanta Area

Our picks for the 2014 Fall seasonal landscape color blends are here! Call us today.

Fall#8 Fall#7  Fall#5 Fall#4 Fall#3 Fall#2 Fall#1Fall#6_Page_1

New Pins on the Unique Environmental Landscape Pinterest Account

With the warmer weather, we’ve been busy! Have you? Now is the perfect time to work with Unique Environmental Landscapes to create the outdoor living area of your dreams. Your friends and family can enjoy the bountiful Atlanta-area outdoor living in a safe and beautiful environment. Consider our design, installation and maintenance processes and you’ll see the difference. Our gifted designers will work with you to marry functionality, plant and hardscape materials to create the perfect retreat!

In the meantime, we are sharing fresh inspiration over on the Pinterest account. Check us out, follow-us and repin to keep the inspiration closeby:

Visit Unique Environmental Landscapes’s profile on Pinterest.

Goshiki Osmanthus Plant is a Year Round Pleaser

Winter is a good time to assess just how colorful your landscape is! It’s very easy when planning a landscape to create a great spring and summer display, but the trick to creating year around color in your landscape is selecting from plants that bloom each season. I will try to lay out over the next couple weeks and months plants that you can add into your landscape that will bring it year-round interest and create focal changes as the seasons progress. A lot of these plants I’ve used for years in my landscape designs as well as my home landscape. Just walking around yesterday I realized how Yellow Twig Dogwood, Edgeworthia and other winter plants create an interest even on the dreariest of days.

Osmanthus heterophyllus 'Goshiki' is a tough, strikingly variegated evergreen shrub with five colors on each leaf which create an eye-catching display in the landscape.

Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ is a tough, strikingly variegated evergreen shrub with five colors on each leaf which create an eye-catching display in the landscape.

For starters, let’s look at Goshiki Osmanthus. This great mounding evergreen shrub has variegated foliage throughout the year with interesting color changes as the new foliage comes out and the later summer foliage matures. It is a slow growing shrub that loves to be pruned hard so it’s adaptable in small spaces and, if left untreated, can grow 4 to 5 feet tall, which makes it very adaptable for many areas in your landscape. For those of you who get creative around the holidays, its foliage works very well in Christmas wreaths and holiday greenery. Goshiki means ‘five colored’ in Japanese and refers to the various colors found on each leaf. The leaves will show off all five colors: cream, pink, orange, yellow, and white. Those colors will appear in attractive spots or swirls that combine together to create an eye-catching display!

Other notes:  Thrives in dry, hot climates, good container plants, drought tolerant, fragrant, low maintenance

Learn more about Unique Environmental.


Unique plants for your winter landscape

Does your landscape needs some interest this winter? Try incorporating in these two shrubs and an evergreen perennial into your woodland landscape plantings.

Daphne odora is a classic southern fragrance.

Every southern landscape needs Daphne odora to welcome in the fragrance of winter. This evergreen flowering shrub creates a unique feature to your winter landscape, flowering from late January to early March, depending on weather conditions. Its fragrance summons the thoughts of what spring will be.

Daphne is a great plant for a woodland or shade garden, growing only 3 to 4 feet tall on maturity. Mixed in with plantings of hostas and other later spring blooming perennials, it creates a great seasonal mix for your pathways and woodland garden.

Need a winter flowering fragrant shrub for your landscape?

Think of planting Edgeworthia (Paper Bush) shrub. Edgeworthia flowers in the winter months and is a great woodland plant for your landscape. Mix them in with evergreen ferns or heuchera to create nice woodland plantings that are seasonally interesting.

Upside down tulip? No, it’s Hellebores.

Sometimes that’s what Hellebores (Japanese lantern) look like when they bloom. This winter blooming perennial is quite interesting for a woodland garden landscape. The blooms with shades of pink to white make up the color array of this hardy evergreen perennial. Incorporating again Hosta, evergreen ferns and Heuchera along with other early spring and summery perennials creates a long-lasting array of seasonal interest in your landscape.

Volcanoes are for mountains, not trees and shrubs! Don’t over mulch your landscape

Mulch 2 to 3 inches thick helps maintain moisture around the root zone.

Over-mulching your trees will cause them to decline long-term as the tree cannot breathe at the natural soil level. Also, mulch tends to knit together and can form a barrier keeping rain water from soaking in to the root zone.

This type of over-mulching problem is more prevalent when using hardwood mulch products as they do not decay as quickly as pinestraw. But even when using pinestraw, it may be helpful to remove some of the decaying matter before applying new material.

This problem can also be detrimental to your shrubs in the landscape. Over- mulching shrubs will cause them to surface root into the decaying mulch material and when we get our hot, dry summers, these plants tend to struggle and sometimes die. Again, this problem is more prevalent when using hardwood mulch, but pinestraw over time can build up an unnatural mulch layer that may need to be raked off before applying new material.

Christmas trees can go to good use after the holidays?

Here are some tips for re-purposing a de-decorated tree:

Re-decorate the tree with treats for wild birds. Leave the tree in its stand or stand it in a large planter with rocks or sand to steady it. Put it on a deck, porch or patio and decorate it with orange halves, pine cones slathered with peanut butter, suet cakes and small bird feeders.

The tree can also gives shelter to small birds on those cold winter evenings. Once the tree has dried up and turned copper, it makes great kindling for your outdoor fire pit.

Remember, it’s not recommended to use your cut up Christmas tree in the house fireplace, as the pine pitch can become a problem in the chimney long-term.

Washington Hawthorn Makes a Super Ornamental Tree Choice

A Washington Hawthorn is an excellent ornamental tree that will bring spring color and winter brilliance to your landscape. The Washington Hawthorn is a mid-size tree that bears white flowers in the spring and boasts beautiful red berries throughout the fall and early winter months. Unique Environmental Landscapes chooses this tree for many Atlanta landscapes. Our clients love it.

Washington Hawthorn in December

A Ginkgo Biloba Tree Is a Great Shade Tree and Fall Color Addition

Noted for it’s outstanding brilliant yellow fall color, the Gingko tree is very tolerant and can withstand some pretty harsh conditions. The one thing that must be considered is soil drainage. The Gingko does not like standing water, it prefers a loamy or somewhat sandy soil. It is okay with short droughts, but NOT flooding. It likes a few hours of bright sunlight each day, too much shade could slow the tree’s growth which can grow to enormous heights. At first it grows very slowly and maybe a little crooked, no worries though, it will straighten out and pick up growth after several years.

Low maintenance – The Gingko needs minimal basic fertilization, maybe two times per year. A light layer of mulch at the beginning of each season is adequate. It requires very little pruning unless you want to ‘shape’ the branches which is best done in the spring.

The Gingko plant is readily available at most garden shops. You should know the female variety is fruit producing and this fruit can have a pungent odor. Removing the fruit immediately after it falls helps minimize this problem. Fall is a good time to plant the Gingko or almost any landscape material so it has time to get established before the heat of summer.

Spectacular fall color on a mature Ginkgo Tree

Are Your Growing a New Crop of Fescue This Fall

Many property owners seeded Fescue this fall and should be well on their way to a beautiful, green lawn for the winter. However, it’s important to keep the leaf drop off that growing grass. Fescue prefers the light and not to be bogged down under other debris. It might be best to use a leaf blower if possible.

No watering needed. With the recent rainfall and cooler temperatures in the Atlanta area there is no need to irrigate the new turf. Happy growing! Fescue might be high maintenance, but surely makes a beautiful lawn for homeowners and commercial properties alike.

Fertilize those Fall Flowers

Like the landscape installation department at Unique Environmental, your fall seasonal color has probably been in the ground for about a month now. You’re thinking the recent rainfall was good and now the sunshine and average fall temperatures should make your cabbage, pansies, and violas happy right? Wrong! It’s time for a feeding. Take advantage of one of the warmer days when it comes along over the next week and fertilize with Peter’s liquid fertilizer. I recommend liquid over granulated now because it will work faster.

More Landscape Tips for your Atlanta Winter Landscape

If you follow our blog, you have noticed Unique is trying to encourage our readers to get moving on their landscape! If you’re not a do-it-yourself type, by all means call Unique Environmental Landscapes and allow our professional, experienced designer and crews do ALL the work for you. Here are three more of our suggestions for adding color to your winter landscape in the Atlanta/Georgia region.

  • Sasanqua camelia

    Sasanqua camelia in full bloom

    Sasanqua Camelia (blooms Oct- Dec) or Japonica Camellia (blooms Feb-Mar) are both a staple of southern gardens. Camellias (camellias) are evergreen shrubs and are available in a variety of ‘blooming’ colors including bright pinks, white as well as bicolor. They are happy in shady or filtered sun and prefer a well draining and rich soil.

  • Winter flowers of a Daphne odora

    Winter Daphne is also a winter blooming shrub and is available with choices of a variety of shades of pink flower that open to white. The foliage is edged with a thin strip of yellow, providing a nice contrast on the green leaf. They bloom through winter and into spring in the South – one of Unique Environmental’s favorites. Winter Daphne (Daphne odora ‘Marginata’) prefers full sun/part shade in a nutrient-rich and minimally acidic to alkaline soil.

  • Glacier Blue Euphorbia

    Close up of Glacier Blue Euphorbia

    An excellent evergreen perennial choice is Euphorbia. The ‘Glacier Blue’ variety blooms cream flowers Feb – May and the evergreen leaves of blue-grey with creamy white edges make it a garden standout. One of Unique’s favorite characteristics of Glacier Blue is that it’s deer & rabbit resistant, a feature many gardeners will appreciate. Careful though, it is toxic if eaten!! It’s also drought tolerant. Euphorbia x martini ‘Ascot Rainbow’ is another variety with similar characteristics except these differences including foliage and blooms. The stems are reddish in color and the leaves are variegated colors of dusky sage and gold with cream and green flowers (tipped with deep red in fall.) The Ascot Rainbow prefers full to part shade.