A Backyard Wedding Saves Money

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Tying the knot in a beautifully landscaped backyard is the perfect way to avoid being overwhelmed with costs. It’s January and time to start thinking how to revamp spaces you have into the perfect tableau for a May or June wedding. Our FREE eBook details your step by step backyard makeover from space planning to coordinating the planting to work with your wedding color palette. Choose to marry in the backyard and you’ll save many thousands of dollars to use on a fabulous honeymoon or the down pa
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Jump Start Your Backyard Wedding Plans at MoPlants

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Whether you’re planning a backyard wedding this summer or a garden party, the process of getting ready is exactly the same.  You need to assess the qualities of your yard, design how the space will function, create the decorations and decide what plants or flowers you’ll need to make it look great.  At MoPlants.com we offer everything you’ll need to get a jump start on the season, especially if you’re already behind schedule! Start with our free eBook:  Backyard Wedding Makeovers.  Download at http://www.moplants.com/eBooks.php   Inside the fully illustrated pages you’ll discover how to strategize seating, the focal point and ways accents are best arranged.  You’ll also find a detailed color-coded chart of bedding flowers by hue to select the perfect palette.  Once you have a strong sense of what to do, move on to actually creating views of how the set-up will look.  Mo’s Garden Maker software is an easy to use digital imaging program that allows you to see exactly how everything will look before you start.  Simply use a digital jpeg of your yard, or a series of different views to experiment with plants, flowers, garden art and seating to take the guess work out of the design process.    Click here to see more information on Mo’s Garden Maker at our store: http://www.moplants.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=M&Product_Code=MOG005&Category_Code=Books Visit Backyard Wedding Central for a wealth of handy links for everything involved with outdoor wedding plans at home http://www.moplants.com/wedding/backyard_wedding.php  

Easy to Grow Old Fashioned Cornflowers

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Hand sown cornflowers fill my spring garden with a landscape of vivid blues. These lowly half wild plants captured my heart decades ago.  Perhaps it is the annual flower’s willingness to grow from seed.  Maybe it’s just the delicious shades of blue you get for so little effort.  But I think it is the bouquet of fresh cut flowers that I find so charming. To grow richly colored Centaurea ‘Blue Diadem’, shop for this named variety online at Thompson & Morgan (link below). This old annual, Centaurea cyanus is a native of the Mediterranean.  It popped up all too often in grain fields and thus earned the name cornflower. (Korn is the ancient word for grains in the Old World).  But this plant also goes by bachelor’s button because the fluffy blossoms were often plucked by young men to wear on the lapel.  This is because the flowers are resistant to wilting and thus became a beloved early American cut flower on farms and ranches. This is a hardy annual that can be sown in fall or winter to germinate in garden soil in spring.  This is how it survived naturally in the wild and in the fields.  Therefore no special care is needed to make them perform, so it’s a great choice for novice gardeners on a budget who save money by growing from seed.  It is an old rule to sow this seed sparsely and allow plenty of room between plants, probably to ensure that mildew does not attack them during the early season when the garden tends to be perpetually damp.  Mixtures of Centaurea cyanus will include pink and purple along with the traditional blue flowers. Originally cornflowers were a simple daisy, but around the turn of the century breeding improved this plant for gardens.  The truly fluffy double flowers provide more visible color in the garden and are more appealing as a cut flower.  The wildflower blue has also broadened to include varying shades as well as varieties that bloom pink and white.  Cornflowers have fallen out of style in recent years but they’re due for a comeback because they can be sown in the midst of winter or very early spring if the ground is not frozen.  They provide a beautiful spring cut flower in warmer climates and bloom well into summer elsewhere.  They also lend the quintessential country or cottage garden character.  Seed sources are surprisingly limited and plants are rare in garden centers.  Some general catalogs offer the standard mix packet and you can also find these in store seed rack displays.  But if you want a good choice of color including the newer dark red, check out the US branch of the famous English seed house, Thompson & Morgan. Thompson & Morgan http://seeds.thompson-morgan.com/us/en/list/full-index/c/8 Because cornflowers germinate so readily, they make great mass sowings.  You can buy  seed in bulk for large scale applications from American Meadows.  Simply till with a tractor or disk, broadcast the seed and let Nature do the rest!  American Meadows http://www.americanmeadows.com/bulk_ind_detail.cfm?itemid=71

Free Planner for Your Garden Wedding

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For spring or summer garden weddings, plan well this winter.      For many this will be a backyard affair in the garden, but not every-one’s landscape is wedding ready.  In fact, few are.  It takes time and planning to create a beautiful setting for that special event that seems so many months away. But time passes quickly when there’s a lot to do, and a backyard revamp can be overwhelming if you don’t know how to begin!   So why not use these long winter days to get your backyard revamp together?  Begin by downloading our beautifully illustrated 19 page FREE eBook: Backyard Wedding Makeover  http://www.moplants.com/eBooks.php  Inside you’ll find dozens of tips on basic clean up, planting to match your wedding theme, arranging the focal point where you say your vows and solving problems like masking ugly neighbor houses!  For more useful links and information, visit Backyard Wedding Central at http://www.moplants.com/   If you have more great ideas that we should know about, feel free to add your comments so everyone can benefit.  Share the love!

Zen Garden Wedding Ideas

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The natural beauty of an Asian inspired garden wedding lends a note of serenity to this setting.  Simple planting without an abundance of flowers allows you to adapt the yard to this style more easily than with bloom-intensive design styles.  Simple ideas from the traditional Japanese garden can help you solve problems. Screen and Background  Bamboo fencing is perfect for screening off ugly views of utility areas, neighbor’s house and other backyard elements that don’t blend with your zen theme.  It’s also the perfect instant background material to give your focal point for taking vows a sense of enclosure with eastern flare.  For details on how to create screens and backgrounds for your backyard wedding landscape, download our free e-book: Backyard Wedding Makeover at http://www.moplants.com/e-books.php Path To Focal Point  The combination of moss and flat round stones leads up to the Sapporo pagoda at the Portland Japanese Garden.  Use this idea to create a perfect lead up to that focal point where you take your vows using any mat-like groundcover or Irish moss in flats. Surfacing Japanese Style   Got a lot of ground to cover and sodding isn’t realistic?  Use this Japanese technique of using fine gravel to create the illusion of a pool of water.  Add flat-top stones to further the illusion.  It’s a surface to walk on for spaces large and small that you can rake into patterns that needs no watering or mowing! Tip: This works for covering up an ugly patio or driveway too.

Ornamental Grasses For An Elegant Autumn Wedding

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Don’t panic if your best efforts to plant and tend flowers for your backyard wedding garden have withered in this hot and humid year.  Even if there’s little time for blooms to recover before the big day, I’ve got a solution.  Use one of the tricks from my Weekend Gardening show on the DIY Network.  It’ll put the elegance back in your sunburned yard in just one weekend! Ornamental grasses are instant problem solvers when you buy large specimens at the garden center. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Variegata’  Whenever our TV gardens looked sparse, I always relied on large ornamental grasses supplied by our show’s biggest contributor, Monrovia http://www.monrovia.com/   They always had a great selection of super huge grasses that came ready to use to plug the holes and hide eyesores.  You can find Monrovia grasses in this same large, mature state at quality garden centers.  No, they’re not cheap but they’re ready to use.  And if your special day is coming up all too soon and the garden isn’t up to snuff, knowing that you can spruce it up overnight with grasses will ensure you peace of mind. For details on how to design grasses into your backyard landscape, download our free e-book: Backyard Wedding Makeover at http://www.moplants.com/e-books.php Maiden grasses, genus Miscanthus are the biggest of all ornamental grasses.  They can reach five feet or more in bloom in a 5 gallon container size. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Graziella’  Grasses are the salvation of the late summer and autumn garden when they are at their absolute best.  They have produced plentiful seed stalks that wave and nod in the slightest breeze.  They hold these through the fall as they gradually grow dormant with frost, so you need not worry about them going out of bloom before your autumn wedding.  Some of the grasses get better looking as temperatures fall, turning gold and russet as they start the long slow process of dying back for winter. Miscanthus sinensis ‘Purpurescens’ in late Autumn.

Bargain Hunter’s Wedding Arches

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Planning a backyard wedding next year?  You can save a bundle by purchasing your wedding arch or arbor during end of the wedding season sales!      As we go into fall holidays, Krupps and Yardiac have both put some of their best vinyl arbors on sale to clearn inventory.  Save hundreds and nail down that size and style now so you can plan your whole backyard design scheme around this important central focal point. Vinyl arbors have solved many of the typical problems of wedding arches – hard to build, too heavy, permanent etc.  Vinyl arbors come ready to use, just assemble and use handy anchoring systems provided by the merchants.  We used them on an episode of Weekend Gardening and I was impressed at their ease of handling and longevity becasue they don’t chip or peel and there’s no need to repaint.  You can also easily disassemble each fall for winter storage. For details on how to design your wedding arch into a backyard landscape, download our free e-book: Backyard Wedding Makeover at http://www.moplants.com/e-books.php I’ve shown two great wedding arches below because they come with “wings” that give it a more grounded appearance.  The little fences make the arches look like part of the landscape and reduce the number of plants you need to give them a more gardenesque character. On sale at Yardiac (See Cool Links) the Nantucket II Arbor with Wings.  On sale at Krupps (See Cool Links) the Ashbury Arbor with Cottage Picket Wings and Gate