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April Newsletter

Spring is a wonderful time; the air is fresh, the temperature is pleasant, plants are growing and blooming, and the birds are chirping. We hope our newsletter will help you enjoy your landscape and be more productive.
One of the improvements we are making this month in our gardening tips is the inclusion of pictures of some of the plants we are discussing so that people who don't know the name of the plant can benefit from the tips.

We are very proud of the project highlited this month and want to thank Curtis and Patricia Crider for giving us the opportunity to design and build their project. We couldn't have asked for better or more insightful clients.
Mark Meahl (President Garden View Inc.)

Award Winning Monrovia Project
This Beautiful project was an amazing transformation. The yard had a large wall and upper yard that started out about 15 feet from the house (To see before pictures click here).  Our client Curtis and Patricia Crider had talked to several pool companies about putting a pool in the upper yard. When Mark Meahl saw the site he immediately had a vision of putting the pool at the same level as the house and using the pool floor for retaining wall footings.

Eddie Anaya (Designer / Project Manager) worked with Mark and the clients to design, detail and manage the construction. Seven Hundred and Fifty cubic yards of excavation later the property now has a spa on the upper end of the waterfall, a tree in a planter in the pool, an outdoor cooking area, bar, fire pit, a beautiful view from inside of the house and much more. 
This project was the 2008 Runner up for Best Estate Landscaping and the 2008 Runner up for Best Design/Build from the California Landscape Contractors Association for the San Gabriel/LA Chapter. It came in second to another Garden View project that won first place in both those categories. We feel it should have been a tie!

To see Before & After photos, Click Here

April Gardening Tips

Thinning fruits now, while they are the size of an olive or grape gives you fewer but larger fruits at harvest time, thinned limbs are also less likely to break under an overload of fruit. Thin nectarines, peaches, and Japanese plum about 4 to 6 inches apart. European plums don't need to be thinned.

If it was cold this winter your Cuphea plants might have lost some or much of their leaves. Garden View crews feed Cuphea with a high nitrogen fertilizer and they usually recover quickly.

Abutilon takes pruning well. Tip prune young plants, to spur new growth and get a fuller shape. If yours starts to become tall and gangly, snipping it back to a leaf joint will encourage it to send out new branches. Abutilon can also be pruned back hard in the spring, if you want to control its size.

Abutilon is a heavy feeder. Keep up the fertilizer for maximum bloom.

Red bird of paradise (left) should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Mexican bird of paradise and yellow bird of paradise can also be pruned at that time but should be pruned more sparingly (if at all).

Bigleaf type hydrangea set their flower buds at the ends of the upright or lateral branches, during late summer to early fall. Pruning bigleaf hydrangea in the spring or even late fall, after the buds have been set, will remove the flower buds and any chance of getting flowers that season.

Bigleaf hydrangea should be pruned as soon as the flowers have faded. You should begin to see new growth coming in from the base of the plant. To keep the plant vigorous, selectively prune out the dead and weaker stems, both old and new. Don't prune out all the old wood, since this is what will keep flowering as the new growth matures.

Click Here to read the rest of the article!

Water-Wise Tips
Protect our resources and your water bill

Spring is planting season. Many of us want to go out and plant new colorful plant in our gardens. We need to use common sense as to where we plant these beautiful plants if we want to conserve water.
Just like we plant shade plants in the shade and sun plants in the sun we should group plants that need more water together and water wise plants together in their own irrigation zones.
If we plant one plant that needs a lot of water with plants that don't need the water we will either have to water all the plants too much (and waste water) in order to keep that plant alive or the plant will suffer while the other plants strive because it is not getting sufficient water.
Most people are surprised at how many plants we love and how many blooming plants survive on very little water.
Garden View Nursery has most plants labeled with descriptive signs through out the nursery. The signs include along with other information how much water the plants need and will tolerate. We have also put a special tag on the signs to make it easy to identify.

In the Dirt
with Julie Meahl Julie Meahl
As I walk through the nursery, I see a sea of colors: yellow, purple, pink, and white.  Oh, I'm in the rose section.  Wow! It looks like a giant Easter basket.  I wish I could put a giant handle over it.  Spring has sprung!!
May I suggest:
● Sterling Silver- A lavender rose that is a landmark for its novel silvery hues.  Fragrance is citrus blossom + fruit.
● Gold Medal- Here's a yellow rose that stands in defiance against the climatic throes of Mother Nature.  The plant has a constant supply of gold buds brushed with orange and deep golden yellow flowers.  Fragrance is rich & fruity.
● First prize- The top exhibition rose in the U.S. for a decade.  The large pink flowers are carried on stout long stems with tough leaves.  Fragrance is a mild tea.
● Honor- Well-formed clear white rose carried on this tall vigorous plant.  Large dark green leaves and very disease resistant.  Fragrance: Slight tea.
History repeats itself-when times are tough, "the tough get going."  Plant sales of vegetables and herbs are up 78%.  Garden View Nursery can tempt your pallet.  We have a wonderful selection of vegetables & herbs.  This is also our first year of heirloom tomatoes of which you can travel the world; Heirlooms from Russia, Czechoslovakia, Australia, France, and the good old U.S.A.  For all of you country fans, a tomato called "Box Car Willie" is named after country western singer Willie Nelson.  ♪"You Were Always on My Mind"♪ The tomato is as wonderful as the song!
And since I have your attention, my plug is for Brandywine.  This Amish heirloom variety dates back to the 1880's.  This is close to my heart because my heritage is Amish.
Tip: Use peat moss in your mix for the roses and a good rich planting mix for your vegetables & herbs.
Now you're in the dirt!

(Julie Meahl is the Retail Manager and Vice President of Garden View, Inc.)

Blake's Landscape Maintenance Blog
Blake As long as everyone else is boasting about fancy awards they have won I might as well chime in on behalf of the maintenance team.  This last year we were awarded 1st place by the CLCA for best large commercial maintenance between $1000-4000 per month.  The property? Wilson Summit of Monterey Hills.  The crew?  Ofelio and gang.  How did we do it? Get real.
Well... I guess I can pass off a few hot tips.  One major challenge that Wilson Summit faces is a considerable amount of deep shade.  The key to this problem is plant choice.  I know that all of you have an area of your home or HOA where there is very little sun and of course this is exactly where you would love to plant your Bougainvilleas and vegetable garden but you must refrain and work with your limited choices.
For those places the sun don't shine (I'm talking about the shade, not...) try Aspidistra.  This plant is tough as nails and earned its common name "Cast Iron Plant" for due reason.  So, yes, long story short is that you need some "Cast Iron" where the sun don't shine.  Hey, don't look at me!  Word gets around...

Some other great shade tolerant plants include Clivia, many varieties of ferns, Nandina, Euonymus and Mondo Grass for ground cover applications.
Another trick that comes in handy is the use of gravel instead of ground cover to fill in void areas where nothing seems to grow.  When laying it down try to envision it as a stream bed making its way through your property or the area of concern, it can really add a new dimension for cheap!
What is the number one trick to having a great landscape at an HOA?  A great board!  A cooperative, trusting and sufficiently budgeted board goes such a long way.  Thanks Jeff!

OH! And of course a skilled and caring landscape company goes al long way.

(Blake Meahl is the Operations Manager for Garden View's Maintenance Division.)

If you have any suggestions on articles you would like to see in our newsletter or suggestions for improvement please let us know.
-Tyler Meahl (Technical Manager and Special Projects Coordinator for Garden View Inc.)
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