Stop and Smell the Roses

June is a perfect time to enjoy and care for your rose bushes.  Here are a few tips to keep your roses looking healthy and beautiful all summer long:  

Prune Climbing Roses
After your climbing roses finish flowering, prune canes back to 4 to 5 feet long. This is also the time to train new growth by additional supports and wiring, giving you more flowers when they bloom again in the fall.

Look for Disease It’s important to be on the lookout for a powdery mildew substance and black spots.  If you see these symptoms on your rose bushes, you can treat infected plants with a fungicide. To help control these diseases, make sure you water roses early in the day and direct the water to the soil and not over the leaves. Last, don’t compost infected leaves; throw them in the trash to prevent the disease from spreading.

Fertilize You can fertilize roses until late August through several easy methods. One of the most common is to use liquid fertilizer – simply mix a powder or liquid form with water and apply every two weeks. You can also select a slow-release fertilizer by inserting one of these products into soil every 6 weeks.  Last, add compost monthly, this will improve the soil while fertilizing your roses.  Enjoy your roses and for more on rose fungicides and how to best treat the issue, go here: Fungicides Made Simple

Patio Beautification- 5 Tips to Long Lasting Container Pots

potted plant tipsIt’s that time of year when enjoying your outdoor patio is enhanced by beautiful container pots.  Here are six important tips from Contemporary Gardens that will ensure your pots are healthy and will last long into fall.

  1. Get creative.  There is a design axiom for large containers of “Thrill, Fill and Spill”, which covers a tall plant in the center and then you add fill plants in the middle and cascading plants around the edge.  Pick pots from all sizes to create visual vignettes on your patio; and don’t shy away from adding more than flowers…herbs, climbing ivy and even small vegetable plants are great additions to your pots.
  2. Drainage is key.  Proper drainage is critical to container pot success and is the number one reason that container plants die.  Make sure your pots have drainage holes and that you place screen wire (even a coffee filter will work) over the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot or container to prevent loss of soil.  Last, make sure there is room for the water to drain out.
  3. Potting soil matters. Use prepared potting soil, rather than dirt from your yard, to ensure the soil is free from disease and insect pests.
  4. Plant like a pro.  When taking your plants out of the nursery containers, be careful not to pull up directly as the plants may break and die.  You want to push the plant up from the bottom so you can grab the roots.  If the roots are circled around the bottom of the plant, break the roots away so they can keep growing directly out inside your pot.  Then plant your plants at the same depth they were originally planted at in their nursery container.
  5. Don’t forget to fertilize and water.  Last, apply a time release fertilizer on top of the soil to keep plants healthy all-season long and make sure they get plenty of water, especially if they are in direct sunlight.  To test soil dryness, stick your finger into the soil up to the second knuckle. If your fingertip feels dry, it’s time to water.
  6. The final touch. Dress the dirt with pine bark mini nuggets which will give your pot a finishing touch and this will also keep the soil moist when it’s hot and prevents the soil from washing out in heavy rain.

April’s Plant of the Month

Chances are, when most people think of spring in Atlanta, they think of the purple haze of Redbud trees, the white fluttering of Dogwoods and the wall-to-wall rainbow of Azaleas. It’s a beautiful city in all seasons and spring may be the jewel in Atlanta’s horticultural crown.

There are a lot of less-considered plants for color and interest that can be incorporated into a yard or garden, some more unusual choices that might get a lingering gaze from passers-by or even the squeal of car brakes driving past a front yard.

Take, for example, Snowball Viburnum. Would this beauty not stop just about anyone in their tracks?

Ok, she’s a big girl – 12’ to even 20’ – but she can be pruned immediately after flowering to control size if you must. Better yet, prune this statuesque  stunner into a small tree! The flowers start out a lovely chartreuse green and grow larger and larger until they are a perfectly-white froth of bubbles. And the color usually lasts a month. What they lack in fragrance they more than make up for by providing beautiful blooms for cut arrangements inside. Pick a sunny spot for the most flowers.

While she quietly exits the show in May, you’ll certainly remember this life-of-the-party for a long time to come! We’d be glad to help find some room for one in your garden!

Contemporary Gardens’ Trucks Get a Spring Makeover

Contemporary Gardens is dusting the pollen off of their old look and rolling out a spring makeover.  “It was time for us to take our new logo and expand it to all collateral, trucks and yard signs,’” said owner David Pyron.  If you are one of our landscape maintenance clients, you’ll definitely notice our bright new trucks.

Atlanta landscaping

Contemporary Gardens teamed up with MOCK, the agency, to create a look and feel that is stopping traffic.

“A fleet of vehicles is an excellent opportunity to help build a brand. Each truck is a rolling billboard for Contemporary Gardens. We designed the trucks to be visually eye-catching while demonstrating their landscaping expertise through interesting facts about specific plant and flower species,” said Donald Mock, owner of Mock, the agency.

Contemporary Gardens understands how important it is to look professional while their team is working in your yard. Each truck highlights a different southern flower and all sorts of fun facts that are sure to delight even the most disgruntled Atlanta driver.

Be on the lookout for our dazzling trucks and more exciting makeovers that are on the way!

Memorial Japanese Maple Saved from Wrecking Ball

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Over 16 years ago a Japanese Maple tree was planted as a living memorial to Alec Martin on the grounds of E. Rivers Elementary.  At the time, Martin’s grandmother was an active volunteer with the PTA and wanted to plant a special memorial to her grandson who had passed away.

When E. Rivers Elementary went under major demolition last fall, the tree was slated to be destroyed.  That’s when E. Rivers parents, Stephanie (PTA co-President) and David Pyron stepped in.  “It was important for us to save this tree, not only for its beauty, but for the sentimental meaning the tree brings to the Martin family, E. Rivers Elementary and the community,” said David Pyron.

David’s company, Contemporary Gardens, volunteered sizable equipment and time to safely remove the tree and have it replanted in a temporary home across the street.  When the campus finishes its construction, David’s team will bring the tree back home.

“Community service is an important part of our guiding principles at Contemporary Gardens.  We are proud of the fact that we help the neighbors and the community in which we work,” said Pyron.

E. Rivers Elementary is located at 8 Peachtree Battle Avenue, NW, Atlanta.