Episode 10 -Lost Podcast

CHAD:Lasting Style Meets Everyday life – Episode 10 
BETH: Join us on the journey of discovery to our ‘Lasting Style Meets Everyday Life’ podcast. 
CHAD:Join our experts, Beth and Chad Harris from the https://www.thegardengates.com/ 
BETH:As they help you find the perfect home and garden decor for your perfect lifestyle 
CHAD:Hi this is Chad Harris! 
BETH:And this is Beth Harris! 
CHAD:And we’re Beth and Chad from “Lasting Style Meets Everyday Life”. Alright Beth, it’s been a rough weekend huh? 
BETH: Yes
CHAD:It’s been a rough weekend. Last time we talked about “The Refresh” and we talked about a refresh for your indoors. 
BETH: That’s right, so now we’re going to talk about outside
CHAD:That’s right, so what’s interesting is we have a program called “Gardening Made Simple” and it was funny what brings me to this is I was going through some things the other day and I found the certificate from the library of congress when I submitted that book “Gardening Made Simple” and I was like holy cow man I can’t even believe… 
BETH: How long has it been?
CHAD:It’s been a long time. That was – I think it’s been eight years now; either or nine years, you know? So I pulled it out, and then I couldn’t find the original document, then I found the original document. I actually typed the document, so then I actually started working on a downloadable digital book for people to be able to use this all over the country and so I thought what a better way to kind of engage with it since we talked about the inside is that we would talk about the outside, what you think? 
BETH: I think that’s a great idea
CHADAlright. So Gardening Made Simple, the whole idea behind it. I don’t know if you remembered when I did it. The whole idea behind it was – there’s tons of people out there that actually love to garden, right? 
BETH: Yes but they really don’t know what they’re doing
CHAD:Right, so if they don’t know what they’re doing, what is it? It’s just muscle and direction. You got to be strong, you got to be able to dig some holes 
BETH: And a little knowledge; sun, shade
CHAD:There you go, a little bit of knowledge 
BETH: Fertilizer
CHAD:Right, greens side up. Like when you’re laying grass it’s always green side up, right? 
BETH: And don’t bury the plant up to its neck
CHAD:That’s it, that’s it. So some simple knowledge and that’s how I came up with this whole “Gardening Made Simple” idea. So basically I don’t know if you remembered but it was designed where it gave somebody some information and what they had to do was – it was like a little research project. So they would go home and they would take pictures. They take pictures in the area they wanted to work in, then they would turn around and also they would take some measurements and in the book there actually was like a diagram form and they would lay it out and they would bring all this information in by answering some questions and we would actually be able to design their garden, show them the plants and then send them home to do the work 
BETH: That’s right
CHAD:You know, so it turned out that over the course of the years, we probably had – when it first started, there was probably that year maybe a hundred people did it. Then the next year it become more popular and then more popular an then it kind of fizzled out with just attrition and stopped working on it as much 
BETH: Yeah, we started focusing on other things
CHAD:Yeah we started focusing on other things but what really brought it back out was when I was going through these files. You know if found the first mail order catalogue we ever sent out, I found that and so as I found these things I forgot how much fun it was for me to work on and how much fun I had with consumers actually doing the work 
BETH: Yes
CHAD:So let’s go through exactly what a consumers would do 
BETH: I’ll be the consumer
CHAD:There you go, you can be the dumb blonde. 
BETH: Oh thanks, yeah. Hi I have no clue I’m coming in I have some spaces I want to work with in my yard. Can you help me? 
CHAD:That’s it, that’s it 
BETH: How did I do?
CHAD:So basically there’s some simple questions that you have to run through your head. You know one of the most important things is, don’t ever look at your neighbour’s yard and say I want what they have. Cause if your neighbour’s across the street then your neighbour might get morning sun, and you might get afternoon sun. So if your neighbour gets morning sun and you get afternoon sun and you wanted Patience and you planted Patience they get melted in the heat. 
BETH: I would just have to put Patience in my backyard then.
CHAD:See? You’ve just figured it out. So it’s really – where’s the area you’re going to be working in, then you want to know where’s the sun at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. So if they sun is the brightest in the area that you’re working in nine out of ten times its full sun an then the other thing you have to consider is that if it’s during spring or fall you’re looking at this because the leaves are falling out of the trees and there is full sun verses spring and there is shade, you kind of want to plan accordingly. So like with seasonal flowers if you have full sun you obviously want to plant things that can tolerate – and especially in New Orleans our summers – even though today I did say it was cold outside. Our summers are brutally warm, you know. But I even remember when I lived in Michigan that the summers were warm and so there are plants that obviously need to combat the heat as well as the sunlight. So you really want to first find out when you’re working sun or shade, right? 
BETH: Right
CHAD:Sun or Shade. The next one is that you want to know about is that – do you need to do structure planning, so are you planting larger plant materials such as trees or like larger pruned hedges as an example like, or are you going to plant like in our front yard how we have those four massive Natchez Crepe Myrtles and then we have understory planting below it. So you’d already have existing trees in place and you just want to fill in. So that’s really what the pictures look for and also the reason why we want you to take pictures and bring them in or pictures anywhere you go in the country. If you bring a picture on the phones today it’s so easy 
BETH: So easy
CHAD:You know, it used to be like when we started this, they’d have to take the picture and print the picture out, and some of them would bring their – I remember like some of the first digital cameras they would come in with… 
BETH: And scrolling through the pictures and be like “Can we get that?”
CHAD:Yeah, “how do we print that off?” I remember the Sony Mavica cameras that had the… 
BETH: Ok, ok you’re getting sideways here, let’s get back to it
CHAD:Alight, back to it, back to it. Then you know once we could kind of see a picture any designer you know inside or out, any designer the minute they see a picture as you start talking to them they can get a better understanding of what you want to see happen, you know? So then there are things like, ok so now we know its sun or shade, now we know if it’s larger plant material or smaller plant material, then the most important next thing is colour. What colours do you like? You know, it’s known that both you and I love white. I also like lavender and I also like blue. 
BETH: Yeah I like pastel colours, I don’t really like bright or harsh colours
CHAD:Hey did you notice that Amos planted what was planted in those hayracks and there’s a red vinca in the middle of it 
BETH: Yes, don’t get me started
CHAD:I noticed that the other day 
BETH: It’s on each one dead in the centre.
CHAD:Oh he put one in each, that’s the best, I love it! 
BETH: I know he does it on purpose to tick me off 
CHAD:You know he does it on purpose, just to get you mad. And so once you kind of pick your colours then you have to start deciding the kind of plant material you want. You know, do you want evergreen material in the flowers, you know so you want something like – really big here in New Orleans obviously are the sasanqua because they bloom during November the Camellia japonica bloom during Christmas, lots of people love the encore azaleas, you just mentioned today that your encore’s out front your autumn angels are just putting some flowers on 
BETH: Yes I was excite to see that
CHAD:Which is unusual in July for an azaleas that’s why the encores are so special 
BETH: Yes
CHAD:That’s right, it is July, right? 
BETH: Not yet
CHAD:Well, July is like next week 
BETH: Yes
CHAD:Right, right so it’s June, it’s June, July’s next week 
BETH: Hydrangeas, love, love, love
CHAD:Hydrangeas, I know you love those as well. Well you know they have the blushing bride which is white 
BETH: Beautiful
CHAD:And then you know I’ve shown you pictures of the incredible Hydrangeas with the flowers the size of a basketball 
BETH: I love that
CHAD:You know, so all those things are really important and so when you can communicate those things to the designer that you’re working with, you can end up with a spectacular yard. 
BETH: And you can do it yourself which is so rewarding
CHAD:And that’s probably the most important part. So once you kind of help your designer select the plant material that you’re going to do best with. How we have run the program is then we would send you home to get the area ready. So let’s talk about getting the area ready to work in. So what do you think that entails? 
BETH: A lot of work that I don’t know anything about
CHAD:Right, well that’s a good point 
BETH: I would imagine grading your soil and doing things like that; and getting rid of roots and stuff                              
CHAD:Good stuff like that, so things like pulling weed, preparing the soil. In New Orleans market we have a sand base soil, so they call a sandy loom but sometimes sand base soil so you need to add things organic, things to help the plant grow, sand helps drain off the water, whereas areas that has heavy clay they actually have to add things to help drain water. We already have the heavy sand here so you want to add things like decomposed plant bark, a lot of times you can buy a pre-made garden. One of the garden soil companies that would deliver it and depending on how much spoil you need you have to go that route. Because you have to buy four yards of soil at a time for it to be affordable to be delivered. So you’re going to want to go in and prepare the soil. So preparing the soil is very – removing roots like you said, pulling weeds, there’s grass, things of that nature. You’re going to want to take and turn the existing soil over. That’s where the work comes in.  And the reason why you want to turn the existing oil over and you want to incorporate the old soil with the new soil is that you don’t want your new plants to be in this awesome great soil at the top 
BETH: And then the roots hit the bottom 
CHAD:That muckidy yuckidy soil that’s like “yeah, I’m not going in there, I don’t care I’m not putting my feet in there”. And so when you mix the existing soil together you provide a better growing environment for the plants. Makes sense? 
BETH: Makes sense
CHAD:Makes sense. One of the other things that’s important is that you’re going to want to go ahead and add a nutrient to the soil and the reason why you want to add a nutrient to the soil when you’re turning the soil over and adding the new soil, incorporating it over and grading and getting it pretty is because then you’ll be mixing it throughout the soil. And so you’re going to want to use – a lot of people are very familiar with Osmocote, a lot of people are very familiar with the Ferdiline products. Both of those products provide adequate nutrients, remember those are the three numbers that we talked about 
BETH: High number in the middle
CHAD:That’s right, high number in the middle makes it flower, the number in the front makes it green, the number in the end makes it root. So you going to want kind of general fertilizer for garden beds 
BETH: And if you have a weed issue, do you put down a birth control like before the plants go in or after? 
CHAD:Ahhh, that’s a good, good question. So what Beth is talking about and I’m really excited that she said this and she throws her hands in the air for like victory. So what Beth is talking about is actually taking and using a pre-emergent herbicide so there’s several of them out on the market you have Eptam and you have Surflan and you have Preham what they do is when they – incorporated into the spoil and the upper two inches of the spoil they create a barrier and they don’t allow the weed seedlings or the seeds themselves to germinate, they might germinate below that soil level but they’re not actually going to come through the soil. So it’s going to reduce probably 75 – 85% of all your weeds by doing this. Now you make a really good point, you’re not going to want to install that or apply that product until you’ve planted all of your woody plants and what I mean by woody plants  are like shrubby material, and ground covers and things like that. The reason why is because you want to – it’s almost like, you know how when the termite guy comes and sprays around the perimeter of the building and he’s like if you have somebody come and dig you have to come out and retreat the barrier, it’ the same thing. You want to have everything planted, regraded, and you want to incorporate that in the upper, two inches of the soil, so what you do is distribute it with a granular, you apply it based on the label recommendations which if I’m not mistaken it’d about a pound per ten square feet because I think a four pound bag does 40-50 square feet like with most of them but just follow the label instructions they’ll tell you exactly what to do. You just read it, lengths x width and then apply it accordingly. 
BETH: I want to hand that out to all my neighbours, two in particular that I can visualise right now who all have Asian jasmine and they have just weeds popping up through it and I look at it and they’ve pretty much surround it between the sidewalk and the street with jasmine all around their property and it’s just littered with weeds and it just makes me nuts 
CHAD:So it’s interesting that we were talking about a pre-emergent herbicide so as an example that problem they have a grassy weed that’s growing in the jasmine you have to use a selective post-emergent herbicide so there’s products out there on the market that you can spray on those weeks that won’t kill the jasmine and you’ll get rid of the problem and then you will apply the pre-emergent herbicide to stop the future weeds from growing. So that’s like a double dipper they have to work on. 
BETH: Yeah, they’ve got two issues there
CHAD:I keep saying I’m going to do it for them because it makes me crazy 
BETH: It’s making me insane
CHAD:It is, it is. So we’re going to hop back to now that we grading all of our soil, and we’ve planted all our larger plants like our 1 gallon, 3 gallon, 5 gallon, 7 gallon type plants. So let’s say we have boxwood, and let’s say we have some hydrangea, and let’s say we have some encore azaleas and we’ve planted all of those. So that’s when you’re going to want to go in and put your pre-emergent herbicide down as we call it birth control for weeds, you know? So, you get all that installed and you’re good to go. Then you lightly rake it so it kind of breaks into upper crust of the soil you’ll put your mulch down and then when you water in that’s actually what’s going to release the chemical under the soil. It last for about four months, four to five months, you do have to do some retreatment but it’s a great – I mean that’s so much easier than pulling weed 
BETH: I mean just – yeah, because it can just get out of control
CHAD:It can get out of control. What you’re going to want to be careful of is when you plant flowers, you have to follow the label instructions, because there’s a few of the flowers that get – let’s just say pissed when you 
BETH: Oh, I didn’t know that
CHAD:Yeah, yeah, there are a few of them. That’s why you always have to read the labels because the labels… 
BETH: You know what a few of them are?
CHAD:Off the top of my head I know that Begonias are temperamental to a few of them, not all of them 
BETH: Ok                        
CHAD:But historically you can cautiously apply it. You know again this goes back to we’ve talked about fertilizers with orchids before, more is not better in these situations. More is not better, it’s better to lightly apply then come back reapply a few months down the road. So now that you’ve gotten your bed ready for planting we usually have you come back to the garden centre at that point and pick up your plants. We kind of go and lay them out, look at your drawing, because you know there’s a drawing at this point, we’ve laid them out in fantasy world and show you how all the plants are placed. So one of the biggest things that people kind of sometimes get confused by is the size of the plant and how far to space them. You know what I’m talking about, right? 
BETH: You kind of an offender on that case, you really pack our garden and I’m like thinking “you could have separated those a little bit more”. You like that impact 
CHAD:That’s because when I planted like the 4,000 boxwoods in our front yard. I double planted them and then planted them pot to pot, so yes I am beyond an offender; but what I’m making reference to is that when someone is typically using this program is they’re not sure how close to plant the plants together 
BETH: Yeah
CHAD:And the label often tells us the size of the plants, thing we have to really careful with labels on plants is that they’re made – that label also goes all over the country 
BETH: Right and they grow differently in each area
CHAD:In different environments, more fertilizer, less fertilizer, more water, less water. So a good rule of thumb like with Azaleas is that if it’s in a 3 gallon pot, you measure from the centre of the plant to the centre of the next plant and you plant them three feet apart. So if the plant is a foot in diameter you’re going to have about two feet between each plant. You know foliage to foliage and that’s going to give that plant enough room to grow. Now this is a rule of thumb, you know like I’m saying this is good guidance, you know. Some plants get bigger, some plants get smaller, some plants you need closer spacing, you know. And another great thing is that I know that you’ve learnt this over the years. Always plant, unless you’re planting little soldiers in a perfect little row. Always plant in odd numbers 3’s, 5’s, 7’s, 9’s and make like little triangles. It just looks nicer     
BETH: Yes
CHAD:It always looks nicer. So now you’ve gotten your plants home, you’ve gotten your shovel out, you’ve planted all your little plants and now it’s time to do what? 
BETH: It’s time to water
CHAD:That’s right, it’s time to water. Now that you’ve planted your plants you want to thoroughly water in all your plant material. Now that doesn’t mean drown them  
BETH: No
CHAD:No, it does not mean drown them but it means is really water them in water around where the plant – you know where you dug the hole, water that where the new roots and the soil kind of come together. Try to get the air pockets out because if you can get the air pockets out what you’re going to have is a plant that really you’re going to be able to saturate the soil little bit better and the roots wont drown as much because the soil won’t be completely around the root ball, makes sense? 
BETH: Totally sense
CHAD:Alight. So, let’s talk about water for a second because now you’ve gone through this whole – now you got it, now you got the design, you have the colour you want, it’s perfect, now you’re watering, and we applied, or we had you apply the mulch, right? 
BETH: Right
CHAD:We had you – we personally had you apply the crushed, cut, clean pine straw just because, personally I like the way it looks, I know everyone has a personal preference, I know that we also use pea gravel personally 
BETH: Love that
CHAD:Yeah the pea gravel looks really really nice. The cut clean pine straw actually biodegrades and releases acid into the spoil which we need here in the world. As you can see George is there barking in the background. Alright, we use the pine straw like I was saying because as it breaks down it helps add acid to the soil our Camellias our Gardenia our Hydrangea because of the soil that we have, we really need that. All across the country people use all different types of mulches, you also like the pea gravel which has a very European look to it and I have to agree I really like that as well. So here’s the next trick ongoing, how often do you think you have to water your new garden? 
BETH: Well it depends on rain, it depends on irrigation
CHAD:You don’t have irrigation 
BETH: I do, I just turned it off
CHAD:No, no, no, no. In this imaginary world you don’t have irrigation 
BETH: Wow, then I’m going to yield to your expertise
CHAD:Oh, you don’t even want to try, do you? 
BETH:No 
CHAD:So during your first three weeks of your new garden, like you said monitor the rain but you’re going to really want to pay close attention, definitely the first week every day, definitely the first week 
BETH:Unless it’s like a shady spot, maybe 
CHAD:Unless it’s a shady spot, you’re right. The second week you can probably move to four days a week. You know unless it’s obviously spring and summer conditions, these aren’t fall and winter conditions, you know? And then by the third week your plant, you should actually start seeing little bit of new growth, it should be happy and standing tall and you can probably move to a few days a week, like you know every other day but you really have to keep your eyes on it 
BETH:That’s right 
CHAD:You know and if you have seasonal colouring and things like that that’s the part that you’re really going to have to monitor cause those my actually – that type of plant material might actually need more water than others. Alight, so now you learned about sun and shade, you learned about soil, you learned about pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides, you didn’t even know all that. You learned a little bit about fertilizer again, we talked about water, we talked about picking out plants, we talked about preparing the soil, what do you think you have left to do? You got to have something to do 
BETH:Make a mojito, sit down and enjoy it 
CHAD:Yeah there you go, Make a mojito, sit down and enjoy it. That’s it, that’s it. So this is our little episode on the “Garden Refresh”. We hope you learned something. Think you learned something today Beth? 
BETH:Ahhh…yeah! 
CHAD:Yeah, you were kind of hesitant 
BETH:Hire the professionals 
CHAD:Hire the professionals, hire the professionals. So I’m Chad Harris 
BETH:And I’m Beth Harris 
CHAD:And we’re with “Lasting Style Meets Everyday Life” you can always visit us at http://www.athomewithbethandchad.com/ that’s our blog, shop with us online at https://www.thegardengates.com  or if you’re in New Orleans come visit us at 2918 Metairie Road, See you soon!
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