Happy New Year!!

The New Year has already started around the world. In a few short hours the European countries will start celebrating their new year.

The new year always makes us think of the year to come. Things we want to accomplish or change. We generally all make a resolution or two. What might your resolutions be?

If you are not aware the new years celebrations we know today were not always celebrated and were not on January 1 until 153 BC when the Roman Empire changed the date. This is actually when the months of January and February were added to the calendar. March 1 had been the date of the new year as it coincided with the Roman calendar up to that point and is when the Roman Consuls (the highest office you could hold) were appointed for their one year tenure. The second king of Rome, Numa Pontilius changed this.

At one point around the year 567 medieval Europe outlawed the celebrations of the new year because they thought of the tradition as a pagan tradition. However, in 1582 the Gregorian calendar reform restored the new year to be on January 1st. Most Catholic countries adopted the change immediately but some Protestant countries, such as England, drug their feet about the change and finally adopted the same calendar in 1752. Until this time the British Empire and colonies and the American colonies all celebrated the new year on March 1 still.

In any language or culture around the world, we here at Roanoke Landscapes wish you the happiest, healthiest, and blessed 2016 imaginable!

Auguri…Buon Anno (Italian),
Feliz Año Nuevo (Spanish),
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar (Dutch),
Bonne Année (French),
Ein Glückliches Neues Jahr (German),
Gott Nytt År (Swedish),
Kul ‘am Wa Antum Bikhair (Arabic),
Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu (Japanese),
Xin Nian Yu Kuai (Mandarin Chinese),
Godt NytÅr (Danish),
Onnellista Uutta Vuotta (Finnish),
Eutychismenos o Kainourgios Chronos (Greek),
Shana Tova (Hebrew),
Godt Nytt År (Norwegian),
Szczesliwego Nowego Roku (Polish),
Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Vietnamese),
Mutlu Yıllar (Turkish),
С новым годом (Russian),
Hauoli Makahiki Hou (Hawaiian),
Selamat Tahun Baru (Indonesian (Bahasa)),
Manigong Bagong Taon (Tagalog, Phillipines),
Sawatdee Pi Mai (Thai),
La Multi Ani si Un An Nou Fericit (Romanian),
Sehe Bokmanee Bateuseyo (Korean),
Felix Sit Annus Novus (Latin)….Happy New Year!

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Please leave us a comment and tell us your New Year’s Traditions or where you are from! We would love to know! Happy New Year!!

Winter Garden Chores

There are always many things to do in the garden throughout the year. Whether you are tidying your landscape, pruning or sowing there is plenty to do in December.

Here are a few we have put together:

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Flower Gardens:

Wisteria: You can winter prune your Wisteria by cutting back the summer side-shoots and leave 2 to 3 buds.

Climbing Roses: The time to prune these is now. You can cut away diseased and/or damaged growth and tying in any new shoots to their support. Prune back the older side shoots by 2/3 of their length.

Japanese Maples: Prune the branches and vines now if they are needed. They will bleed sap if the pruning is done any later.

Hydrangeas: It is best to leave the faded flower heads on the plants until spring, this will provide frost protection to the swelling buds further down the stems.

Rose Bushes: If you had any bushes that suffered from blackspot or rust this summer gather up all the fallen leaves from around the base of the plants. This will help prevent a chance of infection next year.

Container Plants: Move these to a covered spot and cluster them together. The clustering helps prevent any suffering from frost damage to the root systems.

Dahlia Tubers: You need to lift and store these once the leaves are blackened by frost.

Climbing Plants: Make sure these are secured tightly with plant ties to their supports.

Oriental Poppies: This is the best time to take root cuttings and grow them on in cold frames.

Hardwoods: This is the time to take those hardwood cutting from your hardwood trees and shrubs.

Sarcococca Confusa: You can plant these shrubs to add color and fragrance to your garden this time of year.

You can also plant some shrubs for winter, to create more interest in your winter garden. Also planting containers you can also add hardy cyclamen, ivy, skimmia, and evergreen grasses such as Carex. This will add color to your entrances or paths for a great winter display.

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If you are behind on your Tulip bulb planting there still is time, as long as your ground isn’t frozen and here in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia the ground is most definitely not frozen.

It is also the right time to spread fresh gravel or grit around your alpine plants.

Your Lawn:

An easy way to keep your yard healthy is avoiding to walk across your yard when there is a heavy frost or snow. This will damage the grass underneath if you do.

If you are having a light winter continue cutting the grass if it is still growing. Just raise the mower blade height.

Have your yard aerated or spike your lawn with a garden fork to improve drainage and aeration.

Keeping the fallen leaves off of the lawn will help you to prevent dead patches that can occur when the lawn is covered and light is not allowed in.

This is the time of year to have your lawn mower services and the blades sharpened. There is less demand than waiting in the spring and one less thing to worry about when you are busy with your spring garden chores.

Odd Garden Jobs:

Make sure you wash down all your garden tools. You can give them a wipe down with linseed oil on the wooden and metal areas to help prevent rusting and decay.

Clear out your garden shed for the spring.

Check your shed security, this is particularly important during the winter as you visit it less and it would take longer to know if someone had been in the shed or messing around.

This is a great time to make any fence repairs and to seal your wooden fences from the elements to prevent deterioration and decay.

If you have any water butts this is the time to clean them out before the fresh rain water fills them over the winter.

Rinse all the slimy patches on your porches and walkways with a pressure washer or scrub them. There are also liquid patio cleaners you can buy.

Check tree ties and stakes to ensure that trees are still secure following the strong fall winds we have. Adjust the ties as necessary.

Wash and disinfect bird feeders and bird tables and clean out the bird baths as well.

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Top off your bird feeders and hand other bird treats in your garden. They will in turn for the full belly help keep garden pests away.

Start a compost pile. You can either build or buy a bin for that.

You can continue to collect the leaves and add them to your compost bin.

Make sure to turn your compost ingredients. This helps the contents decompose. Make sure they are covered as well. You can use an old piece of carpet or plastic. This will help prevent them from becoming to cold or wet to decompose.

Happy Winter!!

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Not a creature was stirring…

Though not your typical landscaping blog thought it was fitting for the holiday season. We all know the famous poem that most of us read as children or our parents read to us, however, we are  all rich in our own family traditions.

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I am no different from any of you reading this article. I come from a wide background of different European heritages as well as Native American. One of these many heritages is my Irish ancestry. My family immigrated from Ireland like many others. Upon arriving and going through Ellis Island my great-grandfather, Edward Kehoe, was from the small village of Ross in the county of Wexford, Ireland. After some time he got a job with the railroad and he eventually became a train engineer in the New England area and moved to New Mexico after being laid off in New England.

In the early 1900’s one of the last land rushes they did in Oklahoma was near what is now the Cleveland, Oklahoma area. My great-grandfather Keho (he dropped the ‘e’ from the end of his name when he moved to New Mexico because before the unions were prevalent companies would lay people off and hire new cheaper workers. So, to stay with the company he just changed his last name) and his family were involved in the land rush.  The document we have signed by President Teddy Roosevelt is dated March 27, 1903. This is how my family became rooted in Oklahoma. One of our family Christmas traditions is to make Oyster stew on Christmas eve. This tradition is alive and strong within our family and each of us makes this dish every Christmas Eve.

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Recipe: oyster stew

1 stick real salted butter

10-12 cans of oysters (and pour the broth in) You can use the same equivalent of fresh oysters

About 3/4 of a gallon of milk

Salt and pepper to taste

You can add finely chopped celery or onion, however, our family recipe is just the very simple recipe without these.

You do not need to salt it before you let everything simmer for a bit.

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All of us here at Roanoke Landscapes are one big family. Mary and Randy, our owners, care very much about their employees as well as our clients. They strive to make this business personal within every facet of the company. Not only do we here at Roanoke Landscapes provide professional design, installation, and maintenance of all phases of landscaping, irrigation, lighting, pavers, walls, ponds, waterfalls, fountains, outdoor fireplaces and kitchens but you will speak to the same people from beginning to the end of your project.  We enjoy what we do and are constantly striving for excellence.

We would love to hear some of your family traditions from around the world (please comment below) and we hope that you have a blessed and wonderful Holiday this year and we look forward to working with you in the new year. Ringing in 2016 together!

 

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By: Michelle Cappai

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Roanoke Landscapes have a happy and safe holiday season.

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Belgard Overview

We use many design elements here at Roanoke Landscapes. Belgard is one of our fantastic go to product for us when we design a new outdoor area for your landscape. There is a lot of versatility and design options to tailor make your landscape and outdoor living area your own.

Call us today to have one of our design experts meet with you and create the outdoor oasis of your dreams!

540-992-4845

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Holiday Container Ideas

Here is a video I found on YouTube that goes along with the season and the blog from earlier this week. Most of these container ideas can be made with the things you find in your very own garden. Add a bow or some lights and voila! Beautiful, natural, inexpensive holiday decorating! (video belongs to Grig Stamate, all rights reserved)

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Holiday Decorating Using Your Landscape

Everyone is busy decorating for the holidays. Have you thought of using the things in your existing landscape to decorate? You would be amazed at what you will find in your yard to create beautiful holiday decorations.  Take the beautiful things from your gardens and make beautiful arrangements for outdoor or in.

You can use branches, dried flowers, berries, seed pods, greenery such as pine branches, pine cones, the list goes on and on. The great thing about using what you have is it will be unique and save you money. You also do not have to be a professional florist or landscaper to do this. This is the prefect DIY for your personal flares and taste.

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With all the different textures and colors in your landscape you can create more traditional or even more vibrant arrangements. Red berries will pop against evergreen branches. Evergreens can safely be thinned out this time of year.

You can make arrangements for flower pots on your porch or window boxes, or even for your home or centerpiece for your table. You can nestle them into baskets, pots, or boxes of any size or shape. With treasures from your garden and a good imagination the possibilities are endless!

Happy decorating!

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Call us today for Holiday Lighting! 540-992-4845