Volume 2 ~ Issue 10 December 28, 2010


I am always so amazed when I shift things in my environment and circumstances in my life change so quickly. After all these years of seeing miraculous changes happen with my clients and myself, the ease with which change can happen is still awe inspiring. I did my spring cleaning early this year and it resulted in many wonderful new events. Try moving, cleaning and purging things to bring new results in the new year.

  • NEWS


Freezing winter weather is doing more than interupting transportation. It could be that silent killer in your garden. Will you see again those wonderful flowers that perfume your garden during midsummer nights? What can you do to rescue and protect those babies that you raised from seed? The southern United States are particularly subject to "plant mortality" when we get freezing temperatures because our plants aren't generally resistant to cold weather however all plants can suffer with winter damage. Here is what you can do to minimize your problems and save your beauties for another season.

Pick your plants carefully.

I am the worst sucker for a plant that I "can't have". I want those fuschias that are so spectacular and attract hummingbirds even though I know they are better suited to Southern California coastal areas. I have also tried my hand at Lilacs that prefer cold in the winter only to be disappointed. You have the chance to give yourself a positive outcome with plants if you pick plants that are suited to your climate. Check the cold hardiness of your proposed palette to see if they are destined to live in your climate.

Prepare for Freezes:

-The first way to prepare for freezes is to pick healthy plants and keep them healthy. If your plants have had disease or stress over this year, they will need extra protection in cold weather.

-Mulch to protect the roots from cold. Be sure that the mulch isn't too close to the plant stem so you don't get plant rot. Check the mulch at least once a month to be sure that water is getting to the plant roots.

-Check the forecast. When a freeze is predicted, water plants a few days beforehand. Plants with enough water can better resist the damage of a freeze. You can even spray water to create an ice blanket to protect plants from damage.

After a Freeze.

-Resist the urge to cut off damaged leaves and branches. They can provide protection from the freeze next week or next month. Wait until the spring when the danger of freeze has passed to remove frost damaged leaves and branches. I remember one year seeing Ficus trees turn brown and "die" only to bounce back mid summer after the frost. The people who hastily removed them lost a valuable landscape resource.

-Cold injury is more likely to occur as the sun comes up. Plants defrost too quickly, killing leaves and stems. To help minimize frost damage to woody plants, lightly mist foliage before the sun hits them. Potted plants can be moved to a location away from direct sunlight. Non woody plants may need to be pruned severely after all danger of frost has passed because they are more prone to rot. Once warmer weather comes, you can fertilize to help your plants recover their health. Frost crack results from sudden drops in nighttime temperature following the daytime heating from the sun. Unless these cracks are ragged or torn, however, they usually heal themselves.

Winter is the perfect time to hold up next to a warm fire and dream of spring. What new plants will complement your existing garden and bring life to your land? You are the creator of your garden and life.

Sometimes it is hard to image how frost damaged plants like this rose can recover but like people, plants have a great will to live.


Is it a plant in a straight jacket? No, this is the way to cover a plant in the event of a freeze. Take the fabric all the way to the ground where heat can be held all the way to the roots. Don't use plastic, only fabric to cover.

Frost damaged plants look like they have been burned because they are dehydrated from the lack of water. Water is one of the keys to protecting your plants in freezing weather.


For Landscape Professonals:

February 7&8, 2011 in San Diego CA.-

Dream Design & Build the World You Want to Live

Sustainable Practices & Innovation for the Landscape Professional http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=df9k89cab&oeidk=a07e36n8sew1eef1522


Garden Secrets - Your Garden Personality Guide.

Learn how you can adjust your garden to balance and express your personality. Check out my website and tell your friends about it.



Shelley Sparks is a Feng Shui Expert, Licensed Landscape Architect and Humble Gardener. Through the practices of Feng Shui and Landscape Design she creates Harmony, Healing, Prosperity and Beneficial Qualities to her client's home, business and garden environments. She believes that as we bring our environments into balance we live happier healthier more abundant lives, benefit all that we relate to and help heal the earth.

She has been licensed as a Landscape Architect for more than 25 years and has designed award winning residential landscapes. She is a disciple of His Holiness Master Lin Yun Rinpoche, Grand Master of Black Sect Tantric Buddhist Sect of Feng Shui and has been studying Feng Shui for more than sixteen years. She teaches Garden as a Healing Space and Feng Shui and Feng Shui in the Garden for U.C.L.A. and other venues throughout the United States. She analyzes Feng Shui for people's homes, businesses and gardens.

Shelley is author of the forthcoming book Secrets of the Land, Designing Harmonious Gardens with Feng Shui

Shelley Sparks, Principal
12224 Addison Street, Valley Village, Ca 91607
Phone (818) 505-9783
Fax – (818) 760-7558
E-mail [email protected]

See us at: www.HARMONYGARDENS.net
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