City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Add Life to Outdoor Spaces

Spring is in the air, and it’s time to bring your outdoor living spaces to life. No matter the season, outdoor living is more popular than ever, as homeowners look to “bring the indoors out” and create spaces that are true extensions of the home. The newest designs in outdoor living spaces don’t simply feature the look of the indoors but the functionality as well.

Vibrant textiles like cushions, pillows and rugs can all soften the look of a space while adding colorful charm, but another effective place where you can introduce plenty of character is the landscaping.

Making the landscape seamlessly integrate into the area not only transforms the way the space looks but it also enhances the outdoor ambiance.

Create Climate Control

One of the first considerations is the functional benefits landscaping can bring such as providing shade from the hotter weather. Quaking aspens and birch trees are beautiful and fast-growing options, or for a more traditional look, some maple trees grow quickly and certain varieties create a dazzling display of color. Another popular option is the Bradford pear, but this tree can be brittle and is prone to splitting. Flowering trees such as the tulip tree or dogwood are other fast-growing options. If a tree is impractical for your space or simply not your style, you might consider large flowering bushes, such as the lilac or Rose of Sharon.

Keep Prying Eyes Out

When it comes to privacy, there is also a multitude of options. Ornamental grasses come in a wide array of colors and looks, and many grow high enough to shield a private lounge or eating area. Or, you could consider a lush climbing vine paired with a trellis. Dwarf trees and shrubs also lend privacy when planted in close proximity. Another stylish option is to put oversized planters into play. Fill them with vegetation for an instant eye block topped with live plants.

Set Boundaries

If your outdoor space doesn’t have a clearly defined perimeter, you can introduce borders using a line of shrubbery or bushes. Low-growing options help maintain an open feel while adding some definition to the area.

Go Low-Maintenance

If you’re leery of adding plants that need frequent care and attention, there are several options requiring little effort. Succulents are a great way to add texture, interest and color to a planter or table-top pot. For more color, opt for low-maintenance perennials that require little water. After your initial planting and fertilizing, you’ll need to water during dry spells in the summer, but for the most part, they’ll require little extra attention through the year until it’s time to trim them back for winter.

Consult with experts at your local nursery, such as Daniels Farm & Greenhouse, for advice on the trees and plants that work best in our climate zone, and find more tips for creating your ideal outdoor living space at

How to Protect Your Trees and Shrubs from a Late Spring Frost

The owners of Omas Barn in St. Peters offer these tips for protecting your trees and shrubs from late spring frost:

When plants are getting their sap flowing at this time of year, chemical changes are happening beneath the surface to make their tissues more susceptible to freezing. It’s like their anti-freeze was diluted with sugary food. If it’s just budding, with no fresh leaves showing, a light frost won’t do damage. If there are fresh leaves or petals showing, they could be blackened by even a moderate frost.

Most frosts are not going to do long-term, irreparable damage. Usually, it’s a puckery, darkened edge around the first leaves to emerge or the same with the tips of new flowers. The real killer is a hard freeze at this time of year.

There are several ways to prevent damage when a freeze/frost is predicted. Using a breathable row cover or fabric, such as a sheet, works well. The most important thing is to secure the fabric to the ground around the edges if possible. This traps some of the ground heat and moderates the temperature beneath the cover.

Another method used by many nurseries is to turn on their sprinklers before dawn to melt off the frost and protect the foliage with a thin layer of ice. The effectiveness of this method depends on the plants in question. If they were just shipped from a warmer locale, it’s best to cover them because they're not acclimated to our weather yet. For plants in your garden, this can work well—if you’re willing to get up before dawn and drag a hose around!

If Mother Nature decides to throw us a curve, use these methods to minimize the damage. But if you do receive freeze damage to your landscape, you can remove these areas with selective pruning to leave them looking healthy.