Tag Archives: evergreens

Cornerstone Garden’s Winter Blooming Camellias

Winter and Fall Camellias for $27 have just arrived at Cornerstone Garden 414-B State Street in Greensboro. We are open Tuesday-Saturday 11-4 and would love to show you all the beautiful evergreen camellias. Below is a variety called, Yuletide and started blooming early November and will continue into Christmas (if conditions are ideal). This shrub or small tree can be planted in a foundation bed, natural area or very large pot. “Live” or “Green” holiday plants keep on “Giving”.

Yuletide Camellia is a must have for the holidays and could be placed at your front entrance for visitors to admire before planting in the ground. They also make great gifts!


Below is a variety of Camellia called “Jean May” and is spectacular with its shell pink color and ruffled petals for a semi-double bloom, resembling a rose. Jean May needs some shade and is the perfect selection for espalier.

The Camellia shrub below is another specimen called “Autumn Spirit”. The flowers are in the peony form and the fuchsia pink coloration makes it an ideal fall bloomer accented with white garden mums or asters planted at its base.

Stephanie Golden Camellia (featured below) is a hot pink, semi-double upright-growing shrub with blooms from October through November and possibly December.

Survivor is the perfect plant for moonlight or memory gardens because of the single white flowers appearing in autumn.


Survivor is a tall camellia with the potential of reaching 25 feet.

Camellias benefit from good soil and some shade. All varieties of Camellia shrubs should be pruned on tax day or April 15th and fertilization 2-3 times per year beginning in spring after the first flowering session.

Happy Planting

Diana Digs Dirt


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Magnolia Leaves within Wedding Flower Design

Magnolia foliage provides many design opportunities like; centerpieces, decor, corsages, boutonniere’s and more. Above, a magnolia leaf serves as the background for lavender and indian hawthorn berries.

Here is a Helleborus bloom held by a magnolia leaf.

This design element can be utilized in a number of ways. Individual magnolia leaves were inserted into an orange and filled with Helleborus flowers. If used as a centerpiece, this element could be grouped on a table and layered at various heights, hung from the ceiling with tea lights, or individually placed on event tables. Using a larger fruit like a cantaloupe would provide enough space to insert an actual flowering plant. Fill with bird sees and a tea light and give away to your guests at the end of your party.

   Magnolia branches make excellent decor for any party or wedding by gathering plant material with assorted textures to hang on chairs, columns or doors. Very affordable and easy to assemble.

A Saucer magnolia bloom was used as a boutonniere along with a dried grass plume from the landscape and a sprig of Scotch Broom.

The coconut here was unfinished, but magnolia leaves would have been placed at the base of the Amazon Mist grass to hide the soil and add coarse texture.

  Topiary is an expensive event decor, but could easily be created from your landscape foliage.

Schedule a consultation and let’s look at what your landscape could provide fjor “green” design.

DianaDigsDirt of Cornerstone Garden


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Reusable-Recycled-Ravishing Wedding Centerpieces

“Green” wedding centerpieces are gaining popularity because of dual purpose, looking fantastic on tabletops and either giving plants away to guests or bride and groom keeping them for planting within their residential landscapes.

Colors for the wedding were red, black, and white. Green is almost always included because of plant foliage. Most of the terrace tables were square, so while working on the tabletop prototype, white craft paper was utilized, red crayons and a personalized stamp was created to decorate paper.

Annuals used in the centerpieces including, begonias, impatiens, diamond frost, and periwinkle. Perennials used were caladium, ferns, liriope, creeping jenny and hardy begonia.


English ivy was a ground cover used in the centerpieces and at the base of the brides bouquet, cut from the landscape.

The brides maids bouquet and groomsmen boutonnières were unified by incorporating southern magnolia foliage pruned from the landscape.


Sweet pea tendrils were also designed into the boutonnières, adding unique texture (cut from the landscape).

What a beautiful venue for a wedding! Thank you for including me Tonya and Jeff


Memories are treasured and are always with us………


There are many ways to “think green” and personalize when planning a wedding! Call me for a consultation today.


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English Ivy Can Cause Problems-REMOVE

Here in Greensboro, NC, English Ivy is prevalent in all established neighborhoods like Fisher Park and Irving Park, and is taking over. Let’s look at the damage this beautiful evergreen groundcover can cause and where it can be used safely.

Groundcovers are a great way to cut down on the surface area of your property to be mowed. Established neighborhoods have an abundant amount of English Ivy because that was the trend, like boxwoods. Is your English Ivy planted at the foundation of your home or at the front entryway? If so, this should be removed. This groundcover will climb your home and destroy the mortar or paint. It is a RAPID grower, especially if planted in part shade or shade. We have problems with Copperhead snakes in Greensboro and English Ivy planted by the front entryway serves as a nice cool hangout and potential danger.

English Ivy should never be planted in a natural area where trees are also planted unless a regular landscape maintenance program includes removing from tree trunks. Mentioned above, English Ivy grows very fast and will eventually grow into the canopy of trees and smoother foliage in need of sunlight for photosynthesis.

English Ivy makes a great addition to outdoor pots. It provides evergreen interest with foliage cascading over the edges.

English Ivy is perfect for shady slopes where mowing on an incline is almost impossible. The slope below is perfect for the groundcover.

English Ivy is perfect for large natural beds in shady locations without trees or shrubs within. With Piedmont Triad properties having large outdoor spaces, natural beds reduce maintenance.

English Ivy is wonderful for front landscaping because of its manicured and evergreen growing habit. Remember, 75% of your front landscaping should be evergreen to provide year round curb appeal.

Love the fact that English Ivy is a great addition to centerpieces too.

Happy Planting and Removing! Here is a company I recommend for the English Ivy Removal, 360 Landscape and Lawn Maintenance



Posted by on January 3, 2011 in English Ivy


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Early Winter Landscape Flower Centerpieces

 Your landscapes are probably still filled with flowers, foliage and berries to incorporate into your table top centerpieces.  The centerpiece below was arranged in late November.

Mums, dried grasses, southern magnolia leaves, amber-colored bald cypress and scotch broom.

Take 3 different vases, containers, bowls or anything really and stack them together. This will create a layered look.

Fill with water and go out into the cold and collect your plants.

Remember when pruning to remove the lower leaves. Your centerpieces will last longe, not turn the water brown or smell.

Don’t fool yourself. An abundant supply of flowers and foliage were needed to fill up these containers. If this is too large, start small. The tiny vase below was filled with over 25 stems.

The centerpiece is still gorgeous after 2 weeks.

Knock roses could be still blooming in the landscape.

Sage was also used to add a contrasting green and rough texture.

Rose hips also add color. Marigolds were still in bloom and the foliage on the perennial, yarrow was beautiful and feathery.

The thick, shiny dark green magnolia leaves provide a nice backdrop.

Think about all the possibilities for a wedding. Centerpieces can be cut from your own landscapes and save an incredible amount of money. Give a call to hear more.


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Installing a Stone Patio-DIY

Installing a stone patio  just takes a little planning, elbow power, $, and patience, not to mention a few tools.

Here at a Greensboro, NC residential entryway, lacks a great deal of curb appeal. The space should either be functional or VERY aesthetically pleasing because of its location, by the entrance. We opted for functional, since the basketball hoop is not far.

Hi Cody!

Determine how many people will be occupying the space. The general formula is 4 feet by 4 feet per person.

Make sure utility lines are located befor excavation, spray paint your lines and remove earth.

I choose Tennessee Crab Orchard Stone for its creamy beige, tan, burgundy and brown striations. A nice complimentary stone mimicking house color.

 A 2 inch depth of sandrock was tamped into the ground, with a gentle slope toward driveway. This makes it easier when using your mallet to set each stone. When laying stone, start laying large pieces first, towards the back. A small plant bed was designed at the foundation of the home to soften the transition between 2 hard surfaces, stone and siding. Plants marry them and they live happily ever after.

After completion, spray down with water. The sandrock will take a few weeks to settle. Play sand may be swept into the joints if creeping plants will not be utilized in the crevices.

Existing hosta perennials were installed to soften the transition between the driveway and stone.

Sky pencil hollies are the perfect shrub selection for tight spaces where vertical form is needed.

Adding the finishing touches; furniture, pots, and accessories.

Who wouldn’t like to sip coffee or tea on this shady morning patio.

Petunias are great in outdoor pots.

For under $3,000 a beautiful  Tennessee Crab Orchard Stone Patio is not only functional, but adds fabulous curb appeal. Your guest may not even make it into your home!!

Email me for help:)


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Unique Outdoor Hanging Baskets

 Are you having problems with your coconut liners? Help is here.  This organic material decomposes rather fast, so just add more without the cost.

Any natural elements from your landscape would work. I have lined the metal form with bark and twigs.

I had some leftover decorative moss from my indoor projects and strategically mashed it in between the form and coconut liner.

Don’t worry about how strange or unprofessional it looks, this is just the beginning. Poke small holes in the coconut liner where pockets have been created with bark, twigs and moss and place small plants like creeping sedum.

When filling up your hanging basket with soil, remember to include pine cones, sweet gum balls or another lightweight natural element. They will decrease the weight of your hanging basket and also add nutrients to the soil as it decomposes.

Hanging planters can be developed in the same way and probably a little easier because of the shape.

Remember to work from the bottom of the planter by inserting small plants,  and alternating with soil and natural elements. Make sure the plant roots are covered with no air pockets so they will not dry out.

Sage and verbena work nicely in hanging planters and add color.

There are hundreds of variety of creeping sedum with different textures, colors and height, all being drought tolerate (this is what you want for your pots, hanging baskets and planters).

We have a mix of marigolds, verbena, artemisia, vinca, ivy, st john’s wort and sedum in the hanging basket below.

Most chains will rust, so keep an eye on them.

Hanging baskets, planters and pots need upright, cascading, and colorful plants for an outstanding display to WOW your family, friends and neighbors.

Happy Planting and make sure you visit Terragen Nursery June 26th for our Workshop on Medicinal Plants and Holistic Healing for Pets and People (details forthcoming).

Diana Gardner-Williams

Landscape Design and Installation


Posted by on April 16, 2010 in Hanging Baskets


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