to the b+r Installations email newsletter. In this issue
we are serving up more ideas for making the most of the
We’ll introduce you to another
satisfied couple who are enjoying the addition of a shaded
outdoor living space to their Robson Ranch home. Then it’s
on to the garden for tips on cultivating flowering bulbs,
adding quick color to your backyard and finally, the how-to’s
for building a soothing garden fountain. Enjoy, y’all!
Featured Installation -
B+R Adds the Finishing
Touch to Robson Ranch Home
Dale Valentine of Robson Ranch went to a home show last August,
and found something to make
his home a showplace.
He talked with Brant Fontenot and Randall Patterson – owners
and installers of B+R
Installations– and was impressed with their professionalism
and the striking beauty of the lattice shade cover they were
Determined to transform a sun-drenched back
patio into a comfy outdoor living space, the Valentines found
it easy to achieve their desired look with five
lattice colors and four
beam-end cuts to select from. “We chose ivory for the color
and the corbel end cut for the decorative rafters, and figured
out the amount of shade we needed, and they came out and installed
it in a couple of days. They looked after our property like it
was their own. And, despite the challenge posed by high Texas
winds, the promised two-day installation was completed on time.”
The Valentines and their Yorkie-Bichon, Chester, are enjoying
the addition. “Our patio faces southwest, and the Ultra-Lattice® does
a great job blocking the sun. And it shades our outdoor seating
area, so we can enjoy it more often. Our home seems larger and
the cover definitely helps to keep it cooler. Neighbors have
asked about it, and of course I’ve recommended B+R.”
Although their house is bordered by the golf course,
they have had no problems with errant golf balls. Dale doesn’t
think a golf ball could budge his Ultra-Lattice® – and
neither could the Texas weather. “If our early June storms
didn’t budge it, I don’t know what could!”
Dale added, “Some people today take shortcuts, but not
these folks. The installers worked hard and did what they said.”
“We’re in the process of building a custom home
here at Robson Ranch. As soon as the new house is ready, I’ll
be contacting B+R Installations. I’ll want that beauty
and shade in place as soon as possible!”
Mother Nature’s Instant Party
(ARA) So everything is in place for your
big outdoor party or event this summer, but Mother Nature seems
to have provided you with just one color scheme: green. You want
color and texture fast, and there’s no time for potting
Solution: fill your yard, patio
and deck with the spectacular blooms of a variety of robust,
durable, easy-to-maintain annuals for an instant garden that
looks like it’s been there all along. Plus those blooms
and color will last long after the party is over. “Annuals
are really nature’s ready-made party decorations,” says
Jeff Gibson, marketing manager for Ball Horticultural’s “Simply
Beautiful” line of annuals. “They provide almost
limitless choices for color, bloom continuously, and best of
all they’re live plants, which means you can enjoy their
beauty throughout the entire growing season.”
But first things first. With the deadline for your outdoor party
looming, focus on geraniums, impatiens and petunias, the Big
Three of annuals and the real workhorses when it comes to color
and bloom. “Our Simply Beautiful Tidal Wave petunias are
bountiful when it comes to filling landscapes or hanging baskets,” Gibson
notes. “The blooms spread upward and outward, spilling
over containers and baskets like a thick carpet of color and
Mist angelonia and Fanfare trailing impatiens are also lavish
in their spreading floral displays. Angel Mist features orchid-like
blooms ideal for beds and containers. Or, fill an entry container
with Fanfare impatiens for a dramatic waterfall of color. Free-flowering
and very vigorous, Jungle Gold impatiens are ideal for mixed
containers, where they put on a big show in combination with
other large, robust container plants. In fact, don’t even
bother to plant. When it gets close to party time, just set the
beds of annuals directly into containers and cover with Spanish
moss until the festivities are concluded. Then repot or plant
for the rest of the season.
“Less is more when it comes to color and annuals,” says
Gibson. “Choosing a single color pattern carries a more
dramatic visual impact than mixing and matching. And you can
get more bang for the buck in terms of color and coverage by
breaking the normal rules for potting and planting annuals that
call for spacing them widely apart.”
He says that in the case of party plants for your outdoor event,
concentrating plants as close together as you can get them adds
a thick lushness to your presentation that tells your guests
you’ve been working real hard at getting everything just
right. In fact, you could have started the day before if you
choose the right plant material. And your guests will never know
To find plants suitable for your climate and
taste, visit www.simplybeautifulgardens.com
Courtesy of ARA Content
Bulbs – Secrets for a Delightful Landscape
Shade covers, decks and fountains all add charm to a backyard, but
the most breathtaking
feature, by far, is the beauty of blooming plants. For a colorful
and rewarding landscape, fill those
empty spaces with bulbs! For many, the mention of “bulb” conjures
up thoughts of cheery
daffodils and stunning tulips, but bulbs aren’t just for spring.
With the right mix, you can enjoy
colorful bulb beds in Spring, Summer and into the Fall. These easy-to-follow
demystify the process of growing bulbs in any garden.
Bulbs are easy to cultivate because each bulb contains within itself
the nutrients necessary for one
full season of growth and bloom. Some bulbs, such as paper-whites,
hyacinths and amaryllis, don’t
require soil and can be forced to grow indoors with water alone!
All bulbs need a phase of
dormancy, which is followed by periods of growth, flowering, and
finally food manufacture and
WHAT AND WHEN TO PLANT
Bulbs can be divided into three groups:
- Spring Flowering Bulbs
Choose tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths and alliums. Plant
3–4 weeks before first frost (late
fall to early winter). They will need the cold season to start
their biological clock.
- Summer Flowering Bulbs
Choose dahlias, begonias, lilies, gladiolas and callas. Plant
in late Spring for blooms a couple of
months later. Summer flowering bulbs will bloom in most climates
but most of them are not
winter hardy; hence in cold climates most summer flowering
bulbs should be lifted and stored
and used the next season.
- Autumn Flowering Bulbs
Choose Autumn crocuses and colchicums. Autumn flowering bulbs
are planted in early summer.
Loamy soil is the key to growing healthy bulbs. A mixture of sand,
silt, clay and organic matter does
the trick. Peat moss is a great additive! Good drainage ensures against
rot and higher percentages
of sand and organic matter allow bulbs to expand and multiply for
even more bounteous blooms
the following year.
The added nutrients that fertilizer supplies are especially important
during and after the blooming
phase. Be sure these nutrients are readily available, so plan to
fertilize right before bulbs bloom.
Soil should be kept moist, but not soggy. Bulbs and roots require
regular watering, except during
HARDY VS. TENDER BULBS
A bulb’s “hardiness” is based on its ability to
withstand the average minimum temperature. Bulbs
originating in colder climates usually tolerate freezes without damage
and are called “hardy.” The
beauty of hardy bulbs is that they can be left in the ground year-round
and treated as perennials.
However, they require a minimum period of cold during dormancy to
show their colors later. In
warmer climates, lifting and artificially chilling bulbs may be required.
The opposite goes for “tender” tropical and
subtropical bulbs (tuberose, for example). In colder climates, these
nonhardy bulbs must be lifted and stored inside during winter.
Bulbs that do not naturalize should be dug up or “lifted” from
the ground and stored where they
will not freeze. When the tops have died back, carefully dig up bulbs,
shake off soil and let dry a few
days. Then place them in labeled paper bags or boxes and store inside
at about 65 degrees in a dry
place. In warmer regions, induce next year’s flowering by storing
them for 8-10 weeks at a
temperature slightly less than 48 degrees, prior to planting.
RULES OF THE “GREEN” THUMB
- Bulbs do well in fields, amongst other landscaping and in pots.
- Plant bulbs at a depth that is twice their width.
- Cluster bulbs for added impact.
- Always plant root side down and point upward.
- Never cut foliage until it has yellowed if you want blooms next
- Every 3-5 years, dig up “naturalized” bulbs, separate
them and replant at a greater spacing.
a Soothing Fountain for Your Garden
(ARA) You’ve weeded the flower beds, planted the vegetable
garden and dusted off your
patio furniture. Now comes the fun part: adding some decorative elements
garden. And what better way to pull your design together than with
an elegant fountain?
Fountains not only add a beautiful visual accent to an outdoor space,
they also create a
soothing sound that blocks out noise from the street or the neighbors.
With a fountain as
its centerpiece, your garden will become a wonderful secluded retreat
from the hectic
But sometimes it’s hard to find exactly the right fountain. “Most
people have a particular
kind of garden; it could be formal or casual, contemporary or old-fashioned,” says
Gleason of the Beckett Corporation, a water gardening products manufacturer. “If
haven’t found a fountain to suit your style and have some garden
materials you want to
put to use, get creative and make your own,” she suggests.
Here is an easy project for homeowners who want to create their
own elegant, three-tiered#fountain using some lightweight planters
that are designed to look just like terra
cotta. All you’ll need is a Beckett fountain pump, three planters,
a drill, some tubing and
small finishing rocks.
Three-tiered Planter Fountain
This custom-made fountain recirculates water in a steady stream pumped
multiple layers of pottery. The water cascades down the sides, reentering
the large pot on
the bottom through holes that are drilled into the second tier.
- Drill one larger hole on the side of the medium planter that
will face the “back.” This hole should be large
enough for the end of the pump cord to go through.
Drill a hole at the bottom center of the smallest and medium size
planters to fit the tubing
that will be threaded through the hole. The tubing should fit snugly.
Check diameter size
before drilling. Add four small bit-sized holes for drainage in the “lip” of
the planter at
12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock. These holes will be hidden with
- With the large planter right-side up, place the pump in the bottom.
electrical cord through the large hole in the medium planter.
Cut the tubing long enough
to fit on the pump and extend approximately 3 inches above the
top of the small planter.
Place the tubing on the pump.
- With the medium planter turned upside down, thread the tubing
bottom center hole. Repeat for the smallest planter.
- Press the top two planters down to fit snugly on top of the large
Trim any excess tubing beyond one inch at the top of the smallest
decorative rocks on the top of the small planter base to camouflage
the tubing and around
the rim between the medium and large planters. Plug in and presto!
a fountain fiesta!
For other projects and more information about Beckett Garden Accents,
www.888beckett.com or call (888) BECKETT. Beckett Garden Accents
available at The Home Depot, local home improvement stores and independent
lawn and garden stores nationwide.
Courtesy of ARA Content