Fresh From The Nursery

Planting, Uncategorized

The Best Trees & Shrubs For A Privacy Screen

The Best Trees & Shrubs For A Privacy Screen image

If your garden or yard has neighbors or just lacks privacy in general, you may want to put up a privacy screen. But there’s no need to lose any of the beauty of your garden to ugly looking screens, you can use natural screens instead.

Trees and Shrubs make great natural privacy screens, not only providing you with the privacy you need but also adding to the overall garden. But which trees and shrubs do this best? We at The Trail Creek Nursery have put together this short guide for you on The Best Trees & Shrubs To Use As A Privacy Screen.


First up, let’s start with Trees. There are ten trees in total that make for great privacy screens.

  1. Eastern Redcedar – These trees are large enabling full privacy coverage. It also has an appealing rugged look which makes it a great addition to any garden and gives off an earthy fragrance which attracts local birds and wildlife. Furthermore, it’s year-long durability makes it ideal for providing privacy whatever the season or weather.
  2. Hybrid Willow – These trees are fast-growing, growing at an annual rate of 6-12 feet. They are disease-resistant, making them very durable and they even grow well in cold environments and seasons. Their appearance can enhance any garden.
  3. Leyland Cypress – These are perhaps the most popular tree choice for providing privacy. They grow fast and if planted in a row create an impenetrable line of branches, not only screening noise and stopping nosey neighbors, but also keeping wind and snow out. Not forgetting, they’re also incredibly beautiful!
  4. Spartan Juniper – Whilst the three trees before are large and provide full coverage for even the largest of yards/gardens, the Spartan Juniper is best for medium-sized environments. When planted in a row they not only look great and almost uniformed like (imagine soldiers in a line) but they act as great wind-breakers too.
  5. Sky Pencil Holly – Like the Spartan Juniper, the Sky Pencil Holly is best for smaller gardens and yards. Growing to a width of only 2 feet, the Sky Pencil Holly is great for filling even the smallest of gaps in any environments – keeping the wind, noise and wandering eyes out!
  6. Green Giant Thuja – Another very popular tree, the Green Giant Thuja (as the name suggests) grows very tall – up to 3-40 feet when fully grown. As such the can be commonly found in larger gardens and yards, and do a great job all year round of protecting everything inside. They are often trimmed at the tops to give off a french renaissance feel, but they look just as good when left to mature naturally.
  7. Emerald Green Thuja – Whilst sharing the same family as the Green Giant, Emerald Green is better suited to smaller landscapes and environments. That said, the Emerald Green still provides all of the classic beauty of it’s bigger cousin.
  8. Flowering Dogwood – The Flowering Dogwood brings all the benefits of many of the other trees in this list, including year-long protection and coverage. But it also brings radiant and varying colors including white, pink and red which makes a nice change from the greens of all of the other trees listed. The Dogwood also grows berries which attracts local robins, cardinals and blue jays to the garden they protect.
  9. Weeping Podocrapus – Another popular privacy choice, the Weping Podocrapus grows fast and tall, making them ideal for larger landscapes and gardens. Their plush, billowing foliage keeps the environment they look over safe from wind, weather and of course unwanted eyes.
  10. Goldspire Ginkgo – As the name suggests, the Goldspire Ginkgo leaves are gold & yellow – but only in the fall. They do however provide all year round protection and are the right size for small to medium sized gardens & yards. They have a unique and natural narrow and pyramidal shape during the summer-time, which makes them a thing of beauty too!


Shrubs also make for great privacy screens, especially for the smaller gardens or yards. Privacy shrubs come in three categories:

  1. Dedicuous Shrubs – Shrubs that loses its leaves at the end of the season. Despite this, many still make for good year long protection, if not losing much of it’s beauty.
  2. Evergreen Shrubs – Shrubs that do not lose their leaves at the end of the season – so they maintain their beauty AND protection all year round.
  3. Invasive Shrubs – These are shrubs that provide good protection, but grow and fast. Whilst this growth may seem good at first, invasive shrubs are so named because they grow everywhere and easily get out of control if not properly maintained. As long as they are properly and regularly maintained however, they are still a viable option.

Dedicuous Shrubs that are great for privacy & protection include; Redtwig Dogwood, Mock Orange, Lilac, Forsythia, Cotoneaster, Beautyberry, Diablo Nineback, Pussy Willow and Loropetalum.

Evergreen Shrubs that are perfect at providing privacy include; Arbovitae, Yew and Hemlock.

Invasive Shrubs that safeguard your garden or yard (providing they’re properly maintained! Include; Burning Bush, Barberry, Butterfly Bush, Lantana and Privet.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful – as you can see you’re spoilt for choice for when it comes to finding suitable trees & shrubs to form privacy screens. And best yet, you don’t have to sacrifice beauty for security as all of the trees & shrubs listed would enhance and add to even the most Eden-like garden!

Lawn, Maintenance

The Ultimate Organic Lawn Care Guide

organic lawn care imageLawns are the pride and joy of any garden landscape, small or large. If you’ve taken upon yourself to invest in an environmentally friendly, organic lawn, then keep reading. Whether you’ve had organic lawns before, or are new to them, there’s a few tips & tricks you need to know to ensure you care the best you can for it.

After all, you’ve put so much work, energy & money into crafting your garden, now is not the time to let a key part of it, your lawn, wither and die. Welcome to The Ultimate Organic Lawn Care Guide, brought to you by The Trail Creek Nursery!


First up, let’s talk about Mowing. A common misconception about organic lawns is that it’s healthier for the grass to be shorter. In fact, it’s much healthier for the grass to be long. Longer grass is more exposed to the sun, the roots to grow healthier and in turn keeping the grass itself healthy.

That said, the grass still needs to be kept control through mowing. Setting your mower to its maximum setting – usually a cut at 2.5 to 3 inches will ensure the grass is still tall enough to stay healthy. It’s also important to keep the mower blade sharp, leading to a cleaner cut and reducing any risk of tearing. Tearing can cause all sorts of problems for the grass.

After you have moved your lawn, keep the grass clippings on the lawn to give additional benefits to the grass and it’s soil.


Next stop, water. Compared to an artificial lawn, organic lawns benefit more from less frequent watering as this forces the roots to travel deeper in the soil and in turn discourage weeds.

As for when to water, you should always do this early in the day. Don’t wait until the evening as this will lead to less evaporation and in turn lead to fungal growth.


Soil is another essential part of lawn care. You should arrange for your soil to be tested through a local agricultural extension officer, or buy a do it yourself kit. Knowing precisely what soil you have, you know how to best look after it and give it everything it needs to keep the grass growing and very importantly, keep those pesky weeds away.

Whether you get the soil tested or test it yourself, it will be easy to determine the type of soil and how to best look after it.

And as an added bonus tip -all soil types benefit from having compost added to it, once or twice a year ideally between the months of June & August.


Depending on the results of your soil testing, your soil will need different fertilizer but always ensure the fertilizer used is a natural one! Fertilizer is best applied to soil in both the spring and the fall. Whilst more expensive, it’s always worthwhile paying out for organic fertilizer because it benefits the soil and thus the grass so, so much more!

In addition to fertilizer, it’s widely recommended to feed your lawn seaweed extract. This will support the grass’s health, encourage development and fight off any threat of fungi.


Raking is an essential thing to do during the time of spring to early summer as it removes thatch aka dead grass.

In addition to raking, you should consider using a motorized aerator. This will remove plugs of dirt and increase the soil’s ability to retain water. Aeration can really help your lawn, and it doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. You can rent an aerator from any good and local garden center.


There are three main and common lawn problems that you’ll likely face during the duration of your garden.

Firstly, there is yellow grass. This is easily identifiable by the grass being – you guessed it, yellow! Yellow grass is caused by a lack of water. As mentioned earlier in the guide, it’s best to water infrequently than frequently. But, if your lawn is turning yellow, consider increasing the frequency of watering for the time being. Testing the soil may also reveal other ways to restore your lawn back to its former glory.

Secondly, there is the issue of bare or rough spots on the lawn. This is caused by people/animals trafficking the lawn far too often, and also things like dog poo. This is all easily fixed by limiting the number of people and animals that frequent your lawn and pick up any dog mess instantly.

Last but not least, there is brown grass – again, easily identifiable. Whilst brown grass doesn’t look that good, it’s not a huge signal that the grass is unhealthy. It just means that it’s been a little neglected, and needs to either be left to grow longer or watered more often – or both!

Pest Controlling

By following and more importantly, putting into action, the contents of this guide – your lawn should already be well protected from the many pests that threaten it. But even the most cared for lawns are still vulnerable, here are a few tips to defeat some of the more persistent pests;

-If clover has started to appear on your lawn, that means your lawn isn’t too healthy. Firstly, you need to till the lawns soil and add compost to get rid of the clover. Then, to ensure the clover doesn’t return, apply fertilizer in the fall and in the summer, leave grass clippings after your routine mowing.

-Darn those dandelions! To get rid, remove the flower heads and dig the dandelion routes out with a special

-Dirt mounds appearing on your lawn is a sure sign of a mole infestation. Firstly, focus on minimizing the damage by pressing down gently on each mound with a rake or smaller garden tool, allowing the soil to re-engage with the grass roots. To then keep moles away from your lawn, you need to remove their food source – grubs, earthworms, etc. To do this, we’d recommend applying milky spore. With the food source gone, the moles will have no alternative but to move on, allowing your lawn to prosper once more!

We hope this guide has been helpful, whether you have a lawn already or are thinking of getting one. Following the guide will ensure it remains a key feature of your garden or landscape, for years to come.

Maintenance, Uncategorized

What is Mulch and How Do I Use It?

mulchLandscaping is hard work, and we at Trail Creek Nursery we understand that more than most! Whether you’re scaping a small back garden or a larger garden plot, it can take a lot of time, a lot of energy and money. The last thing you want, therefore, is your plants and flowers dying too soon, or never really being able to grow at all. Having to redo a lot of that work, not to mention funding it, will be a nightmare and something you should do all you can to avoid.

A great way of protecting your plants, improving fertility and supporting longer, healthier life is using Mulch. But we often get asked by homeowners, what exactly is Mulch – and How Do I use it?

What is Mulch?

Mulch is a layer of material, usually organic in nature, that is applied to the soil’s surface. Organic materials that are easily accessible and used as Mulch include:

  • Leaves that fall from trees during the fall. These can be chopped or shredded and then applied on top of the soil.
  • Recent grass clippings obtained after mowing. Once left to dry, these can then be applied to the soil’s surface. Ensure the grass clippings are recent however, as rotting grass clippings can do more harm than good to the soil!
  • Wood chips, a byproduct of tree pruning, is another great material for Mulch and is a good option for those wanting to keep an attractive landscape because wood chips come in multiple colors.
  • Bark chips work just like wood chips but don’t look as nice.
  • Peat moss is a further option, but one that is not environmentally friendly so is best avoided.

There are also a few artificial Mulch materials:

  • Whilst paper and card comes from tree’s, it’s technically an artificial material – newspapers, cardboard, etc are easily accessible materials for Mulch.
  • Old and unused carpet can be used and applied to the surface of the soil.
  • Rubber Mulch, which is usually created from recycled tire rubber, is another artificial alternative.
  • Plastic is another option, but one that is less environmentally friendly and best left alone.

What is Mulch used for?

Now that we know what can be used to create Mulch, just what exactly is it used for? As already mentioned, Mulch is used to fertilize and provide long-lasting health for the soil it is applied to. The healthier the soil, the longer and healthier the plants and flowers will be that are growing in the soil.

But how exactly does Mulch achieve this? Firstly, Mulch helps keep the soil at the right temperature. Soil gets cold, especially during the nights, and Mulch helps keep the soil warm and retain its warmth. This will then encourage faster growth of the plants/flowers embedded in the soil.

Mulch plays other roles too – preventing the growth of weeds from seeds which again, encourages healthy long-lasting growth. All of this is achieved by forming a protective layer between soil and sunlight, reducing evaporation.

Why should I use Mulch?

At first sight, Mulch can be seen as just another landscaping cost and one that might not really make that much of a difference. But in truth, Mulch can make or break your garden or landscaping project.

It’s a proven technique to encourage soil growth and thus growth and health of your plants and flowers. Using Mulch will absolutely save you time and money, both in the short and long term.

Plus, most if not all of the organic and artificial materials that can be used for Mulch are easily accessible. Some of the materials can even be gathered from your current garden, meaning it won’t cost you a thing. Other materials cost very little in comparison to the time and money it will save you.

How is Mulch used?

The benefits of Mulch are clear and are essential for a long-lasting, healthy and beautiful garden or landscape. But, if used incorrectly, Mulch can also do harm. So it’s paramount to understand fully how to use it.

Mulch provides a protective layer, but if that layer is too shallow, or too deep, it can do more harm than good. When applying your chosen Mulch material, ensure it is around 2 inches or 5.1cm deep. Anything less and the protection it gives is reduced. Anything more and the Mulch becomes more of a problem than what it protects against.

Mulch should also be applied at different times of the year, depending on how you want to use it. As covered, Mulch helps retain heat during night times. Whilst this is something it

does all year round, it is obviously colder in fall and winter. As soon as summer ends and fall begins, start layering Mulch to keep the soil warm. Mulch should also be applied when winter ends and spring starts, to help protect the soil from too much evaporation as the temperature rises and the days become longer.

We hope this post has been useful – whether you’re a homeowner who has a small garden plot, or a larger landscape to manage, you always want to keep in mind using Mulch to protect your soil and plants – ensuring your hard work, time and money isn’t wasted, and you have a beautiful and healthy environment to be around.