arbor tiearbor tie around mumToday I planted and arranged fall flowers at my house.  While rushing to get that chore done so I could move on to the next, it hit me.  Maybe some of you folks could use some tips on this.

How can I work underneath a wide plant and keep my sanity?

Right?  It can be a real nuisance “getting down in there”.  In this instance it’s a mum, one of the popular fall flowers.

The idea is simple.  Carefully tie up and bundle the branches so you can see what you’re doing.  Frankly, this trick applies to working underneath and around many types of plants.

mum in concrete plantermum in concrete planterRemember to mark the nicest side (face) of the mum before tying it up.  A little piece of string works great for this.

I’m using a piece of Arbor Tie to tie up the mum.  It’s wider than string and very soft.  For delicate plants (like a mum), something like this works great.  I’ve also rolled up a piece of burlap and tied that around the plant.  You get the idea.

How to keep top-heavy fall flowers from falling over.

Frequently we arrange fall flowers just in their nursery pots above ground.  These seasonal arrangements can get very creative by arranging the plants at different heights and positions.  How often, though, do you see them tipped over?

garden bamboo stakesmum with bamboo stakesHere’s a simple fix.  Use 3 bamboo garden stakes per mum to “stake” them in place.

Push each bamboo stake through a drainage hole up from the bottom.  Angle the stake in a bit so you stay in the “meat” of the root ball.

Let them stick out the bottom 1/2″ or so and set the plant where you like it.  Push each stake down into the ground and/or hay bale.  Prune off the excess bamboo on top.

cut down bamboo stakemums, pumpkins and hay baleSeasonal arrangements, like with fall flowers, add something special for that time of year.  But like everything else in the landscape, there’s a practical and functional side.

Mums and other fall flowers must be kept moist.  By planting them in either the ground or larger planters you slow down the moisture loss.

For those you arrange above ground the bamboo staking method ensures they stay put.  Just be aware that these plants will require more frequent waterings.

For those in the trade, you don’t want to be spending more time than you have to on these seasonal arrangements.  But, like always, the results are important.  Use these tricks to make things easier on you.  Plus, you’ll get fewer call backs, more happy customers and possibly the greatest compliment of all…referrals.

There are so many creative ideas out there for seasonal displays.  If you’re into it, feel free to share any techniques or styles you may use in the comments.

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