Wedding, Garden, and Financial Planning

Wedding, Garden, and Financial Planning

Life often teaches us lessons when we least expect it. On this website you’ve seen how wedding arbors can become long term assets when repurposed and used as garden arbors. An arbor or trellis adds structure to a garden and provide plants with support and protection. Likewise, sound financial planning and preparation provides a structure that will help grow and protect your assets as a family. Planning a memorable wedding, planting a beautiful garden, and setting a sound financial foundation have a lot in common. As a married couple you will be applying for car loans and mortgages and have other needs for securing financing. Before entering into married life, many financial experts recommend that a couple take inventories of their financial health. One quick, easy thing that each of you can do today is to review your personal credit report files to make sure that there are no surprises or errors. You can get and review a free annual credit reports to make sure that credit will be available to you when you need it. If you’re not already in the habit of periodically reviewing your credit file yet, now is a great time to start. Here is a link to the www.FreeAnnualCreditReport.us website for free information: Starting off your new life together on solid footing with a financial game plan that you both agree on can help avoid unpleasant or even disastrous consequences down the road. Many marriages fail because of money reasons. If you take a few preventative measures and precautions now you can minimize the chances of that ever happening to you later. Although this serious topic is not as enjoyable as all the other preparations you are enjoying while planning your wedding, I hope that this simple yet important tip helps. Best wishes for a long, happy, healthy, and prosperous life...

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Garden Arbor Trellis, Rose Blooming, Wedding Decorations

Garden Arbor Trellis, Rose Blooming, Wedding Decorations

Roses are unmatched for their striking beauty, variety of colors, and unforgettable fragrance. Climbing plants help visually “ground” a garden structure to the landscape. Ivys and creepers make beautiful walls of foliage that glisten in the sun and wave in the breeze. So add the two together and climbing roses are like blooming jewels to use with a garden trellis. If you are planning a summer wedding, consider using some real live rose plants as wedding gazebo decorations. For a home wedding you can easily plan ahead and plant rose bushes during the fall or two before the year of your wedding. The roses can winter over in the ground as normal and start the spring off with vigorous growth in anticipation of the big summer show. Another option for outdoor or even indoor weddings is to grow some climbing, standard, or tree roses in containers. Then you can move them to the wedding site a day or more before the ceremony or reception  The growing containers need to be large enough to provide ample area for root growth and the soil needs to have good drainage, water retention, and proper nutrients. Shrub roses and tree roses are more commonly grown in planters and containers. Climbing roses area bit more difficult to establish and control in a container but the added effect can be well worth the effort. All roses require a lot of sunlight and good air circulation to bloom properly and stay free from diseases. Climbing roses can be tied to the trellis or arch uprights with floral twist ties, ribbon, or other materials to match the decorations or structure. Make sure to wear garden gloves and long sleeves when working with the roses. You don’t want to show scratched up arms in the wedding pictures. It might even possible to dig up and transplant roses to use on a newly added trellis if they are not too old and well established. You don’t want to damage too many roots during the growing season especially if it is close to your wedding day. A wilted plant and floppy blooms is not what a nervous bride needs to see. Many old style climbers have been around for generations proving how reliable they can be. New hybrids seem to be introduced just about every year resulting in more color choices, improved disease resistance, longer blooming range, or better hardiness characteristics. One of the best and most trusted sources of rose plants is Jackson and Perkins. They have been in business for many years and have a large selection of rose varieties to use for in ground and container growing. Try planting some climbing roses on a rose garden arbor...

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Flowering Vines for a Garden Arbor

Flowering Vines for a Garden Arbor

Flowering vines can really add to the beauty and functionality of a home landscape. If you are considering using a temporary arch in your wedding plans, buy one that can be reused in your home garden. In a previous article we discussed three of the most common landscape vines used to grow on arbors, pergolas, and decks. There are many more beautiful flowering vines that can make their home on any garden trellis or support. Flowering vines not only add splashes of color to the landscape but also attract wildlife such as songbirds and hummingbirds. Here is a sampling of some of those beauties: Honeysuckle – (Lonicera)  There are many forms of the honeysuckle from spreading shrubs to vines. One of the most attractive and commonly used landscape honeysuckles is the Orange Honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa). This quick maturing plant blooms from summer until frost and can reach 15-20 feet in height. Honeysuckle vines prefer at least partial sun to bloom successfully. The vine can be used to make an attractive screen in most places with temperatures similar to US hardiness zones 4-8. It is no surprise that hummingbirds are attracted to sweet smelling nectar of the flowers. Other widely used species of Lonicera include L. periclymenum (Woodbine), L. japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle) and L. sempervirens (Coral Honeysuckle). These vines grow easily, provide quick cover with their dense foliage, and definitely put on a show with their trumpet shaped flowers. Several are considered invasive species if let into the wild and some have mild poisonous berries. But that should not stop most gardeners from enjoying honeysuckle vines in their gardens. Morning Glory – Morning glories (Ipomoea) are beautiful flowering annual vines that grow quickly on smaller trellises and arbors. As a result of their prolific blooming (and the help of a few visiting bumblebees) they will attempt to spread by dropping many seeds. Although some people report that the heavenly blue varieties are not as vigorous seeders. Moonflower – The sweet scented moonflower (Ipomoea) is another vine with a flower similar in shape  to the morning glory, not surprising as it is related. However its large white blooms open during the evening hours and remain open until dawn. The flowers are short-lived but worth the effort once you witness their magical opening. Moonflowers are used as annuals in the northern climates and are perennials in the more tropical climate south. Sweet Peas – The Sweetpea (Latyrus) is a quick growing tender vine with fragrant flowers that come in whites and shades of pinks and violets. It is a short vine growing into a waist or chest high flush of foliage and flowers, perfect for the sides of a garden lattice arch....

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Wedding Arbor Decoration – Wedding Flowers, Plants, and Accessories

Wedding Arbor Decoration – Wedding Flowers, Plants, and Accessories

You have so many fun choices for all your wedding decorations and that’s also the case for decorating wedding arches. You can use traditional or modern decorations or a mixture of both. Once you decide on a general theme for your wedding and a color scheme to use the tough part is over. Selecting specific items to fill in the pieces of the puzzle can be a lot of fun. Be creative and open your mind to new ideas. Hopefully we have a few for you at WeddingArbor.org. First, here’s a suggestion – Plan to save and reuse some of the decorative detail items. You can enjoy them and literally keep a piece of your wedding ceremony alive in your home for many months and years to come. What do we mean? More on that later under wedding plants. Wedding Decorating Accessories – You’ll want to select a few of the following accessories for decorating your wedding arbor assembly and you have many options of colors, materials, and styles. These include satin ribbons, fabrics, tulle netting, bows, garlands, beading, and even lights. Small lights can add a sparkle to the setting especially for evening ceremonies or receptions. Helium filled balloons add a real light festive touch, a lot of color and motion, and even some excitement when the occasional one pops. Wedding Plants – It is common to add live cut flowers and greenery to the latticework to soften the edges. This also helps tie the structure into the landscape if it is an outdoor wedding ceremony. Place potted plants around the structure to add to the lushness of the setting and the moment. These can be outdoor plants that can be replanted in your landscape afterwards, potted flowering plants that can be given to guests after the reception, or indoor plants that can be taken home and enjoyed. Better yet, plan to use a combination of all three. You have the option to buy or rent live, neatly trimmed shrubs or topiary plants to place near the wedding arch. Decorate them with some of the same ribbons, tulle material, bows, or flowers to match those used on the archway. Check with local florists or privately-run garden centers about renting plants for the day if you decide to go that way. Wedding Ceremony Accents – If the wedding ceremony is indoors or a very protected outdoor area, consider using floor standing candelabras. Decorate the uprights with ribbons or garland to match the other components of your setting. Light the candles right before the ceremony to add to the ambiance. Even unlit, the candelabras lend a nice formal touch to the area. For a real unique and personal touch, consider...

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Garden Trellises, Arbors, Grape Vines, and Fruits

Garden Trellises, Arbors, Grape Vines, and Fruits

Well supported trellised vines provide structure, visual interest, and protection in the garden. Structure as in a growing architectural element in the landscape – visual beauty of foliage and fruit colors, forms and textures – and protection in the sense of providing shade and windscreens. Grape Vines  – Many of us grew up with a neighbor or relative who had grape vines in their backyard, the vines often sprawling over a handmade pergola or piping framework. Who can forget enjoying their annual fall treat of sweet Concord grapes, squeezing the skins, and spitting out the seeds. And sometimes you were lucky enough to witness the making of grape jam and enjoy its sweetness for many months of the year afterward. Grape vines make good hardy vertical cover for garden arbors and pergolas and the canopy they provide can block the harshest of summer sun rays. It takes a few years for the grape vines to establish themselves but it is well worth the wait to have many years of foliage and prolific sweet fruits that follow. And if you enjoy wine and are a bit adventurous, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of making your own homemade wine using the literal fruits of your labor. Variegated Kiwi Vine – The kiwi vine (Actinidia kolomikta) is an attractive deciduous vining plant that is grown for both its foliage and its “kiwi” fruits. The foliage provides interest with its green leaves that change at the tips to whites, pinks, and rose colors as the leaves mature. Although not as tough and foolproof as a grapevine, you should definitely consider using the kiwi vine in your landscape. It tends to do well in a wide range of climates such as the US hardiness zones 4-9 and possibly even into zone 3 with winter protection. If you want a fruit from this Actinidia vine you’ll have to get at least one each of male and female plants. Most often several fruit-bearing female plants are used in combination with a single male plant, which is still an attractive vine even without any fruit. The flowers are not all that conspicuous so this plant is really used for its foliage and fruit. It prefers full sun and will produce the showiest leaf variegation in such exposures. The kiwi vine will spread minimally about 3-4 feet wide and can grow to about 15-20 feet tall. Its twining stems need support and are best used on lattice filled structures. Blackberries – Blackberries and Raspberries are perennial shrubs that are often staked but they can also be trained to grow on trellises or the side of a garden arbor. Most blackberries have thorns on their stems so their placement...

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