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Developed for the Locals, by the Locals

Our expert staff knows that laying a good foundation is the first step to successful gardening. From topsoil, potting soils, compost, grass seed and soil amendments, we have everything you need to help you keep your lawn and garden in tip top shape!

All McDonald mixes are specifically formulated for Hampton Roads to ensure your gardening success.

Natural & Organic Potting Soil: Formulated with natural & organic materials to ensure high performance and reliability for Hampton Roads’ gardeners. Ideal to use in indoor and outdoor containers, hanging baskets and container grown edibles.

All-Purpose Potting Soil: Formulated with high quality ingredients to ensure high performance and reliability for Hampton Roads’ gardeners. Ideal to use in indoor and outdoor containers, hanging baskets, pots and planters.

Natural & Organic Garden Compost: Naturally rich, all organic compost blend. Ideal to use in outdoor gardens, plant beds, raised veggie gardens and lawns.

Premium Topsoil: Contains peat moss to enhance the condition of your soil. Ideal to use in planting, seeding, filling and leveling and building plant beds.

Premium Soil Builder:This soil amendment with Mycrorhizea encourages growth from the soil up. Ideal to use when planting trees and shrubs, woody perennials and to amend soil.

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Bedazzling Bulbs ~ New for 2012

Bulbs are an easy way to add color, texture and bloom variety to your garden. They are easy to grow, quick to deliver, are relatively inexpensive and their versatility is unbeatable! They can be grown in most any garden situation, in pots, borders, rock gardens, grass and even indoors. Now’s the time to start planning for those spring flowering bulbs, but there's no need to confine your planting efforts to the garden. Don’t overlook those indoor bloomers like Amaryllis and Paperwhites for dramatic blooms to brighten your home this fall and winter. With over 100 varieties of bulbs, we are excited to add these new beauties to our bulb collection:

Hyacinth Double Hollyhock - exquisite, double crimson red flowers. This extremely fragrant spring bloomer is ideal in containers or borders, and is perfect for indoor-forcing. Flowers in mid spring. Prefers well-drained soil and full sun. Deer, squirrel and rabbit resistant. When planting, wear gloves to prevent skin irritation.

Narcissus Sweet Pomponette - large, long-lasting double Daffodil featuring varying shades of yellow. This delightfully fragrant Daffodil blooms mid spring and is the perfect companion alongside other Daffodils, or as a cut flower in bouquets. Plant in a sunny, well-drained location. Deer resistant.

Tulip Limelight - superb, chartreuse-yellow blooms that flowers in mid to late spring. Growth is vigorous in average garden soil and prefers full sun to partial shade. Perfect in borders, containers or as a cut flower in mixed bouquets.

Narcissus Sun Disc - dwarf Daffodil producing buttercup yellow flowers. Blooms mid to late spring. Ideal for naturalizing along a wooded area, in pots and in beds. Plant in well drained soil in shade to full sun. Vole and deer resistant.

Narcissus Erlicheer (Paperwhite) - double, creamy-white blossoms that are intensely fragrant. Blooms early to mid spring or can be forced indoors during the fall and winter months. Plant in full sun to partial shade.

Amaryllis La Paz - upper petals are dark coral while the lower petals are greenish-white rimmed with dark coral. The slender, spidery flowers bloom early spring or plant them indoors in the fall or winter. Prefers full sun.

Amaryllis Red Pearl - massive, saucer-shaped flowers in deep crimson red with darker throats. Plant indoors in the winter or outdoors in summer. Plant in full sun.

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Peppers Too Beautiful to Eat

Ornamental peppers are absolutely stunning with their flashy kaleidoscope of color. Many gardeners are unaware of the beauty peppers provide to both beds and containers due to their delightfully colored fruit. Much like hot peppers you would grow in your veggie garden, ornamental peppers produce colorful little fruits that are round or pointed. But these varieties are so beautiful in their own right that they can be grown just for show -- not to eat. Ornamental peppers are indeed edible, but usually their flavor is lacking compared to the peppers grown for the table such as bell & sweet peppers.

Depending on the variety, ornamental peppers appear in shades of purple, red, orange, and yellow -- often with multiple colors on the same plant. They usually have finely shaped leaves and small chili pepper-shaped or ball-shaped fruits. Incorporate these plants into your late summer and fall beds. Ornamental peppers also make a perfect addition to container combos.

Try these varieties to really spice up your garden:

Black Pearl ~ This fun and funky plant is sought after for its deep-purple-black leaves and round, shiny black fruit that ages to glistening red spheres.

Basket of Fire ~ Want some red-hot color? The Basket of Fire is for you! The unique, bushy growing habit makes it perfect for hanging baskets and in containers. This colorful variety becomes smothered with small, hot chillies which mature from deep purple through yellow and orange to a bright shade of scarlet red, creating a fabulous display.

Medusa ~ This multi-colored dwarf pepper grows well indoors as a potted plant and as a bedding plant from spring through Christmas. Medusa boasts a narrow, twisted, cone shaped fruit – held prominently upright over the dark green foliage. Fruit starts out ivory, turns to yellow, then orange, and finally bright red. A single plant can produce 40 to 50 fruits, displaying the entire range of colours at one time.

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Paving the Way

Roasting marshmallows in your fire pit, enjoying a glass of wine on your patio, or simply relaxing with friends & family in your garden are all ways that you can enjoy your yard. Nowadays, the back yard has become an extension of the home and the popularity of using concrete pavers in landscapes continues to be on the rise. From patios, to walkways and even fire pits, it’s no wonder concrete pavers have become one of the top choices for all external paving needs. Today’s pavers offer the homeowner numerous benefits. Here are some of the reasons concrete pavers are so popular today:

In addition to walls, patios and walkways, pavers can be used for edging, entryways, driveways, poolside, in borders, tree rings, planters and more. Whatever your project requires and whatever your taste, pavers provide versatility in material, function, and design.

Limitless Design Possibilities

When it comes to design, the sky’s the limit. There is no end to the architectural style, shape, and pattern possibilities of concrete pavers. Their various shapes, textures, sizes and colors allow for variety of patterns. Pavers can replicate the look of stone, brick, tile or cobblestone. They are also available in vast assortment of colors, including chocolate brown, terracotta, sandy gold, rust, dusty grey, white pewter, and more. They can be used horizontally or vertically, straight or curved or combine multiple patterns to create a one-of-a-kind look.

Concrete pavers are relatively easy to install and most projects can be completed with a few tools. Tightly fitted, uniform pavers are placed over a sand bed and a compacted aggregate base. Because most are loose-laid (installed without mortar), installation is quick and most projects are ready for use as soon as the project is complete.

Durability & Strength
Three times stronger than poured concrete, pavers can withstand harsh weather conditions. Pavers move together with the earth below, so damage and cracking is far less frequent as compared to poured concrete. Additionally, stained or broken pavers can be easily replaced.

Low Maintenance
Pavers are easy to care for. With regular sweeping, occasional rinsing, and intermittent coating or sealing depending on the material, pavers will endure and remain strong for years to come. And, they're less likely to shift and crack in colder climates than a solid slab.

Non-slip pavers can be installed poolside, in walkways, patios or any other location in the landscape.

Storm water will filter through rather than running off. This is a real benefit to homeowners living on or near waterways.

Hardscape features will not only add interest to your existing landscape but will increase the value of your home and can minimize softscape and turf areas that need to be maintained.

Learn more about our hardscape designs? HARDSCAPE DESIGNS >>

Join us at our year-round Virginia Beach location, 1144 Independence Blvd this Saturday August 11th at 10am, for a complimentary hardscape workshop and design seminar. Workshop features the NEW Essex stone along with tips on how you can bring a whole new look of elegance to your outdoor space. Whether it's a new patio, walkway or garden path, the irregular shape and slate-like texture of Essex stone lends the feel of a natural stone inlay. Free admission.

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Grass with Sass


Looking to add a little sass to your garden? Then 'Miscanthus Adagio' is for you! This perennial ornamental grass will bring that structure, style & texture you've been searching for.

Adagio is a fast-growing, dwarf variety that will reach approximately 5 feet x 3 feet, preferring partial to full sun. It's an upright, warm season, clump-forming ornamental grass which features extremely narrow, silver-gray blades which turn yellow in fall. Tiny pink-tinged flowers appear in tassel-like plumes above the foliage in August, which gradually turn to a creamy white by fall as the seeds mature. Foliage and flower plumes persist well into winter providing good winter interest as well.

Follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive root system. For a neat appearance, remove old foliage before new leaves emerge. Divide clumps every 2 to 3 years in early spring and prune each spring.

Try planting this grass as an accent ~ or, go bold and really make a statement by planting a grouping!

Let's Talk Texture

We asked one of our talented Landscape Designers, Mary Ann Newton, about what is often overlooked when designing landscapes. Her answer? Texture. The texture that plant's offer is often overlooked in the landscape, but it is an integral part of any good design.

Here's what she had to say:

"Texture is an integral part of landscape design. Generally speaking, similar textures work together. A fine texture sort of gets lost next to a big, bold leaf. Dramatic, tropical looks tend to have over-sized foliage, and the bones of formal gardens tend to have smaller textured leaves. Keeping formal gardens neat and trimmed is easier this way, because electric or gas pruners can be effectively used. If you prune a bold texture with a machine, you end up with torn and shredded foliage. Prune these by hand, hiding cuts.

Not so generally speaking, contrasting foliage can give emphasis and drama to a garden design. You often see a clipped, formal garden punctuated by a Miscanthus or a Hydrangea, or even a Banana Tree. The texture of ornamental grasses can add drama to many garden styles. While the green, cascades or sprays and their plumes provide drama, the beige, dried foliage of winter sways in the breeze and whispers as it rustles. Conversely, a loose, flowing group of shrubs may need the contrast of a tight, small textured form to anchor it and provide some order.

While we all love color, most of our plants are primarily green. The art of combining textures in pleasing and interesting ways makes our gardening experience more rewarding and our gardens more beautiful."

--Mary Ann Newton, McDonald Landscape Designer

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Low Maintenance Landscapes

Two words every homeowner loves to hear: "low" and "maintenance". We would be lying if we told you there was such thing as a maintenance-free landscape. However, with a little research and planning you can create a gorgeous landscape that is functional, meets all your needs, and requires minimal time and yes, LOW maintenance. So, if you’re goal is to spend more time relaxing and less time working in the garden, follow these four tips on how to keep your landscape low maintenance:

Low maintenance plants include those that don't grow too big, or at least grow slowly requiring minimal pruning. Drift Roses, Eleanor Tabor Indian Hawthorne, Nandina Firepower and Liriope are good choices for shrubs. Incorporate perennials that don’t need a lot of water like Autumn Joy Sedum, Hens & Chicks, native Coneflowers, Lambs’ Ears, Daylilies and Coreopsis. Complement these with a drought-resistant grass such Blue Fescue, Fountain Grass or Yellow Pampas Grass. Trees are also typically lower maintenance. Consider Crepe myrtles, Japanese Maples, Dogwoods, Yuccas and Redbuds.

The more open grass areas in your landscape, the more weeding and maintenance work you’ll have to do. There are many things you can do to reduce turf areas in your yard.

Mulch may not seem very important in the grand scheme of things, but it’s actually key for the health of any landscape and helps to minimize lawn maintenance. Use mulch to seal in moisture for less watering and to discouraging weed growth. Mulch can also create a unified look and comes in a variety of colors and materials. McDonald Landscapes recommends maintaining mulch to a depth of 3 inches to reap all the benefits that mulch provides.

Hardscapes such as patios and walkways can also minimize the space that needs be maintained. These structures also make it easier for visitors and family to enjoy your garden.

Irrigation cuts landscaping maintenance time by ensuring that every plant gets the water it needs, and there are a variety of irrigation options available.

Soaker hoses are convenient and a very cost-effective way to water. When water is turned on and pressure builds inside the hose, water is forced out of small pores in a steady drip that can easily be absorbed by plants. Incorporate soaker hoses throughout your garden. Wind them around trees and shrubs, or line your vegetable garden for an instant irrigation system. Covering them with mulch helps them disappear and less likely to lose water to evaporation.

Drip irrigation systems are another option. Drip irrigation sends water directly to a plant’s roots in a slow drip where it can be easily absorbed. To make irrigation systems even more convenient, may types offer timer based controllers so you can “set it and forget it”.

Did you know that fall is actually the best time to plant most trees & shrubs? Fall planting allows plants to root prior to summer drought and helps reduce watering in the first year.

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