Category Archives: Rockford

Getting Your Yard and Garden Ready For Winter

Fall has just arrived and winter is right around the corner. There are several things to do outside in the yard and in the garden to prepare for winter. Some things are a must; others will make next years gardening easier or more productive. Doing these things now will save money and valuable time in the spring.

Here is a check list to follow:

Water evergreens, trees and perennials before the ground freezes. This step is often overlooked and many home owners assume the plants, trees and shrubs will receive water from the snow that falls. This isn’t always the case so be safe rather than sorry and water heavily before winter sets in.

Mulch after the ground freezes to prevent heaving. Heaving is what happens when the ground freezes then thaws, then freezes again. This isn’t good for the plants and shrubs but wait until the ground is frozen before adding mulch around perennials and trees.

Disconnect and drain the garden hose, coil it up and place in the cellar, garage or storage building for the winter.

Being in a new home community, you may have new landscaping.  Protect any newly planted or young trees with burlap to protect from harsh winds and damaging snow. Also if you live in an area frequented by deer you might want to protect young trees with a fence to keep the deer from eating the bark and killing the tree.

Add a couple of inches of straw or hay to the strawberry and asparagus beds. Remember to pull this back in the spring when the temperatures start to rise.

Prune grape vines in the winter. Wait until the temps are down to freezing and winter is here. There is so much to do in the spring and this is one job that can be done now, just don’t do it until the winter freeze has set in.

Evergreens can take a beating during winter months. Protect evergreens with an anti-desiccant spray like Wilt-pruf, to seal in moisture. Give a second coat half way through winter for extra protection. Another option is to wrap the evergreens in burlap, especially in severe winter climates.

Bring outdoor containers indoors for the winter. Some outdoor containers can withstand the winter temperatures and the freezing and thawing. Others crack and break. This is another time an ounce of prevention can save you money.

Clean, sharpen and oil the garden tools. There is an old saying, “Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.” Wash and oil all the tools you use in the garden. Take this opportunity to sharpen any tools that need sharpening. Store them in a safe place where they will be ready to go to work, come spring.

If you are considering a new home in West Michigan, check out Sable’s website for new energy efficient homes.

Rosewood…Preserved for Natural Areas

Villa’s of Rosewood in Rockford MI
When Sable Developing first looked at the rolling hills, wooded acreage, and wetlands, there was no question this was a site that called out for preservation and protection. There are 62 acres of land with approximately 23 acres preserved for natural areas, and wetlands.

The Villas of Rosewood is a single-family home, detached condominium community situated on 62 acres in Rockford. What makes the 105-unit development so unique is the careful planning and engineering devoted to protecting its natural environment and allowing its residents to connect with nature. To ensure continuing protection of the natural areas, all lawn care will be serviced by professionals using organic methods. The goal of Villas of Rosewood is to make the site as beneficial to the environment after development as it was prior to development.

The community includes multiple rain gardens, ponds, and connecting stream beds combined with native species of trees, shrubs, water plants, and wildflowers. In traditional developments, retention ponds are built to capture runoff from pavement and roofs, often resulting in stagnant water that invites mosquitoes and flies. The Villas of Rosewood has an innovative ecosystem using a series of three bio retention ponds, connected by 1,700 feet of streambed, and surrounded by several rain gardens. This system will protect nearby wetlands by continuously cycling and filtering surface water. The ponds have aerators to provide water movement and oxygenation, and special plants known for their removal of organic and inorganic materials. These plants, which are all historically native to northern Kent County, will produce flowers, seeds, and fruit beneficial to wildlife. The rain gardens include several native plants, including pickerel weed (which produces beautiful spikes of purple flowers and removes heavy metals), switch grass, spice bush, water talla, and blue lobelia.

The landscape in the Villas of Rosewood provides a beautiful setting for the European cottage-style homes built according to Energy Star specifications. Conditioning costs of the homes is 40% less than non-Energy Star homes. Benefits include minimizing runoff into the community storm drains, and preservation of wetlands and wooded areas. This preservation permits the continued growth and sustainment of wildlife and vegetation.

Integrated storm water management early in the site planning process
Microscale techniques to manage precipitation
Natural features in landscape
Fewer pipe and underground infrastructure
Flowing streams with water falls and retention ponds
Preserved and improved wildlife habitat
Enhanced wetlands and wetland protection
Rain gardens and bioretention