Jay Veitz’s school-age years, he worked with his
mother in the yard, learning all about the organic ways
she gardened. One of her favorite natural gardening
practices was IPM, or Integrated Pest Management, which
allows good bugs to naturally control bad bugs.
later Veitz still favors no chemical controls whenever
have always helped my mother in the yard," says
Veitz, 35, who lives in Yorktown, Va., with his wife and
three children — daughters, ages 9 and 11, and son, 6.
have been fortunate enough to be able to continue this
tradition with my children. My children have grown very
fond of planting, growing and picking vegetables as well
as developing their own opinion of where plants should
go. They are fortunate to enjoy gardening with both sets
of grandparents as well."
also a firefighter, has used that hands-on learning with
his mother in his landscape design and maintenance
business, Nature’s Own Landscaping LLC —
you hire a professional landscaper or decide to do it
yourself, don’t get overwhelmed with a new home and
landscape, Veitz advises.
that it is a work in progress and does not all need to
be completed at once," he says.
your landscape. Use your knowledge and trial and error
until you obtain desired results."
Willows for their calming appearance. Bald cypress for
fall coloration. River birch for year-round interest.
Lace leaf Japanese maple for brilliant fall coloring.
Crape myrtle for durability, prolific blooms and
Gold mops for year-round yellow foliage. Camellias for
evergreen interest and winter flowers. Loropetalum for
deep maroon foliage. Abelia for multi-season coloring.
Vitex for fragrance and attractive spikes of lavender
Veitz could be a plant, he says it would be a mahonia,
an evergreen with winter flowers followed by berries.
is tough-skinned, sharp around the edges, yet full of
interest," Veitz says.
nandinas are overused by contractors as filler plants
— consider yaupon holly instead.
hawthorns are susceptible to leaf spot and deer —
consider abelias instead.
pears are prone to wind damage and smell bad —
consider Japanese zelkova instead.
Start with the roots and give your plants good soil for
good root development.
Monitor moisture content of the soil. Watch for signs of
plant stress such as leaves yellowing or drooping. Use
your hands to expose the surface layer of soil to judge
moisture content, Veitz suggests.
Properly place your plants so they have room to grow
instead of crowding each other.
Know each plant’s needs: soil, light and moisture. For
example, planting a moisture- and shade-loving hosta in
a dry, sunny bed is not a wise decision. And, most
evergreens prefer well-draining soil, not soggy
Coordinate your landscape style and design with your
home’s architecture and overall look and colors.
Choose plant material for its long-term attractiveness.
Research your plants, and ask professionals for help
with your needs.