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Popular Perennials of December 2013: An Interview with Weesies Brothers Farms Inc.

By Kristen Bosse

Please describe a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

Weesies Bros. Garden Centers & Landscaping is a family owned and operated company and has been in business for over 100 years. Weesies started as a vegetable farm in the early 1900's and over the course of the next century moved to growing and selling beddings plants, perennials, trees and shrubs.

We now have four retail garden centers located in Spring Lake, Montague, Hart and Manistee. We grow and wholesale our own annuals, perennials and groundcovers.

We also have a full service landscape department offering everything from mowing and landscape maintenance, to irrigation installation and landscape/hardscape design and install. We work all along the lakeshore of West Michigan from Grand Haven to Manistee.

Our most recent venture is a division that offers floral services for weddings and special events. With our access to great flowering trees and shrubs as well as fresh and bought cut flowers we are able to offer a very unique service where we can rent trees and shrubs for an event as well as create centerpieces, bouquets, etc.

What is your position at Weesies Brothers Farm, Inc?

Landscape Operations Manager.

What are some ways I can prevent the presence of weeds on my lawn?

The first (and best) step to preventing weeds in your lawn is to maintain a healthy lawn. You can achieve this through regular fertilization, watering, aeration and dethatching. Every lawn is a little different and may have different requirements depending on the type of soil, nutrient content etc. and you should contact your local lawn care professionals for that information.

When you have a lush and healthy lawn it's more difficult for weeds to get started. You will probably always have the occasional nuisance weed that appears in your lawn, talk to your lawn care providers about spot treatment for these weeds.

Is there anything I should be doing to my garden to prepare for the winter season?

We might be getting to be a little late in the season for some of the winter preparations, but here is a list of things that can generally be done in the fall/early winter to prepare your garden for cold:

- fertilize perennials, shrubs and trees
- cut back all perennials
- transplant trees, shrubs and perennials (I prefer to do this in fall especially with perennials since you know where everything is. Come spring you may not remember what was where)
- mulch anything that was recently planted to protect roots from freeze/thaw
- trim spring flowering trees and shrubs as needed
- spray evergreens with an anti-dessicant such as wiltpruf (especially the first few years after they have been installed). Wrapping evergreens with burlap may also be an option if they are in an exposed area or you are in an area with a heavy deer population.

What are some of the most popular flowers/perennials at the moment?

Currently it seems as though people are very busy with their daily lives and like to be able to relax and enjoy their landscape during their down time. Not have to spend a lot of time trimming, feeding, weeding etc. so anything 'low maintenance' is in! There is no such thing as a no maintenance plant, but there are quite a few low maintenance options. Grasses are definitely in right now. They lend a more natural feel to landscapes, give movement, are beautiful summer through winter (great winter interest if left standing all winter) and are very low maintenance. Also in right now are the newer varieties of low maintenance shrubs roses such as the Knockout series, oso easy and drift roses. But I would say the most popular plant right now is an old favorite ? Hydrangeas. With so many options in color, size, form, even growing in shady locations to areas of full sun how could you not love them. Make sure you select the right Hydrangea for your condition (this is almost a choice for any spot!) and you will be thrilled with the beautiful flowers and low care requirements.

What makes your landscape designs different than other competitors?

Our designs are different from our competitors in that we work with the customer to achieve a beautiful and functional landscape that fits their vision and their needs. We also have the ability to provide customers not only with the typical overhead 'plan' view of the landscape design, but we go one step further to really give them a feel for what everything will look like upon completion. We build a 3D design using computer imaging to take them through their landscape and give them a scale view of what the retaining walls and patios will look like in front of their house with the landscape plants installed. This really separates us from the other design companies in our area, I can't tell you how many times customers have told me that the 3D imaging secured the job for us, many times over another company.

We are also a family owned business who cares about our clients and we always stand 100% behind our work. We work hard to complete the job right the first time around, but if for any reason the customer is not satisfied we will go back and make sure they are before we leave.

How do you help your customers choose from all the wonderful landscape enhancements available?

We have three on staff designers, one of whom will sit down with the customer and find out what goals the customer is trying to achieve. Whether it be a patio, lighting, water feature, or retaining wall our designers will help guide the customer in making the correct decision for their property. Together with the customer we make sure the design is both aesthetically pleasing and functional. We always strive to use the best quality products, at the best prices that we have come to know and trust.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you?

The best way for people to contact us is to either call our office at 231-894-4742 or email us through our website, www.weesies.com.

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Kristen has written impressive content including press releases and feature stories...

Phone: (203) 913-0483

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