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Gardening Blog

Why Waterscape?

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Ponds, fountains, waterfalls, koi gardens… These types of waterscapes are living works of art that add a peaceful and Zen-like ambiance to your landscape while also helping our native wildlife.

Check out our top 3 reasons to add a waterscape to your yard in 2023!

  1. Water features serve as a rest stop for many species of birds and other pollinators, providing an opportunity to drink, bathe, and cool off in the heat of summer. The addition of a water feature may even entice some birds to stay – and nest – providing hours of visual enjoyment and functional appeal as they snack on pesky insects like flies, gnats, and mosquitoes. The most beneficial types of waterscapes for pollinators are reflecting pools, fountains, ponds with waterfall features, and water gardens. A koi garden is another great way to reduce insects from invading the backyard!
  2. Waterscapes create a relaxing and soothing place to unwind. We like to think of them as a peaceful getaway within the overall landscape. The sound of flowing water from a fountain, waterfall, or small stream can help to ease your mind after a stressful day, or provide a backdrop for enjoying a cup of tea or indulging in healing yoga and meditation practice.
  3. A water feature can help transform an outdoor space into the perfect destination for entertaining family, neighbors, and friends. Imagine enjoying a romantic brunch with your sweetheart while the soothing and refreshing sounds of a fountain splash in the background. Or – picture your grandchildren gathered around the water garden, observing goldfish, tadpoles and dragonflies together on a balmy summer day. A thoughtfully planned waterscape can provide a lifetime of enjoyment and serve as a learning tool that provides many teachable moments.

Our friends at Beaver Pond Lawn and Landscape are the area experts in waterscape design and installation! Contact them today to learn how you can improve an existing water feature or add a brand new waterscape to your backyard!


Cut Tree and Greenery Care

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Cut Tree and Greenery Care

Fresh cut trees and greens add a festive touch to the holidays. With proper care, you can enjoy them all season.

Here are a few tips:

Cut Trees

  • Make a fresh cut at the base of the tree and get it into water within one hour to prevent the sap from sealing, preventing the tree from taking up water.
  • Keep plenty of water in the tree stand. Your tree may use a gallon or more water a day and the stand may need to be refilled more than once.
  • Adding Prolong to the water will assist in the uptake of water and will help the tree retain its needles longer.
  • Place the tree away from heat vents and other heat sources.
  • Help prevent electric fires by inspecting all cords and unplugging your tree when you are not home.

Fresh Greens

  • Soak overnight or up to 24 hours and keep in a cool location, like the garage, until you are ready to decorate.
  • Keep away from heat vents and other heat sources. Temporarily remove greens from the mantle when the fireplace is in use.
  • Avoid placing wreaths and greenery between the main door and storm door. The heat and sun will accelerate drying out.
  • Daily misting will assist in moisture retention.
  • You may spray greens with an anti-desiccant such as Wilt-Pruf, which acts as a protective coating to prevent moisture loss. Always use outside and dry thoroughly before re-hanging them. Avoid using on junipers and berries as the product will cause them to turn black.

The team at Himmel’s Landscape and Garden Center wish you a joy filled holiday.

2022 Update: Tanyard Springs

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2022 Update from Tanyard Springs Food Bank


Pounds of Food Donated to Food Banks in 2022
An update from our friends at Tanyard Springs:
“I’m writing to thank you and Himmel’s for another year of support for the Tanyard Springs Community Garden Committee’s food bank project.
The Tanyard Springs community has a garden where residents can rent garden plots for personal use. Garden beds that are either unrented or are rented and donated back to the food bank project are used by the committee to grow vegetables and herbs that are donated to local food banks.
This year, we were able to donate 491 pounds of cucumbers, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, squash and melons to area food banks [nearly double the 249 pounds we donated last year] using plants selected from Himmel’s in consultation with Himmel’s staff.
In addition, with your advice, we planted a pollination garden with perennials to attract bees and butterflies that will continue to enhance our community and support our garden project.
Again, our committee appreciates the support and advice Himmel’s has provided to our effort for the last three years.”

Fall Lawn Revitalizing

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Fall Lawn Revitalizing Tips!

Laura from Garden Answer uses Himmel's favorite Espoma products!
Soil Test

Get a soil test done to ensure the health of your soil. New grass will grow best when the pH of the soil is 6.5-7.2. Apply amendments to correct the pH of your soil as needed.


Generally, mowing your lawn to 2.5-3” tall is best.


Remove dead plant matter. This will help your new seed to have contact with the soil.


This puts holes into your lawn and helps circulate oxygen into your soil.

Apply starter fertilizer

This will give your new seed the nutrients it needs to survive. (There are fertilizers that contain low to no phosphorus if your soil has a healthy concentration of phosphorus)

Apply grass seed

We offer sun tolerant tall fescue blends as well as a blend specifically made for the shade. Ensure the best value by avoiding seed blends that have a high concentration of annual rye grass or weed seed in general.

Apply a cover to your grass seed

We offer straw. Covering your seed will help keep it in place as it grows. It will also deter animals from eating the seed.

Water your new seed

Water every day in the morning and evening (except when it rains) until your new grass is 3.5-4” tall or tall enough to mow. It is important that your lawn is watered evenly every time it receives hydration. Keeping your lawn tall (3.5-4”) will help deter weed seeds from sprouting as well.

Contact Himmel's today for a soil test and lawn treatment plan!

A Beautiful Lawn – Year Round

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Year-Round Organic Soil Care For a Beautiful Lawn

Why should you integrate organics into your lawn feeding program? The benefits gained from the use of organics include improved disease and insect resistance, as well as improved heat and cold tolerance. Organic products will also improve your soil’s biology. The soil will become more permeable and alive, allowing water, air, and grass roots to penetrate the lawn soil more deeply and ultimately establishing a better foundation for grass to flourish. Organics are also safe for pets and children!


Espoma Lightning Lime
This product is a highly soluble form of calcium that helps to rapidly raise your soil’s pH, improving the health of your lawn by releasing trapped nutrients in the soil that feed the grass plants. We recommend that this only be applied as needed after a soil test has been completed.

Espoma Spring Lawn Booster
This product is specifically formulated to optimize the growth of your lawn, and provide 2.5 times more slow-release nitrogen (SRN) than conventional lawn programs.


Espoma All Season Lawn Food
Contains Bio-Tone Microbes that help make nutrients more available to your lawn. These microbes will help promote faster greening, deeper roots, and improved soil structure.


Espoma Summer Revitalizer
For use on all lawns including newly seeded and sodded areas. Contains 2% non-staining iron which helps turn a yellow lawn to green.


Espoma All Season Lawn Food


Espoma Fall Winterizer
Supplies long lasting nitrogen, an essential nutrient that helps to promote a thicker lawn and vigorous growth. It is also fortified with potassium, a nutrient that helps the lawn recover from summer drought conditions, enhances winter hardiness and helps promote a better spring greening the following season.

Contact Himmel’s today for a soil test and lawn treatment plan!

Summer Lawn Survival

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Is your lawn looking tired and worn down? Are you seeing more brown and yellow than green? You’re not alone. We can help you bring your lawn back to life even if it seems to have given up. Protecting your lawn from the extreme weather of summer is a challenge but it can be done. Our tips will help you maintain a lush, healthy lawn for you to enjoy and will increase overall curb appeal.

  • Sharpen your mower blades. This is very important, especially in the summer. Cutting with dull blades will cause grass blades to fray. Frayed blades of grass are more susceptible to browning and the development of fungal and other diseases, especially when combined with moisture from dew and rainfall.
  • Mow your lawn weekly, and don’t cut it too short. Keeping your lawn between 3 and 3.5” tall in the summer will encourage deep root development that will help inhibit weed growth. This will also make your lawn less dependent on water.
  • Mow at mid-morning, and only when the grass is dry. This time frame – after the morning dew dries and before the heat of the day sets in – allows sufficient time for the lawn to heal before dew sets in again at nightfall. Wet grass blades tend to bend, which is problematic when mowing, and as mentioned, frayed, or damaged blades of grass are susceptible to disease from moisture.
  • Water your lawn early in the morning, and not on mowing days. A tall fescue lawn requires 1” of water each week to thrive. When a fescue lawn doesn’t receive adequate amounts of water, it’s roots may be weakened. A weakened root system will lead to disease and damage.
  • Apply fertilizer to a freshly mowed, dry lawn every 5-6 weeks. Applying fertilizer to a wet lawn may prevent the nutrients from even distribution. Regarding fertilizer – N-P-K can be better understood when it is read as Up, Down, All-around. Nitrogen (N) promotes green growth (Up); Phosphorus (P) promotes root, fruit, and flower development (Down); Potassium (K) promotes disease and drought tolerance (All-around). We like Espoma Summer Revitalizer for summer lawn care, and other organic Espoma lawn fertilizers throughout the year. Note – Herbicides should not be applied this time of year.
  • Apply grub control treatments as needed. Grubs are pests that weaken and destroy the root system. We like milky spore because it only affects Japanese Beetle Grubs.
  • Treat pet stains in your lawn by deeply watering the affected area within 8 hours of contact.
  • Resist the urge to aerate, dethatch, or overseed your lawn in the summer. Those tasks are best done in the fall.

As always, feel free to contact the experts at Himmel’s Landscape and Garden Center to discuss your specific needs. Whether it’s bringing your tired lawn back to life, starting from scratch with sod, or going lawn-free altogether, we are here to assist! Contact Joey at 410-255-7730 or to schedule your free consultation today!

Monarch Butterfly Waystation

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Nothing says summer quite like the activity of butterflies in the garden. With their majestic presence and humorous antics, they are a welcome site in the heat. By creating a Monarch Waystation, you could help one of most treasured butterflies.

Planning and installing a butterfly habitat is simple and rewarding. All you have to do is provide them with shelter, food, and water.

Monarch Waystations do have specific requirements for certification with There isn’t a minimum size requirement, but we recommend that they be at least 100 square feet.

It is important that your waystation be installed in an area that receives full sun. Butterflies are most active in full sun.

To provide shelter, be sure that your plants are close together but not crowded. A good rule of thumb is to have your plants 12-18” apart throughout your waystation.

Monarch caterpillars rely on Milkweed Plants, they are their only food source before they become Monarch butterflies. Our team recommends that you plant at least 10 Milkweed Plants to give your Monarch butterflies the best chance of survival. If you offer the Monarchs the four milkweeds that are native to Maryland, we are sure that you’ll have success with creating their new habitat. The four native milkweeds are Asclepias incarnata (Swamp milkweed), Asclepias syriaca (Common milkweed), Asclepias tuberosa (Orange milkweed), and Asclepias verticillata (Whorled milkweed).

Planting a variety of nectar producing plants will serve as the food sources for the Monarchs once they become butterflies.Some favorite flowers of butterflies include Achillea (yarrow), Agastache (hyssop), Baptisia (false indigo), Conoclinium coelestinum (hardy ageratum), Coreopsis verticillata (threadeaf coreopsis), Echinacea (coneflower), Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master), Eutrochium maculatum (Joe Pye weed), Helenium autumnale (sneezeweed), Heleiopsis helianthoides (oxeye sunflower), Liatris spicata (blazing star), Monarda didyma (bergamot), Penstemon digitalis (beardtongue), Pycanthemum muticum (mountain mint), Rudbeckia fulgida (black-eyed susan), and Vernonia noveboracensis (New York ironweed).

Update from the Tanyard Springs Community’s Food Bank

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June 2022 Update:

Today was the Community Garden Committee’s first harvest and food bank donation of the 2022 season – 76.5 pounds of cucumber, eggplant, squash and green peppers!

This was the largest single day’s harvest in the committee’s history.

Here is an update from the Tanyard Springs Community’s Food Bank:

Thank you again for supporting the Tanyard Springs Community's Food Bank project again this year. I've attached some photos of the planted beds and our new pollinator bed, which I'm happy to report is already being checked out by at least a few bees. Our garden also includes berry bushes, sunflowers, a shared herb garden and a rose garden.

To date our Food Bank Project has donated nearly 250 pounds of fresh produce to local food banks. The support provided by Himmel's Landscape and Garden Center has been instrumental in our success. Lisa Winters pre-selected the plants for our order and other workers assisted in loading our plants at pickup time. We look forward to continuing our association with Himmel's as time goes on.

MichaelTanyard Springs Community's Food Bank

We Have Some New Faces

By What You Grow Matters No Comments

Visitors to Himmel’s Landscape and Garden Center this spring will notice some fresh new faces in the lot and behind the register! Our Mission is ‘Helping our neighbors build a better, healthier and more beautiful world’. We believe that training young people in the field of horticulture is a great way to bring that mission to fruition, and so we have hired 5 high school students to help out.

These students will learn about composting, how to start vegetables and herbs from seed, and how to nurture vegetables and fruits to harvest in our demonstration raised bed gardens. They will learn which plants are best suited for sun to shade, the differences between evergreen and deciduous and annual and perennial, and other important tips for helping customers make the best selections for their yard. If interested and motivated, they will have the opportunity to help out on landscape and hardscape installations and participate in special trainings and seminars to build their knowledge and skill set.

Specific training on the importance of native plants and instruction on building pollinator-friendly and Bay-friendly gardens will help our new employees understand the positive impact that gardening can have on our environment. It will also help us achieve our vision which is ‘promoting the value of life by building a stronger sense of community, encouraging young people to connect with nature, educating our neighbors on the beauty and significance of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed, selling more native plants and trees, and demonstrating commitment to making the world a better, healthier and more beautiful place’.

Most importantly, they will learn the skills to be successful in the workplace and contribute to society in a meaningful way. During each interview I asked these students what they are looking for in a leader. They all responded in a similar way. They want managers / authority figures who will treat them with kindness and provide them with the guidance they need to be successful and do an excellent job. I am so excited that Himmel’s leadership has the opportunity to mentor young people in our community. I look forward to seeing you at the shop this season – and let me know what you think of our new team members!

What does spring look like to you?

By What You Grow Matters No Comments

What does spring look like to you? Is it the sight of the first robin with its perky red breast and lively antics? The hint of warmth in the air and the sight of new buds on trees? Perhaps it’s the smell of the soil warming; a rich and earthy scent that delights the gardener in all of us. When I was a girl, there was a tiny patch of crocus near our driveway. When I saw those little purple and lemony-yellow gems peeking out to greet the sunshine, sometimes from a cover of snow, I knew that spring was approaching. I loved to observe them closely to see the rich pollen on their stamens and trace the delicate veins of color in their gossamer petals. Although the blooms were fleeting they awoke a sense of excitement in my heart.

Now – spring means truckloads of plants arriving daily, and the anticipation of new vegetable and herb varieties, unique new shrubs and trees, a mix of old-fashioned and exotic annuals and perennials, and beautiful statuary and pottery. It means greeting my neighbors who, like myself, have spring fever and are itching to get their hands dirty.

What projects do you have in mind for 2019? Are you a first-time gardener looking for advice? Perhaps you are thinking about starting vegetables from seed?  Do you have a plan to revise your landscape and maybe install a new patio? Whatever it is – Himmel’s has the cure for your spring fever, and the expertise to guide you.

We were busy over the winter making a few changes to the lot, learning new tips and tricks, and hiring new employees, all within the framework of our mission to help our neighbors build a better, healthier and more beautiful world. We welcome you to visit us this spring and find out more. See you soon!