Spruce up your outdoor space with Year Round Gardening

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Looking to spruce up your yard this spring?  Look no further than “Year Round Gardening!”

Marysia and Jeff Coyne design, install and maintain annual, perennial and container gardens.

Whether you’re looking for a facelift or an overhaul, owners Marysia and Jeff Coyne can help.  The residential landscaping and gardening company does it all from designing and installing gardens and foundation plantings to maintaining annual and perennial gardens and containers.  “We do pretty much everything but lawns and trees!” says Marysia.

The Coynes specialize in “Cottage Gardens,” flowering gardens full of perennials and annuals that provide color all year. These gardens can be tailored to fit almost any space.

The Coynes specialize in Cottage Gardens.

But Year-Round Gardening offers so much more.  Perhaps more familiar to your average homeowner is what landscapers call “foundation planting” – the plants installed near the foundation of the house.  “A lot of times, builders who don’t have any understanding of gardening will install plants that are the wrong size, or they’ll do it in the wrong order so there are tall things in the front and short things in the back,” says Jeff.  “Some builders will also overplant initially, so the front looks full, but then five or ten years down the road it’s suffocating.”

Foundation planting like that can be more than just an eventual eyesore.  Burford Holly Trees, for example, often used by builders to border the corners of a foundation, can grow two stories high, becoming impossible to prune.  The large root systems can even affect a house’s foundation.  “These ultimately fail,” says Jeff. “We’ll come in and take all of that out and redo it correctly. For instance,” continues Jeff, using his own Mint Hill home as an example, “we moved into a house that’s thirty years old, and the shrubs at the front of the house are too big.  They’ve run their course, so we’ll remove those and put in something that will soften the front of the house and add some color.”

Year Round Gardening also designs and installs foundation plantings.

Marysia has been in business since 1997 when she left a career in banking to pursue a horticulture degree.  “My mom was a gardener, and I enjoyed gardening, too,” says Marysia. In fact, it was a hobby she often found herself turning to for relief from the stress of corporate work.  When both Marysia’s in-laws were diagnosed with terminal cancer, and she quit her job to care for them, she also made the decision not to return. “I’m not going back to the bank,” thought Marysia.  “I’m going to do what I love.”

If you take a moment to talk to Marysia about gardening, two things become crystal clear: 1) gardening and landscaping are complicated, and 2) Marysia knows what she’s talking about.  No matter whether she’s working on a foundation planting, a cottage garden, or containers to spruce up a pool area or outdoor living space, getting it right takes a lot of careful planning.

“Light, soil and water,” says Marysia.  “Those three things are a lot more complicated than people give them credit for.”  Marysia points out that summer light – when the sun is high in the sky and there are leaves on the trees – is markedly different from winter light – when the sun sits lower on the horizon and the trees are bare.  “For a plan to be successful, it has to live through the hottest of summer and the least light of winter,” she adds.” Aesthetic considerations, like height, color and texture come into play as well as Marysia selects the plants that will be visually appealing in any given environment.  

If you are interested in starting a perennial garden, now is the time to do it.  “With a perennial garden, the mistake that most people make is that they don’t do enough evergreen plant material,” says Marysia.  “Perennials have a particular time that they bloom, and most of them die back and look like nothing in the winter. If you want your garden to be interesting year-round, you need to have things that are evergreen, and now is just about the only time you can find certain evergreen perennials.”  

If you wait until June to purchase perennials, by contrast, what you’ll generally find in the nursery are deciduous perennials that bloom for about a month, but don’t look very special for the rest of the year, and then die completely back in winter.  “You’ll create a very seasonal garden,” says Marysia. “Many evergreen flowering perennials such as Creeping Phlox, Candytuft, and Dianthus – things that will look good year-round – are only available in March into early April.”  Now is also an ideal time to change out shrubs and do heavy pruning of nonflowering plants, taking advantage of the spring growth spurt to fill leaves back out.

In addition, to design and installation services, Year Round Gardening also offers maintenance.  “Pruning is a huge part of our business,” says Marysia. “Most homeowners or lawncare people only know how to shear.  They take hedge trimmers and just lop everything off, but that is really a very destructive process for a lot of plants.”

Like planning and planting a garden, pruning and maintaining it can be a more complex endeavor than you may initially think.  Marysia gives the example of hydrangeas, plants that need to be selectively hand-pruned only after they bloom in the summer. Hydrangeas start developing their bloom buds for the next year in August and September, so shearing them in the winter risks that you won’t have any blooms the next year.

Whether you’re ready to start fresh with a brand new design or simply want to give your already-vibrant garden some much-needed TLC, Year Round Gardening is here to help.  “We have people starting from scratch, we have others that call us for pruning,” says Marysia. “We can do the whole thing or any part of it!”   

Year Round Gardening creates colorful container gardens to spruce up any pool or outdoor living area.

To get in touch with Marysia Coyne at Year Round Gardening, call 704-492-8798 or email coyneyearroundgardening@gmail.com.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her eight-year-old daughter Hannah and her six-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com