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Press – Magazine Recognitions –

20 Feb

Our ORGANIC gardens are highlighted in magazines and our gardening tips are published year around! For the last couple of months I have been writing tips and advices for home gardeners for the Atlanta Home Improvement magazine. This week I have been asked to participate on another editorial opportunity for about Garden Fruits and Vegetables!! I will update this note as soon as I have the link for

Atlanta Home Improvements Feb 2013 2

Atlanta Home Improvements Feb 2013 3  Atlanta Home Improvements Feb 2013 1


We won 3 Awards!! UAC 2011 Professional Landscape Awards

12 Mar

The Urban AG Council of Georgia recognize  professionals involved in award-winning projects in design/build/installation, landscape management, seasonal color, landscape lighting, green innovations and community service.  Following the tradition of the MALTA Professional Awards, this awards program is open to all eligible UAC member companies! There are different categories and Arcoiris Design Gardening participated in 3 of them and won MERIT on all 3 as follow:

 1. Design/Build/Installation as Small – space: Best Western Plus – Inn at the Peachtrees

2. Design/Build/Installation as Seasonal Color – Residential: West Paces Ferry

3. Design/Build/Installation as Seasonal color – Commercial: Integral Youth and Family Project, Inc

We are very grateful with our Clients that allow us to enhance their gardens and let us be part of their projects year around. And mostly we are grateful with our employees that always strive to have our gardens the best possible. Visit:

Arcoiris Design Gardening will continue demonstrating that using organic and natural products can provide equal or MUCH better results than using chemicals!


Best Of Atlanta – Arcoiris Design Gardening: Best Landscaping Company.

9 Nov

Thank you very much for voted for us, we won! For us is an honor and privilege to have won in the Best Improvements category as the Best Landscaping Company in Atlanta. Since we started our business in 2005 we have encouraged ourselves to offer always the best to our clients. This is the result of our love for plants and environment. Thank you for allowing us to be part of your outdoor living spaces. – Adriana Hernandez

Read more at:

How Much Water my Landscape Really Needs?

15 Oct



 The Georgia Water Stewardship Act went into effect statewide on June 2, 2010.  Learn more at


Please, be waterSmart with the following tips:

Beautiful yards take a lot less water than you think.  In fact, more Southern lawns are damaged each year from over-watering than they are from lack of water.  When you use water wisely, you can provide your lawns and landscape plants with the water they need, even during the hottest part of the summer.  It just takes some common sense and watering know-how.  Read on to learn how to water your landscape wisely.

Water in the early morning.  Watering between the hours of 4am and 8am will reduce evaporation, saving you money and conserving water.

Attach a water breaker to the end of your water hose for a gentle flow.  Direct the water breaker to the roots, which spread two to three times the width of the top growth. A typical garden hose can deliver five gallons of water per minute.  Do not use water to mist foliage, and avoid shallow watering practices.

Use soaker hoses or drip irrigation “snaked” throughout a bed or placed around a tree under the “drip line” (the outermost branches) are extremely efficient ways to water.  A soaker hose distributes water one foot wide on either side of the hose. Adding a timer at the hose bib takes all the remembering out of the entire process. Drip irrigation uses 50% less water than a sprinkler.

Spread a 2 – 3 inch layer of mulch over the plant’s root system to help conserve moisture.  Pine straw, pine bark nuggets, ground pine bark, or cypress mulch are all easy to use.  A three cubic foot bag of mulch will cover seven square feet three inches thick.  If you have shredded paper available to you, consider using it under the mulch you select. Shredded paper will allow the water to penetrate and will decompose, enriching the soil that lies beneath.

Give priority to trees and shrubs planted within the last five months.

If restrictions do not allow you to water at all, prune back trees and shrubs by one-third to one-half when they become severely wilted and begin shedding leaves. This will reduce water demand on the roots and increase their chances of survival.

Note: If runoff occurs before you are finished watering, move on to another spot and return to continue watering after the water has soaked in.

Plant Type Time to Water
Small Shrubs (4 feet or less in height) Hand watering – One minute / 5 gallons – per shrub a weekIrrigation – 1.5” inches per week
Large Shrubs (4 feet or taller) Hand watering – Increase watering time by 15 seconds for each foot of height (i.e. an 8 ft. shrub needs 2 minutes or 10 gallons)Irrigation – 1.7” inches per week
Trees Hand watering – Apply two gallons for every inch of trunk diameter (measure 4 ½ feet above the ground)Irrigation – 2 inches per week
Flowers Hand watering – Five gallons of water per 10 square feet / one minute at medium pressure per plant. About 10 minutes for a regular flower bed. About 1 minute per small pot.Summer: 3 to 4 times a weekFall and Spring: 2 times a week

Winter: 1 time a week

Irrigation – Summer: 1-2 inches per week. Fall: 1 inch per week

Bermuda Grass ½ to 1 inch per week
Centipede & Fescue Grass 1 inch per week
Zoysia Grass 1 inch per week


Automatic irrigation system owners should change controller run times to meet seasonal plant needs. Plants require less water in cool spring and fall periods and more water in the heat of summer. For example, zoysia and Bermuda grass may require 0.6 – 0.9 inches of water  per week in spring and fall but need 1.25 – 1.5 inches per week in midsummer. Wetting the soil to a 6 inches deep requires 1 to 2 inches of surface water (will vary with soil type, compaction, and slope). So for plants between 3 to 15 gallons you will need about 2-3 inches of water in hot days. Observing plant conditions and using judgment is very important to avoid loses in your landscape and overwatering.

In order to measure the rainfall or the irrigation water you will need to purchase a rain gauge. Make sure it has a mounting bracket to attach to a fence or post. It will consist of a clear straight sided cylinder, usually plastic. Now you will be able to record the exact amount of rain that has fallen in your back yard. You will also be able to control the growth of your garden, by adding additional water if needed.


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Plants must have water to survive. Water in a plant is like blood in an animal. Water carries dissolved nutrients, sugars and hormones throughout the plant’s system. Some plants can go for long periods receiving only minimal water. Others require water every day. Here are some guidelines to help you determine when, where and how much to water.

During drought or watering restrictions, consider the replacement cost of the plants in the landscape and do what you can to save the most valuable plants.

Hand Watering

During watering restrictions, selectively hand water shrubs showing drought stress. The direct application of water to the base of the plant, provided it is applied slowly enough to be absorbed by the soil, uses less water and is more efficient than sprinkler irrigation.

To avoid runoff when using the hand-held hose, use a water wand or other nozzle that divides the spray into rain-size droplets. Some nozzles have built-in spray pattern adjustments.

>Small shrubs (less than 4 feet in height) 1 minute (five gallons)

>Larger shrubs (4 feet and up) Increase the watering time by 15 seconds for each foot of height exceeding four feet. Example: an 8 foot tall shrub needs 2 minutes of watering (10 gallons)

If runoff occurs before you have applied the correct amount of water, move on to another spot and come back after the water has soaked in.

Soaker hose

A soaker hose can effectively water a swath one foot wide on either side of the hose. A 50 foot long hose can water 100 square feet of flower bed. Apply 50 gallons of water per 100 square feet when plants show water stress.

To determine how much water your soaker hose delivers:
> Coil it up and put it in a large plastic garbage bag.
> Cut a small hole in one corner of the bottom of the bag.
> Connect the soaker hose to your garden hose. Turn on the water.
> Suspend the soaker hose (in the bag) above a five gallon bucket. Allow water to drain into the bucket.
> Time how long it takes for the hose to apply five gallons of water.

If restrictions do not allow you to water outdoors at all, prune back shrubs by one-third to one-half when they become severely wilted and begin shedding leaves. This will reduce water demand on the roots and increase their chances of survival during drought.

Green Wall for Urban Environments

30 Sep

A Green Wall is a wall, either free-standing or part of a building that is partially or completely covered with plants of different colors, textures and sometimes flavors. The concept of Green Walls was created by the French botanist Patrick Blanc. He created the first green wall in 1988 for the museum of Science and Industry in Paris. Nowadays you might have seen many green walls in different places. Thinking outside the box, Arcoiris Design Gardening has been recycling plastic containers and incorporated them with handmade wooden boxes to create a very innovative alternative for Green Walls. We incorporate from annuals to provide seasonal color to herbs and other edible plants such sage, lemon thyme, rosemary and many more. Furthermore, our Green Walls can be use outdoors or indoors. We can create your unique Green Wall following your specific needs.

Coneflower – Echinacea purpurea – Your garden Herb that promotes immune system health.

1 Sep


Echinacea is genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. There are nine species commonly called purple coneflowers. They are perennials and very drought tolerant.

Purple coneflower is reputed to be immunostimulator, being effective in promoting immune system health and warding off infections and also some people use it as laxative.

Echinacea angustifolia was widely used by the North American Plains Indians for its general medicinal qualities. Echinacea was one of the basic antimicrobial herbs of eclectic medicine from the mid 19th century through the early 20th century, and its use was documented for snakebite, anthrax, and for relief of pain. In the 1930s echinacea became popular in both Europe and America as a herbal medicine. [1]

Echinacea Tincture Recipe

 How to Harvest Echinacea for Tea:


 Tincture: A tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of leaves or other plant material) or solution of a non-volatile substance (e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome).

Best Western Plus – Inn At The Peachtrees

30 Aug

Owners of the hotel were looking for a contemporary French Quarter, to be the perfect setting for receptions, weddings, or afternoon luncheon. They wanted us to incorporate the rich colors of the indoor decoration so the garden can flow with concept. We designed a Japanese – contemporary garden with contrast of colors and textures using Japanese maple, 4 tier topiaries, boxwoods, poodle topiaries, standard hollies, splash of color with knockout roses and fragrance plants as the gardenia radicans and star jasmine. Seasonal area is completely integrated with the perennials as a unique area that can be of different colors every season. The garden now is a great space for any event in the middle of Atlanta. The French Quarter is now the best location to host your next Event!

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Pruning Azaleas

17 Aug

Pruning azaleas


Pruning Azaleas has been always confusing since most of the people think is best to prune them right after they bloom (May – August). However, we have found in the Azalea Society site that actually that’s wrong. Please read the following and learn when and why prune Azaleas:

The sooner you prune the better:

– The best time to prune azaleas is in early spring, before the plant puts out new growth. Although you’ll be cutting off that year’s blooms, it gives the plant the full growing season to fill out, and time for the new growth to mature before winter.
– Pruning while they are in bloom is next best, and gives you some cut flowers, or pruning just after they bloom lets you enjoy the flowers on the plant.
– Since most azaleas start growing next year’s flower buds soon after they bloom, pruning after mid-summer cuts off next year’s bloom. Late pruning also runs the risk of the tender new growth being killed in cold climates.

Before you start, look at the plant you intend to work on, remembering that branches which are shaded out often die back and become dead wood anyway. Remove these first, as the effect of removing them may alter the way you approach pruning the rest of the branches to maintain the shape of the bush.

Use clean cutters, and keep them clean as the work progresses, using a sterilizing solution such as denatured alcohol or a 10% Chlorox solution, particularly if any cuts are in infected wood.

Older plants may have a number of tall branches which need to be eliminated. Doing that over several years reduces the shock to the plant. Remove two or three of the tallest branches, taking care to cut back to a side branch which is heading in the desired direction, and which is about 1/3rd the size of the cut branch. Cut close to that side branch, as any stubs will die back to the side branch anyway, and leave dead wood which may become infected later.

Next year take out two or three more branches using the same process, spreading the pruning over a three year cycle. This approach will result in the plant sending out new growth near the base, and lets you manage the shaping of the plant to achieve a nicely shaped bush. 1


Flowers for more inspiration – Integral Youth and Family Project – Atlanta

16 Aug

Integral Youth and Family Project, LLC. , is a Human Transformation Organization that assists and support families in creating new positive traditions that will organize, enhance and inspire their lives. Their office is located in Midtown Atlanta and 3 years ago did not have any curb appeal at all. The Program Director contacted us to help her improve the landscape appearance of the building and create some seasonal areas. Every season since then we have enhanced and continuing enhancing the building with bright colors and rich textures. Furthermore every week we help to maintain the landscaped areas by pruning, mowing and planting isolated areas with shrubs.

This weekend project: Mojitos, Pesto & homemade pizza salsa – Mint, Oregano & Basil pruning –

23 Jul

Cut back by half herbs like basil, mint and oregano. This prevents them from producing seed and promotes more fragrant leaves.  If plants are in a pot, cut them down to the rim level of the container.  Make sure to pull up runners that thrive along the ground by trimming them back to the root and pulling them up. This helps the mint from becoming woody. Water deeply and add organic fertilizer. Use cuttings for different recipes such Mojitos, Pesto pasta or homemade pizza salsa with fresh oregano!!