Monday, March 19, 2018

Butterflies at Fredrick Meijer Gardens

Today and tomorrow would be great days to go see the butterflies at Fredrick Meijer Gardens. Tomorrow would be a great day too; in fact any sunny day would be a great day. Why you may ask? It is because butterflies fly when their wing temperature reach at least 80 degrees.
On cloudy days the temperature in the green house might not get much above 70 to 75; but on sunny days it gets warm in there. You could almost say, if you need a jacket in there don't plan on seeing much; but if a shirtsleeve shirt is enough be prepared to be mesmerized!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Basement Flooding

           I would like to give you a "head's up" on a realistic scenario befalling us in the next couple of days.

             What will be going on out there today can be the worst case scenario when it comes to basement leaks. The snow will be melting but the ground is frozen to a two to four inch depth, so the water has no place to perk into the ground.

            Where the real trouble lies is at the foundation wall. Over the years the soil next to this wall expands and contracts, leaving a gap between the settling soil and the wall, a virtual raceway down to the footing. And if that weren’t bad enough, the soil most likely has settled there, causing the dirt to slope back toward the wall. The laws of physics will cause this water, which has no place to go, to run down this crack and leak out into your basement where the wall and footing meet. Those of you on clay soils run an even greater threat.

            Telling you this now is only for information on what is going to happen. Like those on the Titanic, knowing why the ship is sinking didn’t help their dilemma, they were just a little more educated. Unfortunately, the same applies here, though without the possibility of death. This thawing is the worst case scenario, and will let you know if you have the possibility of a problem in this area. Tiling measures should be taken this spring or summer. I put on my web site the article I did on tiling, I hope it is helpful.

            What you can do now though is to make sure your sump pump is working. More people have been caught off guard because of a faulty pump; they were ready, just not operational.

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info check us out at

Monday, December 25, 2017


      I wonder what is was like to be the ultimate of all knowing consciousness, the supreme power of the Universe and beyond, to speak everything and anything into existence, totally lacking in nothing...and then to set that all aside for you and me and become the most helpless of all life on Earth...a baby, a human baby...
      If He had a need His only recourse was to cry...His only protection, two flawed human beings...
What a gift! What an incomprehensible act of love!

Blessings to you and yours this Christmas Day.

The Niemeyers

Friday, December 22, 2017

Time to stop watering the Christmas Tree:

      You've been faithful keeping the tree hydrated, almost fanatical about it. Well, it's time to put away the watering jug and divert your attention to family and friends again before the season totally passes you by.
      Why, you may ask? Remember last year! You were so worried about the tree drying out that you watered right up to the day before you were to take it down...what a mess that was.

If you were faithful in keeping the bowl filled you can stop now. When you start the take down of Christmas process, the bowl will be empty, allowing you to  lay the tree on its side to remove the stand. This is so much easier than trying to lift it up out of the stand and dripping your way to the door.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Salt on the Walkable Areas

            “Salt of the earth”. An endearing statement conveying to others the helpful demeanor of someone respected; a life wortadsh knowing.

            “Salt on the pathway.” A sometimes necessary practice to help others when traversing your sidewalk and driveway. “Grandma almost slipped and fell, go put some salt down ,on the walkway.”
            It has always been risky business, this throwing salt down on the walks and driveway; of course, it's riskier walking on the ice with no salt. But from a purely horticultural stand point, salt is deadly to plant life. But if some care and common sense is applied, both Grandma and your plant life can be spared a nasty outcome. No one wants a pile of grammas at the bottom of the steps.

             Only put down what is needed, the walkways do not need to be totally covered with an inch of salt. If you are thinking that’s what is needed to do an effective job, then putting sand down would suffice.

            If you have salted the walk, and the snow has fallen to a shovelable depth, try and shovel it into areas where there are no plants. I’m not saying you’ve got to lug it a country mile, just try and pile it up in between the plants if you can. If that’s not possible then fling the snow out into the yard; get that first shoveling, where the salt lays most concentrated, to spread out over a larger surface.

            The big thing is  not to go wild with it; put it only where it is needed, and only when it is needed. Teenagers are agile, and if they fall they heal quickly (just kidding), yes, they may need some traction too. But not as much as we old frogs who could snap a hip just getting our coat on before starting the perilous journey to the car.


If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Coffe For Your Rhodos?

            Undoubtedly there will be a lot of coffee served up in the next few days, that means there will be a lot of grounds thrown away; and if your trash pick isn’t until Friday… well let’s just say we hope it says real cold outside.

            There is another use for those coffee dregs; your acid loving plants would love to see you put them around their feet.

            Three things happen when coffee grounds are laid in under your Rhodos, Azaleas, Holly, Boxwoods, and Yews; it mulches them, becoming an insulator from the quick freezing and thawing of the soil they are in. It lowers the acidity of the soil, which is always a plus when planted in areas typically higher in Ph, and it’s a food source.

            Keep the depth of pure coffee grounds under two inch, and a couple inches away from the plant’s trunk. The effective benefit range out from the center of the shrub is the width of the bush itself; roots don’t go out much past the leaf canopy of itself.

            So as to not appear odd at the family Christmas get together don’t announce out loud that you would like the coffee grounds, just tell them you’d like to help clean up; then sneak them into the casserole dish you brought. If questioned at the door as to the aroma that is trailing behind you, just bolt for the car.

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

House Plants

            During the winter months the low humidity levels can be a problem for your indoor “tropical” plants. Yes they are tropical; they don’t call them “house plants” because they like to live in the house. They are “house plants” because they can’t live outside in our neck of the woods during this time of year. To test this hypothesis don your favorite beach wear and flip-flops and go stand outside for an afternoon. Not only will you start looking like someone from Avatar, but you’ll be eager to get back in the house.

            The humidity in our homes can take on all the characteristics of the Sahara in July when the furnace is running. How can that be, you just heard the weather guy say that the humidity outside was 78%; that sounds rather high. But 78% percent humidity in 20 degree temperatures will not remain 78% humidity when warmed up to 70 degrees in your house; it will drop to around 20 to 30%, which if you were a horn toad would make you feel right at home.

            How does this happen? The cold humid air of outside comes in every time you open the door or window, where the furnace warms it up and it expands. The water molecules that were close together, making it 78% humidity in the cold air, are now farther apart and the farther apart they are, the drier the air becomes.

           This is why you see people misting their leaves from time to time; they are actually simulating a jungle environment. One other humidity raising thing you could do is to set your plants on gravel or pebble trays filled with water. The pebbles keep the pot out of the water, but the evaporation of the water up into the plants creates an environment that is more humid.

            Just because it’s warm inside your house doesn’t make it a Tarzan and Cheetah rich environment for your indoor plants. Tarzan didn’t trek back to Jane through the burning sands of the desert; he swung home through the humid jungle on vines.


If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at