Sick Of Swatting? These Plants Help Keep Mosquitos At Bay

It’s summer in Georgia, which means hot weather, pool days, and lots of mosquitos. If you don’t want to spend the next few months swatting them away, we have some plants you can add to your yard to keep the mosquitos at bay. Most insect-repelling plants do their job with their natural fragrances, so not only do they keep the mosquitos away, but they bring their wonderful scents to your garden as well.

Try these 10 plants to help keep mosquitos at bay:


Marigolds are easy to grow and an annual flower. They can keep away several types of insects and add beautiful color to any garden or home.


An herb that doubles as a pest repellent! You can plant basil in containers or in the garden – it’s great for repelling pest AND on pizza.


Not only can sage be planted to ward off bugs, it can also be dried and be used to make homemade bug spray.


Catmint, also known as catnip, can thrive just about anywhere. It works as an excellent mosquito repellent and might also help you make so new feline friends.


Another great herb that doubles as a pest repellent is rosemary. While you keep the insects away, you can enjoy the herb’s scent and use it in your kitchen.

Citronella Grass

Citronella grass is the most commonly used natural ingredient in mosquito repellants. It is also a low maintenance plant and can be planted directly in a sunny area in the ground.

Scented Geraniun

Scented geranium a popular repelling plant with a strong fragrance that keeps multiple types of pests out of your garden.

Bee Balm

Bee Balm can attract good bugs (the kinds that pollinate your other plants!) and deter the bad ones. You’ll also get to enjoy their beautiful, colorful flowers all summer long.


While many know lavender for their amazing scent, few people realize it can also deter mosquitos. Lavender can endure many climates, though it thrives in a warmer climate in the summer.


Mint is a great nontoxic option for keeping flies, ants, and mosquitos at bay. The dried leaves can also be used inside your home as a natural pest control method.

If you need help keeping the mosquitos at bay, come see us at Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, Georgia. We have a large variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and specimen plants to keep your yard mosquito free all summer long!

Kid-Friendly Gardening

Spring weather is here which means it is time to get outside! If you’re looking for something family friendly to do at home, we have a great suggestion for you. Start a kid-friendly garden! 

A kid-friendly garden doesn’t mean you need to cram it with every toy known to man or make it more kid-like either. This garden gives them a space to let their imaginations run wild, while also learning how to nurture and care for plants. Sometimes it doesn’t take much, just a touch of creativity for kids to have a great time out in the fresh air!

We have a few tips for you on how to start your own kid-friendly garden:

Give them a special place in the garden for their plants!

Give each child their own space in the garden to take care of their plants. They’ll each have their own responsibility and that will empower them.

Give them a say on what to plant in their portion!

Here comes the fun part! Let them pick what they’d like to plant in their portion. Typically, these will be plants they recognize like tomatoes and pumpkins. Plants with large seeds such as beans and sunflowers are easiest for small hands to sow! Or they can pick a theme and you can pick plants that go along with their theme. Of course, do your research on toxic plants just to be sure.

Get them their own gardening gear!

Now the garden is in process, they need their own gear. This will get them really excited to take care and nurture their plants. Have them pick out a couple things to garden with and they’ll be a full-time gardener in no time!

We hope these tips help you build a kid-friendly garden that will have your entire family enjoying the outdoors! If you need help getting your garden started, come see us at Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, Georgia. We have a large variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals and specimen plants.

A Beginner’s Guide To Hardscapes and Softscapes

There are two main elements that make up outdoor living spaces, hardscapes and softscapes. While these two categories are made of of vastly different components, they are both necessary to make a landscape fully functional.

To better explain what they each are, hardscape is the hard stuff in your yard. Think concrete, bricks, rocks, and stone. Softscapes are the soft, growing things. Some examples include flowers, shrubs, succulents, and trees. Another way to think of it is that softscapes are living, hardscapes are not.


Once you know the difference between the two, the characteristics of hardscapes make more sense. Among them include:

  • Hard, yet moveable parts of the landscape
  • Inanimate objects
  • Solid and unchanging

Other examples of hardscapes include retaining walls, pavers, outdoor kitchen, water features, gazebos, decks, and driveways.


Plants are available in a variety of colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. When selecting softscapes:

  • Consider these your living and growing components of your landscape. This can include flowers, shrubs, trees, ground covers, etc.
  • They are softer to the touch literally. Think about touching the leaves of a tree or flower, they are soft.
  • They change and evolve constantly. They grow and adapt to the climate and their conditions.

In an ideal world, a well-designed landscape incorporates a balance between these two elements. At Whispering Springs, we can assist you with both! For hardscapes, we offer several services including waterfalls, ponds, rock gardens, decks, retaining walls, walkways, and more! For softscapes, we offer perennial beds, seasonal color beds, landscape design including hardscapes and plantings, and deer-resistant plants. Contact us today to see how we can help your outdoor living space!

Prep Your Yard Now For A Greener Spring

The greenest of yards in the spring were truly made in the winter. If you haven’t started already, now is a great time to start prepping your yard for spring time. There’s still plenty of time before spring to prepare your lawn to make sure it looks great all spring long. 

Here are some things you can do now to prepare your yard for spring:

  • Clear out debris and plant matters
  • Cover all of your shrubs and plants with a frost covering, and be sure to remove the frost covering once chance for frosting has passed
  • Apply a generous layer of compost over any garden soil to increase fertility levels and improve water retention
  • Cover the ground with an inch or two of mulch to protect any plants from freezing
  • Right now and early spring is a perfect time to get any weeds under control before they take over
  • Plant any winter-hardy vegetables so they’re ready to harvest in the spring
  • Get your soil tested to be sure you know how to improve the soil structure as much as possible
  • Prune all your shrubs and trees
  • Clean your gutters of any fallen leaves
  • Add some new plants so they’re ready for spring
  • Aerate your lawn closer to the end of winter after chance of frost is completely gone, this will help increase airflow and improve drainage
  • Be sure your irrigation system is in top shape

This list may seem a tad overwhelming, but we’re here to help. If you need assistance getting your yard in tip top shape for spring, we offer yard maintenance at Whispering Springs. Give us a call today at 770-893-1254 for more information on our yard maintenance services!

8 Steps for Georgia Lawn Maintenance in the Winter

Lawn maintenance through the seasons and different weather is tough to manage. Lawn care is especially tricky during the unpredictable Georgia winters! We’ve gathered 8 steps you need to take to ensure your lawn is ready for the winter.

Here are 8 steps for Georgia lawn care and maintenance in the winter:

  • Fertilize Your Lawn – Be sure to apply fertilizer with a spreader. You’ll want to be sure you’re following the instructions on the fertilizer package and applying only the recommended amount as too much can burn your grass.
  • Aerate Your Lawn – Aerating your lawn provides some extra air to the grassroots. To do this, use a spade to take out spikes of soil across your lawn to make holes for planting seeds.
  • Spread Cool Weather Grass Seeds – You’ll want to purchase grass seeds that specifically say “cool season” or “cool weather.” Most fescues can be considered cool weather seeds. You can spread the seed over your lawn with the same spreader you used for the fertilizer. Be sure to spread the seeds evenly so you won’t be left with clumps of grass once it grows.
  • Rake and Water Your Lawn – Rake over the lawn to break up any soil clumps and cover the seeds, and then water the lawn. Be sure to always keep the soil moist and not to let it dry out.
  • Clean up Your Lawn – It’s very imperative to not leave debris, leaves, or toys out on your lawn. They can smother the grass, create disease conditions, and invite damaging pests.

  • Lower the Height of Your Mower – Be sure to lower the height of your mower by a notch or two. You’ll want to be sure that your grass isn’t too long but also not too short, as either extreme can cause damage.
  • Be Aware of Traffic – Dormant grass will tolerate a moderate amount of traffic, but a heavily worn path will be slower to turn green in the spring.
  • Monitor Weather Conditions – Certain conditions can be very harmful to your lawn in the long term. If you know a winter storm or deep freeze is approaching, it may be worth the effort to chip away at the exposed ice in a low spot.

If you need help making sure your lawn is up to par all winter long, give us a call at Whispering Springs today!

Oh Christmas Tree: Which One Is Right For You?

Is there anything that gets you more into the holiday spirit than the sight of a beautiful Christmas tree, covered in twinkling lights and sparkling ornaments, surrounded by piles of gifts just waiting to be unwrapped? The centerpiece of your Christmas festivities shouldn’t be an afterthought – and there are so many great options to choose from! We’ve gathered up our favorite types of Christmas trees to help you decide which one should be the star of your holiday season. 

Types of Christmas Trees

Did you know that more than 35 types of evergreen trees are grown in the United States for Christmas decor? The availability of each type varies depending on where you live, and each one has its own unique features. These are a few of our favorites:

  • Douglas Fir –  Compact branches give the Douglas fir a full, lush look that makes it an instant classic. It is long lasting (which means less cleanup of those pesky pine needles) and is widely available in most regions of the U.S.
  • Noble Fir – Another Christmas classic! The Noble fir has less prickly needles than some of its evergreen cousins, while still being sturdy enough to support you precious ornaments.
  • Scotch Pine – If you’re looking for a low-maintenance tree that won’t drop all it’s needles if you forget to water it once or twice, a Scotch pine is perfect for you! This is the perfect tree for the busy family who doesn’t want to spend their holiday season circling their tree with a vacuum.
  • Fraser Fir – For dramatic decorators that believe that more is more, the Fraser fir’s strong and sturdy branches are the perfect fit! Deck the halls to your heart’s desire – this hearty tree can handle all the lights and baubles you throw at it.
  • Grand Fir – If your favorite part of Christmas is the fresh, piney smell of an evergreen tree, choose a Grand fir to bring home! It’s an elegant option that will give your space an immediate touch of holiday cheer.

No matter which tree you choose, don’t forget to keep safety in mind when it comes to displaying, decorating, and discarding your tree. Happy Holidays from the Whispering Springs family!

Relaxing Water Features for the North Georgia Mountains

We provide a range of landscape design services in North Georgia, but one of our favorites will always be designing and installing water features. Waterfalls, ponds, fountains, and creeks are not only beautiful but can also provide benefits like these.

Benefits of Water Features in Residential Landscape Design

Fighting Stress

It’s no secret that spending time in nature is good for you. Researchers continue to publish studies about the psychological and physiological benefits of having regular contact with nature, ranging from increased happiness to improved cognitive function. While there’s not as much research specifically focusing on the role of water, it’s safe to say that a bubbling brook or cascading waterfall can supercharge your outdoor relaxation, helping you relax and reduce stress. There’s a reason why people gravitate to water, and you can bring it into your own yard or garden with a beautiful water feature.

Reducing Noise Pollution

Including a water feature in your North Georgia landscape design can also reduce noise pollution. The background sound of running water from a waterfall or fountain is a pleasant alternative to traffic, music, and other disruptions that can find you even in the mountains. Once your water feature is up and running, you’ll want to hear it 24/7… Which is good considering that the more you run a fountain or water feature, the better it will perform! Constantly moving water keeps the pump in good shape, prevents debris from accumulating, and ensures that pests like mosquitoes don’t decide to lay eggs there.

Helping Birds

Moving water discourages mosquitoes from invading a water feature, but it does the opposite for birds! If you love bird watching, replacing your birdbath with a water feature is a no-brainer.

There are 21 highly vulnerable bird species in Georgia, as well as 27 moderately vulnerable species. If you want to do your part to protect native birds, adding a water feature is a great option. The birds will appreciate having a place to drink, bathe, and cool off from the hot Georgia summers. Plus, you can enjoy some prime bird watching from your patio, porch, or even inside your home!

Purifying the Air

On the list of reasons to build a water feature, air purification is often overlooked. But not today! People these days are becoming far more educated about air quality and how it affects health, so we think this benefit is worth talking about.

Fountains and other moving water features produce negative ions as the circulating water evaporates. Those negative ions attract free-floating particles like dust from the air, cleaning it. This natural air purification removes dust, dirt, allergens, and other pollutants from the air, so you can breathe deeply and enjoy the North Georgia mountain air.

Ready to add a water feature to your landscaping? The great thing about our custom water features is that we can design one to fit just about any location. Want to add a large pond/waterfall combo to your woodland garden? We’ve got you covered. Looking for ways to add personality to a small courtyard or patio? We can create a compact water feature to fit your space. Give us a call at 770-893-1254 to get started, and check out the other services we offer here at Whispering Springs Nursery.

Get Ready for Fall with These Landscape Design Ideas and Tips

Table and benches with wine bottle and glasses in landscaped patioWhile midsummer temperatures in Georgia can be brutal, by the time late summer and fall roll around, the climate is perfect for outdoor relaxation. But is your yard living up to its potential as an extension of your home? Whether you want an outdoor space to lounge, entertain, cook, play, or some combination of those activities, we can help you bring your perfect yard to life with our landscape design services

That’s right; if you didn’t know, Whispering Springs is not only a plant nursery and garden center, but also provides a variety of landscaping services to homeowners in Jasper and throughout North Georgia. Keep reading for some fall landscaping inspiration, and give us a call at 770-893-1254 to learn more about our North Georgia landscaping services

Top Fall Landscape Design Ideas for North Georgia

Start with a Clean Slate. 

Plants love the hot, humid summer weather here, which is why the North Georgia mountains are so lush and green in the summer. (That goes for plants you want to thrive, as well as weeds!) However, all of that growth can get overwhelming by the end of the summer, so it’s important to tidy up your landscaping. Late summer is a great time to schedule our yard maintenance services, like pruning shrubs and trees, cleaning up planting beds, performing weed control, and performing other seasonal plant maintenance and cleaning, like dead-heading perennials and removing plant debris. We can get your yard whipped into shape so you can enjoy it during the beautiful fall weather to come. 

Create Spaces for Outdoor Living

Your landscaping doesn’t have to be merely ornamental; it can be an extension of your house, with outdoor “rooms” for everything from cooking to lounging. Some of the most popular landscape design additions are not only useful, but also provide great ROI if you decide to put your home on the market later. These are a few outdoor living upgrades that are sure to increase your enjoyment of your landscaping during the fall: 

  • Installing an outdoor kitchen and dining area. Food just tastes better when it’s cooked and eaten outdoors! From full-service outdoor kitchens with a refrigerator, stove, and grill, to simple upgrades like a patio and grilling area with attractive hardscaping, you’ll love being able to dine en plein air. 
  • Adding entertainment amenities. Outdoor fireplaces and fire pits are wildly popular for a reason. They can not only add a focal point to your yard, but also offer the perfect place to entertain friends and family outdoors. And best of all, they have the potential for nearly year-round use!
  • Creating lounge spaces. Having a covered area with comfortable seating is a great way to turn your yard into a true outdoor living space. However, you can also create beautiful opportunities for relaxation with features like garden alcoves and benches placed throughout your landscaping. 

Optimize Your Landscaping for Year-Round Natural Beauty

It’s easy to make your yard look appealing during the spring and summer, when so many flowers, bushes, and trees are blooming. However, with clever planning and expert knowledge of North Georgia’s native plants, we can help you create a beautifully naturalistic landscape that will bring you joy all year round. 

  • Hardscaping (elements like paths, steps, walls, patios, etc.) gives structure to landscaping, helping lead the eye and create visual interest even during the winter. 
  • Softscaping adds the living element to your landscaping using perennial and seasonal color planting beds, foundation plantings like trees and shrubs, and selecting deer-resistant plants that will thrive in the North Georgia environment. 

Don’t wait to get your yard ready for fall; contact us today!

Container Gardening Succs—But You’ll Love It!

Colorful succulents and driftwood plantingSucculents have been a big trend in the design world for several years now, and they don’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon. In addition to their stellar visual appeal, they also have a reputation for being hard to kill, and succulent container gardens can survive quite a bit of neglect. After all, most succulent plants (aka plants with thick, fleshy forms that retain water) are from arid climates with infrequent rainfall. Their ability to store water for long stretches of time gets them through periods of drought, which is great if you’re one of those people who can’t remember to water your plants. 

However, growing succulents in containers isn’t as foolproof as you might think, especially in a humid climate like Georgia’s. If you’re one of the folks who have managed to kill these “unkillable” plants, don’t worry—you’re not alone! Check out these pro tips to learn how to plant succulents in containers, and give us a call to order succulents for curbside pickup at Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, Georgia

How to Plant Succulents in Containers

Visit Instagram or Pinterest, pick up a home and garden magazine, or turn on the TV, and you’ve likely seen beautiful flower pots, planters, and containers of every variety overflowing with beautiful, healthy succulents. Succulent planters can range from a full-size clawfoot bathtub in a whimsical, country garden, to tiny succulent pot magnets on a city apartment refrigerator. But don’t be fooled; not all containers work well with succulents. 

Pick the right succulent container

What you plant succulents in matters almost as much as how you plant them. Choose a container with good drainage. Succulents do not like for their roots to stay damp, so it’s essential that you either select a container with drainage, drill drainage holes into the container, or if you really must use a container with no holes (say for a table centerpiece), you’ll have to water extremely lightly and carefully to make sure you’re not causing root rot. 

If your planters are outdoors, pay attention to the weather. If it’s supposed to rain and any of your succulent planters are out in the storm, you’ll want to move them under a shelter that will keep them from getting drenched. Too much rain can make the soil waterlogged and will rot your plant from the roots up. If you do notice that your succulent pot is full of water, be sure to tip it off so the planter has a better shot at drying out. 

The medium you plant succulents in matters too, so make sure you’re not using straight potting soil, which tends to get soggy. Instead, you’ll want to amend it with pumice or perlite, which both retain less water.

Give them their space.

While you can probably get away with growing some succulents indoors (aloe is a great starter plant), most of them will fare better outside. But don’t just stick a planter full of succulents into the blazing Georgia sun. They need some shade, so a porch or patio that gets full sun (at least 6 hours of sun every day) will keep them happily sun-drenched without burning them.
Being selective about which succulents you plant together and where can also make a big difference. For instance, succulents that are pale in color, variegated, or solid green have lower sun tolerance, while succulents that are blue, gray, red, or covered in thorns have a better chance of surviving intense sun exposure. 

Low maintenance does not equal no maintenance. 

Just because succulents are some of the more “self-sufficient” plants you can grow in container gardens doesn’t mean that you can completely ignore them. They do need water (just go easy on it) and occasional (as in once a year) fertilizer. Because they’re full of water, you’ll also need to keep succulent planters safe from freezing temperatures, usually by bringing them indoors for the winter. 

If you’re interested in growing succulents in a planter, we’d love to help you design a custom creation! You can even bring us a planter you want to use, and we’ll either plant it for you, or help you select the best plants to fit it. Contact us or give us a call at 770-893-254 to learn more!

Fall Landscaping Checklist: How to Maintain Your North Georgia Landscaping

Colorful fall leaves on green grassWhen it comes to landscaping and lawn maintenance, many homeowners think about planting flowers to add color in the spring, or about keeping the jungle at bay during the summer with more frequent mowing and edging. If fall landscape maintenance is considered at all, it’s probably just raking or blowing leaves. However, fall is actually one of the most important seasons of the whole year when it comes to landscape maintenance! The effort that goes into your lawn and garden during the fall will pay off in the spring, so be sure to check these fall landscaping to-dos off your list… Or give us a call at 770-893-1254 and let us do it for you

Fall Landscaping in North Georgia

De-leaf your lawn.

Just because removing the leaves from your lawn isn’t the only important fall yard maintenance job, doesn’t mean it’s not an important one! Raking or blowing the leaves off your grass is essential. Failure to do so can put your whole lawn at risk because over time, moisture and decay cause the leaves to meld together, essentially suffocating the grass due to lack of airflow. This impermeable layer of leaves can also trap moisture underneath it, creating an ideal environment for a fungal infection to develop. 

Want to put those leaves to good use, rather than bagging them up for yard waste collection? Dried leaves are great for composting, or for shredding and using as mulch. You can also make your own leaf mold. There are leaf shredders you can use to break your leaves down, but you can also mulch leaves with a lawnmower. Whatever you do, don’t try to mulch with unshredded leaves—they will blow away, making a mess of your yard and defeating the purpose of mulching in the first place by leaving plants exposed to the elements.  

Give it some breathing room.

We all need to stop and take a deep breath sometimes, and the same goes for your lawn. Fall is a great time to aerate your lawn, increasing the flow of air, water, and nutrients to your lawn’s roots. If your family uses the lawn frequently—whether from kids running around or from hosting plenty of cook outs—the soil may be compacted, which makes aeration even more important.   

Get ahead of the weeds by applying a pre-emergent. 

It might surprise you to learn that weeds can germinate even in the winter, but it’s true! As they say, the best defense is a good offense, so set your lawn up for success in the spring by applying a pre-emergent now. Keep in mind that pre-emergent stops germination, so you should not use it if you plan to overseed your (typically Fescue) lawn. However, if your lawn is primarily Bermuda or Zoysia, you’re in the clear to apply pre-emergent. 

Maintain your maintenance routine…With a few slight variations.

Just because the calendar says the seasons have changed, doesn’t mean the weather agrees. It’s important to keep doing your regular landscape maintenance, like mowing, edging, and watering, until the grass has stopped growing. You should, however, raise your lawnmower blade. The grass should be slightly longer than you’d necessarily keep it in summer, but not completely overgrown. That sweet spot between too short and too tall will prevent your lawn from freeze damage on cold days, and from diseases that can occur when grass gets too long and tangled. Your mowings will get further apart as the season goes on, and when you notice that the grass is no longer growing, you’ll know it’s time to stop for the season. 

Once you’ve determined that you’re done mowing for the year, don’t forget to winterize your lawnmower! Clean out any grass clippings lodged beneath it, empty the gas tank, and sharpen the blade. That way you’ll be all set to go when spring rolls around.

Good luck with your fall lawn maintenance if you choose to dive in yourself… Or give us a call to find out how we can take lawn maintenance off your plate and keep your landscaping looking its best!