Don’t Take Crapes for Granted!

Unfortunately, many people do take crapemyrtles for taken for granted in our area. Personally, I love crapemyrtles because they are always at their peak just in time for my birthday on July 18. But for some people, we see them so often that they almost blend into the background. Some people say they are over-used. If so, it’s for good reason. They are spectacular!

It’s always refreshing to me when I meet someone visiting Williamsburg in the summer for the first time. They stare, eyes popping, and waste an entire roll of film shooting pictures trying to capture their amazing flowers. Take a look at the slideshow above to see our attempts.

Here are some of the reasons I like them so much:

  • Spring – Crapemyrtles are one of the last trees in our area to leaf out in the spring. When everything around them is in leaf, the crape’s bare branches add an interesting final echo of winter. When they do leaf out, the foliage is a nice light green.
  •  Summer – Summer in Virginia would not be the same without this remarkable tree. “100 days of bloom” is their claim to fame, and the bloom is certainly what catches one’s attention. But there are other reasons why this plant is great in summer: it is incredibly drought tolerant, so much so that it is often used as a parking lot tree, and there are very few disease and pest problems to deal with.
  •  Fall – Crapes have an incredible display of fall color. They turn from yellow to orange to red.
  • Winter – The “bones” of this tree is one of its greatest features. As a garden designer, I look for plants that have interesting architecture (the underlying form of their trunk and branches). Here again, crapes do not disappoint. Their trunks and main branches ripple like lean muscle. And they have a wonderful variety of bark colors ranging from blonde to rust red, forming an attractive silhouette against the winter sky. Some even have peeling bark for extra textural interest.

Crape Murder

However, any discussion of crapemyrtles would not be complete without mentioning the unfortunate practice of topping crapes in late winter, often called “Crape Murder.” This is when crape limbs are cut back to short ugly stumps on the main trunk, without regard for the tree’s natural shape. Many people perform this ritual  every year believing it is the proper way to get the trees to bloom. While this may have been necessary many, many years ago, today’s hybridized crapemyrtles no longer need it. They’ll bloom profusely all on their own. And while it doesn’t hurt the plant, it sure does ruin their fabulous branching pattern.

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Bed Transformation!

Once again I am very pleased with the excellent work H&G did on my property.  They turned a section of my ugly front yard with invasive Bermuda grass into a beautiful and simple flower bed with mulch and many small bushes.  This striking transformation adds greatly to the house’s curb appeal.  I look forward to them coming back out this fall and replacing the rest of the front yard with sod and removing all the undesirable Bermuda grass.  Brian was easy and pleasant to work and plan with.  He always responded to my questions immediately.  Jon and his crew were likewise very nice, efficient, and perfectionists in planting my new yard.  Many thanks and accolades to H&G once again!

Sandy Hall

So thankful to be a customer!

when i returned to williamsburg in 2022, it was a real challenge to find a company willing to take on “yet one more customer” – i was ignored and turned down by others… but hertzler and george came to my rescue and i could not be happier – wonderful staff, professional and so friendly, i completely trust them to service my yard!  merry christmas and happy new year to everyone and H&G!


Drainage Help

I would like to let you know how happy we are with the service we received recently.
We had a drainage issue in our yard and did some research, learned your company was highly recommended and decided to see what your company could do.
From the first contact, we had a great experience as the lady that answered the phone was very nice. She put us in contact with Brian Kemp who we also liked from the start, and we made an appt for him to come and take a look. He was right on time, very thorough, and just a very nice fella who we both liked right away and had confidence in. We really liked how he gave us options and listened to what we wanted. We scheduled the work, it was done right on time, and it looks great! Brian was even nice enough to do a video walk through for us afterwards as we weren’t in town. Just great service from start to finish! Thank you Brian

We will definitely be back with more projects in the future.

T.M. - Ford's Colony

Thank You

Just a short note to thank you for all the help you gave us with our garden this year. Jonathon again did a wonderful job doing the bed detailing this summer, as did the mulching crew in the spring. I don’t know the name of the woman who supervised the mulching crew, but I want to let you know how professional she was. In fact, the entire crew was pleasant to work with, especially to experience the care that they took with their work.

Thanks also for being so flexible with the changes we requested for our mowing schedule.

E.L. - Ford's Colony

Always Helpful

Brian came out last week to try to assess a problem we are having in our yard.  He arrived on time, was extremely courteous and took a considerable amount of time analyzing our situation.  While he was unable to reach a solution, he did take the time to research and recommend another business that might be able to help us.  That kind of customer service will make us more likely to call on Hertzler & George if other issues arise.  Thanks, Brian!