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Posted by & filed under Drought tolerant plants, Dry gardens, Sedges, Shade Gardens, Shade-loving plants, Uncategorized

  Selecting the right plant for your shade garden can be a challenging task, especially if you are new to shade gardening. To get you started, Dan Nelson, lead designer at Embassy Landscape Group, has shared ten of his favorite shade plants with us.     To make the choices even easier, we have divided …

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Posted by & filed under Bees, Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Diervilla, Native Shrubs, Shade Gardens, Shade-loving plants, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

  Let’s welcome an unfamiliar face to the fall color spectacular!     Diervilla is a native shrub that seems to have it all. This non-invasive 3 to 4 foot deciduous shrub will thrive in sunny or shady conditions, is drought tolerant and deer resistant. It sports yellow flower clusters all summer long and has superb …

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Posted by & filed under Design, design process, Shade Gardens, Uncategorized

    Ask five “weekend gardeners” to name the plants they would put in a shade garden and you will most likely get a series of sighs and shrugged shoulders and then five variations of hosta, ferns, impatiens and begonias, with possibly a few caladiums thrown into the mix. The overall attitude usually implies that …

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Posted by & filed under Color, Drought tolerant plants, Fall color, Native Trees, Uncategorized

  Revered for their fall color, the maples are putting on quite a fall show of color here in the Midwest.      Although many of the varieties of maples on the market today originated in Asia, there are about 12 varieties that are native to the United States, with the familiar sugar (rock) maple …

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Posted by & filed under Design, design process, Dry gardens, Moss Gardens, Rock gardens, Shade Gardens, Uncategorized, Woodland gardens, Xeric gardens

  Designing a shade garden that is inviting and interesting throughout the entire year takes serious research and planning. As we have previously discussed, you have to thoroughly understand everything about your site  — everything from its ecoregion and soil, climate and native plant communities to the specific types of shade and their locations. Once …

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Posted by & filed under Bird Friendly Trees, Native Trees, Naturalizing, serviceberry, Uncategorized

  Serviceberry trees are putting on quite a show right now.     These easy to grow native trees are show stoppers in all four seasons! In early spring —  March and April  —  they feature gorgeous white blooms that add  soft, pleasant fragrance to the air. Summer means delicate green leaves and a crop …

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Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscaping, Shade categories, Shade Gardens

  For years, I viewed shade as an entirely black and white issue —  you either had shade or you didn’t. Unfortunately, my attempts at shade gardening reflected my ignorance about the topic. My uninspiring gardens were either scraggly and half dead or were simply long, boring vistas of commonplace hostas.     Only in …

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Posted by & filed under Fall Blooming Plants, Fall Containers, Fall planting, Pansies, Uncategorized

Those cheerful plants that typically announce the coming of spring are also great for fall planting.   Although we tend to think of them as annual bedding plants, pansies are actually short-lived evergreen perennials that can overwinter here in the Midwest. Pansies prefer cool weather and grow easily in rich, moist well-drained soil with morning …

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Posted by & filed under Designed Plant Communities, ecoregions, ecosystems, Landscaping, Native Plants, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

  We went from a yard that had rich, loamy soil and the perfect amount of gentle morning sun to living on top of a defunct rock quarry that sits in deep shade for most of the day until it roasts  in the worst hours of the midwest afternoon sun. Finding plants that survive in …

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Posted by & filed under Native Plants, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Staghorn Sumac, Uncategorized

  Being totally honest, we have to admit that Staghorn sumac isn’t really blooming, but it is flaunting its colors.         Often showing yellow, orange and red foliage on the same bush, Staghorn sumac is named for the velvety appearance of its stunning young branchlets. It has a strong, open form, often reaching …

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