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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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Posted by & filed under Benefits of Trees, Trees, Uncategorized

This article was originally published November 13, 2017. It has been revised and updated, Join us next week as we look at plant communities for shade areas. When you really stop and think about the big picture, planting trees is one of the most important actions you can take for yourself, your community and even …

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Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Shrub rose, Uncategorized

Shrub roses are celebrating fall with a big burst of end of the season color right now!     The American Rose Society describes shrub roses as “A class of hardy, easy-care plants that…..do not fit in any other category of rose bush.”  They come in a variety of colors, have single or double blooms, …

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Posted by & filed under Design, design process, Designed Plant Communities, ecosystems, Landscaping, Plant Communities, Planting Communities, Uncategorized

  Our modern perceptions of what a beautiful landscape looks like are not really our own ideas. They were in large part shaped by English landscape artists of the 18th and 19th centuries. Their highly romanticized works interpreted for the public what landscape designers were providing for the wealthy upper class. Their paintings, like the …

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Posted by & filed under Designed Plant Communities, Landscaping, Layers, Native groundcovers, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Plant Communities, Sense of Place, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized, Vertical layers

  The technique of planting in layers is neither new or revolutionary. For years, designers have considered the front, middle and back as layers in residential bed design, making sure that the three layers work together harmoniously. Rainer and West, co-authors of the book Planting in a Post Wild World, add an additional dimension to …

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Posted by & filed under Uncategorized

  The bees and the butterflies are ecstatic! Asters are in full bloom.     An easy to grow native perennial, New England asters are a cheerful addition to the front of the fall border, in a rain garden or as a naturalized area. Asters love full sun and moist, rich soils, but will also …

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Posted by & filed under Designed Plant Communities, landscape management, Landscape mistakes, Landscaping, Native Plants, Planting Communities, Uncategorized, Wild Plant Communities

For the past week my study of plant communities for shade gardens has led me into rereading Thomas Rainer and Claudia West’s book Planting In A Post-Wild World. It’s an interesting read, a satisfying mix of philosophy and how-to advice for the novice as well as the professional who is looking for a way to …

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