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October 2019

What's Your Style?

  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 …

Who's Showing Off Today?

  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 …

What’s Your Shade?

  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 …

Right Plant, Right Place

  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 …

What's In Bloom Today?

  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 …

What's In Bloom Today?

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 …

What's In Bloom Today?

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, …

Give the Earth a Gift - Plant a Tree

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 …