Green Spaces for Cities — Part 2: Living Walls and Green Roofs

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Houseplants, Benefits of Nature, Deflecting sound, Green Roofs, Health & Wellness, Indoor gardens, Interior landscaping, Living walls, Uncategorized, Water Management

One of my favorite sessions from the recent Perennial Plant Conference I attended in Chicago was on Living Walls. It had been a reluctant choice at first — a lesser of two evils type of choice. Surprisingly though, after the first few minutes, I was hooked. The presenter didn’t try to teach me how, instead …

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Green Spaces for Cities — Part 1

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  Perspectives change over time, don’t they?   We were on I -90 headed to Chicago’s Union Station when I glanced out the window and noticed the downtown skyline. Ten years ago I would have commented on how exciting it was to see all of the sleek buildings dominating the landscape. This time the view made …

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The Mid-Summer Garden

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Deadheading, Gardens, Grounds Maintenance, Mid-summer gardens, Pruning, Uncategorized

My flower gardens are at their peak. They’ve had plenty of spring rain to push lush growth and now the warmth of consistent sunny days is producing bloom after bloom. My hibiscus blossoms are as big as dinner plates, my bright red pentas are the delight of the local hummingbirds and butterflies are flocking to …

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Intimate Spaces in Large Places

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Design, Health & Wellness, Intimate spaces, Landscaping, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

Our eldest daughter is a textbook type A personality. She finds it difficult to just sit and relax because there is always another task to be completed. Her ability to keep going and going and going is truly amazing and somewhat exhausting.       The other day, while she was at our home, she …

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Dining Out — In Your Own Backyard

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Uncategorized

Every year, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) and other groups publish a list of the top landscaping trends of the year. For the past few years, adding an outdoor kitchen to the landscape has been one of the top ten trends; this year was no exception.  By combining an outdoor kitchen with a …

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Go Native — In Your Container Garden

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Container Gardening, Design, Native Grasses, Native Plants, Native Plants for Containers, Uncategorized

I was bound and determined to get my patio pots planted last weekend. I had all ten of them cleaned and ready to be filled, my color scheme picked out and each placement imagined. I knew exactly how many would have to survive in the brutal midwestern sun and which ones would sit in complete …

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The Not So Secret Lives of Bees

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, Causes of Insect Decline, Native Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Uncategorized

Originally published in September 2018, our two part series on native and non-native bees adds important information to our current discussion of native pollinators.        Two years ago, when we moved into this house, I planted the beginnings of a butterfly garden. Last summer it didn’t amount to much — the perennials were small and it …

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Plant A Patch: Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, Bird Friendly Shrub, Fall Blooming Plants, Native Plants, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Uncategorized, Winter Landscaping, With-hazel

        Whether used as a divining rod to find water, a cure a broken heart or to ward off evil,  the native shrub witch hazel has held a noteworthy spot in American folklore for centuries. Better known today for its offering rare “golden blooms in the dead of winter,” witch hazel deserves a …

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Declining Insects — Declining World

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, ecosystems, Insects, Uncategorized

  Insect populations around the world are rapidly declining. Within the next 20 years, 40% of the earth’s insect species may be extinct and within 100 years insects could disappear completely.  (Worldwide decline of the entomofauna: A review of its drivers Biological Conservation, Apr. 2019).         If your initial response to these …

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Bring Nature In — Let Stress Out

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized

I have been feeling incredibly stressed lately.  Unfortunately, when I am stressed, I just shut down which, of course, increases my stress level and renders me virtually useless. My “To Do” list gets longer and my “Done” list stays blank.The only way I can interrupt this cycle is to take a nature break.     …

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