Right Plant, Right Place

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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 Establish A Community – Part 4: Ecological Function, Aesthetic Form

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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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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“Frenemies “ — Bugs, Your Garden and You

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, ecosystems, landscape management, Parasitic Insects, Predatory Insects, Sustainability, Uncategorized

When I started my gardening career, and I hate to admit how many decades ago that was, dealing with bugs in the garden was easy. See a bug?  Kill it — preferably with a strong, extremely toxic chemical.            Today my relationship with bugs in the garden is much more complicated. …

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Planting in a Changing World – Part 2: Climate Change

Posted by & filed under climate, climate change, ecosystems, Gardens, landscape management, Phenology, Uncategorized, Water Management

Gardening has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My mother had beds of iris and grew roses in her St. Louis back yard, my father had a thriving vegetable patch in the former ash pit of our home and my grandmother always had annuals blooming next to her kitchen …

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Planting in a Changing World – Part 1: Phenology

Posted by & filed under climate change, ecosystems, Phenology, Uncategorized

  I was catching up on some reading the other day when an unexpected term caught my attention. At first glance I thought the word was phrenology and I couldn’t understand why anyone from the magazine Horticulture would be writing about measuring skulls. Rereading, I figured out that my brain had substituted a familiar word …

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