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Landscape Design & Maintenance

FIVE REASONS NOT TO PLANT THAT TREE

I have spent the last two months cleaning debris from my mimosa tree off of my front patio, porch and even my entryway.  I love the tree in the summer when it is covered in blooms and hummingbirds are flocking to its sweet nectar, but I have to admit that I curse at it a bit the rest of the year. Why anyone would plant such a messy tree right next to the house is way beyond my understanding.

Don't Stop Watering Now

It started raining yesterday afternoon and hasn’t really left off at all. On one hand, it’s no fun to have to venture out in this cold autumn drizzle, but on the other, we desperately need the rain. As of the latest National Weather Service figures, over 80% of our state is currently experiencing some level of drought conditions. Our area is behind at least 8 inches just since June. I know we are not alone. Across the country, people are experiencing incomprehensibly dry weather.

Eight Ways To Love Fall Leaves

When we left ten days ago, our lawn looked like this:

 

When we came back, this was what our lawn looked like:  

 

and this was the neighbor’s:

 After six years I still can’t convince him that there are much better ways to get rid of fall leaves than sending them to the dump in black plastic bags. 

 

Fall Is The Time To Plant (Some) Trees

We've been having a lot of tree conversations lately. My daughter is determined to get several planted this fall, and I would love to add something else to my grove of serviceberry in the front.  What we are learning is that autumn is an excellent time to plant many, but not all, trees and shrubs. Knowing which species to plant, when to plant them and how to take care of them can help ensure fall landscaping success.

 

Right Tree, Right Place

My daughter moved into a brand new house earlier this summer.  Like so many new builds, the landscaping allowance included one sad, lonely tree stuck on the corner and three bushes –  her choice from an unimaginative standard list.  Bit by bit she’s been adding to the yard, but now it’s time to do some serious tree planting. Before that first shovel breaks the ground though, she has lots to consider.  

Need Joy In Your Autumn Landscape? Add Shrubs

I took an objective look at my front yard this week and determined it was sadly lacking in fall color. My four yellow mums in pots flanking the doorway just didn’t bring me quite enough joy. (Yes, I admit it  – I have been doing a Marie Kondo purge) What I really want are huge bursts of riotous color and texture before a long Midwestern winter with its ice, snow and freezing temperatures sets in. 

Start Fall Mulching -- You'll Be Glad You Did!

Fall has officially arrived. Around here, that means getting my garden ready for a long winter’s nap. Of course there are all of the typical fall chores  –  removing dying annuals, planting spring bulbs, cleaning out iris and daylily beds, draining hoses, putting tools away  – but this year there’s going to be a new task on the fall list. From now on, I’m going to be adding mulching to my fall chores. 

The Age-old Question : A Dog or A Nice Yard?

Three years ago we struggled with this question:  Dog or Yard?  Dog won; we rescued an 8 year old Cairn Terrier mix who has become my constant, and beloved, companion  --  and who immediately began to destroy my yard. Since a decimated yard wasn't an option for me,  I decided to follow my own advice --  and I can vouch for the fact that it worked! We have both yard AND dog, and we love both. If you missed it the first time, here is a reprint of that 2019 article.  I hope it helps keep you and your dog happy!