Skip to main content

Blog
Landscape Design & Maintenance

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!

Japanese Honeysuckle: A Beautiful Bane


I ran across this headline this morning. Honeysuckle Is Evil.  It was quite an attention grabber and I have to admit that I have said the same, and worse, in my quest to get rid of this insidious invader. Someone, long ago I am sure, was told to plant a few starts on the back cliff in an effort to keep the hillside from disappearing into the quarry directly below us. I truly understand the intent, (I wish I could go back and apologize to homeowners for all the English Ivy I planted through the years.) but today I am battling its takeover of my entire yard. 

Add Some Blue To Your Landscape With A Water Feature

So you’ve been considering adding a water feature to your backyard, but haven’t quite decided if it’s the right decision for you. Having enjoyed ponds and streams, waterfalls and fountains in my yards for decades, I can give you lots of reasons why adding water to the landscape is a great idea.

Hummingbirds Retun

They’re back! 

 

Despite bouts of unseasonably cold weather and the never-ending cold rain, my favorite feisty birds, hummingbirds, have returned to my yard. Right now, my garden is in an in-between time  –  early bloomers are finishing up and summer ones haven’t started  –  so the birds are hungrily hovering at the feeders. Soon, they will expect more substance to their diet; they will want to feast on a buffet of flowers.