Rethinking Lawns — Part 2: Variations on a Theme

Posted by & filed under design process, Garden Design, Gardens, Landscaping, Lawns, Outdoor Living, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

After almost two years of fighting a lost cause, we are truly ready to take the plunge. Once the heat of the summer dissipates, we are going to kill off the sorry patch of existing “lawn” we have and start over with an entirely new look.     So far, I’ve had an interesting reaction …

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Plant A Patch – Barbara’s Buttons (Marshallia caespitosa)

Posted by & filed under Barbara's Buttons, Butterfly Gardens, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, PerenniaLs, Sandy Soil, Silty Soil, Uncategorized

    This diminutive native perennial features fragrant pinkish white blooms, somewhat reminiscent of pincushion flowers, on leafless, upright stems in late spring. A small plant, rarely more than 6 – 8 inches, it is perfect for rock gardens or the front of beds. Barbara’s buttons are drought tolerant, prefer full sun and dry, sandy …

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Plant A Patch: Fame Flower/ Rock Pink — ( Phemeranthus calycinus )

Posted by & filed under Fame Flower, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

    An incredibly tough native perennial succulent, Rock Pink or Fame Flower is an excellent choice for both rock gardens or container gardens. Being part of the purslanes family (related to portulaca or moss rose), it prefers full sun and dry, rocky soil in areas where it does not have to compete with larger, …

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Plant A Patch: Hollowstem Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulosum)

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Sustainable Landscaping

        Joe Pye Weed, long thought of as just a roadside weed, is finally coming into its own! This tall (4 – 7 feet) native thrives in moist to wet soil and full sun to partial shade. Fragrant pinkish-purple blooms which attract dozens of species of butterflies appear in July and continue …

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“Frenemies “ — Bugs, Your Garden and You : Part 2: Designing for Bugs

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Garden Design, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping

If anyone had told me, even ten years ago, that I would be designing my yard to accommodate bugs, I would have called them crazy. Back then any and all bugs were the ENEMY and needed to be immediately eradicated — with powerful insecticides so that death would be almost instantaneous. Today the shelf that …

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Water Features: An Oasis of Your Own

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Landscaping, Outdoor Living, Urban Landscaping, Water features

“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”     The words of John Lubbock, an early British statesman and naturalist, hold enormous truths …

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Dining Out — In Your Own Backyard: Design Tips

Posted by & filed under Landscaping, Outdoor Kitchens, Outdoor Living, Uncategorized

Whether you are going to hire a professional company like Embassy Landscape Group or tackle a DIY project, installing an outdoor kitchen requires serious planning to be successful. I’ve gathered a few ideas together to think about as you design and install that perfect backyard dining space. Today we will look at some of the big …

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Plant A Patch: Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis)

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Rain Garden Plants, Sustainability, Uncategorized

A favorite of hummingbirds and butterflies, this clump-forming native perennial sports 8 inch spikes of striking red blooms beginning in July and continuing until frost. In the wild, Cardinal flowers are typically found in wetlands, along the edges of streams and in ravines and ditches. Cardinal flowers require a consistent moisture to thrive which makes …

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