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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What’s In Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Native Plants, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Staghorn Sumac, Uncategorized

  Being totally honest, we have to admit that Staghorn sumac isn’t really blooming, but it is flaunting its colors.         Often showing yellow, orange and red foliage on the same bush, Staghorn sumac is named for the velvety appearance of its stunning young branchlets. It has a strong, open form, often reaching …

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Establish A Community —    Part 3: Design Principles –  The Layered Look

Posted by & filed under Designed Plant Communities, Landscaping, Layers, Native groundcovers, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Plant Communities, Sense of Place, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized, Vertical layers

  The technique of planting in layers is neither new or revolutionary. For years, designers have considered the front, middle and back as layers in residential bed design, making sure that the three layers work together harmoniously. Rainer and West, co-authors of the book Planting in a Post Wild World, add an additional dimension to …

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Establish A Community —    Part 2: Design Principles –  The Site

Posted by & filed under Designed Plant Communities, landscape management, Landscape mistakes, Landscaping, Native Plants, Planting Communities, Uncategorized, Wild Plant Communities

For the past week my study of plant communities for shade gardens has led me into rereading Thomas Rainer and Claudia West’s book Planting In A Post-Wild World. It’s an interesting read, a satisfying mix of philosophy and how-to advice for the novice as well as the professional who is looking for a way to …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Drought tolerant plants, Fall gardens, Gaura, Late summer blooming plants, Native Plants, Native Plants for Containers, Naturalizing, Sandy Soil, Uncategorized

Whether you know it as Wandflower. Whirling Butterfly or Gaura, this native wildflower is a must for the garden.   Another low maintenance choice, this long blooming, (August through October) clumping herbaceous perennial grows best in a full sun location with sandy, well-drained soil. It tolerates heat, humidity and drought. Wiry stems, which can range …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Blazing star liatris, Butterfly Gardens, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Rain Garden Plants, Rain Gardens, Uncategorized

Liatris spicata, commonly known as blazing star, is at the height of its bloom right now in Kansas City.     A native wet prairie perennial, blazing star is easily grown in average to medium soil that is well-drained. An excellent choice for rain gardens, blazing star tolerates moist soil during the summer, but will succumb …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Designing for Butterflies, Late summer blooming plants, Native Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Rain Garden Plants, Rose Mallow, Uncategorized

Native to Missouri, Rose Mallows are beginning to bloom right now.       Rose mallows, like their cousins swamp mallows, are easily gown in average, moist to wet soils and are ideal rain garden plants. They bloom profusely in full sun, but can tolerate a very lightly shaded environment. Good air circulation is also …

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Patience Is the Key To A Successful Butterfly Garden

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Butterfly Gardens, Design, design process, Designing for Butterflies, Insects, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Uncategorized

One of my favorite things to do this summer is to quietly sit on my deck, watching dozens of butterflies floating through the yard enjoying the nectar buffet I’ve planted. This is the first year that I’ve had a steady stream of visitors and it feels like the time, effort and money I’ve put into …

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What’s in Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Indian Pink, Native Plants, Uncategorized

  The unusual native perennial, Indian Pinks, or Spigelia marilandica are at their peak bloom right now.     Glossy green leaves and brilliant scarlet blooms with bright yellow interiors and star shaped petals on the top grace this late spring/ early summer blooming native perennial. Indian Pinks prefer shade and grow in clumps in …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Deer Resistant Plants, Drought tolerant plants, Groundcovers, Missouri primrose, Native groundcovers, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Uncategorized

The pink Missouri Primrose is in bloom here in Kansas City.       This tough little native perennial, also known as pink ladies, eagerly rambles over tough terrain and rewards you with masses of fragrant flowers that begin as white blooms and gradually change to pink, blossoming profusely from early to mid-summer. This primrose loves the …

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