Who’s Showing Off Today?

Posted by & filed under Bees, Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Diervilla, Native Shrubs, Shade Gardens, Shade-loving plants, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

  Let’s welcome an unfamiliar face to the fall color spectacular!     Diervilla is a native shrub that seems to have it all. This non-invasive 3 to 4 foot deciduous shrub will thrive in sunny or shady conditions, is drought tolerant and deer resistant. It sports yellow flower clusters all summer long and has superb …

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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 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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What Is A “Sense of Place”?

Posted by & filed under Nature and Stress Reduction, Sense of Place, Sustainability, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  Last week I promised that we would explore the principles of designing a shade garden using the concept of a designed plant community. And we will be doing that — just not today. Today I want to answer a question that was posed to me after last week’s blog.  A reader contacted me and …

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Invite An Insect: Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Butterfly Gardens, Host Plants, Insects, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Nectar Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Whether you are planting to attract butterflies, bees or a host of other native pollinators, finding out which specific plants are the best to include can be complicated. In order to help you design your pollinator garden, I have pulled together a list of some beneficial insects and their related plants. Look for “INVITE AN …

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Preparing for Pollinators

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Butterfly Gardens, Design, Insects, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Pollinator Gardens, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

  With all the Buzz about pollinators in the news lately (sorry, just couldn’t resist it), I thought that this might be a good time to think about adding a pollinator garden to the landscape.         For the past few years, flower and gardening magazines, websites and even home improvement television shows …

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“Bee-Friending” Insect Populations

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Insects, landscape management, Native Grasses, Native Groundcover, Native Plants, Native Shrubs, Native Trees, Naturalizing, Nectar Plants, Predatory Insects, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  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.   Insects are the foundation of the planet’s ecosystems. When just one type of insect disappears, dozens of other species, including humans, are directly …

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Plant A Grove: American highbush-cranberry (Viburnum trilobum)

Posted by & filed under American highbush-cranberry, Birds, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized, Winter Landscaping

          Spectacular as a stand alone shrub or massed as a backdrop to a border, the American highbush-cranberry gives four seasons of interest to the garden. This large deciduous shrub (8+ feet) prefers full sun, but will also thrive in partial shade as long as it is planted in evenly moist, …

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Rethinking Lawns — Part 3: But I Like Green!

Posted by & filed under Landscaping, Lawns, Liriope, Sedges, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Turfgrass Alternatives, Uncategorized

As excited as I have been about the renovation of our front yard, I have to admit that I’m still a little leery of a yard without at least a few patches of green grass. When I shared my reservations with my husband, he assured me that eliminating turfgrass doesn’t mean eliminating the lawn; it …

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Plant A Patch: Small Skullcap (Scutellaria parvula missouriensis)

Posted by & filed under Native Plants, Small Skullcap, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

    At home in shallow dry, rocky soil, sandy soil or clay soil, this tiny plant (3 – 9″) deserves big recognition for its ability to thrive in adverse conditions that would stress other species. It prefers full sun but also grows and blooms well in partial shade. Small skullcap sports blue blossoms from …

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