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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

“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 …

Read More »

Plant A Patch: Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

Posted by & filed under Big Bluestem, Drought tolerant plants, Fall Blooming Plants, Native Grasses, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized, Winter Landscaping

  Native grasses add a dramatic flair to the winter garden and Big Bluestem is one of the best. Six to eight feet taller at maturity, Big Bluestem is perfect for naturalizing, as a focal point or in the back of the border, Big Bluestem is easy to grow in almost any sunny location with …

Read More »

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, …

Read More »

Plant A Patch: Fall Glade Onion — (Allium stellatum)

Posted by & filed under Bees, Deer Resistant Plants, Fall Blooming Plants, Fall Glade Onion, Gardens, Native Plants, Naturalizing, PerenniaLs, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

  Also called the prairie onion, this late blooming native prefers full sun with some lightly dappled shade in extreme heat. It does well in sandy or rocky soils and will thrive in shallow soil. The green, grass-like leaves, which often disappear before the 12 – 18 inch flower stalks, give off a strong scent of …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »