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 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 …

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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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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 …

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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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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: 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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Plant A Patch: Copper Iris (Iris fulva)

Posted by & filed under Clay Soil, Copper iris, Gardens, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Nectar Plants, PerenniaLs, Rain Garden Plants, Rain Gardens, Rainscaping, Sustainable Landscaping

  A perfect plant for use in a rain garden or as a water plant , the copper iris takes its name from its unique reddish-copper color blooms which appear in May and June.Small plants, they typically reach about 2 feet in height. They love full sun, but will tolerate part shade if planted in …

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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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