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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Green Spaces for Cities — Part 1

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Health & Wellness, Nature and Stress Reduction, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

  Perspectives change over time, don’t they?   We were on I -90 headed to Chicago’s Union Station when I glanced out the window and noticed the downtown skyline. Ten years ago I would have commented on how exciting it was to see all of the sleek buildings dominating the landscape. This time the view made …

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Design Your Perfect Pathway

Posted by & filed under Design, Garden Design, Landscaping, Outdoor Living, Pathways, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

My granddaughter and I were playing in the backyard the other day. One minute she was chasing me and laughing and the next she was frozen in one spot with huge tears streaming down her cheeks. I figured her brother had something to do with it (not unusual),  but it turned out that I was …

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Intimate Spaces in Large Places

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Design, Health & Wellness, Intimate spaces, Landscaping, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

Our eldest daughter is a textbook type A personality. She finds it difficult to just sit and relax because there is always another task to be completed. Her ability to keep going and going and going is truly amazing and somewhat exhausting.       The other day, while she was at our home, she …

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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 — Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)

Posted by & filed under Fall gardens, Native Plants, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Shrubs & Trees, Staghorn Sumac, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

      If you’ve taken a drive in the countryside lately, you’ve probably seen a striking shrub flaunting yellow, orange and red foliage all on the same bush. Staghorn sumac, named for the velvety appearance of its stunning young branchlets, has a strong, open, spreading growth habit, reaching 15 to 25 feet. It naturalizes …

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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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Outdoor Living – Relaxing on the Patio

Posted by & filed under Best New Perennials, Landscaping, Outdoor Living, Patio Design, Pavers, Uncategorized, Urban Landscaping

When I was growing up, having a patio at your home usually meant that there was a square (or sometimes rectangular) slab of grey concrete protruding off the house in the backyard. In our neighborhood, patios were not terribly common and I can remember the consternation when my father not only had one installed, but …

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