Blog

Posted by & filed under Bird Friendly Trees, Native Trees, Naturalizing, serviceberry, Uncategorized

  Serviceberry trees are putting on quite a show right now.     These easy to grow native trees are show stoppers in all four seasons! In early spring —  March and April  —  they feature gorgeous white blooms that add  soft, pleasant fragrance to the air. Summer means delicate green leaves and a crop …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Gardens, Landscaping, Shade categories, Shade Gardens

  For years, I viewed shade as an entirely black and white issue —  you either had shade or you didn’t. Unfortunately, my attempts at shade gardening reflected my ignorance about the topic. My uninspiring gardens were either scraggly and half dead or were simply long, boring vistas of commonplace hostas.     Only in …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Fall Blooming Plants, Fall Containers, Fall planting, Pansies, Uncategorized

Those cheerful plants that typically announce the coming of spring are also great for fall planting.   Although we tend to think of them as annual bedding plants, pansies are actually short-lived evergreen perennials that can overwinter here in the Midwest. Pansies prefer cool weather and grow easily in rich, moist well-drained soil with morning …

Read More »

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 »

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 …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Benefits of Trees, Trees, Uncategorized

This article was originally published November 13, 2017. It has been revised and updated, Join us next week as we look at plant communities for shade areas. When you really stop and think about the big picture, planting trees is one of the most important actions you can take for yourself, your community and even …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Shrub rose, Uncategorized

Shrub roses are celebrating fall with a big burst of end of the season color right now!     The American Rose Society describes shrub roses as “A class of hardy, easy-care plants that…..do not fit in any other category of rose bush.”  They come in a variety of colors, have single or double blooms, …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Design, design process, Designed Plant Communities, ecosystems, Landscaping, Plant Communities, Planting Communities, Uncategorized

  Our modern perceptions of what a beautiful landscape looks like are not really our own ideas. They were in large part shaped by English landscape artists of the 18th and 19th centuries. Their highly romanticized works interpreted for the public what landscape designers were providing for the wealthy upper class. Their paintings, like the …

Read More »

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 »