Blog

Posted by & filed under Uncategorized

  The bees and the butterflies are ecstatic! Asters are in full bloom.     An easy to grow native perennial, New England asters are a cheerful addition to the front of the fall border, in a rain garden or as a naturalized area. Asters love full sun and moist, rich soils, but will also …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Designed Plant Communities, landscape management, Landscape mistakes, Landscaping, Native Plants, Planting Communities, Uncategorized, Wild Plant Communities

For the past week my study of plant communities for shade gardens has led me into rereading Thomas Rainer and Claudia West’s book Planting In A Post-Wild World. It’s an interesting read, a satisfying mix of philosophy and how-to advice for the novice as well as the professional who is looking for a way to …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Drought tolerant plants, Fall gardens, Gaura, Late summer blooming plants, Native Plants, Native Plants for Containers, Naturalizing, Sandy Soil, Uncategorized

Whether you know it as Wandflower. Whirling Butterfly or Gaura, this native wildflower is a must for the garden.   Another low maintenance choice, this long blooming, (August through October) clumping herbaceous perennial grows best in a full sun location with sandy, well-drained soil. It tolerates heat, humidity and drought. Wiry stems, which can range …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Butterfly Gardens, Coryopteris, Deciduous shrub, Fall Blooming Plants, Naturalizing, Uncategorized

Blue Mist Spireas , or bluebeards, are stealing the show right now.         Bees, butterflies and other pollinators flock to this lightly fragrant but always showy deciduous shrub throughout its lengthy fall bloom period. Caryopteris is easy to grow in a full sun, well-drained location, but does not like wet feet!  It …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Garden Design, Gardens, Landscaping, Plant Communities, Uncategorized

I love lush beds of  hostas! I love the variety of colors and shapes and sizes and bloom stalks. I love how hardy they are and how little maintenance they need. Unfortunately, our neighborhood deer love them as much as I do. After losing plant after plant to their voracious appetites, I knew I had …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Drought tolerant plants, Rose of Sharon, Uncategorized

An old-fashioned favorite, Rose of Sharon shrubs are in full bloom right now.     This easy to grow shrub is makes a dramatic statement when used in masses, as hedges, or singly as a specimen. Rose of Sharon grows and flowers best in rich, well-drained soil in the full sun, but it will also …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Bulbs for pollinators, Native Bulbs, Pollinator Gardens, Uncategorized

I have always planted bulbs like daffodils and tulips strictly for the joy they give me in the early spring. There is nothing like finding that first green leaf tip poking up through the bare ground or seeing a burst of bright yellow out the kitchen window when everything else is still either brown or …

Read More »

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Butterfly Gardens, Clay Soil, Deer Resistant Plants, Goldenrod, Naturalizing

The often mistakenly maligned perennial, Goldenrod (Solidago ) is beginning its annual fall show.     Goldenrod is a stunning, easy to grow herbaceous perennial that is often falsely accused of causing hay fever. The truth is, wind-blown pollen from plants like ragweed (pictured below) are actually the offenders. Depending on the specific species, bright yellow blooms …

Read More »