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Posted by & filed under Clay Soil, Crape Myrtle, Deciduous shrub, Drought tolerant plants, Uncategorized

Lagerstroemia indica, better known as Crape Myrtle, is bursting into bloom here in Kansas City.       Grown as a  4 – 6 foot upright, multi-stemmed deciduous shrub here in the Midwest, Crape Myrtles sport gorgeous rose, red, purple or white colored blooms typically beginning in July and continuing through September. In milder years however, …

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Posted by & filed under Benefits of Nature, Deadheading, Gardens, Grounds Maintenance, Mid-summer gardens, Pruning, Uncategorized

My flower gardens are at their peak. They’ve had plenty of spring rain to push lush growth and now the warmth of consistent sunny days is producing bloom after bloom. My hibiscus blossoms are as big as dinner plates, my bright red pentas are the delight of the local hummingbirds and butterflies are flocking to …

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Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Designing for Butterflies, Late summer blooming plants, Native Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Rain Garden Plants, Rose Mallow, Uncategorized

Native to Missouri, Rose Mallows are beginning to bloom right now.       Rose mallows, like their cousins swamp mallows, are easily gown in average, moist to wet soils and are ideal rain garden plants. They bloom profusely in full sun, but can tolerate a very lightly shaded environment. Good air circulation is also …

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Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Butterfly Gardens, Design, design process, Designing for Butterflies, Insects, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Uncategorized

One of my favorite things to do this summer is to quietly sit on my deck, watching dozens of butterflies floating through the yard enjoying the nectar buffet I’ve planted. This is the first year that I’ve had a steady stream of visitors and it feels like the time, effort and money I’ve put into …

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Posted by & filed under Golden Rain Tree

The Golden Rain Tree is in bloom across Kansas City right now.     Introduced from Japan in 1763,  the Golden Rain Tree has been a gorgeous addition to the landscape for decades. This smaller, rounded head tree, usually 30 to 40 feet tall, can withstand air pollution, heavy clay soils and drought. In June …

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Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Frogs, Moths, Night garden, Sounds of night, Uncategorized

I have a new favorite time of day. For years, the early morning hours, just as the sun was beginning to rise, was my magic hour. Everyone else was tucked in bed fast asleep; I could wander the yard at my own pace without feeling guilty that someone needed something from me RIGHT NOW.  Those …

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Posted by & filed under Foundation plant, Landscaping, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Oak Leaf Hydrangea, Uncategorized

Oak Leaf Hydrangeas are show stoppers right now!     These easy to grow, long-blooming deciduous shrubs are the perfect choice for a hedge, a garden focal point, a foundation planting or to naturalize in a mass at the edge of the property. Reaching up to 8 feet tall, they prefer full sun, but will …

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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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Posted by & filed under Indian Pink, Native Plants, Uncategorized

  The unusual native perennial, Indian Pinks, or Spigelia marilandica are at their peak bloom right now.     Glossy green leaves and brilliant scarlet blooms with bright yellow interiors and star shaped petals on the top grace this late spring/ early summer blooming native perennial. Indian Pinks prefer shade and grow in clumps in …

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