Low Maintenance Landscaping

Posted by & filed under Design, Drought tolerant plants, Grounds Maintenance, landscape management, No-mow yards, Turfgrass Alternatives, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   As much as I love gardening, I absolutely HATE the mindless, time-consuming and oftentimes expensive routine maintenance chores involved in taking care of a traditionally landscaped yard.  Rather than a place to relax and unwind, the idealized suburban landscape of perfectly manicured turf, neatly edged walkways and precisely pruned shrubs can easily …

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Siberian Bugloss: A Must Have For Your Garden

Posted by & filed under Blue flowers, Brunnera, Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Groundcovers, Naturalizing, Rain Gardens, Shade Gardens, Shade-loving plants, Siberian bugloss, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson Siberian bugloss   Finding attractive, well-behaved plants for moist, full- shade locations can be tricky, but Siberian bugloss (Brunnera) could be your answer.  This easy to grow groundcover thrives in areas that receive as few as 4 hours of sunlight per day. It loves rich, moist soil, but once established, will tolerate …

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Great Companions

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Birds, Butterfly Gardens, Designing for Butterflies, Drought tolerant plants, Dry gardens, ecosystems, Full sun, Gardens, Groundcovers, Insects, Native Grasses, Native groundcovers, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Rock gardens, Shade Gardens, Shade-loving plants, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   My daughter FaceTimed me the other day. She wanted me to see a plant and tell her what would look good with it in her garden. I gave her a few suggestions, but the conversation really got me thinking. I don’t know how many times I have stood in a garden …

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New Jersey Tea: A Must Have For Your Garden

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Bird Friendly Shrub, Butterfly Gardens, Deciduous shrub, Drought tolerant plants, ecosystems, Full sun, Gardens, Groundcovers, Host Plants, Native Groundcover, Native Plants, Native Shrubs, New Jersey Tea, Uncategorized

(Photo Credit:  JohnOyston) By Sandra Nelson   This week’s pick by Sandra Nelson,   New Jersey Tea       Picture masses of gorgeous,  pure white flowers hosting visits from dozens of brightly colored butterflies and a delicate fragrance filling the air. Even better, picture that idyllic scene on the rocky hillside in your yard where …

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Color In The Garden

Posted by & filed under Color, Color; Designing with Color, Design, Design elements, Designing with Color, Garden Design, Gardens, Psychology of Color, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   While line, shape, form and texture tend to be the subtle elements shaping the viewer’s perception of a garden design, color is the one that jumps out and grabs you. It draws you in or pushes you away; it fires your emotions and stokes your energy level or it brings much …

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Line, Form And Texture In The Garden

Posted by & filed under Design, Design elements, Garden Design, Gardens, Line, Shape and Form, Texture, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   For years, I thought that color was the most important element in garden design. I thought that if only I could learn to get the colors right, then I would finally have that show-stopping yard I had been dreaming about for years. It’s only been in the last few weeks that …

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Designing Beds That Delight

Posted by & filed under Design, design process, Designed Plant Communities, Garden Design, Gardens, Layers, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   I don’t know how you are handling stress these days, but I find myself drawn more and more to my yard. When I feel anxiety building, I stroll through the yard, stopping every few seconds to discover the changes from the day before and to soak in the calming power of …

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Spring Clean-Up, The Environmentally Friendly Way

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Causes of Insect Decline, Insects, Predatory Insects, Spring clean-up, Uncategorized

 By Sandra Nelson   We had a quick taste of spring this past weekend.    It was warm and sunny and people in our neighborhood were out in full force taking advantage of the beautiful days to begin their spring yard clean-up. Leaves were raked and bagged, perennials chopped back to the ground, trees were …

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Right Plant, Right Place

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 …

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