Who’s Showing Off Today?

Posted by & filed under Bees, Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Diervilla, Native Shrubs, Shade Gardens, Shade-loving plants, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

  Let’s welcome an unfamiliar face to the fall color spectacular!     Diervilla is a native shrub that seems to have it all. This non-invasive 3 to 4 foot deciduous shrub will thrive in sunny or shady conditions, is drought tolerant and deer resistant. It sports yellow flower clusters all summer long and has superb …

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Who’s Showing Off Today?

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 …

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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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What’s In Bloom Today?

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 …

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Establish A Community —    Part 3: Design Principles –  The Layered Look

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 …

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Establish A Community —    Part 2: Design Principles –  The Site

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 …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

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 …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

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 …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

Posted by & filed under Blazing star liatris, Butterfly Gardens, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, Rain Garden Plants, Rain Gardens, Uncategorized

Liatris spicata, commonly known as blazing star, is at the height of its bloom right now in Kansas City.     A native wet prairie perennial, blazing star is easily grown in average to medium soil that is well-drained. An excellent choice for rain gardens, blazing star tolerates moist soil during the summer, but will succumb …

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What’s In Bloom Today?

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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