Virginia Sweetspire: A Must Have For Your Garden

Posted by & filed under Bees, Butterfly Gardens, Deer Resistant Plants, Full sun, Rain Garden Plants, Uncategorized

By Sandra Nelson   This week’s pick is by Philip Grubb, Horticulturist   Virginia Sweetspire     Graceful in the spring, fragrant in the summer, striking in the fall and structural in the winter, this native deciduous shrub is truly an all-season plant. Virginia Sweetspire (Itea virginica) is easily grown in moist, well-drained soil, making …

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Echinacea  — Sombrero Series: A Must Have For Your Landscape

Posted by & filed under Butterfly Gardens, Clay Soil, Cutting Garden, Deer Resistant Plants, Drought tolerant plants, Dry gardens, Echinacea, Native Plants, Naturalizing, PerenniaLs, Uncategorized

    By Sandra Nelson The seed catalogs have begun to appear in my mailbox, which always gets me dreaming about the multitudes of plants  — both new varieties and old favorites — that I want to add to my landscape. With so many to choose from though, it’s difficult to narrow down the list …

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Who’s Showing Off Today?

Posted by & filed under Bird Friendly Trees, Deer Resistant Plants, Drought tolerant plants, Dry gardens, Eastern red-cedar, Evergreens, Uncategorized

  By Sandra Nelson       Often disparaged as just a common roadside plant, the native Eastern Red Cedar is truly a boost to a winter garden.     Eastern red cedars, or junipers, are easy to grow, tolerating conditions that would quickly wipe out other species. They prefer full sun, shallow rocky, well-drained …

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Who’s Showing Off Today?

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Bird Friendly Shrub, Buttonbush, Native Shrubs, Naturalizing, Rain Garden Plants, Rainscaping, Uncategorized

  With fall colors waning, structural drama is grabbing our attention now and the native deciduous shrub Buttonbush is giving an outstanding show.     An excellent rain garden plant, Buttonbush grows in moist, humas rich soil in full sun to part shade locations. It has fragrant white blooms in June and July that attract …

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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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