What Is A “Sense of Place”?

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 …

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Remembering Grandma’s Garden

Posted by & filed under Drought tolerant plants, Grandma's garden, Heirloom gardens, Heirloom plants, Night blooming plants, Old-fashioned flowers, Shade-loving plants, Spring blooming plants, Uncategorized

  My husband and I just returned from a ten day vacation in Virginia. The weather was perfect the whole time we traveled; spring was emerging and everywhere we visited the surroundings were bursting with color.     Since we both love American history almost as much as we love gardening, both Monticello and Colonial …

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Invite An Insect: Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, Butterfly Gardens, Host Plants, Insects, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Nectar Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Sustainability, Uncategorized

Whether you are planting to attract butterflies, bees or a host of other native pollinators, finding out which specific plants are the best to include can be complicated. In order to help you design your pollinator garden, I have pulled together a list of some beneficial insects and their related plants. Look for “INVITE AN …

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The Not So Secret Lives of Bees

Posted by & filed under Bees, Beneficial insects, Benefits of Nature, Causes of Insect Decline, Native Plants, Pollinator Gardens, Uncategorized

Originally published in September 2018, our two part series on native and non-native bees adds important information to our current discussion of native pollinators.        Two years ago, when we moved into this house, I planted the beginnings of a butterfly garden. Last summer it didn’t amount to much — the perennials were small and it …

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Preparing for Pollinators

Posted by & filed under Beneficial insects, Butterfly Gardens, Design, Insects, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Pollinator Gardens, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Uncategorized

  With all the Buzz about pollinators in the news lately (sorry, just couldn’t resist it), I thought that this might be a good time to think about adding a pollinator garden to the landscape.         For the past few years, flower and gardening magazines, websites and even home improvement television shows …

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Plant A Patch: Switch grass (Panicum virgatum)

Posted by & filed under Clay Soil, Fall gardens, Fall planting, Native Grasses, Native Plants, Naturalizing, Rain Garden Plants, Rain Gardens, Rainscaping, Switch grass, Uncategorized, Winter Landscaping

  Reminiscent of the days of the tallgrass prairie, switch grass, with its upright, columnar shape can be a striking stand alone focal point, a massed anchor for a border, or a backdrop for a rain garden. Reaching up to 6 feet in height when in bloom, switch grass is easily grown in moist, sandy …

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Rethinking Lawns — Part 4: Groundcovers

Posted by & filed under Design, Groundcovers, Landscaping, Lawns, Native Groundcover, Native groundcovers, Native Plants, No-mow yards, Uncategorized

Life without turfgrass can be both beautiful and surprisingly easy to maintain …. Just ask the designers and crews at Embassy Landscape Group who have created landscapes that are attractive, painless to care for and environmentally friendly. Utilizing a wide range of native and introduced plants, ground covers, shrubs and trees, Embassy’s design staff are …

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Rethinking Lawns — Part 3: But I Like Green!

Posted by & filed under Landscaping, Lawns, Liriope, Sedges, Sustainability, Sustainable Landscaping, Turfgrass Alternatives, Uncategorized

As excited as I have been about the renovation of our front yard, I have to admit that I’m still a little leery of a yard without at least a few patches of green grass. When I shared my reservations with my husband, he assured me that eliminating turfgrass doesn’t mean eliminating the lawn; it …

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Plant A Patch – Barbara’s Buttons (Marshallia caespitosa)

Posted by & filed under Barbara's Buttons, Butterfly Gardens, Gardens, Landscaping, Native Plants, Nectar Plants, PerenniaLs, Sandy Soil, Silty Soil, Uncategorized

    This diminutive native perennial features fragrant pinkish white blooms, somewhat reminiscent of pincushion flowers, on leafless, upright stems in late spring. A small plant, rarely more than 6 – 8 inches, it is perfect for rock gardens or the front of beds. Barbara’s buttons are drought tolerant, prefer full sun and dry, sandy …

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