Hidden Toxins in Plants from Big-Box Retailers

A report recently released by the Pesticide Research Institute and Friends of the Earth warns that, “More than half of ostensibly bee-friendly plants sampled at 18 Home Depot, Lowe’s and Walmart garden centers in the U.S. and Canada contained high levels of neonicotinoids (a pesticide), which are considered highly toxic to bees, butterflies and other […]

6 Architectural Elements that Add Character and Structure to the Garden

Creating a sense of place, or identity, in any landscape design includes utilizing elements that fit in with the context of the site, which may be historical, cultural, environmental or geographical.  In addition, architectural features that help create or enhance the special character of a place can be functional, whimsical and/or simply beautiful. To keep […]

Nesting Materials For The Birds

While taking a little time to stop and smell the roses this spring, you may notice the intricate handiwork of birds building their nests. It’s amazing what these instinctive architects can create with found materials.  While an ideal environment provides them with the right building materials, we can also lend a helping hand by providing […]

Topiary Gardens Take a Giant Leap

They’re whimsical and imaginative, artful and sculptural…topiary gardens take many shapes and sizes.  The precisely sheared shrubs and trees seem to come to life.  Recently though, topiary gardening has morphed into something even more magical:  Mosaiculture.  These public works of horticultural art, often several stories high, encompass wire frames that act as colossal planters filled […]

Great Native Ground Covers, Part II

In Part I of this series, I highlighted just some of the varied ground covers, including evergreen plants, ferns and flowering perennials that are suitable for many different types of landscapes.  I also talked about why ground covers are better than lawns.  Here, I’ll focus on many more types of ground covers that are environmentally-friendly, […]

A World Without Flowers?

We’re all looking forward to spring, a time of renewal and beauty, and the opportunity to get outside and improve our surroundings.  Appealing landscape design often involves the artful arrangement of flowering plants, but imagine for a moment that 90% of flowers are no longer able to bloom.  This could be our future reality with […]

Great Native Ground Covers, Part I

Our native ground cover plants are far superior to turf grass, which is not native, because they’re low maintenance.  They don’t need fertilizers or pesticides, and they don’t need to be mowed or watered once established (learn more from my previous posts here and here).  Plus, they help manage stormwater runoff, allowing rainwater to follow […]

Got Mosquitoes? Act Now to Help Save Insect-Eating Bats!

Okay, so mosquitoes might be the last thing on your mind during these bitter winter months, but you know as soon as warmer weather arrives, and you want to get back out in the garden, they’ll be out there with you.  Here are some tips to reduce the future numbers of mosquitoes, stink bugs, and […]

Keep Your Garden Growing with a Coldframe!

Your garden may be winding down for the winter, but it doesn’t have to!  A simple cold frame can provide a perfect micro-climate for growing vegetables to extend the garden season.  A cold frame, like the one pictured above, is essentially a bottomless box that sits right on the ground.  It should face south so […]

The Colorful Autumn Garden

As fall approaches, night temperatures add a chill to the air, but days bring lots of sunny skies.  Your garden beds may be generally dry, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be filled with lively, colorful plants until frost.  Color is not only born from flowers, but from interesting foliage as well.  Here, we take […]

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