Garden Layout

Garden layout is one of the most rewarding things I do.   For example, today I delivered 250 trees, shrubs and perennials to a new home.   There will be no lawn in the good size backyard, so lots of material is required to fill the space. 250 different plants would be too busy.   Many, if not… [Continue Reading]

Garden Foliage

Garden foliage can be even more important than garden flowers.   The foliage lasts all season, whereas bloom season for any given plant is generally more limited.  Foliage provides color, contrast, texture, and scale in a garden.  Bold garden foliage such as a large hosta or Rodgersia can provide an impressive nearly tropical look.  Similarly, a… [Continue Reading]

Winter Interest

Now that is officially winter, it is time to look at some plants for winter interest.  Many plants provide structure and definition in the winter garden.  When the snow is deep, the plants of interest tend to be the trees, shrubs and evergreens that hold the snow and display it well.  In a great winter… [Continue Reading]

Landscape Fabric: Cursory Overview

Did I say “Cursory”?   Well, I meant “Cursing”. Don’t ever let anyone tell you that landscape fabric serves no useful purpose.  It has several. It can come to the surface and make the garden ugly.  That way, your neighbor can feel superior.  Even in this garden where the majority of the fabric is now… [Continue Reading]

How to Mulch with Bark

A couple of decades ago I learned that fine bark saves a great deal of labor.  Fewer weeds, watering is more effective, and the soil is improved over time as the bark decomposes into soil.  The warnings about the bark reducing the nitrogen in the soil were a bit exaggerated.  It has never proven to… [Continue Reading]

Hot Lessons from Colorado

Colorado has been dealing with drought for several years and they have helped train the rest of us on the topic.  They have led the way in xeriscaping (drought tolerant gardening) and have introduced many of the finest plants for this purpose.  I asked the Senior Curator and Director of Outreach for Denver Botanic Gardens,… [Continue Reading]

Lessons from the Wilderness

  I’m a puny landscaper.  I work on tiny pieces of ground while God does the big work and the best.  So, when I’m trying to learn more about making landscapes wonderful, I go visit ones from the Master.  I also have the wonderful opportunity to go exploring with a great friend and mentor, but… [Continue Reading]

Hummingbird Attractors

  She’s little and she loves meTo my lucky dayHummingbird don’t fly away…Leon Russell Not every garden is constantly visited by hummingbirds, but with the right plants, ours have been full of hummers for year after year.  You can have the same if you follow these tips. Myth buster:   Nepeta siberica ‘Souvenir d’Andre Chaudron’… [Continue Reading]

Double Shot, Baby

The idea “if one’s good, two’s better” will get you in trouble with prescription medication, but most of the time with plants, it’s “If one’s good, five’s better.”  The simplest landscape tip, and perhaps most important, it to plant multiples.  Most plants simply look stunning in mass, or repeated in the landscape.  Formal gardens such… [Continue Reading]