Lupinus perennis, also known as wild lupine, is a beautiful flowering plant that grows well in dry, sandy soils and is native to the eastern part of the United States. This perennial plant used to grow abundantly in the north-eastern parts of the country but its numbers have been in rapid decline since the early 1900s. It's estimated that up to 90% of the lupine population has been eradicated mainly due to habitat loss. Don't let these beauties disappear, consider adding them to your garden this year!
Plantago lanceolata is a flowering plant in the plantain family Plantaginaceae. From an agricultural perspective this plant is seen as a weed but it is so much more than that! Like the dandelion, it is edible and has medicinal value!
Baptisia is one of our favorite plants for the coming season. Commonly known as wild indigo, this plant is native to the United States and it seems like everywhere you look, you can find another variety!
Mountain Ave is a project that wants to be more than a standard yard. The owners love being outside and needed some help with water issues. For me, this is a great design that deals with redefining what a front and back yard can be over what is the kneejerk reaction to what it “should” be. The project was conceived to be phased in with the first big moves to happen in the front of the house. We have finished the first phase – and that’s what this blog is about. Within it is a significant number of helpful elements anyone can use.
The Dandelion is not just another weed. Even though it is often eradicated at all costs, cursed for its stubbornly long taproots, and has a reputation for invasiveness, the benefits of a dandelion are many. They are edible from root to flower, encourage biodiversity, and protect the soil!
Do you want to transform the exterior of your home? But you aren’t sure what to do first? Or you are looking for concrete ways to visualize where to get the biggest bang for your budget? Well, I want to walk you through 3 ways to get the impact you are looking for. In fact, treated with a careful eye, you can refresh the exterior of your house with minimal work. Plus, these tips will help you achieve a more contemporary and modern look without any serious structural changes.
If you are like me, you want to create a garden that feels organized yet natural all at the same time. This is a more contemporary and satisfying way of using plants like flowers and grasses. Naturalistic yards are more sustainable and attractive. However, this is much easier said than done. It has taken me years and years of practice to start getting it right. In that time, I’ve likely planted over 20,000 plants. So to help you achieve the same beautiful look that brings butterflies and hummingbirds into your yard, here are three of the most important lessons I’ve learned to transform your garden!
Continuing from our last newsletter, this month we wanted to update you on a project where we took the driveway seen below and reimagined it into a more meaningful space for its owners. These renovations have benefits to the families living in the homes as well as to the surrounding environment and help to address some of the impacts from climate change. This project is currently in progress, so we don't have the final photos yet, however, here's a behind-the-scenes look at the process as it happens!
When people want to create a more contemporary planting design for a yard, they will need to use perennials and grasses that come back year after year. This means you need to pick the right species for the job. This way of thinking is a completely different mindset than those more interested in growing veggies or who’s in love with annuals. Only when you use the correct plants for your hardiness zone will you see them come back after the bitter snows melt.
Winter is the best time for cold weather blooms! And if there’s ever been a winter flower it is the genus of Helleborus, commonly known as Hellebore. Don’t let them name foul you, it’s anything but bore-ing! I freaking LOVE these plants! They are absolutely gorgeous and they are fierce! They like cold and they can manage deep, deep shade. I’ve found them growing under mounds of matted invasive vines looking happy as can be.
It’s getting colder and as winter sets in I love to think about the spring soon to follow. But before the flowers burst in April and May, you can get some extremely colorful blooms from the genus Hamamelis. This group of small trees & medium to large shrubs are famous for their flowers in February and March. What’s better than seeing pellets of orange, yellow and red sprouting out of branches while snow is on the ground?
This project takes a completely different approach than the first project we showcased. With this project, we redesigned the backyard to remove a big chunk of the driveway. We wanted to replace it with more lawn, native plants, lighting and a more decorative patio for the space. In essences, the goal was to create a lively yard where family trumped blacktop.
This is the first of two projects we’ll highlight that exemplify how rethinking your driveway can give you more of what you want while being more sustainable. This project didn’t get rid of the driveway as a driveway, but it did completely eliminate every inch of asphalt and made it entirely pervious.
Over the last 2 years, we’ve started working with homeowners to help them re-envision their driveways. That might sound a little pedestrian, but it’s exciting news. For generations, every house has craved to have a little private road leading to their garage. These short roads are problematic. Blacktop is toxic and it contributes to flooding. For many suburban places, driveways take up a huge proportion of land. Before asphalt, drives were made with stone, oyster shell or just plain ol’ dirt. But somewhere along the way, we decided to replace those options with blacktop - some of the most toxic stuff you can find - right beside the very place they call home. Now we are removing the blacktop and replacing it with life!
I come across this image from time to time on Pinterest or when I'm looking through Google Images. It is one of the best examples of why native plants are so incredible. It's a fairly straight forward diagram showing the depth of many native plants compared to a standard lawn grass. The lawn grass is on the far left. The lawn grass is Kentucky Blue Grass and the root system that supports it is less than 4inches deep. The roots can't keep the grass alive in hot, dry times of the year because they aren't long enough to find water beyond their depth. This is why you have to water it so much.
The goal is to make this blog a resource for helpful tips and sustainable ideas. I create original content that shows projects in progress and the behind-the-scenes of installation. And, I try to have as much fun as I can doing it.