Hairy Toad Lily – Gem of the Garden

An under-used and under-appreciated perennial in the U.S, Tricyrtus or Toad Lily, is gaining in popularity. Uncommon beauty, late-season blooms and wonderful adaptability to shade, give the toad lilies a place in just about any garden. Called toad lilies because of the spotting like a toad, these beautiful flowers thrive in moist deep shade to …

The Year in Review-Top Garden Posts For 2018

  It's that time of year again, where I review my most viewed posts from all over the world and I was surprised at some of the posts that were at the top of the heap. The top ten countries that view my blog in descending order are the U.S. Canada, UK, Australia, India, Germany, …

From the Ground Up – Choosing the Right Ground Cover for Shade

This spring I toured a gorgeous private garden that is stunning for it's beauty and classic garden design.  I enjoyed strolling through the woodland gardens that were peaking with spring color and was struck by the innovative use of ground covers. No overly used big three - pachysandra, vinca, or ivy to be seen! There is a time …

Butterfly and Bee Magnet, Joe Pye Weed

If you want to grow the ultimate flower buffet for butterflies and bees, try Joe Pye Weed.  When there isn't much else blooming, Joe Pye will surprise you with fuzzy pink umbels of flowers that flying insects clearly relish. I planted only one plant of the great late summer bloomer, Eupatorium dubium, 'Little Joe', which …

Taking Root: Delaware Botanic Garden’s Progress Report

    Visiting the Delaware Botanic Garden in year two, one year later than my original visit, was an eye opener in the evolution of a major public garden. Even working as a landscape designer/installer, I was surprised at the great strides the difference of a year makes. For my first year post, go to DBG-From …

Grow These For the Bees Garden Plan

Many pollinator species have suffered serious declines in recent years. Unfortunately, most of our landscapes offer little in the way of appropriate habitat, forage, and housing. Even the most beautiful gardens are not always healthy ecosystems. Design choices, plant selections, and maintenance practices can make a huge difference in creating your own healthy ecosystem, filled …

Fuzzy, Fragrant, & Ferny; Deer-Proof Plants For the Garden

The scourge of most people's gardens, deer are cursed by everyone who plants a pricey carefully selected gem, that overnight becomes deer salad on the buffet line. The best defense against this concerted garden attack is to plant things that deer rarely if ever eat.... Kind of like putting out a liver dish for most people.

Labyrinth Plantings

Last year, I posted about installing a stone labyrinth for a client.  We started in the fall, worked through the winter, and just finished up the spring plantings. Go to Healing Labyrinth-Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, to see how I created and implemented the design and installation. The theme for the plantings was pollinator friendly shrubs and perennials …