The Landscaper Quiz: 14 Things to Ask

Years ago I used to do a lot of garden club talks. I was often asked about how to select a company from those that were listed in the yellow pages. (Remember the yellow pages?) Each company had a varied expertise including grass mowing, planting installation, design and construction of decks, walkways and other hard

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Deer Proof a Shady Spot with Coralbells

I hear all the time about beautiful Hosta gardens and shade gardens being eaten by rabbits and deer.  Some say “plant enough to share,” but there are some plants that deer and rabbits seem to leave alone. Helleborus – also called Christmas Rose or Lenten Rose is an evergreen leaf almost as large as a

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Top 10 Trending Outdoor Home Improvements for 2016

I go out to hundreds of homes each year.  Based on advertising, you might assume the hot topics in outdoor home improvements these days are turfgrass reduction, eco-friendly design, and water conservation. While these projects are definitely on the upswing, the most popular outdoor home improvements tap into our need for social gatherings. These projects meet the need

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Are You Among the “Fire People”? Fire Folk Will Understand…

When it comes to enjoying cooler outdoor weather, there are two kinds of people: There are the fire folk, and then there’s everyone else. Fire people share a common bond, and common challenges. They make the most of a suburban backyard, or relish in the comfort of a wooded homestead. Are you one of us? Are

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Top 5 Replacements for Ash Trees

Many neighborhoods in the Midwest have lost their ash trees. Here are five replacement trees. My first pick for ash replacement is a seedless thornless locust, ‘Skyline’ and ‘Moraine’ [Gleditsia triacanthos inermis ‘Moraine’] are my favorite picks. Compound leaves, yellow fall color, upright and vase shapes, I do not know of an insect problem that

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Is Your Burning Bush Hosting a Hidden Invader?

No burning bush should have a green leaf on it this time of year.  Most burning bushes are doing their thing, BURNING. The bright red color is one of the characteristic assets of the plant, which are typically used as hedges or individual specimen. But wait, take a close look, and I mean today, right now. 

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Magic Screen Hides Air Conditioning Unit

Now you see it, now you don’t! This magic screen is a simple addition to temporarily or seasonally hide that clunky air conditioning unit without permanently blocking access to the units. Having a graduation party or wedding in the backyard? Use this trick to add architectural interest to your garden while simultaneously covering those ugly

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