See how this Supermarket is Protecting Local Watersheds
By Jeff Ashelford | April 15, 2017
Visit any one of our nation’s forests and you will quickly become a fan. Their beauty is majestic and unrivaled. Beyond their beauty, you may be surprised to learn our forests are actually hard at work deep within the tree line. Watersheds found in our forests are the largest supplier of drinking water to more than 180 million Americans across the country. But many of these watersheds are threatened by drought and disease afflicting forests across the country.
Publix Supermarkets —one of the largest employee-owned companies in the country — believes in making responsible choices that positively affect the environment. They have implemented green practices throughout their stores to run more sustainably. So, when Publix learned about two important watersheds under threat in their home state of Florida, they wanted to do something.
Publix partnered with the Arb..
Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ with Narcissus ‘Thalia’-imp.
When a local Yahoo group was asked for ground cover recommendations for shade, these plants were suggested: Ajuga, Hosta, Pachysandra (native and nonnative), Epimedium, and Lily of the Valley, ferns, Hellebore, “some phlox, some carex,” Dicentra (bleeding heart), Sedum ternatum, Tiarella, Acorus, Asarum canadense (ginger) and “lots of spring ephemerals.”
But hey, isn’t a ground cover a plant that literally covers the ground, and not just part of the year? According to Wikipedia, “Ground cover is any plant that grows over an area of ground. Ground cover provides protection of the topsoil from erosion and drought.” I agree, and to accomplish that task, the plants have to BE there all year, which eliminates Hosta, Lily of the Valley, most ferns, Dicentra, and all spring ephemerals.
I was still silently ranting about the misinformation being handed out when a very meaty answer came from Carolyn Mullet, a local..
Elizabeth’s recent post about the new term “Buffalo-style gardening” got me thinking. The style is said to be characterized by gardening not landscaping, man-made objects, and less lawn, but to me there’s more to this, my favorite style of gardening ever. I
‘d add to the list: color and lots of it, and plenty of seating. Not just seating but full-scale party rooms like Gordon Ballard’s amazing garden, shown above. (Thanks to GardenWalk Buffalo for the images.)
Or how about Jim Charlier’s garden, for crissakes? And though tiny, Elizabeth’s garden hosts parties and high-impact color, too. (Shown here with party animals Sally Cunningham, Jim Charlier and Gordon Ballard.)
Then there are buffalos as garden ornaments.
And the wild-and-craziness of these planters made from tires.
In my own gardens I’ve aspired to but never achieved full-on Buffalo-style gardening – though I keep trying. The first step was buying Adirondack chairs in teal. Another, painting the back wall of my house turquo..
Connecticut-based videographer Patrick Volk emailed me recently, having discovered my blog posts about videos. It seems that this son of a landscape architect teamed up with neighbor Eric Larson, long-time director of Yale’s Marsh Botanic Garden, to create a slew of outstanding gardening videos. They call their website and Youtube channel GardenClips.
In a follow-up email Patrick wrote that “These days video (primarily on YouTube) has become the first place people look for information on everything from fixing their clothes dryer (I’ve done it!) to gardening. In the beginning you could throw pretty much anything up on YouTube and people would watch it, but the medium has evolved and now high quality is expected. There’s still a lot of junk videos online but there’s increasingly excellent work being produced, too – if you can find it.” Then he “shamelessly plugged” Good Gardening Videos, a plug I’ll shamelessly mention.
Over the four years that Patrick and Eric hav..
Cotinus ‘Royal Robe.’ Photo by Barbara Katz.
For my first Ask a Designer post the question targeted groundcovers. This time it’s shrubs and I asked another fabulous designer about her favorites. Barbara Katz of London Landscapes in Bethesda, Maryland responded that she has “great respect” for these shrubs. (Here’s some of Barbara’s work.)
With deciduous shrubs there are so many to love, Barbara found it a bit hard to choose. So let’s see what made the cut, and I’ll comment when I can’t resist. I’m using marketing photos of the plants only because they’re what’s available.
Hydrangea ‘Little Lime.‘ This is the little brother of ‘Limelight’ and is very well behaved. It flowers prolifically and is totally manageable in your average residential garden. Prune to shape it in the spring, and then just let it do its thing – truly, a fantastic plant everyone can enjoy. Sun/part shade. [I love it, too!]
Cotinus ‘Royal Purple.’ The foliage color on cotinus is gorgeous, especially in the spring..