Perfect Privacy Screen Hides Ugly View  by  Susan Harris

The townhouse I moved into 6 years ago came with a rather junky spot just beyond my back yard, marring my view from the house, porch and garden. So began my long quest to hide the junk. Here’s one of my attempts – prayer flags hanging over spireas and nandina. Design-wise and neighbor-relations-wise let’s say the flags weren’t a big hit. The ugly-view problem has kept me from showing you photos of my back garden; it was omitted entirely from this 5-year update of last summer. But I’m hiding the garden no more because I got permission to build the screen that the spot really needs. I love it! It was allowed by the rules because rather than an imposing 6′ tall screen, it’s just 3′ high and mounted 3′ off the ground, so it screens just where it’s really needed. With the shrubs growing beneath it, I don’t even notice the open bottom. The view above from my house shows ‘Ogon’ spireas and an oakleaf hydrangea, with Bignonia capreolata in bloom. The vine is so vigorous I bet it’ll cover ..
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A Plant Nerd Finds Himself Mulling Gardens and Hardscapes  by  Scott Beuerlein

We’ll start here. When you look at any suburban and most urban neighborhoods, what do you see? If asked to describe it as an ecosystem, what would you say? Invariably, our neighborhoods are a place of trees, shrubs, herbaceous plants, and some lawn, a relatively open space where herds of deer and joggers roam freely. As such, the suburban landscape is clearly a savanna. The same could be said about city parks and almost any garden made since the time of Adam and Eve. And this is no dumb accident. Subconsciously, we have consistently recreated around us a facsimile—sometimes done well, more often not—of the most life-sustaining ecosystem on terra firma. While forests and fields can support a surprising amount of life, it is where they come together that real bounty holds court. And bounty, abundance of life, is what the best of gardens convey and how they impact us the most. Conceptually, bounty ensures us, as humans, of good times now and at least some distance into the future. Importa..
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When a Storm Strikes

Tree Care When a Storm Strikes By Arbor Day Foundation | August 14, 2018 Never is danger greater to a tree than during the inevitable trial by storm. The weight of ice or snow and the fury of wind test the strength of limbs, trunks, and roots. The homeowner, helpless at the moment, can only watch and hope that the tree survives. Survival or loss — the key can be the care you give your tree before and after a storm. Knowing ahead of time what to do when a storm strikes can prevent or minimize your financial loss. The Right Tree for the Right Place Tree First Aid After a Storm 1. Take safety precautions. Be on the alert for downed power lines and “widow makers,” dangerous hanging branches ready to fall. And, unless you really know how to use one, leave chain saw work to the professionals. 2. Remove broken branches that are still attached to the tree. Branches should be pruned at the point where they join larger ones, following the steps shown below. 3. Don’t top your tre..
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Meet the Ranters  by  Elizabeth Licata

You probably think you already know us, but here are some statements about writing/blogging/ranting that we prepared for a Garden Writers Association panel—at a GWA conference going on right now in Chicago. I (Elizabeth) am one of three panelists who are talking about blogging. It’s Thursday at 8:30; maybe i’ll see you! I am representing all seven of us: here is our handout. Meet the Ranters originally appeared on Garden Rant on August 14, 2018.
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Keep Deer Away with These Trees and Shrubs

Landscape Design Tree Planting Keep Deer Away with These Trees and Shrubs By Sheereen Othman | August 13, 2018 One of the most common culprits for browsing on trees are deer. They love nibbling on fruits and nuts and have no shame leaving their mark. Tree guards, repellants, and fences can be great deterrents to keeping them away and protecting your trees. But at times, the effort of constantly playing defense can get exhausting. Luckily, there are trees and shrubs that provide great shade, look beautiful, and rarely appeal to deer. These trees and shrubs are sectioned into two categories: rarely damaged and seldom severely damaged and are best for landscapes prone to deer damage. Rarely damaged: the highest degree of deer resistance a tree can receive. Seldom Severely Damaged: the second highest degree of deer resistance a tree can receive. Flowering Rarely damaged Arrowwood Viburnum This shrub adds plenty of seasonal interest to any landscape. Creamy white flowers a..
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Parkland, FL School Garden as Place for Learning and Healing  by  Susan Harris

That’s astronomy teacher and garden-maker Kyle Jeter on the right. You’ve seen my photos of Cornell and environs; now for a report from the Children and Youth Garden Symposium I was there to attend. The highlight for me was the Community Forum on Gardens as Haven, with three great speakers and Q&A. One of the speakers, all the way from Parkland, Florida, was Kyle Jeter, who teaches astrology at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, now tragically famous for the mass shooting there February 14 of this year. Jeter had spearheaded efforts in 2016 to create a garden for the school – called Marjory’s Garden – despite knowing nothing (he swears!) about gardening, because he’s such a fan of “project-based learning,” he told us, and the garden would provide hands-on STEAM learning opportunities, promote conservation, and honor the legacy of environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas. (Note that STEM is now STEAM, with the addition of arts.) The garden was doing all that before the shooting. ..
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Please, let there never be a Yelp or a Tripadvisor for garden tours  by  Elizabeth Licata

I know some people hate this; I can see it in their faces. I was just reading about visitors to Sequoia National Park and Yellowstone leaving 1 star reviews for the natural attractions because they didn’t have a great meal at the cafeteria, or, as the reviewer would call it, the “crappy lodge.” (DO click on this compilation of such reviews; it is hilarious.) Then I checked the TA and Yelp sites and only found three or four adulatory general comments about Garden Walk Buffalo on Yelp. BUT, what if people zeroed in on individual gardens and said the kinds of horrible things some say when they go to such monumental and amazing places as the Grand Canyon? Stuff like this: “let me tell you, it’s a big ole waste of time! There was dirt EVERYWHERE, and the hiking trail was too long! Also where are the vending machines??” I can imagine my garden receiving comments such as: “Seriously? We had to wait to walk into this place because the pathway (if you can call it that) is super narrow and su..
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Border Control  by  Allen Bush

Edith Eddleman and the Jekyll Border at the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. I arrived in Raleigh a few days before last week’s Perennial Plant Association (PPA) Symposium. I checked into the hotel and made a beeline for the J.C. Raulston Arboretum. I may sound like an aging rocker on a farewell tour, but it had been ten years since I’d last been there, and I’m not sure when I’ll return. I’ve had a long history with the arboretum. I was one of J.C. Raulston’s many fans, and for 15 years, when I was living in Western North Carolina, I would visit annually. I met garden designer Edith Eddleman, a longtime arboretum volunteer, in 1981, three days before my daughter Molly was born. What the arboretum lacks in size (ten acres) it makes up for with inspiration. As Raulston was a prolific collector, there have always been plenty of plant rarities, so I can consistently count on a few surprises—Asian woodland asarums in the lath house or a towering desert Dasylirion wheeleri in the long border. I’d..
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Caring for Fruit Trees and Bushes: Raspberry

Tree Care Caring for Fruit Trees and Bushes: Raspberry By Kim Peacock | August 8, 2018 How to Plant and Care for Everbearing Red Raspberry Bushes Everbearing red raspberries are self-pollinating and have two crops, which make them a favorite for the home garden, as well as commercially. Heritage Everbearing Raspberry is picked by gardeners for its flavor, firmness, and large fruit size. This bush has two harvest seasons with a moderate yield in July and heavy yield in September until frost. Preferred uses include extra-sweet, juicy fruit that is good fresh, canned or frozen. September Everbearing Raspberry is one of the most popular home and commercial cultivars. It produces crops in two seasons, with a light crop in June followed by a heavy crop in September. The berries are medium-size, tart, juicy, rose-red raspberries with small seeds. Preferred uses include fresh eating, frozen, and in preserves and pies. Read Caring for Fruit Trees and Bushes: Grapes Choosing a ..
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6 Ways Urban Trees Make You More Active Outdoors

Misc Trees 6 Ways Urban Trees Make You More Active Outdoors By Sheereen Othman | August 6, 2018 Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives Spending time outdoors in nature is not only fun, but it’s therapeutic and rejuvenating. Time spent in nature improves your physical, mental, and spiritual health. Residents who live in greener communities are three times more likely to be physically active and 40 percent less likely to be overweight than those living in less green settings. To kick-off National Exercise with your Child Week, we’re sharing 6 ways trees lure you outdoors and make you want to stay there. Shade People like to stay cool, so when there are opportunities to walk or sit under a shaded area, residents are more likely to go outdoors. But it doesn’t only apply to parks and green spaces, trees in the city brings more people to the city. Evaporation from leaves can cool a neighborhood by a few degrees during the hottest periods. Summer heat waves make this more evident than e..
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