Eco-Landscaping at 2 Libraries – a Hit and a Miss  by  Susan Harris

In my quest for examples of low-maintenance, more eco-friendly civic landscapes, two libraries near me were recommended by Scott Aker, head of gardens at the National Arboretum and a former resident of my neighborhood. So in mid-August I toured the two sites, starting with a library in Laurel, Maryland with a landscape so prominent, it has its own name – Emancipation Park. Here’s what’s in the park: Like the library building, the site offers a variety of settings for reading, learning, gathering and meeting. Its numerous sustainable design features make the site itself a teaching tool. Bioretention areas with native plants showcase innovative stormwater management techniques and attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Pervious pavement systems and dark sky-rated lights contribute to sustainability. Amenities on the park and library grounds include a dog park, a small amphitheater and lawns for performances and the annual Emancipation Day festivities. The amphitheater plaza b..
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Eco-Landscaping at 2 Libraries – a Hit and a Miss  by  GR Editor

In my my quest for examples of low-maintenance, more eco-friendly civic landscapes, two libraries near me were recommended by Scott Aker, head of gardens at the National Arboretum and a former resident of my neighborhood. So in mid-August I toured the two sites, starting with a library in Laurel, Maryland with a landscape so prominent, it has its own name – Emancipation Park. Here’s what’s in the park: Like the library building, the site offers a variety of settings for reading, learning, gathering and meeting. Its numerous sustainable design features make the site itself a teaching tool. Bioretention areas with native plants showcase innovative stormwater management techniques and attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Pervious pavement systems and dark sky-rated lights contribute to sustainability. Amenities on the park and library grounds include a dog park, a small amphitheater and lawns for performances and the annual Emancipation Day festivities. The amphitheater plaz..
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10-Year Tree Campus USA Spotlight: University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Tree Campus USA 10-Year Tree Campus USA Spotlight: University of Nebraska-Lincoln By Amber Morrison | August 31, 2018 Service Learning for Students is a big part of the Tree Campus USA Experience at UNL This year, Tree Campus USA celebrates its 10-year anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, we are highlighting the campuses that have been part of the program since the beginning. Guest post by Eileen Bergt, Assistant Director UNL Landscape Services, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The University of Nebraska—Lincoln (UNL) was honored to be one of the first designated Tree Campus USA schools dating back to 2008. Prior to 2008, UNL only met three of the Tree Campus USA standards –lacking in formally engaging our student population. Tree Campus USA had a positive influence on UNL by giving us a push to engage students in tree planting. UNL is now able to share and embrace students’ passion, energy and care for our trees through the Service Learning Project. In the past, ..
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We had a deal!

I’ve been sneaking some ‘First Frost’ into this ventricosa bed. Ever have this with a plant: love it, love it, love it, love it, love it, HATE IT. Some plants remind me of what I’ve always been told about childbirth: you don’t remember how bad it was until it’s too late. Either that or I am just too stupid to learn. During a day of late season carnage last weekend, I found myself hacking back or uprooting stuff that only weeks before had been the objects of cooing admiration by hundreds of Garden Walkers. The culprits included: Verbena bonariensis: This is an annual for me, anyway. But I think I’m done with it all the same. Its tall, weaving stalks and fresh, pollinator-attracting blooms get bent, broken, and dull too soon. Rudbeckia lacianata ‘Golden Glow’: I will never eliminate this from the garden, but late August is not its time. It must be deadheaded or the hideous spent blooms hang on for weeks, though small blooms are still coming. Mildew finally attacks. And, by this time, ..
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We had a deal!  by  Elizabeth Licata

I’ve been sneaking some ‘First Frost’ into this ventricosa bed. Ever have this with a plant: love it, love it, love it, love it, love it, HATE IT. Some plants remind me of what I’ve always been told about childbirth: you don’t remember how bad it was until it’s too late. Either that or I am just too stupid to learn. During a day of late season carnage last weekend, I found myself hacking back or uprooting stuff that only weeks before had been the objects of cooing admiration by hundreds of Garden Walkers. The culprits included: Verbena bonariensis: This is an annual for me, anyway. But I think I’m done with it all the same. Its tall, weaving stalks and fresh, pollinator-attracting blooms get bent, broken, and dull too soon. Rudbeckia lacianata ‘Golden Glow’: I will never eliminate this from the garden, but late August is not its time. It must be deadheaded or the hideous spent blooms hang on for weeks, though small blooms are still coming. Mildew finally attacks. And, by this time, t..
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4 Fast-growing Nut Trees

Tree Planting 4 Fast-growing Nut Trees By Sheereen Othman | August 28, 2018 Nut trees can be a great addition to your edible landscape. Like other crop-bearing trees, many nut trees start to yield fruit in 3-5 years. In addition to enjoying the fruits of your harvest, many nut trees work well as shade trees and bloom lovely flowers in the spring. Many nut trees are slow-growing and require more space than is available in urban settings. Here are four fast-growing nut trees that can be grown in the home landscape. 1. American Hazelnut Corylus Americana The American hazelnut (also known as the American filbert) is a native shrub of the eastern United States. The tasty nuts are highly prized by cooks for their easy-to-crack shells and small, sweet kernel. Squirrels love them as well … most likely for the same reasons. Hazelnut hedges can be used as windbreaks, visual screens, and to attract wildlife. If you’re interested in planting hazelnuts for their nuts, be sure you ..
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How to Stop Using Bedding Annuals in City Landscapes

Help! My town really could use some examples of alternatives to bedding annuals for its civic landscapes, alternatives that are more sustainable and better-looking to the modern eye. (I know, I know. Whenever something is criticized for its low aesthetic appeal – looking ugly – some are offended. So IS there a way to say bedding annuals are OUT without insulting people who still love them? This planting has won awards!) Above and below are the beds on either side of the front entrance to our municipal building: annuals, including coleus, in full sun, with prominent irrigation tubing. Weirdly combined with perennials and shrubs. UPDATE: As requested, I’ve added these photos taken 8/26. No improvement. In prominent spots like all of these, the plantings say to the community who we are, especially how “green” we are, and also demonstrate plants and designs for residents to use at home. So they matter. More than, say, corporate landscapes. Another full-sun spot, this one in front of t..
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A Forgotten Lincoln in our Hosta Chain

This will be the only garden rant you’ll ever read connecting Abe Lincoln, Southern Indiana, hostas and dirt. We will begin with the dirt. Lots of dirt. A sprawling pile of fresh dirt. Its source was the hole created digging the new foundation for an old dream; a back-of-the-house family room from which to sit and admire our gardens free from heat, mosquitoes and blossom end rot. A Heineken in hand is always a useful companion. That pile of dirt was in the heavy shade of a home-grown sugar-maple transplanted as a sapling in a wheelbarrow about 40 years ago. My son and two of his neighbor buddies helped with that. The sapling was about six feet tall at the time. Now it’s closer to 50 feet. Looking out our family room window I can still those boys helping with the planting. I also now see them in person on occasion. They’re all grown up now, too. When you live in the same house as long as we have, life tends to come full circle. So anyway, here’s this pile of dirt demanding to either..
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A Forgotten Lincoln in our Hosta Chain  by  Bob Hill

This will be the only garden rant you’ll ever read connecting Abe Lincoln, Southern Indiana, hostas and dirt. We will begin with the dirt. Lots of dirt. A sprawling pile of fresh dirt. Its source was the hole created digging the new foundation for an old dream; a back-of-the-house family room from which to sit and admire our gardens free from heat, mosquitoes and blossom end rot. A Heineken in hand is always a useful companion. That pile of dirt was in the heavy shade of a home-grown sugar-maple transplanted as a sapling in a wheelbarrow about 40 years ago. My son and two of his neighbor buddies helped with that. The sapling was about six feet tall at the time. Now it’s closer to 50 feet. Looking out our family room window I can still those boys helping with the planting. I also now see them in person on occasion. They’re all grown up now, too. When you live in the same house as long as we have, life tends to come full circle. So anyway, here’s this pile of dirt demanding to either..
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How to Stop Using Bedding Annuals in City Landscapes  by  Susan Harris

Help! My town really could use some examples of alternatives to bedding annuals for its civic landscapes, alternatives that are more sustainable and better-looking to the modern eye. (I know, I know. Whenever something is criticized for its low aesthetic appeal – looking ugly – some are offended. So IS there a way to say bedding annuals are OUT without insulting people who still love them? This planting has won awards!) Above and below are the beds on either side of the front entrance to our municipal building: annuals, including coleus, in full sun, with prominent irrigation tubing. Weirdly combined with perennials and shrubs. In prominent spots like all of these, the plantings say to the community who we are, especially how “green” we are, and also demonstrate plants and designs for residents to use at home. So they matter. More than, say, corporate landscapes. Another full-sun spot, this one in front of the city museum. The island along the main street into town is a mixed bag,..
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