Full Sun, Partial Sun, Does it Really Matter?

Tree Care Full Sun, Partial Sun, Does it Really Matter? By Sheereen Othman | October 8, 2018 There has been a recent craze in the plant scene. Suddenly everyone wants house plants, desk plants and mini succulents that they can scatter throughout. And why shouldn’t they want plants, there are so many benefits to them environmentally and aesthetically. Naturally, I jumped on the fad and bought my first succulent, a leatherpetal. I put it on my nightstand under my window and figured my work was done. But then a couple weeks later the leaves started to droop. What was happening to my succulent? I (embarrassingly) overlooked one of the most basic rules of plant care: sun exposure. My succulent was under my window, so it wasn’t getting enough sun. In fact, it wasn’t getting any sun. That same care my succulent needed transitions to outdoor plants as well, like trees. Of all the things we tout when it comes to tree planting and care, the right tree in the right place is at the..
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The Grand Gardens of Baltimore  by  Susan Harris

Baltimore may be best known nationally for its murder rate and The Wire on HBO, but in horticulture circles it’s known for plants and gardens. So I happily signed up for a regional Garden Writers Association event featuring some top drawer gardens in and just outside of Baltimore. Here are my favorite shots from the day. Above, author Kathy Hudson (left) with Penney and A.C. Hubbard, owners of the garden at the center of the gorgeous book On Walnut Hill (foreword by our own Allen Bush). The garden was designed by the renowned plantsman largely responsible for Baltimore’s critical role in horticulture – the late Kurt Bluemel. Caryopteris This little courtyard sits just outside Penney Hubbard’s office, from which she enjoys the soothing sounds of the waterfall. I love how a potted Japanese maple fills this corner of the court, and probably looks interesting all winter. Next, the garden of landscape architect Carol Macht. We eagerly explored the long views from inside the home, espe..
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Do You 811?

Tree Planting Do You 811? By Arbor Day Foundation | October 5, 2018 If not, you should. It can save your life and protect the environment. Guest post by Mary Patricia Kindt, Underground Safety Alliance. Does 811 sound familiar? For tree lovers, or anyone who ever digs or does underground work of any sort, it’s a very important number to know. The “Call Before You Dig” number, better known as 811, is the national federally designated phone number for underground line locating. However, thanks to the progression of technology, there is now an easier and faster way to have your utility lines marked, and that is with online locate requests (learn more at Call811.com). Either way, 811 is synonymous with underground safety. Contacting 811 is free, and is a public service intended to keep the public and environment safe. The 811 number has been around for 11 years, although the Call Before You Dig system was in place long before that. With population growth and the ceaseless ..
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How about a wall of flowers?  by  Elizabeth Licata

Louise Jones, Wildflowers for Buffalo Recently, several Facebook friends have issued pleas for “palate cleansing” posts, preferably containing puppies and other cute animals or anything innocently funny or endearing. The idea is to get a break from the barrage of horrifying/despicable/sinister images and information that have been flashing through our social media feeds for the last twenty months or so. São Paulo mural by Mona Caron At the same time, I have noticed an increase in botanically themed murals. There are several artists who are creating spectacular examples of these, including Mona Caron, who is perhaps best known for gigantic murals of commonly occurring wildflowers in her Weeds series. These include a mural of Chamerion angustifolium on the side of building in Portland, and a mural loosely based on Achyranthes aspera in São Paulo (shown above). The first mural in the series, The Botanical Mural, in San Francisco, is 292 x 4–17 feet in size. By hugely magnifying and beau..
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Native Plants in Containers  by  Thomas Christopher

I visited a fascinating native plants garden this past week, the Mount Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware. A botanical garden devoted to the native plants of Delaware’s Piedmont plateau, Mt. Cuba is preserving 1,000 acres of this special habitat. It also provides object lessons about how you can use native plants in your own landscape, whether formal or informal. I was especially interested in the container plantings, which had, to my eye, a special kind of beauty. They also provided examples of ways a novice might get started with natives. They would fit into any kind of garden, even the sort of formal landscape into which a gardener might be reluctant, at least initially, to invite native plants with their less refined, more naturalistic look. Leucithoe (top) with heucheras I took the opportunity to meet with the Mt. Cuba gardener who is responsible for designing, planting and maintaining the containers, Donna Wiley. She offered several useful tips for a gardener who is beginning t..
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Investing in Community Trees

Urban and Community Forestry/Green Infrastructure Investing in Community Trees By Matt Spitsen | October 1, 2018 NeighborWoods Month Marks the Celebration of Community Forests Young people are told that if they want to retire comfortably, they need to start saving a little money early in life. Deposits, even with low interest rates, over time, add up to surprisingly large yields of cash. This same concept can be applied to trees. The “deposits” are trees planted, and the yields are the myriad benefits trees provide. Why Tree City USA? Why YOUR City? One of the greatest forces in helping grow community forests are local non-profit organizations like those that are part of the Alliance for Community Trees network. These community-based organizations are dedicated to planting and caring for trees. They are the boots on the ground and they are changing towns and cities across the country. National Wildlife Federation reports that there are up to 200 million spaces alon..
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Back on Campus, Figuring out Park(ing) Day  by  Susan Harris

Walking across the University of Maryland campus last week*, I happened upon the school’s National Park(ing) Day exhibit. So once again I asked myself what the hell IS National Park(ing) day? and finally got an answer. At least here, it’s a day for the Landscape Architecture Department to promote the profession, which no doubt could use some public exposure. But naturally there’s more to it. This blog post on The Dirt, the blog of the American Society of Landscape Architects, describes it like this: On Friday, September 21, landscape architects and designers around the world participated in the 14th annual PARK(ing) Day to demonstrate the power of public space. PARK(ing) Day helps the public see the difference a designed space, even one as small as a metered parking spot, can make in their community. To see how creative the project can be, peruse the 424 entries by ASLA members following this hagboard. There was no budget for this exhibit, so the department borrowed some newly bou..
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How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff

Tree Care How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff By Arbor Day Foundation | September 27, 2018 Trees in our communities provide many services beyond the inherent beauty they lend to streets and properties. One of the most overlooked and underappreciated is their ability to reduce the volume of water rushing through gutters and pipes following a storm. This means less investment in expensive infrastructure and – importantly – cleaner water when the runoff reaches rivers and lakes. READ: Drip Drop, How do Trees Make Flooding Stop? How do trees help with stormwater management? Trees help reduce stormwater runoff in several ways. Trees intercept rain and hold a portion of it on their leaves and bark. Part of this intercepted rain will evaporate and part will be gradually released into the soil. Fallen leaves help form a spongy layer that moderates soil temperature and helps retain moisture, harbors organisms that break down organic matter, and recycle elements for use in pla..
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8 Trees that Flaunt Brilliant Fall Color

Landscape Design Tree Planting 8 Trees that Flaunt Brilliant Fall Color By Arbor Day Foundation | September 24, 2018 Autumn is “leaf season,” nature’s annual color festival. Environmental factors and the genetic makeup of the trees determine the intensity and times of peak color, with factors varying from tree to tree and region to region. Here are 8 of our favorite trees for fall color. These trees will also provide spring color, shade, privacy, and wildlife habitat. Black Tupelo Nyssa sylvatica Called “one of the best and most consistent native trees for fall color” by tree expert Michael Dirr, the black tupelo is a terrific landscaping choice. Displaying various hues of yellow, orange, bright red and purple—often on the same branch—its foliage is a stand-out of the autumn season. Even the distinctive bark, which resembles alligator hide, adds visual and textural interest. And while its blooms may not seem noteworthy, bees will be very appreciative of the presence o..
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It’s Over: Ending 19 Wonderful Years in the Nursery Business  by  Bob Hill

As anyone who has ever opened a small, home-grown retail nursery can tell you, the economic reality for such is straight out of the veteran horse gambler’s prayer: Lord, I hope I break even, I need the money. So it went as we opened our Hidden Hill Nursery & Sculpture Garden 19 years ago on a hopeful wing, happy ignorance and a prayer. History was not in my favor. My obligatory role as a newspaper columnist had always been to make cheerful fun of capitalists, not become one. Yet I had grown to love plants; a sweet addiction with no known cure – had I even been interested in one. I had eight acres of relatively open Southern Indiana land and an old barn, a modicum of plant knowledge and a yen for the nursery business. I had growing connections to the specialty wholesale nurseries and companies that catered to the needs of we the possessed; tiny exotic hostas, glorious blooming shrubs, weeping trees, stone owls and fountains from which water fell in rhythmic wonder. My plant enablers..
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