The Way to Boost Don Juan Roses

The Don Juan rose, Rosa”Don Juan,” is a spectacular climbing rose that thrives in a variety of areas of the country. You’ll notice these climbers, with fragrance rose. The plant looks great throughout the season with dark, leatherlike green foliagebuds and ruffled blooms that repeat. After it’s become an established and established plant like other climbing roses, the Don Juan variety does not require care.

Add alterations where you will plant your Don Juan roses or mulch into the ground. Aim for a ratio of 1-to-2 or 1-to-3.

Dig a hole 18 inches by 12 inches deep for bare-root roses. Dig the hole about 1 inch deeper wide enough for the root ball than the root ball for container-grown roses.

Apply two to three inches of natural mulching material to the top of the soil over the roots. Organic mulches include wood chips, pine needles, grass clippings, leaves and hay.

Water your new Don Juan roses each time the ground two to three inches below the surface becomes dry.

Fertilize your roses with a balanced fertilizer in spring and following your Don Juan blossoms the first time. Fertilizer will make plenty of problems to your roses.

Prune any dead or dying branches as your Don Juan spreads and matures out. In general, you should enable them to grow instead of attempting to maintain them to one small location. Do so in spring, if you have to prune for size restrictions.

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The Way to Propagate Candy Corn Vines

Also known as firecracker vines, candy corn vines are native to rain forests in Central and South America. The blossoms are tube with yellow tips, which makes them seem just like pieces of candy corn or lit fireworks. Easy to grow and sturdy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10a through 11, candy corn vines bloom continuously and can increase the curb appeal of your house as beautiful climbing vines spreading over an arbor or topiary. In regions that are cooler, attractive houseplants are made by candy corn vines.

Take a 4- to 6-inch stem cutting in the spring from the previous year’s growth. Make the cut just above a node, where a leaf meets the stem.

Remove or flower buds from the stem. Cut off the leaves around the lower half of this cutting.

Add the bottom half of the stem — the component with no leaves — into a mixture of equal parts perlite and peat moss. Water before the pot starts to drain to its saucer.

Cover the cutting with a plastic bag. Drape the plastic bag and fasten it. Keep the potting medium moist by adding water to the saucer. Put in sunlight. Gently remove the cutting from the medium following 6 to 8 weeks and check for origins. In rooting medium if there are no roots or if they have just started to appear repot.

In potting soil following the 7, repot reach and look an inch long. Permit the plant to grow stronger and larger in potting soil before planting the blossom in its location.

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Green Grows Up: The Many Faces of Today's LEED Homes

“Doing my part to contribute to sustainable development is all well and good, but what will my house look like?” This is frequently the secret (or not so secret) thought running through the heads of many homebuyers and builders contemplating a LEED certified house. How can you balance environmental responsibility along with your tastes in architectural design and your desires for the house of your dreams?

Luckily, the market for ecological construction products is growing quickly. This is occurring as customers become more aware of the collective environmental impact of the building industry, and since the numerous rating systems, ecological laws and certificate applications, like LEED, help push the market down the path to sustainability.

Moore Architects, PC

What exactly does a LEED certified home look like architecturally? And how can it compare with what a sustainable house should look like?

That question is what sometimes launches LEED to a controversial whirlwind, which I’ll now try to sum up for you at a very basic way:

A LEED qualified house, as you are going to see in the photos in this guide, can pretty much look like whatever you desire. The strength (and weakness) of the LEED for Homes rating system is that it attempts to reconcile sustainable construction objectives with the present reality of the green construction market and the range of choices which are realistically available to most individuals.

Natural Balance Home Builders

This usually means that some LEED certified homes will give the very best of ecological characteristics, respect local and traditional construction techniques, keep small and compact forms which are easier to cool and heat, and push the envelope in advanced sustainable construction procedures.

Meanwhile, others could possibly be the consequence of a calculated attempt to gain the minimum credits for accreditation when keeping floor plans and luxury conveniences to compete with other luxury choices.

The range between the two can be quite large, hence the controversy.

The ideal course of action as a prospective homeowner is to understand the history of this controversy so you can make more informed decisions about a specific LEED licensed home.

Here are some crucial visual clues That Will Help You understand what you’re going to see in a LEED house and using a sustainable dwelling in general:

William Johnson Architect

Size: Just how large can my LEED house be?

Ideally, an ecologically responsible house is small and compact in shape. Small homes consume less electricity and require fewer resources to build. Fewer irregularities in the shape mean fewer chances for thermal bridges, which are things at the building’s envelope or skin which make it effortless for heat to escape in winter and enter in summer. To keep costs down for construction, cooling and heatingsystem, a small, compact footprint generally displays the best conservation methods.

Still, you will discover many LEED homes with massively luxury floor plans. Here we find ourselves in the heart of one of the LEED controversies: Many people believe that allowing a house over a certain size to pursue certificate is hypocritical in the event the message is supposed to be around conservation.

The other side to this argument is that somebody who wants to build a big house will likely do this anyway. If this major house is LEED certified, many aspects of it will help lessen its impact. Although some see this as too small of a step, others point out that at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Joni L. Janecki & Associates, Inc..

Placing (rural): Can my LEED house be from the countryside?

Still another visual clue for understanding the expression of a LEED house is its relationship with its site.

A rural house that is well integrated with its site can respond to the local natural environment and even contribute to the region’s biodiversity and ecology. Using resources already in the upcoming construction footprint (by way of instance, using excavated dirt for rammed earth walls, like this Caterpillar House) and by applying landscaping techniques like xeriscaping (the removal of irrigation demands), the impact of the construction can be minimal and the site can function as an extension of the natural environment.

South Park Design Build

Placing (urban): Can my LEED house be on an urban infill lot?

Likewise, in an urban setting, the advantages of the natural environment take the form of present infrastructure. Is the house near local transport and public parks? Is it true that the lot use construction volume while providing open space, perhaps a roof deck or even green roof? Urban LEED certified houses often take in several of these factors in an attempt to promote the development of infill sites while simplifying what’s called the “heat island effect.”

This phenomenon is the reason the temperature downtown is always a little greater than outside the city. When buildings, streets and sidewalks are packaged together, the joint effect of all that asphalt and dark colored roof material can be an “island” of warmer temperatures. The LEED rating system rewards homes which use permeable paving methods, shading and other strategies to help mitigate that impact.

Kipnis Architecture + Planning

Orientation: Can my LEED home need to confront a certain direction?

Along the very same lines, one thing you may find about a LEED certified home is the fact that it will be oriented to take advantage of passive solar heat gains in the winter and shaded in the heat of sunlight. This is a basic concept in designing some construction that claims to consume less energy.

Hint: When buying house to possibly buy, take a compass with you to see how well the house is oriented relative to the path of the sun. Several smartphone programs can help you monitor the sun’s path at a specified location.

Materials and approaches: Do I must use certain materials within my LEED house?

A home design that reacts appropriately to local building traditions and accessible materials can be an additional visual indicator of a LEED house and also an environmentally responsible construction.

Vernacular (domestic or functional) architecture of a specific region has an important role in design factors. However, it doesn’t mean your LEED home must be in the architectural design of the region you reside in.

Occasionally local construction procedures and materials can be utilised in fresh ways while still reaping the benefits of being cost-effective and geographically appropriate.

Josh Wynne Construction

High-quality construction details: Why does my LEED house design need to be this detailed and specific?

A really sustainable home requires durability and focus on construction details. We need this house to have a long, healthy life, so the details are very important. For instance, it’s not just the design of the wall area, or even only the choice of a specific sort of insulation; it’s also how that insulation is set up and how well it is examined and confirmed.

Among the reoccurring arguments in favor of the LEED rating system (as well as several other voluntary third party certificates) is that it gives a frame for this quality control check. It supplies a prescribed path for contractors to take, keeping them accountable to their original aims. Plus it gives the clients an excess set of verifications on the construction site.

Are you a LEED homeowner? Add a photo of your house to the Comments so we can see more of the range of architectural designs and aesthetic choices in LEED homes.

More: What’s LEED All About, Anyway?

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See Chelsea Flower Show Ideas Flourishing in a Real Backyard

In May 2013 the renowned RHS Chelsea Flower Show celebrated its centenary and once again gave us a superb spectacle of horticulture and garden design at its very best. However, do flower shows like Chelsea affect how we design our houses, or is it merely theatre by the garden layout elite?

We may not mirror the gardens that the designers create, but without doubt we are affected by changing garden designs and fashions born at shows like Chelsea. In my small backyard, these trends and fashions out of over the years can be found woven in its layout and plantings. Since beginning my new backyard in Devon, England, nearly seven decades before, I have been affected by the contemporary garden design I’ve seen at the Chelsea Flower Show. From the total style of my backyard to the option of the plant substance, I have been affected by the trends seen at the planet’s most renowned flower show.

Little gardens aren’t easy to design, as they can easily look cluttered and busy. Display garden layout tends to be quite organized, with solid lines and simple shapes balanced with gentle plantings.

My backyard is small at 30 by 30 feet, so it was critical that the layout was simple and practical, based on these powerful lines, as in the timber rill and the simple rectangular deck.

Topiary balls. Topiary balls, mainly with boxwood, are a favorite of designers at Chelsea in recent decades. I first saw them used en masse at Diarmuid Gavin’s 2005Hanover Quay Garden, in which the entire garden was planted with 2-foot-diameter, closely clipped boxwood balls put into a sea of lavender. He later reused the clipped balls into his 2008Cafe Garden.

Chelsea at 2012 again watched the use of topiary balls in many gardens, such as Thomas Hoblyn’s Arthritis Research U.K. Garden.

I have grown my boxwood balls out of small pot-grown plants, because they may be costly to purchase as specimens.

Though I have used mainly boxwood balls, then the ball at the foreground of this picture is Lonicera pileata, that will be a shrubby honeysuckle. It’s evergreen but tends to be a bit more rampant than boxwood, therefore it needs more clipping at the growing season. It makes a fantastic substitute for boxwood, as it doesn’t suffer with box blight, which may be a problem in some countries.

Additional evergreens that were used at Chelsea for topiary balls include Osmanthus x burkwoodii; Hoblyn used it from the earlier mentioned garden.

The “new English” style. The reduced planted boundary here follows the “new English” style that we have observed at Chelsea in gardens like Andy Sturgeon’s2012M&G Investments Garden.

The clipped evergreen balls give structure while being underplanted by means of a combination of grasses, herbaceous perennials, small shrubs and herbs. These are permitted to naturally intermingle, producing a tapestry of color during the growing season.

Cloud-pruned boxwood. Among my bigger boxwood balls has been permitted to return to a more natural form and is now cloud pruned following the methods used by the Belgian garden designer Jacques Wirtz.

I first saw this feature from Tom Stuart-Smith’sLaurent-Perrier Garden at Chelsea at 2010.

The foreground planting is mainly of hostas, appreciating the moist, shady place at the base of the raised wooden pool. The hostas are interplanted with blossoms to give a combination of form and texture that’s reminiscent of contemporary show garden planting.

Water includes. Most reveal gardens include a water feature of some kind, and in the past couple of decades they’ve tended to be formal and plant free, designed to mirror the surrounding garden.

I’ve used these thoughts in my garden with a narrow rill that edges the deck and then falls in a sheet into an easy wooden pool below. It serves more than just a decorative purpose; being shallow, so it gives a perfect drink channel for wildlife, and it’s great for cooling bottles of beer when I am using a barbecue.

Iris germanica. The stately flowers of Iris germanica, the bearded iris, have made it a firm favorite recently Chelsea show gardens. This year they can be discovered at Susannah Hunter’s and Catherine MacDonald’s backyard for the Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, in which they’ve used the gorgeous purple variety ‘Superstition’.

Planted in groups of the identical color, they not only make a statement when flowering in early summer, but also earn their keep throughout the year with their spiky architectural foliage.

Planted at a run down the side of my deck, so they balance the rill on the opposite side in addition to helping direct the eye back into the backyard. I chose a blue selection to reflect the deep blue sky we get in a Devon summer.

Exclamations of color. As the Iris germanica flowers fade, other flowers take their own place. Above the green of these boxwood balls and lush new-English-style planting, the vibrant red flowers of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ create a stunning exclamation mark.

That is just another display garden design idea I’ve made from Chelsea; a solid color makes a statement among a combination of foliage and pastel plants.

Green walls. The last idea I’ve brought back from Chelsea is that designers really seldom leave walls unclothed unless they’re a design feature in their own right.

I am blessed with high walls on either side of the backyard, which offer not only privacy but also a great canvas for climbers and wall shrubs. Clothing the walls really helps to create my small garden seem bigger.

I’ve layered my climbers, beginning with Clematis armandii ‘Snowdrift’ in early spring followed by Clematis montana (displayed here); afterward the wild Fallopia baldschuanica tries to battle its way through to give me a covering of white flowers through the summer.

Two other styles I love in the 2013 show. Of the numerous layout and planting thoughts from this year’s show I could move to my backyard, two’ve caught my eye: pillow-shaped topiary and ornamental cow parsley.

Having extolled the use of evergreen topiary balls, such as my own, I’ve really been blown away by the pillow-shaped Buxus used by designer Robert Myers in his Brewin Dolphin Garden. I know the ball-shaped plants were brutally ruined in the nursery and trimmed back into some flattened pillow shape — that the outcome is quite stylish.

The white lacy flowers of Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ were used in Robert Myers’ backyard in his stunning planting of British sailors, while Christopher Bradley-Holepreferred to utilize Orlaya grandiflora, the French cow parsley, in his Daily Telegraph backyard; he used them to contrast against big trimmed blocks of boxwood and yew.

This is how I want to utilize them in my backyard — drifting about and above my topiary balls and perhaps bringing a bit of the Devon countryside inside my backyard walls.

Get more planting and layout ideas from the Gardening segment

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How to Give Your Garden More Soul

I really don’t want to start an argument, but that is inevitable when you talk about the topic of soul, particularly in music. Marvin Gaye, naturally, had spirit. Robin Thicke does not. What is a soulful backyard? It is expressive of you and your loved ones. It is authentic, honest, personal, deeply felt, of this minute — I’m delighted with a definition which says you understand soul when you view it.

At a garden, blooming chrysanthemums purchased from Safeway in March are not soulful. However, a tree planted to celebrate the arrival of a child is. Why put in touches to your backyard? Mainly because that will help you and your loved ones feel much more in the home.

1. Exotic living creatures. When I was a kid, my mom grew red-hot poker, revealed, and many other conservative plants. My wife lovingly remembers ‘Cecile Brunner’ roses in her family’s backyard.

The big lawn of a beloved neighbor was almost overrun by bad man’s orchid (Impatiens balfourii), which propagate from seeds each summer. Growing plants such as those brings back memories of people — old days, good times, sad times.

Red-hot poker provides you the best of both worlds. The nostalgic orange and yellow type is still a reliable perennial. Flashy new types, from streamlined to additional tall, deliver the exact same drama in colors like solid yellow and almost-white.

Common name: Red-hot poker
Botanical name: Kniphofia hybrids
Where it will grow: USDA zones 5 to 10 (find your zone)
Water necessity: Moderate
moderate requirement: Full sun or partial shade
Mature dimension: 2 to 4 feet, depending on variety
Growing tips: Plant taller forms in the back of an edge. In cold clmates shield clumps in winter. Divide crowded clumps in spring.

More about developing red-hot poker

2. Reflect where you have been and who you are. More than 25 years ago in Bali, I spent $10 at most for 2 terra-cotta bits (one is shown) a foot or so tall. I can’t imagine how we got them dwelling without breaking them.

They have been hanging round our backyard ever since, and every time I see one of these, I remember the great times together with the friends who traveled with us and I believe of this seller. I asked him the name of this figure. At a land of tens of thousands of souls, I anticipated a religious answer. He said the figure was a “funny guy”

A lot of travel souvenir can operate in a backyard, provided that the piece is fairly weatherproof. Terra-cotta is particularly fitting.

3. Favor the season shouters. A soulful backyard is dynamic — changing with the seasons. It is wonderful to walk in your backyard and understand what day of the year it’s from the plants doing there and then when their foliage, flowers or fruits continue only a few weeks.

Cases of plants which yell the season abound. Holly and toyon berries announce the vacation season. Crocus and forsythia tell you it’s spring. In my mild-climate place, where the season changes are all too delicate, we know it’s fall when Chinese pistache bursts into flaming orange and red.

Botanical name: Pistacia chinensis
Common name: Chinese pistache
Where it will rise: Zones 6 to 9
Water necessity: Moderate, but this shrub is flexible enough to accept light to heavy watering.
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimension: 30 to 60 feet tall and 30 to 40 feet wide
Growing tips: It’s not fussy about water or soil, but the fall color usually is more pronounced in dryer conditions. It is a little slow to get going; start with a bigger nursery tree in case you’re in a hurry. Prune it during winter to form it and restrain the dimensions.

More about developing Chinese pistache

4. Embrace the banana slug. Wild animals may add life to a backyard, and some creatures are more welcome than others. But don’t let general ickiness rule out a visitor such as the Pacific banana slug (denizen of redwood forests and mascot of the University of California, Santa Cruz). This supersize, shell-less, extra-slimy mollusk does not hurt plants or people, and discovering it on your backyard signifies that you live in redwood country or you’ve established its normal redwood habitat — an environment which also suits lovely plants such as azaleas, ferns and redwood sorrel. Probably no one has written a novel on attracting banana slugs (although a graduate student did compose a paper in their sexual habits), but there is plenty of advice on attracting more typical garden visitors, like birds and butterflies.

One suggestion for increasing the amount of welcome visitors: Start by developing plants indigenous to your area — local indigenous bees, birds and butterflies will seek them out.

How to attract birds and butterflies

5. Support the local flora. There’s nothing like plants indigenous to your area to connect you and your loved ones to the seasons and rhythms of where you live. Rather than pampering a exotic plant, why don’t you grow, say a native redbud or dogwood and find out how it compares to the same plants in the wild?

Can it bloom at precisely the exact same time? What exactly does it do with more irrigation or pruning? The California buckeye isn’t a popular or typical garden plant, but it delivers a nature lesson at how it’s adapted to the state’s seasons. It is the very first tree to game fresh spring leaves, revealed, occasionally even in January, when storms make water abundant. It is the very first to reduce its leaves (even at an irrigated garden), going dormant as early as July, during the long, dry season. In fall its big brown seeds hang from bare branches.

Common name: California buckeye
Botanical name: Aesculus californica
Where it will grow: Zones 7 to 9
Water necessity: moderate or more; more helps the shrub hold on to leaves longer
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: 10 to 20 feet tall and up to 30 feet wide
Growing tips: Plant it in a wild section of your backyard, where you don’t mind bare branches for half the year.

Why indigenous plants create gardens better


6. Encourage real play. Hang a bicycle from a color tree. Set a badminton net on the yard. Build a simple tree house: a platform with safety rails. Simple garden fun can encourage spontaneity, hanging out and daydreaming. Just saying, most families don’t need elaborate play constructions in their gardens. These days children get a lot of jump houses etc. . birthday parties and other occasions.

7. Celebrate imperfections. Kind of as in life, some of the greatest items in the backyard come with defects — maybe a little chaos and disorder. One of my favorite trees is the jacaranda, beautiful in bloom but messy to live with. Rather than whining about the mess which jacaranda’s fallen leaves and flowers make in your terrace, enjoy the beautiful profound blue-purple blossoms for their short time.

Botanical name: Jacaranda mimosifolia
Where it will grow: Zones 10 to 11
Water necessity: moderate to medium; gets along with little water once established
moderate requirement: Full sun
Mature dimensions: 25 to 40 feet tall and 25 to 35 feet wide
Growing tips: be sure to have room for a big tree. Plant it where dropping flowers, leaves and seedpods won’t create a messy issue. In marginal climates don’t make jacaranda a part of the landscape — frost can kill it straight back to the ground. Water it to the first couple of years, then decrease irrigation. Prune it in winter to control the form and size.

8. Grow a storyteller. A backyard has additional depth when some of your plants come with stories. They may be fun or enlightening or just icebreakers in a gathering.

A classic amalgamated plant is franklinia, a small deciduous tree, much like a dogwood, with a special history. It was first collected in 1770 in the southeastern U.S. by one of America’s great early botanists, John Bartram, who named it after his friend Benjamin Franklin.

The shrub has not been seen in the wild as 1790, but it’s been grown in gardens since and continues to be sold today at nurseries. It is a fine landscape tree with fragrant, white, yellow-centered flowers plus fall color.

Botanical name: Franklinia alatamaha
Where it will grow: Zones 5 to 9
Water necessity: Moderate
Light requirement: Partial shade
Mature size: 10 to 20 feet tall and 6 to 15 feet wide
Growing tips: Provide the same conditions as for dogwood, especially well-drained, compost-rich, acidic soil, kept moist.

9. Plant a tree no matter how old you’re. There’s a Greek proverb, “Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit” Actually, I’ve seen exactly the exact same notion attributed to many others, such as paper columnist Walter Lippman and philosopher Edmund Burke.

No thing, the thought is a great one. However, what tree to plant? It depends on your climate and space. The main thing is you’ll want a tree which will endure. Not a fast, brittle tree such as a fruitless mulberry. Perhaps not a disease-prone one enjoy an ash. Oaks are classic. My personal choice: coast live oak (although we need to be concerned about sudden oak death). I have not planted a oak of my very own. But squirrels have planted five trees for me personally, in their own way also considering future generations.

Botanical name: Quercus agrifolia
Common name: Coast live oak
Where it will grow: Zones 9 to 11
Water necessity: moderate; existing trees generally suffer if watered in summer
moderate requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: Potentially huge with time — around 70 feet tall with an equal spread
Growing tips: It is susceptible to oak root fungus; avoid summer watering. Be aware of sudden oak death, that has been killing tens of thousands (or millions) of Northern California’s coast live oaks and relevant species for the past two decades.

More: A Mother, a Garden and a Gift for the Neighbors

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6 Fantastic Ferns into Enliven Shady Garden Spots

Living and working in the Pacific Northwest, I’m regularly confronted with dark, moist sites that exist under a dense canopy of trees — ideal conditions for a garden accented with ferns. There are several other plants that are able to flourish in hard soil and light conditions and provide years of interest with minimal upkeep. Visually, they’re incredibly useful plants, using their fronds unfurling in the spring to reveal crisp new foliage that fills the gaps between hardscaping and plantings. In addition, a huge array of fern varieties is available, so that you may invent a palette using rich contrasts in colour and texture.

Listed below are a few of my favourite ferns to add interest to shaded sites.

A J Miller Landscape Architecture PLLC

Japanese Painted Fern
(Athyrium niponicum’Pictum’)

Always a fascinating feature in the color bed, Japanese painted fern provides much-needed colour to the dark corners of the garden. When you pair it with all the glowing foliage of Japanese forest grass (as shown ), the comparison in form and colour draws the eye to the floor and can accentuate paving stone. Its ease of expansion and ability to flourish in a broad array of soil conditions make it a fantastic addition to any backyard.

USDA zones: 4 to 9 (find your zone)
Evergreen/herbaceous: Herbaceous
Soil requirement: Demands moist soil to flourish
Light condition: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow growing to 12 to 18 inches

Cary Bernstein Architect

Soft Tree Fern
(Dicksonia antarctica)

a really prehistoric-looking plant, soft tree fern’s eye-catching form and imposing size make it a significant feature in the backyard. It functions well in small, enclosed courtyard areas, where its canopy can filter light to the space beneath. This siting has yet another advantage in colder climates (such as where I live): It makes it a lot easier to protect the plant from winter.

USDA zones: 9 to 11, will grow in zone 8 using protection
Evergreen/herbaceous: Evergreen (can lose fronds in colder weather)
Soil requirement: Demands damp soil to flourish
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: fast growing to 15 feet tall

CYAN Horticulture

Royal Fern
(Osmunda regalis)

This big herbaceous fern is a dramatic improvement. Its distinguishing brown-tipped fertile fronds emerge through the mass of leaves in spring, giving a focal point worthy of its name. In addition, royal fern’s hardiness makes it well suited to harsher climates where ferns can’t survive.

USDA zones: 3 to 10
Evergreen/herbaceous: Herbaceous
Soil requirement: Demands moist soil to flourish; prefers acidic
Light requirement: Does best in partial shade; will tolerate Whole sun with ample water
Size: 4 to 6 ft tall

Matt Kilburn

Siebold Wood Fern
(Dryopteris sieboldii)

Siebold wood fern’s leathery, pale green foliage is reminiscent of tropical crops, but those wouldn’t be at home in colder climates. Planted en masse, wood ferns are an exotic alternative for boundaries in woodland gardens, and they contrast well with color grasses and other fine-leaved plants.

USDA zones: 6 to 10
Evergreen/herbaceous: Semievergreen
Soil requirement: Moist soil
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow growing to 18 to 24 inches

Matt Kilburn

Western Maidenhair Fern
(Adiantum aleuticum)

The lacy leaves of the distinctive fern provides a softness unequaled by another shade plant. In the spring dark stalks appear from the floor and glowing green foliage unfurls into widely reaching hand-like fronds, a stunning screen that gets more beautiful over the decades since the plant matures.

USDA zones: 3 to 8
Evergreen/herbaceous: Herbaceous
Soil requirement: Moist, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow growing to two feet tall

Matt Kilburn

Crispy Hart’s Tongue Fern
(Asplenium scolopendrium‘Crispum’)

Hart’s tongue ferns are a welcome evergreen addition to the shade garden and differ considerably in appearance from most other kinds of fern. Their broad, leathery fronds can be smooth or crinkly (as shown ) and therefore are an excellent comparison to the feathery foliage of other ferns. Hart’s tongue fern works well in modern and traditional plantings alike and is helpful for providing construction among herbaceous perennials.

USDA zones: 5 to 9
Evergreen/herbaceous: Evergreen
Soil requirement: Moist, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Full to partial shade
Size: Slow rising to 18 to 24 inches

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3 Ways Native Plants Make Gardening Much Better

Six years ago my wife and I married (on 7/7/’07, like so many others), and we immediately moved to our first home together. I told her I wanted a backyard, and when she said, “Go for it,” I’m not sure we understood exactly what that would imply. Neither of us had any idea just how madly I’d fall in love with gardening and also exactly what I’d come to learn about myself, our union as well as the environment like I got dirty in the Nebraska dirt.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

I remember the very first two summers of gardening just like I remember my very first kiss — it was a sloppy, goopy affair which only made me more curious. I loaded up carts full of perennials and shrubs at local independent nurseries, spending money like I was a rock star — one time nearly $1,000. On a single excursion. This was just rash, but I wanted a backyard. Badly.

I purchased whatever the nursery had and no matter what the plant label insinuated might do the job. Little did I know then that plant tags can frequently fail us and are targeted more toward marketing than sensible advice. I loaded up with irises to get a moist area but have found that few butterflies see them. My mother — that thankfully forced me to backyard as a child — said I should get as numerous coral bells as I could, but they burnt in my dry summertime clay dirt.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

The plants that thrived were happy injuries: coneflowers, liatris, milkweed, Joe Pye Weed. I knew nothing about these, but once I started doing online research and reading novels, I found that they had been native to Nebraska. Why they appeared to do much better than the eye candy that I flung in my cart as though they were mint cookies in the supermarket shop? After I started gardening more and more with natives my whole life changed, rather than just with issues of less effort. My emotional experiences in the backyard evolved; I was connected to my home ground in ways I never knew were possible.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Here’s how natives can alter your experience also.

1. Less maintenance. My mother loves roses, but once I thought of her and planted a couple of, they expired. I wasn’t willing to baby them in any point. I believe in tough-love gardening — in fact, my mother taught me tough love as a parenting plan (one this mama’s boy sorely needed). If a plant doesn’t look after itself, I don’t have it in my backyard.

As I researched native plants, I found out that if properly sited, they ought to flourish. And when I recognized that when indigenous plants — for me personally prairie plants — went through drought, they may slow down, be bloom less, I might accept not getting a “perfect” backyard. In fact, not knowing precisely what the garden will look like from year to year makes it more exciting.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Liatris, coneflower, rudbeckia, sideoats grama, Indian grass, mountain mint, ironweed, prairie dropseed, aromatic and easy asters, goldenrod, baptisia, prairie smoke, American senna, coreopsis. These perennials will be the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my rich backyard palette (you’ll find over 7,000 indigenous plants in North America). They’re adapted to my climate and clay dirt, and properly sited, and that I don’t bother with any of these. I water a couple of times per year — generally in the autumn, to assist them overwinter after a dry August. I cut them down into the ground in mid-March during a lengthy afternoon, using them as loose mulch. That’s it. No fertilizing. No pruning. No spraying. I estimate I invest one-quarter of this time “working” in my backyard than when I had to mow. Few men and women believe me.

The secret to low-maintenance gardening is always choosing native plants that are adapted, planting thickly to extract weeds and using a diversity of forms — these strategies will help produce a self-maintaining ecosystem which will bring in beneficial bugs to eat the poor ones. And if you don’t enjoy the “natural” appearance, that is OK — indigenous plants can be utilised in formal settings, in some other manner you can imagine. As origins mingle and discuss information regarding diseases and pests, the dirt information highway creates a mutually beneficial ecology. Soil fertility raises. Water penetration gets deeper. Weeds get packed out and starved.

Two areas to find out what’s native for you’re the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center as well as The Xerces Society.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

2. More wildlife. New plants sleep, creep, and then jump. In other words, the very first year they seem to do nothing, the second year they do a little something and the next year they burst.

After three years my apartment moonscape became my interpretation of a prairie. And you know what brought me the most pleasure, besides the pride of thriving plants and blossoms? Butterflies and bees and spiders and birds and cows all frolicking in my backyard.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

I feel any gardener wants a carefree space full of beauty, but alongside the list is a location attractive to wildlife. Winged animals are the fourth measurement of a backyard, the vertical echo of the attractiveness below.

In the nursery I purchased butterfly bush because of its title. But now, as my native plants have grown, 95% of the insects in my garden zoom right by butterfly bush in favour of indigenous blooms, making sense — indigenous plants and insects have coevolved.

Certain species of native bumblebees can pollinate only particular species of flowers, since each blossom has evolved to create nectar geared toward attracting one bumblebee. Butterflies of sorts — skippers, sulphurs, swallowtails, monarchs — create beelines into liatris and Joe Pye Weed and coneflower.

Often those butterflies also put eggs on indigenous host plants: baptisia for sulphurs, zizia for black swallowtails, milkweed for monarchs. On winter viceroys and mourning cloaks hibernate in leaf litter while birds eat seeds; the backyard is being used, even when there’s not a flower in sight.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

3. Healthful area for household. A native plant garden means you will not likely need to repaint or spray, which means a space welcoming to sensitive insects that, through pollination, are responsible for you in three bites of food that we take.

Without bugs we would exist in much fewer numbers. However, a chemical-free landscape is also safe for kids and pets. A recent USDA study analyzed 1,000 people for 20 common pesticides also found that the test areas had an average of 13 pesticides in their system. These pesticides are derived from the food that we eat and the environments we walk in and, then, bring in the house.

Utilizing native plants can mitigate and frequently negate the need for sprays in the landscape, and you’re helping develop a wildlife refuge out back.

sustainable garden design perth

Since native plants support more wildlife than nonnatives, with them generates a space of exploration and wonder for kids. Exposure to character has been proven to increase creativity, out-of-the-box thinking and confidence, while easing symptoms of ADHD. As soon as I was growing up I had more intense relationships with sticks and horns and dirt than that I could remember. Were you aware dirt includes microscopic organisms which, via contact with our skin, raise levels of serotonin? No wonder I’m glad when I’m digging into the dirt!

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

As soon as I began the backyard in 2007, I’d be outdoors for six hours every day; my wife would wonder exactly what happened to me personally. While the backyard has always been a place for me to work through complex ideas and feelings within my everyday life, it eventually brought my wife and me nearer, even though she doesn’t garden like I do.

I remember one day when, walking the backyard, she insisted on studying some Latin plant names. After some time it was too much to take in, so she sat on the seat while I putzed around neighboring enjoying a spider weaving a web.

I could hear my wife muttering the Latin title for Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium. “You-pa-tor-eeee-ummmmmmm,” she was saying, with fun pulling the final syllables. I’d won her over in the backyard like I had won her over on our first date.

Together we thrive in our native plant garden, in the same way the butterflies, birds and bees glide overhead and property on sunflowers and prairie dock, hungry for a place of belonging, a wildlife refuge in suburbia, a place to call home.

Do you grow plants indigenous to your region? Please discuss your own favorites!

More: Planting for birds and butterflies

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Summer Plants: How to Grow Peppers

You can fill your backyard with peppers and it wouldn’t be boring. With sweet peppers and hot peppers; white, orange, yellow, red, green, brown and purple peppers; big peppers and tiny peppers; and round, ruffled, bell-shaped and peppers that are long, there’s enough variety to satisfy any pepper enthusiast.

Peppers are usually split into two broad classes: sweet peppers and hot peppers. The best-known sweet peppers are bell peppers, however there are plenty of others on the market, a lot of which are amazingly flavorful. Sexy peppers live up to their name. They get their essential hotness in the capsaicin they contain, along with the hotness can vary from slightly above mild to cool. Some hot peppers resemble sweet peppers, so be sure to check exactly what you’re planting.

All peppers need the exact same growing conditions, although hot peppers take a little more time to mature and like it a little warmer.

Note: While peppers love warm weather, nighttime temperatures consistently above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) can result in a bad harvest.

Barbara Pintozzi

When to plant: Start seeds indoors six to eight weeks before planting into peat or fresh pots; set out seedlings at least one week following the last freeze date and when soil temperature has reached at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius).

Days to maturity: 60 to 120 after transplanting

moderate requirement: Full sun

Water necessity: Frequent

Sweet peppers: Ace, Apple, Baby Belle, Bell Boy, California Wonder, Giant Marconi, Golden Bell, Gypsy, Jingle Bells, big sweet cherry, Lilac Belle, mini chocolate bell, mini red bell, mini yellow bell, Pepperoncini, Purple Beauty, Red Heart, Red Ruffled, Sweet Banana, Sweet Chocolate, sweet pimiento, Tequila, Valencia, Yolo Wonder Hot peppers: Anaheim, ancho (poblano), cayenne, habanero, Hungarian Hot Wax varieties, jalapeño, Mariachi, Mirasol, Mulato, NuMex Pinata, NuMex Suave Red, Padron, Pasilla, serrano, Tabasco, Thai Dragon, Thai Hot, Trinidad Perfume

Andrea Meyers

Planting and maintenance: select a website with abundant, well-draining soil in sunlight that is sheltered from end — warmer conditions mean hotter peppers. Wait until both soil temperatures and outdoor temperatures have grown. Sweet peppers like temperatures at 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius) during the daytime, whereas hot peppers like it even warmer, up to 85 (29) degrees.

Dig approximately 1 to 2 1 1/2 feet deep and add compost or another rich organic matter into the planting site. Place plants 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart, settling them in only slightly thicker than they had been planted in their developing pots; space rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Taller peppers might require staking or caging; if you think you’ll want support, it is best to put it in place at this moment. If cutworms are an issue in your region, add collars around the young seedlings.

When growing space is limited, plant berries with little fruits in containers. Select a pot that is at least 18 to 20 inches in diameter and feed gently throughout the growing season.

Whether in the garden or in pots, keep the soil consistently moist but not soggy throughout the growing season. Do not despair if elevated temperatures trigger a loss of petroleum production; regular care, such as watering, will help ensure that production will increase when the weather cools down. When the soil is reliably warm, mulch to retain moisture and prevent weeds.

Feed plants with a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer since they set blossoms, but don’t overfeed. A fertilizer designed for tomatoes is a good option. Many experts suggest spraying the leaves and blossoms with a diluted solution of magnesium sulfate, or Epsom salts, at this opportunity to increase production.

Though peppers are usually sturdy, armyworms, aphids, some beetles, caterpillars, corn borers, mites and whiteflies may cause occasional issues. If viruses are an issue in your region, start looking for varieties which are resistant and rotate plantings.

Harvest: Cut fruit in the plant with scissors or pruning shears. Harvest sweet peppers once they’ve reached full size or allow them to continue to color; they’re sweeter the more time they ripen. Pimientos are an exception; don’t harvest until they are reddish.

Harvest hot peppers once they reach full size. You can select them while they’re still green or wait until they turn red or yellow for a more complex flavor. As a precaution, wear gloves when harvesting and keep both hands and gloves away from the face, especially your eyes.

Best advice: After picking or utilizing hot peppers, wash your hands thoroughly, then rub them with vegetable oil, then wash them again.

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Texas Gardener's October Garden Checklist

Fall is finally here, so take a big, deep, crisp breath. Your summertime cleanup is finished, and now it’s time to plant, plant plant. Fall is the absolute best time to receive plants in the floor, as it gives them two cooler weeks to set deep roots. Plants put in now and next month will be much larger, will blossom better and will be more drought tolerant next calendar year. What exactly are you waiting for? Get out your trowel and shovel and get digging.

J. Peterson Garden Design


Wildflower seeds. October is the perfect time to plant those seeds if you would like a little all-natural accent in your garden or if you’re intending to create a wildflower meadow or prairie. Try out bluebonnets, coreopsis, poppies, Indian paintbrush and Indian costume.

Pay particular focus on bed and dirt preparations as you sow these seeds select a sunny site, till up all the present grass and weeds, incorporate up to 1 inch of compost, sow seeds according to package directions and water in well.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Annual flowers and ornamental plants. So many cool-season annuals can be planted this month — pansies, violas, snapdragons, alyssum, dusty miller, calendulas, poppies and nasturtiums are all fantastic choices. If your place is having a bit of an Indian summer with higher temperatures, make sure you hold off another week until things cool off a bit.

Use annuals and other ornamental plants, like cabbage and kale, in containers in addition to in the fronts of the beds and borders as slower-growing accents.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Trees, shrubs and perennials. Look around to see if any of your mature shrubs or trees are showing signs of demise after last year’s devastating drought and warmth — it often requires a complete year to observe the harm. If some of your bigger plants are on the downslide, take the chance now to remove them and replant. The same goes for your perennials, as autumn is the perfect time to get them in the floor. Try out salvias, columbine, yarrow and esperanza in addition to ornamental grasses.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Naturalized bulbs. Many bulbs, like tulips, require a cooling period to obtain energy to regenerate following spring. Those types do not work really well in our gardens (zone 7a to 8), as the weather simply does not typically get cold enough. Not so with naturalized bulbs, that can be well suited to our environment. Try out daffodils, bearded irises, muscari, spider lilies, oxblood lilies, crocuses, alliums and anemones. These bulbs usually like bright areas and needs to be planted at a depth of 3 times the width of the bulb.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Vegetables. Cool-season vegetables are so abundant and healthy, so attempt to tuck in a couple of new ones this year. Broccoli, turnips, cauliflower, spinach, Chinese cabbage, lettuce, cabbage, collards and other greens can also be planted now. If you’re expecting a hard freeze, consider adding some row cover to protect your veggies, but otherwise these plants will take the crisper weather in stride and provide you months of produce.

Ground covers. Ground covers are important for erosion control, as a low-growing accent in front of a border or as a way to compensate for grass that will not grow beneath a shade tree. Choose Asian lavender, lamb’s ears, mondo grass, liriope, ajuga or periwinkle. Be sure you know which floor covers like bright websites and which ones prefer shadier conditions, and you’ll be rewarded with lush growth and decent coverage.

The Todd Group


Care for your lawn. Be on the lookout for “brown patch” disease on your lawn, particularly in the event that you have St. Augustine grass. It seems as dead grass in a doughnut shape with fairly green grass in the center. Additionally, take a peek at the base of the grass blades although the blades themselves can look lifeless, the base of them is typically green if you have brown patch. This disease is caused by many things — improper watering and fertilizing, together with warm evenings, are a few of the more common causes.

When you have properly identified your grass issue and are confident you’re dealing with brownish patch, then you’ll need to use a fungicide to kill it. Should you use a fungicide and you do not have brown patch, then the remedy is going to do your grass no good. Consistently follow the package directions for the best result.

Check out more early-fall lawn tips

Divide perennials. Transplant or share your branches of timber ferns, cannas, shasta daisies, bearded irises, violets and daylilies. Over the years these plants create bigger spreading growth, which can crowd out other plants and contribute to diminished blooms.

Carefully dig them up — I like to use a tined garden fork for this — and then gently separate the root ball with your fork, shovel or hand pruners. Immediately replant your branches, or share with your neighbors, for double the amount of plants at no extra cost.

More guides to Texas gardening | Find your U.S. garden checklist

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Mid-Atlantic Gardener's October Checklist

In the ever-changing leaves of oaks and maples into the harvesting of fall edibles, fall is a time of beauty and bounty. October is the month when all the hard work at the garden pays off, the natural world says farewell to some year with a bang of vibrant colour, and the weather is more gorgeous than it is going to be for the remainder of the year. Don’t miss it. Throw open these windows, choose long day walks and delight in the very last bounty of this yummy season!

Amy Renea

It’s the very end of this late-summer crop, so collect the bounty as you can. You may still have potatoes to crop if you planted a second batch in summertime. Mine have bloomed and are only beginning to turn brown. From the end of this month, they’ll be ready to pull out of the ground prior to a legitimate frost strikes.

Amy Renea

Hint: Together with the nights cold and the days hot and sunny, tomatoes and eggplants can endure under a blanket of burlap or other defense.

Produce a tabletop arrangement with the fall harvest

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Seedpods are everywhere you look, and the following effects of blooming can be even more amazing than the blossoms.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Take pleasure in the beauty but make certain that you cut down any plants which may infest your garden with tens of thousands of unwanted plants. An area of Queen Anne’s lace seedpods is amazing to look at, but oh my, the havoc it will wreak on your summer garden next season!

Amy Renea

Still have blooms on pumpkin and gourd vines? Cut off them. At this point in the season, you want the fruit that’s already on the vine to ripen instead of fresh fruit developing. There isn’t time for fresh fruit to grow to adulthood, so give the existing pumpkins a increase by plucking those blossoms until they get started.

Amy Renea

Herbs are plentiful all fall, but they’ll disappear sooner than you can say “Jack” when frost comes knocking. Harvest mint, lemon balm (shown), rosemary and other people to keep them for winter. Dry the herbs, chop and freeze them or use them in soaps to get new herbs.

Amy Renea

Following your herbs possess dried, consider making your own tea mixes for winter. I blend stevia (shown) with numerous herbs for exceptional and cheap teas. So long as I have new herbs, though, I will brew up a batch every single day until my luck runs out.

Amy Renea

While you’re maintaining edibles, consider preserving a few blossoms too. Flat flowers like zinnias press nicely, while large bunches like hydrangeas dry well as big clumps.

D-CRAIN Design and Construction

Grasses are in all their glory in October. They seem best in drifts at which the end can ripple through them like water.

Wagner Hodgson

Trees will also be beginning to put on a display. At the beginning of the month, you’ll start to find the tiniest hint of colour.

Mid-October brings bolder and brighter screens which are as magical as they are spooky at the early-morning fog.

Obviously, the real show is in late October, when the trees wear a symphony of colour and move out in a blaze of glory. There is nothing better.

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