Andrea Mueller

Why the natives are restless

We have discussed creating native areas, non-native invasive plants and native naturalizers, but why do native plants play such a key role in our landscapes and beyond? Perhaps the biggest benefit of growing natives to a gardener is that they are adapted to our soils and weather. These are not the visitors from Texas who do not own a coat — they are the neighbors who know when to put up their garden hose and set out their snow shovel. This may be one of the great advantages to growing natives, but let’s look at the bigger picture. The...

Read More

Big bangs, big bushes

Behind the times, but in front of the house. Can you identify the age of a photo based on hairstyles and clothing? Unless it is an historic feature, why would you want to do the same for your landscape? Many homeowners and businesses continue to showcase plants that represent an era before we knew so much about invasive species and the damage they do to our ecosystem.  If there is one shrub that embodies the outdated hairdos of all previous time periods, it is the burning bush. This shrub, Euonymus alatus, is so invasive that it has been banned...

Read More

Pollinators are aflutter over annuals, are you?

Last year we learned that the first Saturday in May is not necessarily Derby Day, and neither is it a guaranteed time to start planting annual beds and filling hanging baskets. Kentuckians have learned the later lesson many times, yet we just cannot wait to get those colorful annuals going each year. They signal our charge into the days of summer. For the most part annuals are seen as disposable, being tossed at the end of the season. What if we squeezed a bit more use out of them and acquired annuals that gave back just a little each...

Read More

A living landscape

We are surrounded by many landscapes, but are they living? A house and garage expansion made way for this major site renovation, which includes a large edible garden with multiple raised beds, fire pit, paver walkways, rain gardens, permeable driveway and a huge selection of native plants! The swampy site dictated the selection of moisture loving plant material — obedient plant, rattlesnake master, swamp milkweed, iris, serviceberry, sweetspire and more! These plants provide bloom and texture all year long, but more importantly provide a variety of ecological functions — a truly living landscape. Native insects evolve with native plants...

Read More

House plans make the landscape

You might wonder what selecting a house plan or having house plans drawn has to do with landscape — and it’s everything! Dreaming about your new home or structure and selecting the perfect plan are such fun parts of the process, but often we get so excited over perfect plans we forget to consider their feasibility for the site. Site and building synchronization issues are all too common with new builds — we’ve all seen them and some unfortunate homeowners have experienced the nuisance that comes with this lack of consideration. There can be many issues with simply selecting...

Read More

Subscribe to our Email Updates