Native Fireworks

Monarda didyma, beebalm

As we celebrate the American Independence Day holiday, several native flowers appear to be celebrating with us. These summer bloomers are bursting out with tempting floral sprays that beckon insects to them. Here they are in all the colors of our traditional fireworks: red, white, blue … and yellow/gold. All blooming now! The happy splay […]

Rudbeckia – Old-Fashioned Favorite

Rudbeckia hirta

Remember the good ol’ flowers of yesteryear – as kids we picked bouquets of daisies, black-eyed Susans, Queen Anne’s lace, buttercups … whatever we could find. Those black-eyed Susans were the only native ones in that bunch and their bold colors made them a real standout. Black-eyed Susan is generally the plant classified as Rudbeckia […]

Flowers Aren’t Just Pretty Things

flame azalea 3689a

Flowers have a purpose in this world. Most of them are pretty and humans get a lot of enjoyment from admiring them and smelling their fragrance. I’m a sucker for a good looking one too. Yet I think that most of us know that flowers are part of nature’s plan to procreate itself. Of course […]

Thanks, Trees!

tree silhouette

Although the National Arbor Day celebration is in April, states throughout the US have their own designated dates for Arbor Day. The reason for this is optimal planting time. In Georgia and Florida, for example, trees should be planted quite a bit earlier than the last Friday in April. In states with snow on the […]

Winter Weeds in the Southeastern US

Privet streamside

Here in the southeastern U.S. we are fortunate to have a number of evergreen plants during the winter. Not all of those plants are native, of course, and a few of those non-native ones are even invasive. Since evergreen plants really stand out in the winter, now is a good time to work on removing […]

All About the Bugs

Bug 2269a

Native plants are beautiful. For me, their beauty comes from more than their flowers. Native plants have a role in our local ecosystem and that’s where bugs come in. Understanding the relationship between bugs and plants is an important part of our education in native plants. At this point in my personal education, I am […]

A Bit of Winter Green in the Southeast

misty forest 2966a

The leaves have fallen from the deciduous trees and the winter rain has mashed them into the ground. A soft grey mist floats among the bare branches, turning the landscape into a blur of brown. The landscape is sleeping but my eyes search for something … something green.   In the quiet of winter, green plants […]

Strike the Symmetry

Mailbox spring

Symmetry is a popular design technique in residential landscapes – to be fair, perhaps more so with do-it-yourselfers than with professional designers. Symmetry is the act of balancing the left and the right so that they are equal. The definition from The Free Dictionary is: “Exact correspondence of form and constituent configuration on opposite sides […]

How Many Native Plants Should I Have?

Native Plant Pyramid

People that are just dipping their toe into the concept of using more native plants in their garden often wonder how many they should use. Reluctant to let go of some of their favorite non-native plants, they look for a recommended balance. I don’t blame them – I enjoy my gardenias! As a way of […]

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