Colorful Fruit for Every Season

Landscape Design Can Include Colorful Fruit for Every Season
One of my favorite ways to add seasonal color to a landscape is to incorporate fruit bearing plants. This is also a great way to invite wildlife, such as birds. One consideration is proper placement of fruiting trees. You want to avoid planting near walkways, patios, or parking areas to prevent messy litter. Read on to see which plants I suggest for the seasons.

Ilex verticillata ‘Sparkleberry’ Keeps Birds Fed in the Winter
Ilex verticillata ‘Sparkleberry’ Continue reading Colorful Fruit for Every Season

Three New Cultivars I am Trying and Why

One of the great benefits of my job is access to a ton of interesting plants from our growers.  I recently had some large Leyland Cypress come down on my neighbor’s property, with the result that my front yard gets a lot more light, and I have a bit more space to add some new plants.  Read on to learn about three exciting new cultivars I’ve added to my garden.

Magnolia grandiflora ‘Teddy Bear’ – Teddy Bear Magnolia

Teddy Bear Magnolia

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December – Plants that look great in Christmas Lights

I love the holiday season and start decorating sometime between Halloween and Thanksgiving each year.  While I love getting my house ready for the season, I also really enjoy seeing what my neighbors are doing to decorate their yards.  Read on to learn how to incorporate Christmas lights into your landscape.

If you’ve got mature conifers planted in your yard chances are good that you’ve got a great place to put some lights.  Pyramidal conifers such as Dwarf Alberta Spruce, Japanese Cedar, and even Leyland Cypress look great in holiday lights, and depending on their size, can make a huge statement in the winter garden.


(Pyramidal conifers in lights)

Continue reading December – Plants that look great in Christmas Lights

Interesting Evergreens for the Winter Garden in Raleigh

As the leaves fall my focus shifts from beautiful fall color to plants that stay evergreen year round. While many evergreens are used simply as background plants to keep gardens from looking bare, or to provide year round screening, there are some uniquely interesting evergreens that can be added to your garden. Read on to learn about two.

Pinus thunbergii ‘Thunderhead’ – Thunderhead Pine

Thunderhead Pine for Use in a Winter Garden in Raleigh

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Creating a Strong Plant Combination

For the past few years I’ve taught a class at Duke Gardens that focuses on Creating a Colorful Mixed Border. I really enjoy the chance to work with other gardeners and share my experiences on designing a strong plant combination. And, preparing the presentation each year makes me think about my own design process and what I feel is the most effective way to design. Read on to learn more about my process. Continue reading Creating a Strong Plant Combination

Watering Your Garden with Drip Irrigation

The days are getting hotter and the rain is getting scarcer – summer is on its way and it is time to think about providing supplemental water to your garden. It is also the time to think about water conservation and how can you ensure the health of your plants while also ensuring the health of the environment.

One popular method of conserving water is using a rain barrel. Rain barrels serve as a reservoir for rainwater harvested from the roof via a gutter or gutters. While rain barrels are low cost and very environmentally friendly their small size and lack of water pressure limits their effectiveness. In my personal garden I have a rain barrel and use the water for my summer container plants. The plants in the rest of my garden are watered by another environmental alternative – drip irrigation.

Drip irrigation is a low water volume system, providing specified amounts of water to each plant through slow release. The system consists of simple materials including tubing, water emitters, and connectors, which are stapled into the top of the soil, and then covered with mulch. Continue reading Watering Your Garden with Drip Irrigation