Last fall, I was sitting around the kitchen table having tea with my sister. We decided to take a tour of my garden and identify plants that I can make tea from. Read on to learn about which plants I plan to use for tea.
Camellia sinensis (Fall Blooming Camellia) and Dried Tea Leaves
The first plant that jumped out was one of my Camellias. Camellia sinensis leaves and leaf buds are a nice choice for homemade tea. If you like Oolong tea, try making this.
Continue reading Plants to Include in a Tea Garden
Winter is a great time to plan your garden and many local gardens offer fantastic programming during this time. Last year I attended the Winter Symposium at JC Raulston Arboretum, and wanted to share two fabulous books for gardeners planning a new space.
Continue reading January: Planning Your Garden – 2 Books to Check Out
I started planting my garden in 2009 and over the last nine years I’ve used up most of the open space available. At this point any plant that gets added has to be pretty special to make it the cut in my limited remaining space. This year I had the opportunity to add two new shrubs, and I selected Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’ and Chamecyparis ‘Kosteri’. Read on to learn why.
Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’ – Purple Smokebush
Continue reading Two Plants I Added to My Garden This Year and Why I Chose Them
I incorporate a variety of walkways and paths into my landscape designs. Some factors to consider when choosing which material to use are budget, tree presence, and frequency of use. Read on to learn about how I decide what type of material to use for a walkway.
Natural Stone Walkway
Continue reading How to Decide What Type of Material to Use for a Walkway
I enjoy working with clients that have a low stacked stone wall or a retaining wall for a steep slope, because it gives me the chance to incorporate plants that will highlight this feature into their design. Read on to learn about some examples of plant choices that spill over the edge of retaining walls.
Continue reading Plant Choices that Spill Over the Edge of Retaining Walls
Every plant looks great when it’s shown in a catalog, and most plants look pretty great at the garden center when they are receiving tons of care and attention. However, as someone who has gardened for over a decade I’ve learned that lots of great looking plants can fail once installed in the landscape – especially my landscape where I expect them to thrive on neglect! Read on to learn about two plants that have taken a licking and kept on ticking in my yard.
Nyssa sylvatica – Black Gum
Continue reading 2 Plants I’ve Been Impressed By – A Native Tree and a Non Native Perennial
I planted a garden space almost three years ago dedicated to attracting butterflies. My plants provide food, shelter, and a place to reproduce. Read on to learn about three successful plants I used and why.
My Butterfly Garden and Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly Feeding on Lantana
One stellar plant for this space is Lantana camara ‘Miss Huff’. This plant gets quite large and loaded with a variety of butterflies. Lantana ‘Miss Huff’ is a perennial that offers nectar all summer and fall until the first hard frost. I’ve seen monarchs feeding on it in as late as October as they are migrating south. Continue reading Three Successful Plants in my Butterfly Garden
I’m always on the hunt for interesting new planting combinations and garden features, especially those that lend themselves to residential scale landscape design. It’s easy to be inspired by magazine photos of estate gardens which have been professionally designed, installed, and maintained, but that type of garden is outside the reach of most people. So, when I find a garden space that I think really works, I like to examine it closely, to see what I can learn and apply in my own designs. Read on to learn about one such space – the new herb garden at the Museum of Life and Science. Continue reading Museum of Life and Science Herb Garden
Container plantings are a nice way to add color and interest to a porch, patio, or landscape. People tend to plant annuals in their containers, which can be expensive and high maintenance over time. I prefer to use perennials for containers that will last for multiple seasons. Read on to learn some examples of perennial container combinations for shade.
Continue reading Perennial Container Combinations for Shade
If you’ve been to Duke Gardens recently you’ve probably seen the amazing twig sculptures on the South Lawn. Designed and created by North Carolina artist Patrick Dougherty (http://www.stickwork.net/) the sculptures are both fantastically beautiful and a great space for kids to explore.
The Inspiration – Duke Gardens
As I was watching the sculptures be constructed, I realized that I had an abundance of saplings popping up in my yard (Redbud and Winged Elm), and that they weren’t all that much different from the twigs being used for the Duke Gardens sculptures.
While I knew that I couldn’t make anything as impressive as the sculptures above, I decided to try a simple garden teepee. Using about a dozen 8-10 foot long saplings spaced 6 inches apart I made a circle with a 3 foot opening, which I tied together at the top. I chose a location nestled under a Black Gum and behind an azalea, so the entrance is tucked away and feels hidden. Including planting vines on the teepee the entire project took an afternoon.
The Teepee (My House)
I’m hopeful that the teepee will be covered in honeysuckle vine flowers and hummingbirds next summer, and will be a fun place for my kids to play. Have a garden inspiration you want to make a reality? Contact Bright Leaf Landscaping at 919-619-4460 or fill out our online contact form. Design and installation are our expertise, and we are always happy to meet with new clients to discuss potential projects!