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Selecting Plants for a Porch – My Strategy and Recommendations

 One of the best features of my house is the big screened in porch in my backyard. Except for the coldest months of the year my family – including our cats – love to spend time here. When we moved in almost 10 years ago I was excited to add plants to the space, but quickly realized that not all plants work well in this environment. Though my porch is on the south side of the house it is actually quite shady, making most flowering plants not an option. Additionally, I am notoriously bad at watering my containers, so my plants need to be highly drought tolerant. Read on to learn about some evergreen perennials that have worked great for my space for several years.

Aspidistra elatior

Aspidistra elatior

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4 F’s Every Garden Needs: Foliage, Fragrance, Flowering, Fall Color

After working as a landscape designer for almost ten years I’ve learned that all gardens, no matter how big or small, need four elements of interest: Foliage, Fragrance, Flowering, and Fall Color. Read on to learn how to combine these elements in your garden.

Foliage – Loropetalum ‘Purple Pixie’ and Osmanthus ‘Goshiki’

Purple Pixi and Goshiki

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Plants in My New Landscape Design

After living in my house for 10 years, I decided to do a yard renovation. I removed the existing foundation plants and completed a new landscape design. Read on to learn about some of the plants I chose.

Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ Fall Color

Royal Purple Fall Color

I chose a variety of plants for the purple foliage. Loropetalum ‘Daruma’, Distylium ‘Cinnamon Girl’, and Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’ all have seasonal shades of purple in their leaves. I created a cohesive design by repeating these colors throughout the garden. Continue reading Plants in My New Landscape Design

Spring Planted Bulbs that I Want

I grew up working with my Grandmother in her garden in Virginia.  She had grown up on a tobacco farm in Tennessee and had an amazing capacity for yard work.  The two of us planted hundreds of daffodils – in her opinion they were the best bulb – deer resistant, perennial, and no maintenance.  Over the years I’ve planted hundreds more daffodils – both for myself and our clients, during the fall.  However, I don’t have much experience with bulbs that you plant in the spring.  I decided it was time to learn about these plants – read on to learn more.

Hedychium sp.

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Plants to Include in a Tea Garden

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.

Chamelia and Dried Tea Leaves Continue reading Plants to Include in a Tea Garden

Two Plants I Added to My Garden This Year and Why I Chose Them

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

Purple Smokebush

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