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Water in the Garden

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Every garden can benefit from a water feature. From still reflecting pools to vibrant fountains, water adds an important element to our outdoor spaces. Water also brings life to a garden, figuratively, as well as literally. So in deciding how we want to incorporate water into our spaces, let’s look at several considerations. Purpose Water can perform many functions in …

Geranium and Coreopsis in the perennial garden

Filling bare spots in your garden

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Gardens are never static. Whether you started out with an excellent design and installation, or made smaller changes to an existing landscape over time, how do you know when you are “done”? The answer of course, is never. As we all know, in every garden some plants will thrive while others languish. Trees may grow and shade out a previously …

Managing Snow Safely & Effectively

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Whether you can’t wait until the first flurries fall, or you spend the winter dreaming of the warmer days of spring and summer, we should all know how best to manage snow on our own properties. In doing this, safety of course is the primary concern. But in addition to safety, there are a few other considerations, such as cost, …

Fall Leaves: Love ‘Em and Leave ‘Em

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

How we manage leaves is one of the most financially wasteful and environmentally harmful landscape practices common to our area. But done well, ecological leaf management can be embraced by fiscal conservatives and passionate environmentalists alike. The answer is the ‘Love ‘em and Leave ‘em’ approach to leaf management. So, as leaves turn different shades of red, orange, and gold, …

Monarch Migration

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, both plants and animals need to adjust to these seasonal changes. In our area, most plants go dormant which leaves the animals that depend on them several choices for survival. Some animals, such as chickadees, nuthatches, and field mice change their food source to what is available, such as seeds. …

Banner- Night Sky

Summer Nights

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Summer nights can be magical. Who doesn’t remember long summer nights as a kid, chasing fireflies, gazing at stars, or playing kick-the-can? Shorts and a T-shirt were all we needed to dive into the mysterious and exciting, outdoor world of summer nights. Oh, and one more thing, we needed darkness. Our world is becoming increasingly lit up at night. Sometimes …

Banner- Basil Leaves

Create Your Perfect Herb Garden

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Herbs are a wonderful way to connect to the outdoors. Whether you live in the city or suburbia, an herb garden is attainable. All you need is the appropriate soil and plenty of sun. A perfect location for an herb garden is in a sunny location near your kitchen door so that you can step out and harvest some fresh …

Our Favorite Native Shade Trees

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

In our last “Field Notes”, Lee discussed the benefits of shade trees. Now I would like to mention just a few of my favorites in case you are planning to add one to your own landscape.   At the top of my list is the Quercus alba, or White Oak. This is truly a tree that you plant for your …

Grub Control for Your Lawn

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

If you have ever dug in your garden, and found thick white, soft bodied bugs just under the surface, to several inches down, you have seen grubs. These insects are the larval form of several different species of scarab beetles, which will eventually pupate, and emerge from the ground. There are several species of scarab beetles, including Japanese beetles, June …

Spring Rain

Rain, Rain, Go Away?

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Rain, Rain, Go Away?  In the mid-Atlantic region, we are actually lucky to get the rainfall that we do.  Our “normal” weather patterns of wet springs, hot summers, cool falls, and cold winters have caused the evolution of our uniquely mid-Atlantic flora and fauna, or plants and animals. But there can be problems with our rainy springs, including flooding, erosion …