Reviewing Winter Damage in the Landscape

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Everyone knows it was a tough winter in the mid-Atlantic with school closings, stressful commutes, and bitter cold weather, but now that it is spring, we can put all of that behind us, right?  Well, in addition to this winter being difficult on people, it was also damaging to our landscapes.  So what should we be looking for on our …

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Snow Days

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Have you had enough of snow recently?  Do you have cabin fever?  Here are a couple of ideas to beat the winter blues. Go on a photo shoot Snow days are great days to take pictures.  The world seems fresh, clean, and bright after a snow, so grab your camera and get outdoors! Go birding Birds are easier to see …

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Cut Back Perennials Like a Pro this Spring

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

As the days become longer and the soil begins to warm, perennials begin to push towards the sun. Through the next few weeks, if the snow ever subsides, we will begin to see this transformation. Leave most perennials standing during the winter. Their dried stems add winter interest in the garden, and provide food and cover for birds and insects.  …

Support Your Local Environmental Groups

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

When was the last time you drove over a bridge and appreciated a pretty stream below?  Or walked down a trail through quiet woods? Or stopped to watch a fox trotting through a meadow? If you have done any of these things recently, there is a good chance that you can thank your local environmental organization for the opportunity and …

Why do they talk like that?

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

I used to work at a garden center, where the owner almost disdainfully talked about horticulturists as ‘Latin speakers’.  I believe he thought people were snobbish, or were trying to appear highly educated when they used the botanical names for plants.  If that is not the reason, why do people use a dead language, like Latin, when discussing plants? The …

Sustainable Landscapes

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.” – Henry David Thoreau “In wildness is the preservation of the world.” Henry David Thoreau Before we can thoughtfully discuss sustainable landscapes, we should define a sustainable landscape. “A sustainable site links natural and built systems to achieve balanced environmental, social and economic outcomes and improves quality of life and the long-term …