April Showers Bring… Rain Gardens?

I love rain gardens. I may be partial because over the last 4 years I’ve designed and built some really cool and successful rain gardens for properties of all shapes and sizes. But to me, there’s really nothing better than a beautiful landscape that’s also highly functional. Now, if you’re like most of the clients, friends, and strangers I talk …

Amphibians in the Landscape

Amphibians are often overlooked in the grand scheme of landscaping; however, in Pennsylvania there are more than 30 species of amphibians, many of which become active this time of year in our gardens, neighborhoods, and parks.  Amphibians are fascinatingly complex creatures, sensitive to many of the changes we make in the landscape regularly. In the world of sustainable landscaping, we …

Mulch (why, how, and so much more)

This article probably contains more information than you ever wanted (or cared) to know about mulch. However, if you mulch your gardens by yourself or even hire someone else to do it, shouldn’t you know why you’re expending energy or dollars to keep up with this age-old garden tradition? Described below are some of the benefits of mulch, problems caused …

Get a Head Start on Your Garden

Winter is a time for rest and contemplation in the landscape. After the shifting and changing of colors in the fall, the leaves drop and expose views we only get to see at this one time of year.  To some, those “winter views” evoke the beauty within the shape and structure of tree branches; others call to mind the views …

Using Autumn Leaves in the Landscape

I used to work at a flower shop in downtown West Chester. It was beautiful there every season, but particularly in autumn, when the gold, rust, and crimson leaves complimented the brick red sidewalks. One of the flower shop neighbors hated fall leaves though… so much so that he would rake and blow the leaves off his trees to expedite …

Greener, Healthier Lawns… Organically

Maybe you’ve noticed your neighbors’ properties covered in dirt at the end of the summer. For a week it looks a mess, but by the beginning of the next week that dirt disappears and their lawn is looking much fresher and brighter than yours. Even the texture appears softer and more even. What could have been in all that dirt …

Support Your Local Bees

A major aspect of sustainable landscaping is using native plants to support habitat. Although one goal is to support bird and mammal habitat, we should also recognize the habitat native plants provide for native bees.  Unlike exotic bees that have become naturalized in the United States (honey bees, yellow jackets), most native bees are solitary creatures. As solitary creatures, they …