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 …

Support Your Local Environmental Groups

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?

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 …

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 …

Sustainable Landscapes

“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 …