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November Garden To-Do List

Lee ArmilleiField Notes

With the holidays around the corner, the last thing most of us are thinking about is the landscape. However, there is still much to do in the garden to have a safe and beautiful winter, as well as a productive spring. Protect trees and shrubs from buck rub and deer browse. Learn more about how to protect your plants here. Clear …

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October Garden To-Do List

Lee ArmilleiField Notes

We’re officially into fall and our gardens are gradually going to sleep– but they won’t go quietly! Watch over the next couple of weeks for amazing bursts of lemon yellow, shimmery gold, bright orange, and crimson red. Protect sensitive plants from frost when the forecast calls for it. First frost advisory for our area is October 15th. Assess your fall perennials …

stormwater on steps

There is Only One Water

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Stormwater is making the news! In the September 13, 2019 issue of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Frank Kummer states “On average, Philadelphia gets about 42 inches of rain in a year, according to the National Weather Service. In 2018, it got 62 inches. This year is also proving to be wet, with about 36 inches so far — 8 inches more …

Attract Amphibians with your Landscape

Lee ArmilleiField Notes

In Pennsylvania there are more than 30 species of amphibians. You may find many of these species in your garden, neighborhoods, and parks. Attract amphibians to your property by learning about them and how you can landscape to meet their needs. Double lives In Pennsylvania, amphibians consist of what we commonly recognize as frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. It is …

Fireflies: Nature’s Luminaries

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

When I decided to write about fireflies, I thought I would write a short, inspiring, little article about how these magical insects light up summer nights.  But like many subjects in environmental landscaping, it didn’t turn out to be that simple, so I would like to share what I have learned about these fascinating creatures. Fireflies in Pennsylvania I was …

The Best Plants for Your Winter Garden

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

When designing a garden in other seasons, it is easy to forget what your garden will look like in winter. Since this cold and sometimes dreary season is three months long, incorporate winter garden plants that perform while other plants are taking the season off. Select winter plants with evergreen foliage, interesting bark, colorful berries, and dried seed heads for a …

Preparing for a Living Christmas Tree

Lee ArmilleiField Notes

The common debate among the purchase of Christmas trees is whether you should purchase fresh cut or artificial trees. The case can be made for sustainability, supporting local businesses, longevity, cost, aroma, tradition, or personal preference. Often left out of this debate is the option for a “living” tree, also known as a live tree or a balled & burlapped …

Fall is for Fire

Lee ArmilleiField Notes

While most of our landscapes are designed to be enjoyed during daylight hours, when autumn rolls around, we have far fewer of those hours to spend outside. If you want a dynamic and inviting fall landscape, add fire to draw friends and family into the brisk autumn air. Fire pits create a reason to gather, socialize, and celebrate with your …

Invasive Plant Management

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

It’s a great time of year to be outside.  Temperatures and humidity are lower, and we don’t need to bundle up yet. If you have taken this opportunity to stroll around your property and quickly became discouraged because it looks like a jungle out there, take heart. Fall and winter are a great time to regain control of invasive plants, and …

Studying ecosystem health as a whole

The Importance of Insects

Jennifer NicholsField Notes

Have you ever noticed that most causes have a ‘poster child’ which appeals to the masses?  In environmentalism, this could be an animal such as a whale, Northern Spotted Owl, Monarch Butterfly or the honeybee. While all of these animals are very important, and it would be a hit to the world without them, maybe it is time to start …