Native Plants

Humboldt’s Gothic Princess: Giant Purple Wakerobin

March 18, 2013 9 comments
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Who says native plants aren’t lovely? Giant purple wakerobin, or Trillium kurabayashii, is just one of the uncommon beauties found in our local forests. I love the mottled leaves, which rival those of Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ for interest in the shade garden, but the blackish-burgundy blooms seal the deal for me and make this a […]

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Why Grow That When You Can Grow This? Alternatives to Overused Plants

November 26, 2012 15 comments
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One of the neatest things about being a plant geek is that it’s possible to find inspiration anywhere you go. In theory, at least. In reality, there’s a short list of plants in each region that are used over and over again until they become boring and dull, and these plants populate our landscapes in […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Use Less Lawn!

September 7, 2012 12 comments
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When talking with another designer recently, she said something that stuck in my head: “Lawn? We call that “green concrete”. Sure, sometimes you need a bit of it here or there, but it brings so little to the table that we try to avoid it!” And it’s true! I love sunning myself and playing with […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Using Native Plants Effectively

August 27, 2012 24 comments
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For most of us, our first thought when designing a landscape is how to make an aesthetic difference. As landscape designers, we want to inspire people and give everyone who spends time in our landscape an opportunity to reflect, feel uplifted, and just enjoy the sheer beauty of the plants that share our world. This […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Choose a Simple Color Palette

July 18, 2012 11 comments
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Think native plants and wildlife-attracting gardens look messy? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this series, we’ll talk about the techniques involved in designing a beautiful wildlife garden. Today’s tip goes well with my last piece of advice, which was to plant native and wildlife-attracting plants in masses: The tip? Choose a simple […]

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Wildlife Garden Design Tip: Plant in Masses

July 13, 2012 9 comments
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Think native plants and wildlife-attracting gardens look messy? It doesn’t have to be that way. In this series, we’ll talk about the techniques involved in designing a beautiful wildlife garden. Many native plant enthusiasts and wildlife gardeners start out by trying to replicate the randomized “design” of nature, by planting a lovingly-curated collection of individual […]

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A Designer’s Take on Wildlife Gardening

July 11, 2012 16 comments
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Though recent polls show that using native plants and attracting wildlife are big priorities for gardeners, these types of landscapes have a terrible reputation for being messy and poorly-designed. It’s gotten to the point that many landscape designers I’ve spoken with shy away from mentioning native plants to their clients, even if they plan on […]

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Wildlife Miscellany: Trends, Native Plant Books, and Special Thanks to Carole Brown

January 26, 2012 1 comment
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A quick wrap-up of some recent posts on wildlife gardening from around the web. . . You know how I love to read the garden trend reports at the start of each year, and this year I’m seeing a lot of trends that I like. Over at Beautiful Wildlife Gardens, Carole Brown posted a list […]

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Evergreen Huckleberry in Oklahoma? Reader Q and A

November 20, 2011 1 comment
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Jack out in Oklahoma read about my native evergreen huckleberry, Vaccinium ovatum, and wondered whether it might grow in his area: “Will this actually grow in Oklahoma City area? Or is it a borderline plant for our state? Thank you, Jack” Jack, a little poking around online at the USDA website shows that the evergreen […]

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Monday Miscellany: Sustainability Freaks

August 8, 2011 2 comments
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Kicking things off, Ginny Stibolt takes P. Allen Smith and others to task for taking the old-skool pesticide philosophy (kill! Kill them all!) and trying to make it eco by using organic pesticides. And sure, if you’ve gotta spray, go organic. But as she points out, poison is poison, people. If you care about supporting […]

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