The best rain barrel for people who don’t do ugly

Edgewater Prototype

Rain barrels are awesome, but they have a flaw: they are U-G-L-Y you ain't got no alibi UGLY, most of them. The ones you make yourself, typically at a workshop put on by the local county extension or conservation district, look like pickle barrels with extra parts (which is often what they actually are). Drop a couple hundred bucks on a pre-manufactured one and you get … [Read more...]

Do landscape professionals hate native plants?

We turned this boring backyard into a strolling garden filled w/ native plants. Blog post coming soon!

One of the benefits of being quite possibly The Most Approachable Guy in the World is I get into a lot of conversations. When these conversations are with folks from the gardening community, and the subject of native plants arises, it gets really interesting. Oftentimes the question arises, "why won't more professionals use native plants in their landscape designs?" The answers … [Read more...]

Your fall landscape is boring if you don’t know about these 8 plants

Callicarpa Americana

UPDATE: this post was shared by Plant More Plants on their Facebook Page, and several commenters took me to task for a couple of the plants mentioned. The burning bush, I 100% agreed with them that it was an oversight to include it so it's gone from this list; the Pennisetum, I attached a note at the start of the entry. Many thanks to Claudio, Ann, and Michele for weighing in … [Read more...]

Guess who was on the Mike Nowak show???


Give up? It was me! A while back I got a phone call out of the blue from Mike Nowak, host of the (appropriately named) Mike Nowak Show. Mike talks about everything from gardening and horticulture to how what we use in our gardens impacts the environment. It's a really cool show and you can learn more about his gardening radio show here. Anyhow, Mike is working on an … [Read more...]

Proper tree spacing and selection: what it is and why you need to know it

power line tree

When I design a landscape there’s an order of operations that I always follow. Hardscape elements (decks, patios, walls, etc) get designed first, followed by trees, and then shrubs and perennials. The reason for this is simple: shrubs and perennials can be shifted relatively easily at the time of planting but trees are big enough that they potentially impact everything around … [Read more...]