Designs for a sloped yard to make it easier to maintain (and fun to look at!)

This is a mix of cotoneaster, winter jasmine, miscanthus, spiraea, and a whole lot more

HGTV, the internet, and numerous other entertainment and information sources have made people much more aware of what's possible in the landscape. At this point most people my age have at least seen photos or video of grotto pools with massive waterfalls, backyard putting greens, and outdoor kitchens. All that exposure doesn't help with a very basic problem a lot of us run … [Read more...]

The best landscape patio & paving choices – what’s new?


Walking and standing in mud is kind of a bummer, so centuries ago people got the idea to lay stones on the ground and stand on those. Brilliant! Over the years since then we've had a lot of advances in technology. That means not only new manmade products, but the ability to quarry and ship natural stone products from all over the world. Here's what you should check out for … [Read more...]

Why your landscape contractor says “We can’t do that for you.”


What's interesting is that I've heard several homeowners complain this week that they've been calling around and can't find anyone to do _______. You may think that doesn't make a lot of sense, and some folks do get downright offended. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that they don't like you and think you're a stinky jerkface, though, here are some darn good reasons why … [Read more...]

Best summer drinks


I may grump and grouse and complain about Virginia's heat and humidity (though that's stopping this year) but nothing's going to keep me out of the yard in the evening. There's something to be said for watching the sun set behind the gigantic walnut tree two doors down as the firepit crackles into life. The embers are cooling from our grilled dinner, the dog's tags are jingling … [Read more...]

DIY garden solutions are proof that we need better scientific literacy NOW


I opened my email this morning and there was one from Pinterest, simply titled "Homemade Weed Killer", that said Did you know vinegar is an effective weed killer? Unlike commercial products, it’s eco-friendly and won’t harm people, pets or the environment. Learn how to make your own all-natural solution with these Pins. Then dig into even more outdoor ideas... I knew what was … [Read more...]