'Tis the Season to Avoid Committing Crepe Murder

It's that time of year again when you begin to see horribly butchered Crepe Myrtle specimens in the landscape. Ironically, Crepe Myrtles require little pruning.  They SHOULD NOT be pruned back heavily in late winter or spring, a practice that is often observed and is known as “Crepe Murder”.  Arguments against Crepe Murder are numerous and are all rooted in sound horticultural practice including:

Put Those Pruning Shears Away For the Season

Have you been duped into believing fall pruning is ideal?  Surprise!  Fall is one of the worst times to prune.  Or at least, it’s the worst time to prune most woody plants. There is plenty of other cutting and cleaning work to do instead.

The Essential 8

For Month 8

August is just around the corner and it brings the end of summer a little closer, although August tends to be the hottest month of all, making watering essential.  Here are the essential 8 top tasks that can be done in the garden this month: 

Hurricane Prep For Your Garden

The hurricane prognosticators have forecast the 2018 hurricane season to be “less active than average.” That’s good news, but if you’ve ever experienced the effects of a hurricane or tropical storm you know they are not to be taken lightly.  As I write this, Tropical Storm Chris has been declared the 3rd named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, and we’re nowhere near the peak of the season.  With that in mind, let’s go over several helpful tips to prepare your garden for the hurricane season. 

The Payoff

The Sustainable Sites Initiative – Operations & Maintenance Considerations

In Part 1 of this series, we discussed the important aspect of Applied Foresight and how designers’ decisions impact the bottom line.  Part 2 looked at the LandEconics Program, and how it can be used to identify the tasks and associated costs for properly maintaining a designed landscape.  In this final Part 3, we will revisit the concept of treating the living components of the landscape as assets – which they truly are (their value increases geometrically over time), and how Managing “Living Assets” for Sustainability can pay-off.

The LandEconics Advantage

The Sustainable Sites Initiative – Operations & Maintenance Considerations

This series deals with the Operations and Maintenance considerations of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, and how designers can have a big impact on the bottom line for their clients.  In Part 1, we discussed the importance of applied foresight, and how initial design decisions do in fact have a bearing on whether a landscape will stand the test of time.

Foresight - The Designer's Key to Landscape Problem-Solving

The Sustainable Sites Initiative – Operations & Maintenance Considerations

An astonishing amount of work has gone into the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES) over the past decade.  I believe that the Guidelines and Performance Benchmarks will eventually become the new LEED for Landscapes.  Whereas LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) deals with green building practices, SITES takes the best of Low Impact Design, sensible site planning & design practices, and lessons learned from LEED – and applies then to the landscape.

Mulch Volcanoes

It’s hard to believe that mulch can be deadly – right?  Sadly, mulch can indeed be fatal to a plant if applied improperly – as in the case of mulch volcanoes.  What is a ‘mulch volcano’ you ask?  A mulch volcano is a phenomenon that defies all logic and sound horticultural practice.  In recent years, these mounds of mulch have become as prevalent as the bubonic plague in 14th century Europe.  Why individuals continue to believe that eight to 12-inches (and sometimes as much as 2-feet) of mulch piled around a tree trunk is a good idea remains unclear, but the fact of the matter is they’ve sentenced the plant to a slow death.

What's Your Business' Pain Point?

What’s a Pain Point you ask?  According to Jeffrey Carter at West Loop Ventures, “A pain point is a problem, real or perceived.  Entrepreneurs create opportunities for themselves by creating solutions to those pain points. Solutions create value for everyone.” 

Sunlight and Photosynthesis

A Building Block for Sustainable Landscaping

Have you ever wondered why plants are green?  I have, and as I was preparing this piece I began to retrace my steps when I navigated horticulture, taxonomy, and botany classes in college.  I was not searching for a complex clinical or chemical answer to that age-old question about why plants are green, but a succinct answer everyone could easily understand.  Fortunately, our friends at Michigan State University distilled the answer down to the following, and please pay close attention to several key components contained in the answer:

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