Trees & Shrubs Worthy of More Planting

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, with trees and shrubs as well as with other things. One person may see a maturing blackhaw viburnum as a beautiful multi-season plant, while their neighbor is annoyed with its poky branching and pungent flowers. We don’t all like or dislike the same things, and certainly... Continue Reading →

Foundation Plantings

        The term “foundation plantings” generally refers to landscape plants purposely placed at or near the foundation of a house. In the past, such plants were regularly used to help hide unappealing foundations and first-floor basements and typically consisted of shearable evergreen shrubs such as boxwood, juniper, or yews with a few easy-to-grow daylilies or... Continue Reading →

Making the Most of the Worst

It’s been a tough year; and for some much worse than others. Many of us looked to our landscapes for calm, focus, beauty, a place to work off nervous energy and a sense of normalcy.         Like our landscapes, we strived toward resiliency. In trying to make the most of the worst, here’s a little... Continue Reading →

Green Ideas for a Long Winter

Nature restores. Taking a walk outdoors after too much time on our many screens—phones, computers, televisions—can go a long ways toward clearing our minds and changing our moods. Last spring when we first experienced the isolation and other constraints of covid, we were heading into spring and were able to get out more. We had... Continue Reading →

It’s Bulb-planting Time

Bulbs are a balm to the frozen soul after a long Nebraska winter. Those first snowdrops and crocus peeking through last year's old leaves—or through the snow—can't help but put a smile on your face and allow an exhalation of breath: we made it. Cool, fleshy, green-growing leaves coming out of the drab March soil…... Continue Reading →

The Pleasures of Gardening

It’s fall. Some of us are tired of weeding, watering, managing. The growth we impatiently waited for in spring has by now gone rampant. As one gardener put it, “the autumn garden is a machete garden.”         Even on the best of days, gardeners aren’t likely to brag. Have you ever had anyone say they’re... Continue Reading →

Closer to Home

“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” William Shakespeare         It is clear that the world is a crazy place right now, and it often feels like every day brings another level of folly beyond our control. Although keeping up with the news is important, it’s also important to give ourselves time to... Continue Reading →

Lonely Trees – how to help and how not to

        In our modern landscapes, trees often get planted as lone individuals surrounded by a sea of lawn. This is less than ideal for trees—and vice-versa. Trees typically grow in forests where little grass is present. When trees are placed in lawns and those lawns are excessively fussed over (and we Americans love to fuss... Continue Reading →

Oh, the Humility (of gardening)

BENEFICIAL LANDSCAPES, Nebraska Statewide Arboretum         As gardeners, we make decisions every day about what stays, what goes and what will take its place. Being faced with constant predicaments means we’re bound to get it wrong some of the time; in fact, the longer someone’s been at it, the more embarrassing notches go on the... Continue Reading →

Plants for Sandy Soil

If you’re sitting on sandy soil and don’t have a flower garden, it’s well worth starting one. The rest of us—who sigh with disappointment every time we read “must have well-drained soil” in a nursery catalog—can’t let you waste this opportunity that’s lying at your feet.        Sand, the largest of soil particles (and the only... Continue Reading →

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