Category: Landscape Design

How to tame a slope


Q: Behind my house I have about 3/4 acre that is on an incline of about 30 degrees and all sand. It is about 330 feet long and about 75 feet up the slope. I have had all the mulberry trees, bushes, vines, and poison ivy removed and would like to have some kind of cover crop. What would you suggest? The slope is too steep to mow, so I have spent more than  300 […]


Indiana’s State Tree is a Popular Landscape Choice


If you’ve ever had to work on a tree leaf collection, no doubt you included a leaf from Indiana’s state tree. Also known as tulip poplar and yellow poplar, the tuliptree is actually not a poplar at all. It is a member of the magnolia family known botanically as Liriodendron tulipifera. The tuliptree is native to most of the eastern half of the United States and prefers rich, moist, well-drained, loamy soil. It is found throughout […]


Humble hosta


If you’re looking for a plant that is winter-hardy throughout the Midwest, excels under shady conditions and has fabulous foliage as well as attractive flowers, then hosta is the plant for you. Also known as plantain lily, hosta performs best in partial to full shade, although some have been able to survive full sun conditions if given a cool environment with plenty of moisture. The leaves will tend to burn or turn sickly yellow if […]


Celebrate Arbor Day April 29


There’s no better way to celebrate Arbor Day then to add beauty and value to your home landscape with a new tree. Trees can also provide shade and wind protection for many years to come if given the proper start. The last Friday in April is both the national and the Indiana Arbor Day. The first step should be thoughtful selection of an appropriate plant to match the location. Assess your planting location for such […]


Spring garden shows cure winter blues


Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned green thumb, you’ll find lots of inspiring ideas at area gardening shows this spring. No matter what your location, you’ll find at least one show within reach for a one-day excursion. Indianapolis, Chicago, Cincinnati and Fort Wayne are just a sampling of the great garden shows we can eagerly anticipate. Feb. 25-28: Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show Memorial Coliseum Fort Wayne, Indiana www.home-gardenshow.com/ March 12-20: Indiana […]


Blue & Gold gardens celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial


To celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial this year, the Garden Club of Indiana and the Indiana Bicentennial Commission are hoping gardeners will join the Blue & Gold garden tribute to Indiana’s state flag. It’s an easy way for all Indiana residents to commemorate the bicentennial.  If you don’t have a traditional garden bed, there are many fine choices for container gardens. There’s a vast array of garden flowers that can fit in the blue-and-gold theme.  Some “blue” […]


Plants for Steep Slopes


Perhaps the most challenging landscaping problem is that of what to plant on a steep slope. Slopes require plants that can establish quickly, tolerant of fluctuating soil moisture and potentially poor nutrient availability, and require little care once established. You’re likely looking for small plants for filling this rather tall order! Turf grass is one of the most popular ground covers for keeping soil in place, but mowing on an incline is inconvenient at best […]


Question and Answer


07-05-12 Question and Answer Q. Two years ago, we lost a lilac bush that was over 90 years old. At the time, there were shoots of small lilacs coming up from the ground around the old bush. We took out the dead bush but left the shoots. Will these shoots ever bloom? They haven’t in all the years they have been there. If they aren’t going to bloom, I’d like to remove them. A. The […]



Q. I have some spearmint growing now. I can tell when I mow over it, but I don’t know what it looks like. I would like to grow more but don’t how to go about it. A. All of the culinary mints have square stems and opposite leaves, with spearmint, in particular, having elongated-ovate leaves with coarsely toothed margins. Although many seed catalogs may offer seed packets, the best spearmint selections are of Mentha x piperita and can only […]



Q. I would like to cover several parts of my yard with shredded bark mulch. My concern is we have some wood roaches in this area, and I do not want to attract them to my yard. We have had some in the house in the past and still get one or two occasionally. This is not a problem, but I’m afraid if we put down mulch this may be a big problem. What are your thoughts […]


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