Garden Design

Beyond Beauty: Why your Rose Garden needs more then Roses

June 10 2015 Update RHR 049Have you visited the modern rose garden? The one interplanted with all types of flowering perennials, trees, and shurbs, alive with buzzing insects, chirping birds and awash in lovely scents. No longer will you find a garden of strictly roses with one month of wow and minimal interaction with birds, bugs, and bees. The renovated Dean Bond Rose Garden has been redesigned with sustainability in mind. The added benefit of considering sustainability in plant selection produces multi-seasonal interest in the rose garden as never before.

Today’s rose garden is interplanted with a variety of plants to encourage the growth of beneficial insect populations to help control unwanted pests. photo credit: R. Robert

Today’s rose garden is interplanted with a variety of plants to encourage the growth of

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Designing Your Containers With Plants

Container gardening reflects each gardener’s personal style, so you’ll see a wide array of designs—one size definitely does not fit all containers! Even so, you’ll want to keep in mind two strategies to guide your composition—selecting equal parts foliage and flowers and categorizing your selections into “spillers,” “fillers,” and “thrillers”—terminology coined by the late Kathy Pufahl, founder of Beds and Borders, Inc.

Brugmansia flowers always make a statement in a container. photo credit: D. Mattis

Flowers are natural attention-grabbers—it’s literally the role they were born to play to attract pollinators, so it’s not surprising gardeners use flowering plants for an …

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Bio Char: Exploring a New Soil Amendment

IMG_0285What is it? Biochar is the carbon-rich product that results when biomass such as wood, manure, or leaves are heated with little to no oxygen available – it is the solid material obtained from the carbonization of biomass. Biochar may be added to soils with the intention of improving soil nutrient content; production of biochar reduces emissions from biomass which would otherwise degrade to greenhouse gasses.

To explain this in more technical terms, biochar is produced by thermal decomposition of organic material under a limited supply of oxygen (O2), and at relatively low temperature (<700°C). This process often mirrors …

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