Plant Info

lawn-turf

Out here in the Heartland, the ground is either brown or covered in snow for close to seven months. When we finally have nice weather in central Iowa, we want our yards to look gorgeous! I get asked all the time about how to establish a healthy, lush lawn, especially in the spring. It’s completely […]

My three-step strategy for growing a great lawn

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bulbs-landscaping-spring-des-moines

As fall settles gloriously around us, it’s easy to forget that we have FIVE months of cold dark winter approaching. The hardest thing for me about living away from North Carolina is tolerating those last few months of winter. March is beautiful in the South. Here in Iowa? it’s brutal. And sometimes April is dark […]

The easy trick to bring color in your yard when you need it most – add bulbs!

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blue-chip-low-shrub-landscaping-des-moines

Image from Proven Winners Are you thinking about curb appeal, wanting to clean up the planting beds along your home’s foundation? Did you just add a deck, and the yard around it looks bare and forgotten? Does your back yard have a pretty garden space left over from the former owners, but now it looks […]

Your Secret Sauce for Finished Garden Beds

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planting-buying-plants-landscaping-adel

It’s time to think about buying plants for your yard- you’re excited about some color and something new. But what do you look for? How do you know you’re getting a good deal? How do you know you’re getting quality plants? What if there’s more than one size- which one do you buy? They say […]

3 Pro tips to buy plants like a boss

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hydrangea-blue-iowa-red-fern-landscape-design

I miss all kinds of things about growing plants in the Southeast and in New England, but probably the biggest loss for me is the giant, blue bombs of color in summer you get from a mophead hydrangea.  Sure, you can grow mophead hydrangeas in Iowa, but their flowers will be pink.  I love that blue so […]

3 simple steps for bright blue hydrangeas

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evergreen-conifer-shrubs-bushes-landscaping-waukee

Oh, winter.  For five months, if we’re not intentional, our landscapes will be mostly brown and grey with a little bit of white now and then.  And we long for color!  Especially when it’s cold out.  Once the perennials die back and the deciduous plants drop their leaves, what’s left in your yard? While anything […]

Plant picks | Easy evergreen shrubs for Iowa gardens

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buying-plants-red-fern-landscape-design

Happy August! At this time of year, garden centers in Iowa and in other cold parts of the country are beginning to mark plants down.  Well, this girl loves a bargain!  How do you decide if it’s worth it to pull over when you see those 30% off (or more) signs? Don’t be swayed by […]

Six Questions to help you choose the best Garden Center Markdown (or twelve!)

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peony-perennial-planting-design-red-fern

I’m so grateful for peony season … when my very favorite perennial shows off! There is just nothing like the enormous ice cream cone blooms of an old-fashioned peony.  Scent, cut flowers, great foliage – these perennials have it all.  Maybe you have some questions about peonies and are thinking of planting some, now that […]

Plant Profiles | Choosing + using luscious garden peonies in your landscape

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magnolia-stellata-trees-ornamental-flowers-red-fern-landscape-design

One of my very favorite ornamental trees, Magnolia stellata, or star magnolia, is just a showstopper in the springtime.  Its strappy white blooms flutter in spring breezes (or sometimes FLAP in Iowa’s bluster!) and are such a welcome sight early in the season. The tree is native to Japan and handles our central Iowa culture […]

Plant Profiles | Star magnolia (Magnolia stellata)

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clematis-vine-landscaping-red-fern-design-adel

People often ask what plants to combine in a garden – How does a person choose? Take this clematis as an example.  What blooms would work with this simple stunner? There are many factors that inform a decision about plant combinations.  One way to help the decision is to get to know the delicate intricacies […]

Clematis color cues

Design School, Plant Info

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