Low-Maintenance

Low-Maintenance Planting Design: More Than Just Plant Selection

June 1, 2013 17 comments
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There are a lot of misunderstandings about low-maintenance planting design. A lot of people think that in order to have a low-maintenance landscape, you just need to choose low-maintenance plants. But the way you design your planting beds is as important as the plants you select – maybe even more so. Here are a few […]

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Mediterranean Plants to Rock Your Waterwise Landscape

September 28, 2011 1 comment
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Recently I wrote about how to design a Mediterranean garden, but I left out one major component – which plants to choose! I just did a follow-up article over at the Christian Science Monitor which discusses just that. And yes, there are more photos of that lovely, lovely garden.  Head on over to read more.

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Mediterranean Garden Design: How to Create a Tuscan Garden

September 4, 2011 22 comments
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Recently, I was lucky enough to visit the Mediterranean garden of Lynda and Jack Pozel in Eureka, CA. Lynda’s a writer and artist, and until five years ago, owned a gorgeous cottage-style garden that was on our local garden tour multiple times. So when they moved and Lynda had a whole new garden to create, […]

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Golden Conifers Brighten Up Winter

March 4, 2011 6 comments
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With the winter doldrums in full force, I went to my local rhododendron nursery the other day to pick up spring color for a few jobs. Usually, I’m blown away by the blooming rhodies or the summer-flowering heathers. But this visit, what really struck me was the conifers. Specifically, the golden conifers. They just looked […]

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Plants to Love: Gaultheria mucronata or Prickly Heath

February 25, 2011 3 comments
Pernettya mucronata

Like the barely-fragrant Stinking Hellebore, Gaultheria (formerly Pernettya) mucronata has been given a somewhat undeserved and unfortunate common name, probably by some delicate-skinned maiden who’d never heard of gardening gloves.

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Ferns for Every Garden

February 1, 2011 11 comments
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As we settle more deeply into winter, I’ve been really noticing the beauty of all the ferns in the landscapes I care for. They’re low-care, often have great winter interest, and seem to go with just about every type of plant or style of planting. The neat thing about ferns is they look great both […]

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Professional Tips for Using Landscape Fabric Right

October 9, 2010 38 comments
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I’m no fan of landscape fabric, but I accept that it can be a useful tool in the garden in a few select circumstances. I go into how to decide whether landscape fabric is a good choice for you in this article, but if you’ve decided to use it, I wanted to provide you with […]

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Low-Maintenance Landscaping: How to Tim Ferriss Your Garden Routine

September 16, 2010 11 comments
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Do you have more garden than time? Even people who love, LOVE to garden sometimes find their landscape a source of guilt rather than joy. So many times when I’m visiting a garden, I’m making enthusiastic exclamations over the abundance and beauty of it all, the owner of the garden is saying things like, “well, […]

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Plants to Love: New Zealand Wind Grass (Stipa arundinacea/ Anemanthele lessoniana)

August 24, 2010 0 comments
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New Zealand Wind Grass is a stunning low-maintenance grass that keeps its glowing orange foliage all winter long. I occasionally have to prune out some dead bits here or there, which I do by grasping a small clump of dead foliage and cutting it out at the base so you don’t notice it’s been pruned. […]

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Plants to Love: Rozanne Hardy Cranesbill (Geranium ‘Rozanne’)

August 18, 2010 9 comments
Geranium Rozanne

Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (USDA Zones 4/5-9) is a lovely tumbling plant that gets between 4 and 5’ around, and about 2’ tall. She’s been the darling of the landscape designer crowd since being introduced a few years back, and even though we all plant her all the time, we’re sticking our fingers in our ears and […]

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