November 1, 2019

(1)  All woody species (vines, shrubs & trees) are indeterminate growers (i.e., they do not stop growing {getting bigger} unless dormant, until dead, and some species may live many decades or centuries).  Eastern White Cedar (AKA arborvitae) Th...

October 1, 2019

One of the most glaring home landscape issues in the Midwest is the prevalence of declining and dead Colorado Blue Spruce (Picea pungens).  The causal agent of the disease (needle cast) is several species of a fungus (Rhizosphaera)--other species, especially...

September 1, 2019

I was hesitant when considering a job offer at the Indiana State Museum back in 1987 which would require me to move from Champaign/Urbana IL (affectionally called Shampoo Banana by some) to Indianoplace, a derogatory title the city had acquired back then.  I am an inve...

August 1, 2019

Mid summer is when one starts to see more scalped lawns, or lawns that are habitually cut too low and begin turning brown.  I will discuss WHY this happens (both plant and people) and WHY it is a poor cultivation/management technique.  First, the height you choose for...

Tree topping (technically pollarding) unfortunately is a somewhat common practice, especially on the south side of Indianapolis (see photo) and in rural areas.  The result is a hideous look, especially when leafless, AND is not healthy for the plant.  So, who is to bla...

June 2, 2019

About a year ago I started displaying a word sign along the road at the intersection fronting my property (see September 2018 blog post).  The word for this month (June 2019) is zealotry.  Before you ask why, let me give you some background info.  I was involved in the...

May 1, 2019

There are many ornamental grasses available in the market place, but I would recommend only a handful of the perennial species.  Why -- (1) some are invasive and/or spread (by rhizome or seed) and (2) the maintenance is high for many, with owners often not up to the ta...

April 1, 2019

Unfortunately, one sees this landscaping oversight and eyesore everywhere.  The problem is easily avoidable, but property owners and managers allow weedy vines, shrubs and trees to develop under and within the canopy of shrubs and low branched trees creating what I cal...

March 1, 2019

Many people seem to hate moss.  I don't get it.  In late winter when most of the landscape is grey, brown and gloomy, moss is one of the only green things; unless, of course, you garden like me and realize the special advantage of having some conifers or broadleaf ever...

February 1, 2019

When we get heavy snow fall or ice storms an inherent problem of some plants becomes obvious--splaying.  Fastigiate species and cultivars -- those with multiple main branches -- are especially prone to splaying (i.e., spreading apart).  Please do not con...

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Rant of the Month

Unfortunately, most people have limited gardening ability; including many "professionals" employed to choose, install and maintain plants and design landscapes. This page highlights specific examples of this incompetence with commentary on remedy or recommendation for course of action. Examples are numerous and easy to find - rarely requiring me to travel far from home. Hopefully, these postings will make the task of finding examples more difficult.

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