Your Input: What Readers Say About Landscaping
Examples of Recycling in Landscaping
One of my readers, Shelby suggested this as a question to pose to other About.com Landscaping users. How do you recycle in your landscaping? Recycling goes hand in hand with saving money, so this is a popular topic. We've received tips so far on recycling everything from tee shirts to egg crates.
Color Combinations for Flowers
When planting flowers in your landscaping, what color combinations do you employ? Do you use like elements? If so, what are your favorite combos? Or do you more often aim for contrast. If so, please state your favorite contrasting combinations?
What Are the First Signs of Spring?
The first signs we habitually seek to let us know that spring is on the way will depend in part, of course, on the region in which we live. I keep an eye peeled for amphibians and pussy willows, but there may be entirely different indicators in your region. Reveal your signposts for spring here.
What Are Your Favorite Small Trees?
A small tree can be just the ticket for certain spots in your landscaping. Do not try to shoehorn a big tree into a small space -- you'll regret it! Rather, make the wise choice right up front by installing an appropriately-sized tree. Tell us here about some of your favorite small specimens.
Best Trees to Plant, Overall
The question above is very specific, whereas this one is more open-ended. Namely, regardless of mature height, what do you feel are the best trees to plant in a yard? State your reasons for your choice. For example, if you nominate a particular tree because it affords interest both in spring and fall, tell us what makes it so pretty in those...
Do You Have Landscaping Issues With Your Spouse?
Do you fight with your spouse about who's going to mow the lawn? Or perhaps you argue over the point of whether or not to have a big lawn, at all? Or maybe you hate a certain plant that your spouse loves? Vent here and get it off your chest!
Funny Stories, Jokes About Bad Landscaping
Do you have an annoying neighbor, friend or relative who makes derogatory remarks about your landscaping? Are you fed up with it? Fight back! But arm yourself first with some funny lines. Or maybe you just have a funny story about plants to tell? Relate it here.
What Are Your Favorite Holiday Plants?
In answering this question about the best "holiday plants," do not restrict yourself by focusing narrowly on the plants used to celebrate the winter holidays (poinsettias, etc.). If you associate a particular plant to any particular festive day, please let us know about it.
Trends in Plant Usage
As in any other enterprise, trends change in landscaping. What was "in" years ago may be "stale" now. Not that this necessarily matters if you landscape to please yourself, in which case you might like landscaping features that just happen to have been in vogue decades ago. But if you'll be selling your home, it pays to keep up with trends.
Best Bushes to Grow
Shrubs fill many a landscaping need, from hedges to to specimen plants. As the "tweens" of landscaping (neither too short to be noticed from afar nor too tall to be overwhelming), they're frequently the logical plant selection for a spot in your yard. Care to share what your favorites are?
Holiday Yard Decorations
How do you like to festoon your yard for the holiday season? Some decorators revel in Christmas lights (the more the better), while others "tone things down" (you know some of these masters of understatement, don't you?), believing this to be a case where less is more. What are your thoughts?
Leaf Blowing versus Leaf Raking
I asked my readers to argue the case for leaf raking -- or, conversely, using leaf blowers -- and they did not disappoint. Some even came up with other alternatives. Find out what they had to say (they're arguments might change your mind) or add your own 2 cents.
Which Common Weeds Are Actually Beneficial?
A weed is a plant out of place. That means "weed" is highly subjective: what's "out of place" for me might not be so for you, and vice versa. Certain plants are generally classed as weeds, but maybe you'd like to argue the case in favor of one of these "weeds," to set the record straight?
Common Landscaping Mistakes
We all do stupid things. But it's a feather in your cap if you can learn from your mistakes -- or warn others, lest they succumb to the same pitfalls. Here readers share their landscaping mistakes, in hopes that other people will avoid them. Share your own, or profit from the warnings of others.
Building a Deck: Is It Worthwhile?
Here readers discuss the pros and cons of building a deck (or having one built for you by a professional). Besides cost, maintenance is a concern, especially if you won't be using the deck that much. But decks afford many advantages, too. See what my readers had to say before making up your own mind.
What's Your Ideal Landscape?
Most of the questions on this page are practical in nature. This one -- for most of us -- is the exception. Here, I encourage you to dream. I want you to detail for us what would constitute an ideal landscape. Pretend that money is no object and really let your hair down with this one!
Do You Have a Bad-Neighbor Story to Tell?
This question has been a real hit with my readers. I guess most everyone can relate to it. Parking, pets and punks are all issues that have come up, as you may well imagine. But other complaints have been lodged against bad neighbors that may exceed the limits of your imagination!
Your Thoughts About Earth Day Events?
Being a political celebration, Earth Day is bound to be contentious. Whether they're radical environmentalists or not, many people have strong feelings about it. Even those who like the idea of having an Earth Day can disagree over how, specifically, it should be celebrated. What do you think?
Ways to Save Money Landscaping
Myself, I pinch a penny so hard that Lincoln comes out on the other side! But even if you're not as frugal as I am, I'm sure you're not crazy about spending an excessive amount of money beyond what you have to. That's where this resource comes into play: see what tips my readers have for saving money landscaping.
Do You Hate Plastic Edging?
Plastic may be a wonder product, but that doesn't mean it's always our first choice as a material. Sometimes, we just have a hankering for a material that has an earthier feel to it, something not so modern-looking. Here readers voice their strong opinions -- both pro and con -- about plastic as a material for lawn edging.
What Mulch Color Do You Prefer?
Here's another subject on which readers have strong opinions. Some find those bright red mulches abhorrent; this group of respondents prefers an earthier mulch color. But there's two sides to every question (which is why I ask for reader input in these matters), and the other side did not fail to show up for the debate!
Best Fall Color Plants
Fall color is our consolation prize for losing summer. So make the most of autumn by selecting the best possible fall-color plants for your yard. You're not limited to trees! Many shrubs and vines are autumn standouts. Find out what others recommend, and/or brag about great fall-color plants you grow in your own landscaping.
How to Beat the Winter Blues
You experience the winter doldrums if you live in the North and love gardening (come on, admit it!). Folks have figured out a number of ways to beat the winter blues. Some keep their plant passions alive indoors, while some put gardening on a back burner and enjoy winter sports. How do you handle winter?
Murphy's Law for Gardeners
Forget Newton and Einstein. If you really want to understand the nature of the universe, consult Murphy! And Murphy's Law very much applies to landscaping, too. But I'm sure you know that, which is why I'm asking you to relate your best examples of this immutable law, as it applies to your work with plants, hardscape, etc.
Do Poinsettia Plants Make You Sick?
Poinsettias have been painted over the years as being poisonous (if eaten), a claim now considered somewhat overblown. But that doesn't mean you're in the clear. Some people are allergic to poinsettias, because of the latex they contain. These folks don't even have to touch the plants to get sick. Are you one of them?
What Plants Do You Hate the Most?
There are all kinds of reasons why people hate particular plants. In some cases, it's over-use that spawns contempt, in others, invasiveness. Or perhaps you had a bad experience with a pet becoming ill after eating a plant? Then again, your most hated plant may simply be ugly. Whatever your reason and whatever the plant, let us know.
Ideas for New Year's Resolutions
We make New Year's resolutions regarding other areas of our lives, so why not for our landscaping efforts, right? There's a more down-to-earth way of saying that we're making landscaping New Year's resolutions: it's been called "planning next spring's garden" for centuries (call it what you like).
What Plants Should be Grown in a Rock Garden?
Do you have a rock garden? Maybe you're brimming with pride over how a certain plant has performed in your rock garden and would like to share your experience? Here's the place to do it, as well as discovering the rock-garden recommendations of other readers.
What Is Groundhog Day to You?
My own appreciation of Groundhog Day was definitely influenced by the movie of the same name, with Bill Murray. In fact, prior to viewing the movie, I had never given Groundhog Day much thought. But since then, I've researched the celebration and learned its true significance. Any thoughts?
How to Grow Daffodils
When do you fertilize daffodils? How often do you have to divide them? Are they really pest-proof? Maybe you have some wisdom to dispense on these and other topics relating to growing daffodils. We'd love to hear what you have to say. The readers of About.com Landscaping much knowledge to impart.
How to Grow Candytuft
Like daffodils, candytuft is a springtime favorite. Whereas daffodils delight us earlier in spring, candytuft takes to the stage in late spring. It's a wonderful flowering ground cover; I grow mine in a rock garden. Do you grow it? Have any tips to relate?
How to Grow Golden Chain Trees
There's a special place in my heart for golden chain trees, because they're popular in one of my favorite vacation destinations: Bar Harbor, Maine. Even though my own climate back home is far different from Bar Harbor's, I've been successful growing the tree. Have you? What care have you given your tree?
Good Topics to Discuss
Do you have an interesting topic for discussion that you don't see above, a topic you're just itching to share your knowledge about. Here's where you can suggest it. If I like your suggestion, I'll post the topic in my newsletter , at which point you (and others) proudly display your expertise.
Share Knowledge on Plants, Landscaping
Have you been landscaping for years? Then you're a valuable resource! Tell us about some of the nifty tips you've picked up over the years. It would be a shame not to pass along that knowledge. This is where you can offer tips that do not fall into any of the topic areas covered above.