Landscaping: Most Popular Articles
I'm often asked how to keep cats away from yards. The answer lies in cat repellents, whether by wire, water, or just plain understanding how feline pests think.
View my pictures of poison ivy and similar vines for identification. My photos show the plants at different stages of development in the course of the year.
Shrubs that grow in shade are a boon to folks who toil to find bushes to fill shady voids in the landscape. This top 10 list is designed with variety in mind.
Identification is a first step in vole control (they're distinct from moles). Then you can work on getting rid of these field mice or meadow mice.
A fall lawn care regimen, including mowing, will depend on whether you're caring for warm or cool season grasses. Read these tips to get it right.
Consult these poison sumac pictures for identification purposes. My photos include closeups showing what the leaves, etc. of these plants look like.
I am often asked when to plant trees. To answer the question, we first have to know if we're talking about the best time for deciduous or evergreen types.
Read this intro, with pictures, to discover some common types of maple trees. I focus on the best varieties for fall color, including red ones.
Learn how to store dahlia tubers for the winter. Being summer bulbs, these tubers have to be dug up for storing in the North, where they are not hardy.
A problem with dog repellents sprinkled on the soil is the need to reapply after rain. On the upside, 2 products in this class lie right on the kitchen shelf.
Installing French drains is an option for providing yard drainage on land where there is excess water. Learn how to make one in this piece geared to DIYers.
Removing tree stumps is possible without the aid of stump grinders. You can do it manually with mattocks or by applying nitrogen and waiting, which is cheaper.
I present 5 easy steps in teaching you how to transplant trees and shrubs. Learn how to dig the holes and move the plants; also learn about care after installation.
What does poison ivy look like? Pictures do the best job of answering the question, thus this photo gallery. Use it for positive identification. Page 5.
The chrysanthemums covered here are hardy mums, a good choice for fall flowers in the North. Learn about their care: dividing, pinching, winter protection.
What's the best way of killing crabgrass? Using preemergent herbicide is one way to get rid of this weed, but proper ID must come first, so I provide pictures.
Rose of sharon bush is a deciduous flowering shrub, sometimes thought of as a small tree. Learn about pruning it and other growing tips here.
My weed pictures include photos of plants you probably know, but not by name. Here's some help in identifying common types of weeds.
This picture is of poison ivy flower buds. Yes, even such troublesome, rash-inducing menaces as this can bloom (not all that blossoms is beautiful). Page 6.
'Emerald Green' arborvitae trees are evergreens. Technically shrubs, they have a foliage similar to Leyland cypress and are sometimes used as privacy screens or in other border plantings.
The definition of planting zones refers to USDA hardiness maps, to which I link. I tell you how to use them but explain why you needn't follow them slavishly.
Montauk daisies are late-bloomers (offering fall flowers) with shiny foliage. They tolerate deer, drought and salt. Learn how to grow this exceptional plant.
A simple and cheap way to build outdoor waterfalls is to erect cascading stone spillways that hang right over your pond. I show you how in this tutorial.
As this picture shows, poison ivy flowers are rather unremarkable. But knowing what they look like will help you identify this weed. Page 7.
The lists of flowers (with pictures) here are organized by color. Browse these galleries to gain ideas for creating colorful landscape designs.
Picture of poison ivy with its fall foliage. The leaves turn orange, yellow or red in fall. Page 10.
My image shows the white berries of poison ivy, their color when they ripen. As this picture shows, the berries come in bunches. Page 8.
View my picture of a poison ivy leaf to see how the plant looks in summer. In this example, it's a vine growing on a stone wall. Page 9.
Fast growing shrubs are great for homeowners needing quick privacy hedges. I list several bushes for those who need privacy in a hurry, linking to plant info.
How high should grass be cut in fall? For the height of the grass in your lawn during the fall season, use the general rule of thumb cited here.
Red twig dogwood shrubs are so named for the color of their bark in winter. But these stunning bushes offer much more than just colorful winter bark.
Heard the well-known rhyme about poison ivy, 'Leaves of three, let it be?' This picture provides visual verification, showing the plant with its 3 leaflets. Page 14.
My picture reveals the autumn foliage of poison ivy plants. Their leaves' color ranges from orange to yellow to red. Page 11.
Have you wondered what those hairy vines are climbing up trees? That's poison ivy, the 'hairs' being the vines' aerial roots. Page 12.
If you're wondering how to get started landscaping your yard, I offer every type of resource available under the sun. See which one is right for you.
Ginkgo biloba trees are the oldest type on earth and commonly called living fossils. They provide a medicinal extract and fine fall foliage as my pictures show.
What do black roses mean? My answer is 1 of 11 facts about roses I give here, ranging from which are easiest to grow to what they have to do with the rosary.
Garden pests include the mole and the vole, those subterranean, mouse-like garden pests. But what's the difference between a mole and a vole?
By planting shrubs for fall color, you diversify, rather than relying on trees for fall foliage. Bring some of that color down to earth with these shrubs and vines that set the autumn landscape ablaze with their leaves.
Poison ivy weeds have many look-alikes. This picture of Virginia creeper will help distinguish the two and help you with identification. Page 15.
Are American bittersweet plants benign? How do you remove the invasive Oriental vines? Learn all about these bearers of beautiful berries here.
Autumn Blaze maple trees reach 50 feet tall at maturity with a rounded crown. Fast-growing specimens, maturity comes quickly for this red fall-foliage favorite.
See my picture of poison ivy leaves to learn what they look like when young. Their appearance in spring is different from what it is in summer or fall.
Learn facts about common milkweed plant (picture), including its uses and growing requirements. Learn what these host plants for Monarch butterflies look like.
Poison ivy leaflets are sometimes notched, a feature that may be especially prominent in young leaves. Variations increase the difficulty in identification. Page 2.
My picture displays poison ivy climbing a clapboard-sided building. The vine's aerial roots allow it to climb structures. Page 13.
Before you contemplate specific backyard landscaping designs, you have to ask yourself some basic questions.
Purple beautyberry shrubs bear beautiful fruit, as their name suggests and my photo shows! The berries of this bush are a striking lilac or light purple.
I discuss growing English ivy plants (picture) as a groundcover here. But my tips come with a warning: they have fallen out of favor due to their invasiveness.
Why is it necessary to rake leaves off the lawn in fall? The reason behind raking them off goes beyond the oft-quoted admonition about smothering.
My picture of an orangy poison ivy leaf captures the weed's look in spring. The color can morph from red to orange to green. Page 4.
Hedge plants serve the practical function of giving a property security and are also decorative. Here I discuss some of the best shrubs to use for hedges.
Pictures of poisonous plants can help you to identify and avoid them. My list includes more than just toxic leaves, berries, etc. that you shouldn't eat.
Virginia creeper is among the vine plants similar to poison ivy. Other vines mistaken for it include bittersweet. Page 16.
Privet hedges (Ligustrum shrubs) are traditional favorites, being amenable to pruning. But these bushes are invasive plants in North America.
Elephant ear plants are tropical but can be overwintered in cold climates in containers. Keep your plants in a cool, but not freezing basement or garage.
Young poison ivy plants start out with reddish leaves, as my picture shows. Don't be fooled by this spring look: they lose that color later. Page 3.
I used Stump-Out on an old tree to see if it worked. The result is this set of directions on how to use Bonide's chemical stump remover.
Learn about pest control for groundhog or woodchuck pests in gardens. Woodchucks (or ground hogs) are pests that emerge from a burrow to eat vegetables. Page 2.
This tutorial deals with building stone retaining walls 3 feet in height or less. When you build without mortar you have limitations but also some benefits.
Read this intro to learn how to care for azalea and rhododendron plants. I give tips on planting these popular flowering shrubs, including pruning azaleas. Page 3.
Learn about killing Virginia creeper here if you don't want it on your land. Also discover the pros and cons of the vine here, including whether it's poisonous.
My description of mountain laurel shrubs is supplemented by pictures. I distinguish between these shrubs and the bay laurel trees made famous by the Greeks.
Distinguish poisonous sumac shrubs from their harmless namesakes and consider the latter to create colorful fall foliage.
I discuss 7 types of small evergreen shrubs perfect for owners of tiny yards who crave big-time color. Consult my list of compact bushes before you shop.
My picture shows the flower buds of Virginia creeper. Many people mistake this vine for poison ivy. Page 17.
My list of the 10 plants that do best in the shade includes flowering dogwood trees and one each from all major categories of landscaping plants.
English yew bushes are widely used for foundation plants or in hedges, while a number of cultivars of Japanese yews exist and can serve similar functions.
Learn about perennial vines for shade, including that rarity, a cold-hardy, flowering one that grows in shady areas. I also warn about invasive vines.
Slender Hinoki cypress trees are semi-dwarfs, being more compact than the species trees but not as short as 'Nana Gracilis,' the true dwarf.
See my photo of the fall foliage of poison sumac. This shot reveals it potential to display red and pinkish leaves -- intoxicating, albeit toxic. Page 12.
The organic gardener sometimes uses vinegar as a natural weed killer. It's non-selective, so be careful not to spray or pour it on your good plants.
Chinese lantern plants are subject to many diseases and insect pests. Spray your plants with Neem oil when you spot insects.
Russian sage plants (Perovskia atriplicifolia), though often treated as perennials, are woody sub-shrubs. Perovskia bears silver leaves and tall flower spikes.
Much of the work in sealing asphalt driveways is in preparing. I walk beginners through all the steps, from preparation to applying sealant to drying time.
Long-blooming perennials give continuous garden color, with just a little deadheading, dividing, etc. on your part. Discover some flowers that bloom all summer.
Pumpkin faces can range from the realistic to the stylized. View my pictures for Halloween decorating ideas and for carving ideas.
If your arborvitae's turning brown, it may be winter burn. The combination of wind, sun and lack of available water in winter can cause this. Here's what to do.
This picture shows the seedtuft of non-poison sumac. You can easily tell toxic types apart from non-toxic kinds by looking at this plant part. Page 7.
Description of the types of ornamental grasses (short, medium and tall), and why they are the best examples of low-maintenance plants.
In landscaping your property line, are you hoping to minimize maintenance, maximize privacy or enhance the beauty of your yard? I help you with all 3 here.
If you need some ideas for the yard, study these landscape design pictures showing some basic principles and learn about the concepts the pros use.
Mole control is an one element of lawn care and garden pest control. But before you can get rid of them, first learn the difference between moles and voles.
Tulip trees are sometimes referred to as yellow poplars, although they are related to magnolias, not poplars. These tall specimens provide yellow fall foliage.
This is a photo of poison sumac's red fall leaves. Browse my gallery to view the various parts of this plant, as an aid to identification. Page 14.
Front-yard landscaping ideas suited to suburbia may not work in rural areas, and vice-versa. But these basic design ideas will point you in the right direction.
Learn how to make a scarecrow from head to pole with these simple instructions. Making a straw man is easy, but my tips will help you build the best figure possible.
"Pinnately compound" is part of botanical lingo for identifying plants by their leaf shapes. "Pinnate"
Familiarize yourself with the basics of pruning shrubs in this introduction, including the proper cutting angle to use when cutting. It's easy once you learn how.
This tutorial illustrates how to build rock gardens. Their is enhanced if attention is paid to color choices (both for the stones and for the plants).
Emerald and Gold euonymus shrubs are low-mounding, evergreen bushes. The plants have variegated leaves on stems that stick straight up.
Consult this list of shrubs before you shop at the nursery. This list describes popular and more unique kinds of bushes for the yard.
The pictures in this photo gallery provide examples of some of the types of roses available, by color. All are AARS selections; learn more about these beauties.
Need tips on how to get rid of poison ivy? Ortho Brush-B-Gon is one effective herbicide, but you can also get rid of the plants using organic methods. Page 3.
Learn about burning bush shrubs, those popular but invasive plants. Colorful shrubs with spectacular fall foliage, the plants are classified as illegal aliens.
Need a picture of poison sumac berries? This photo shows what they look like and helps you tell this plant apart from non-toxic types. Page 4.
What is an annual? In distinguishing between annual plants and perennials, it's all a matter of the life cycle; I explain the difference here.
Learn about Sunburst honey locust trees which, like Shademaster, are classified as thornless, podless and non-messy. This makes them good street trees.
Need ideas for making scarecrows this autumn? Browse my pictures for inspiration, including ideas for faces, heads, torsos, hats, clothing and support.
Its red stems help identify poison sumac. View this and my other pictures in this photo gallery for help with identification of this menace. Page 10.
Thompson's Water Seal is one of the deck sealers used to protect against rot. Learn how to use this sealant to guard against damage to your decking.
If the rash it causes can be considered its "bite," then in the case of this dog, it is not true that
Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius) is a deciduous flowering shrub. This article discusses growing both P. coronarius and Minnesota Snowflake plants.
Tips are provided in this resource for fertilizing lawns. I also give you a care schedule you can follow for spring, summer and fall.
Do you wonder how to store canna bulbs? You can use the tips given here for storing cannas and other tropical plants with rhizomes through winter.
Gas snowblowers are available in both single-stage and two-stage models. Learn which type you should buy in regions prone to heavy or wet snowfalls.
Of the weeping trees, some Japanese cherry trees are among the most spectacular. Such specimens give your landscaping a drooping habit and lovely blossoms.
Learn how to build dry creek beds for landscape drainage. It's an easy landscaping project if the soil you'll be excavating isn't strewn with roots and rocks.
Sky Pencil holly presents an option for small spaces. These narrow, columnar shrubs lend themselves to usage near house foundations, especially at the corners.
Foxglove flowers will thrive in shade and tolerate dry soil but prefer moderate moisture. Digitalis purpurea plants are poisonous but are also used medicinally.
Growing zone maps are provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They show average extreme minimal temperatures broken down by region.
See my closeup photo of poison sumac berries for help with identification. You'll notice they're oddly shaped. Page 5.
Practice layering when planting flower beds, plus preventative weed control. These are just 2 tips I offer here, as we go from back to front row of a sample bed.
Pictures of flowering shrubs can give you ideas for your own landscaping. Browse my shrub pictures to view photos of some of the finest blooming bushes of spring and summer.
Options for privacy fences are divided into building hardscape structures vs. using shrubs in hedges as living screens. I list the pros and cons of each here.
How do you get rid of moss in a lawn? The real question is what causes it to grow there in the first place.
One option for tick control in the yard is to spray to kill ticks. There are other options for organic gardeners; I help you pick one suited to your lifestyle.
Boston ivy is related to another vine, Virginia creeper, but mature plants have simple, not compound leaves. Learn how to grow this classic vine here.
Bloodgood Japanese maple trees grace many a yard as a focal point, thriving as specimens for small spaces. Learn how to grow this colorful Acer variety here.
Many plants poisonous to dogs are very common in back yards. These bad plants may be only mildly toxic or cause more serious canine health problems.
Plant Taxonomy of English Boxwood Shrubs: Plant taxonomy classifies English boxwoods as Buxus sempervirens
This photo of the white berries of poison sumach shows what they look like in fall, having changed color over the course of the seasons. Page 6.
Lantana plants are a tropical shrub and a symbol of Florida landscaping, their salt-tolerance making them a favorite flower in seashore communities.
Need some simple landscaping ideas? From designing front, back and side yards to how to start a garden, consult my tips to help with your yard makeover.
Is the grass always greener on the other side (your neighbor's)? These tips for growing green lawns will remedy that, putting a green lawn within your reach.
Eastern or 'Canadian' hemlock trees are long-lived evergreens. Many cultivars have been developed for landscape usage, including more compact ones useful in privacy hedges.
Laying flagstone patios in sand is not difficult, although the stone itself can be heavy. This DIY project is like building a puzzle; I show you how here.
I address planting fall flowers that will look great in the landscape here. Annuals supplement autumn leaf color and give you an inexpensive option.
Landscaping with dogs means compromise. You must alter plans you'd otherwise have for a yard, e.g., avoiding extensive lawns that will only be stained by urine.
I describe 4 types of birches here, including river birch trees. My focus is on fall foliage, but the white and river types boast interesting bark to boot.
Dwarf trees (evergreen and deciduous) are popular in small yard design. You can plant them with the knowledge that they won't quickly spike out of control.
Columbine flowers come in numerous colors. Of even greater value than their bold colors is the exquisite shape of the blooms, as shown in my picture.
Learn how to install landscape fabrics, a high-tech solution for weed control. Weed barriers suppress plant pests without suffocating everything under them.
Learn how to get rid of the wild violets in your lawn. These weeds are violas, making them relatives of such flowers as pansies and johnny-jump-ups.
Learn about fall garden care and how to winterize yards in autumn in this article. These winterizing tips will help you ready the landscape for the off-season.
My picture shows poison sumac shrub's bark. It's on young shrubs in this example, and you can tell it's new because it's smooth. Page 9.
Climbing hydrangeas solve a problem for people with shady areas to plant, being shade-tolerant vines. But they'll flower better if they receive some sunlight.
Will you be doing any land grading near a foundation to correct drainage issues? To grade properly, you must first know how much slope you need.
Dwarf Alberta spruce trees will eventually reach 12' tall but only over a long period of time. The green needles have a tight, densely-packed growth habit.
This step-by-step tutorial walks you through the steps in planting hedges. Through pictures I show you how to plant boxwood shrubs in a straight row.
Explore my landscaping articles for help on everything under the sun on beautifying yards. My mission is to bring easy-to-understand information to DIYers.
See my free Halloween pictures from New England for decorating ideas. You'll find fall foliage, outdoor decorations and a link to free clip art for the holiday.
Deer-resistant shrubs aren't Bambi's favorite foods, although he'll eat anything if hungry enough. Consult this list of bushes if you're not anxious to draw Bambi to your landscape.
These fence pictures illustrate some of the different materials and styles available. Among these landscaping photos are examples of fence plantings.
To remember what deciduous means, just realize that the Latin root means fall. I explain here in defining this word, which is applied to trees and shrubs.
Planting apple trees properly is the first step in effective care. The home gardener can plant in spring in the North, in fall in the South. Page 3.
Outdoor Halloween decorations should be pulsating with creativity and bursting with colors to match the season. Harvest ideas from my pictures and tutorials.
Blue Rug juniper plants are sturdy groundcovers for sunny slopes. This article contains growing tips and information on their use as groundcovers.
Flowering ground covers combine beauty and functionality, giving floral color while fighting weeds and erosion. These pictures help you with selection.
Scarecrow Sprinklers are better than animal repellents that you spread on the ground (and that you'd have to reapply after a rainstorm), as I say in my review.