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Landscape Articles

Companion Planting with New England Native Plants

One of the best ways to create an ecological garden is by planting more native plants. Planting native plants enhances and supports your local ecosystem which has more benefits than we can imagine. When selecting plants think about companion planting. Many native plants have evolved along side each other and grow more naturally together. The following are two great examples of companion planting:

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  • Customized Garden Design with Edible Garden Plants

    Home owners are more aware of the beauty and ecological benefits of an edible garden, and some are hiring professionals solely for their help with adding a variety of edible trees, shrubs, and perennials to their landscape. Edible gardens can be used to perform many functions in the landscape while achieving design and practical goals. For example, to reduce erosion and out-compete weeds, creeping herbs can be used as ground covers.

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  • Common Misconceptions About Edible Gardens

    Many people think to have an edible garden (a garden with fruit and vegetable plants), it has to be in a large, fenced in section of their backyard. This is not only false, but far from the truth.

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  • A story from my father-in-law

    Six high rise buildings over looking the George Washington Bridge and Manhattan Sky Line are home to former NYC residents who are "escaping city life". Fort Lee, NJ sits on the top of a cliff with a mountain-like climate, high winds and cold winters. My father-in-law was the landscape architect assigned to this community and was faced with the problem of finding a hardy, all season interest plant to put in the garden beds at the main entrance. Being the creative and innovative landscape architect he is, my father-in-law suggested a plant known for its hardiness and extended season.  It has yellow, red, and orange foliage in the autumn, yellow-green to reddish stems for winter interest, urn-shaped white flowers in May, and a tasty blue fruit. What has all of that? A blueberry bush, the Vaccinium corymbosum.

    His proposal was questioned numerous times-- a blueberry bush in the front of a multi-million dollar high rise complex, home to retired NYC residents who felt they were moving to suburbia by leaving the heart of Manhattan to only be 10 minutes outside the city with a panoramic view of the city skyline?!? Was he crazy? No, he was innovative and persistent. The highbush blueberry shrubs were eventually "okayed" and planted in front of two of the six buildings.

    After a year or so, the lifelong city dwellers got to do something they never imagine, dreamed or even thought of possibly doing. Every morning, you would see these elderly urban dwellers go out their front door dressed in their designer robes, and pick fresh blueberries for their breakfast. As these women "foraged" for their food, they got to finally taste the fruits of gardening; something they never thought possible from their NYC life style.

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  • Fruit and vegetable garden in Arlington, Massachusetts

    Anne Marie DiMatteo | 14 December, 2013 | Edible Gardens

    A fruit and vegetable garden is a great way to customize your landscape in New England.

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