What's Up summary of this week's news
Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow
Issue #185, July 15, 2012
Here are your links to What's Up this
We were clucking over an almost-great photo one day many years
ago. This attracted the attention of a friend who looked, took the
snapshot from us, ripped it to remove the offending bit and handed
it back, saying, "There, now it's perfect." We laughed then, about,
'if only life were that easy.'
Now we're living that easy life and smiling in the teeth of a
drought as we apply that tactic freely in gardens. That is, if it
doesn't look good, we snip it for an instantly cleaner, fresher
look. Those who learn by doing at aGarden By Janet & Steventell
us the feeling's contagious. "This is so liberating. I never
thought I could do this. Now I'm doing it and having fun with
Maybe you'll catch the bug, too. This issue certainly has enough
pictures and lists of plants that have gone or could go under the
We've also included design and planting help for working with an
awkward spot, the public strip -- help that applies between
sidewalk and road across three hardiness zones. If you are tackling
the landscape at a new-to-you house, or helping others with such
projects, maybe you'll send us photos and questions as D.S. in
Savannah, Georgia did. When it comes to writing forWhat's Up, we
love a real problem we can solve by drawing on and knitting
together many existing bits of the library.
Do remember that there are just the two of us running this show,
so our email may get backed up. However, on the Forum there are a
whole passel of expert moderators who also love a challenge. They,
too, look at posted photos or drawings to identify, recommend, even
design. So please become a Forum member so you can ask away.
(Reading along is open to everyone.) Membership is free and the
email address you use to register (so our computer knows you're not
a hacker) remains only between us.
Don't miss your chance at summer hands-on
Help for Hot Weather Gardeners July 19 in Guelph,
Pruning workshop on Detroit's Belle Isle Park August
Free, hands on Garden by Janet & Steven
Grosse Pointe, MI July 17;
Plymouth, MI July 2;
Macomb, MI July 25;
at the Detroit Zoo July 28;
in Clinton Twp, MI August 7;
and in Toledo, Ohio August 19.
Check our calendar for details and to
Our top story this week:
Alternatives to grass in an outlawn
For those fed up with edging and mowing that public
strip between sidewalk and street, this is
a full blown design with coverage of
all the special points we should heed when digging out or killing
the lawn. An extensive list of colorful, no-mow groundcovers
helps you use plants to manage foot traffic, create landings for
those getting in and out of parked cars, blend an outlawn with the
rest of the landscape, even translate plant choices from zone 5 to
zone 8. We also share practical experiences gained in digging in
What's going on in Janet & Steven's
July face lift for a garden
Hot and dry? There are lots of us in that predicament. To
alleviate the frustration and clear the stage for a second season
of beauty: Identify what looks great despite all.
Then, dip into
your bag of tricks to employ erasers, wrinkle covers, and
spacemakers. Make peace with problems and then indulge yourself in
a few, new, small perennials.
Green thumbs up and down
This week our nod and "No!" go to:
Brave pruners who quit simple shearing and dive deep into
groundcover junipers. Clip way back on leading-edge tips to keep a
low profile and always-new, feathery edges.
Boulders in the easement, accidents waiting to happen and no
real help to the garden!
The 45 mph garden
It's catching driver's eyes and raising questions this week.
Will lawnless stand-outs start a trend?
Sure, the All-American lawn is alive and well but deviants are
out there, uprooting the bluegrass. We do enjoy seeing these alternative
lawns as we travel. Might we cultivate this trend?
All eyes see differently. Here's a place where we learn
through others' lenses.
He's only watched it grow for about 30 years but he's got a gift
for capturing its whole 140 years of wonder and inspiring the rest
of us. See why you should stop in at The Arnold the next time
you're in the Boston area, and how much you can see even in a short