from the soil en Weather or Not <p>Did you know a Quaking Aspen, one of the lovliest trees in the fall landcape, can predict the weather? Keen observers note weather changes underway just by listening to trees.&nbsp; Jim has a better method: he keeps changing channels on the TV until he sees a forecast he likes.&nbsp; Here are some natural things to look for that may help you predict the weather in your neighborhood.</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 18:44:49 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 27687 at Weather or Not Dig, Drop and Done <p>Jim has a rule when he bites into a really hot pepper sprout in one of Megan's five-alarm hot shot panini sandwiches while lunching out on the job;&nbsp; 'stop, drop, and roll.'&nbsp; After recovery he then stumbles back to the flower bed to resume planting those spring bulbs.&nbsp; The rule there is 'dig, drop, and done.'&nbsp; It's really simple, and guaranteed to bring many springtimes of pleasure.</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 18:37:22 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 27684 at Dig, Drop and Done Love 'em and Leave 'em <p>Fall is the time of year you can be a heartbreaker without remorse.&nbsp; Love 'em, then leave 'em.&nbsp; Be a landscape Casanova or Cleopatra with a lawn rake and a lawn mower.&nbsp; Shower those favorite leafy shrubs and trees with your attention and affection from spring through summer and then, when autumn leaves start to fall, mulch them into your lawn.&nbsp; No tears will be shed and your lawn will love you for it.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 18:17:56 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 27677 at Love 'em and Leave 'em Needles, Leaves and Lights <p>"Lights, Conifers, Action!"&nbsp; That's what they shouted in Hollywood just before they shot the last scene in 'White Christmas' (well, something like that, surely).&nbsp; Now you can be the director of your very own holiday special by bringing your home landscape to a dazzle with holiday lighting that repels deer.&nbsp; Better yet, make it a double feature starting with fall colors that razzle as well as dazzle.</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 17:53:09 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 27665 at Needles, Leaves and Lights Angel's Share <p>When fruits, vegetables and other vegetation disappear from the landscape, old timers declare that's 'the angel's share.'&nbsp; Other people blame deer - and they may just be onto something.&nbsp; Fruits and vegetables will regenerate, but when trees and shrubs are damaged - by mice and other woodland creatures as well as deer - the damage can be permanent.&nbsp; Jim has some ideas about how you can help protect your landscape from these pesky nibblers.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 17 Oct 2012 17:30:39 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 27659 at Angel's Share Landscapes Alive <p>Jim says the best use for landscape fabric may be shower curtains or really unique high fashion ball gowns.&nbsp; He won't sell it in his shop, and he says you should not use it in your landscape.&nbsp; Learn why.</p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 22:11:50 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25310 at Landscapes Alive Woodsman Pare That Tree <p>Why is it that a bird can fly through a tree canopy repeatedly without so much as a ding to a wing but a golf ball will find a limb every time?&nbsp; No answer here, but Jim has some great tips for pruning your trees to enhance their appearance.&nbsp; Careful pruning will add elegance to your landscape for years to come.</p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 21:54:44 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25311 at Woodsman Pare That Tree You Are how you Plant <p>Question: which of the following is the most sensible statement?<br>A) best time to do your landscape chores is on a hot, sunny day at noon.<br>B) best time to water your plants is on a hot, sunny day at noon.<br>C) best way to keep your landscape verdant and thriving is to ignore it.<br>D) best way to keep plants thriving is to place them where the sun and other natural conditions will work to their advantage as they become established.<br>(correct answer is D, unless you are a mad dog or an Englishman and inclined to take song lyrics by Noël Coward&nbsp; literally)</p><p></p><p></p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 21:33:38 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25313 at You Are how you Plant Just Add Water <p>Feeling cranky because it's too hot, sticky and uncomfortable to work outside?&nbsp; Think of it this way: when is the last time you had to shovel sunshine?&nbsp;&nbsp; To improve your disposition, jump into a cold shower, then go out and water those thirsty plants and trees.&nbsp; Nothing to it - just add water.</p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 20:19:11 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25316 at Just Add Water Global Warmups <p>What's white and black and red all over? A sunburned polar bear in a black bikini?&nbsp; Okay, not so funny.&nbsp; Global warming is no laughing matter.&nbsp; But for all its negative effects, the extended growing season in this region may not be one.&nbsp; Jim has some startling news.</p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 19:55:25 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25317 at Global Warmups Fall Planting <p>It's fall, the time of year we start thinking about closing up the garden shed and moving inside.&nbsp; Before you put away that shovel, plant a tree.&nbsp; Fall is the ideal planting season for trees, shrubs and other hardy plants.&nbsp; Their roots will respond well to the head-start on spring.&nbsp;</p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 19:16:27 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25319 at Fall Planting Bee Smart or Be Smarting <p>Knowledge may be power, but wisdom is the real deal.&nbsp; Wise weekend warriors read the label - and follow the directions.&nbsp; In this commentary Jim talks about how we sometimes get in the way of Mother Nature and, that when we need to nudge her a bit, we should do so wisely.</p> Sat, 01 Sep 2012 11:44:30 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25323 at Bee Smart or Be Smarting Rachel's Coffee Filter Fixes <p>In this commentary, Jim's daughter Rachel describes lots of uses for disposable coffee filters in addition to filtering what she calls her vitamin 'C.'&nbsp; Rachel will have you asking yourself 'Why didn't I think of that!"&nbsp; She's a chip off the old block, and serious about taking care of the only planet we have.</p> Wed, 29 Aug 2012 22:32:06 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 25175 at Rachel's Coffee Filter Fixes Super Soil <p>Remember what Grandma used to say... 'If the soil ain't happy, ain't no tree, shrub or clingin' vine happy!'&nbsp; Okay, so that's not what she said, but it IS the point of this commentary on building high quality, highly productive soil.&nbsp;</p> Thu, 17 May 2012 15:49:40 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 19432 at Super Soil Fertigation <p>Two things required to get your landscape plantings off to a good start - and keep them happy - are fertilizer and water.&nbsp; Landscapes look great and stay healthy where natural fertilizer and water work together in a process Jim refers to as 'fertigation.'&nbsp; Don't just irrigate... fertigate!</p> Thu, 17 May 2012 15:10:04 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 19428 at Fertigation More About Mulch <p>As Jim has said before, you can never have too much mulch.&nbsp; Just make sure you have nature's mulch,&nbsp; free of chemical additives that leach into the ground and spoil soil.&nbsp; Be natural.&nbsp; Mulching is not rocket science, but it can launch a great new look and feel across your landscape.</p> Thu, 17 May 2012 14:55:58 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 19426 at More About Mulch Juneberries <p>Delicious right off the shrub and spread on toast or ice cream right out of grandma's preserve jar, Juneberries are a real treat, full of flavor and good for everyone.&nbsp; Juneberry shrubs make a terrific addition to any landscape.&nbsp; If you have never heard of them, stay tuned. The word is out.</p> Mon, 14 May 2012 19:32:20 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & JIm Sollecito 19242 at Juneberries Mulch More Than You Think <p>Take an inventory of your home landscape.&nbsp; Chances are each of those shrubs and trees you planted long ago fall into one of three categories: the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly. Now may be the time to clear them out, select hardy varieties that will be happy in your yard for many years to come.</p> Thu, 10 May 2012 22:00:36 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 19073 at Mulch More Than You Think Make a View Space <p>For centuries the Japanese practice of shakkei has enlived landscapes by framing what is already there.&nbsp; The idea is to 'borrow from the scenery around you.'&nbsp; Why build it if it the space around you is already a breathtaking masterpiece?&nbsp; Words of wisdom from the master landscaper on how to make the most of your space, whatever the condition of your surroundings.</p> Thu, 03 May 2012 22:06:40 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 18683 at Make a View Space Is your green space a lawn, or a yawn? <p>Snappy lawns do not just happen - they result from thoughtful planning, regular maintenance and a bit of friendly competition from that neighbor with the green thumb - and the perfect hedge.&nbsp; If your lawn is looking a bit retro, think makeover. You can bring your lawn into the 21st century with these simple tips.</p> Tue, 24 Apr 2012 20:33:39 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 18144 at Is your green space a lawn, or a yawn? Trim Those Leggy Plants <p>When your landscape plants begin to get a bit long in the limb, do them - and yourself - a favor.&nbsp; Trim them back, and don't be shy.&nbsp; If you do it right, they will come back better and healthier than ever.</p> Wed, 18 Apr 2012 01:27:49 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 17772 at Trim Those Leggy Plants A talk with the Lawn Arranger <p>"Hi-yo, Silver Maple, away!"&nbsp; or so the 'Lawn Arranger' might have said in a particularly bewildering fit of pun-itis.&nbsp; Early spring means a return to lawn care - and all those fancy bag products that promise what nature already provides.&nbsp; Listen to why you can 'bag' the heavy lifting and spreading this year.</p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:21:05 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 16858 at A talk with the Lawn Arranger Build your landscape management skills <p>Maintaining an attractive and rewarding landscape is not rocket science - but it does require constant effort toward improving management skills.&nbsp; Here are some tips on how to keep those landscape challenges from getting you down.</p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 15:09:03 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 16856 at Build your landscape management skills Fishy plant tonic makes all the difference <p>The Iroquois had it right when they planted the 'three sisters' - corn, beans and squash.&nbsp; They added something fishy to the soil, which made all the difference.&nbsp; Listen to this 'fish tale' and learn how 'shadbush' got its name.&nbsp;</p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 14:51:05 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 16855 at Fishy plant tonic makes all the difference Spruce up your dormant landscaping <p>Spruce up your dormant landscaping with attractive - and deer proof - plants and accent objects that show well against gray skies and winter snow.&nbsp; Use these techniques to cheer up your yard in winter and early spring.</p> Fri, 30 Mar 2012 13:41:27 +0000 Michael S. Ameigh & Jim Sollecito 16851 at Spruce up your dormant landscaping