Do you know trees actually do better with a friend? Take a stroll through a nearby forest some afternoon and pay special attention to the placement of the trees, their proximity, and how well they are growing. The forest can be a great guide as we grow within our home landscape. Trees planted closer together will benefit one another more as apposed to trees planted on either side of your property.
(Photo taken at Southwoods Park in West Des Moines)
Trees have the ability to communicate with one another and can also share resources. For example, a douglas fir tree and a birch tree can transfer carbon between them via mycelia (the vegetative part of the fungus in the soil).
What a beautiful evening it was for the first Plantone Club here at Plant Life Designs. Our members enjoyed a delicious salad they prepared out of the cookbook we featured, ‘Salad for President’. Karen Davis, our guest chef gave us some helpful kitchen tips, as well as a great way to use baby kale in a festive shamrock colored smoothie. We also learned how to incorporate edible viola flowers into an infused water! Everyone had a great time meeting new friends, tasting beautiful micro-greens from our local farmer at Dogpatch Urban Gardens and took home a beautiful cookbook, along with a pot of micro-greens for more salad inspiration throughout the growing season.
This week, I celebrate the two year anniversary of taking the leap and buying an acreage to expand Plant Life Designs, the business I started back in 2006 while I was living in a two bedroom townhouse in Ankeny, IA. Plant Life Designs started as a design-only business and couldn’t quite gain enough traction before 2008 hit and the economy was going through a recession. In 2008, I picked up another full time position designing and learning how to install projects with a company out of Ames, while still pursuing freelance work through Plant Life Designs. After three years, they decided to close abruptly and pursue other opportunities. In 2011 Plant Life Designs launched again full time as a design/install company. After a couple years, I moved to Windsor Heights where I ran the business out of a 1936 story and a half brick home. A few years later, I discovered a dream property that came up for sale. 3.5 acres outside of Van Meter, IA with a quaint log cabin home, greenhouse and other out buildings perfect for a growing landscape company. Taking that leap was one of the scariest and best things I have ever done. I have dedicated my entire adult life to the growing industry and knew I was put on this earth to be a part of a bigger picture and the plant community. This time of year I not only reflect on the time that has gone by, but also about all the wonderful things yet to come.
As a business owner and steward of the land, I am so excited about the opportunities in the future with the Plant Life Designs property. Ultimately I want to create a space that inspires people to want to garden more at home and enjoy their outdoor living space. The goal is to not only educate, but also to inspire. In the years ahead, Plant Life Designs will be continuing to add more and more to our property, with the intention of bringing people into our space, enjoying conversation, food, and friendship. Because that my friends, is what makes this world so wonderful to be a part of.
These plants can be enjoyed in the garden all year round, are deer resistant and are very easy to grow. With the number of allium varieties available, one could have an allium blooming from spring until frost. We will celebrate the allium this year as a part of the Plantone club!
Adding lovely texture to the garden in the summer, ferns have an encore performance in winter as they showcase their dark brown fronds against the snowy landscape.
Northern Sea Oats
With it’s distinct seed head, Northern Sea Oats offers an airy and natural feel to the landscape. Rustling in the wind and catching the sunshine, you will want to make room for this ornamental grass. With its ability to tolerate part shade, it also makes a great plant for a woodland border.
This front yard in Ankeny was in need of an update! Our clients came to us looking for something simple and clean, with interest throughout the seasons. We selected a variety of plants that would add something interesting to every month in the garden.
‘Little Quick Fire’ Hydrangea. This plant will reach 3-4′ high and wide and will bloom white and pink during the months of August and September. We recommend keeping blooms on all winter as they provide wonderful winter winter interest.
‘Millenium’ Allium. A perennial allium that will bloom purple blooms in late summer. Lovely grassy foliage, and deer resistant. Great for cut flowers and pollinators!
‘Purrsian Blue’ Catmint. Beautiful lavender blooms throughout the summer. This plant makes a great border plant and is very easy to grow!
‘Judd’ Viburnum. A larger shrub reaching 6-8′ tall that makes a lovely accent plant on the corner of this house. Sweet and spicy blooms in the spring time!
‘Green Velvet’ Boxwood. An evergreen shrub that will reach about 3′ high and wide at maturity. Needs little to no pruning and is also deer resistant.
‘Carousel’ Little Bluestem. A well-behaved ornamental grass that will reach about 2′ tall with blue foliage in the summer and russet orange foliage in the fall.
‘Autumn Joy’ Sedum. Beautiful pink blooms that carry through the fall season and bring in the bees!