A country pond

Normally we build  ponds and waterfalls for the enjoyment of our more “civilized” customers. In other words, humans. This project, however, was built less for civilized folk than it was for the wildlife that inhabited the rolling hills around this  country home built by Northfield Construction.  After finalizing the shape of the pond we covered it with a liner that is made for ponds and water features. We then [...] . . . → Read More: A country pond

Front entry upgrade

  When renovating the front of a home, a very important part of the project is the front, or main, entry. This can be especially true when the home is located on a corner lot with more than one choice to get to the front door. I designed this project it so that from no matter [...] . . . → Read More: Front entry upgrade

What will grow under my walnut tree? An updated list

Those doggone walnuts. On one hand, they are one of our most valuable hardwood trees, but on the other hand they can be a real nuisance in the home landscape. Walnuts release a chemical into the soil called juglone. Juglone is present in all parts of the tree, but can be especially high in the [...] . . . → Read More: What will grow under my walnut tree? An updated list

What will Spring be like? A report from Farmer’s Almanac

Farmer’s Almanac has always been known for its long range forecasts and homey advice on any number of things. But it also contains a lot of other information, such as gardening tips, tide tables, moon phases, astronomy and articles on farming. It has been around for over 225 years, making it the longest running periodical ever. This web [...] . . . → Read More: What will Spring be like? A report from Farmer’s Almanac

What’s that crazy stuff growing on my bark mulch??

Every year I get several calls from my customers asking something like this, “What’s that slimy stuff growing in my bark mulch? It looks like a dog threw up in my shrub bed!” With the rains and heat that we have had this past summer came some pretty strange, slimy looking stuff appearing in the shredded bark mulch [...] . . . → Read More: What’s that crazy stuff growing on my bark mulch??

Replacing an old flagstone wall with retaining wall block

In Minnesota flagstone (or limestone) can be used to make beautiful, naturalistic retaining walls. The only thing is, the wall can break apart if the limestone is not the right kind for building walls. Different quarries have different grades of limestone, and they can vary greatly greatly in quality. This limestone wall was built by [...] . . . → Read More: Replacing an old flagstone wall with retaining wall block

Raising Harelson and Honeycrisp apples

Last fall’s apple crop was the best ever on our apple trees. We had more than we could ever use, even after giving away several bushels to  our friends and our church. I have two Harrelson reds and a Honeycrisp apple tree at my home, which is a 3 acre hobby farm. I’ve had them [...] . . . → Read More: Raising Harelson and Honeycrisp apples

The biggest buckeye in the country

Mary Jo and I were in Wheaton IL. a while back  to see our daughter Mary Beth, who just graduated from Wheaton college.  We stayed at a Hyatt Hotel in Oakbrook on the campus of McDonald’s corporate headquarters. (Also home of Hamburger University, where new McDonald’s managers and owners get trained. No joke). We had [...] . . . → Read More: The biggest buckeye in the country

What are the most destructive habits?

The following has nothing at all to do with plants, bugs,  or landscaping, but it’s great advice for us all. I have this hanging up in my office; its author is unknown. The most destructive habit: Worry The greatest joy:  Giving The greatest loss: Loss of self respect The most satisfying work: Helping others The [...] . . . → Read More: What are the most destructive habits?

Expanding a hidden entry with a wall, a walk, and a patio (pt. 2)

Last Summer we finished a challenging project designed by Spencer Jones, which we have been taking you through the last two blogs. The finished product expanded the “hidden” front entry. By the time we were done, there were a very interesting combination of elements involved in the project. Among these were: a limestone seat wall, [...] . . . → Read More: Expanding a hidden entry with a wall, a walk, and a patio (pt. 2)