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Landscaping with ornamental grasses


Ornamental grasses make excellent screen plants to hide unsightly propane tanks and air conditioners, or for privacy around patios and decks. They develop faster than shrubs. Professional designers mix a variety of grasses with perennial flowers and woody plants, sometimes massing them for showy effects. Grasses range in size from tiny pillows less than a foot tall to huge clumps over ten feet tall. They come in a range of colors from dusty blue to pink and purple.

Weeping willows are thirsty trees


You don’t have to be a tree expert to recognize a weeping willow tree. Native to China, xalix babylonica, commonly called weeping willow or Babylon weeping willow, is a medium to large shade tree with a stout trunk topped by a graceful broad, rounded crown of branches that sweep downward to the ground. It grows to thirty to fifty feet tall and wide, sometimes even larger.

Showy magnolias aren’t fussy about clay soil


At this time of year, Magnolias are putting on a show. If you’re looking for a showy flowering tree that’s not too large but grows fast, consider the Magnolia! There are some gorgeous Magnolia hybrids that work well in clay soil, making Magnolias a better choice for most landscapes than dogwoods, which prefer well-drained soils. Magnolias are known for their immense purple-pink and white tulip-shaped blooms. A few varieties have ivory or pale yellow blooms. They are at their best in the early spring, providing a real show before their leaves form. They do best in full sun or partial shade.

Life throws at us many ups and downs


I glance back, I see memories.

Using windbreaks to reduce energy cost


Cool, windy days remind us how useful windbreak trees are. Effective windbreak plantings save energy dollars, paying for themselves many times over the years. They also make our lives easier and our homes more comfortable.

Fabrics make hardscapes stronger


Are you tired of fixing potholes and washouts in your gravel driveway? Is your paver patio settling into the ground? Do you have a sagging, collapsing retaining wall? These problems can have one thing in common; they were installed without using any “geotextile” fabrics or “geogrids”. Geotextiles are high-strength fabrics used to restrict the flow of fine particles and contaminants while allowing air, water, and fertilizer into the soil. “Geogrids” are high-strength netting, used as reinforcement between layers of block or gravel.

Living with a backyard greenhouse


Have you ever considered having a home greenhouse? It’s certainly an appealing thought. Perhaps you could start your vegetable garden and bedding plants extra early from seed, saving money and getting the jump on the gardening season. In your wildest dreams you could over-winter delicate plants, or get extra years of life from your ferns, geraniums and poinsettias, or even harvest fresh vegetables in the dead of winter. From the smallest, cheapest greenhouse kits to elaborate “sunrooms” attached to your house, the daydream of having a climate-controlled growing space of your own is a pleasant fantasy.

What exactly is a red maple tree?


As spring unfolds, the deep red blooms of red maple trees along the roadsides and in the woods really stand out. Within days, the blooms fall onto the pavement like blood-red snow. Did you know that red maple gets its name from these distinctive blooms?

Join Yoders for a one-of-a-kind pizza


Seventeen children came beaming in the doorway. There was a slight shuffling as they placed their coats on the couch and lined up in three rows to sing. Our country school next door was having a special day, and we got to be a part of it. The three little boys and I stood at the doorway and listened as the lower grades sang a favorite of mine.

Tragedy can draw us closer to the Lord, each other


The sun is shining. Ah, the wonder of spring becoming reality! Doesn’t it take the winter chill to enable us to appreciate the soothing rays of sunshine?


Mount Gilead
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