Category Archives: Yards to Paradise

Yards to Paradise is written by Max Phelps

Aquascapes, Pondscapes, Waterscapes: What All Do You Call a Pond?

And whom do you call if you want one? Waterfalls, streams, ponds and pondless waterfalls are all popular waterfeatures for the homeowner who wants a relaxing waterfall, just-a-falls, or a place to enjoy fish, frogs, butterflies and birds and other wildlife. A watergarden contractor will be more useful than a general contractor, landscapers or a […]

Pines, Spruce, Firs and Cedars—Landscaping With Conifers

Almost anywhere in America one can look out a window or along the highways and see pine trees. Spruce, fir, hemlock, and cedars may also be in the picture. Junipers, arborvitae, taxus, and certain other trees are nice large evergreens, but are not cone bearing. And, technically, ginkgo is considered a conifer, though you wonder […]

Hellebores for Happier Winters

When nothing else blooms, count on hellebores to brighten the cold days of winter in your yard or woods. This evergreen perennial is about as low maintenance a plant as you can have, and it is evergreen and blooms from December to April, depending on species. The most common is helleborus orientalis, commonly called Lenten […]

Enclosing Spaces–Creating Intimacy

Intimacy seems to be more and more crowded out of modern lives. Our new homes with so many gadgets, our constant interruptions by hand-held devices–how and where does one find intimate moments, not on public display? I hope to supply a few answers to this dilemma.  A sprawling lawn has its’ appeal; however, a large […]

Pawpaw: Forgotten Native Fruit

  The fruit is a relative of the papaya, and is the largest fruit native in America. Found in rich bottom lands and at woods edges from Ontario to Florida, west to Texas and Nebraska; let’s take a fresh look at the forgotten pawpaw patch tree and it’s fruit. Historically enjoyed by natives and frontiersmen, […]

Consider the Daylily

By Max Phelps In your landscaping, or in your flower or vegetable garden, consider the tough but lovely daylily. It’s versatile, comes in about every color but blue, and is super easy to grow. You should definitely consider growing this hardy perennial. The Latin for daylily is Hemerocallis. They are related to other lilies. Most […]

Landscaping Waterfalls, Streams & Ponds With Edibles

By Max Phelps Fruiting shrubbery and flowers can be used in landscaping a water feature just as easily as using traditional shrubs or grasses, and can look just as amazing. You’re going to landscape your waterfall and pond, so why not do it with edible trees, shrubs and groundcovers? Here are some that work well […]

Benefits of Water Features

Adding water to your home or office landscape adds the lovely and relaxing sounds of trickling or flowing water, but it brings so much more, too. The sounds of nature will become more recognizable and common. We all need water for survival–that includes the birds, dragonflies, bees and butterflies. Adding water helps the entire ecosystem […]

Boost Your Property Value With Landscaping

Landscaping adds from 12 to 28 percent to the value of a home, depending on whom you ask and also what part of the country you live in. Going from “fair” to “excellent” in the look of your landscape can make a twelve to fifteen percent difference in home price, and having a deficient landscape […]

Arbor Day and Tree Planting

As much as Arbor Day is in the news, now is a good time to ask where does this holiday come from, and why. A man named J. Sterling Morton moved from Michigan to Nebraska in the 1800’s and found almost no trees. He missed the trees he was used to, and came up with […]