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Old 12-04-2009, 10:45 PM   #11
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Michigan State University has been doing some interesting work on pollinators:
Enhance beneficial insects, pollinators with native plants

They've even done some evaluation on which native plants are particularly good for pollinators:
Enhance beneficial insects, pollinators with native plants
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:53 PM   #12
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bookwithbutterfly Plan with a Program

Here is January's Planting with a Purpose tip-


It might just be the techie in me coming out, but using a landscaping program is just plain fun.

The downside to this is that some programs are not easy to use, many lack needed features, and most are pretty costly.

There are ways around these issues through demo versions and free/shareware software.
By far my favorite program to us is one called Smartdraw. This program can be downloaded as a free trial. Being a demo, some features are disabled, but there is plenty to work with and can keep you occupied for hours. The plan used in the section One Yard’s Story on the webpage was created with the free version of Smartdraw.

I like this program because it is a drag and drop program. It is intuitive and pretty much works like other graphics programs that many are more familiar with.

One benefit I see with using a program to plan your landscape is scale. Mapping out new beds, paths, patios, or trees gets much easier when all of your measurements and drawings are in one place! Give it a try!
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Old 01-07-2010, 10:35 AM   #13
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I will give it a try-
SmartDraw - Communicate Visually

How long will I be able to use it before having to pay the $200?
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:49 PM   #14
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I think you get 30 days...
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:52 PM   #15
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idea February's Planting with a Purpose Tip-

Build a Brush pile!

This is nothing new to this site for sure, but I try to encourage clients to do this as much as possible. Check out the many threads in the forum for a lot more info and wonderful links!

Maybe you have some downed branches from winter weather. Perhaps you are considering taking out some shrubs or trees this spring. You might even be clearing your property of buckthorn or Asian honeysuckle. Here is an idea to create something out of nothing, while reducing your labor– make a brush pile with the waste!

I noticed this winter how the woodpile near my fire pit was a haven for all sorts of wildlife. Songbirds, rabbits, various rodents, and even hunting Coopers hawks have utilized this small habitat feature.
In nature, brush piles happen on their own. But most people either consider a pile of brush something to burn, haul away, or an unsightly mess that needs cleaning up. That is why these easily created features often are underutilized.

The best brush piles have tighter centers with larger diameter wood there and looser outside edges. This creates great habitat for many animals.
This also creates an opportunity to plant things like native clematis, trumpet vine (not near a house!), wild grape, native bittersweet, Virginia creeper, and other native climbers depending on pile size.
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Old 02-06-2010, 09:30 PM   #16
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The simple act of educating your clients on what brush piles are is commendable. Encouraging them to utilize them in their landscape designs elevates you to ecosaint.
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Old 03-01-2010, 03:35 PM   #17
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Default Planting With A Purpose

Get involved in Greenprinting-


You may have known for years that improving your yard with native plants is not only a good thing to do, but the right thing. If only your neighbors or community would see it that way!

Greenprinting is a relatively new term, but it is one your should know and get involved with.

Greenprinting is the creation of conservation scenarios that help communities make informed conservation decisions.
By asking questions like “What do we want our community to look like in 50 years?”, we can be proactive. Such proactive planning is “taking conservation out of the emergency room,” says Will Rogers of the TPL mentioned above in the Organization Spotlight.

Greenprinting often uses Geographic Information System software (GIS) to put together layers (see attached) and is used to guide growth management efforts.

So, how does this apply to you? Awareness and education are keys to progress. It might be something as simple as emailing city council members to inform them of greenprinting. Perhaps you know of like-minded people that belong to a native plant society or conservation group that would offer to work with municipalities in this planning process. The bottom line is that action means being active. Greenprinting might provide one avenue to make a difference!
Attached Thumbnails
Living Landscapes: Illinois Native Plantings and Permeable Stonescapes-gis.jpg  
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:35 AM   #18
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Default Updated Site- Time to start planning!

Hello all-

I recently updated my site to reflect the new season. I may also be adding an online store soon, but we will have to see.

One update is the April 2010 newsletter for Great Natives of Midwestern Ecotype. Check it out!

Happy Spring!
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:25 PM   #19
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Greenprinting is an interesting concept. It might help us begin to think in terms of the future as opposed to the here and now.

Thank you for sharing the diagram.
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