Gardenwise on Leaf Removal

Leaves, Leaves, Everywhere!

It’s really important to remove the leaves from your lawn — if they’re left there they’ll  deprive your lawn of important sunlight and rain that’s going to help it through the winter months. Also, if leaves are left on the ground, they could lead to mold problems and even pest problems (yes! mice, etc.) because the water will get trapped in the lawn.

Don’t be a procrastinator!  It’s important to get the leaves off the ground quickly and to to mow your lawn until the first frost. This will keep the grass strong and healthy. Be sure to remove leaves from your deck — leaves that accumulate on decks can lead to algae, mildew and mold, plus cause the wood to rot.

And remember, leaves do not just fall on your lawn and deck  — they fall in your gutters! Clean your gutters every month. Clean gutters will save you from experiencing  serious problems with water around your house whether it be landscaping erosion, water in your basement or damage to wood around your roof. But be careful on that ladder, and work in pairs to be sure you don’t have any ladder  accidents. 

Getting Ready for 2011          in 2010, DC Style!

A new GardenWise project in DC, pictured left, includes a new front entrance that is under construction. Improvements include new stone entry walk, and a front porch with surrounding seat wall.  An array of new plantings will include evergreens for year round interest, and  a variety of perennials and ground covers that will provide texture and variety for seasonal interest.


GardenWise, DC Landscape Design Firm, on Plant Stress

Plant Stress Symptoms and Solutions

Here at GardenWise we read a lot about  landscape architecture, going green, garden recycling, garden design, and  the latest news and updates on new plants and flowers.  We also write a lot – but we found this wonderful article  about stress and your plants by Suzanne DeJohn of National Gardening Association  that we want to share with you today. 

“Sometimes when plants look sick or appear to be under attack by insects, the symptoms are actually a sign that the plant is being stressed by environmental factors,” DeJohn writes in her first paragraph, which made us sit up and want to read more.  Below are some common symptoms of stress and the conditions that cause them from DeJohn’s story, which can be read in its entirety at

Wilting can indicate insect or disease problems, but is most commonly due to a lack of soil moisture. Don’t assume plants have enough water if the soil surface is moist. . . “

Off-color foliage can be caused by a nutrient deficiency. If the color is paler than normal, it may indicate a nitrogen deficiency. If the leaf veins are green but the area between them is yellow, suspect an iron deficiency . . .”

Bleached areas on the foliage of new transplants or plants that have been moved from indoors to outdoors, can indicate sunburn. Discoloration will be most pronounced on the leaves most exposed to the sun . . .”

Black areas on leaves can indicate frost damage. The most exposed leaves will show more damage if the plants have been nipped by a light frost. Foliage that has been damaged by a late-spring frost will not recover, but the plants will usually outgrow the damage . . .”



Designing a Healing Garden – Landscape Architecure

Nice feature on designing healing gardens by Claire Letane, ASLA,  from the November 2009 issue of Landscape Architecture, the publication by American Society of Landscape Archites (ASLA).  Click on the image to make it larger!