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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Recommendations for Conifer Screening

I’m struggling to find a good resource for conifers and cultivars that are well suited for a Maine landscape. I would like to plant evergreens for a privacy screening that doesn’t get above twenty feet. Could you recommend any good reference books with plenty of images? Would you recommend planting strictly native evergreens rather than other cultivars from other parts of the world?

 

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Creeping Phlox stolonifera is an excellent ground cover. 

Eco-Answers from the Pros: Do I Need Mulch with Groundcover?

In areas where I am trying to grow ground covers that self-spread, I haven’t been using mulch, thinking the mulch will hinder the self-spread of the desired ground cover. Thus weeds and other things I didn’t want to grow in that space do fill in. Is it recommended to use mulch even when the ultimate goal is to have the ground covered with plants? Mulch will save me a lot of weeding time.

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Japanese Maple Tree 2 

Eco-Answers from the Pros: Native Tree Versus Exotic Tree

Can you please explain to me the benefits of planting native trees over exotic trees? I thought having more exotic trees meant less risk for common diseases on native tree species; however, the process of naturalization indicates a focus on native tree planting over exotic. Is it true exotic trees are more expense to purchase than native ones?

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Eco-Answers from the Pros: What Should I Do with Leaves?

I am a groundskeeper who is trying to manage my grounds in a more ecological manner. I currently mulch (chop into tiny bits with the lawnmower) my leaves and leave the mulch on the lawn. I’m wondering would it be better for me to leave the leaves whole and let them blow around where they may. Or perhaps collecting them and dumping them into nearby non-lawn naturalized areas? Any insight you can provide is very helpful.

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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Designing Complementary Sun and Shade Gardens 

Eco-Answers from the Pros: Designing Complementary Sun and Shade Gardens

I can’t figure out how to have a shade bed complement the sun bed directly across from it – it’s not that things have to be matchy-matchy, but the brickwork makes them a symmetrical pair of beds. I am having trouble finding shade plants that I can combine into an ecological design, except low groundcovers and short woodland plants, and I am having a hard time visualizing what would work right across the bed of climbing roses, lambs ears, baptisa, gaura, japanese anemones, euphorbia, and salvia. ANY suggestions would be so, so appreciated. I am completely stumped!

 

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