Garden Travel

  1. Deterring Home Invasions - With Plants!

    Deterring home invasions are one of the many features that landscapes can provide when being designed. Using plants that have thorns or cause irritation can help deter would-be-intruders.


    Washington Hawthorne

    Washington Hawthorne

    Washington Hawthorne Having a shade tree is ideal for homeowners, but having a thorny shade tree that prevents entrance into second stories is even better.  Washington Hawthorne is a tree that meets that requirement. Don't let the thorny nature of this tree deter you though, its brilliant white flowers in the spring and delicate orange fruits speak for themselves. Best of all, this tree is resistant to fire blight, a disease that is known to affect many hawthorne trees. Best planted in zones 4-8, it will thrive in any soil, reaching 25-30 feet tall and 20-25 feet wide with a very round, dense shape.



    Black Locust

    Black Locust

    A large, deciduous tree that makes it difficult to climb due to the thorns. There are thornless varieties available, but when trying to deter home invasions, thorns are the perfect defense! Reaching over 70 feet into the air at maturity, this tree has beautiful white flowers that attract pollinators. Come fall, dark purple-brown pods develop and are favored by many bird species. The green foliage turns to a clear yellow, before dropping for the season. One of the hardiest trees available, black locust thrives in zones 4-9, and will adapt to most soil types. Between the birds that may become territorial in the canopy and the thorns that develop along the branches, black locust is a great home-invasion deterrent tree, especially if you have multiple stories. 

    Carissa Holly

    Carissa Holly 

    Carissa Holly For plantings near windows on the first story, "Carissa" Holly " Ilex cornuta 'Carissa' " is a wonderful choice. At first glance, it seems innocuous. But upon further inspection, it's obvious that this plant has protection in mind, spines at the tip of the leaves have a bite. Evergreen through all the seasons, it makes an ideal backdrop for other brightly colored flowers to be planted in front. It stays round and fairly low, reaching a mature size of 3 feet tall and 3 ' 4 feet wide. Best planted in zones 6-9, this plant should be placed in front of a window for an optimal deterrent.  


    Rosy Glow Barberry

    Rosy Glow Barberry

    Rosy Glow Barberry Another under-the-window plant to deter home invaders is Rosy Glow Barberry is a small compact shrub (3 feet at maturity) that looks fantastic as a hedge. Like the name suggests, the ruby-tinted leaves make a statement when planted with other plants. The color only intensifies in the fall, before falling and leaving a thorny mass of branches. Best planted in zones 4-8, and tolerant of many soils, this slow-growing shrub will protect and deter from potential invaders.  

    Twist of Pink Oleander

    Twist of Pink Oleander

    Twist of Pink Oleander When stems are broken off, Twist of Pink Oleander releases a milky substance known to irritate skin and, in severe cases, cause blistering. Reaching 6-8 feet tall, its uses are limited with its size, but it works amazingly well as a hedge, especially in dry, arid environments. The variegated evergreen leaves persist all year-round, and bright pink flowers bloom in the summer, contrasting with other landscape beauties. A relatively low-maintenance plant, Twist of Pink Oleander is another tool at your disposal for home-invasion peace of mind, especially since it thrives in zones 8-10 in most soil types.    


    Rugosa Rose

    Rugosa Rose

    Rugosa Rose Finally, we come to one of the prettiest home-deterrent plants available: roses. Known for their thorns and their prolific flowering, there is a rose for almost every need. Height and flower color are species dependent, but choosing something like Rugosa rose will be key to helping deter would-be home invaders with their prolific thorns. As a bonus, you get to enjoy the simple blooms throughout the growing season. Ranging in hardiness from zone 2 to zone 8, many of the rugosa roses are extremely reliable and tolerant of many soil types.   These six plants can help deter would-be home-invaders from entering your house with thorns and irritants. Even though plants are no substitute for other good practices (locking your doors and other techniques), they can be one tool in the toolbox for house safety.Washington Hawthorne

    Read more »
  2. Garden Bloggers Fling 2016

    This was the first year we attended the Garden Bloggers Fling . To say this blew our expectations out of the water would be still be an understatement. Each year, a terrific group of garden bloggers go to a different city to tour gardens, meet other garden bloggers, and learn. This was the 8th Garden Fling, and was in Minneapolis, MN. Around 50 different garden bloggers from all around the United States and Canada attended this year's fling.

    Garden Bloggers In the Garden

    The organizers did an outstanding job of planning and organizing the trip. Overall we saw 15 (or so) gardens. It was hard to remember all of them! Below you will see some of our favorite pictures we took along the way. Minneapolis is definitely a great city to visit if you like plants and gardening. We recommend visiting there if you enjoy those things (we are assuming you do if you are reading our blog!). We toured private gardens, arboretums, a daylily breeder, and some great pollinator gardens. It is easy to see how much time, effort and dedication went into making each location beautiful.
    If you would like to see the great group of people that attended this year's blog, and see their garden blogs, follow this link. Thank you for allowing us to attend this year, and for all of the hard work organizing and planning this year's trip. We will definitely be going next year to Washington D.C.! 

    Arborvitae and Hosta HedgeArborvitae and Hosta Hedge

    Raspberry Wine Bee Balm Raspberry Wine Bee Balm

    Dragons Blood SedumDragons Blood Sedum

    This video was one of our favorite things to see. The Quickfire Hydrangea was covered in bees, wasps, bumblebees, and butterflies!


    Queen of the prairie Queen of the prairie

    Black Knight Trachelium & Camelot Lavender FoxgloveBlack Knight Trachelium & Camelot Lavender Foxglove

    Read more »