Low Maintenance

September: Anemone

We all want some late season blooms to keep our landscapes vibrant as the temperatures cool off, and anemone is an excellent candidate. Also known as windflower, these perennials send up long stalks with airy white or pink flower in September and October, and they sway gracefully in a breeze for an ethereal feel.

There are many different landscape-friendly species in the anemone genus with many different shapes, sizes, and bloom times (and they’re all called anemone or windflower), but we’ll be focusing on the taller plant sometimes known as Japanese windflower, not the smaller perennials typically classified with bulbs. For most of the year, the dark green grape-leaf-like foliage forms a decent sized mound, and then in late summer into fall the flower show starts. When they find a spot they like, they really take off and can be split to keep them shorter and more tame. They do not always transplant well, but when they do become established they are survivors.

Common Name: Anemone or Windflower

Scientific Name: Anemone hupehensis and Anemone x hybrida

Light: full sun to partial shade

Size: foliage is 12-24” tall and 18-30” wide, flower stalks are 3-4’ tall

Bloom Time and Color: white, pink, or occasionally purple single or double flowers in late summer into fall

Notable Varieties: ‘Honorine Jobert’ (white flowers with earlier bloom time), ‘September Charm’ (pink flowers with latest bloom time), ‘Wild Swan’ (white flowers with silvery purple on the backs of the petals)

Soil: prefers consistent moisture and good nutrient levels, but can be drought tolerant once established

Other Notes: late bloom season, will spread to form a colony once it’s happy, deer resistant

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August: Wild Ginger

This month we meet a hardy groundcover for shaded properties: wild ginger. The gingery-smelling roots are edible and do have a ginger-like taste, although they are not closely related to true ginger. But mostly they are valued for forming dense, attractive green carpets, and the North American species is valued as a native groundcover.

Canadian wild ginger has larger, almost velvety leaves.  By Michael Wolf - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Canadian wild ginger has larger, almost velvety leaves.
By Michael Wolf - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

We use both European wild ginger and American wild ginger in the landscape, although it does take some work to find them. Currently it’s easier to find the glossier European species, but as interest in native species grows, the Canadian variety is showing up in more places as well. The small, bell-shaped flowers are pollinated by flies, and they bloom on the ground underneath the leaves. They are only visible by pulling the leaves back.

European wild ginger has smaller, glossy leaves.  By Stefan.lefnaer - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

European wild ginger has smaller, glossy leaves. By Stefan.lefnaer - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Common Name: Wild Ginger

Scientific Name: Asarum canadense and europaeum

Light: full to partial shade

Size: 3-6” tall, 12-18” wide

Bloom Time and Color: small, maroon flowers grow underneath the leaves in spring

Notable Varieties: no cultivated varieties, just the two straight species

Soil: prefers consistent moisture

Other Notes: tolerates very deep shade, deer resistant

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Make It Pop with Color

Make It Pop with Color

We pride ourselves in being able to make the best creative and functional use of small spaces, and this project in downtown Indianapolis really pushed us to our limits. At just 950 square feet, this may be the smallest back yard we have ever designed, and the front planting beds are even more limited. Our goal was to bring out the character of the house and the homeowners while getting the best use out of every square foot of horizontal and vertical space.

Our Design Philosophy

Our Design Philosophy

At 317Grow our biggest priority is giving our clients a beautiful, unique, and functional outdoor space. We aim to create spaces that reflect the interest and personalities of our clients which is why we encourage client involvment in every step of the process to ensure that what we create is a product of your vision. To us the design process is the most important step of the process which is why we make it a goal to spend as much time as possible perfecting the design. The key to a successful outdoor space is a great design.

March: Fragrant Sumac

March: Fragrant Sumac

Fragrant sumac is an adaptable, low-maintenance shrub perfect for even the toughest situations. It thrives even planted in clay, surrounded by asphalt, and battered and dried by full sun. It spreads to form colonies that retain slopes and block out weeds. As long as you don’t plant it in a bog, it will hold the line and even bring some spring and fall surprises just about anywhere.

Project Feature: Outdoor Living

Project Feature: Outdoor Living

When we first descended on this property we noticed the lack of personality and character in the landscape. The fire-pit seemed to have been merely dropped in the lawn of the yard and the decking didn’t naturally blend in with the home. Our client wanted a one of a kind space that not only reflected their personality but was functional as well as aesthetically appealing, the complete opposite of their existing space. Our team worked hard from the design phase to the construction phase in order to completely transform this outdoor space.

Landscape as Art

Landscape as Art

We approach all of our designs from an artistic perspective, but on this Herron Morton neighborhood project, we viewed the ground as our canvas for blocks of texture, color, shape, and even sound. As is typical in Indy’s near northside neighborhoods, space was tight, and all areas needed to be tightly managed to make the outdoor space as usable as possible while still making visual sense.

November: Little Bluestem

November: Little Bluestem

Late fall is prime season for ornamental grasses to shine. Most fall foliage is gone by mid-November, but some ornamental grasses keep touches of color and a harvest-time feel in contract to the solidity of evergreens. Little bluestem is one of my favorites for that late fall feeling.

Small Space, Big Impact

Small Space, Big Impact

We love this project because we feel it exemplifies our mission statement to a tee. This is the home of a young family who needed to simplify and update their outdoor spaces. The front had been long over-grown, and steps were starting to crumble. Almost the entire back yard was covered by a rapidly aging deck that was a major safety concern, and their young children needed a better space to play.

August: Panicle Hydrangea

August: Panicle Hydrangea

There are many kinds of hydrangeas, and we love all of them for the landscape. Yet it seems like the blue and pink mopheads and the dramatic Annabelle hydrangeas seem to take the spotlight when we think of hydrangeas. Possibly the least well-known, but still very widely used, is the panicle hydrangea, known for its excellent winter hardiness, strong branches, and mid-to-late summer cone-shaped flowers.