Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens


Services Provided
Personal attention for each client and their unique landscape, from the first consultation to plant lists, nursery visits, and layout. We work with DIY home gardeners to churches, schools, and small business to jump start and guide your landscape decisions -- anything we can do to increase native plant ecosystems and wildlife organically. Consults and design both in person and online.

Areas Served
Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska region, as well as online.

Business Description
Monarch Gardens is a landscape consulting business focused on native prairie plants, low maintenance design, and providing habitat for wildlife in all four seasons. We consult on site, visit nurseries with clients, deliver and order plants, create landscape plans with detailed horticultural info, and suggest organic options. Butterfly and interactive children's gardens are a specialty.

Certification and Awards
2012 Apartment Therapy Best Outdoor Space
Location:
Lincoln, NE US 
Contact:
Benjamin Vogt 
Type:
 
Address:
Lincoln, NE 68522 
Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

New Ways to Think About All That Mulch in the Garden

Before you go making a mountain out of a mulch hill, learn the facts about what your plants and soil really want Full Story
     Comment   8 hours ago
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judo
We had mulch all around our home but I started to find small black dots all over our vinyl siding. It was artillery fungus. Sounds awful, right? It's really difficult getting them off...like tiny bits of tar. But this fungus must have had this when I purchased it. You cannot see the fungus in the mulch...only when it shoots up (artillery) on your siding. You have to scratch every spot off with a stiff brush or your fingernail. I was told it happens when the mulch is stored in hot humid conditions. I took it all out and used rubber mulch.
8 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Rubber mulch? Oh my. I'd sure like to see an organic mulch -- I'd REALLY like to see no mulch, but thick beds using green mulch (plants), which works great for me. :)
8 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on a discussion
     Comment   23 hours ago
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Shannon Hansen -- he lives in Lincoln, NE. Great guy.
23 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

Reflecting on a Gardening Year

Mistakes and successes, surprises and comforts. The garden helps us grow in new ways every year Full Story
     Comment   Yesterday
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
cathiclose -- I'm tearing out my front lawn tomorrow for a designed mini meadow, stay tuned for updates on that project. Keep inspiring!
Yesterday at 9:24AM     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
High praise to mention Darke! :) I'm removing sod tomorrow....
Yesterday at 10:59AM   
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ChickieD
Things we learned this year:

- We are moving toward permascaping and plants that play a role in the environment.
- That being said, a lot of our food garden plants got eaten and we are looking into ways to deter that without using pesticides. We even had a deer come chomping on plants, though my husband was at first insistent that there were not deer in our area!
- If the leaves aren't getting bit up, we aren't feeding any bugs!
- The French marigolds and nasturtiums were such easy seeds to put down and bloomed so long. Next year we will put down more of these.
- Learning how to trim our plants is creating a nice look in our beds. I'd love more tips on clipping and trimming.
- a few big showboat climbing plants and a huge potted hibiscus that bloomed all summer and fall really pulled our garden together.

I would love to see an idea book about growing Monarchs!
9 hours ago     
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victoran
I remember how I loved my dad's garden full of nasturtiums, iris, and an arbor full of grapes in summer and
fields of boysenberries all in a row plus a huge vegetable garden. But he worked in his garden every day.
I could only succeed at green beans.. Now I just seem to grow tree roots on our tiny lot...but I love the trees.
The rabbits ate all the grass and I've given up replanting. The squirrels dig up the garden anyway. The hummingbirds love the orange flowered bushes and the agapanthus do well.
The wild grasses and bamboo type plants do very well without much soil or water.
But how I'd love to have an English cottage garden. Guess I just have to move to a climate that isn't hot and dry all year.
Love the native gardens. Perhaps that will be my next move...dig up the grass the rabbits haven't eaten and try more natives.
The roses do well, too with very little care. Never have had to pull up a weed though, so I shouldn't complain. Weeds don't like tough, clay soil, either. And I never fertilize..just give the bouginvellia(?) coffee grounds .
5 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

Garden-Friendly Native Alternatives to Overplanted Exotics

There are lots of gorgeous, wildlife-friendly native plants ready to make an appearance in your garden Full Story
     Comment   last Friday
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
meng56 -- No doubt hosta is easy to care for, but the wildlife value is very, cery minimal. This is perhaps my top concern when I design a garden. No insects lay eggs on the leaves or eat them, and the blooms provide for only a few others (place a zigzag goldenrod by a hosta and watch the difference). It's all about co-evolution between insects and plants, and a plant from Asia doesn't have it. So, that's my view for ya! :)
last Friday at 6:55PM   
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Lisa Robinson
This website posts lists of Native Plants by location: http://findnativeplants.com/
They have plenty of blogs and list books on different topics if you want a good resource.
Yesterday at 12:51PM     
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Nancy Smith
Lisa, thanks for the Native Plants website...just spent an hour looking at it. Great resource.
20 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens now has a photo featured in an ideabook

8 plantes bulbeuses à planter au mois de septembre

Les plantes bulbeuses font partie des reines du jardin. Il en existe des milliers, plus belles les unes que les autres. Découvrez-les ! Full Story
     Comment   last Tuesday
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Christine Sanchez Gaspard
C'est très beau Patricia et les tulipes me font envie ! :)
last Tuesday at 11:37AM     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

What Monarch Butterflies Taught Me About Garden Design

Thinking like a butterfly leads to fresh perspectives in the garden and in life Full Story
     Comment   last Tuesday
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Yup, that's a great book, as is the new one he went in on with Rick Darke. Oaks are awesome, yes, most everywhere, but out here in the Plains PRAIRIE is awesome -- forbs and grasses host a diversity of species, and some native insects literally can't get along without them. :)
last Tuesday at 7:56AM   
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alice68
Nice article, thank you. I am considering where I might place some milkweed in my flower gardens. I do have a butterfly bush that I am planning to remove. The buddleia has not seemed to have been very invasive here, but I know that they have become very problematic in nearby areas. It seems the best things to avoid the probability that it will become a problem. I have not noticed that my oak tree has been particularly attractive to insects, but I will pay closer attention in future seasons. I love the butterflies and birds and I intend to follow many of the bits of advice here to make my gardens more attractive to them in the future.
9 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens likes an ideabook

Insulation Basics: Designing for Temperature Extremes in Any Season

Stay comfy during unpredictable weather — and prevent unexpected bills — by efficiently insulating and shading your home Full Story
     Comment   September 11, 2014
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broquet
Thanks, Chrsull and Kipnis. We'll probably end up doing the residing in a couple years, so we'll check into adding the insulation then. In the meantime, we'll plug leaks and check the roof and foundation insulation.
last Wednesday at 12:27PM   
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Rajab Alreyati
I love this site
last Saturday at 6:06PM   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

Great Design Plant: Dwarf Blue Indigo Offers Carefree Beauty

Drought tolerant and a bumblebee magnet, spiky Baptisia australis may be the easiest plant you ever grow Full Story
     Comment   September 10, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
This plant IS not invasive; it's not even aggressive. (Invasive implies the plant is not native and moves into native habitat and reduces biologic diversity.) Are you sure you have the right plant, pkgoldberg? Where are you? It is also always good to use plants native to your region for a whole host of reasons.
September 10, 2014 at 6:13AM     
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A. Watkins
Many years ago, my mom bought baptisia for each of my sisters and I and herself, to plant at each of our homes in memory of a great big wonderful family dog who had passed. Mine is by far the biggest and thickest - it has really thrived! It's planted in lousy sand & clay, facing southwest. Completely hardy and quite showy! I think sun and soil conditions contribute to the floppier / more wispy versions in the family. This one loves where it's at. I've never watered it, never protected it (we are in northern MN, harsh winters, zone 3) Mine has started a few new shoots over several years, but they are easily pulled and definitely not invasive. It's one big round bush. Some years with bad storms I have had the stalks splay out a bit, especially when they've become heavy with seed pods. But this year in particular it's thick and sturdy. A fantastic, hardy plant.
September 11, 2014 at 9:28AM   
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debraannmarzipan
Where can I order this?
September 11, 2014 at 10:16AM   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

6 Overlooked Asters for Tough Spots

Whether your garden has baking sun or dry dense shade, boggy soil or sandy gravel, there's an aster for that Full Story
     Comment   September 7, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
I STRONGLY advocate NOT gardening by zone. It's best for wildlife and ease of maintenance if you use plants native to your location. I do give native range maps. Native plants, especially grown from locally collected seed, are stronger and more suited to your soil and climate, and are in sync with pollinators for bloom time, pollen, and nectar. No matter what, you should ALWAYS research plants before you purchase or dig to best understand what they prefer, and look at multiple sources to get the best idea; this makes garden cheaper and lower maintenance for you in the future if you do the front work.
September 7, 2014 at 9:24AM     
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prairiemoonnursery
Great List with good descriptions.
September 8, 2014 at 7:07AM   
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quiltngirl2
The Blue Wood Aster and Heath Aster remind me of my childhood roaming the countryside and woods, picking wildflowers to take back home.
September 8, 2014 at 8:06PM   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

Autumn Joy: How to Get 3 Months of Fall Flowers

Enjoy blooms from September to November by mixing 6 asters native to different areas of the U.S. Full Story
     Comment   September 5, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Want more aster options? For those who asked, I've written another piece featuring even more native asters for all kinds of conditions.
September 5, 2014 at 9:09AM   
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The Lazy Gardener
Great article Benjamin, thanks. You gave some names to some wild ones I had popping up uninvited!
September 5, 2014 at 10:05AM   
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jerryandsusan
I just love asters. So pretty and strong.
last Thursday at 9:38AM   
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6 Plants That Beat Butterfly Bush for the Wildlife Draw

It's invasive, a nonnative and a poor insect magnet. Check out these better alternatives to butterfly bush in the garden Full Story
     Comment   September 4, 2014
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detailaddict
We have a white-blossomed butterfly bush that we inherited from the previous homeowners. I did not realize it wasn't native for several years; but while I wouldn't plant more, getting rid of this one has not been a priority - namely because it does not seem to reproduce at all. Several times per season I "deadhead" the blackened inflorescences, but I've never seen it go to fruit. I've wondered why this is - is it diecious? Is it a sterile hybrid? I was surprised to read here that it re-seeds so readily as mine never has. It's been on my "not-native-but-not-so-bad" list for some time, but now knowing this I may yet rip it out and plant a button bush or the like for the sake of educating our neighbors.
August 29, 2014 at 2:01PM     
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   Comment   August 27, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
It's not ironweed. It is Liatris ligulistylis, a monarch magnet native to the northern Plains. Ironweed looks quite a bit different. :)
August 27, 2014 at 6:11PM   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

Make This Fall’s Garden the Best Ever

Planning to plant in autumn? Learn the most important tip for preventing buyer’s remorse, plus get more valuable buying and planting advice Full Story
     Comment   August 27, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Let's take that advice about buying smaller trees and transplant it (pun intended) to buying perennials and grasses -- small plugs will establish faster and catch up with larger, pricier pots within a year. Save money, buy plugs.
August 27, 2014 at 8:41AM     
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jillybeansisme
Dig your holes before you even buy your trees, shrubs, and plants. That way, you can have the fun of planting them when you get them home and the work is divided out! If you wet the ground before you dig, it is much easier.
September 4, 2014 at 2:21AM     
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Michel Charlouis
wouldn't mind joining forces with you I am a landscaper
September 11, 2014 at 6:45AM   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

How to Find the Right Native Plants for Your Yard

Find plant maps, sale sites and guides that make going native in the garden easier than ever Full Story
     Comment   August 27, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
bdijackie -- See if anyone who writes for Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens lives near you and ask away. I'm sure there are lots of plant adapted for that situation, I just don't know what they are living here in flyover country.
August 27, 2014 at 5:33AM   
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bdijackie
I'll look into the resource, thanks. To make our area more challenging, Sandy dumped layers of sand everywhere killing everything in its path.
August 27, 2014 at 5:37AM   
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Roundtree Landscaping, Inc
Great resources! In North Texas we also plant lots of adapted plants in addition to natives. Crapemyrtles are a great example of a non-native that has really settled well into our varying climates.
last Tuesday at 8:57AM   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

10 Ways Passive Solar Design Can Slash Your Energy Bills

The money you'll save over time is a powerful incentive to work with nature rather than against her during your new build or renovation Full Story
     Comment   August 24, 2014
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Luke
Always a fan of using natural light to its full potential. Double glazed windows are expensive but pay off in the long run when you consider the price of energy these days.
September 9, 2014 at 5:01AM   
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Lainie
'Garden your way to lower bills' such a brilliant suggestion.
September 9, 2014 at 7:07PM   
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Great Native Plant: Grow Wild Quinine for Its Unique Clusters of Blooms

Get connoisseur cred and unique blooms with this uncommon plant. Bonus assets: It’s low maintenance and drought tolerant Full Story
     Comment   August 24, 2014
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ghewlett
Found Quinine and Milkweed seeds at wildflowerfarm.com. Huge selection of native plants!
June 12, 2014 at 7:00AM     
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6 Native Goldenrods Worth a Second Look

Goldenrod gets a bad rap as being aggressive, but these more mannerly choices offer a bunch of benefits Full Story
     Comment   August 24, 2014
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Candy DeBerry
Ben, you need to add my favorite to your list: Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod, wreath goldenrod). Thrives in dry shade or semi-shade, grows to about knee-high, gently self-seeds, and is covered in yellow flowers (and pollinators) from late August - October here in SW PA.
August 22, 2014 at 10:50AM     
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Review by camiller70:

When I first started thinking about using native plants it was really just because I wanted to attract more butterflies to my garden. As with anything on the in...
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Review by Donna Kinseth:

After having spent a few very discouraging years of drought and flooding, our backyard was nothing but weeds. Wanting more, we attended a class at Southeast Co...
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