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 updated their profile
on Monday
Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

5 Prairie Wildflowers That Can Heal Your Soil

Get free, organic soil fertilizer with nitrogen-pumping plants that draw pollinators too Full Story
     Comment   last Saturday
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
rustyand -- I'm in Nebraska, and I try to write about the plants I know and grow and experience. You'll have to get one of the western writers to cover the topic! :) Many of the plant I feature have a large range from the middle of the country east, but those pesky Rocky Mtns create one massive biological divide in many ways. :)
last Saturday at 9:00am     
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Susan Beecher
I love your articles!!
on Sunday at 8:11pm     
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princesslolo45
i just added a baptisia to my flowerbed. Leadplant and purple prairie clover are on my list for next planting in the fall.
on Sunday at 9:06pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens is following Clear Creek Landscapes
last Friday
Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

How to Design a Garden That Lasts

Climates are changing. Wildlife is evolving. Can your garden keep up? Full Story
     Comment   last Thursday
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Trishideas -- It's really hard for me to say not knowing your plants or your landscape. I will say this: most plants and lawns don't need to be watered nearly as often as they are, and the waterings they do get are so short that water can't penetrate into the ground deeply. When water doesn't get soaked in well, and it's just available near the surface instead of deeper down, plants will grow shallower roots more prone to drought stress. That's the short version. :)
last Thursday at 8:18pm   
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Stacy Strauch-Dubree
everlasting garden
last Saturday at 4:48pm   
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mouseisadog
I have a very a very small front and back yard; I prefer mulch rather than grass or ground cover. It helps control weeds and retain water during our hot summers.
15 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens is following McCullough's Landscape & Nursery and The Wee House Company
last Thursday
Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Modern Design Captures Valuable Rain

Instead of letting a precious natural resource trickle away, these architectural features make the most of it Full Story
     Comment   July 24, 2014
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Nicole Orner
Colorado also has rules against collection, though I understand those are under review. Here in Arizona we have pretty lenient rain water/ grey water laws... the trick is finding rain water to collect. :)
July 31, 2012 at 3:42pm   
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judithlea
Can't emphasize enough how important it is too keep run off out of bays, lakes, streams and canals. Can't fish or swim in our canal due to run off pollution. Our bay is tidal so the water that reaches there is flushed 2c daily into the ocean (just what the ocean needs). A good start is driveways that incorporate native ground covers w/ pavers or gravel w/ stone or permeable concrete retaining borders.
July 27, 2013 at 6:00am   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: A London Book Tower House Worth a Browse

To fit their mountain of books, these owners went big on scale with a double-height bookcase by the stairs Full Story
     Comment   July 23, 2014
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Dana Veach
This article made my heart sing...someone else who treasures the written word...not to mention that the beautiful execution is stunning. Thank you for sharing!
on Tuesday at 5:15pm   
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jmpjmp
I am a book collector, love books, have lots. That said, I would find having them all over a little confining, just my personal feeling. Also, having all those books in areas of high traffic would likely create a lot of work in keeping them dusted, not a trivial issue in terms of dust mites, allergies, etc. I agree that adjustable shelves are more efficient and flexible but less clean lines in a modern interior. Large glass doors might soften the impact of adjustable shelving, reduce the dust problem, and still present a more modern surface design, not to mention softening the impact of so many books in general. The non-book areas inside and out create much relief and balance. Overall, I could be very happy here.

BTW, don't all the puck lights create a lot of glare when looked at from below?
on Tuesday at 7:35pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Lawn Gives Way to a More Natural Lakeside Garden

Meadow grasses, beach pebbles and driftwood replace turfgrass in a nature-friendly landscape on Lake Washington’s shore Full Story
     Comment   July 20, 2014
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sidneyisle
Although definitely an improvement on the wide expanse of lawn, I was brought up short by the comment "even an otter has made a visit". That is something you definitely don't want to encourage: they're incredibly destructive and their odor is invasive. Let's see how long it will be before the homeowner is fencing off the yard from the 'wildlife'.
on Tuesday at 6:26pm   
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bellesum
This is absolutely gorgeous........if this is a hotel with dedicated maintenance staff. I would love to stay in a resort hotel with landscaping like this. However, for the house owner, I can't imagine this is less work than before. A lawn can be useful for little kids to let off steam or play games.
5 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

Great Design Plant: Blue Vervain for Beauty and Bees

Try this tall and spiky pollinator plant for an unusual back-of-the-border look Full Story
     Comment   July 18, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Sigird -- probably not is it dries out all the way. And the sandy also concerns me; maybe too well drained for this plant.
July 18, 2014 at 8:11am   
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lintys
I have a bunch of babies - got them from a native plants propagation class in late May. They're still in pots, just waiting to go into the garden. My only concern is bunnies eating them. I may fence them for protection.
July 20, 2014 at 4:52am   
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Eskandari Stone
Wow! very beautiful plants. I would love to plant them in my small garden.
July 21, 2014 at 10:51pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

6 Ways to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning

Turn off that cash-guzzling, energy-hogging A/C — these methods of cooling your home and your body are cheaper and kinder to the planet Full Story
     Comment   July 16, 2014
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Connie
ptmatthews: I wrap a freezer pack in a pillowcase, and stick it down by my feet. I guess like in the olden days when they used bedwarmers from the fire to warm themselves. cooling your feet or hands is one of the best ways to cool down quickly (although I do know a trick with an ice-cube- but that's for another forum) ;)
July 22, 2014 at 7:11pm     
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team_kiki
I can't believe they did not mention whole house fans.
2 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

10 Ways to Hide That Air Conditioner

Feeling boxed in designing around your mini-split air conditioner? Try one of these clever disguises and distractions Full Story
     Comment   July 16, 2014
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springlering
We converted our garage to a huge den about twenty years ago, and installed a big motel style wall HVAC unit. Noisy, ugly, expensive, always breaking down. It's our favorite room in the house, so everyone was either sweating bullets, or fighting over dogs as a lap warmer.

Last year we had it pulled out, drywalled over (with new siding on the outside) the hole, and replaced it with a Mitsubishi Mr. Slim minisplit unit. Love it! It heats and cools our 440sq foot room almost instantly, and has motion detectors that sense where to shoot the air to.

I was worried about it gaping out from the wall, but the other comments are correct. You don't "see" it after a while. And it beats the heck out of the eyesore that used to be stuck in the wall.

If I could replace our entire HVAC system with these, I would, but it's pricey for a large house. The one for the den was about $5,000, and they told us that unfortunately there was no way to attach it to the sauna that is our sunroom, since they are on opposite ends of the house. Darn!

If ever we build the dream house, it will be all mini split units.
4 hours ago     
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Scott Homes, Inc
You can also install HRV's (Heat Recovery Ventilators) to distribute the air. We've installed DHPs into larger homes and minimized the indoor units this way. The HRVs work well in about half of the U.S.
4 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: Having Fun With a Half-Buried House

Layers of dirt help create energy efficiency and an unusual look on a steep slope in Washington state Full Story
     Comment   July 13, 2014
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Pacific Home Source LLC
This is really cool. I bet the temperature stays nice and consistent year round.
July 18, 2014 at 1:52pm     
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nanapower2
Impressive design, very compact look ... It has less flexible for expansion and remodels ... That is what it's for though! Great!
July 20, 2014 at 12:32pm     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: Elbow Grease and Steel Create a Modern Texas Farmhouse

Talk about DIY. This couple acted as architect, interior designer and general contractor to build a one-of-a-kind home on a budget Full Story
     Comment   July 12, 2014
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Elena Golubyatnikova
I like this house very much!
July 20, 2014 at 12:00pm     
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maisir
Fabulous!
July 23, 2014 at 1:34am     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens is following jamesgolden
July 11, 2014
Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: A Lakeside Guesthouse Rises to the Challenge

To keep flat ground for entertaining, the architects of this Mercer Island cabin on a hillside looked upward Full Story
     Comment   July 9, 2014
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David Ruud
For those wondering what the guest house looks like from the main house I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't even see it. I doubt you'd see it before getting to the top of the stairs. So...you wouldn't have worry about going "batty" looking at all that "rusting metal between the main house and the lake".
July 14, 2014 at 5:37pm   
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mk58
Perhaps most of the host's guests arrive by boat since it's located on Lake Washington.
July 15, 2014 at 7:37am     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented on an ideabook

How to Find the Right Plants for Your Garden

Break free from choosing plants by cold-hardiness zones for a beautiful landscape that thrives year-round Full Story
     Comment   July 9, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Did a piece on citizen science programs, too. :)
July 9, 2014 at 8:37am     
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Eskandari Stone
Great article.. Thanks for sharing this technique for choosing the right plants for the garden. It will be helpful for me while planting plants in my small garden.
July 21, 2014 at 11:30pm   
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Nuts 'n May
Ah yes, but one mans native is anothers invasive exotic weed. Climate and zone maps are one thing, but they don't take into account soil type and the position you are planting in. A good snoop around your neighborhood will quickly show you want grows well (or not in your area). And if peering over fences is too much like horticultural stalking for you, then take a trip to a local park or botanical garden, very useful as they will normally include plant labels and give you a good idea of what the plant looks line when mature.

All to many times I've been asked to sort out gardens where people trees and shrubs that grow way to big for the site. A grower once confessed that the plant labels only give heights for a tree at about 10 years, so something labeled 3m may actually exceed 10m in 15 years. Here in NZ we now all to well, that a northern hemisphere plant will probably grow twice as bid "down under" and so you have to constantly interpret garden guides with an eye on not just our reverse seasons but the milder growing conditions as well.
July 23, 2014 at 2:56pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: Outstanding Ecofriendliness With a Contemporary Bent

An abandoned home in Quebec sees a major turnaround, thanks to its owners' green principles and fresh design style Full Story
     Comment   July 8, 2014
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Mathieu Büland
Windows and doors come from Alumico Architectural
May 8, 2013 at 7:05am   
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ECOS Paints
What a perfectly stunning home! What paints were used? We just recently became the first North American paint manufacturer to publish our HPDs (Health Product Declarations) which is integral for LEED v4. Check us out for your next project! http://www.ecospaints.net/testing-and-certifications.html
April 9, 2014 at 7:19pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens likes a comment on an ideabook

What We Can Learn From Longwood Gardens’ New Meadow

Sustainability, ecology, native plant communities ... this public garden is brimming with lessons on horticulture for home gardeners Full Story
     Comment   July 7, 2014
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Ellie Byrom-Haley
Benjamin - what a terrific article. My firm Gecko Group designed the interpretive signage and exhibits. It is extremely rewarding to know that the messages are being understood. I look forward to learning more about Monarch Gardens.
July 2, 2014 at 5:33pm     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

How to Add a Backyard Shed for Storage or Living

Need a home office, a playspace or extra room for your stuff? Learn about off-the-shelf, prefab and custom sheds Full Story
     Comment   July 6, 2014
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nancydrew45
great idea
July 18, 2014 at 9:11am   
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paulbusman
I built this Irish garden shed from salvaged materials, mostly found on the 40acre parcel I own. The walls are made of dried black locust rounds, the beams from white pine I squared with an adz. The brick floor came from an old outhouse, I just set them in sand. The double door from two other sheds. I bought some treated 4x4 for the rafters and bottom plates. Made two windows and found the third. Splurged on cedar shakes for shingles. Built 11 years ago and have needed no maintenance. We really like it.
on Sunday at 4:06pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: A Modern Take on a Montana Log House

Multiple buildings form a vacation compound that's more like environmental art than architecture Full Story
     Comment   July 6, 2014
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stephcoulson
incredible, perfectly nestled into the landscape. The best I've seen on houzz, breathtaking, thankyou.
on Monday at 5:32am   
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pescaderoray
When you build your house out of firewood you don't need a heating system
on Monday at 10:26am   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens likes an ideabook

Great Design Plant: Color Outside the Lines With Harebell

Plant this Campanula on pathway and patio edges for shots of bright blue from May through September Full Story
     Comment   July 6, 2014
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judyrud
I must have a slightly different campanula, as the flower stalks on mine - both blue and white - are very long and certainly flop over, and I don't think my resident wild bunnies eat it - nor the voles. I find it re-seeds itself more than I'd like, but I have to say it's fairly easy to dig out.
July 9, 2014 at 10:02am     
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eclecticedwardian
C. rotundifolia is actually native throughout the Northern Hemisphere; in Norway you will see fish garlanded around the gills with harebells, which means a woman has caught it. They always make me smile.
July 9, 2014 at 10:58am     
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

8 Fabulous Prefab Homes Around the World

See global examples of housing’s best-kept secret — and learn why prefab may be the future of home building Full Story
     Comment   July 5, 2014
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matched2at
We found out that the banks wouldn't give you a construction to perm loan, required to do a modular build, unless you had the 20% AND an additional 15% cash (which in our case came to about 100k) to start. Apparently during the mortgage bust, one of the big issues was people starting custom home builds then running out of money / credit to complete them and leaving the builder and the bank holding the bag. Builders went out of business then leaving the banks with properties they couldn't move because they were custom - which limits your available seller pool. So now, you have to have a nice bucket of cash to even get the bank to play ball. Without the construction to perm loan, or even a basic construction loan, you can't get the designer / builders to play ball because they want guaranteed work and payment.

So we were VERY excited about a modular, eco-friendly home, but simply didn't have that kind of cash ready to go. Stick built planned community - here we are.... *shrug* such is life. I just wish we had known before we wasted a year planning, searching for house plans, etc.
last Thursday at 2:19pm   
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Rochester Homes, Inc.
It sounds like the bank you were working with has some pretty outrageous construction loan standards. Keep in mind that a home built using traditional site built construction, modular construction, or panelized construction methods should all be financed the same way. As long as your builder is using the most recently adopted version on the International Residential Code for your area, there should be no difference in financing techniques, apprisals, etc. Modular is a building method, not a different code or different type of home so make sure you are working with a bank who keeps themselves educated on the industry that they are in. You can check out our blog http://www.rochesterhomesinc.com/blog/ for a more detailed description on code differences, financing differences, etc.
on Monday at 10:45am   
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