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.

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

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!!
12 hours ago   
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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.
11 hours ago   
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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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luckylyn5
If you live in a state that has been significantly impacted by drought (as I do in So California), check to see if your city has a program to pay for replacing your lawn with drought tolerant plants. We just learned that our city will pay $3 or $3.50 (can't remember exactly) per sq ft to use to help pay for it.

I hate the front lawn. Husband is retired but cares for elderly mother, and I work full-time, so it's a chore finding the time to mow it (and I don't want to pay a gardener to mow and run those horrible blower things). And the lawn just looks brown as a result of limited watering to conserve water.

I thought that all drought tolerant plants were "desert" looking (cacti, etc), but it turns out that there are about 1,500 plants approved as drought tolerant by our city. Many gorgeous plants that don't look like succulents or the like. Even Rosemary is on the list (looks good and can use it for cooking).
last Saturday at 7:41am     
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Stacy Strauch-Dubree
everlasting garden
last Saturday at 4:48pm   
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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   last Thursday
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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   last Wednesday
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Laney LA, Inc.
I am very impressed by this project.
12 hours ago   
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Shona Senior
Stunning. Had dreams of doing a staircase library until we had big earthquakes in 2010 and discovered that books falling off the shelves and all over the stairs does not make it very easy to evacuate buildings in a hurry. :-(
3 hours ago   
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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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Lina Sassine
Wow beautiful
last Friday at 11:51pm   
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Trilliums Landscaping & Horticulture
Really thoughtful project, sometimes I wish the "must have lawn" people would understand what the cost of turf really is -not just to the pocket book but to the environment as well.
Are there sources of bluestone in the western states? This is the 8th or 9th project I've seen this year where designers in California or Washington have shipped in Pennsylvania bluestone for clients, shipping prices must be horrendous, and its not really very "green". I'd love to see more projects where all of the stone was locally sourced -my apology for being so nit picky on a beautiful project !
last Saturday at 6:43pm   
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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.
last Monday 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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ptmatthews
Ugly ceiling fan tip: paint the blades, or even the whole fan, to match the ceiling and the fan becomes much less noticeable. I will be trying several of the tips from the comments section. I would be interested to know exactly how people use the frozen packs when going to sleep.
last Tuesday at 3:36pm   
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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) ;)
last Tuesday at 7:11pm   
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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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Smith & Associates Design
This means of cooling a home or the individual rooms is a step backward.

While the installations in 9. & 10. were very nicely accomplished I think controlled ducting and other adjustments make more sense practically and most definitely - aesthetically.

In addition to those points the central unit can be the most quiet of all solutions. Any system built into a house correctly should be silent to the inhabitants. That cannot be said of the wall hung units.

The individual units will always be the elephant in the room.
last Friday at 7:45pm   
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Evan Hammersmith
jeannerw you asked: Is a condensate pump still necessary to prevent condensation?

I'm an HVAC engineer, and here's my prof. advice to all regarding the condensate drain lines. Anytime you can direct the drain line to a basement floor drain, or laundry tub, do it! Draining by gravity is always best. Condensate pumps are effective as long as the pump doesn't fail without your knowing. once the condensate backs up in the pump, it'll leak from your AC unit. If your unit is located on an outside wall, you can also drain to the exterior and dump the condensate on grade. The main risk to this is insects taking residents in your drain line and plugging it up. It may not be an issue, but it introduces a potential point of maintenance.
2 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!
last Wednesday 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.
last Monday 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.
last Wednesday 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 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.
16 hours ago   
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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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Tanya Hajduk
Love the idea "to make the structures appear like shadows in the forest". A beautiful and restful effect (see 6th photo from bottom).
July 16, 2014 at 1:43am     
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stephcoulson
incredible, perfectly nestled into the landscape. The best I've seen on houzz, breathtaking, thankyou.
3 hours ago   
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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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qofmiwok
Hi matched2at Can you please clarify? Are you saying you have to put more that 20% down to get a mortgage on one (30%?), or are you saying that you have to pay $100k up front for design before you get a construction loan?
July 16, 2014 at 11:12am   
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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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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: Flexibility and Efficiency for a New Seattle Home

With rental potential and an ecofriendly design, this house is smart in more ways than one Full Story
     Comment   June 29, 2014
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Nathalie Boire
Beautiful, practical, simple...that's the way I like it !!! love it !!!
May 18, 2014 at 3:27pm   
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debtex
Love everything about this - the practical combined with the beautiful. It's so simple, but that's so hard to do! Just a lovely, lovely house!
May 18, 2014 at 3:37pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

My Houzz: Sleek Lines and Innovations in Portland

Behind these airy, contemporary interiors lie high-tech systems that lower utility costs while keeping the family comfortable Full Story
     Comment   June 29, 2014
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kmj12342012
The desk buit in
May 7, 2014 at 2:10pm   
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Shakeela
Love.Love.Love.
May 28, 2014 at 9:32am   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: See a Concrete House With a $0 Energy Bill

Passive House principles and universal design elements result in a home that’ll work efficiently for the long haul Full Story
     Comment   June 29, 2014
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NZ Builders ltd
We used Eurline windows as they are passive house certified have a fibreglass hybrid extrusion with welded joints. All south glazing is HSGC. East west are LowE. The other companies that Maltby mentions above are good companies as well.
12 hours ago   
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NZ Builders ltd
12” walls. Maybe the14” in the article came from me saying that if I were to do this again I would bump it to 14” walls as it would have reduced the Solar P.V by 25%
All homes in the future are being built with 14 to 15” walls. or R28-R32 depending on Solar Gains.
12 hours ago   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens bookmarked an ideabook

Houzz Tour: Connecting to the Landscape in Melbourne

Views of iconic moonah trees and plenty of wood indoors help an Australian home connect with its site Full Story
     Comment   June 29, 2014
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safronpixi
Wonderful design and chic interiors. Wish you were in Sydney!!! Congratulations on a superb result!
July 17, 2014 at 11:46pm     
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Auhaus Architecture
Hi Safronpixi, Thanks for your kind words on the Bluff House. We stretch far and wide and are happy to discuss projects across the country.
July 19, 2014 at 5:10pm   
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens commented 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   June 29, 2014
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Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens
Gavin, I took most of these photos at Longwood, hence my name as copyright owner. All images are of Longwood.
June 29, 2014 at 5:59am     
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Vincent Vizachero
Al Wright, I don't think your comment about Joe Pye is meant to be on this article: nothing here talks about USDA Hardiness Zones at all.
July 14, 2014 at 5:01pm   
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Al Wright
The links provided for Joe Pye link to a Houzz site which gives the info to which I refer.
July 14, 2014 at 10:16pm   
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