Each year the International Herb Association (IHA) reports on its chosen Herb of the Year and the herb of 2019 is Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum). This member of the mint family has a wide variety of applications from tea infusions to pollinator attraction in the garden. As a medicinal herb Anise Hyssop is beneficial for digestive function and can help reduce inflammation. The herb is also high in antioxidants and has antimicrobial properties that lend its digestive benefits. The leaves can be used to add flavor to salads, jellies, honey, or distilled spirits for a taste of the garden in your evening cocktail.
In its native ecosystem of North America Anise Hyssop can reach heights of four to five feet with stemmed purple flowers topping the stalks. These bloom in mid to late summer and will self seed readily so be ready for little sprouts in the next season. The benefits of this plants extend beyond their decorative and culinary properties and more is being learned about ancient uses of this herb and how it can be useful in a modern health regimen. The IHA offers a book full of information on the herb of the year that you can check out here if you would like to dig deeper into the soil of the Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum). Pick up a start of a pack of seeds and start growing some Anise Hyssop in your garden this year!
Recently the National Pollinator Garden Network (NPGN) reached their goal of registering one million gardens with their ‘Million Pollinator Garden Challenge’ and we would like to say congratulations and thank you to all the hard working gardeners doing their part to help our pollinators! The challenge started in 2015 and was designed to create a network of the gardens and outdoor growing areas that support pollinator populations. The NPGN website gives lots of leads to information about natives plants that you can place in your garden to support local pollinating insects and bring buzzing bees and beautiful butterflies to your outdoor spaces. The Wild Ones group and the National Initiative for Consumer Horticulture are two partners in the NPGN that we know and support at JLA so check their websites out for more information!
The project may have reached its goal but you can still register your pollinator garden here to join the ranks of over one million gardeners in the movement to support our pollinators and our environment! If you need assistance we can design and install gardens full of pollinator friendly plants in your home or work landscape this season! Just email us!
We had a number of projects throughout the last few seasons, both large and small so here is a gallery of the project sites after we finished our work. We are looking forward to the 2019 season. Contact us to get started on your landscaping renovation!
My Dad was an incredible man. He was always supportive of me and my career endeavors. He always told all of us, his children, we could do or be whatever we wanted, as long as we were willing to work hard for our goals. As I prepared to launch my landscaping company nine years ago, he offered to help me. He had no idea of the physical challenges that lay ahead. I already had a design business and as I prepared to leave the landscaping retail designer and manger position I had held for ten years, clients began to emerge that wanted my expertise. I gathered more clients and really needed his help. Our shared appreciation of details and delivering outstanding customer service meshed well as we built my business. It was not always smooth sailing. My dad and I are fiery individuals and we fought and laughed our way through many jobs.
Sweating in the sweltering heat of Indiana summers and dressing in layers in spring and fall we gained confidence and grew stronger physically but also built a lovely closeness that I couldn’t have imagined when I was younger. During one particularly hot week with temperatures and humidity in the 90’s he said “I think it’s not that bad out today.” I said “really Dad??” We were sweating like we had taken a shower but had only just started our work. Dad had no experience to prepare him for using his physical body more than his incredible intelligence. During his first radiation appointment with Dr. Chang, the doctor looked at Dad, Jeff, and I, wearing our turquoise J. Lynne Associates polo shirts, dirty and sweating, Dr. Chang then asked Dad “why do you look so good?” ( While he was so ill.)
He was up for many challenges and I grew to rely on his constant steady strength and excellent problem solving. One of my fondest challenges was moving a huge evergreen tree, weighing more than one hundred and fifty pounds up a ninety degree incline with Jeff pulling and us pushing. At one point Jeff wanted to stop and both Dad and I shouted “NO!” We knew we would have rolled down the hill with the tree. When we cut electric power lines lying close to the ground, I would have called an electrician to fix the outdoor lights, but Dad said “it’s no problem.” He knew how to fix it and usually made it better than it was before we began, by leveling lamp posts, touching up paint, and staking lights during our installations. When clients had things that needed tending to, I would have suggested they call and expert, but Dad quietly fixed those things as he worked.
He had a ‘can do’ attitude about solving problems and actually loved adversity. I have grown use to using his razor sharpened tools with freshly painted handles that he took such pride in renewing for us every season. When I purchased a weed torch Dad was the first one to fire it up. He loved using new tools. I once accidentally warped a small piece of siding at a client’s house using the torch. We offered to repair the damage and our client laughed so loud it took us by surprise. Dad worked last spring in 2018, driving the truck for us even though he could hardly walk (anemia was taking away his strength). Alex, a young man in his early 20’s, who works for me, adored my Dad. He loved his stories and admired his strength and humor. He told me how watching my Dad out work him many times made him want to increase his own strength. He is working on that now.
My Dad would often tell people proudly that he worked for his daughter, who owns her own landscaping company, and “I am her #1 hole digger!” Of course, he was so much more than this, but his pride was evident in his warm smile and twinkling eyes.
The city of Fort Wayne has an abundance of groups that support the community in a variety of ways and one of our favorites at JLA is Sophia’s Portico. ” Sophia’s Portico, Inc., established in 1992, is an art and spirituality center focusing on the development of the feminine through education, the arts and earth-based spirituality.” (From their website, you can find here) The art markets that Sophia’s put together are a favorite of JLA employees each year.
This spring on Tuesday, April 16 J. Lynne Associates founder and owner Judith Nastally will give a presentation on the importance and traditional uses of the plants native to Northeast Indiana. She will touch on how these plants can be used to create beautiful landscapes in your home gardens as well as the ways in which Native Americans would use these plants for a myriad of benefits.
Her presentation will be given at Sophia’s Portico located at 2330 Beacon Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46805 from 7:00pm-9:00pm. Admission cost is $15. Come join and support a community of forward thinking gardeners and planters in this beautiful space for an evening full of knowledge and learning!
Each year the members of the Perennial Plant Association vote to decide their Perennial Plant of the Year and in 2019 they have chosen Stachys ‘Hummelo’ (Stachys officinalis). While not a native this plant can still serve as a wonderful addition to any planting garden to bring in pollinators and add a spark of purple color throughout mid summer. Pollinators are drawn to the striking magenta flowers that rise above bright green, trouble-free foliage. ‘Hummelo’ was the highest rated Stachys in the Chicago Botanic Garden Evaluation Trials for its strong flower production, vigor, habit, quality and winter hardiness making it a great option for planting use. This colorful and compact winner fits excellently into the full sun perennial border and is terrific when combined with ornamental grasses, Echinacea purpurea, and Asclepias tuberosa (2018 Perennial Plant of the Year®).
A large part of the work of a gardener who chooses to work with native plants involves combating the encroachment of the many invasive species that have been introduced to the environment over the past few centuries. Presently the Natural Resource Commission is adopting a rule that will prohibit and restrict the introduction, sale, distribution and transport of invasive terrestrial plants into Indiana. This is a big step toward keeping our ecosystem as close to its original state as possible and gives the native plants a little leg up in the struggle against these aggressive invading species that tend to take over whole habitats. A list of the 44 prohibited invasive terrestrial plants can be found on the INCR website linked here.
Along with this legislative motion the Indiana Invasive Species Council is pushing to have the Callery pear and it’s approximately 20 cultivars and varieties added to that list. The Callery pear was not expected to be an invasive species but with the introduction of more varieties the trees started to cross pollinate and produce viable seed which has lead to the extensive spread of these species. Bad smelling flowers, messy fruit, and branches prone to breakage all add up to this being a poor choice for Indiana gardeners and homeowners.
The IISC has compiled a list of native Indiana trees that support songbirds, butterflies, and pollinators of all kinds with similar aesthetic value as the Callery pear but without all the mess and headache. Some of these native alternatives include Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), and Green Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis). The IICS website is a treasure trove of information so a trip through there is a must do for a true Indiana gardener.
We here at J. Lynne Associates are thrilled that our Indiana government is taking steps to protect our native plants and wildlife!