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Monique Allen

Recent Posts by Monique Allen:

Plant bulbs in the fall to brighten up your spring landscape

Who doesn’t love spring? For New Englanders, the icy cold dullness of winter is on the way out, the sun is getting brighter and warmer, and nature’s renewal is in the air. But wait just a minute...there’s just one problem. That early seasonal transition from winter to the vibrant spring growing season is just plain, gray-brown dull. 

How to Make the Most of the Fall Landscape Season

Landscapes, when you think about it, are living entities – complex “organisms” that go through stages of life just like every other living thing. From their “birth” every spring to maturity over the summer, to their inevitable aging over the fall and entry into their quiet winter slumber. 

This annual lifecycle does not mean you have to start over every year. Far from it. Instead, when you implement well-thought-out landscape management strategies, you can extend the life and value of your landscape significantly, reaping benefits and squeezing the joy out of it far beyond what the less-prepared might expect.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Seasonal Garden Interest Landscape Value and ROI

How to Manage Your Landscape in the Late Summer

How do you make up for lost time late in the landscape season when your gardens have gotten away from you? There comes a time in everyone’s home management experience when their best intentions to take care of their landscape slips away as the distractions of family, work and the pleasures of summer take priority.

Topics: Seasonal Garden Interest

Choose the Right Plant for the Right Place in Your Landscape

One of the most basic mistakes made in the garden, especially by those just starting out, is selecting plants based primarily on whim: “Ooo, that’s a nice flower, or that smells so good, or I really like this color or texture of foliage. I’m gonna buy a few and plant them in my yard!”

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Ecological and Sustainable Landscapes

The Importance of Understanding Available Sun for Your Garden

Sunlight – like most critical gardening elements – is highly dynamic. The sun is constantly moving throughout the day, as well as from season to season. Add in human-influenced elements such as buildings, walls, and other plantings, and you’ve got a surprising number of factors that all need to be considered when accurately determining the amount of sunlight your garden gets at different times.

Topics: Ecological and Sustainable Landscapes Seasonal Garden Interest

The Importance of Water for Your Garden

It is almost impossible to overestimate the importance of water for your garden – after all, water makes up 85 to 95 percent of the weight of living plants. In fact, plants use more water than anything else. Water carries nutrients from the soil to the plant cells, so plants that are kept at their desired hydration level will be stronger and healthier. 

Topics: Water In The Landscape

The Importance of Understanding Climate for a Fine Gardener

One key aspect of Fine Gardening is knowing and understanding the climate in which you are working. Around here, that means knowing your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. Wait…what?

Podcast: Monique Allen | LifeScaper and Dream Builder

How cool is this? I was featured on a   podcast  this spring! As a business owner, I'm always thinking about how to do business better. And, as a landscape professional, I am committed to improving the services we deliver so that we can be sure that our clients are getting outstanding results. To that end, I spend a fair amount of my winter researching new ideas and innovations so that I can improve The Garden Continuum's practices. 
 
It was during one of these afternoon research sessions that I stumbled upon a podcast called the   Hub of Success. I listened to a couple of episodes and thought, wow, this is a cool show! So, I decided to research the host. Low and behold...he's a fellow Armenian...so I was immediately intrigued. Come to find out he's also the owner of an IT business called,   Applied Synergy Group ... and down the rabbit hole, I went. I invited him out to visit TGC and give us a pitch on how we could improve our IT experience. Turns out, David Elmasian is a passionate business enthusiast and his podcast is dedicated to highlighting businesses that are pushing the envelope of status quo to reach new plateaus of success. We hit it off like long lost cousins in a flash and ended up entrenched in a vibrant discussion about business. So, he invited me to be his guest and   I'm sharing the session with you here!
Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business Business Organization Sales & Marketing

A Fine Gardener Digs into the Truth About Soil

It’s tough for soil to get any respect. To most people, it’s just dirt. But the truth is, soil is a miracle, a universe unto itself right under our feet. It may seem weird at first, but the soil is essentially a living thing, teeming with bacterial life (mostly in a good way) and tiny critters that enable plants to thrive in a wide variety of conditions and environments.

Topics: Ecological and Sustainable Landscapes Landscape and Garden Maintenance Seasonal Garden Interest

Upgrade Your Landscape Maintenance with Fine Gardening

It’s not uncommon for homeowners to fall out of love with their landscaping. Often, life seems to get in the way and doing “yard work” falls by the wayside as other things capture our time and attention. At best, some homeowners fall back on what we call “landscape maintenance” – completing only the most basic tasks necessary to keep wild and untamed nature in check.

Topics: Horticulture In The Garden Designing Gardens and Landscapes Container Gardening