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Monique Allen

Recent Posts by Monique Allen:

Why now is the time to create a home vegetable garden

As the current battle against the coronavirus rages and images of wartime are invoked, memories of the famous “victory gardens” of World War I and II come to mind. During both wars, over 20 million victory gardens, large and small, were planted and produced almost 40 percent of the nation’s fresh vegetables. People grew their own produce in planters, on fire escapes, in empty lots and backyards. 

Today, as the pandemic takes hold around the world, panicky shoppers are cleaning out stores, and basic foods like dried beans and potatoes are becoming increasingly difficult to find. As a result, even individuals with no gardening experience are searching YouTube for DIY videos on building raised beds and planting gardens.

Topics: Home Landscape Ideas Gardens With A Theme Container Gardening Landscape How-To Videos

The Garden Continuum Launches New Online Landscape Education Resource

We're proud to announce the launch of The Garden Continuum's new web platform called TGC Academy. This new service offers information to help landscape professionals and garden enthusiasts become better gardeners and to support business owners to grow their business. 

At the time of this launch, many people find themselves at home because of state and local travel restrictions caused by the spread of COVID-19. To take your mind off of these world events, this may be the perfect time to explore this new resource, to learn something new, and to inspire your next actions in your garden or business.

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business Landscape How-To Videos

How your landscape helps you manage fear and anxiety

The current coronavirus pandemic is affecting virtually everyone in different ways and degrees. One thing is for sure, though, anxiety and fear have increased across the board. Fortunately, there is a proven treatment that is as close as the nearest door to the outside.

Topics: Healing Gardens

Book Launch: Stop Landscaping. Start Life-Scaping.

I am excited to release my new book out into the world with its official launch on this special day. March 23rd is my mother’s birthday and it’s been two years since her passing. She was an instrumental guide and teacher throughout my writing journey, editing my very first printed newsletters and encouraging me to find and own my unique voice. 

Topics: Designing Gardens and Landscapes Building A Better Landscape Business

The 5 Steps in Thinking through Your Life-Scape

Here’s a simple but crucial piece of information that anyone interested in their landscape needs to remember: landscapes are living entities. They are complex, integrated ecosystems comprised of plants that sprout, grow and eventually die; of creatures large and small that live on, in, and around those plants; of rocks, soil, and minerals that retain moisture, dry out, erode, and transform. That’s why I refer to landscapes by the more realistic term, “Life-Scapes”, to remind us of this fact. In short, they are highly dynamic and should not – cannot – be thought of as static set-pieces.

Topics: Gardens With A Theme Designing Gardens and Landscapes

Why Systems Thinking Makes a Better Landscape

The landscape conversation is pretty common nowadays. Certainly, every homeowner will consider their landscape at one point or another. Mainstream media and the popular DIY movement has worked hard to keep things simple. Mostly, that dialogue seems to take its cues from the construction industry, integrating design with labor and materials to complete a project – a project with a beginning, a middle, and an end. 

Topics: Designing Gardens and Landscapes Landscape and Garden Maintenance

Why you need a new book on landscape design and construction

I get asked on a regular basis by people far and wide to design a Life-Scape for them. That’s a term I use to refer to a more integrated landscape design based on the land itself, the environment in which it exists, and how the property owner wishes to utilize it in a positive way. 

Unfortunately, I am limited to my local area and it is hard to travel so I cannot fulfill these requests. Consequently, many ask me to recommend other designers to create a landscape for them with my Life-Scape approach. That’s another request that I cannot satisfy because I come up short identifying landscaping professionals who approach landscape design and construction the way I do. The only reasonable answer was to write a book about this method.

For over three decades I have been intimately involved in landscape design, maintenance, and management. During those many years, I have learned an enormous amount about how to design, build and maintain landscapes from both formal training and in-field experience. I feel blessed that all of this has helped me gain a solid business reputation with satisfied clients and a certain amount of visibility in the industry. 

Topics: Building A Better Landscape Business

5 Things I Learned from another Amazing Gardening Year

Running a landscape business can be tough – keeping up with client needs, fixing finicky equipment, staying on top of what employees need to succeed, and snow that comes on December 1st that puts a halt to fall work, to name just a few of the challenges. Even the home gardener can find it tough going. When the growing season ends - sometimes abruptly - it can be easy to think “Whew! What a year! Time to take a break…” and while some R & R sounds good, the most constructive thing to do is review the year, see what worked and what didn’t, and begin planning things you can do next year to improve.

Topics: Landscape and Garden Maintenance

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