Fresh ideas for spring

You can save the seeds from heirloom vegetables and flowers and they’ll produce true-to-seed the next year, unlike the hybrids. (photo by Steven Depolo)

You can save the seeds from heirloom vegetables and flowers and they’ll produce true-to-seed the next year, unlike the hybrids. (photo by Steven Depolo)

It’s time to treat our winter-weary eyes to some lush greenery and colorful blooms, maybe even grow a vegetable or two, or at least pot some fresh herbs for the kitchen windowsill.

For the more ambitious, there are a number of trends emerging in the landscaping world that are worth noting as the weather warms up.

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Permeable pavers

Permeable pavers are engineered to assist the earth in its natural restoration process. The goal in using permeable pavers is to control stormwater at the source, reduce runoff and improve water quality by filtering pollutants in the substrata layers. The pavers allow water to infiltrate their surface, allowing natural drainage and migration of water into the earth below. This not only reduces runoff, protecting your property, but traps suspended solids and filters pollutants from contaminating the environment. This is particularly important with residential sidewalks and driveways bordering lawns and roads. In addition, permeable pavers provide a drivable surface as good as their nonporous counterparts, and they look very attractive.

Backyard butterfly gardens

A butterfly habitat that supports local species and helps to increase biodiversity will also evoke a sense of wonderment in children and adults alike. The butterfly season is primarily June through August, but early species and hibernators may be observed from March to May and migrants mainly in May through June and again from September through October.

Plant your butterfly garden in a sunny location sheltered from the wind: butterflies like to be warm, but won’t stay in an area where they have to fight the wind to stay on the plants. Incorporate a few flat stones in the garden as resting spots for them to bask in the sun. Provide water in a sunny location and mulch around the plants to preserve moisture and provide shelter for caterpillars.

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