MD Pollinator Protection Act Passes Senate

With great collaborative effort across the state, Senate Bill 198 has passed the Senate floor!

This bill proposes great restrictions on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides that harm our local pollinators. Final bill passage is getting closer with two more steps to go. First, it must go through the House Environmental & Transportation Committee before all delegates will vote on the House floor.


Neonicotinoids are common pesticides used on farm crops and landscaping. Neonicotinoid pesticides can harm multiple pollinator species. Pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of nearly 85% of the world's flowering plants. Additionally, 35% of global crop production is made possible by pollinators. Studies show that honey bees alone are important for more than $15 billion of crop production annually. Pollinators are necessary for wider biodiversity and agriculture.


Please continue to reach out to legislators to make this the first-in-the country bill restricting the sales of neonic-containing products.

Spread the word and help make the community aware of the need for pollinator protection!

You can contact your local representative here if you wish to show continued support! 

Find the bill here for more information

If you would like any more information on pollinator protection and what you can do to help, please feel free to contact

BEE....Involved with National Pollinator Week...

This week we celebrate how intensely vital pollinators are to our ecosystem, while hoping to raise awareness of the substantial pollinator declines across North America.

 Two stewards approach Sedum

Two stewards approach Sedum


More than two-thirds of crop species - crops that produce fruits, vegetables, spices, nuts, seeds, and livestock forage - depend on pollinators.” ( More likely than not, 1 out of every 3 bites of food you eat is thanks to a pollinators species!  Keeping this fact in mind, we need to recognize that the use of chemicals (pesticides, herbicides, GMO's) and a loss of habitat has significantly decreased pollinator populations.   These popular pollinators including bees, bats, wasps, butterflies, flies, hummingbirds and others are in danger.


Here are 3 ideas and 3 plant suggestions from Intreegue:                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Provide a range of flowering natives plants - seasonal bloom range/provide food/forage/nesting                                                                                                                        2. Create nest sites                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     3. Avoid Using Pesticides, in example, the relatively new class of insectisides, Neonicotoids, are deadly systemic GMO's 

3 Key plant suggestions:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Amelanchier - an early blooming understory tree that helps start the nectar flow for our pollinators, in particular, bees.                                                                                 Baptisia - a great perennial with Spring bloom times, a favorite of bees.                                                                                                                                                                                         Sedum – a long-time  blooming perennial late into summer, it is a favorite amongst bumblebees, wasps, butterflies and flies. Groundcover and border-style growth types make this plant an easy addition to any pollinator garden.

If you would like any assistance with pollinator garden design or more information on beekeeping please feel free to contact You can also join the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association to remain up to date on the current buzz near you. Please visit The Xerces Society for more updates on National Pollinator Week.


The bees are the buzz on Earth Day 2015

Happy Earth Day on behalf of Intreegue!

 The Buzz at Intreegue!

The Buzz at Intreegue!

 Installing the hive.

Installing the hive.

 The Stewards busy at work.

The Stewards busy at work.

Today marks the anniversary of an environmental movement which began in 1970 in order to protest many common day environmental atrocities that were at the time legal and unregulated. The successful movement eventually gave way for congress to authorize the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 


As a salute to the earth and its divine acts of fruition, Intreegue has decided to install new honey bee hives! Honey bees are much more important than one might believe. They are absolutely critical for the earths food supply and growth of trees and flowers all around the world. The honey bee is truly a gift from nature and also a steward of nature itself. 

One out of every three bites of food that a person eats was made possible by a pollinator.

In spite of the importance of the honey bee there seems to be a dramatic decline in their numbers across the globe. The major cause of this change is due to the destruction of habitats, deadly pesticides, and unusual weather. We must keep the bees buzzing if we are to stop a much larger potential disaster. What can we do to help? 

40% loss of the commercial honeybee in the US since 2006.

Bee Keeping is a great activity that can stimulate pollination in your area. Anyone can become a bee keeper and its a great hobby! All you need is proper knowledge and little training to get started. It is especially rewarding to all of you honey lovers out there! Pollinator gardens are a great substitute if bees are not your calling. These gardens are a great habitat for pollinators to flourish and also a great place for people to admire.

For more information on bee keeping please contact Intreegue so we can fill you in on any questions you may have. You can also join the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association to remain up to date on the current buzz near you.

Which ever way you choose to help out the earth today, keep in mind that earth day is not about one day. Rather it is the day that we honor and  recognize what the earth signifies as we emphasize a continued effort to keep the earth healthy everyday throughout our existence. 


Marsala: 2015 Pantone Color of the Year

With Marsala officially being labeled “Pantone’s Color of the year,” many HGTV enthusiasts may have already begun to jump at the opportunity to redecorate. Given its name from a fortified wine, you can only expect a wordy cliché wine description. Marsala is a naturally hearty and earthy red wine color. It is considered to enrich our minds, bodies, and souls. It grounds us, feeding our inner being yet it can also be very sophisticated.

Many people may look to use Marsala indoors but considering its versatility and humble earthy reference, it can also be a wonderful addition to outdoor decor. Marsala is great for those who are afraid of color and don’t want to go overboard. Usually it can be a headache to figure out what compliments a primary color, however in Marsala’s case, many of its pairings can already be found in your very own backyard. It is particularly a great color in contrast with green vegetation. It also goes well with all kinds of taupe and maroon shades that are used in a lot of outdoor structural materials.

 Marsala colored outdoor seating

Marsala colored outdoor seating

 A walk down the streets of Marrakech

A walk down the streets of Marrakech

 Marsala Colored pavers under vegetated arbor. 

Marsala Colored pavers under vegetated arbor. 

Pairing these outdoor elements with furniture consisting of Marsala accents can make for a very gorgeous, intimate space. Marsala has a naturally rustic form and texture that is dictated by its brown undertone. This interacts well with elements typically found outdoors. Marsala has much to offer in any setting, interior, and exterior, and it is also a great excuse for a glass of red wine!

Do not fear! The time to plant is still here!

The use of the red chrysanthemums really draws the eye into this mixed bed planting at Longwood Gardens.

With fall now making its presence apparent, many people looking to finish up gardening projects are asking themselves, “Is it too late in the season to plant?” - when in actuality, Fall is the best time of year to plant for most species. Turf grass, spring-blooming bulbs, cool-season vegetables, seasonal flowers, perennials, trees, and shrubs are great examples that can all be successfully planted in the Fall.

Even though we think of Spring as a time of renewal, Fall allows for the roots to take hold and gives them time to develop and grow. Roots will typically grow until the soil freezes, and in the Fall the soil is still warm from the passing summer climate. Plants and trees enter a period of dormancy in the Fall where they shift their energy toward their root system rather than foliage in order to cope with the demand of winter. If planted in the Fall, once spring arrives the root system will be well established and better prepared to handle summer heat.

Root growth can continue to occur even into winter if the climate is still generally mild. For the most part you can plant up until the 1st of November, as long as the ground has not frozen. Pest and disease problems also fade away in the fall because of a decrease in humidity.

Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Winter Gold' 

 Currently, Intreegue has several great plantings designs being installed this Fall.  We just finished planting a few unique specimens at our exhibit gardens as well! Our recently planted Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Winter Gold' (Rice Paper Plant) was planted last week and already we have seen flower buds on this beautiful winter blooming shrub getting ready to pop!


If you are thinking about new plantings, installation within the next 2 weeks is optimal.  Feel free to email Colleen Vacelet ( to help focus your garden.  A great place to visit  for ideas would be Scott Arboretum located on the Swarthmore College campus in Pennsylvania.  

Park(ing) Day 2014

Park(ing) Day is upon us, happening September 19th!  

Playing some chess on the 'Chess-apeake' board!

An annual international event, Park(ing) Day has gained momentum and garnered awareness in the last few years throughout Maryland as well as globally. 

The concept of the event is to transform a metered parking spot into a temporary public park for the day. 


In doing this,  we hope to call to attention the need for more urban open space.  In our experience, this one day installation creates great positive movement on critical debates around how public space is created and designated.   Intreegue has participated in this event the last few years in downtown Annapolis to gain momentum surrounding the possibilities and impact these small 'parklets' can have in urban settings.


 This year we wanted to promote the University of Maryland Student ASLA group and their efforts on campus for this event.  The UMD SASLA will be creating a 'parklet' in front of Cole Field House on University of MD campus this Friday.  If you happen to be in the area, please stop by and enjoy the 'parklet'!

Intreegue hosting the 'Bee Booth' at the Maryland State Fair

Tonight, August 29th, Colleen Vacelet will be hosting the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association booth at the Maryland State Fair located at the Timonium Fairgrounds.  Come out to learn more about beekeeping, pollinator gardens, and how you can make your own space more bee friendly!  If you can't make it and are interested in any of these topics, be sure to email Colleen Vacelet for more info:

 Bees in the Hive

Bees in the Hive

 Checking the Bee Frames

Checking the Bee Frames

Intreegue's active involvement in the bee community and with the Central Maryland Beekeepers Association keeps us at the cusp of knowledge when it comes to the state of our bee's and what news has been BUZZing about.  As avid beekeepers we strive to incorporate pollinator gardens into projects when appropriate and educate the public on bee friendly approaches toward the landscape!  

If you have a space you think could be great opportunity for a pollinator garden, please be sure to contact us, OR if you are looking for information about becoming a beekeeper, feel free to contact Colleen Vacelet at: 

Earth Day 2014 - create an act of 'Green'

Happy Earth Day from Intreegue Design Inc.

April 22, 2014 marks the 44th Annual Earth Day celebration.  To participate in this day, Intreegue broke ground on our new vegetable garden.  We also checked in on our ever growing bee colony.  

What can you do to participate?  Here are a few simple ideas:

1. Plant A Tree: Arbor day is approaching (April 27th) and this would fulfill both days! If you have been thinking about infilling your outdoor space with some tree canopy coverage, now would be a perfect time!  Contact us and we can help plan it for you.

earth day

2. Establish an Edible Garden: an herb or vegetable garden, or even perhaps an edible landscape?  Intreegue's experienced team can help with this!

3. Carry your own water bottle:  This is a great way to easily cut down on plastic used for bottled water.  We recommend the square by cleanbottle  We've been specifying water bottle refill stations in our commercial retail designs, keep your eyes peeled for those!  

New Ideas for Spring

Intreegue recently attended the MANTS show in Baltimore (Mid-Atlantic Nurseryman's Trade Show) to garner new ideas for this coming Spring in terms of plant material and edible gardening!  We were not disappointed.  Below are a few items of note.

 New ideas in Plants

We talked to Sunny Borders Nurseries, out of Kensington, CT, regarding new cultivars for 2014.  One of our favorite fragrant shrubs and edible, Lavender, is out in a grand new style!  Intreegue will be excited to specify this new cultivar known as Lavandula x intermedia 'Phenomenal' in gardens this coming Spring.  This lavender was voted a Better Homes and Gardens "Must Grow Perennial".  The cultivar name comes from the fact that it is such a 'Phenomenal' performer, especially in the winter when the standard species tends to get leggy.  This cultivar is heat and disease resistance in addition to having a perfect mounding habit.

 click image to visit Sunny Borders Nurseries

click image to visit Sunny Borders Nurseries

For the Hungry Gardeners:

New cultivars have arrived in the edible landscape world - Brazelberries!  These plants are an innovative  take on fruit baring shrubs.  Some of their collections currently include raspberries and blueberries.  I find the Raspberry Shortcake™ particularly exciting.  This raspberry shrub is compact and thornless unlike the normal raspberry shrub that can be unruly and full of thorns!  Check out their website for other cultivars, and contact Intreegue so we can start thinking about your edible landscape for the spring!


Ginkgos Go Naked!

ginkgo biloba.jpg

Did you know gingko’s drop their leaves all at the same time?  It’s quite a spectacular scene, nature’s outdoor floor is covered with the Maidenhair’s golden locks, creating a “Wow Factor” display making head’s turn.  Why does this happen though…?


Jack Frost is the trigger in essence… for their leaf senescence! (Senescence, meaning plant death/leaf drop). The petioles (leaf stems) on deciduous trees start to create a protective layer of cells for the winter to protect the tree during the cold stretch of winter.

Typically, the outer leaves of most deciduous trees start this process first as they are the ones most affected by the change in temperature and climate.  Consecutively, the next layer goes, and so on creating a leaf drop over several days to possibly weeks.  Conversely for the ginkgo it’s a different case – their petioles create the protective layer of cells all at the same time when the break of the seasonal change comes.  They all wait for a strong frost...and, Voila; it’s a vibrant splash of yellow.  The surrounding ground plane is littered with the beautiful scene and the tree left bare till the rebirth of Spring!


 The Beautiful Hickory in it's Autumn Brilliance

The Beautiful Hickory in it's Autumn Brilliance

Starting from the Summer Solstice (June 21st) the sunlight starts to wane and chlorophyll gets ready to go on sabbatical.  The Shorter days and cooler temps in Fall slow the production of our green friend giving way to let a whole new cast shine in what is known as our spectacular ‘Fall Foliage’ here on the East Coast.

Other players like carotene, xanthophyll, and anthocyanin take the lead.  Carotene and Xanthophyll contribute to the beautiful yellow pigments we see in lovely natives like the Hickory.  Anthocyanin appear with the uprising of sugar production in the leaf and take charge.  They produce the striking red and purple pigments in trees like the native dogwood and one of my all- time favorites, the Black Gum! 

Tans and brown colors of leaves, usually seen in oaks come from tannins that appear in the leaf as chlorophyll fades away.

Previously all these pigments were masked by chlorophyll, but as it ‘leaves’ us during the Fall/Winter Sabbatical, all these other pigments shine through! 

Three factors influence autumn leaf color: leaf pigments, length of night, and weather.  You will notice this year, autumn has drawn upon us later than most typical years, due to our factor of weather; it has been unusually warm for fall this season. 

Check back for a list of top Fall Trees!  Click through below for more pics...


Healing Gardens Lecture at UMD

Free lecture happening Thursday evening with a reception to follow!

 This lecture is the kick off to a lecture series put on by MDASLA and Victor Stanley.  If by chance  you are interested in learning more about Healing Gardens, this is a great opportunity. Virginia will review big ideas when it comes to healing gardens all the way down to the eye catching details that really bring a project together. 

click here to register for this event... 

Feel free to email me for more information regarding the speaker series: