National Public Gardens Day

Mt. Cuba Center

Mt. Cuba Center

As an ardent visitor and member of some great public gardens here in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and our Nation's Capitol, we urge you to celebrate National Public Gardens Day by visiting one near you today!  To our Intreegue Design team, a public garden is a place to showcase our favorite medium — plants! It's also a place to 'get down and do some earthing'! To the community, a public garden can be an amazing resource for creating a sense of environmental responsibility, community engagement, and a place for learning. These special gardens are also a vibrant resources for sustainable practices and conversation. Many public gardens offer programs on plant conservation, water conservation, the preservation of green spaces, etc.

We recently visited one of our favorite public gardens, Mt. Cuba Center for a native orchids lecture. We toured their gardens and greenhouses, which hold some of the rarest native plants in the region - they work to conserve their genetic code for research, restoration and the enjoyment of their guests. They have a variety of programs offered at their location - from botany to sustainable gardening, eco-printed scarf making to floral painting! They are celebrating today with reduced admission and special activities. 

Another favorite is Ladew Gardens, named one of the top five gardens in North America! We recently visited for their annual Green Festival and took in the delightful views among their renowned gardens. The grounds contain more than 15 'garden rooms' — devoted to a single color, a single plant or a single theme (such as Water Lily Garden, Pink Garden and Rose Garden). In addition to the garden rooms, what Ladew is really known for its topiaries — they maintain over 100 topiaries on the property. They also offer special events and classes, including adult, children and family education.





Gardens located all over the country are celebrating the day - find out participants near you on the National Public Gardens Day Facebook page! 

And don't forget, Colleen Vacelet will be speaking at Cylburn Arboretum on Saturday - a lecture titled: Cultivating a Pollinator Habitat.

Here is a list of some of our favorites: (a few of which we've done projects for!):

Desert Botanical Gardens

Desert Botanical Gardens

What's Blooming Wednesday - Lilac shrubs + Camellias

Welcome back to What’s Blooming Wednesday! Nature brings us exciting new shapes and colors every week - on Wednesdays, we hand pick our favorites and feature them here! Check out what’s blooming this week and what you might see in your neighborhood!

This week, we're seeing Lilac shrubs - the Miss Kim variety! These ornamental beauties are known for their sweet smell. The flower blooms are heavily clustered and boast a dreamy fragrance you can smell around the neighborhood! 

We've also spotted some stunning Camellias blooms! The Camellia japonica begins flowering in early spring with buds clustering mid-summer, unlike the Camellia sasanqua. The flowers grow between 3-5” with 5-8 petals. There are many cultivars allowing great variety in flower color and formation. 

Lilac Miss Kim

Lilac Miss Kim

Camellia japonica

Camellia japonica

What's Blooming Wednesday - Judd Viburnum + Ajuga Chocolate Chip

Judd Viburnum

Judd Viburnum

Welcome back to What’s Blooming Wednesday! Nature brings us exciting new shapes and colors every week - on Wednesdays, we hand pick our favorites and feature them here! Check out what’s blooming this week and what you might see in your neighborhood!

This week we're seeing Native Judd Viburnum everywhere! This shrub is wonderfully fragrant with a soft smell that you may have smell before you see. Their flower buds start out pink, then open to a creamy white. In their spring/early summer blooming season, they attract pollinators with their nectar. 

Also, check out the Ajuga Chocolate Chip! This plant provides great ground cover with a tight mat of chocolate-brown foliage with dark green undertones. In the spring, we see these lovely blue/purple flowers rise above the dark to create a pretty pattern. 

And, last but not least, be on the lookout for the Apple Blossoms! The timing of apple tree blooms can vary annually based on fluctuating winter/spring temperatures (of which we've had our fair share) but this week we saw the first blooms from our espalier apple tree! 

Ajuga Chocolate Chip

Ajuga Chocolate Chip

Apple blossom

Apple blossom

EVENTS: Cylburn Arboretum 50th Anniversary Market Day

On Saturday, May 12th, we'll be joining the Cylburn Arboretum for their 50th Anniversary Market Day Celebration! Intreegue Design's founder and president, Colleen Vacelet, will be speaking about pollinator gardens at the Cultivating a Pollinator Habitat talk - Join at 10:30AM for our lecture

Market Day is Cylburn’s Annual Plant & Garden Sale! Join for all the fun!

  • Gifts
  • Food vendors
  • Music
  • Face painting
  • Live bird exhibit
  • Plus, FREE educational activities for kids! 
  •  Flowers, vegetable, plants
  • Free talks on gardening
    (Including Intreegue Design at 10:30AM!)
  • Experts on hand to answer questions
  • UME Master Gardeners
  • Garden décor

Shop, eat, and learn with fellow garden aficionados and neighbors!

Cylburn Arboretum 50th Anniversary Market Day Event 2018 - Intreegue Design

Earth Day 2018 - Easy Acts of Green

HAPPY EARTH DAY from the Intreegue team! 

As Landscape Architects we see ourselves as 'Environmental Stewards'. With that in mind, at Intreegue we aim to 'walk the walk as much as we talk the talk'! We were so grateful to spend a beautiful weekend celebrating the world around us. From our garden to our apiary, we've seen the benefits of good green habits we've adopted. This Spring we will be conducting tests on soil health in our own space and document the benefit of sheet mulching. Soil samples have been sent out and we will begin sheet mulching soon. If you're looking to add some more acts of green to your daily life, check out list of easy tips below:

Intreegue's new mason bee house! 

Intreegue's new mason bee house! 

1. Provide Habitats for Pollinators: This could be anythings from a pollinator garden to installing a bee house (see ours to the right -->) . Check out these stylish ones as Gardner Supply: Bees, Bugs, and Insect Homes.

2. Skip the Straw: Did you know that Americans use about 500 million plastic straws each day? WOW. These days, they have developed fun and cute reusable straws you can use to get your straw fix!

3. Support Local & Sustainable Farmers: Did you know the average item of food in America travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate?! Good thing it's becoming easier to find amazing locally grown foods! From Farmer's Markets to roadside stands to work-supported CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), you can find delicious, locally-grown items right in your hometown! Finding and supporting local not only helps lessen carbon emissions but the food actually tastes better! From the farm right to your plate!


What's Blooming Wednesday - Saucer Magnolias + Red Buds

Saucer Magnolias - Intreegue Design

Welcome back to What’s Blooming Wednesday! Nature brings us exciting new shapes and colors every week - on Wednesdays, we hand pick our favorites and feature them here! Check out what’s blooming this week and what you might see in your neighborhood!

We still seem to be on a rollercoaster of weather - this past weekend we saw a few days of sun but we're back to chilly spring skies. But that doesn't mean plants aren't growing! 

This week, we're seeing more Saucer Magnolias! These show-stoppers are brightening up our streets and sidewalks with their early pink and white blossoms. These trees have been widely planted in our areas and they are one of the first to bloom in spring. 

Red Buds - Intreegue Design

You can also be on the lookout for Red Buds. These trees are native to eastern North America and can be seen throughout the state. Their deep pink flowers grow right on their reddish brown trunks and zigzag branches and create a beautiful brush of color! Sometimes call the 'rising sun' Red Bud, these blooms are always interesting and striking! 

Red Bud - Intreegue Design

What's Blooming Wednesday - Bleeding Hearts + Quince

Welcome to What’s Blooming Wednesday! Nature brings us exciting new shapes and colors every week - on Wednesdays, we hand pick our favorites and feature them here! Check out what’s blooming this week and what you might see in your neighborhood!

Bleeding Heart blooms - Intreegue Design

Things are starting to happen for Spring, even though it feels like it's not here yet. I love that the things blooming right now are all about the flowers - leaves have not leafed out yet so we're just seeing full pops of color!

This week, we’re seeing the famous heart-shaped flowers of the Bleeding Hearts, also known as Dicentra, bloom! With soft green foliage and rose pink or white heart-shaped flowers, this plant is a favorite of spring shade.

We’re also seeing Quince bloom - it’s typically one of the first shrubs to flower in spring (hopefully that means warmer weather is coming our way)! While it can look a little scraggly, it’s an interesting flower.

Quince bloom - Intreegue Design
Quince bloom - Intreegue Design

Live from the Hive: Bee Rodeo 2018

This past weekend was our annual Intreegue Bee Rodeo! Every year the team at Intreegue installs new hives in our apiary. This year we installed two nucleus hives from our Central Maryland Beekeepers Association. A nucleus hive is a 4-5 frame started hive. Check out some the photos from this year's Bee Rodeo below: 

beekeeping - Intreegue Design
beekeeping - Intreegue Design
beekeeping - Intreegue Design
beekeeping - Intreegue Design

We love beekeeping because it stimulates the pollination of our area!

Did you know “one out of every three bites of food that a person eats was made possible by a pollinator”?!

It’s true! And beekeeping, as you can see by these photos, can be a fun (and stylish) hobby for anyone!

If you have any questions on beekeeping or if you have a space you think could be transformed into a pollinator garden, please reach out to us

Intreegue Design beekeeping

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.