Miss A Columnist

Eugenia Orr has been expressing thoughts, ideas, and notions in the form of the written word for over five years. A local and nationally published freelance writer, Eugenia loves to convey messages about community, empowerment, beauty, and tranquility. Featured on the cover of N’Digo Magazine in 2008 as one of Chicago’s Top Interior Designers, Eugenia loves to help people live less stressful, more productive lives with beautiful, clutter-free surroundings. Her first book, Clutter Free Home Living (available on Amazon.com and iTunes) is a down and dirty guide to help people suffering from what she calls “clutteritis”. Eugenia firmly believes that everyone should live in a guest ready home and is on a personal mission to help rid the world of unorganized chaos.
Eugenia's writing abilities have been honed not only through published media, but through educational materials as well. A Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Interior Design solidified her passion of home and beauty. Having earned a Master's Degree in Urban Planning and Policy by completing a thesis on Faith Based Planning at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Eugenia is currently a Doctoral Candidate at Olivet Nazarene University. In 2012, she will earn a Doctorate of Education in Ethical Leadership after completing her dissertation research on Gentrification and Condominium Ownership in Bronzeville, Chicago, Illinois.
A south-side Chicago girl, Eugenia loves to spend time at home, reading, writing and taking in the occasional movie, when, that is, she’s not attending an open house, trade show or visiting clients.

The Beauty of Native Landscapes

Photo by Nature Hills Nursery

Ever wonder why, no matter what you do, it seems the weeds won’t go away?  Well the reason for that is because weeds are not really weeds. They are native plantings, indigenous to our region.  They stay around because their roots grow very deep in the ground and actually tap the ‘water table’.  A water table is the line below ground that is saturated with water. In times of drought, the water table drops and is unreachable for flowers and shrubs with short root systems. Native plantings have decades of evolution to adapt to the seasons and still thrive.    Native plantings require little maintenance and watering once established. Native plantings are also perennials or self seeding biennials, so you won’t have to replant every year. These indigenous plants will attract wildlife and birds, as well as attract insects that prey upon pests and reduce the need for pesticides.

Planting a native landscape will improve water quality due to the fact that pesticides are not necessary.  In addition, because they do not require watering, not only is water use decreased, they will reduce run off contaminated with fertilizers and pesticides that mix into ground water. Having a native garden will also improve air quality is improved since it doesn’t have to be mowed and the plants take in and store more CO2 than grass lawns.

Having a lawn with native plantings is not for everyone, although for those looking to go ‘green’ , save money and reduce your impact on the earth, get rid of the sod and go native.  Black-Eyed Susan’s attract butterflies, so plant them all around. Just remember that butterflies only fly when the sun is out. You won’t see them on cloudy days. .  For song birds, plant Sunflowers or Blazing Stars. If you love Hummingbirds, plant a hummer garden with Azalea bushes, Morning glory vines, Four-o-clocks, and impatiens.


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