Sometimes our good intentions backfire. Scientific research, like insect-plant relationships, is highly specific. But researchers are beginning to fill in the dearth of data and come up with some pretty good clues to answer the big question: Are native plant cultivars - "nativars" - and hybrids good for pollinators and other beneficial insects?
Who is curb appeal for? Why not appeal to wildlife and to your own sense of beauty instead of having a high maintenance cookie cutter suburban landscape?
The Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) has invited me to speak on Designing with Elegant and Edible Elements at its Season’s End Summit on November 7 at the Community Harvest Project in North Grafton, MA .......
Sow seeds collected from nearby wild areas, or from plants thriving in your own yard, for well-adjusted offspring. Growing your own is a good way to save money, get your hands on hard-to-find plants, support local foodwebs and promote genetic diversity. Seeds of summer and fall blooming plants, and even some spring bloomers, are ripe in September and October.
Research on wildlife value of every single native plant species and cultivar in every genus in every region simply has not been done, but we have lots of clues and resources. And we can keep looking and learning.
A garden coaching client's bed of Physostegia virginiana totally changed my perspective about this aggressive native plant. Now this stalwart perennial tops my list of plants that are beautiful, support wildlife and solve problems. Read about how this plant solved a big erosion problem with style.
Make your own herb salt and you’ll never have to wait for an occasion special enough to dip into such a costly condiment. Read how Karen Bussolini makes fast and easy herb salt with cheap, organic herbs that she grows herself.
Fertile, self-sowing, open-pollinated plants are full of genetic diversity and food for pollinators. They often charmingly appear in places we’d never think to plant them.
I love the way everything about my sunny sideyard garden changes throughout the growing season. And I love the act of artful (and occasionally ruthless) tweaking.
Moths are drawn to light. They exhaust themselves flying toward strong security lights and die or get picked off by predators (bats, birds, rats, mice). More than 60% of invertebrates are nocturnal. The Xerces Society’s advice on being thoughtful about night lighting to help fireflies helps a lot of insects - and saves energy too.