The Art and Science of Mingling

In nature, you don't see plants just sitting there next to each other, politely not touching. They grow together, in community, without wood chip mulch in between, without social distancing. How do they manage to mingle, and how can we emulate natural plant communities in our home landscapes?  

By | May 20th, 2020|Clues, Garden Coaching|Comments Off on The Art and Science of Mingling

Step Up Your Eco-Game: Part 1. Brainstorm and Lay Out Gardens On-Site

How to get rid of lawn - equivalent to an ecological desert - and create perennial beds under trees. An eco-friendly garden coach and homeowner brainstormed together and laid out new beds to create an attractive eco-friendly yard that attracts wildlife and is easy to maintain.

By | May 3rd, 2020|Garden Coaching, How-To's|Comments Off on Step Up Your Eco-Game: Part 1. Brainstorm and Lay Out Gardens On-Site

What Are Your Weeds Telling You? And What To Do About It

In my training as a NOFA-Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, I was intrigued to learn a bit about what the plants we call weeds reveal about soil. Wanting to learn more, I called the instructor Michael Nadeau, Wholistic Land Care Consultant at his home in Connecticut. Mike, a leading authority on sustainable organic and ethical [...]

By | April 25th, 2020|Clues, Garden Coaching|Comments Off on What Are Your Weeds Telling You? And What To Do About It

Get the Jump on Invasive Shrubs

Not bound by the same interrelationships, many invasive plants get the jump on natives by greening up earlier, growing faster, photosynthesizing longer. March offers a window of opportunity to recognize and remove them before native plants leaf out and gardeners get too busy to notice.

By | March 26th, 2020|Garden Coaching, How-To's|Comments Off on Get the Jump on Invasive Shrubs

Native Plant Clues: What Wants to Be Here?

To restore, protect or create habitat, first you need to determine what is already there to preserve and encourage to spread. Even in winter, deciduous trees and shrubs offer a lot of clues about the site and what wants to grow there.

By | March 16th, 2020|Clues, Garden Coaching|Comments Off on Native Plant Clues: What Wants to Be Here?

Monarch’s Eye(s) View

As we all know, iconic, fascinating, beautiful (and seriously threatened) monarch butterflies are milkweed specialists. So how do monarch butterflies find milkweed plants? Read how to design gardens for maximum monarch butterfly benefit.

By | March 4th, 2020|Garden Coaching, Views|Comments Off on Monarch’s Eye(s) View

Carpenter Bees at Work in Home and Garden

Bees are smart. They recognize high quality food and habitat. The buzz has gone out that my house is a happening place for carpenter bees. I don't want to kill or drive carpenter bees away, I just don't want them messing with my house. Looking into their habits and life cycle gives clues to peaceful coexistence with carpenter bees.

By | January 7th, 2020|Clues, Garden Coaching|Comments Off on Carpenter Bees at Work in Home and Garden

Ecologically Important Pest Dilemma

I love watching songbirds gobble down bugs and berries on the staghorn sumacs planted outside my front window and listening to owls whoo-ing nearby at night. But some wildlife - voles - have worn out their welcome by eating plants and tunneling through gardens. How do I establish self-sustaining wildlife-friendly plant communities when the wildlife keeps eating my plants? Voles and mice play an important role in ecosystems - but I want them out of my garden.

By | January 2nd, 2020|Garden Coaching, Views|Comments Off on Ecologically Important Pest Dilemma

Plant Blue Asters that Last All Fall

Fall is aster time, and asters are one of the most important pollinator food sources. Nancy DuBrule-Clemente tells how to plant a succession of blue asters that will bloom in your garden from late summer right into November.

By | November 10th, 2019|Garden Coaching, How-To's|Comments Off on Plant Blue Asters that Last All Fall

Is Your Yard a Refuge – Or a Trap – for Pollinators?

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?

By | October 25th, 2019|Clues, Garden Coaching|Comments Off on Is Your Yard a Refuge – Or a Trap – for Pollinators?