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?

The Curb Appeal Trap

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?

By | October 10th, 2019|Garden Coaching, Views|Comments Off on The Curb Appeal Trap

Collect Native Plant Seeds in Fall

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.

By | September 25th, 2019|Garden Coaching, How-To's|Comments Off on Collect Native Plant Seeds in Fall

Choosing the Best Native Plants for Wildlife

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.

By | September 20th, 2019|Clues, Garden Coaching|Comments Off on Choosing the Best Native Plants for Wildlife

In Praise of Aggressive Native Plants – Even if They’re Pink

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.

By | September 15th, 2019|Garden Coaching, Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on In Praise of Aggressive Native Plants – Even if They’re Pink

Reduce Artificial Light at Night

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.

By | July 25th, 2019|Garden Coaching, How-To's|Comments Off on Reduce Artificial Light at Night

Which Native Plants Support the Most Life?

How do we support resilient local food webs? Entomologist Doug Tallamy notes that caterpillars transfer energy into the food web better than anything else, so we need to increase their numbers. Dr. Tallamy's research shows that some native plants are more ecologically productive too, that 5% of our native plants make 75% of the food that drives food webs.

By | July 15th, 2019|Clues, Garden Coaching, Great Plants|Comments Off on Which Native Plants Support the Most Life?