Ripening daffodil foliage is not a pretty picture. But knotting, braiding,bunching, wrapping with rubber bands, bending leaves or cutting them down too soon is detrimental to the health of the plant. Look for good companions to hide and support bulb foliage.
After such a mild winter, my 'Brandywine' strain hellebores (Helleborus x hybridus 'Brandywine' ™) are especially lovely. Time to give these Lenten roses, aka Oriental hellebores, center stage. Even my cut-leafed stinking hellebores (Helleborus foetidus) look pretty good this spring.
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.
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.
As a young gardener getting a whole lot of hands-on experience wrestling out rocks, poison ivy, invasive shrubs and vines, I began doubting the wisdom of traditional garden books - especially regarding double-digging. I could see that plants grew over, around and between rocks in natural areas. Why not find a better way to prepare beds on my rocky mountainside, quit pulling out stones and put plants in the right niches?
Willows are unsung heroes when it comes to year-round wildlife support and thoughtful plant selection.
This time of year, my p.o. box runneth over - with a bounteous crop of specialty mail order seed catalogs that get my mouth watering. With giant chemical companies owning and controlling most of the global seed market, I urge you to seek out independent seed houses. They tell you who they are right up front.
How do we make gardens that still look like gardens in the winter? It’s worth scoping out what perennial foliage still looks good in your garden in cold weather. Gather these "foul weather friends" together for winter garden beauty.
The transition from fall to winter changes the view out my window. But there are still late fall flowers for pollinators and positive environmental news.
If we want to garden in a more ecologically beneficial way, it only makes sense to go outdoors and see what the natural world can teach us. It doesn’t look like much is going on in the woods after most deciduous trees have shed leaves and gone quiet for the winter. But recent woodland walks have given me ideas and inspiration aplenty.