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.
For those wonderful gardeners who joined us for Solving Garden Design Dilemmas on October 20, Here are the promised handouts for winter gardens, pollinator plants and my favorite great problem-solving plants.
Solidago shortii 'Solar Cascade' Goldenrods are one of the most important food resources for native bees as summer slides into fall. The many tiny individual flowers on each flowerhead supply not just nectar, but all-important pollen, a crucial protein source. Read all about garden-worthy goldenrods in the July/August 2018 issue of The American [...]