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

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

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

A Perennially Changing Garden

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.

By | August 3rd, 2019|Views|Comments Off on A Perennially Changing Garden

Restoring Insects to Our Landscapes – Every Yard Counts

Curiosity about how things really work in nature led me to world of environmental scientists who deal in facts, not just feelings. The more I learn from them, the more I know that what we do at home makes a difference (positive or negative) and that every yard counts. Entomologist Doug Tallamy has given substance and urgency to the importance of restoring insects to our landscapes. He speaks eloquently on “Restoring the Little Things That Run the World” (i.e. insects).

By | July 2nd, 2019|Garden Coaching, Views|Comments Off on Restoring Insects to Our Landscapes – Every Yard Counts

Planting Memories, Sharing Plants

My gardens are alive with memories of plants and people. When grandpa’s peonies bloom every June, deep-in-my-bones recollections come bubbling up. Even as a toddler, I was irresistibly drawn to the gigantic compost pile inside a crumbling old stone foundation behind his barn. Lusciously fragrant, audaciously magenta peonies bloomed beside the steaming, teeming life-filled mound.Maybe that’s where I caught the gardening bug so early on.

By | June 12th, 2019|Views|Comments Off on Planting Memories, Sharing Plants

I Surrender – To the Wisdom of Plants

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?

By | May 2nd, 2019|Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on I Surrender – To the Wisdom of Plants

Early Season Flowers for Pollinators

Climate change has put many co-evolved plants and pollinators out of sync. Beekeepers can monitor their hives and do supplemental feeding. What plants feed early emerging native bees?

By | April 2nd, 2019|Views|Comments Off on Early Season Flowers for Pollinators

It’s All About the Light

When look at translucent flowers like witch hazels with low sun shining through, they’re ablaze with light. Backlighting is pure glowing magic.

By | March 10th, 2019|Views|Comments Off on It’s All About the Light

Birds and Bird Feeders Outside My Windows

How to help birds in winter and protect birds from predators and collisions with glass.

By | February 3rd, 2019|How-To's, Views|Comments Off on Birds and Bird Feeders Outside My Windows