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Wrestling With the Good Guys

Among the many native perennials in my landscape, goldenrod has the highest ecological and wildlife value. It's a standout "good guy," a beneficent prince. It's also one of the worst thugs in the prime real estate of my gardens. I've had to draw the line between garden (where I don't want them to seed in) and landscape (where they can run rampant).

By |2020-09-27T17:45:11-04:00September 19th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Wrestling With the Good Guys

Looking Into Sumac

I’ve always loved staghorn sumac’s tropical-looking leaves, young stems resembling velvety antlers (hence its common name), plumy cream-colored flowers, spectacular fall color and fuzzy red berry clusters (only on female plants - they’re dioecious). But I had no idea how much interrelated life, drama, trickery, sex, life and death went on in its embrace until the show was right under my nose.

By |2020-08-31T13:06:57-04:00August 11th, 2020|Categories: Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on Looking Into Sumac

Pollinators – View from the Farm

Creating a reliable food system calls for a shift of priorities from efficient and as cheap as possible to reliable and local. It needs to be about reliability and nourishment. The big threat is lack of pollination services. To protect the pollinators we must plant native plants and protect habitat.

By |2020-07-31T11:32:30-04:00July 31st, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Pollinators – View from the Farm

Allium Christophii – A Garden Goldilocks

Showy Star of Persia (Allium christophii, aka A. albopilosum) is a garden star. It's a Goldilocks plant - not too tall, not too short, with easy-to-hide foliage, just the right-sized flowering globes - and pizzazz to spare.  

By |2020-07-14T14:39:20-04:00June 12th, 2020|Categories: Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on Allium Christophii – A Garden Goldilocks

Eating Really Locally

I've been making a game of seeing how long I can go without going to the grocery store. That means not just living in the garden, but living on what grows in it.

By |2020-07-01T15:51:04-04:00May 15th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Eating Really Locally

Do Native Plants Have a P.R. Problem? Depends How You Look At It

In this season of rapidly emerging garden weeds, Doug Tallamy's recently published Nature's Best Hope really got me thinking about how subjective and value-skewed the word "weed" is. We want plants with wildlife value but get tripped up with words that carry a lot of baggage. The common definition of weed as a plant out of place is subject to all sorts of interpretations. It depends on your point of view.

By |2020-07-01T15:51:04-04:00April 4th, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Do Native Plants Have a P.R. Problem? Depends How You Look At It

It’s Hellebore Heaven in March

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.

By |2020-07-01T15:51:04-04:00March 31st, 2020|Categories: Great Plants, Views|Comments Off on It’s Hellebore Heaven in March

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 |2020-07-01T15:51:05-04:00March 4th, 2020|Categories: Garden Coaching, Views|Comments Off on Monarch’s Eye(s) View

Walking and Gawking at Gardens in Florida

What a difference being outdoors in a warm, green plant-filled environment makes to a winter-weary spirit! Walking and gawking at the tropical (and subtropical) abundance in the funky, small-scale neighborhood of Pass-a-Grille Beach, squished between Boca Ciega Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, in St. Petersburg, Florida is a treat. In this climate, things just grow and every yard is a garden.

By |2020-07-01T15:51:05-04:00February 2nd, 2020|Categories: Views|Comments Off on Walking and Gawking at Gardens in Florida