In my training as a NOFA-Accredited Organic Land Care Professional, I was intrigued to learn a bit about what the plants we call weeds reveal about soil. Wanting to learn more, I called the instructor [...]
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.
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.
Not bound by the same interrelationships, many invasive plants get the jump on natives by greening up earlier, growing faster, photosynthesizing longer. March offers a window of opportunity to recognize and remove them before native plants leaf out and gardeners get too busy to notice.
To restore, protect or create habitat, first you need to determine what is already there to preserve and encourage to spread. Even in winter, deciduous trees and shrubs offer a lot of clues about the site and what wants to grow there.
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.