The latest thinking on ecological landscapes. Useful tips to improve our environment

Kim Eierman

Kim Eierman

Founder of EcoBeneficial!

Available for virtual and in-person landscape consulting, talks and classes.

Buy a copy of
The Pollinator Victory Garden!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Flickr_Bumble Bee on Clethra

An Environmental Aspect to This Memorial Day

As we remember our fallen troops this Memorial Day, let’s also pay tribute to Rachel Carson, born on May 27, 1907, a famous conservationist credited with starting the modern day environmental movement.

After studying at the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory, and receiving a Masters in zoology from Johns Hopkins University, Carson started her career as a marine biologist.  She became increasingly concerned about the use of synthetic pesticides after World War II and changed her focus to become an environmentalist.

In 1962 Carson wrote the seminal book,  Silent Spring, raising public awareness, and concerns, about the harmful effects of pesticides on the environment.   Although chemical companies aggressively fought to discredit Carson, her book eventually triggered a national ban on DDT and other pesticides.  Carson’s activism also spurred a nationwide environmental movement including the formation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

In tribute to Rachel Carson, let’s embrace these gardening strategies which improve the health of our environment:

1) Eliminate synthetic pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.  Use organic counterparts sparingly, and carefully, if at all.  Organic does not mean “benign.”

2) Attract and support beneficial insects in your landscape with regionally native plants. More than 90% of the insects in our landscapes are beneficial and many act as nature’s pest control.

3) Reduce or eliminate your lawn – it’s an ecological desert.

4) Focus on increasing the health of your soil – it’s filled with life.  Compost is king for most soils, not fertilizer.

5) Select plants which attract and support our valuable native bees and honey bees – they are responsible for pollinating many of our food crops.

6) Enrich the ecosystem in your yard by planting a diversity of native plants.  Bio-diverse landscapes are more resistant to pests, diseases, and extreme weather events.

7) Plant the right plant in the right place for best plant health. Don’t put sun-loving plants in the shade!

8) Remove non-native invasive plants and replace them with regionally native plants.

9) Tolerate some messiness in your garden to support wildlife. Nature isn’t perfect and your yard doesn’t have to be either.

10) Plant more native plants. They have co-evolved with other living things in your ecosystem and support them.

Happy Memorial Day from Kim Eierman, Founder, EcoBeneficial!

Photo: Bumble bee on Clethra flower

Photo credit: Flickr_Dendroica cerulean

More from EcoBlog

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

Easy Native Perennials to Start from Seed: Economical and EcoBeneficial!

Biodiversity is critical to the health of ecosystems but species diversity is crashing and getting worse in the face of climate change.  How can you help?  Skip the clones of native plants (grown from cuttings or tissue culture) and plant native seeds to increase genetic diversity to support our challenged…

Read More

The American Gardener: Book Review of The Pollinator Victory Garden

Book Review from The American Gardener: The Pollinator Victory Garden: Win the War on Pollinator Decline with Ecological Gardening Kim Eierman, Quarry Books, Beverly, MA. 160 pages. Publisher’s price, paperback: $26.99 Having worked as a garden designer for 15 years, I’m aware of the importance of native plants, but communicating…

Read More

Dwarf Nativars – Do They Measure Up?

For those of us with small landscapes, dwarf cultivars of native plants can seem like a gift from heaven.  Want to grow a particular native plant, but just don’t have the room?  Have a straight species plant, like a native viburnum, that needs a pollinator partner for fruit production –…

Read More