Extending the Garden With Great Native Plants in Pots

If you are like many gardeners, you are scouring your landscape to figure out where else you can squeeze in another plant.  No empty spots in your garden?  No problem.  Containers are the answer!  While many gardeners plant in pots, few realize that there are many native plants which will do very well in containers.  Not only are native perennials…

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Water for Birds and Other Wildlife

Water is the number one thing that birds and other wildlife have the hardest time finding on their own and it’s often the one thing that we often forget to include in our landscapes. If you are lucky enough to have a pond, a lake or a stream on your property, you have an incredibly valuable resource for wildlife. Make…

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Praying Mantis Confidential

Most of us hold the Praying Mantis and other Mantises in high regard – highly beneficial insects in our landscapes, valued as voracious predators of insect pests.  They are fascinating creatures that charm even those people who are squeamish about “bugs.” We have put Mantises on an “insect pedestal” wishfully thinking that they are protected by some state or federal…

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A Bakers Dozen of EcoBeneficial Ideas for Earth Day

Give your ecosystem a gift this Earth Day with these 13 ideas that are sure to please the environment: 1) Select at least 25% of your lawn that you don’t really use.  Make a commitment to turn that area into a habitat garden by the end of spring (pollinators, butterflies, birds, etc.). 2) Comb your garage and garden shed for…

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Native Cultivars vs. Native Plants & Their Attractiveness to Pollinators

As you start shopping for plants this spring, please emphasize regional native plants that support your local ecosystem.  That sounds easy, doesn’t it?  Well, it’s actually a bit more complicated.   Sometimes the only native plants you can find are native cultivars, not open-pollinated, “straight species” natives.  These native cultivars are often referred to as “nativars.” For those of you who…

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Gardening Differently This Spring With an Ecological Focus

As spring begins, gardeners and landscape pros take off like runners at the starting line when the gun goes off.   Please pause for just a moment, and consider how you might do things a little bit differently in the landscape this year. This spring you can make a huge positive impact to the landscapes you design, install, garden or maintain.  …

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Latest Research on Honey Bee Deaths: What Does it Mean for EcoBeneficial Gardeners?

A new research study was released this week that points to a variant of Tobacco Ringspot Virus as a possible culprit in the phenomenon known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD).  The study was conducted by a group of researchers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, Emory University and the University of North…

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Replacing the Green Desert: Why Native Plant Alternatives to Turf?

The great American love affair with lawns has a long tradition.  The funny thing is, it’s not even our tradition – we adopted the idea from Europe where turf grasses are native.  And that’s where the ecological problem starts.  Our native flora and fauna species did not co-evolve with European turf grasses and are not supported by these exotic grass…

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What Your Native Plants Are Doing When You’re Not Looking: In the Garden with Doug Tallamy

It is estimated that more than 90% of the insects in our home landscapes are benign or beneficial.   Why then do so many folks spray pesticides that kill not only insect “pests” but all the beneficial insects, too?  Instead of reaching for the spray, let’s use native plants to support beneficial insects and the natural predators that keep pests under…

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