Where Are the Bees, Butterflies and Other Insects? Facts & Tips

From individual observations to published research, the situation seems clear – insect populations are declining across the globe. It’s a crisis that gets little play in the media, surpassed daily by “news” of unhinged political tweets or the latest Kardashian romance. Anecdotal evidence is abundant – recent posts on NABA Chat (North American Butterfly Association) from…

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Powerful Prunus: A Visit With Dr. Doug Tallamy

Some of our most ecologically powerful native plants are the ones we never plant!   It’s time for a change, if we really want to make a difference to our environment. Often considered a “weedy tree”, our native Black Cherry (Prunus serotina) is an extraordinarily valuable plant in nature.   Native to most of the Eastern half…

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20 Resolutions for the EcoBeneficial Landscape

It’s that time of year to make your resolutions for 2015.  Don’t forget to include your landscape!  Here are 20 resolutions to get you started toward a healthier ecosystem: 1) Reduce or eliminate the “Green Desert” (turf/lawn). Exotic turf grass is an ecological wasteland.  When replacing lawn, don’t replace one monoculture with another.  Plant diversely…

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Tasty Natives: Pawpaw (Asimina trioloba)

As fall planting winds down, consider whether you might have one more spot for a tasty native plant.  It’s a great way to add an ecological boost to your landscape, while growing something unusual that you can eat.  Edible native plantings help connect us with the ecosystems around us, and are a powerful way to…

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Eco-Lessons from the Farm: GMO Corn & Pollinators

EcoBeneficial! went on a working vacation to Vermont this summer and visited some organic farms, including River Berry Farm in Fairfax, Vermont.  After you finish this post watch my short video interview with organic farmer and pollinator advocate, Jane Sorensen, co-owner of River Berry Farm, to pick up some tips. My encounters with forward thinking…

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The Value of Signs in an Ecological Landscape

How do you communicate to your neighbors why you have little or no lawn, why you have a diversity of native plants, why your trees are not topped, why your shrubs are not pruned into meatballs, why you leave your perennials and grasses standing through winter? Many of our neighbors are baffled by our ecological…

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A Closer Look at Monarchs & Milkweeds: Latest Information from Xerces

Milkweeds (Asclepias species) are getting a lot of attention these days since they are the only larval host plants for the threatened Monarch Butterfly.   As you may know, butterfly caterpillars have a different diet than their adult counterparts.   Most caterpillars eat plant parts, usually leaves.  Monarch caterpillars only eat the leaves of milkweeds. The Xerces…

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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. …

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