Native Plant Research at the Mt. Cuba Center with George Coombs

Great garden plant or garden slacker?  This is a question that the Mt. Cuba Center in Hockessin, Delaware has sought to answer, giving gardeners and green industry professionals a helping hand in selecting native plants.  Since 2002, Mt. Cuba, has conducted native plant research in their trial gardens, examining native species, native cultivars/selections (“nativars”) and hybrids to evaluate which plants…

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The Nativar Conundrum: New Research on Natives vs. Native Cultivars with Dr. Doug Tallamy

Planting trees or shrubs this fall? How will you go about making your plant selection? If you have been reading the EcoBeneficial website, hopefully you have been inspired to choose native plants. Beyond that, your choices might be more complicated – should you choose plants that are native to your immediate area or native to your region? Locally sourced or…

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Exploring Prairies & River Corridors at the Chicago Botanic Garden

When you think of Chicago, do deep dish pizzas and high winds come to mind?   How about prairies, river corridors and a do-not-miss botanical garden?  The Chicago Botanic Garden (CBG) is one of our great public gardens, self-described as a 385-acre living plant museum with 26 display gardens and many natural habitats, including the Dixon Prairie and the Skokie River…

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Planting for Specialist Native Bees

Our estimated 4,000 native bee species in the United States and Canada fall into one of two categories – pollen generalists and pollen specialists. Generalist bees are the majority, accounting for approximately 75% of all bee species. It is their good fortune to be able to forage on many different native plant species, and often on a number of non-native…

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Native Bogs with Ron Determann of Atlanta Botanical Garden

If you haven’t seen a native bog in full bloom, then make sure to put that on your bucket list. A recent trip south this fall provided me with the excuse I needed to see the splendid bog gardens at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Both ornamental and endangered, native bogs are some of our most threatened ecosystems. Wanting to learn…

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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 of the U.S., Black Cherry…

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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 using regionally appropriate native plants.…

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Pollinators of Native Plants With Heather Holm

EcoBeneficial! is delighted to be back online after a medical emergency and a long recovery period.   I return with an interview with Heather Holm, author of Pollinators of Native Plants: Attract, Observe and Identify Pollinators and Beneficial Insects With Native Plants. Click to watch the slideshow Click to listen to the podcast Holm is a landscape designer and consultant specializing…

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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 engage kids with the landscape.…

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