Why Locally-Sourced, Locally-Grown Native Plants Matter

Have you visited your local farmer’s market lately or picked up your weekly allotment at a CSA?   If you are a locavore, like so many of us, you might be asking some pretty specific questions of your suppliers when you are vetting your food choices, such as: Where was this food grown? How far is…

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Lessons from the Smokies: Biodiversity in the Home Landscape

During a recent trip to the annual Great Smoky Mountain Spring Wildflower Pilgrimage, I was overwhelmed by the incredible biodiversity of native plants and animals, interwoven in their natural habitat in the Smoky Mountains, making up one of the healthiest and most beautiful ecosystems I have ever encountered. Instead of the endless Japanese Barberry thickets…

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Underutilized Native Shrubs With Big Ecological Impact

Shopping for shrubs can be a dull experience when so many garden centers, nurseries and big box stores sell the same lackluster choices.  Does the world need another forsythia, another boxwood, another sterile hydrangea?  Go beyond the ecologically-mediocre and seek out great native shrubs that contribute big ecological impact to your landscape. Here are a…

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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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Fall Planting With Woodies – Native Trees & Shrubs

Some of our most ecologically-important native plants are trees and shrubs (aka woodies).  They provide critical structure and ecological function to our landscapes.  Some are early pollen sources for hungry bees, some have fruits, nuts or seeds for birds and mammals, some are host plants for butterflies, some are nesting sites for songbirds, and some,…

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