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 landscapes – filled with diverse…

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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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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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“Wildlife Matters” Landscaping Conference at The Native Plant Center

The dramatic decline of many of our common species has been an environmental wake up call.   The Monarch butterfly population is crashing, honey bees and many native bee species are experiencing record losses, and the 20 most common bird species have dropped by an average of 68% in the past 45 years (National Audubon Society).  These iconic species are…

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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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Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for the EcoBeneficial Gardener

1. Reduce or eliminate your lawn – it’s an ecological desert. 2. Focus on increasing the health of your soil – it’s filled with life!  Compost is king for most soils, not fertilizer. 3. Eliminate synthetic pesticides, herbicides + fungicides.  Use organic counterparts sparingly, if at all. 4. Support beneficial insects with appropriate native plantings.  They are nature’s pest control.…

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