Ecosystem gardening isn’t limited to plants, but includes coexisting with wildlife – much of which may depend on our landscapes. Learn how to successfully share your landscape with wildlife (even the hungry ones!) in this EcoBeneficial interview with Nancy Lawson, author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife.…
I am thinking about adding the serviceberry Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’ to my landscape. I realize that it is a cultivar of a naturally occurring hybrid of Amelanchier laevis & Amelanchier arborea. Will this plant be a good source for pollinators & birds?
Our native serviceberry species provide a useful early nectar and pollen resource in April for early-emerging pollinators. The fruit that follows in June is loved by many fruit-eating birds and humans alike….
My neighbors are constantly blowing leaves off their yard. Besides being noisy and annoying, I know it’s not good for the environment. How can I convince them to stop?
Leaf blowing has become an obsession in America. At this time of year, in the fall, the relentless hum of leaf blowers is not only disturbing, but highly destructive to our landscapes. Instead of valuing leaves as part of natural ecosystems, many people have learned to treat leaves like toxic waste – something to quickly clear away and cart to some other location. …
Some of our most important native plants are “woodies” (trees and shrubs). Woodies provide critical structure and ecological function to most landscapes – some are early pollen sources for hungry bees, some are nesting sites for songbirds, and some, primarily evergreens, provide cover to many creatures during harsh winters.
Your trees and shrubs are valuable to you and your ecosystem – so how do you keep them healthy through the winter? You start right now, in the fall.
First – skip the standard fertilizer,…
It’s that time of year when leaves seem to blanket everything in sight in much of the U.S., at least in locales where there is an abundance of deciduous trees and shrubs. For years, homeowners have taken great care to remove every dead leaf from their landscapes as if those leaves were coated with toxic waste. An army of rakes and leaf blowers burst into action in the fall, filling countless leaf bags, left at the end of driveways like yesterday’s trash,…
Urban forests and natural areas are alive and well in New York City as a result of the hard work of NYC Parks, its staff and volunteers. Learn how they do it, and pick up some pointers, in this EcoBeneficial interview with Kristy King, the Director of Forest Restoration for the Natural Resources Group of NYC Parks….
We have quite a bit of Jimsonweed in a garden within a public park that our organization maintains. Using RoundUp is out of the question. Are there any ways to remove it organically?
Jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) is an introduced weed, often classified as a noxious weed or an invasive plant, depending on the state. It is a prolific annual that can produce as many as 30,000 seeds per plant. For more details on the plant,…
What are the benefits of Jimsonweed? Are there any virtues to this plant? It seems to be a common, aggressive, but interesting “weed.” I’d like to keep some of it and mix with other beneficial plants in the New York area.
I think that all plants have some virtue, but are always best sited in their native range. Even Japanese Knotweed has some virtues – in Japan. New York beekeepers often tell me how great the late-season nectar of Japanese Knotweed is for their honey bees….
Confused about the terminology associated with native gardening? If you are, it’s not surprising, since there are numerous definitions just for the simple word “native.” Native, non-native, exotic, alien, naturalized – these terms, and others, are often misused. Hopefully the following explanations will clear up some confusion!
Terminology for Native (or not)
While different sources vary on the definition of “native species,” Federal Executive Order 11987 (May 1977) defines native species as “all species of plants and animals naturally occurring,…