The new year brings more challenges than ever to our environment. Fires, floods, development of pristine natural areas, species loss, pollinator decline – on and on it goes. Sometimes it can feel a bit paralyzing as we ask ourselves – “what can we do, how can we really make a difference?”
The answer is this – we can do a lot in our managed landscapes to improve the environment around us. It’s not mysterious and it’s not even that difficult – we simply have to landscape a little bit differently,…
It started innocently enough. While volunteering at a plant sale held by Lasdon Park, a local arboretum, I spotted a dozen or so lanky, young Brugmansias for sale. The plant-loving staff, had scored these tropical wonders, offering them for sale amid a treasure trove of native and ornamental trees and shrubs. But the Brugmansias stood out, calling like a siren to every plant geek there.
Brugmansia, commonly known as Angel’s Trumpet, is a group of seven plant species native to South America….
As spring begins in earnest, pause for a moment before rushing off to the nursery or garden center to shop for plants. First, consider how the steps you take and the choices you make can increase the health of your landscape and the environment around you. Here are some tips to get you started:
1) Do a soil test before you buy a single plant. You cannot know what plants to choose unless you know the basic information about your soil. …
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 few worthy choices for your consideration:
Corylus americana (American Hazelnut)
American Hazelnut is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub typically found in open woods and woodland edges….
During the hot, dry days of summer you may feel the urge to pull out the garden hose and water everything in sight. Perhaps you have an in-ground sprinkler system that does the job for you, often running on a timer, watering whether irrigation is needed or not. According to the EPA, one-third of all residential water is used to irrigate our landscapes. Half of that water is wasted due to evaporation, misdirected watering and over-watering.
With more extreme weather events resulting from climate change,…
The hot and humid days of summer are certainly not ideal for planting, but you can plant in summer with some special care and vigilance.
Maybe you just found a fantastic plant you have been looking for, or, perhaps you didn’t get around to planting some native perennials or shrubs you bought in the spring. Keeping plants in containers over the summer requires constant watering, so it may be worth planting now, or…?
Best Times for Planting
The best practice is to plant when the days are warm and the nights are cool….
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 across the country report a decline in butterfly populations in many areas. Home gardeners and environmentalists are reporting a scarcity of bees in their summer landscapes….
Searching for male native plants often feels like the 1977 film, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, in which Diane Keaton plays a woman with an overactive libido, cruising bars nightly, looking to score with yet another male. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie – let’s just say that it doesn’t turn out well. Neither do many of our attempts to “score” a native male plant in our quest for berries in our landscape.
Quite a few of our native plants are dioecious –…
Spring is just around the corner. A late season snowstorm might sneak in, or perhaps we’ll jump right into to a string of unseasonably warm days. With climate change, the timing of spring is increasingly hard to predict. Don’t let the growing season catch you by surprise this year. Start planning your goals for your landscape or your clients’ landscapes. This year, set the bar high – make your landscape beautiful, but make it ecological, too.
With natural areas rapidly diminishing,…