Losing weight and curbing bad habits don’t have to be the only resolutions you make for the New Year. How about adopting some resolutions that will have a positive impact on the environment around you? Here are 5 ecological landscape resolutions worth making:
Resolution#1: Become a Climate Change Steward – Plant More Trees
The efforts of nations are critical to stemming climate change, but so are individual actions. Why not help trap carbon emissions, clean the air, cool the environment and decrease the impact of flooding in your own landscape….
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 perform best. Their research has focused mostly on garden-worthiness, namely aesthetic factors, but Mt. Cuba has now embraced ecological research as well….
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 not? Organically grown or conventionally grown?
A choice that we rarely even contemplate is “native plant or native cultivar?” Often we have no choice at all – we simply buy what is available at a local nursery – and frequently that means a “nativar”- a cultivar,…
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 Corridor.
I recently spoke with Joan O’Shaughnessy, ecologist and manager of the River and Prairie Ecosystems at the Chicago Botanic Garden. …
Have you visited your local farmer’s market this week 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 the farm from here?
Where did the seed come from? Is it heirloom? Do you collect and save seed?
How do you grow your crops?…
You’ve decided to be a good ecological steward of your landscape and reduce or replace your lawn. Kudos to you on making the decision to remove the “green desert,” hopefully, replacing it with those ecological workhorses – native plants. If every homeowner and landscape pro made this simple step, we would see vast improvements in biodiversity and ecological health.
But now what? How do you get rid of your Green Desert, your lawn, in a way that protects both you and the environment? …
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 plants. The European honey bee (nonnative, of course) is also a forage generalist.
Requirements of Specialist Bees
For the other 25% of our native bees,…
You don’t have to be a gardener or a landscape professional to know that many pollinators are in trouble. The White House has taken notice and on May 19, 2015, released the “Pollinator Research Action Plan.” In the summary of the plan, three “overarching goals” are cited; unfortunately, our 4,000 species of native bees were not highlighted in these goals, but are mentioned in the body of the plan.
The 3 “Overarching Goals” of the National Pollinator Research Action Plan:
1) Honey Bees
Reduce honey bee colony losses during winter (overwintering mortality) to no more than 15% within 10 years….
As the weather warms, neo-tropical migrating birds start to reappear in our landscapes. Are you ready to offer a proper welcome? Resources can be slim at this time of year in our landscapes, both for overwintering birds and returning migrants.
Now more than ever, we need to provide welcoming habitats for birds. According to the National Audubon Society, 20 of our most common bird species have declined by an average of 68% since 1967. Some species, like the Evening Grosbeak, have declined by as much as 91%. …