Last month I wrote about our desire to establish a mostly native meadow rather than a lawn in front of my new photography studio. You may recall that we’d done a little research and had picked a native seed mix. In early September we had a guy bring his big tractor-mounted tiller and plow up the whole area so we could plant. I picked out the biggest rocks, hacked off and pulled out as many wisteria roots as I could (there used to be a giant wisteria on a fence we had to remove), and spent two … [Read More...]
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Meet other passionate wildlife gardeners from around the country. Share your successes. Learn from your failures. Discover the best resources to help you create welcoming habitat for wildlife in your gardens with native plants so that you will attract more birds, butterflies, native pollinators, and other wildlife to your garden.
People who say 'natives aren't showy' have never seen our native hibiscus! Hibiscus moscheutos has a wide distribution in the continental U.S.; from New York down to Florida, and west as far as Utah. Like any plant that grows in so many places, it comes with a slew of common names: swamp mallow, … [Read More...]
I have a secret to tell you - I'm glad summer is over! While I'm reluctant to admit it, I find the summer garden a bit too demanding on a lot of levels. I'm always glad when the nights turn cool and the stars of my September garden begin to shine, signaling the slow beginning of the end to another … [Read More...]
Everything about rattlesnake master is bold and wild - strong, upright flowerstalks, spine-edged silver foliage and spikey, spherical, white flowerheads. Combine this prairie perennial with any other medium-height perennial for a fantastic contrast in texture and form. Use this plant massed in … [Read More...]
Native Bees, Butterflies, and other Insects
Living in Canada, I am often harassed about the weather. And while I'm not fond of small talking about the weather, I am going to bring it up, if only for a moment. This summer lacked none of the typical harassment I am used to. It wasn't exactly warm, but you know what? It rained consistently … [Read More...]
Look at all these bees! Looking for a colorful, showy, easy to grow, deer-proof native plant that attracts a host of pollinators for your wildlife garden? Here it is! Rocky Mountain Beeplant (Cleome serrulata PURSH) aka Stinking Clover, Navajo Spinach, and Skunk Weed has to be one of the most … [Read More...]
The number of insects that help gardeners keep pest populations down is amazing. In addition to the familiar ones - lady beetles, praying mantises and lacewings - a huge assortment of lesser known pest warriors lives in a healthy garden. Among them, parasitic flies and parasitic wasps are prominent … [Read More...]
Another one of my favorite birds is the brilliant orange and black Baltimore Oriole Icterus glacial. I have large volumes of admiration for this member of the blackbird family and love hearing the male’s crisp flute-like songs. The songs are a sequence of two varying notes repeated up to seven times … [Read More...]
Last night I attended an organized native plant landscape tour by the local Wild Ones chapter. The tour included three different public sites: a prairie maintained by local volunteers, a business and municipality. We often tour residences to see how individual homeowners are using native plants in … [Read More...]
I remember the day distinctly. July 15 of this year -- also my birthday, also my parent's wedding anniversary. One of my dozen or so Liatris ligulistylis had opened its first bloom and I thought nothing of it. Summer was progressing at warp speed, more warpier with each passing year. In 2013 I … [Read More...]
Birds and Other Wildlife
It had been a long day; to tell you the truth I don’t remember why, but I’ve been juggling far more things this year than ever before in my life. Sunsets and sunrises seem to be about an hour apart in my world, and I know that if I’m to get to the place where I want to be, this kind of life is … [Read More...]
Native plants are tough and will thrive with little care - right? We've all heard that. Low maintenance! Use native plants! That’s what we often hear but getting native plants to thrive in your wildlife garden may take some care. In the heat of midsummer many native plant gardeners are … [Read More...]
Wildflowers can help save the world. But instead of telling the world how, we are hiding the truth. For any movement to succeed, there must be widespread grass roots support for the cause. Today much thought is centered around watershed, large contiguous and greenway ecology. This may be all … [Read More...]