Leave the leaves! It’s an exhortation to gardeners to stop raking and blowing tree, shrub, and perennial leaves that drop in autumn, keeping the leaves in the garden as a natural mulch. If you think about how a forest functions, leaving the leaves makes sense. But does leaving the leaves in a residential garden really help?
Whether classified as fen, mire, tropical swamp forest, or permafrost bog, peatlands store more carbon than the vegetation of all other landforms on Earth combined. With their unique ecology and thousand-year histories, peatlands also are places of mystery and beauty. Reconsidering peat in the garden is one way to contribute to their survival.
The butterfly bush — Buddleja, or Buddleia, davidii and other species — is a butterfly magnet. An easy to grow, rapidly developing shrub, it seems a good choice for the pollinator garden. But it’s not.
Recognition of the value of native plants continues to grow. Senate Resolution 109 of the 117th Congress, which designates April 2021 as National Native Plant Month, passed with bipartisan support on March 25. The resolution “recognizes the benefits of native plants to the environment and economy of the United States.”
A wildlife garden is designed intentionally to attract birds and butterflies and other pollinators, not just because they’re enjoyable to watch, but because they need help to survive.
No matter how simple or complex, designed or haphazard, a garden is an ecosystem, a community of plants and animals interacting with the environment of a space — the sun, wind, rain, and soil.
If you read enough gardening and garden design literature, a few rules of thumb will emerge – guidelines to follow for planning and planting. Keeping these in mind can help when you’re not sure where to start or when you’re feeling overwhelmed by the advice available.
Green spaces—gardens, parks, nature trails, urban forests—are a lifeline at any time but especially, as many of us have discovered, during a pandemic.
Trees are a natural choice for creating the framework of a garden, marking the perimeter, serving as focal points or a kind of sculptural art, and providing shade and privacy for intimate areas within the larger space.
A Willow Oak (Quercus phellos) blends the solid structure of the red oak family — think of the Northern Red Oak or the lesser known but similarly impressive Shumard Oak — with the fine-textured appearance of a willow tree’s leaves. Given room to grow in full sun, it is magnificent.