On the day the International Union for the Conservation of Nature announced that migratory monarch butterflies had been added to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, I found a monarch caterpillar chewing on milkweed in my garden. An internationally recognized endangered species was reproducing in my suburban garden. Could restoring the environment really be this easy?
Tag Archives: Native Plants
Designing a Perennial Garden Bed
Where do I start? It’s a question heard repeatedly in gardening webinars. Or maybe the question really is, how? When you’re contemplating a piece of ground you’d like to convert to a gardened space, how do you figure out which plants to select from the many thousands available? And how do you arrange those plants to create a design? For practice, start with a manageable space.
Why It’s Not a Good Idea to Plant a Butterfly Bush
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.
National Native Plant Month – April 2021
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.”
The Butterfly Effect of a Wildlife Garden
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.
The Wildlife Garden
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.
Native Shade: The Willow Oak
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.
Why Plant Native?
Native plants have virtue. They’re good for the environment. Planting them is the right thing to do. Planting them may even save the planet. How could any gardener or landscape designer not choose native plants? I confess to reacting with a bit of resistance when I first heard statements such as these.
Virginia Sweetspire – A Close Look at a Native Shrub
Itea virginica – Virginia Sweetspire – is recognizable in the landscape not for its memorable shape so much as its impact when planted as a mass. A close look reveals the individual features that combine so well to create this effect.