Although many of these article were published earlier,  they have been updated recently. 

A Living Mulch – Allowing Plants to spread like Nature does

I often hear one of the reasons gardeners don’t use native plants is they spread too much. Many native plants are spreaders, some spread more than others, and a few are “clumpers”, i.e. don’t spread at all or very much. Sometimes native plants don’t look like they are...

Turf Grass Anonymous – A 12 Step Program

A perfectly manicured, green turf grass has been a status symbol since the Industrial Revolution. Everyone could finally afford to have a lawn, not just wealthy estates. But at what costs?

Rethinking Native Plant Maintenance

We humans apply the same maintenance procedures to native plants as we do on non-native plants, but it makes sense to learn from nature. Here are some nature inspired maintenance tips.

The Sounds of Summer and the Impact of Noise Pollution on Wildlife

I love the sound of Cicadas and other singing insects in the summer…To me, the height of summer is when the male Cicadas, Crickets or Katydids are singing for a mate. Did you know the sounds of mowers, fireworks, airplanes, and other human generated noise have a negative impact on wildlife?

Something to Lean On (dealing with tall native perennials)

In the latter part of the growing season, many of the native perennials are naturally taller in height. Extra rainfall also grows taller perennials, and wind storms can cause plants to fall over. In a newer native garden, taller plants might lean because there are no other plants close by for support due to spacing. Because Illinois is the land of the tall grass prairie, I urge everyone to embrace our taller native perennials. Here area a few tips and solutions for dealing with taller native perennials in your garden.

Top 10 Reasons to become a Wild One

Wild Ones promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should become a Wild Ones member.

Give Bees a Chance (including our native Bumble Bees)

You’ve probably heard about the terrible news concerning the honeybee but native bees, especially our Bumble Bees are in serious decline too! Research has shown that native or “wild” bees are important pollinators of natural areas, gardens and agricultural crops, and need our protection. Here are a few ways to give our little known native bees a chance.

Got Weeds? Try a string trimmer

Many native perennials (forbs and grasses) and weeds exploded this summer due to the wetter and/or warmer than usual weather. Often times seeds and plants germinate in moist decomposing mulch. I recommend using a string trimmer (weed wacker) to trim weeds or unwanted perennials in some areas instead of weeding by hand.

Black Chokeberry – Not just for the birds

I recently attended The Veggie Fest in Naperville and talked to a person advertising the health benefits of a native berry called the Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) that he claimed no one around here knew about but was very well known in Europe.

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria): A Pretty, Ugly Plant

During July, I notice gardens, roadside ditches and wetlands with the invasive, non-native Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). This non-native plant destroys our wetlands by choking out native species and in turn, wildlife habitat. It also costs millions of dollars to eradicate from our natural areas once it spreads.

Dead Wood and Rocks

Many of my clients and friend recognize the importance of protecting and preserving nature, right in their own backyards, and I applaud them for that. I want to briefly explain how snags, brush & rock piles, plus bee nesting boxes are also helpful, since these features are often overlooked.

Why Can’t Weed be Friends?

My husband and I maintain all areas of our landscape organically, especially our lawn, because we believe it is an environmentally responsible and safer choice. Now we have a few weeds in our lawn, but we learned many are beneficial to wildlife.