GARDEN NOTEBOOK (BLOG)
SHARING INFORMATION THAT MIGHT BE USEFUL OR INTERESTING
Although many of these article were published earlier, they have been updated recently.
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...
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?
A native garden is like many other gardens as far as basic maintenance in some ways, but different in other ways. Below are a few basic maintenance tips everyone should know about.
Summary of my presentation from Chicago Wilderness Wild Things Conference on Feb. 2, 2013 Many of us still think of water or run-off from rain fall, snow melt or irrigation as something we want to remove from our properties as quickly as possible, with little thought...
Indigo Bush or False Indigo (Amorpha fruiticosa) is one of my favorite late spring blooming shrubs/small trees. Its deep purple blooms, bright orange stamens and fine textured leaves are a welcoming contrast to the many white blooming, larger leaved native shrubs that bloom about the same time.
By making my own compost, I am adding only pesticide and herbicide free material to my pile, I am recycling what would be considered a waste product with associated costs, and I’m generating a resource valuable to my garden and other living organisms.
I do a controlled or prescribed burn (what Native Americans called the Red Buffalo) on sections of my native prairie gardens because there are many benefits. It warms up the soil earlier, adds organic matter, reduces some weeds, and stimulates prairie seeds to sprout. It also takes less time than cutting everything back and and reduces the size of my compost pile.
I have been a native plant gardener for many years but through education and observation, I learned I can protect wildlife and the environment on my property by how I do spring cleanup. Just think about what happens in the natural world.
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.
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.
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.