A New Art Form: Brush Piles

If a brush pile sounds like an unfinished project waiting to be cleaned up, think again! Brush is a resource for making your yard, garden, or acreage into a shelter for wildlife. If you have some prunings, old tree limbs, logs or storm debris, or blackberry canes, use them in the way nature intended. Make … Continue reading A New Art Form: Brush Piles

The sunniest wildflower

My top pick for an accommodating Pacific Northwest native wildflower (west of the Cascades) is OREGON SUNSHINE, the happiest flower of late spring/early summer. Here are the reasons why it is so superior: Easily germinated. Frequently, it is the only plant that comes up when I broadcast seed in the fall. Its gray leaves seem … Continue reading The sunniest wildflower

Safe pest control for the azalea lace bug from Oregon’s Metro

You may not have seen this pest. It is tiny, but the damage is very evident. Unfortunately it's likely you won't notice it until the pest numbers have reached epic proportions. It is hard to find advice that does not involve using a lot of toxic chemicals, so this is a welcome article on Safe … Continue reading Safe pest control for the azalea lace bug from Oregon’s Metro

This Book Helps You Build It So They Will Come

Gardening For The Birds How to Create a Bird-Friendly Backyard By George Adams Timber Press 2013 A growing unease about our relationship to the natural world and our impact on planetary processes has led to increased interest in gardening with native plants. Gardening may seem like a less-than-effective tool to turn the tide of environmental … Continue reading This Book Helps You Build It So They Will Come

They call these BENEFICIAL insects??

I'm always going on about how great beneficial insects are, and how to protect and encourage them. But if you're one of them, it's a horrific life! The horrifying side of beneficials - this is fun!! http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/compound-eye/2013/10/31/13-horrifying-ways-to-die-if-youre-an-arthropod/?WT_mc_id=SA_WR_20131107

Who’s Killing the Bees?

On June 18, 2013, I attended a workshop on providing habitat for beneficial insects. One of the instructors mentioned that he had just been checking on dead bees in a parking lot in Wilsonville, Oregon, on I-5 near Salem. The next day, the local media reported a mass bee killing at that parking lot. Mass … Continue reading Who’s Killing the Bees?

Garden-Worthy Artwork

A birdbath is a nice addition to the garden, a fixture in many. Properly cleaned and cared for they can provide hours of enjoyment for you and birds and beneficial insects. Like birdfeeders, they need to be cleaned frequently and thoroughly to prevent the spread of disease among your bird visitors. I am showcasing this … Continue reading Garden-Worthy Artwork

Native Plants 101: Protecting Your Native Fauna

Native plants evolved with a gigantic number of associated microbes, fungi, bacteria, herbivores, and insects. It follows that plants don't exist by themselves - they need the organisms that helped them adapt and change over the ages. For home gardeners, insect assistants are one of the easiest and most interesting class of partners to manage … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Protecting Your Native Fauna

Native Plants 101: How About A Hedgerow?

Don't say you don't have room for a hedgerow - this 40 X 100 lot has a rockery topped with a modern day hedgerow. Hedgerows traditionally were used as fences between fields, and a "laid hedge" in England contained thorny plants like hawthorn to act as a barrier. Cut through the lower trunk and laid … Continue reading Native Plants 101: How About A Hedgerow?

Native Plants 101: Insect protectors

Lady bugs are everyone's friends; they are so iconic. But guess what? There are a lot of questions surrounding these seemingly innocuous and friendly insects. Did you know that: Over the past twenty years several native ladybugs that were once very common have become extremely rare. During this same time ladybugs from other places have … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Insect protectors