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

More Natives in Bloom for Spring Pollinators

A beautiful day in Yamhill County on April 9, and we headed out to find some spring flowers and birds, stopping by Farm Fest at the Yamhill Co Heritage Center on the way.  The draft horses and mules showed differing amounts of training and gentleness. Some were still practicing, and for the driver the task … Continue reading More Natives in Bloom for Spring Pollinators

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

Native Plants: Are they ornamental enough??

There are lots of reasons to grow native plants among ornamental and edible plants in your garden. Natives are: the best food and habitat for native insects that support native birds and other wildlife important food and nectar sources for charismatic insects like butterflies and their larvae (a little chewing can indicate that you are … Continue reading Native Plants: Are they ornamental enough??

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: Basic Growing Information

Growing Native Plants   Native plants are best for native insects, pollinators, birds, and local wildlife. Plants and animals evolved together, so the ones that are native are always the best for local wildlife. Mix them in with your ornamentals, and you will have a diverse landscape teeming with healthy life! You will have more … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Basic Growing Information

Beneficial Organism of the Week 2

This week it's a bird, and you might be surprised that it's a non-native, obnoxious one: STARLINGS! Mostly starlings are considered pests, ever since that guy that thought it was a good idea to import every animal Shakespeare mentioned into North America did, in fact, import them. But one good thing about flocks of starlings … Continue reading Beneficial Organism of the Week 2

Beneficial Organism of the Week

Starting a new theme here: Garden Beneficials.  I would say "beneficial insects" but so many organisms that keep us alive and healthy are from other orders. You'll see as we get further into this! Here are this week's guests of honor These two tiny millipedes are front-line shredders, so you find them in leaf litter. … Continue reading Beneficial Organism of the Week