Life in the soil

Yes! There is life down there! It is so complex, even soil scientists have yet to plumb the depth and breadth of all the species and interactions that make the soil work like one living organism. For gardeners, it's important to know that a lively soil feeds your plants. Feeding the life in the soil … Continue reading Life in the soil

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

Didn’t I Say? Soil – It’s the Foundation…

Update: This video about soil and atmospheric CO2 reduction is well made and summarizes many important principles in an easy-to-understand story. SO encouraging and important! https://vimeo.com/centerforfoodsafety/soilsolutions Hot off the presses in the NY Times today... Scientists using new analytical techniques over the last decade have found that the world’s ocean of soil is one of our … Continue reading Didn’t I Say? Soil – It’s the Foundation…

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

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??

Is It Spider Season?

Wondering if spiders are our friends? Check out this video and link: http://www.katu.com/amnw/segments/129845188.html Get some great spider info here and here. I can't say it as well as these guys do, so I'm gonna send you to their pages.  

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?

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