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??

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.  

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

Native Plants 101: Western Sword Fern

Sword ferns (Polystichum munitum) are the workhorses of the native plant garden. Like many creatures and plants that are common and abundant, we often forget to appreciate the subtle beauty and utility of these large, helpful, ecologically important, and undemanding ferns. In suburban, rural, and wildland area of Puget Sound, these ferns are extremely important … Continue reading Native Plants 101: Western Sword Fern

Late Winter Bloomers

Cornelian cherry, Cornus mas is not a cherry, although it has cherry-like fruits. The common name comes from the term "cornel" used in the UK to describe the wood, fruit and plant. According to its Wikipedia entry,  "Cornus mas, 'Male' Cornel, was named so to distinguish it from the true Dogberry, the 'Female' Cornel, C. … Continue reading Late Winter Bloomers