Beautiful Native Plants

Blog HOME ***Our team of bloggers writes about all aspects of ecosystem gardening, from native plants to pollinators and wildlife.***

Saturday, February 22, 2020

More Love for Native Vines

Vines are popular with gardeners for many reasons; and we have outstanding choices for using NATIVE vines in our landscapes. There is really no need to choose an exotic vine, many of which have invaded our natural areas and caused great harm to them and the animals that would like to live in them. 
Lonicera sempervirens, commonly known as coral
honeysuckle. An easy native vine to grow.
Photo ©BeautifulNativePlants

The same thing gardeners love about vines is also what drives them crazy. Vines climb, creep, crawl, drape and cover; it’s the good news and the bad news. But I’m advocating more love for native vines because they are not only useful in the garden, but ultimately such good providers for wildlife. What’s needed is an understanding of the growth habits of the vines you want to incorporate.

By nature vines are among the more opportunistic of plants. Their roots take hold in the woodland floor and they use tendrils of different kinds to clamber upwards and spread their leaves in the sunshine. This means that a gardener can multiply the flower quotient by utilizing vertical space, or space that might otherwise be devoid of growth. Vines can cover walls, mailboxes, fences, terraces, trellises, arbors, rock piles, and tree stumps. Vines also make excellent groundcovers. Some vines are more opportunistic than others; due diligence is the key to success.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Insects are a Weighty Matter

Aphids on a pear tree
One of many out-of-sight colonies,
amounting to several pounds of insects per tree
© Beatriz Moisset
If all the insects in an acre of land chose to sit on you, they would crush you. Is that possible? How many insects are there in an acre and how much do they weigh?

To get a better perspective on the importance of insects, I set myself the task of finding out how many insects there are in any ordinary garden or field. An entomologist/gardener, Frank E. Lutz did just that more than 70 years ago.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Nature's Best Hope by Doug Tallamy: Book Review

Doug Tallamy's new book:
a wellspring of inspiration

 In his new book, Nature’s Best Hope, Dr. Doug Tallamy has delivered a deep and powerful wellspring of inspiration for the many people craving an opportunity to be part of transformative change for our challenged world. Even more compelling than his first book, Bringing Nature Home, a seminal work in itself, Nature’s Best Hope is a clarion call for the informed appreciation of native plants and the immediate course correction of using them in our own planting spaces to form the connected corridors that will help forestall the loss of species and the loss of ecosystem services that are we currently experiencing. 

Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation That Starts in Your Yard, is a richly layered work, providing a contextual look at the evolution of our thinking about conservation, as well as detailed guidelines for getting started with native plants in your own nearby spaces, and, perhaps most importantly, the reasoning that will convince you, your neighbors, and your neighborhoods that now is the time to do so. Far from a dry treatise or an impassioned rant, the writing here reflects Tallamy’s character: cautiously optimistic, and gently but perceptively humorous. This book is an enjoyable read both for his fans, and for those who are new to his ideas about the roles native plants play in our landscapes. One of his stated goals was to write a book that would meet the needs of three groups of people: those who like plants, those who like animals, and those who like neither. He has done so.