Monday, June 24, 2013

Urban Gardens Need Native Pollinator Plants

Urban vegetable and fruit gardens are gaining in popularity, as they should, but many of those veg and fruits require insect pollination -- and we need to support those insects with native wildflowers. I just adore this article:

"Urban activists should celebrate the indigenous wildflowers that sustain our pollinators beyond the short life span of fruit tree blossoms. In addition, we should incorporate native edibles into the planting palette. Blueberries, Juneberries and beach plums feed more species than just us humans.

Here is what you will not see in a vista full of fruit trees: a surge of migrating monarchs, a dizzying constellation of wild bees, the swoop of songbirds that feed on them. These natural phenomena still occur in cities, but have been marginalized. They should be reclaimed and put center stage in our public spaces. To do this, we need urban oases filled with native plants."

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Garden / Site Planning 101

This is some of the best advice I've ever read, all in one post. Please link over. Some of my favorite quotes include:

Good garden design doesn’t put all its trust in zone maps. Take the USDA map at face value and you’re asking for trouble. They’re a good starting point, but too general to be very useful on their own. Microclimates are what really matter – the differences around a single property caused by varying sun exposure, air movement, reflected heat, etc.

Don’t Select Plants Just for Their Looks. Please tell me you don’t buy plants just because they look beautiful. Quoting from my book [Author’s note: If you read to the end, I’ll tell you the name], “Pretty plants are great, but like teenagers, they should make themselves useful.” If your only concern is whether your perennial color scheme matches the throw pillows on the patio chairs, you’re short-changing yourself.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Why We Need Wildflowers

Pick up a June copy of Prairie Fire in Nebraska, or open up the image below to see my short piece on why we need native plants for insects. I could go on and on about this topic. I met Chip Taylor of Monarch Watch last week in Kansas and I feel more bull-headed about native habitat than ever (which really isn't possible as I'm plenty bull-headed, or bison-headed, also saw many bison this last week).

Hope to see you in my garden this Saturday when it's open, with seedlings for sale and more.