No one likes mosquitoes. Well, bats like them. Dragonflies, birds, fish... and Henry David Thoreau. This is Thoreau waxing eloquent about the humble mosquito in Walden: "Mornings bring back the heroic ages. I was as much affected by the faint hum of a mosquito making its invisible and unimaginable tour through my apartment at earliest … Continue reading Let’s talk about mosquitoes
I have the unfortunate distinction of being one of the first to report jumping worms in Buffalo—they have invaded my garden. I have been learning how to adapt to living and gardening with these invaders, so I thought I’d share what I’ve learned as they seem to be here to stay—and they have a power … Continue reading Adventures with Invaders: On Jumping Worms
I am so happy to be outside and in the garden again it’s hard to find the words to even begin to express it. There’s joy—actual joy—there’s relief and the feeling of being able to breathe, there’s the sense that things will be right again. The pandemic and working from home changed everything. While it … Continue reading On Shrinking the Lawn (Even More)
Generally, I enjoy weeding. Generally, I enjoy working in the garden, whatever I’m doing, so weeding is fine with me. Generally, when someone asks how to control weeds, I respond, “Well, you pull them” or "Gardening just means weeding." I don’t mind aggressive plants, like mint or trumpet vine or obedient plant, because there’s always … Continue reading On Invasives: Lesser Celandine
So many of us are finding respite and solace in our gardens this spring in the midst of these bleak times. The spring cleaning and garden planning have been so helpful in finding some sort of peace. In my time at home (day 19 for me) I've been thinking a lot about the role of … Continue reading Buffalo: A Habitat Community
What an excellent question! If you are concerned with doing what you can to provide habitat to insects or pollinators or birds on your piece of earth--or even on your patio or balcony--you should just go ahead and do what you can. There are no purity tests--your garden doesn’t have to be one hundred percent … Continue reading How Do I Start My Habitat Garden Here in WNY?
Last winter we certified our garden as Wildlife Habitat with the National Wildlife Federation. Therein, of course, is a story. In our process of learning how to lure birds to our garden (see Just a Garden) we came across a lot of information about different kinds of seeds and feeders and bird houses, about what … Continue reading On becoming Certified Wildlife Habitat
My intention, as I’ve said, is to create habitat in my garden, and native plants are essential to that intention. If the idea is to create habitat, you need to include plants that function as hosts for insects. If you really want butterflies, you need a place for caterpillars, and if you really want birds, … Continue reading What is a Nativar?
I have been shrinking my lawn for years. Documentary evidence (i.e. the snapshots I have been taking of the gardens every summer since I moved into my house) shows that my gardens grow and my lawn shrinks. I no longer have to accommodate children and their toys and balls, so the gardens grow some more. But, … Continue reading On Shrinking the Lawn
So, I’m taking stock of what I have in my garden, and learning that taking stock isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I naively thought I’d just have to go through my plants and check them against a list that someone--a horticulturalist, a botanist, an expert of some sort--created just for this … Continue reading Native Plants in My Garden: Taking Stock