Monthly Archives:: November 2014

Establishing your First Native Plant Flower Bed: Planning

Posted by & filed under Landscaping with Native Plants.

This new series of “how to” articles about native plant flower bed landscaping is provided to help gardeners establish attractive native plant beds while avoiding common problems, while working under the “5-S Rule,” Start small, short, sunny, and showy. We’ll cover it all in detail; planning and design, plant selections and installation, and maintenance during more »

Snow and Snow Drifts

Posted by & filed under Landscaping with Native Plants, What's New.

Snow can fall when the air temperature gets close to or below freezing. Snow keeps the ground warm in winter like a winter coats keeps a person warm. Air between the snowflakes provides insulation in the same way air between feathers or material provides insulation in a winter coat. Plant roots stay warmed in prairies more »

Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea): The Inside Story

Posted by & filed under Landscaping with Native Plants, What's New.

The National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA) reports that millions of U.S. families plan to focus their holiday traditions around a real Christmas tree. This means that a lot of real trees will be sold this year starting in mid-November. The Balsam fir is one of the best-loved Christmas trees and is number three in the more »

EPA/USDA Pollinator Health Listening Sessions & Comments

Posted by & filed under Chapter Happenings!, Landscaping with Native Plants, Pollinators, What's New, Wild for Monarchs.

On June 20, 2014, President Obama issued a directive to federal agencies to create a federal strategy to promote honey bee and other pollinator health. The Pollinator Health Task Force is soliciting input on best management practices including pesticide risk mitigation, public-private partnerships, research, education opportunities, pollinator habitat improvements, and other actions that should  be considered more »

How Insects Work

Posted by & filed under Pollinators, What's New.

Insects are invertebrates that have six legs and three main body parts: head, thorax and abdomen. Millions of insects are found throughout the world, from tropical to artic areas. Some insects, like butterflies and moths, have four wings which are covered with scales and a coiled tube mouthpart. Beetles have hard, often colorful wings over more »

Neighborhood Streams

Posted by & filed under What's New.

Reprinted from the Backyard Naturalist by Craig Tufts. If you remember your favorite childhood haunts, you undoubtedly recall the magic of small streams, tiny ponds, and intermittent rivulets. The streams of our neighborhood were where my brother, other neighborhood children and I exercised out fledgling engineering skills. We built a new Panama Canal – in more »

Buckthorn, Birds, and Diarrhea

Posted by & filed under What's New.

Along with its other sins, does buckthorn cause diarrhea in foraging birds? This has been a topic of discussion and disagreement for some time. There is finally some research that sheds light on the subject. The answer is: yes, no, maybe, sometimes, and it depends. Buckthorns, plants of the genus Rhamnus, produce a metabolite identified more »