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How about some weird wildflower seeds?

CONTEST CLOSED!!!!! Before Christmas, my husband and I had dinner with the wildflower queen herself, Miriam Goldberger, and her husband Paul Jenkins. We see them once or twice a year, because their company, Wildflower Farms, based in Coldwater, Ontario, has a Buffalo distribution center. After the events of 9/11/01 and the subsequent anthrax scares, it […]

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Posted by on January 12, 2016 at 8:27 am   This post has 25 responses.

Waterwise in New Mexico

Today’s Guest Rant by Hunter Ten Broeck, founder of the design firm WaterWise Landscapes based in Albuquerque, highlights an upcoming conference that has changed landscaping and water use patterns in New Mexico while building community. You’ll also get a peek at some regional waterwise gardens. It may surprise you...

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Posted by Hunter Ten Broeck on January 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm   This post has 9 responses.

To Help Save Habitat, Drink this Coffee

Sure, you can buy coffee that’s certified organic, but there’s another certification that includes organic and goes even farther – Bird-Friendly Coffee. Our seal of approval ensures tropical “agroforests” are preserved and migratory birds find a healthy haven when they travel from your backyard to those faraway farms producing the...

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Posted by on December 4, 2015 at 8:00 am   This post has 8 responses.

A Great New Aid to Plant Identification

Plant identification has always been my nemesis.  I recognize old friends, but confront me with a new-comer, an unknown, and I am at a loss.  There are tools for identifying unfamiliar plants, of course.  These are botanical keys.  I was supposed to master these during my days as a...

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Posted by on December 3, 2015 at 10:14 am   This post has 3 responses.

The question of permeable pavers and paving

Last week, I posted about a beautiful parking lot that is conserving trees and water. It’s the project of my friend Dave Majewski, who’s been pursuing green infrastructure and remediative landscapes for decades. (This year, Dave received the EPA’s Environmental Quality Award for his urban habitat project on Buffalo’s...

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Posted by on November 10, 2015 at 9:46 am   This post has 7 responses.

A kinder, gentler parking lot

“Where are you going?” “I’m driving to Hamburg to look at a parking lot.” “Is it OK if I don’t go with you?” This marital exchange took place on a beautiful Saturday morning a couple weeks ago, before I set off for a suburban village about twenty miles south...

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Posted by on November 5, 2015 at 8:48 am   This post has 17 responses.

First County-Wide Lawn Pesticide Ban Passes

Readers may remember news that the first town in the U.S. had banned lawn pesticides on public and private property, just two years ago, followed by news of the campaign to make the ban countywide (the town being Takoma Park and the county, Montgomery County, Maryland). Well, this month...

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Posted by on October 16, 2015 at 9:47 am   This post has 8 responses.

Please Take Care of My Bird

Female rufous hummingbird on hummingbird mint (Agastache rupestris ‘Acapulco Orange’) in my Boise garden My garden right now is a sensory feast. This morning, I cut the peppermint back from the path and hung bundles of it from the covered arbor in which I’m sitting, and its aroma perfumes the...

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Posted by on October 7, 2015 at 1:52 am   This post has 9 responses.

The Butterfly Effect

  For weeks, my garden has been ALIVE with the beating of orange wings! I have Gulf Fritillaries coming at me from every corner of my garden – I think the other day I counted more than 20 – and more are emerging from cocoons every day! I am...

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Posted by on September 30, 2015 at 1:13 am   This post has 35 responses.

Zinnias for Pollinators!

A recent guest post in defense of butterfly bushes prompted the usual debate (natives v. exotics) but also this wise comment by an avid wildlife gardener: My yard is filled with native flowers, shrubs and trees. However, the surrounding area is not, so giving them something extra that blooms...

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Posted by on September 25, 2015 at 8:08 am   This post has 9 responses.

The politics of decay

I gave up on home composting a few years back after briefly trying a tall tumbler; there was no good place to keep it, and my neglect of it in its obscure location made for poor or minimal results. However, I couldn’t stand the thought of allowing organic waste...

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Posted by on September 15, 2015 at 8:44 am   This post has 9 responses.

The Great Butterfly Bush Debate

Guest Rant by Claire Jones Butterfly Bush, Buddleia davidii, has been widely bashed from garden writers, ecologists, and conservationists. Attacked from all sides by master gardeners and other garden professionals, I am sticking to my guns on the benefits and pleasures of planting it. “An invasive thug that only...

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Posted by Claire Jones on August 31, 2015 at 10:33 am   This post has 32 responses.

The wild side

At this time of year, I often prefer hiking to gardening. Late summer is my favorite time for the plants that grow wild in the parks and the preserves of Western New York, and the more common they are, the better I like them.  They don’t even have to...

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Posted by on August 25, 2015 at 8:11 am   This post has 12 responses.

Wildflowers on demand

Just stop by one of Jenny Kendler’s seed stations, located at strategic spots on Buffalo’s East Side, as well as other Western New York locations, and grab a pack of seeds. The project, titled Rewilding New York, is intended to reintroduce native plants to the urban center, providing sustenance...

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Posted by on August 11, 2015 at 8:53 am   This post has 4 responses.

The Plastic Pot Dilemma

These are just some of the plastic pots I reluctantly acquired in April in my yearly fit of plant-buying.  I gathered them here to wash them before looking for the least bad way to deal with them, feeling heartsick that plants come with plastic. Is there really no better...

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Posted by on July 24, 2015 at 7:33 am   This post has 25 responses.

The No-Water California Garden

Hi friends! Sorry I’ve been so very, very absent–if you’re wondering why, it’s because I wrote a novel called Girl Waits with Gun and that shit is time-consuming. It’s coming out September 1 and I’m going on a book tour that I very much hope puts me in a city...

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Posted by on July 20, 2015 at 3:22 am   This post has 21 responses.

Natives and invasives—observations from Toronto

On the first day of our Toronto garden exploration, we spent an hour or so in High Park, the city’s largest public park. It features 399 acres of public space, including picnic areas, a playground, formal and informal gardens, an ornamental lake, and a mini-zoo, but we spent our...

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Posted by on June 23, 2015 at 9:17 am   This post has 3 responses.

Nature Corridors Boost Failing Wildlife Populations

Doug Tallamy is one of my heroes. He is a visionary thinker with the ability to tie together disparate bits of information — research results, personal observations, known scientific facts — into powerful calls for action that guide us toward living within nature, rather than continuing to segregate ourselves...

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Posted by on June 17, 2015 at 6:19 am   This post has 11 responses.

There’s Hope for Urban Design

‘Tis the season of garden seminars. Recently I participated in a thought-provoking one-day seminar on the theme of bringing nature into our cities. I spoke about hellstrip gardens, but a couple of the other speakers addressed larger-scale landscapes. After seeing their photos and hearing about so many projects that...

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Posted by on April 8, 2015 at 2:03 am   This post has 9 responses.

Clinging to big chem

Glyphosate and neonics—herbicides and pesticides contested as benign by most of big ag and big gardening— were in the news again. The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has stated that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans; its evidence came from human agricultural exposure as well...

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Posted by on March 30, 2015 at 8:30 am   This post has 8 responses.
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