Native Plant Alchemy and Reflections

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“Gather out of star-dust, earth-dust, cloud-dust, storm-dust and splinters of hail, one handful of dream-dust, not for sale.” -Langston Hughes

This year I’ve designed and developed native plantscapes and habitat gardens in and beyond the tri-county region: Clifton Park seems to be the new frontier in ecological gardening.

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As the butterflies swarm the Joe-Pye Weed that’s just about to open, I feel joy to be the vessel that brought the butterfly food to the new habitat spaces.

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Everyone’s prefered Milkweed, the “Butterfly weed,” or Asclepias tuberosa is now blooming and I’m happy to spot this native plant in my Lake George neighborhood in pockets of thoughtfully designed spaces.

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Now is a great time to plant natives for the Monarch butterflies. Monarch larvae eat only Milkweeds, the adults also like Milkweed, Buddleia or Butterfly Bush (non-native in eastern New York but a good niche replacement for Lilac), Goldenrod, Joe-Pye Weed, Stinging Nettles, Mint, and Mallow.

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