Breeding Success in the Monarch Waystation at Healthy Living

Imagine my delight to see a Monarch caterpillar at the Saratoga Springs Healthy Living Market's certified Monarch Waystation during a visit this week! When I initially wrote about the Monarch waystation project, I mentioned I didn't expect to even see butterflies this year; I definitely didn't think we'd see Monarch breeding success in the waystation [...]

A new butterfly garden in Malta, NY

Sometimes a strategy ecologically savvy landscape designers use to decide what to plant where on a property is to observe what plants are already growing and use them as ecological indicator species. The new butterfly garden in Malta, NY, installed over the past week was subject to this ecological landscape design technique. This Asclepias tuberosa [...]

New Monarch butterfly habitat garden in Queensbury, NY

Photo from websource Recently I mentioned how Monarch butterflies have declined as a species this year. Ecologists across the country are encouraging home owners, gardeners, landscape designers and proprietors of public spaces to plant more Milkweed. Milkweed, the native plant family Asclepias, is the Monarch caterpillar's host plant. When we integrate it into our gardens, [...]

Butterfly gardening presentation in Saratoga State Park

On Sunday May 5th the DEC is holding a native plants festival in Saratoga Springs, NY at the Saratoga State Park. They have invited me to give a presentation on butterfly habitat gardening in the Saratoga region, a topic which is mutually inclusive to gardening with native plants. I am speaking at 1pm at 19 [...]

More butterfly habitat gardening insights

This past weekend I had the privilege of being asked to teach a workshop on butterfly habitat gardening at the Albany 2013 Capital District Garden and Flower Show. I've since heard from several people who wanted to attend and couldn't; this post will summarize the butterfly habitat gardening presentation. Carole Sevilla Brown recently composed an [...]

Building Monarch butterfly habitat at the farm

This week in the news I noticed a disheartening article that illuminated this year's decline in Monarch butterfly species population. A friend and colleague, Ben Vogt, has created several new online platforms for Monarch advocates to rally together and celebrate milkweed, the Monarch host plant. Encouraged by Ben's positive movements, and also by the spring [...]

An inspired wildlife garden in southern Saratoga

This week a challenge was posed to imagine turning this sandy pine forest edge into a native plant habitat oasis. Many ecological factors need to be taken into consideration: the complete abscense of any nutrients in the sandy soil, the slope of the hill that lends to erosion, and lack of water retention in quickly [...]

More habitat garden development in Clifton Park, NY using native plant species.

This week I completed installation of a habitat garden in Clifton Park using native plants. Like many gardens in the capital region, adding native plants gives an immediate and noticeable influx of wildlife motion. This property has a forest edge and natural wetland habitat within a half a mile. Butterflies and songbirds are nearby and [...]

An installation of butterfly habitat and edible gardens in Clifton Park, NY

This work week continued in a Clifton Park property that's added extensive habitat garden space over the summer. Many native plants for butterflies have been introduced, especially in this featured photo, which will one day be referred to by neighborhood children as, "Butterfly Land." Here we see the quintessential Monarch habitat plant: Swamp Milkweed or [...]

A new butterfly habitat garden in Queensbury, NY

This week I installed a habitat garden design in Queensbury, NY. The project was especially exciting because of the property's proximity to wetland habitat. In every direction around the home in fact, there are wetlands, and 3/4 of the photos used for our wetland habitat post were from within one mile of our ecological garden [...]

Our wetland habitat’s native species struggle against invasives, in photos.

There is a desperate struggle in our local wetlands between the native plant that creates habitat for butterflies and birds called Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpurea) and the invasive plant species, noxious weed and habitat thief known as Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). As both wetland plants are in bloom right now, the competition is obvious. [...]

An urban oasis habitat garden in Glens Falls

This week I designed and installed a native plants garden that will double as a living fence. The home is located in an urban area: the heart of downtown Glens Falls. The homeowner would work in the existing gardens and people would walk by on the street and be able to see in. The new [...]

Lake George Rain Gardens Progress

This past May I collaborated with some local contractors on a large rain garden project in Lake George, NY. This week we returned to take some photos of the rain gardens progress. Shown above is the rain garden that we manipulated to behave as a wetland habitat; this piece of the property has standing water [...]

Just after installation, at a brand new Habitat Garden in Clifton Park, NY.

This week I got to work on my favorite type of project of all time: developing a habitat garden for butterflies and birds in Clifton Park NY, using native plants. This home is located near a tremendous amount of wetland habitat already, and creating an ecological garden in this proximity just makes it sparkle all [...]

An organic gardener’s dream wedding gift

We released live Monarch butterflies at an already beautiful wedding ceremony today: our dear friends were married on a butterfly habitat rich farm in Saratoga, so this seemed like an ecologically appropriate wedding gift. There's lots of Milkweed and other native plants all through this capital region property; the Milkweed single-handedly creates Monarch butterfly habitat. [...]

Ecological Gardening in the Connected Pine Grove

A recent rainy Monday found me on a break between two client's in the Hudson Point Nature Preserve. This nature preserve is a 2 minute walk from the garden I was working in; 10 minutes drive from Lake George and 20 minutes from Saratoga. This particular wildlife habitat gets significantly less press and applause than [...]

Trip to the Native Plants WildThings Rescue Nursery in Photos

My family was fortunate enough to visit the WildThings Rescue Nursery yesterday. The experience was breath taking. The proprietor of the nursery -Dawn Foglia- travels each week to the Saratoga farmer's markets. Gardening in Saratoga has become much more habitat friendly thanks exclusively to this one woman's serious grind. First, some stinky herbs for bug [...]

Season’s First Coneflower

Today I saw the first blooming Coneflower of the season. Well, first to me. Most likely people in gardens south from Saratoga and Lake George have already seen Echinacea open. This one seems early; the ecological explanation for that is most likely because of it's proximity to the hot blacktop. It bakes in the extra [...]

Another Native Plants Garden Project in Saratoga

There's a garden mid-way between Lake George and Saratoga that was designed this spring to be a habitat spot; full of native plants that attract butterflies and songbirds. The garden is happily located on a farm, so there is more than the average amount of wildlife rambling through. The photo above shows our Buddleia, or [...]

Beautiful Wildlife Garden in Southern Saratoga

Today I found myself in one of the most beautiful native plant habitat gardens I've ever seen, weeding and sculpting the wild beds for my Saratoga home owner. The gardens were single-handedly planted by one lady. She has excellent taste and a great handle on her Latin taxonomy. This property is full of fun, other-world [...]

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