Planting a Butterfly Garden with the Homeschool Group

This week, to coincide with the first snowfall I had the delightful privilege of planting a butterfly garden with a homeschool group. The children in this homeschool group happen to be the progeny of my best friend from childhood, so this butterfly garden planting adventure was extra special for me. A few weeks before we [...]

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, [...]

A new woodland garden in Glens Falls, NY

This week found me building a new woodland garden full of native woodland plants in Glens Falls, NY, which is ten minutes south of Lake George. The garden beds that were filled sit underneath the shade of two Sugar Maples most of the day, but not so close to the Maple trees to dry the [...]

Organic edible gardening in Glens Falls, NY

Yesterday I had the pleasure of working with a fun young couple in Glens Falls, NY (in the capital region) to co-create their first organic edible garden. The couple happen to be newlyweds and new homeowners, and joy permeates their property in a palpable way. It feels like all the edible gardening here will do [...]

Organic produce and edible gardens the easy way.

Recently I was invited to write a guest post at Fiftyisthenewforty.com about edible gardening and how to easily grow organic produce. The benefits of eating organic vegetables are immeasurable, it makes sense that more and more people are interested in eating healthy and having a direct hand in the food's growing process. Trucking to the [...]

Springing into the edible garden. (and planting peas in the rain.)

A week and a half ago on the other website I contribute to, Beautifulwildlifegarden.com, I wrote about my 2012 edible container garden, and had taken some pictures at the Saratoga Organic Supply store where my friend is currently growing some beautiful, healthy, organic leafy green vegetables. Stopping in a week and a half later, I [...]

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 [...]

Bluebird house habitat gardening in Burnt Hills, NY

This spring I began native plant garden designs and installation at a property in Burnt Hills that quickly gained the nickname, "the bluebird house," for all of its bluebird visitors. This is an endangered species of Coneflower called Echinacea tenesesis. It's endangered because it's rare, not because it's hard to grow. There is a lot [...]

Our organic gardening ace in the hole

This lovely but scary spider sits square in the middle of our organic container edible garden in Lake George, NY. We've watched him (her?) get noticeably plumper over the summer, he's (she's) a wonderful ecological neighbor. The spider eats any garden pests who might dare visit, and our tomatoes, peppers, beans, lettuce, potatoes, cherry tomatoes, [...]

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 visual update on a native plant garden in Clifton Park, NY 2 months after planting

It was delightful to visit a home in Clifton Park this week where I'd designed and planted a habitat garden two months ago. The above photo shows Filipendula rubra in bloom, and the photo below shows the same plant at installation time. The home owners have done a stellar job of keeping their new habitat [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

India Spinach: an obscure but delicious green for the edible garden.

This summer many of the edible gardens I've planted, in Saratoga and the capital region have included the obscure but hardy spinach known as "India Spinach." I found out about it from the Otrembiak brothers in Rock City Falls: they have a booth at the Saratoga Farmer's Market and they grow seedlings for many obscure [...]

Surprise habitat garden found while traveling

Imagine my delight at finding Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) just outside my grandparent's window at the garden by their home in Greenfield, MA on a recent visit. They live in an apartment building with a courtyard and that's where this native plant that attracts birds is found. In a recent blogpost we elaborated, at length [...]

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 [...]

About Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

Today I saw the first Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum) blooms of summer, 2012. It is actually the first Cup Plant I ever planted, at a house I was residing at in 2004. Cup Plant is special: a statuesque beauty and a habitat plant. The flowers are reminiscent of tiny sunflowers that form seeds birds love [...]

More Clifton Park garden designs

People suggest I show "before" and "after" pictures of gardens I'm designing; it's much easier to think of photographing in the aftermath of lots of change. At the outset of any project, there's usually too much concentration and set-up to remember a "before" photo. Today in Clifton Park, NY I was sculpting an edible garden [...]

Our Container Vegetable Garden, in Lake George, NY

My home edible garden is in containers, and it's teeming with life force, vitality and fruition. We planted everything in mid to late May. We've been disciplined about watering when there's no rain and the most excellent organic soil available was used. This is one great advantage to container gardening: you get complete control of [...]

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