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 [...]

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 [...]

On a recent visit to the DEC tree nursery in Saratoga

This past week I finally had a chance to do something I've meant to for weeks: visit the Saratoga DEC Tree Nursery. I drive by it on Route 50 all the time on my way to garden design projects in the Saratoga and capital district. I've been more than curious: I've read about some of [...]

Native Plant Alchemy and Reflections

"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. As the butterflies swarm the Joe-Pye Weed [...]

A traveling gardener’s porch

My house has a screened-in porch that doubles as my native plant and vegetable seedling storage area. This year I am working or have worked in gardens in Lake George, Diamond Point, Bolton, Glens Falls, Queensbury, gardens in Saratoga Springs, Clifton Park, Burnt Hills, Round Lake and Ballston Spa. This all makes for a lot [...]

Nature has singing mosquito eaters.

Nature has singing mosquito eaters. If we plant our gardens with native plants we create a habitat to entice these elusive birds. In the gardens of Saratoga, use of native plants is becoming much trendier. Great news for the birds; shown here is Jerusalem Artichoke, which is also edible for people in it's roots. Mullein, [...]

Plant Natives for Exponential Kindness to Wildlife.

This Blossoming Elderberry is in a garden just north of Saratoga, NY. I planted it last autumn for my client, applauding his native and habitat plant choice. This property is surrounded by a three-quarters crescent moon shaped forest edge, giving the five acres lots of riparian zone activity. It is honestly the quintessential habitat lot: [...]

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 [...]

Butterflies and Yarrow

Some home gardeners in Saratoga and Lake George don't like Yarrow, they think it spreads too quickly. The Butterflies feel differently though; Yarrow is one of the best plants to choose for attracting Butterflies to the garden. Butterflies can see more range of light than any other creature. They see the full spectrum of light [...]

A Tenacious Beauty

This summer, Mullein is the habitat plant to catch my eye. I've seen it in gardens since I started this work in 2005, and often heard my colleagues who were also trained in ecology vaguely reference Mullein's capacity to be a medicinal plant, and it's ethnobotany uses. I looked into this today. Many home owners [...]

Surprise Habitat Garden in Saratoga Springs, NY

Imagine my delight when I pulled into my bank's parking lot this morning, in Saratoga to discover a fully established and tasteful habitat garden! The garden is long, perhaps 100 feet or more, narrow and optimized with plants to attract birds and plants to attract butterflies. Saratoga Springs, NY is special this way: you never [...]

Font Resize