Saratoga Springs Celebrity Gardening With Allison Mack: Part I

Saratoga Springs celebrity gardening with Allison Mack? I think it's taken me roughly a year to process something really cool that's happening in my business and personal life. Somehow an internationally famous actress and activist heard about my ecological garden design business and in the summer of 2012, she contacted me to develop a wildlife [...]

New butterfly garden in Glenville, NY

This week I designed a butterfly garden in Glenville, NY. The bed is in constant dappled sun, so we chose butterfly host and nectar plants acclimated for both full sun and partial shade, as well as some native species shrubs to increase shady effect. Ninebark and Lindera were used, both support butterfly habitat as a [...]

Edible gardening in southern Saratoga County.

Last year I had the privilege of designing and installing a habitat garden in Clifton Park, NY, and this week the same client and I worked together to create an edible garden on their southern Saratoga county property. During installation of the habitat garden last year we had included some garlic in the side bed, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

A new edible garden installation in Saratoga Springs, NY

October started in the most lovely way I could have wished for: planting a mostly edible native plants garden in Saratoga in the balmy, tasteful weather. We have a proud line of 12 Jerusalem Artichokes (Helianthus tuberosa) on either side of the fence, with some Goldenrod "Fireworks" (Solidago rugosa) interplanted. The front edge is June-bearing [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

A visit to the Saratoga gardening Mecca of the Otrembiak Farm.

One of the first things that happened to me upon arrival at the Otrembiak Farm today was holding a baby duckling who immediately pooped on me. I got to help plant melons in the field. The black plastic blocks weeds and heats the soil underneath. One of the melons I planted is shown here. The [...]

Homemade Pesto

In the region of the world where I live, (the Saratoga and Lake George area) gardens are just starting to produce basil in useable quantities. The Saratoga Farmer's Market is the first place I've seen basil for sale, and only one organic herb farm has it ready fresh from their gardens. I also found garlic [...]

Potatoes out of Negligance

About 2 months ago I bought some attractive Fingerling Potatoes from the Saratoga Farmer's Market. I promptly forgot about their prescence in the house and they grew long, spindly eye buds and the potato bodies turned soft and flacid. Finally today I got around to picking the eyes off the potatoes to plant them. The [...]

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 [...]

Local Food Gardens in Saratoga

Today I was invited to visit the Gomez Family Farm, highly productive vegetable gardens south of Saratoga. The style of gardening is work horse utilitarian, high volume output and all natural methods. It was beautiful to observe. The Gomez' produce can be acquired at the farmer's markets in Saratoga year round, and other farmstand locations [...]

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 [...]