Adding native plants to the bluebird house gardens in Burnt Hills, NY

Last summer I began transforming a bland ornamental garden in Burnt Hills, NY into a colorful, low maintenance native plant habitat oasis. We began referring to the newly eco-friendly garden property as, "the bluebird house" because soon after the addition of the first round of native plants bluebirds began frequenting the gardens and yard. One [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

Children’s Gardening Project

This week found me delightfully engaged in one of my all time favorite types of gardening projects: I was comissioned by an amusement park center near me to design and install some Children's Gardens, with the kids there helping! We decided to use Little Acres because they are the perfect size for manageable fun for [...]

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: [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Feng Shui Garden Project in Lake George, NY

The past year has brought me the good fortune of developing a close friendship with my region's premier Feng Shui Consultant. A side benefit to a rich friendship has been my absorption of major Feng Shui principles. If you have an interest in learning these, I suggest following Brenda's facebook page. Useful suggestions are offered [...]

The Summer in Review, Part 2

It is mid-November as I write this. Many of the gardens that I work in are a ways south of where I live, and they are experiencing a strange, elongated season of warm and wonderful weather. In fact it is so pronounced that at one client's home the daffodil bulbs are confused and sprouting: 7-8" [...]

Native Plants for Community: Love Your Neighbor

Recently the local government where I live decided to make planting invasive species on lakefront property (Lake George, NY) a punishable offense. A $5000 fine might be levied, or up to 15 days in jail! This is exciting news for those of us in the ecological community. We've been proselytizing about the ecological benefits of [...]