Butterfly Garden at the Schenectady, NY Woodlawn Nature Preserve

This week saw the much anticipated butterfly garden installation at the Woodlawn Nature Preserve in Schenectady, NY. The Friends of the Woodlawn Preserve contacted me to design a butterfly garden that the volunteers could plant. The nature preserve is located at the edge of a Schenectady district elementary school, and the butterfly garden site is [...]

Rain gardens and an apple orchard near Saratoga Springs, NY

Rain gardens and an apple orchard near Saratoga Springs, NY This week I was the landscape designer for a fun and useful beautification project near Saratoga Springs, NY that included a simple storm catch basin rain garden and a miniature apple orchard. The rain garden sits at the drainage spout for the neighborhood's storm water [...]

August at the bluebird house

August at the bluebird house Last year we began to revitalize the garden design of a Burnt Hills property known as "the bluebird house" and build the habitat capacity by adding native plants. Native plant landscape design takes patience, the plants need a couple years before they really look like what they're going to. At [...]

Some ecological notes from Saratoga County

Being an ecological garden designer in Saratoga County involves a constant reawakening it seems. Every day the world seems new. The habitat here is so rich, so vibrant that most days I feel like Alice in Wonderland. Everywhere you turn in Clifton Park, Burnt Hills, Ballston Spa, Saratoga Springs and all other regions encompassed by [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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