Pine Tree Gardening
Pine Tree Gardening: A recent rainy Monday found us on a break near a Pine Forest in the Albany Pinebush Nature Preserve. This nature preserve is a 2-minute walk from the garden we were working in; a 10-minute drive from downtown Albany and 20 minutes from Saratoga. This particular wildlife habitat is a sister site to the Wilton Wildlife Preserve, which is in Saratoga. The reality is the two spaces are like twins, linked in the ecological network known as the ” Connected Pine Grove.” Ecologists coined this term based on the environmental features necessary to sustain habitat for the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly. The particular features are Eastern White Pine forests, sandy soil and Blue Lupine Plant.
Blue Lupine plants like sandy soil. Oftentimes they have trouble integrating into some area gardens. If gardens have amended soil or a high nutrient content, Blue Lupines won’t tolerate it. “Poor drainage” is a relative term, and some plants have evolved to thrive in the Pinebush uplands. Ultra-drought tolerance is a rare skill, or adaptation that some native plants have scratched out in time. Blue Lupine is the posterchild plant for this category. Pine tree gardening is an uncelebrated skill that requires learning our region’s native plants that love sand.
It helps to remember the beauty and uniqueness of this geographic region when we look at it through an Ecology Lense and remember the Connected Pine Grove. It’s no longer necessary to see as much artificial or manmade subdivision and compartmentalization. This entire ecosystem has a distinct flavor- and that is what we should keep our eyes glued to.
Ready to grow your own Pine Tree Garden with native plants that love sand? Try an ounce of our Pinebush seed mix.
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