Organic Surprise at the Healthy Living Garden

This summer, being the landscape designer for the gardens at the Saratoga Springs Healthy Living Market has been full of lots of colorful and joyful surprises. Developing Saratoga Spring's first urban shopping mall parking lot Monarch Butterfly Waystation was a delightful adventure to be a part of, and more lovely experiences continue to unfold as [...]

Breeding Success in the Monarch Waystation at Healthy Living

Imagine my delight to see a Monarch caterpillar at the Saratoga Springs Healthy Living Market's certified Monarch Waystation during a visit this week! When I initially wrote about the Monarch waystation project, I mentioned I didn't expect to even see butterflies this year; I definitely didn't think we'd see Monarch breeding success in the waystation [...]

The Monarch Butterfly Waystation at Healthy Living Market in Saratoga Springs, NY

This spring I was delighted to be asked to be a part of one of the loveliest projects I could imagine. There's a health food store in Saratoga Springs, NY called Healthy Living, which occupies the former JC Penny retail location in the Wilton Mall. Healthy Living sells organic and artisan foods, much of it [...]

Native Plants at the Mall?

At the Healthy Living Market in the Wilton Mall, just off exit 15 in Saratoga Springs, NY, I've been asked to plant a garden that's a mix of edible annuals (vegetables and flowers) and perennials, herbs and flowering native species. For Saratoga native plant lovers and natural gardening enthusiasts, this is a dream project. It's [...]

At the Children’s Butterfly Garden of a Saratoga Elementary School

At the Children's Butterfly Garden of a Saratoga County Elementary School This week I had the privilege of designing a butterfly garden at a Saratoga County Elementary School. The kids were lots of fun to work with, and they were so excited to learn about habitat gardening and the different species of native plants we [...]

A new butterfly garden in Malta, NY

Sometimes a strategy ecologically savvy landscape designers use to decide what to plant where on a property is to observe what plants are already growing and use them as ecological indicator species. The new butterfly garden in Malta, NY, installed over the past week was subject to this ecological landscape design technique. This Asclepias tuberosa [...]

More scenes from the Jessecology designed Ballston Spa nature preserve

Recently I wrote about building a nature preserve garden in Ballston Spa, NY. The project occupies a space of approximately a half an acre in Saratoga County, and it's difficult to capture the beauty and all the different perspectives of such a space. So. Here are a handful of photographs that were not included the [...]

Building a nature preserve garden in Ballston Spa, NY

Over the past month, I've had the honor of being a part of a project so lovely it takes my breath away. A delightful couple in Ballston Spa, NY (just outside of Saratoga Springs) contacted me around Mother's Day with an opportunity to build a nature preserve, with native plant gardens on a half an [...]

New Monarch butterfly habitat garden in Queensbury, NY

Photo from websource Recently I mentioned how Monarch butterflies have declined as a species this year. Ecologists across the country are encouraging home owners, gardeners, landscape designers and proprietors of public spaces to plant more Milkweed. Milkweed, the native plant family Asclepias, is the Monarch caterpillar's host plant. When we integrate it into our gardens, [...]

Building Monarch butterfly habitat at the farm

This week in the news I noticed a disheartening article that illuminated this year's decline in Monarch butterfly species population. A friend and colleague, Ben Vogt, has created several new online platforms for Monarch advocates to rally together and celebrate milkweed, the Monarch host plant. Encouraged by Ben's positive movements, and also by the spring [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

An organic gardener’s dream wedding gift

We released live Monarch butterflies at an already beautiful wedding ceremony today: our dear friends were married on a butterfly habitat rich farm in Saratoga, so this seemed like an ecologically appropriate wedding gift. There's lots of Milkweed and other native plants all through this capital region property; the Milkweed single-handedly creates Monarch butterfly habitat. [...]

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