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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 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. [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Hops Orchard Project

This summer I am growing, of my own volition and for my own edification, a hops orchard. At harvest time, in autumn, the hops cones will be sold to Adirondack Brew Pub, the hippest brewery in the Lake George-Saratoga region. Shown in the photos are the teepee structures used for trellising. Hops grow as high [...]

Butterflies and Yarrow

Some home gardeners in Saratoga and Lake George don't like Yarrow, they think it spreads too quickly. The Butterflies feel differently though; Yarrow is one of the best plants to choose for attracting Butterflies to the garden. Butterflies can see more range of light than any other creature. They see the full spectrum of light [...]