Report From A Tagalong Spouse

Hosting the VNPS Annual Meeting at the Frontier Culture Museum was a great choice. If you haven’t been to the museum, it consists of about twelve exhibits of typical homesteads, (houses, barns, fields, etc.), of the people who originally inhabited North America, including the American Indians and those people who immigrated to the Atlantic coast… [Read More]

The Right Kind of Pollinator Garden

A couple of reminders, if folks will, regarding pollinator gardens, especially those to attract and host Monarch butterflies: The overarching principle for all ecological restoration plantings (i.e., those involving the correct use of native plants in parks, waterways, and natural areas) is to “Do No Harm” to the native flora, communities, wildlife, and natural landscape… [Read More]

Hope and Reality for Urban Ecosystems

Years ago, I served on Maryland’s Plant Reintroduction Task Force, which was largely convened to address the merits, legal ramifications, and biological soundness of reintroducing rare taxa “recently lost from its historic range” or to enhance dwindling populations that remained in their historic natural settings (PRTF 1999). Specifically at the time, this involved a proposal… [Read More]

Gifts for Gardeners and Native Plant Lovers

  Just in time! Ideas for the most desperate among us, the ones who haven’t yet crossed even the first gift off our list. You know who you are. On Black Friday you were either out transplanting just one more shrub, or you were off wandering on some leafy trail noticing which trees had already… [Read More]

Non-Native Milkweed: Helpful or Harmful?

  The most recent article about the monarch butterfly in the New York Times has once again raised the question of whether we should be planting non-native milkweed. The milkweed being discussed was the tropical variety most widely available in the usual stores, Asclepias curassavica, known commonly as Scarlet or Tropical milkweed. Ongoing research points… [Read More]

Smile – It’s A Smilax!

The genus Smilax is bound to catch your attention one way or another – your eye catches a distinctive green leaf; your nose detects a whiff of something slightly ‘off;’  your skin or clothes catch on sharp prickles as you walk down the trail. Those prickly Simlax  have common names that include the words Greenbrier or… [Read More]