Elderflowers: Growing, Picking & Harvesting

What's blooming in my garden? Elderflowers!! The sweet umbels of creamy colored flowers that can reach 12" across are so fragrant and have a unique smell, kind of like floral, creamy, and summery all in one package! All cultivars look very similar with their shrub-like plant structure, compound leaves, and big, beautiful clusters of white …

Callicarpa – Beauty + Fruit Combine for a Great Native Plant

American Beautyberry, Callicarpa americana, is aptly named as the latin name means beauty +  fruit. The purple jewel-like berries are arranged artfully on cascading branches of this wonderful deciduous and deer resistant shrub. Native to the central and southeastern United States, it is found naturally growing in open meadows and woodlands. A nutritional powerhouse, with …

Buckeyes Are Blooming – Summer Garden Queen!

Bottle Brush Buckeyes are blooming everywhere and if you are in the know, you are planting more of them.  Attracting hummingbirds, butterflies, and other native pollinators by the dozens, this native is a great understory plant for shady woodland areas. Deer and rabbit resistant, it forms a dense, mounded, suckering, deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub which typically …

Top Three Native Vines That Attract Butterflies, Bees, and Hummingbirds

The pipevine's flowers are odd looking and interesting

Native vines are a totally underused plant in Mid-Atlantic gardens. Filling gaps, covering walls and fences, and a great vertical element in any garden, vines can be used to attract native butterflies and insects to your garden. Vines are useful if you don't have a ton of room and usually grow quickly and form almost …

Springtime Pretties-What You Should Be Planting for Spring Color

Bluebells in an arrangement

Early to mid-April is a perfect time to start to enjoy your springtime flowers. Way before Dahlias, summertime annuals, and asters, the breath of selection of spring blooming perennials is dazzling but there are definitely favorites that I enjoy year after year. Columbine The sheer variety of shapes and colors of Columbine flowers has always …

Powerhouse Keystone Species – Plant an Oak and Aster

Sample plan of a pollinator garden

As earth stewards of our amazing planet, we can appreciate the potential importance of all species to the continued existence of a complex ecosystem. But there are some that stand out and do the heavy lifting. Specific integral species are more important than others to the sustainability of an ecosystem and are called ‘Keystone Species’ …

Winter Interest with Native Plantings

Redbud in winter

The cold and dreary days of Winter seem endless in January and February, especially during a pandemic when we are not getting out as much as we're used to. But by providing food and shelter for native animals and birds, with good selections of native plants, we can brighten up our landscapes and our lives. …

Three Native Plant Choices for Late Winter/Early Spring

Declining Pollinators Many pollinator species have suffered serious declines in recent years because of a variety factors-loss and fragmentation of habitat, pesticide use, and climate change. Unfortunately, most of our suburban and urban landscapes offer little in the way of appropriate habitat, forage, and housing. Even the most beautiful gardens are not always healthy ecosystems …

Top 10 Ways to ReWild Your Garden

Douglas Tallamy, world renowned and influential ecologist/entymologist, urges Americans to go native and go natural.  Many people shorten this and call it 'ReWilding'.  For a great article on his philosophy, read  all about him in the Smithsonian magazine.  For tips on ReWilding your own garden, read on. What is ReWilding? ReWilding, returning your landscape back …