Tag: Wildlife Gardening

American Pokeweed: Bane or Beauty?

There’s an American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) growing across the alley from our house. It emerged from an overgrown hedge this year that our new neighbors have cut to the ground.

The Eccentric Flowers of American Witch-Hazel

There’s an American Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) planted on the east side of the house. Rabbits chewed it to the ground every year before I protected it with hardware cloth.  Then it bounded upward and quickly reached its current height of about 10′…. Read More

Venerable Vervain

Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta) is an attractive but not a showy plant. But it has great value from a wildlife perspective. First, let’s deal with the name. “Hoary” does not mean what some of you think it means (don’t bother to deny… Read More

Country Bee, City Bee

For some bee species, cities can provide a more welcoming habitat than the countryside. In fact, cities are emerging as important players in bee conservation. That’s the message of an article I stumbled upon in the online magazine Yale Environment 360.

A Neighbor’s Garden

There’s a remarkable garden just a few blocks away from where we live. The owner, Pat, is a garden designer and works in the landscape business. She was nice enough to let me come by and take some pictures of the front.

Culver’s Root: Sometimes Newer IS Better

Despite the depredations of the Four Lined Plant Bug, our ‘Fascination’ Culver’s Root (Veronicastrum virginicum) has begun blooming pretty nicely at this point in the year.

Currant Events in the Garden

The Wild Currant (Ribes americanum) begins to bloom just as Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) is finishing up. Right now the Wild Currants are just loaded with dangling yellow flowers – more of a soft greenish yellow, as opposed to the bright yellow… Read More

I Love Flowering Crabapples

When it comes to small flowering trees, is there anything better than the Crabapple (Malus sp.)? Of course not – I’m glad you agree. And my ‘Donald Wyman’ flowering crab is especially lovable this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this tree… Read More

Spicebush and Forsythia

Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and Forsythia, two shrubs that burst into yellow flowers in early spring. They seem to exemplify two different styles in the garden.

Ecological Gardening Still Fashionable in Chicago

Millenium Park, which includes the Lurie Garden, has displaced Navy Pier as the top tourist attraction in the American Midwest (both are in Chicago). Today’s Chicago Tribune tells us that Millenium Park was visited by nearly 13 million people in the second… Read More