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        Probes that measure the soil nutrients available to plants. All photos by ©
Christopher Neill. 

Could We Manage Backyards to Increase Biodiversity?

By Christopher Neill

Woodwell Climate Research Center and a group of scientists across the country report on groundbreaking research into how American homeowners shape the structure and ecology of yard ecosystems. The project team contacted homeowners, took measurements in their yards, and conducted homeowner surveys.  The report examines not only how homeowners shape their yard ecosystem, but also why they do what they do.

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<em>Aronia melanocarpa </em> (chokeberry)  

Small Native Shrubs to Replace Commonly Used Exotics

By Sarah W. Middeleer, ASLA

What do Japanese spirea, burning bush, boxwood, and forthysia all have in common? They are all non-native common garden plants that can be invasive and do not support native pollinators. Growing native plants helps foster biodiversity, feed bees, and other pollinators.  Many of our northeastern native shrubs are fantastic substitutes for commonly used exotics. 

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The Buzz on Biodiversity

The following excerpt is reprinted with the author’s permission from The Holistic Orchard, Chelsea Green Publishing (January 10, 2012). by Michael Phillips Permaculture people speak of two classes of plants to encourage within any gardenscape. Recognizing the role of dynamic accumulators and beneficial accumulators helps us bring specific plant interactions into focus.

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