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Landscaping for Wildlife

Seeing and learning about wildlife is an enriching experience that anyone can enjoy. When landscapes provide food, shelter, water, and nesting areas for reproduction, a rich variety of life follows. The result is a healthier, more resilient ecosystem for all inhabitants.

Forest Savers LLC from Woodstock, Vermont uses a custom-built tractor to uproot and shred invasive shrubs at the Oyster River Forest in Durham, NH as part of a 60-acre restoration project to restore a healthy native plant community to benefit pollinators, songbirds, and the state-endangered New England cottontail. 

Reducing Invasive Plants and Recovering a Healthy Plant Community

By Ellen Snyder

In southeastern New Hampshire, where I work with landowners and communities on land stewardship, managing invasive plants is a constant struggle. As the Land Stewardship Coordinator for the Town of Durham, I’m guiding three restoration projects on town conservation land. It was hard not to be overwhelmed by the pervasiveness of invasive plants on all three properties. To avoid invasive paralysis, I keep my focus on the goal: restoration of a place to a mostly self-sustaining, healthy plant community.  The reward is a restored landscape brimming with native plants and native beneficial insects. 

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 From left: A garden of anise hyssop, little bluestem, sneezeweed, boneset in front of smooth hydrangea. 

Lessons Learned on A Native Plant Journey

By Cathy Weston

A visit to  Cape Cod brings us to a  2-acre fallow farmland property where the homeowner/gardener has spent years cutting back invasive plants to return the land from an Old Field habitat to a Coastal Woodland.  The amount of effort to remove and keep invasives at bay could seem a daunting task, but this homeowner persevered and with trial and error created a beautiful ecological habit for both herself and the wildlife her property now calls home. 

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A blue heron in the wetlands as they appear today. Photo by Pam Morris Olshefski. 

Restoring the Wetlands of Morris Arboretum

by Eloise Gayer

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is well known for its abundance of mature trees and horticultural displays. In 2001 the Arboretum began the restoration of a drained wetland that would not only serve as a blueprint for other wetland restoration projects but also create more educational opportunities for the entire community. Learn about the history of this wetland, that was farmland at the turn of the century then one hundred years later was reverted back into a natural wetland.

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Book Review: The Pollinator Victory Garden

Written by Kim Eierman, Published by Quarry Books, (2020)
Reviewed by Georgia Harris

I first heard about Kim Eierman’s book The Pollinator Victory Garden at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown. While Eierman could not have predicted that the release of her book would coincide with a pandemic, the timing is particularly appropriate as more people are finding time to work in and enjoy their yards and gardens.  

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CSummers Carolina silverbell 

Why Aren’t These Plants in Every Garden? Three Great Plants to Know and Grow

by Carolyn Summers

Throughout her career working with people, plants, and landscapes, author/designer and gardener extraordinaire Carolyn Summers has often been puzzled by the lack of interest in certain plants that she finds exceptionally useful.  These plants bridge the gap that sometimes exists between what humans want and what wildlife needs. Carolyn introduces us to three underused plants that are a must-have for native gardeners. 

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June brings smooth-leaved penstemon into flower, making the garden alive with bumblebees.
 

Celebrating Natives Garden Tour – Dennis, MA

Hosted by Kristin Andres

Take a walk on the wild side of Cape Cod. Located in Dennis, MA  the Association to Preserve Cape Cod has built a wonderful garden to show residents of Cape Cod how beautiful and easy it is to plant and maintain a native garden. With veggie demonstration gardens and rain gardens, there really is a garden solution for every obstacle a gardener might face.

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Protecting Pollinators Cover 

Book Review: Protecting Pollinators

Protecting Pollinators by Jodi Helmer is a must-read for anyone interested in learning more about the myriad small and amazing creatures so crucial to our survival as a species. Reading the book is like having a dear friend share with you all the fascinating things she’s learned about pollinators during her journey to becoming a successful beekeeper, then placing all her resources at your fingertips.

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Getting the Buzz from Pollinators in Mt. Cuba Center’s Trial Garden

by Sam Hoadley

Mt. Cuba Center’s mission is to inspire an appreciation for the beauty of native plants and a commitment to the native habitats that protect them. Over the past several years the Mt. Cuba Center Trial Garden has become an influencer to the nursery industry and to native plant enthusiasts. Learn about their trials, designed to identify the top performing species and cultivars within the genus that are best suited for the Mid-Atlantic region.

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Narango Chickadee juvenile banded.cropped 

A Chickadee’s Guide to Gardening: How to Create Habitat for Birds in Urban Settings

Conference Session Review by Melanie Kenney

As humans continue to shape and dominate the landscape, conservationists, land managers, homeowners, landscape professionals, and researchers need information about how wildlife interact with and make use of resources available in urban, suburban, and agricultural green spaces. Dr. Desirée Narango, Postdoctoral Researcher at the City University of New York, Visiting Researcher at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and Research Associate with the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, presented an exciting new set of research findings focusing on how songbirds navigate, feed, and reproduce in urban and suburban green spaces, using the Carolina chickadee (Poecile carolinensis) as a model insect-eater.

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