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Native Plants

Wild Seed 3 

Planting Native Shade Trees

by Julia Frederick 

Shade trees are more important than ever as we face rapid development and suburban sprawl, deforestation, and desertification. These gentle giants help combat rising temperatures, habitat loss and declining air and water quality. Additionally, native canopy trees provide abundant food and shelter for insects, amphibians, birds, and mammals.

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Celebrating Natives Garden Tour – Needham, MA

Hosted by Marie Chieppo

Avery Park, a busy commuter rail station park becomes a native plant oasis for people and pollinators alike. Follow Needham based landscape designer Marie Chieppo’s journey through a barren weed-infested plot to a popular garden gathering spot that is doing double duty during the COVID pandemic as a great place to socialize while staying six feet apart.

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cover Wild Seed Project 2020 magazine 

Magazine Review: Wild Seed, Volume 6

Reviewed by Curtis Jirsa

Wild Seed is an annual magazine published by Wild Seed Project, a Maine-based nonprofit that advocates for using more native plants in our landscapes. This year’s volume, like its predecessors, is a compelling and richly-illustrated collaboration between an impressive group of scholars, horticultural professionals, local artists, and other experts and enthusiasts.

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Eco-Answers from the Pros: Native Tree Versus Exotic Tree

Can you please explain to me the benefits of planting native trees over exotic trees? I thought having more exotic trees meant less risk for common diseases on native tree species; however, the process of naturalization indicates a focus on native tree planting over exotic. Is it true exotic trees are more expense to purchase than native ones?

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Spread Plant Love, Not Mulch

by Missy Fabel

It’s easy to be beguiled by the fresh look and scent of newly spread mulch. Yet for the ecologically minded, the spread of native groundcovers by rhizome, stolon, or seed introduces both functionality and a particular aesthetic into the landscape as plants fill cover soil by virtue of their growth habits and reproductive strategies.

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Designing for a Shady, Dry Yard

I live in Zone 6 just outside of Boston, MA. Our tiny front yard faces north and is mostly shaded by the three-story house. To make matters worse, there is a Norway Maple on the other side of the sidewalk, so the yard is dry. The turf grass currently planted cannot cope, and there are many bare patches, even with regular overseeding. I tried Pennsylvania sedge as an experiment, and that seems to be doing well, but I don’t think I want the whole yard planted with sedge. What native plants could we use against the foundation that don’t get too high and perhaps could replace the turf? The yard is too small (21’ X 10’) for a tree or large shrubs.

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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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Native Plants Shine in Streambank Restoration

by Krissy Boys

Four years after replacement of a streambank water control structure, native grasses, sedges, and forbs planted at the site have become well established. Most species are thriving and have propagated themselves by self-sowing in the streambank gardens. Only two species out of 58 genera completely failed.

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From Wasteland to Wildflower Meadow at Greenfield Community College

by Maureen Sundberg

A campus wildflower meadow tucked onto a slope at Greenfield Community College was designed as part of a larger outdoor learning lab that includes a botanical garden, wetland garden, permaculture garden, and raingarden. Two years after planting, the meadow has become an oasis of learning for students across the academic spectrum.

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Members Making a Difference: Native Plant Demonstration Garden Is a Labor of Love

by Maureen Sundberg

ELA member Marie Chieppo initiated a collaboration with the Town of Needham to install a native plant demonstration garden at a busy public park. With the help of local volunteers and her own teenage children, the installation took place over six weeks this spring, and she continues to maintain the site.

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