What's native? A plant that grows in a region naturally, and hasn't been brought here through human intervention. It's been here for thousands of years, and has adapted to the regional climate and soils. It has established relationships with wildlife and insects. Using native plants in the the garden creates harmony and fills the land with life and beauty.
There's always room for some herbs in the garden. Even a small garden of culinary herbs outside the kitchen door can be delightful.
Special Places for Kids
Let's get those kids outside! A place that's just for them - maybe a treehouse, maybe a fairy garden tucked away behind a shrub - will let their imagination run free and create their own special bond with nature.
Conifers are my essential trees and shrubs for creating year-round interest in a northern garden.
Enhancing plant and wildlife communities, sustainable gardening practices, restoration of of damaged landscapes, and wetland and water resource protection are all encompassed in the term "ecological gardening". It's a big idea, but small steps are as important as broad strokes. Plant some milkweed, leave some leaves and twigs around after the fall cleanup, and already the ecology of the site is improved.
Sand, scarce water, 120° in the summer - talk about a tough place to garden. But solar energy, recycled grey water, and the use of native desert plants that adapt to scorching sun and arid conditions make gardening possible throughout Dubai. Birds as well as people are appreciate the green spaces. Did you know that over 400 species of birds pass through the UAE during their migration?
The northern Catskill mountains is a healthy environment, with plenty of wildlife to enjoy. Or not. Bears who like to pick apples and raid bee hives, herons and Fisher Cats plucking the fish from your pond, voles eating the spring bulbs, and of course, last but FAR from least, the deer. Hey, it's the country. After four decades of coping with my feral neighbors, I have some good strategies to pass along.
I rejoice when I see a mushroom. It often means that the mycorrhizae down in the soil are working with the trees and plants to build a healthy interdependent community.