Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Native Plant Nursery Open Days 2017

It's time! We have lots of native perennial plants for sale so you can add them to your home landscape to enjoy their beauty, feed the birds and all the pollinators - including the bees and monarchs - and contribute to a growing effort to counter habitat loss and make our part of the world more beautiful. You can find details here and by reading on.

The flowers are in bloom here making us and the insects very happy.

Steve made a short video of a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth nectaring on their favorite Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa). Wow!



Check out our list of available plants and some fun facts about them: 2017 Native Plant List & Prices.


Take a Native Plant Nursery Tour.



Did you notice the plant labels? They are printed by us and attached to repurposed old, plastic plant pots that Steve cut up. So far, they are holding up great in the sun and rain and should make shopping for potentially unfamiliar plants much easier.


At our Open Days this year, we will have our native plants for sale, plus some cool handcraft. Theresa Gonzalez pictured on the left below, Steve's sister, is a fantastic seamstress and knitter so we will have some of her wares available.


These seed aprons are perfect for gardening! I love mine and you can bet I will have mine on when you visit.


Theresa also makes colorful and useful bowl cozies for holding those items that are just too hot or too cold. We love ours so much I put nature artifacts in there sometimes, too.


Knit bag or hand warmers? She's got one or two of you covered on these items...


We will also have some wood totes and a few cutting boards made by us for sale.



Remember to bring your cameras and/or binoculars if you want to walk the trails and observe all the cool nature happenings. We look forward to seeing you!

Click here to find our address and a map. 

CASH or CHECK ONLY!!! We apologize for any inconvenience, but our cell reception here is not good enough to accept credit cards. Thank you for understanding.

2017 Open Days:

July:
22 (Sat.): 10-4 p.m.
25 & 27 (Tues. and Thurs.): 1-7 p.m.
29 (Sat.): 10-4 p.m.

August:
3 (Thurs.): 1-7 p.m.
6 (Sun.) 10-4 p.m.
8 & 10 (Tues. and Thurs.): 1-7 p.m.
12 (Sat.): 10-4 p.m.
15 & 17 (Tues. and Thurs.): 1-7 p.m.
20 (Sun.): 10-4 p.m.
22 & 24 (Tues. and Thurs.): 1-7 p.m.
26 (Sat.): 10-4 p.m.

September and October: To Be Announced

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Gnarly Squash Patch or Sophisticated Eco-Garden, Time Will Tell

By Steve:

When we installed our vegetable garden, we did it in a hurry and converted it from an existing lawn area. Had we had time to observe the surface flow of rainwater after significant precipitation events we would have excluded some of that area because it turned out to collect too much water. So now we are letting the lowest part of our vegetable garden recover to native vegetation. That leaves a couple of areas that we want to retain for growing vegetables in the middle of the wet-dry spectrum - a bit wetter than we'd like. We've struggled with trying to control the main "weed" (yellow nut sedge) and failed no matter what. Rather than be defeated we decided to work with nature and simply plant INTO the mix of native perennials, some non-native but beneficial perennials and some annuals. Our first experiment with this technique is for our winter squash beds because we plant those in mounds and this would be more compatible with a matrix of other plants than rows. 

Here you can see the squash mounds amidst the "weeds" that we are attempting to actually benefit from (blooms for pollinators, habitat for predators to perhaps help with squash bugs and borers, initial shade for squash seedlings, mulch from clippings).


On July 1 this is what it looks like and it's actually quite pleasant with at least a dozen species of non-vegetable plants that are, seemingly, benefitting the vegetable crops and providing the gardeners with beauty and wonder.


Close-up to show the squash plants thriving as much or more than they have in the past, when we spent way too much time pulling "weeds." 


We will provide an update later in the growing season and, we hope, have a photo of a large pile of winter squash harvested and ready for the root cellar! 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Putting An Ecosystem Back Together = Diverse Life = Endless Inspiration

Friends, it's so wild and crazy here in many ways (plant nursery, vegetable garden, homesteading projects, soil consulting, etc.) and is why I've not taken time to sit down and write, but what's important to share is the multitudinous life now calling this 3.5 acres home.

We logically comprehend what happens when an ecosystem that grew together for millenia is put back together, but to witness it happen - so quickly - is way beyond what we expected and even dreamed. Here's a quick glimpse at some very recent sightings, all on this little patch of ground we call home with a backlog of videos tucked in here and there.

Happy Summer!

Golden-backed Snipe Flies on woodland/grassland trail:


Bristly Cutworm Moth found under some pots I used:


Gray Treefrog on Cup Plant:


Carolina Buckthorn in bloom:


Monarch Caterpillar on Common Milkweed:


American Bullfrog:
WETLAND VIDEO


American Toads:


Painted Turtle:


Crazy-colored Green Frog:


Twelve-spotted Skimmer:


Staghorn Sumac in full bloom (a pollinator favorite, for sure):
VIDEO


Foxglove Beardtongue in full bloom (another pollinator favorite):
VIDEO


Dogwood in bloom (ID confirmation as soon as it sets fruit) with Spring Azure nectaring:
VIDEO


Spiderlings:



American Woodcock juvenile (we flushed Mama on our nature trail and found this little fluff ball):


Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar (2nd/3rd instar) on Tulip Poplar:


Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar (5th instar) on Tulip Poplar:


American Carrion Beetle and Garden Carrion Beetle on dead Garter Snake (from our basement...poor bugger):


We seek wilderness like fish to water because it's our heart and we love to venture out into this big, beautiful world, but find creating wilderness on our homeland makes access a little easier and a lot more frequent. 😃