Nov 162012
Foragings:: The latest news, resources, designs and more

News Bringing natural life into buildings:: Eco-architect Dr Ken Yeang’s attempts to introduce more nature into architecture are highlighted in this article. “Many buildings have been ‘de-natured’. Human beings have simplified and fragmented nature.” Loft ambitions: why green roofs are the future of urban gardening:: This article from The Ecologist discusses the many benefits of green roofs. Do Wildlife Corridors Really Work?:: From the Smithsonian blog is a discussion about whether corridors actually work and a new crowd-sourcing project to find the answer. Citizen scientists vital for wildlife data collection:: A great article about how scientists rely heavily on their volunteer data …continue reading

Oct 312012
The Virtuous Weed:: Pineapple Weed

The Virtuous Weed is a new feature on The Metropolitan Field Guide inspired by The Weeds in My Street on the Cryptoforestry blog. The definition of weed is a highly complicated and controversial affair as Richard Mabey discusses in his fascinating book, Weeds: In Defense of Nature’s Most Unloved Plants. Are they simply plants in the wrong place or defined as such for another reason; because they’re invasive, or toxic or disturbing agriculture, or because we disapprove of their behavior? Weeds often spark many debates on forums and blogs among various groups. What is behind all of this? I intend to …continue reading

Oct 272012
Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Post:: 3 Pacific Northwest Plants for Winter

This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post. Here in Seattle we had a very long and very dry summer. It seemed that fall would never arrive as we enjoyed 70 degree days into October. However, the seasons will not be stopped and fall came upon us nearly overnight as the sunny, warm days gave way to cool, clouds and rain. As we Seattleites were still merrily sitting on our balconies into October and planning our gardens, fall snuck up on us. Many …continue reading

Sep 252012
Book Preview:: Second Nature

I’m excited to bring you a preview of a book from an author intimately acquainted with urban wildlife habitat in Seattle. You may remember the Montlake Fill from the post Marsh Madness (Brackishology):: Marsh & Foster Islands and ‘the Fill’. The Montlake Fill is a world-famous birding site in the middle of northeast Seattle, on the UW campus near the Center for Urban Horticulture. Birders have seen more than 240 species there over the years, including rarities such as Golden Eagle, Brown Thrasher, and Tufted Duck (a mullet-decorated duck from Siberia). You can see something fun there every single day, as master …continue reading

Sep 072012
Friday Film:: Rain gardening - A series of rain gardens

This week’s Friday Film features a look at a series of rain gardens designed to capture water from a roof. This video is presented by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust as part of their ‘Step by Step Rain Gardens‘ series.  In this installed garden, the rain falls down the downspout, across into a raised, circular planter filled with plants tolerant of heavy water but also summer drought. If the storm is too much for the single garden, it overflows into a series of other gardens preventing water from reaching the storm drains. The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust website is full of useful information …continue reading

Aug 292012
Native Plants and Wildlife Gardens Post:: House Hunting

This is an excerpt from my latest post at the Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens blog. Click the link below to visit the full post. My family recently started house hunting. We’ve been apartment dwellers for years, but the situation is right for us to purchase a home since, among other reasons, we’re planning on staying in Seattle for a few years. Plus we’re tired of our rent going up every year. Over the last few months I’ve discovered how much value I place on the outdoor space. We started out looking at condos, then expanded townhouses and now have …continue reading