Native Plants and Balconies

This was originally published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens. Planning a garden on a balcony is often a challenging prospect, but using native plants can both help, and cause further frustration. Balconies are a very different environment from the places native plants usually grow. In addition to the usual challenges of balcony gardens such as using containers, reflected heat and sun exposure, the weather in cities where most balconies are located is also different. The humidity is often lower in the city, precipitation is higher due to a lack of tree canopy and there’s more runoff. Temperatures in the...

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Hedgerows From Romans to Habitat

  This is a revised and updated post which was originally published on June 2, 2010. History Although not as significant in the US as in the UK, hedgerows nonetheless offer a valuable design opportunity for wildlife habitat. In the simplest terms, a hedgerow is a row of wild trees and shrubs, packed closely together. In the UK they have a very long and interesting history, dating back thousands of years. They were a mixed blessing, good for wildlife, but very bad for peasant farmers. Historically, hedgerows were the remnants of woodlands cleared to make way for agricultural fields. With the passing...

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Friday Film:: New Wild Garden

Today's Friday Film features an inside look at the New Wild Garden from the 2011 Chelsea RHS Flower Show designed by Nigel Dunnett filmed by Dusty Gedge. The garden features a great many elements for wildlife including a stone wall for habitat with built-in insect shelters as well as an insect wall for solitary bees and other insects on the shelter. The shelter is constructed out of a reused shipping container by Green Roof Shelters and includes a green roof designed for biodiversity. Also part of the design is a beautiful rain garden which captures overflow water from the green...

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5 Wildlife Gardening Resources for the Pacific Northwest

This was originally was published on Native Plants & Wildlife Gardens. Landscaping for Wildlife in the Pacific Northwest It seems that any time I talk with somebody about landscaping for wildlife or make a book recommendation, this is the first one I mention. There is simply no better book for this region, and in fact this book contains information useful for nearly every region when it comes to wildlife landscaping. There is not a single wasted page in this book and it’s packed full of valuable information including everything from making a pond, choosing the right plants and building bat houses....

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Friday Film:: How best to create a wildlife-friendly garden?

There are over 3 million gardens in Greater London which offer an 'untapped potential' to make the city more resilient to climate change and better for wildlife, according to the London Wildlife Trust. How do we begin to exploit this potential? According to LWT's expert gardener Elaine Hughes, gardeners should be a 'bit less tidy'. This short video illustrates many of the key points for creating urban wildlife habitat including using drought tolerant plants and providing shelter for birds and insects by being less tidy and leaving seed heads and leaves in the winter months. The video also illustrates how many...

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Wildlife Plants:: Foxglove

You would never know that Common Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea) is not a native plant of North America considering how abundant it is in certain regions like the Pacific Northwest. This flower was introduced from Europe and is found in gardens, and has naturalized to spread to roadsides, fields, forest edges and other disturbed sites around the country. It's a widely popular garden plant because of it's dramatic form and color. Foxglove is a large, biennial herb which can grow to nearly six feet high. The first year the plant produces the foliage but the flowers don't generally come until the following...

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