A Thistle Banquet

On a recent walk through a local meadow I spotted a bank of Field Thistle (Cirsium discolor). It was eye-catching for two reasons.  The sight of the plant itself is arresting, with its tall candelabra-like shape topped with purple pompoms … Continue reading

Rewards of a Butterfly Count

Why participate in a butterfly count? Well for one thing, you’ll be contributing to a citizen science project that gathers data to help assess how well butterfly species are doing over time.  Are numbers for each species in a given … Continue reading

Combating Japanese Beetles

Japanese Beetles (Popillia japonica) are especially prolific this summer, voraciously consuming the leaves, flowers and buds of herbaceous (non-woody) plants, shrubs and trees. They were first discovered at a nursery in New Jersey in 1916, probably introduced here with imported … Continue reading

Cut-leaved Toothwort

Last week’s star players in the world of woodland understory plants in the eastern deciduous forest in my neighborhood were Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) and Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum). This week Bloodroot is already developing fruit capsules.  Trout Lily is still … Continue reading

Embracing the Shade: Summer and Fall

Is it possible to have a perennial shade garden with continuous bloom throughout the summer and fall?  By June, the trees are fully leafed out, sheltering our home from the summer sun’s strong rays. That means that the garden is … Continue reading