3 Examples of a Pro-Science Movement in Gardening – Are There More? by Susan Harris

The press release below touts a “New Pro-Science Movement in Gardening” based on the popularity of the Garden Professors, the curation project Good Gardening Videos, and the Garden Writers Association’s new science-writing award. Know of any more examples? Or on the contrary, do you know of any blowback from an anti-science faction in the gardening party? Maybe folks who didn’t join the March for Science last weekend? PRESS RELEASE: New Pro-Science Movement in Gardening Academics and Garden Writers Team up to Fight Misinformation DATE: April 25, 2017 Garden Professors Blog Co-Founders First came the Garden Professors Blog, where four plant scientists began confronting gardening myths and even conventional wisdom with scientific findings. In print, the professors authored award-winning, game-changing books with titles like The Truth about Organic Gardening and The Informed Gardener. A Garden Professors Facebook Group soon followed, where currently over 11,000 members fact-check th..
Read More

Happy Arbor Day

Celebrate Arbor Day Happy Arbor Day By Arbor Day Foundation | April 28, 2017 It’s here, it’s here, Arbor Day is here. Since 1872, the tree planter’s holiday has been celebrated on the last Friday of April. People across the country are planting trees and greening communities. More than 194 organizations and cities have planned Arbor Day celebrations across America. Check out celebratearborday.com for celebrations in your area. This year we set a goal to plant 70,000 trees together during the month of April. Our friends at Unilever and Ahold wanted to help us reach this goal, so for every tweet with #arborday, they committed to planting a tree in a forest of need, planting up to 20,000 trees. We’re thrilled that you’ve helped us plant 71,913 trees — and counting — exceeding our initial goal. Arbor Day is a reminder of all that trees do for us. It’s a holiday that focuses on the future, not on the past. The trees planted today will give shade, clean water, and purify th..
Read More

Returning to our Roots, Celebrating Arbor Day Where it all Started

Celebrate Arbor Day Returning to our Roots, Celebrating Arbor Day Where it all Started By Sheereen Othman | April 26, 2017 This year marks the 145th anniversary of Arbor Day. Since 1872, people have set aside a special day dedicated to tree planting. To celebrate Arbor Day, first lady of Nebraska Susanne Shore joined us at Arbor Lodge State Historical Park, the former home of J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day. Morton founded the tree planter’s holiday because of his own admiration of trees. He planted countless trees — many of which were rare varieties including heirloom apple trees — on his estate that later earned recognition as an arboretum. The mansion stands as a historic attraction and landmark of the origin of Arbor Day. On the inaugural Arbor Day more than one million trees were planted in Nebraska. The benefits these trees provide will have a lasting impact for many Arbor Days to come. Enjoy these photos of this year’s tree planting ceremony at the fo..
Read More

I hate being a gardening know-it-all by Elizabeth Licata

These tulips on the right bloomed early because they are the Praestans Shogun species, not because I fertilized them a lot. And the funny thing is that I’m really not. I’m not a master gardener, a CNLP, or any kind of horticultural professional. I’m just a writer/editor who loves to garden, geek out on gardening books, and keep up with new ways of thinking about traditional garden practice. And, yes, I like to use botanical names. They make sense to me because, with exceptions, a plant may have five different (and often contradictory) common names but it generally has just one botanical name. This is not the culture for many longtime gardeners. The use of botanical names is considered snobby, even laughable (and makes me a know-it-all). The fact that there are many classes of tulips, which bloom at different times, including species tulips, which are more apt to perennialize, is unimportant (and makes me a know-it-all). Tilling to clear ground and get rid of weeds is still considered..
Read More

How To Grow Strawberries

Tree of the Week How To Grow Strawberries By Arbor Day Foundation | April 25, 2017 Grown as either a small tree or shrub, the strawberry tree is one of the most attractive specimens available for residential use. The evergreen nature and off-season flowering make this a real find for discriminating gardeners. Check out this guest post from igardenplanting on the benefits of strawberries and the best way to grow them. Planting Strawberries Once you have decided upon the best type and variety of strawberries, it’s time to get to work in the garden and plant them. You don’t need much by the way of expensive garden tools but you do need to know what you’re doing so take the time to inform yourself and read on… Before we outline what to do, a couple of quick videos that we highly recommend you check out. For those of you who prefer to learn by watching rather than reading, finding the best videos can be an overwhelming task. This video is a very short and sweet guide to p..
Read More

Shiny Updates to the Website Coming Soon!

The Bug Chicks - A site for parents, teachers and bugdorks. We are working hard behind the scenes to bring some much needed (and highly requested) updates to the website! This will include a fabulous new store for all things Bug Chicks and Bug Chicks Approved, just in time for spring and insects. It will also include a great new way to book us online if you live in/near Portland, OR and if you want to schedule a Skype ClassChat with us from anywhere in the world! We have been teaching a great deal and Kristie has been traveling, speaking and training teachers in workshops. We are currently developing a new course for people who want to become better outreach educators, especially with regard to CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT! It’s our special mojo (besides bugs). We are not rockstars at much, but we can manage a crowd and we can teach you the tips and tricks. Shiny Updates to the Website Coming Soon!
Read More

Olfactory Overload by Bob Hill

‘Michael Lindsey’ I’ve been spending more time of late wandering our eight-acre landscape both because after 42 years here I keep finding old plants I too often overlook, and, more important, the chances are very slim I’ll find an aircraft carrier either on its way to Australia or North Korea. Gardening always provides some escape from reality – and at the same time connects us to who and what matters when the television is turned off. Such was the case earlier this week as I rounded a once-hidden corner of our place and spotted a tall shrub backed up against a hemlock tree in light shade. It was coated in tight whitish buds with a few opened to expose a circle of white petals with purplish centers. The whole area had recently been rejuvenated-by-chainsaw, adding more sunlight to what had been deep wooded gloom. My reward for that effort – witness the avalanche of white buds – was a 10-foot Calycanthus ‘Venus.’ ‘Venus’ is a stunner, or in this case a golf-cart stopper. Its specifi..
Read More

A Message From Dan Lambe: Happy Arbor Day

Arbor Day Executive Message A Message From Dan Lambe: Happy Arbor Day By Arbor Day Foundation | April 24, 2017 It’s April – the month of National Arbor Day and the time to celebrate trees. Most everyone can agree that planting trees is important and brings positive benefits to our lives. Arbor Day is a break from all that is going on around us. Trees do so much for us. In our yards, they provide shade, reduce energy costs and increase property values. Along our streets, they reduce stormwater runoff that can carry pollutants to our waterways. Throughout our communities, they improve the mental and respiratory health, reduce crime, break up heat islands, create jobs and boost the economy. In our forests, they restore critical wildlife habitat, provide opportunities for recreation and maintain healthy watersheds to protect drinking water resources for millions of Americans. And no matter where they’re planted, trees are working hard to filter pollutants out of our air and w..
Read More

The Wrong Way to Teach Eco-Friendly Gardening by Susan Harris

I recently attended a “Green Yards and Gardens” talk in my town. The intern giving the talk was more knowledgeable than I expected, but the topics covered were no surprise: natives, invasives, pesticides, composting, and rain barrels, the usual bullet points. Afterward I asked some attendees I knew how they liked the talk and wasn’t surprised by their disappointment: “We thought we’d learn to garden.” Lecturing people about what NOT to do resonates with some – the already eco-minded – but fails to excite people about gardening or show them how to succeed at it. I’ve come to believe that turning people into gardeners should be the number one goal of all communications about eco-friendly or sustainable gardening. Sure, mention at the end of the talk or article the practices they should avoid, but focusing on the negatives is just counterproductive. I’ve noticed this misguided approach over the years and a quick survey reveals that it’s as prominent as ever. For example, a county in Ca..
Read More

CSX Employees Help Green Communities Along the Tracks

Corporate Partnerships Featured CSX Employees Help Green Communities Along the Tracks By Amy Ossian | April 20, 2017 CSX became a sponsor of the Arbor Day Foundation through the company’s work with Alliance for Community Trees — a network of community-based organizations is dedicated to improving the livability of towns and cities through planting and caring for trees. Last fall, some of the Arbor Day Foundation staff met with CSX colleagues at one of the company’s service days that included planting trees in Philadelphia. Below is a guest post from a CSX employee who attended the service day. My name is Robert Rohauer, and I’m proud to have over 27 years of service at CSX. I started on the railroad as brakeman and currently lead CSX’s Communications and Field Support as a regional manager across the eastern portion of our railroad. The Communications and Field Support team is the link between trains that run through 23 states and the community residents who live along e..
Read More