Embracing an invasive native by Elizabeth Licata

Like many beginning gardeners, I was initially attracted by easy, “do it all” solutions. I soon learned that there are no such things, but that was after I bought a can of “wildflowers for shade.” I sprinkled the seeds into an impossible spot between a big maple, our back wall, and the neighbor’s boundary fence. (The great thing about these seed cans is that there is no indoor-starting, soaking, stratification or any of that geeky seed stuff. They are just assumed to work if directly sown, no matter what they are.) (with the gallium, hellebore, and a few other things) Eventually a few plants came up, but I only remember the hesperis matronalis (Dame’s Rocket), a known thug around here that did not survive for long. The sole plant that remains, eighteen years after I sprinkled those seeds, is anemone canadensis, which, at first, I took for some kind of geranium (cranesbill), but eventually looked up and found its true identity. For a while, it stayed where it was sown, putting up a di..
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7 Natural Adventures to Visit This Summer

National Forests Replanting Our National Forests 7 Natural Adventures to Visit This Summer By Sheereen Othman | June 5, 2018 June marks National Great Outdoors Month and National Rivers and Water Month. The beauty of our nation’s forests and parks are that they are filled with breathtaking views, unbeatable hiking trails, and diverse wildlife. The summer is the season to get outdoors and connect with nature. Here are 7 forests, parks, and preserves that we are replanting in and that are full of adventure. Sierra National Forest (CA) Rancheria Falls Known for its mountainous scenery and rivers and lakes, Sierra National Forest offers some of the most scenic landscapes and lots of trails. A few noteworthy trails include Rancheria Falls trail — a one-mile trail east of Huntington Lake that leads up to Rancheria Falls (perfect for summer), Pacific Crest Scenic Trail — a 30-mile trail that cuts through Sierra National Forest in the John Muir and Ansel Adams wilderness areas —..
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6 Natural Adventures to Visit This Summer

National Forests Replanting Our National Forests 6 Natural Adventures to Visit This Summer By Sheereen Othman | June 5, 2018 June marks National Great Outdoors Month and National Rivers and Water Month. The beauty of our nation’s forests and parks are that they are filled with breathtaking views, unbeatable hiking trails, and diverse wildlife. The summer is the season to get outdoors and connect with nature. Here are 6 forests, parks, and preserves that we are replanting in and that are full of adventure. Sierra National Forest (CA) Rancheria Falls Known for its mountainous scenery and rivers and lakes, Sierra National Forest offers some of the most scenic landscapes and lots of trails. A few noteworthy trails include Rancheria Falls trail — a one-mile trail east of Huntington Lake that leads up to Rancheria Falls (perfect for summer), Pacific Crest Scenic Trail — a 30-mile trail that cuts through Sierra National Forest in the John Muir and Ansel Adams wilderness areas —..
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Turning an Invasive Species into a Resource by Thomas Christopher

The black locust, insists its harvester Blue Sky, “is a much maligned tree.” A native of the central Appalachians and Ozark Mountains, it has extended its range into New England, where it is considered to be invasive. In particular, it has become abundant in north-central Massachusetts where Blue Sky lives and logs. He, however, has turned this ecological malefactor into a resource. As proprietor of “A Black Locust Connection”, he supplies black locust fence posts, trellises, and lumber to a varied and numerous clientele throughout New England and New York. It was my friend Brian who first took me to Blue Sky’s lumber yard in Colrain, Massachusetts. The Douglas fir frames that enclosed the beds in Brian’s vegetable garden have rotted away, and although he wants to replace them with something more durable, he wants to avoid the use of toxic pressure-treated lumber. Black locust boards are the perfect solution to this dilemma: this extremely rot resistant wood will survive in contact wi..
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[Podcast] Trees Are Key: Keys to Watering Trees

Tree Care [Podcast] Trees Are Key: Keys to Watering Trees By Arbor Day Foundation | June 4, 2018 This podcast is part of the Trees are Key series hosted by Paul Johnson of the Texas A&M Forest Service. Water is key to healthy trees. too much and too little water look very similar. Too little water means the tree can’t pull water out of the ground and it doesn’t have enough to photosynthesize or carry nutrients. Too much water means there’s too little air in the soil and the roots suffocate. Similar symptoms caused by opposite conditions — flood and drought. Water is vital for the success of our trees. In this podcast find out how, when and how much to water your trees, and when you don’t need to bother. You’ll also learn how to test your sprinkler system in order to run it the appropriate length of time. Watch Ask an Arborist: How do I Know if my Trees Need Water? Join Paul (@treevangelist), during #treechat on Twitter every Tuesday from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Central Tim..
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Wollam Gardens, a Cut-Flower Success Story by Susan Harris

My connection to Wollam Gardens, the cut-flower farm in the Virginia exurbs of D.C., starts with this ridiculously cute couple – Hillary Gottemoeller and Joe Harris. I got to know them at my local cafe/music venue, where they perform their own songs and where Joe organizes events showcasing talented musicians from the region. (Here’s my blog post about their very public wedding in 2015.) Hillary’s career took a sharp turn from publishing to flower-farming after she was accepted into the 10-week internship program at Wollam Gardens, after which time she knew she didn’t want to leave. Since then she’s been full-time business manager and floral designer there for two seasons. Last week I visited the farm, which attendees at the upcoming Slow Flowers Summit in D.C. will also have the chance to visit. The story of Wollam Gardens starts with Bob Wollam, of course, who’s so photogenic I couldn’t choose just one photo of him (from their Instagram account). Retired from the business world, ..
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