Thursday, February 26, 2009


I apologize for not updating lately. I am sick with multiple issues and will be having surgery (possibly more than one) soon. I'm hoping to get better soon so I can go exploring again! I have some new photo techniques I want to try out, and I'm getting ready for Spring. My organic seed shop is slowly picking up and I'm growing seedlings for sale in Spring. I'm planning new gardens and working with the gourds I grew last season and dried over the winter. :) I have seen some stunning gourd art... I'd love to learn how to do some of those eventually, but for now I'm making bird houses. :)

Some things I'd like this blog to cover eventually:
  • Gardening with disabilities
  • Individual plant properties and various uses
  • Botanical Medicine
  • Garden Themes
  • Methods of organic gardening, including pest control and fertilizing
  • How plants improve the environment and provide habitat for animals
  • How to properly harvest, dry and store herbals
That's a few things I can throw out there from the start. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Invasive Plants

I originally posted this in my old blog, but it bears repeating.

Everyone has heard that you shouldn't plant invasive species. However, many people don't realize what plants are invasive or what impact they have. Invasive plants are often attractive and convenient, and are sold at nurseries without any warnings. As more people become aware of the problem, native plant sales are increasing, but you as a customer have to let the retailer know you will not buy invasives.
Not all non-natives are invasive, and if you keep them contained it's not a problem. However, if left to grow unchecked, they grow out of control. In their natural environment, predators and controls exist that don't exist elsewhere. As invasive plants spread, they kill off our local species and replace plants that our wildlife depend on with something that is damaging to the ecology.
Different areas have different infestations, so look up your local invasives online. A few of the worst offenders are the orange daylily, purple loosestrife, kudzu, english ivy and vinca vine. All of these plants are attractive, but they multiply quickly and replace a diverse biosystem with a monoculture that no longer provides food for wildlife.
There is a local wooded area I visit that has been invaded by vinca vine, or periwinkle. A house is at the edge of the woods and the plant has spread from there. Here are a couple of photos of the woods. (Click to view larger)

Many people use vinca and english ivy as a ground cover, but this is what happens if its growth is not checked. Some may think all those little blue flowers are lovely, but they serve no purpose to our wildlife. Every year, the vinca advances further into these woods, smothering out what would normally live there. What lives in the part of the woods that the vinca has not reached is a variety of wildflowers, bushes and herbs such as Spring Beauty, Dogtooth Violet, Ginseng, Bloodroot, Jack-in-the-pulpit, ferns, mosses, Elderberry and other viburnums, to name a few. All of these provide food and shelter for our native insects and animals, and they provide us with beauty and possible sources of medicines. However, as the vinca spreads, it smothers everything else that might grow on the forest floor.
Instead of planting invasives, plant native species. Our native species naturally grow better in the climate to which they are suited, and they provide needed food for our wildlife. Most states have a department that offers suggestions for native plants to grow in place of invasives. You can research it online, and when you go to the nursery, ask for native species. Native species require less maintenance, use less water, and don't need fertilizers, which helps to keep chemicals out of our water.
By planting natives, you will have a lovely garden that doesn't require as much upkeep, and your local birds and animals will visit it often.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Welcome to my new garden blog! I've been meaning to do it for a while, but I tend to be a rather erratic blogger. I have a garden shop on etsy called Green Thing, and just set up another on artfire called Wise Plants. All my plants are grown organically, and seeds are hand collected, sorted and counted (which is what I've worked on much of the winter!)
Please stop in my shop! I'll try to update this blog on a somewhat regular basis. :)
Happy Gardening!