Posts Categorized: Biodiversity

Two Simple, Easy, and Natural Steps for Summer Habitat Garden Maintenance

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Butterfly Garden, Clean up, Maintenance.

Summer is almost here, and plants are up.  You’ve been a good dooby and left some stems standing to provide habitat/nesting areas for cavity-nesting bees (such as Mason Bees and tiny Carpenter bees).  Maybe you’re also worried about pulling weeds and not sure how best to handle the situation.  Here are some quick and easy… Read more »

Local Schools Plant Habitat Gardens

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community, Types of Gardens.

May has been an especially hopeful month this year with all of our young people getting involved in making a big difference for the environment.  In Oak Park and River Forest, local schools have been busy planning, researching, and planting their native plants to support biodiversity and learning. Dominican University recently put in a large… Read more »

Invasives Presentation Recap

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity.

The Problem The topic of invasive plants can be a prickly one.  Burning Bushes, Barberry Bushes, Callery Pears, and Asian Honeysuckles are very popular landscaping choices as are the latest plants that the horticultural industry is selling, most of which have been imported from other continents solely for decorative purposes in a yard.  Invasives do… Read more »

Aphids: What to Do?

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Clean up, Maintenance.

  This post was written to address a question about aphids on milkweed.  Any of the steps would apply to aphids on any other type of plant, including edibles.  (Note the image at the top of the page is of a Lacewing adult, one of the beneficials that you want to attract and keep in your… Read more »

Notes from Judith Pollock’s Presentation on Attracting Migratory Birds

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Bird gardens, Uncategorized.

Native Plantings to Attract Migratory Birds After a little good-natured group tribute to Doug Tallamy, Judy Pollock told us about the real conservation work we can do.  Where?  Not in faraway places at all but simply in our own yards.  In Judy’s own yard in Evanston, IL, she has observed 125 migratory species in her… Read more »

Rethinking Spring Clean-up

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Clean up, Spring clean up.

Hold your rake!  Clearing out your garden can backfire–you are removing the building blocks of soil and harming if not destroying beneficial insects that found a safe place in your garden during the winter.  You can learn more about some of these animals in this post: What’s in a Leaf Pile.   Read the below… Read more »

What’s in a Leaf Pile?

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Clean up, Fall clean up, Maintenance.

What’s in a Leaf Pile? Many beneficial (and beautiful) insect overwinter in our yards. For instance, the Katydid (important food source for birds during late summer) and Preying Mantis overwinter as eggs attached to twigs, stems, and/or leaves. Ladybugs and Lacewings also spend the winter in our gardens.  Native bees find winter homes in soil,… Read more »