plants

Love a monarch (butterfly), discourage a deer

Monarch butterflies require plants of the milkweed family to complete their life cycles.

Plant shopping, anyone? If you want to encourage our bees, butterflies and birds this year, think native plants. Monarch butterflies, for instance, require plants of the milkweed family to complete their life cycles. And--what a bonus--milkweed happens to be very deer-resistant. 

I love to make lists and here's a list help the cause: deer-resistant native perennials, shrubs and trees. It's also my latest column in The Day/Shoreline Times

Thinking about native trees

Pussy Willow

The soft paws of pussy willow, a small native tree, go hand in hand with late February in the southern New England town where I live. But apparently we'll have to stick to town and city streets to find Salix discolor (its other name), because in a number of places, they are considered almost gone from the wild landscape.

They are not alone. For more examples, think balsam fir (Abies balsamea), eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), inkberry (Ilex glabra), fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), sweet gum tree, (Liquidambar styraciflua).

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