Covering Ground

Pollinator Pathway sign Pollinator Protection Is Buzzing

It was 2019 when Heather Bradley accidentally killed a frog with her lawnmower.

"It hit me that keeping a turf lawn was a total waste of time, space, and resources, not to mention a detriment to ecology and the environment," said Bradley.

Plant debris on a truck at a transfer station Plant Debris Overruns Transfer Stations

We cut and pull plants and branches to neaten and manage outdoor spaces. It arrives at brush dumps and town transfer stations. What happens next? 

After the Flowers Are Planted

Plastic pots do a great job of helping us bring home the beauty of plants. But what can we do with the pots?  

In Connecticut, we can recycle green, white, and red pots. (Clean them out first, please.) This unfortunately leaves out all the black pots and trays, which are the majority.

On Earth Day, Admiring the Work of Volunteers

Once upon a time, I called a newspaper editor and inquired if she needed a garden column. She said they’d give me a try, and my regional column, Green & Growing, launched in February 2013. I started out imagining that I’d write veggie and flower garden how-to articles with an organic flair and a local bent. 

Anemone growing wild in woodlands Where Do the Wild Things Grow?

We know that native plants didn’t begin their evolution in the black plastic pots we see at garden centers. But where are the native plants in nature? How do we know if they are thriving or disappearing or just holding their own? 

The Nature of Oaks by Douglas Tallamy 5 Good Books for Nature's Sturdy Bookshelf

Some of us are snowbirds in winter, but I am more of a book bird. To the extent that winter forces me indoors, I fly across the room to my bookshelf. Here’s a sample of recent books on ecology, land care, trees, and plants that I’ve found useful, informative, and entertaining.

Wiggle Room red wiggler earthworm castings For Grown-ups Who Love to Play in the Dirt

Gifts for gardeners sometimes come in duller colors. The useful, earth-kind products described below are all have a special gleam of their own, having been invented, made, or packaged in Connecticut, notably free from gnarly supply chain woes. The products include the following:

Boy laughing in leaves Death, Taxes, Autumn Leaves

Benjamin Franklin once wrote that nothing is inevitable but death and taxes. As a lifelong Northeasterner, I’d add fallen leaves to his list. Unfortunately, many people look forward to fallen leaves about as much as they do death and taxes.

Is there another way to look at leaves? Here are some ideas:: 

Goldfinch feeding from NY ironweed in winter. Beyond the Birdfeeder

From your kitchen window, the fall and winter landscape may look like a messy yard. But for robins, chickadees, finches, cardinals, juncos, and nuthatches, your yard may look like survival.

Though we humans may enjoy birds’ frenetic, colorful activity surrounding winter feeders, bird feeders don’t take the place of native trees, shrubs, dead-head flowers, sticks, or logs.

Copper beech tree A Tree Disease Gets Personal

A great European copper beech graces our front yard. Its crown is 80 feet wide and the trunk 10 feet around. We think the tree was planted around 1800 by occupants of a nearby historical home. If so, it has lived through all the natural events of the 19th- and 20th centuries, including the infamous Hurricane of 1938.