Birds and Butterflies 177 Stories

The monarchs are beginning their migration south this month and will be in full tilt...
The monarchs are beginning their migration south this month and will be in full tilt into September, ending up in central Mexico around the end of October. Over their thousands of miles, both in fall and again next spring, they will inspire gardeners...
3 Ways Native Plants Make Gardening So Much Better
Six years ago my wife and I married (on 7/7/'07, like so many others), and we immediately moved into our first home together. I told her I wanted a garden, and when she said, "Go for it," I'm not sure we knew what that would mean. Neither of us had any...
Butterfly Gardening: Delight the Eyes With Living Sculptures
Once we've laid out a landscape — installed the pavers and edging and mulch, placed the plants — we can sit back in deck chairs and admire the splendor of a beautiful vista. But there's another element just below the surface — a fourth dimension...
Great Design Plant: Chelone Glabra
I’m a sucker for native plants I can’t easily find at brick-and-mortar nurseries — especially if they’re tall, have white blooms and don’t require much work once established. You’re probably quite familiar with pink turtlehead (Chelone...
8 Native Shrubs for Year-Round Bird Feeding
Tell me if you’ve ever had this problem in your garden: One day, perhaps in winter, you’re enjoying a cup of coffee, looking out at your landscape. You’re admiring the grasses and perennials, sedges and trees, when suddenly it hits you like a freight...
15 Ideas to Try in Your Garden This Year
In the garden more than any room in the house, no two years — no two days — are ever the same. Plants grow and die, it rains or doesn’t, and wildlife buzzes around and pollinates plants or deer eat a season’s worth of growth. In addition to the...
Great Design Plant: Amorpha Canascens
This Great Plains native is said to be responsible for that zipping noise homesteaders heard when they plowed up prairies. But trust me, you don’t want to get rid of lead plant (Amorpha canescens), as it deserves far more use in ornamental gardens....
Great Design Plant: Winterberry Rouses Frosty Gardens
Most people have never heard of the deciduous holly called winterberry — evergreen hollies are much better known and more commonly found in residential landscapes. But for gardeners in cold climates, winterberry offers a lot. It's easy to love this...
Great Design Plant: Spigelia Marilandica
Many hummingbird plants grow best in full sun or partly sunny sites. Some early spring bloomers will grow under trees, but there aren’t many choices for later in the season, after the shade canopy fills out. Indian pink (Spigelia marilandica)...
Great Design Plant: Low-Maintenance Calliandra Eriophylla
Pink fairy duster (Calliandra eriophylla) pairs the ability to thrive in the hot, dry deserts of the U.S. with delicate, puffy pink flowers. This medium-size shrub takes center stage in spring (and occasionally in fall), when...
Great Design Plant: Lobelia Siphilitica Keeps Its Cool
You’re probably quite familiar with red cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), but there’s another version you might not know that’s easier to care for and tends to have a longer perennial lifespan. Great blue lobelia (Lobelia...
Great Design Plant: Ratibida Pinnata Flutters in the Breeze
You cannot have a prairie garden without including gray-headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata). A staple in Midwest prairies, this tall, upright perennial is a reliable and carefree plant that thrives in most locations in full sun. The...
What’s in a Name? See 6 Wildflowers That Aren’t ‘Weeds’ at All
I don’t have many weeds in my garden anymore — there’s too much competition from mature and dense perennials. When I do see something out of place, its fate depends on my mood. Sometimes I yank it out immediately; sometimes I let it go to see what...
Great Design Plant: Annual Phacelias
Phacelias start their springtime display by uncoiling their curved racemes with flowers of blue, mauve, purple or lavender. As their eye-catching, bell-shaped flowers open, these annuals call pollinators for a yummy meal of nectar and pollen. The high...
Great Design Plant: Geum Triflorum
If you like troll dolls, I have a similar-looking plant for you. While prairie smoke (Geum triflorum) is nothing like a troll — it doesn’t keep asking you out when you clearly aren’t interested — ...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™