Saturday, January 26, 2019

Creating Pollinator Gardens - Let's Go Native!

Let's Go Native! Plant Native plants that benefit pollinators. Why? Because....

According to the Vermont Community Garden Network "More than three-quarters of the world's food crops benefit from animal pollination - the bees and other creatures whose help we need to produce many of the foods we eat. Unfortunately, both honeybees and many species of native bees are in trouble. (VT has 270 species of native bees.)  Populations of both are in sharp decline due to pesticide use, disease and parasite problems, and loss of food and nesting habitat. "A team of researchers from the Vermont Center for Ecostudies has found that several species of bumblebees native to the state are in severe decline or appear to have vanished according to a recent published study by VTEcostudies and the Gund Institute. A NYT article "The Insect Apocalypse is Here" states, "What we're losing is not just the diversity part of biodiversity, but the bio part: life in sheer quantity." Bryan Pheifer in the "Extinction of Meaning" writes "What worries me, is that in the end, I suspect few among us will mourn the passing of a butterfly." 

Many kinds of butterflies and other wild pollinators are also in jeopardy. Insects are the foundation of the food chain.

UVM professor and author Bernd Heinrich writes in his book - A Naturalist At Large, "I was weaned on the concept of an ecological balance in nature, built on an intricate web of relationships among plants, herbivores, predators, and other life forms, where the fate of one can have a domino effect on the others."

This is why it’s so important to learn about and do all we can to protect all kinds of pollinators. And important to understand that pollinators need Native plants.

INDEX of what is in this posting.
  • Pollinators-characteristics, importance of, examples of.
  • Why it is important to grow Native plants.
  • What you can do to help.
  • List of locations to purchase native plants.
  • Butterfly and bee attracting tips.
  • How to plant native pollinator plants.
  • Importance of healthy soil and so called weeds.
  • What we planted in 2018, and will plant in 2019.
  • Resource Links to help you with Native plant listings, ID, care...
  • New England Native plants with wildlife value and desirable landscaping attributes
  • References
  • Share your ideas, experiences, photos of native planting and pollinators.
5/18/2019 update:

Hometown Habitat – LOCAL PLANTING TIPS

On May 16 Sabina Ernst and the Jericho Energy Task Force Presented: Hometown Habitat (movie), stories of brining nature home.

Once established, native plants don’t require the use of any chemicals or even extra watering and local birds and pollinators would rather visit them than visit artificial feeders. (In many cases they can eat only specific native plants).
Hometown Habitat is sponsored by the Jericho Conservation Commission and the Jericho Energy Task Force. The movie profiles seven “habitat heroes” who have used native plants to fill their yards and interviews entomologist Douglas Tallamy (author of “Bringing home Nature”) who speaks how non-native plants can lead to habitat and species loss. The movie and following discussion inspired the audience to become habitat heroes by providing habitat for our own native wildlife. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Native plants support the Food Web of Life, including our own.
  • Native plants interact with the community (plants, animals, pathogens) that historically helped shape it. Native plants adapted (defensive measures) to native insects over a millennia.
  • Native plants (once established) when planted in the right location, require less care than non-native plants.
  • Our pollinators, butterflies, bees, birds, insects, and the rest of our native wildlife on the food web require native plants.
  • Non native plants (aliens) oftentimes disrupt and displace native plants. Some become invasive. (Like Buckthorn, burning bush, Japanese Barberry, alien honeysuckle (there is a native honeysuckle) ...). Some of the worst plant offenders actually produce chemicals within their tissues to prevent other plants from growing near them.  In most cases, these invasive plants are nursery plants that have escaped cultivation in people's gardens and gotten into the wild, displacing the native plants. 
  • You can be a Habitat Hero by planting native plants in your landscape. Consider limiting lawn areas to where you walk and designated areas that need low walk able sod. Fill the rest of your landscape with native plants for improved property value, pollinator attraction, and for your own enjoyment. Annie White said it so well: "Think of lawn as an area rug - not wall to wall carpet." Another reason to let go of some lawn is: reduced time doing yard work and fewer resources (fuel, water) spent.
  • Recognizing the importance of vulnerable pollinator species and their habitats, as well as initiating preservation efforts is key to maintaining our biological balance. (From Pollinator Partnership)

 Web search can locate sites that list native plants for your location by zip code or town. Bring both common and Latin name when you go shopping to insure the plants you get are indeed native to your planting area.
 Nativeplantfinder   from National Wildlife Federation and Plantsforbirds from Audubon are good tools to identify what plants are native in your area.
A good reference book is "Native Plants for New England Gardens" by Mark Richardson and Dan Jaffe. Also, check out Doug Tallamy’s “Bringing Home Nature”.

First a little about pollinators

Photos (slides) credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

Why Native plants? Douglas Tallamy author of Bringing Nature Home advises, The native pollinators of your area have a long evolutionary history tied closely with the native plants of your region and, understandably, have a preference for what they are used to, in some cases they simply won't visit or can't digest most newcomer [Non Native] or exotic plants. 

Slide credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

Native defined as a plant that is interacting with the community (plants, animals and pathogens) that historically helped shape it.

Why? Because Audubon Society reports: New research finds that Carolina Chickadees require a landscape with 70% native plants to keep their population steady. Is your yard more of a 'food desert' or delectable buffet?
                                              Want songbirds? Plant natives.

 "The team's research, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, found only one distinction that determines if a spot is a boom or a bust for a bird population: whether it has plants native to the area." Nesting birds need insects to feed their chicks. 

These bugs (insects) need native plants. If you want to help the birds, plant native plants.

Slide credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

Why here in your hometown, in your yard? Because you want to protect Jericho and Vermont - the place where you live.  In our own backyards, native pollinator populations are dropping. More than one-quarter of the bumblebee species in the Northeast are threatened or have disappeared. Because you want to maintain the biodiversity of our homeland - our local butterflies, bees, birds and other local creatures as well as native flowers - that identify our home as a unique place in the world- as our home.

By choosing native plants - which do not require any artificial fertilizers, synthetic chemical pesticides or herbicides - for your landscape, you create a healthier place for yourself, your family, your community. 

Is your weed killer a risk to you and your family? Read about Glyphosate (primary ingredient in Roundup) here

We can help maintain a sense of place (belonging and familiarity) by growing plants that are native to our area. 

Volunteers help install a Native Perennial Plant Garden
 in Jericho Ctr. near the Jericho Country Store

Here click here for information about planing on the "hellstrip" the soil space between the road and the sidewalk. 

 Photo/slide credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

John and Nancy Haden at The Farm Between tell us "A diversity of native plants is also important to support insects, birds, and other wildlife. While some people might cringe at seeing caterpillars on their plants, we like it because we know that where there are caterpillars there are (or soon will be) butterflies."  

With alien grass lawns, and nonnative shrubs, flowers and trees, we have created biological deserts around our homes.
"Great" some say. "No bugs.""

"But no bugs mean no birds, as almost all bird species (even those seed eaters) feed insects and other arthropods to their young. If  you have mostly lawn, when you plant a few fruit trees and berry bushes, you don't have the beneficial predators and parasites to keep your fruit pests in check."  

Douglas Tallamy writes in Bringing Home Nature, Of the 4 million or so insect species on earth, a mere 1 percent interact with humans in negative ways. The other 99 percent of the insect species pollinate plants, return the nutrients tied up in dead plants and animals to the soil, keep populations of insect herbivores in check, aerate and enrich the soil, and provide food either directly or indirectly for most other animals. 

Connection between nature / biodiversity and our quality of life.
Thomas Lovejoy, who coined the phrase "biodiversity" tells us "Ecosystems will go through small collapses, but they usually don't go through big collapses - they just erode, and become less capable of doing what they were doing before. So what we're going through as a planet is the erosion of the biology of the planet, and its ability to support people - and it makes no sense at all."

1.    "Carbon emissions have rendered meaningless the ideal of a wilderness untouched by man; the new ideal is “wildness,” which is measured not by isolation from disturbance but by the diversity of organisms that can complete their life cycles." The End of the End of the Earth Essays by Jonathan Franzen. 

Read more on biodiversity @ What is Biodiversity and what does it matter to us? Also this article from Bird Life about Biodiversity.

Read what regenerative farming is @

                "What would the world be, once bereft

                 Of wet and of wildness? Let them be left,

                 O let them be left, wildness and wet;

                 Long live the weeds and the wilderness yet. 

                                    ~Gerard Manley Hopkins, 'Inversnaid'


Consider growing and maintaining less lawn and growing more Native pollinator plants (which generally require no or low maintenance).  

Why: Most lawn grass has short roots; soil carbon is best built where there is root depth variation. Also, we burn a lot of fossil fuels caring for lawns. For every 11 gallons of gas used in lawn mowing, we add about 194 pounds of CO2 to the atmosphere. Reducing lawn size by growing a variety of native pollinator plants can help your land become a more productive carbon sponge. (Taking carbon out of the atmosphere and storing it).

We have been conditioned to think manicured lawns are desirable just as we were conditioned to utilize single use plastics. Lawns were introduced, promoted and sold into our culture - we can go back to a more natural landscape! 

We are each a part of the environment. What each of us individually does to pollute the environment adds up. And what each of us does to help rectify the damage to our environment adds up. 

To help in the area of habitat loss, consider purchasing a Vermont Habitat Stamp. The money is used to keep Vermont rivers clean, woods connected, and our meadowlands open. 

Plant a garden using native flowering plants: 

  • Choose a variety of colors and shapes that will attract a variety of pollinators.
  • Choose plants that flower at different times providing nectar and pollen sources throughout the growing season. 
  • Plant in clumps rather than single plants to better attract pollinators.

Entomologist Douglas Tallamy, writes, If we use plants that evolved with our local animal communities as the foundation of our landscapes, we may be able to save much of our biodiversity from extinction.  

Wild Strawberry - a good alternative to a grass lawn. Or consider using clover dispersed in your lawn. Clover is a nitrogen fixer - a natural way to fertilize your lawn and is pollinator friendly. 

Photo credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

Wild for Pollinators encourages homeowners, schools and businesses, to preserve permanent wild spaces for pollinator-friendly habitat or to create landscapes and/or container gardens with plants and gardening practices that benefit pollinators.  See the Northeast Pollinator Plants / River Berry Farm website, or USDA Forest Service website for instructions on how to plant a pollinator garden or Kids Gardening website: Planning a Pollinator Garden for Kids.

New England Native Plants are available for purchase at: 

  1. Intervale Conservation Nursery Offering bare-root trees and shrubs, potted plants (trees and shrubs) and perennial plugs. Seeds for most of these plants are harvested and grown locally. Perennials sell for $1.50 per plug individually or discounted in trays of 100. (Note, their web site lists perennials in trays of 100 however they will accept orders of any quantity  at the $1.50 each rate.) Order in late Feb-March. Pick up date for bare-root material is later April-May. Pick up date for perennial plugs will be late May.
    See their web site for details.                                                                                                 
    Perennial Flowers offerings:
    New England Aster, Symphyotrichum novae-angliae (18"-24" Tall) 
    Flat top White top aster, Doellingeria umbellate (2'-7' tall)
    Joe pye weed, Eupatoriou purpureum
    Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum L. (2'-4' tall)
    Black eyed susan, Rudbeckia hirta L. (2'-3' tall)
    Perennial Grasses:Canada blue joint, Calamagrostis Canadensis
    Wool grass, Scirpus cyperinus
    Little blue stem, Schizachyrium scoparium
    Upland bentgrass, Agrostis perennansFowl meadow grass, Poa palustrisPoverty oat grass, Danthonia spicate

    They offer many native shrubs and trees that birds and other wildlife love. Including some of my favorites like, Winterberry, Chokeberry(aronia), Chokecherry, American Cranberry, Buttonbush, many dogwood species.
  2. The Farm Between. Organic fruit farm and plant nursery, cold hardy fruit trees, berry bushes, and native trees and shrubs. Fruit trees and berry bushes are also great pollinator plants. The Farm Between is nestled in the Northern Green Mountains along the Lamoille River in Jeffersonville, Vermont. 3727 VT-15, Jeffersonville, VT 05464
  3. River Berry Farm (NEPP) in Fairfax, VT and online Northeast Pollinator Plants  .) Native plants from our region. River Berry Farm website has a great matrix of native pollinator plants.
  4. Gardener's Supply. Offering trays of (21) New England Native Pollinator Plants in well rooted plugs, as well an assortment of native plants in pots.
  5. New England Wild Flower Society. Offer trays of (50) New England Native Pollinator Plants in well rooted tubes as well as potted plant offerings.
  6. Ernst Seeds Northeast native and naturalized species of plants
  7. Vermont Wildflower Farm
  8. WNRCD Winooski Natural Resources Conservation District (bare-root trees and shrubs can be ordered from Jan through March with one day pickup April 27, 9am to 12pm ONLY)
  9. Arbor Day Foundation or Ten free trees with membership
  10. Elmore Roots
  11. Wild Seed Shop (Seeds from Maine) Wild Seed Project website
  12. Where to buy native plants in New England. Listing by Wild Seed Project.

Photo/slide credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

Cultivars are generally in single quotations after the species name such as Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'. Magnus being a cultivar of the native purple coneflower. Cultivars may satisfy the pollinators, but it is safer to go with the true native plants.

BEWARE of plants that the State of Vermont has identified as invasives. See the State of Vermont Invasive web site. We are working to control the following invasives in our yard: Honeysuckle, Gout weed (Bishops weed), (Butterbur Sweet-coltsfoot-on VT watchlist but not yet listed as an invasive),  Canary Grass (Reed Canary Grass) and Knapweed. 

Butterfly and Bee attracting tip:
Add table salt (preferably sea salt) or wood ashes to a shallow tray containing small pebbles, water, and sand (with about one tablespoon of compost mixed into the sand). Cut pieces of fruit and lay nearby to rot - attracts butterflies.

Gardening for Butterflies and moths:
Two types of plants needed - species that provide nectar for adults, and species that are host plants for butterfly larvae - in order to get new butterflies. (Note for example that butterfly bush (Buddleja) feeds butterflies however no North American species of butterfly can use it as a larval host plant.) A partial list of plants that do both (nectar and larval host) are: Milkweeds (Asclepias), Butterfly weed (A.tuberosa), Common Milkweed (A.syriaca) and Swamp Milkweed (A.incarnata), Coneflowers and Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), Joe-Pye weed (Eupatorium dubium) or Hollowstem Joe-Pye weed (E.fistulosum), Tulip trees, Sweetbay Magnolia, Black Cherry trees, Violets, Spicebush, Flowering Dogwood, (or any native Viburnum species).  ~From Bringing Nature Home by Douglas Tallamy

Gardening for Bees (Vt has 270 species of native bees)
All Regions: Clover, Lambs ear (Stachys), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia), Coneflower (Echinacea), Sunflowers (Helianthus), Hyssop (Agastache), Sage (Salvia), Hibiscus, Cosmos, Catnip(Nepeta), North East: Willow (salix), Serviceberry (Amelanchier), Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum), Blueberry, Cranberry (Vaccinium), Bee balm, Firecrackers (Monarda), Lupine (Lupinus), Boneset (Eupatorium), Milkweed (Asclepias), Beardtongue (Penstemon), Blazing Star, Gayfeather (Liatris), Goldenrod (Solidago), Fleabane (Erigeron), Sunflower (Helianthus), Aster (Symphyotrichum and Aster). From The Bees in Your Backyard by Joseph Wilson & Olivia M. Carril.

Read about the world's sixth mass extinction: Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature'.
Insects are dying en masse


Photo/Slide credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

Slide credit: Annie White lecture / Wild Flower Society.

This is fascinating! Plants can "hear" their pollinators and respond by increasing nectar production! 

More on what you can do to help pollinators, and                 your home, our Earth.

SOIL is of equal importance to planting Native Pollinator Plants;  Soil is not a dirty word but we treat ‘soil’ like dirty ‘dirt’. “Understanding soils as natural infrastructure-as the foundation for other services-might also change hearts and minds.” Read more of Soils and climate: from hidden depths to center stage @

Trend lightly on so called 'weeds'. At a minimum avoid pesticides, herbicides, fungicides. Commercial interests have brainwashed us into thinking certain plants are bad or are 'weeds'. Yet plants like plantin, dandelion, clover help improve soil, and are food for pollinators and other creatures. Research papers are numerous and clear in warning of the dangers to nature and to us from using pesticides including those available for purchase by any one of us. 
Grow organically with your lawn, garden, landscape - your home - Earth.

Leave a swath of land unmowed for pollinator habitat. Leave some nearby bare loose, undisturbed soil for ground nesters and nice pithy or hollow stemmed shrubs like elderberry, sumac or raspberries for wood/cavity nesters.

Ensure access to clean shallow water by planting some cup-shaped leave plants or carefully maintaining a shallow birdbath.  

Build affordable housing for local critters: Create a brush pile

Ask your Senators to support the Save America's Pollinators Act
Introduced by Representative John Conyers, H.R. 3040 the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, would suspend the use of neonicotinoid insecticides until the Environmental Protection Agency has determined that they will not have significant adverse effects on bees. This bill was referred to the House Committee on Agriculture. 

What we planted in 2018 on our way to making our Jericho, Vermont yard a native pollinator oasis, and a bird sanctuary.
*Bold = VT. or New England Native 

We are focusing on growing a large diverse variety of native plants to encourage the 'good' insects - those that eat the insects that feed on the vege plants and flowering plants we love.

We strive for patience to allow nature to strike a balance - not to eliminate any particular insect - for they all help support the bio diversity and beauty including other wildlife like birds - but to keep each other in check as nature is inclined to do, given time and opportunity.
  1. Aronia Berry (1) (chokeberry) from Intervale Conservation Nursery
  2. New England Aster
  3. New York Aster
  4. Astilbes
  5. Azaleas
  6. Balsam Fir
  7. Beardtongue
  8. Currants
  9. Wild Bergamot (Bee Balm)
  10. Black-eyed Susan
  11. Blazing Star
  12. Blueberries
  13. Boneset
  14. Buttonbush (4) from Intervale Conservation Nursery
  15. Cardinal Flower
  16. Carolina Allspice
  17. Chokecherry (1) from Intervale Conservation Nursery
  18. Clethra - Summersweet Ruby Spice
  19. Clover - red
  20. Coneflower
  21. Coreopsis
  22. Crabapple (Sargent) (1) from Gardeners Supply (2) from Arbor Day Foundation.
  23. Dianthus
  24. Dogwood:Red Osier (3) from Intervale Conservation Nursery
  25. Dogwood: Silky Dogwood (1) from Intervale Conservation Nursery
  26. False Solomon's Seal
  27. Flamenco Trumpet Vine
  28. Gooseberry
  29. Hibiscus
  30. Honeyberries: Aurora and Tundra
  31. Honeysuckle (Native species)
  32. Hydrangea
  33. Hyssop
  34. Indigo
  35. Iris: Blue Flag
  36. Ironweed
  37. Joe Pye Weed
  38. Lavender
  39. Lilacs
  40. Lilies: Variety
  41. Marigolds
  42. McIntosh Apple tree
  43. Milkweed: Swamp and Common
  44. Millenium Allium
  45. Mint (Broad leafed Mtn Mint)
  46. Nannyberry (3) from Intervale Conservation Nursery
  47. Northern Arrowwood (1) from Intervale Conservation Nursery (2) from Arbor Day Foundation
  48. Pine tree
  49. Peony: Variety
  50. Raspberries
  51. Red Hot Poker
  52. Salvia
  53. Sedge: Bluestem, fringed, path rush, golden creeping
  54. Sneezeweed
  55. St John's Wort
  56. Tickseed
  57. Turtlehead
  58. Viburnum
  59. Wildflower seed mix from VT Wildflower Farm
  60. American Redbud (2) trees from Arbor Day Foundation
  61. Washington Hawthorn (3) trees from Arbor Day Foundation
* Most of the native perennial flowers and grass/sedges and the milkweed came from Gardener's Supply and New England Wild Flower Society. These were all purchased as 'plugs'. Plugs have a soil root base of roughly 5" deep by 2" square.  

* Native grasses and sedges play a role in hosting our beneficial insect friends.  

What we ordered for 2019 (so far). 1-8 from Intervale Conservation. 9-11 from Winooski Natural Conservation District. 12-13 From The Farm Between.
1. Buttonbush (2)
2. Highbush Cranberry (1)
3. Yellow Birch (1)
4. Chokeberry (aronia) (5)
5. Grey Dogwood (1)
6. Winterberry (5)
7. Common Elderberry (5)
8. Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta (20)
9. Witch Hazel (2)
10. Magenta Crabapple (3)
11. Honeoye (June bearing) Strawberry plants.
12. Elderberry plants ('York', 'Adams', 'Johns', 'Ranch', and  'Marge') 
13. Considering an Evans Bali cherry tree (if we can find a spot of room in the yard to plant it). We have one Evans Bali in the yard. They are the sweetest of the sour cherries. Fantastic for pollinators from what I have seen.

RESOURCES to find information about a specific plant or all native plants in your area.
  1. Go Botany Open link, type in the plant name you want to research. Also can help ID a plant that you do not know the name of. (From New England Wild Flower Society)
  2. Audubon Native Plant Database (Lists native plants via your zip code)
  3. Missouri Botanical Garden
  4. The Farm Between blog

RESOURCES for more Native Pollinator Plant information 
  1. Pollinator Gardens: 8 Easy steps to design a landscape with native plants. 
  2. In the Shade: Gardening with Woodland Plants from the Native Understory
  3. Over 1 Million gardners came together to save pollinators - you can too!
  4. Northeast Pollinator Plants/River Berry Farm has a listing of resources. 
  5. Hellstrip Plantings: Creating habitat between in the space between the sidewalk and the curb. 
  6. Habitat Network (Pollinator Garden Plants and Practices and other articles as well as option to join the habitat network and map your yard of plants). 
  7. Why Native Plants Matter - Audubon
  8. The Sixth Great Extinction and our Backyards....
  9. Pollinator Partnerships
  10. EcoBeneficial
  11. Status of Pollinators in North America. National Academy of Sciences
  12. USDA Natural Resources of Conservation Society
  13. Native Plants and WildLife Gardening. 
  14. Vermont Invasive Listing
  15. Ecologist suggest it is time to rethink the modern lawn. 
  16. Plant Finder by New England Wildflower Society
  17. Rutland Herald article about threats to bees.              
  18. Status and trends of wild insect pollinators in Vermont and beyond.
  19. iNaturalist: Bumble Bees of Vermont.
  20. Bees, Ants, Wasps, and similar insects of Vermont(Photos and ID) 
  21. Selecting plants for Pollinators  Pollinator Partnership 
  23. Wild for Pollinators - A collaboration of KidsGardening org, the Vermont Community Garden Network, and the Intervale Center to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators and to promote the creation of more pollinator and beneficial insect habitat across Vermont and nationally. 
  24. River Berry Farm (Fairfax VT). See their extensive resource links.
  25. Book Review: Native Plants for New England Gardens 
  27. Gaye Symington: Celebrating Ceres, the myth or the reality. Vt Digger commentary.  
    Excerpts: Celebrating Ceres should remind us the only way Vermont can make headway to reduce soil and nutrient runoff from farms is for everyone to own the problem and make investments that help repair what’s not working. Celebrating Ceres is a chance to celebrate our shared commitment to community – the responsibility we each have to listen carefully to each other, to assume good faith, to understand the conditions and circumstances of our changing world, and to give preference to working together to solve problems over judging or accusing. In that way, the celebration of the goddess of agriculture can help us focus on the real and important part agriculture plays in the green hills and silver waters that belong to all of us.
  28. Give your yard a Climate Change Makeover - Audubon Society
  29. Check out BAND OF THE LAND singing Wildflower.
  30. The rapid decline of the Natural World is a crisis even bigger than climate change. 

Advice from Ed Abbey: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast, a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. Ed Abbey, early environmentalist:

Climate Warming Articles
Climate Trauma: Toward a new taxonomy of trauma. 
Excerpts: We should never underestimate the power of individual awareness to promote healing, freeing up latent energies, or the power of shared awareness to transform social structures,

"""At every turn, the smallness contrasts with the vastness of climate-change projects – the mammoth turbines, the horizon-reaching solar farms, the globe encircling clouds of reflective particle that geoengineers envision. The difference In scale creates a difference In the kind of meaning that actions have for people performing them. The meaning of climate-related actions, because they produce no discernible result, is necessarily eschatological; they refer to a Judgment Day we’re hoping to postpone. The mode of meaning in conservation in the Amazon [or Jericho] is Franciscan:  you’re helping something you love, something right in front of you, and you can see the results." The End of the End of the Earth essays by Jonathan Franzen. 

List of New England Native plants

with wildlife value

and desirable landscaping attributes.
Listing from New England Wildflower Society

Common name/Family/Genus/       *No. of Species supported
White Oak: Fagaceae, quercus 534
Willow: Salicaceae, salix - 456
Cherry, Plum: Rosaceae, prunus 456
Birch: Betulaceae, betula 413` 
(150 species in the Birch family, including Hazelnut)
Cottonwood: Salicaceae, populus 368
Crapapple: Rosaceae, malus 311
Blueberry/Cranberry: Ericaceae, vaccinium 288
Maple, Box Elder: Aceraceae, acer 285
Elm: Ulmaceae, ulmus 213
Pine: Pinaceae, pinus 203
Hickory: Juglandaceae, carya 200
Hawthorn: Rosaceae, crataegus 159
Alder: Betulaceae, alnus 156
Spruce: Pinaceae, Picea 156
Ash: Oleaceae, fraxinus 150
Basswood, Linden: Tiliaceae, tilia 150
Filbert, hazlenut: Betulaceae, corylus 131
Walnut, butternut: Juglandaceae juglans
Beech: Fagaceae Fagus 126
Chestnut: Fagaceae castanea 125
From Bringing Nature Home, - How you can sustain wildlife with Native Plants. By Douglas W. Tallamy.

Herbaceous perennials, moist and wet sites

Red Baneberry
Actaea rubra
Wood Anemone
Anemone quinquefolia
Arisaema triphyllum
Swamp Milkweed
New England Aster
Aster novae-andliae
Water Arum
Calla palustris
Devil's Bit
Chamaelirium luteum
Chelone glabra
Black Cohosh
Cimicifuga racemosa
Blue Bead Lily
Clintonia borealis
Pink Coreopsis
Coreopsis rosea
Squirrel Corn
Dicentra canadensis
Dutchman's Breeches
Dicentra cucullaria
Yellow Trout Lily
Erythronium americanum
Spotted Joe=Pye Weed
Eupatorium maculatum
Eupatorium perfoliatum
Closed Gentin
Gentiana clausa
Helen's Flower, Sneezeweed
Helenium autumnale
Round-lobed Hepatica
Hepatica americana
Rose Mallow
Hibiscus moscheutos
Slender Blue Flag
Iris prismatica
Blue Flag Iris
Iris versicolor
Canada Lily
Lilium canadense
Turk's Cap Lily
Lilium superbum
Cardinal Flower
Lobelia cardinalis
Blue Lupine also called Sundial Lupine
Lupinus perennis
Monarda didyma
Wild Bergamot
Monarda fistulosa
Foxglove, Beardtongue
Penstemon digitalis
Hairy Beardtongue
Penstemon hirsutus
Wild Blue Phlox
Phlox divaricata
Wild Sweet William
Phlox maculata
False Dragonhead
Physostegia virginiana
Solomon's Seal
Polygonatum commutatum
American Burnet
Sanguisorba canadnesis
False Solomon's Seal
Smilacina racemosa
Wood Sage
Teucrium canadense
Virgina Spiderwort
Tradescantia virginiana
Culver's Root
Veronicastrum virginicum
Marsh Blue Violet
Viola cucullata
Yellow Violet
Viola pubescens
Golden Alexanders
Zizia aurea
Herbaceous perrennials, dry sites

Canada Anemone
Anemond cadadensis
Wild Columbine
Aquilegia canadensis
Common Milkweed
Asclepias syriaca
Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa
White Wood Aster
Aster divaricatus
White Heath Aster
Aster ericoides
New York Aster
Aster novi-belgii
Blue Cohosh
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Spotted Wintergreen
Chimaphila maculata
Lesser Yellow Lady's Slipper
Cypripedium parviflorum
White Snakeroot
Wild Geranium
Geranium maculatum
Hedyotis caerulea
Heliopsis helianthoides
Sharp-Lobed Hepatica
Hepatica acutiloba
Hydrastis canadensis
Wood Lily
Lilium philadelphicum
Great Blue Lobelia
Lobbelia siphilitica
Panas quinquefolius
Black-eyed Susan
Rudbeckia hirta
Cutleaf Coneflower
Rudbeckia laciniata
Sanguinaria canadensis
Blue-eyed Grass
Sisyrinchium angustifolium
Blue-stem Goldenrod
Solidago caesia
Rough-stem Goldenrod
Soldago rugosa
Eastern Foamflower
Tiarella cordifolia
Tradescantia ohiensis
Purple Trillium
Trillium erectum
White Trillium
Trillium grandiflorum
Large-flowered Bellwort
Uvularia grandiflora
Hookspur Violet
Viola adunca
Birdsfoot Violet
Viola pedata

Shade and speciemn trees
Black Maple
Acer nigrum
Red Maple
Acer rubrum
Sugar Maple
Acer saccharum
Yellow Birch
Betula alleghaniensis
Sweet Birch
Betula lenta
River Birch
Betula nigra
Paper Birch
Betula papyrifera
Gray Birch
Betula populifolia
Shagbark Hickory
Carya ovata
Diospyros virginiana
American Beech
Fagus grandifolia
White Ash
Fraxinus americana
Black Ash
Fraxinus nigra
Juglans cinerea
Black Walnut
Juglans nigra
Sweet Gum
Liquidambar styraciflua
Tulip Tree
Liriodendron tulipifera
Black Gum
Nyssa sylvatica
Oxydendron arboreum
American Sycamore
Platanus occidentalis
Eastern Cottonwood
populus deltoides
Black Cherry
Prunus serotina
*White Oak
Quercus alba
Swamp White Oak
Quercus biocolr
Scarlet Oak
Quercus coccinea
Bur Oak
Quercus macrocarpa
Chinkapin Oak
Quercus muehlenbergii
Pin Oak
Quercus palustrix
Chestnut Oak
Quercus prinus
Red Oak
Quercus rubra
Black Locust
Robinia pseudoadacia
Sassafras albidum
Tilia americana

Shrub and understory trees
Striped Maple
Acer penslyvanicum
Down Serviceberry, Shadblow Serviceberry
Amelanchier arborea
Red Chokeberry
Aronia arbutifolia
Black Chokeberry
Aronia melanocarpa
Carpinus caroliniana
New Jersey Tea
Ceanothus americanus
Common Hackberry
Celtis occidentalis
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Ceris canadenis
Sweet Pepper Bush
Clethra alnifolia
Alternate-leaf Dogwood
Cornus alternifolia
Flowering Dogwood
Cornus florida
Redtwig Dogwood
Cornus sericea
American Hazlenut
Corylus americana
Cockspur Hawthorn
Crataegus crus-galli
Downy Hawthorn
Crataegus mollis
Thicket Hawthorn
Crataegus punctata
Northern Bush Honeysuckle
Diervilla lonicera
Dirca palustris
Black Huckleberry
Gaylussacia baccata
Witch Hazel
Hamamelis virginiana
Ilex glabra
American Holly
Ilex opaca
Ilex vertifillata
Mountain Laurel
Kalmia latifolia
Lindera benzoin
Sweetbay Magnolia
Magnolia virginiana
Northern Bayberry
Myrica pensylvanica
American Mountain Holly
Nemopanthus mucronatus
American Hop Hornbeam
Ostrya virginiana
Common ninebark
Physocarpus opulifolius
American Plum
Prunus Americana
Prunus virginana
Ptelea trifoliata
Rhododendron canadense
Great Laurel
Rhododendron maximum
Pinxter Azalea
Rhododendron periclymenoides
Roseshell Azalea
Rhododendron prinophyllum
Swamp Azalea
Rhododendron viscosum
Fragrant Sumac
Rhus aromatica
Winged Sumac
Rhus copallina
Smooth Sumac
Rhus glabra
Staghorn Sumac
Rhus typhina
Carolina Rose
Rosa carolina
Virginia Rose
Rosa virginiana
Red Raspberry
Rubus idaeus
Flowering Raspberry
Rubus adoratus
Dwarf Blackberry
Rubus pubescens
Meadow Willow
Salix petiolaris
Sambucus canadensis
Russet Buffaloberry
Shepherdia canadensis
American Mountain Ash
Sorbus americana
White Meadowsweet
Spiraea alba
Spiraea tomentosa
Staphylea trifoliata
Symphoricarpos albus
Lowbush Blueberry
Vaccinium angustifolium
Highbush Blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum
Mapleleaf Viburnum
Viburnum acerifolium
Viburnum dentatum
Viburnum lentago
Smooth Witherod, Possumhaw
Viburnum nudum
Viburnum prunifolium
American Cranberrybush
Viburnum trilobum
Zanthoxylum americanum


Balsam Fir
Abies balsamea
Atlantic White Cedar
Chamaecyparis thyoides
Red Cedar
Juniperus virginiana
Larix laricina
White Spruce
Picea glauca
Jack Pine
Pinus banksiana
Red Pine
Pinus resinosa
Pitch Pine
Pinus rigida
White Pine
Pinus strobus
Canada Yew
Taxus canadensis
Arborvitae, Northern White Cedar
Thuja occidentalis

American Bittersweet
Celastrus scandens
Limber Honeysuckle
Lonicera dioica
Menispermum canadense
Virginia Creeper
Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Parthenocissus vitacea
Summer Grape
Vitis aestivalis
Fox Grape
Vitis labrusca
Riverbank Grape
Vitis riparia

Streamside plants


Gray Alder
Alnus incana

Mountain Alder
Alnus viridis

Bog Birch
Betula pumila

Cephalanthus occidentalis

Chamaedaphne calyculata

Sweet Pepper Bush
Clethra alnifolia

Silky Dogwood
Cornus amomum

Direa palustris

Swamp Doghobble
Eubotrys racemosa

Ilex verticillata

Peachleaf Willow
Salix amygdaloides

Hoary Willow
Salix candida

Pussy Willow
Salix discolor

Sandbar Willow
Salix interior

Black Willow
Salix nigra

Ground covers

Wild Ginger
Asarum cndadense
Cornus canadensis
Trailing Arbutus
Epigaea repens
Teaberry, Wintergreen
Gaultheria procumbens
Box Huckleberry
Gaylussacia brachycera
Horizontal Juniper
Juniperus horizontalis
Mitchella repens
Moss Pink
Phlox subulata
Podophyllum peltatum
Shrubby Fivefingers
Sibbaldiopsis tridentata
Mountain Cranberry
Vaccinium vitis-idaea

arren Strawberry
Waldsteinia fragarioides
(From New England Wild Flower Society)

The Insect Apocalypse is Here (NYTimes article)

“What we’re losing is not just the diversity part of biodiversity, but the bio part: life in sheer quantity.”

Audubon Society. Assessed 19 Nov. 2018.

Heinrich, Bernd. 2018. A Naturalist At Large - The Best Essays of Bernd Heinrich. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Northeast Pollinator Plants / River Berry Farm. Assessed 19 Nov. 2018.

Tallamy, W. Douglas. 2007. Bringing Nature Home - How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants. Timber Press, 2017.

The Farm Between. Assessed 19 Nov. 2018.

Wild for Pollinators. Assessed 19 Nov. 2018

We Interview the Godfather of Biodiversity.  Bird Life International. Thomas Lovejoy, who coined the phrase "biodiversity", and the urgent need for humanity to start seeing itself as part of nature.

Soils and Climate: From Hidden Depths to Center Stage?

Study Documents Historic Decline in Vermont Bumblebee Population. VT EcoStudies and Gund Institute.

5 weeds you need in your garden

Pesticides are harming bees in every possible way. 

Delawning America

Song: Big Yellow Taxi - Joni Mitchell

Perhaps thinking of only ourselves is a behavior we may want to re-examine. Our capitalist society promotes it; our survival may depend on a more social communal view as well as a better understanding and appreciation for our link to nature.

                        In wildness
                 is the preservation
                     of the world.


PLEASE CONSIDER SHARING YOUR IDEAS, EXPERIENCES, PHOTOS... of Native plants, planting, and pollinators. Send to Bernie.paquette(at) I am happy to add your input to this posting.

Emailed comments:

  • Thanks for doing this - I think it's a great resource!  I do think it would also be good to find links to sources that cost less than the $100+ the gardening website charges for plants. ~Leslie N. 

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