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Habitual Gardener

Promoting healthy garden habits and habitats
dogwood sawfly2forweb

What's Devouring my Dogwood?

Redtwig dogwoods typically grow with wild abandon despite a few insect (scale) and disease (twig canker) problems. As North American natives redtwigs have their share of North American native insects that enjoy them for lunch, (and breakfast and dinner). This year my redtwig dogwoods had a bit extra bling in August and September. The vivid white...

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Monarchs - the gateway bug to habitat gardening

Ok, so let me get this straight. You want me to buy a plant with the explicit goal that it will be eaten down to a stub by caterpillars. This act of wanton herbivory goes against everything I was taught about horticulture. In gardening plants are the goal. Right? Well, maybe not. Monarch caterpillars are the perfect gateway bug to the world of habitat gardening. The purposeful act of planting m...

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Swamp Milkweeds for Monarchs

One of my favorite perennial milkweeds for gardens is swamp milkweed, Asclepias incarnata . Despite its uncharasmatic name swamp milkweed does fine in the back of the flower garden, as long as it is not too dry or crowded. Monarchs love this milkweed and its rosy pink flowers on 3-4 foot tall stems. Swamp milkweed does best near lakes, ponds or ditches that flood periodically and is fabulo...

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