Think Global, Act Local
With ever increasing concerns about the overall health of our planet, I recently came to the realization that there are a lot of improvements that can be made to our little .33 acre slice of suburban property. I have done a fair amount of work over the past 11 years, adding perennials, pollinator-friendly plants and limiting the size of grass areas, but I now know that there is much more that can be done to make it more sustainable and able to support a wider number of species. It is my hope that by working to diversify the ecology of our yard I can send a small, positive ripple out into the world.
I am just beginning the process of identifying the various small ecosystems exist from dry, full sun areas to shaded riparian buffer areas at the lakes edge and then documenting both desirable and invasive plants. My goal is to identify and remove invasive plants and replace them with plants that are native and will support local insect and wildlife populations, while at the same time expanding the variety of insects, amphibians, birds and small mammals that can be supported.
Additionally, last fall I began saving seeds from desirable native plants on our property including white turtlehead, marsh marigold, joe pye weed, common milkweed, butterfly weed and swamp milkweed. Below are some of the seeds prior to collection and then tucked into soil blocks in the spring after a period of cold stratification. Germination rates have been good and more than 75% of sown seed develops into seedlings.
Here are some great links: