Growing Native Lilies

by on Feb 25, 2017 | Category Gardening, Plant Profile, The Catskills
Growing Native Lilies

  I’ve driven a fair amount over the Catskills in all times of year, and I regret to say that I’ve had very few encounters with native lilies (I am speaking here specifically of the genus Lilium – the trout lily, Erythronium americanum, is one of our most common and beautiful wildflowers but is in […]

Owls and evergreens

  I’m not much of a fan of winter but I do have a very soft spot for owls. I don’t think I need to explain why- you all get it. They’re flying sorcerers, the stuff of other worlds, the perfect (confounding!) union of lots of beauty and lots of deadly tools to dispatch little […]

Update From Ashokan High Point.

by on Nov 8, 2015 | Category General, Hikes, The Catskills
Update From Ashokan High Point.

The dominant shrub of large parts of the Escarpment of the Catskills – its eastern flank facing the Hudson River Valley – is mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia.  There are good populations of mountain laurel in several places on the Escarpment, but probably the largest population is on Ashokan High Point, where mountain laurel covers most […]

Behold, the oak (and beech)

by on Oct 28, 2015 | Category General

  Here we are, on the cusp of November. In the Catskills our leaves are long gone. The lurid striped maples and flaming ash last only a week or two up against mountain winds and cold nights that get colder quickly. Gaze out across a barren hillside and you will still see a colorful thing or […]

On the Preservation of the Grasslands.

by on Mar 16, 2015 | Category General

A brilliant piece by Benjamin Vogt on our “least protected and most endangered ecosystem,” the grasslands, and how the decline of the monarch is just one component of a broader problem: the destruction of the entire prairie ecosystem in the middle of our nation. By 2100 the American Great Plains may lose 77% of its […]

Monarch Population Data.

by on Mar 15, 2015 | Category General, Science

The website offers – among many other things – data on monarch populations year by year.  Since the monarchs overwinter in only a few areas, winter populations can be measured fairly accurately.  The bad news is that 2014-15 winter was the second-lowest population total ever recorded for monarchs, the monarchs covering 1.13 hectares of […]

Cold-Stratifying Seed in Winter.

by on Feb 23, 2015 | Category Gardening
Cold-Stratifying Seed in Winter.

In late February we’re all done with winter and ready to hit the garden, but of course there’s not a great deal that can be done outside with two feet of snow on the ground and subzero wind chills. But spring is on the way nevertheless, and if you have the desire, you can start […]

“Beauty Is Not Enough.”

by on Feb 8, 2015 | Category Gardening, Landscape

An excellent article from the New York Times on Doug Tallamy and the new gardening.  Money quote: “We have to raise the bar on our landscapes,” said Mr. Tallamy, a professor and chairman of the department of entomology and wildlife ecology at the University of Delaware. “In the past, we have asked one thing of […]

Winter Lecture, Marbletown Community Center, March 7th, 2015, 7 p.m.

by on Feb 3, 2015 | Category Event, The Catskills

We’re pleased to announce that we will be having Carol Woodin, Exhibitions Director for the American Society of Botanical Artists, giving our winter lecture this year.  The lecture will take place at the Marbletown Community Center on March 7th.  The lecture will begin at 7 p.m.; feel free to arrive anytime after 6:30, and stay […]

Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed.

by on Aug 17, 2014 | Category Gardening, General, Plant Profile
Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed.

It is a bit unfortunate that one of the best native plants for Catskill gardeners,  Asclepias incarnata, should have been given the name “swamp milkweed.”  I just tried to give away a couple of seedlings of swamp milkweed, and I was greeted with suspicion.  “Weed? Is the plant ugly?”  “No, it’s quite pretty.”  “Do I […]