Growing Native Lilies

Posted by on Feb 25, 2017 in 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 […]

Update From Ashokan High Point.

Posted by on Nov 8, 2015 in 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 […]

On the Preservation of the Grasslands.

Posted by on Mar 16, 2015 in 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.

Posted by on Mar 15, 2015 in General, Science

The website monarchwatch.org 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.

Posted by on Feb 23, 2015 in 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.”

Posted by on Feb 8, 2015 in 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.

Posted by on Feb 3, 2015 in 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.

Posted by on Aug 17, 2014 in 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 […]

Roseshell Azalea, or Pinxterblooms.

Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Gardening, General, Plant Profile
Roseshell Azalea, or Pinxterblooms.

Now is the time to look for the one of the Catskills’ showiest shrubs, the Pinxterbloom Azalea, Rhododendron prinophyllum.  People who try to use common names for plants strictly will tell you that this plant is called Roseshell Azalea, and the Pinxter refers to Rhododendron periclymenoides, a similar but slightly more southern species.  But all […]

Sticky Little Leaves.

Posted by on Apr 6, 2014 in Gardening, General
Sticky Little Leaves.

Eastern Red Columbine, Aquilegia canadensis, emerging from its winter slumber on Wildcat Mountain.  Spring is starting now in the mountains, as the earliest species are now beginning to wake up.  Columbines are important to the ecosystem as one of the first natural foods of arriving ruby-throated hummingbirds, and valuable in landscaping because as poisonous members […]