Native vs. nonnative – can’t we all just get along?

Probably the most contentious gardening topic I deal with online is the native vs. nonnative plant debate. This, unfortunately, is a debate that is more based in emotion than science, and I don’t intend to stir that pot again. We’ve discussed it on this blog before (you can find a list of them here), and … Continue reading Native vs. nonnative – can’t we all just get along?

Native vs Exotic: Not as simple as it seems

Lots of discussion recently over on the Facebook side regarding the recent publication in Ecological Letters by Karin Burghardt and Douglas Tallamy, “Not all non-natives are equally unequal: reductions in herbivore β-diversity depend on phylogenetic similarity to native plant community.” http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ele.12492/full While there are certainly some things to nitpick in the paper (see Linda’s comments … Continue reading Native vs Exotic: Not as simple as it seems

Mitchella repens … Partridge Berry … an Evergreen Native Groundcover for Shade

Partridge Berry in its Natural Setting One of the questions that came up regularly when I was working the hotline at the local county Extension office, is a recommendation for an evergreen ground cover for shady spots.  I had the same issue when I created my own shade garden … something that would have year … Continue reading Mitchella repens … Partridge Berry … an Evergreen Native Groundcover for Shade

How Can Natives and Exotics Possibly Coexist?

Natives vs. exotics. We’ve heard that before haven’t we Bert?  Well, here’s an interesting little nugget published recently in the journal Ecology Letters.  Exotics and natives are different, and their differences allow them to coexist.  In this study exotics were superior to natives in terms of growth, but were fed upon more by herbivores.  Interesting.   … Continue reading How Can Natives and Exotics Possibly Coexist?

Are natives the answer? Revisited

I started to leave a comment on Linda’s Friday post regarding Seattle Public Utilities proposed building codes regarding “Healthy Landscapes” but decided I’d weigh in with a regular post.  Linda honed in on the 75% native requirement but there are lots of things to make one scratch their heads in the proposed codes. Existing invasive … Continue reading Are natives the answer? Revisited

The natives debate continues…

Bert’s usually the one who posts on native plant news, but since he’s not in Seattle he will have missed this one.  So Bert, sit back and enjoy! I just got an email from Seattle Public Utilities, who are having an open house to discuss “high efficiency landscapes” through their Green Code Provision Boards. One … Continue reading The natives debate continues…

Just for ewe: An alternative approach to weed control.

As I mentioned in the last post I was in Austria this past week for the International Christmas Tree Research and Extension conference. We hold these meetings every two years for Christmas tree researchers in Europe and North America to get together and share the latest research on various aspects of Christmas tree production and marketing. In … Continue reading Just for ewe: An alternative approach to weed control.

Podcast #4 – Going Native

Another one in the can! This week the podcast focuses on native plants; I’ve got an interesting research item about using mixtures of native grasses for lawns.  You’ll also hear why sometimes native plants might not be the best choice, whether the goal is attracting fruit-eating birds or creating a sustainable urban landscape. And you will … Continue reading Podcast #4 – Going Native

Does native matter?

We’ve had lots of lively discussion on my post regarding the Mark Davis et al. comment in Nature on natives and exotics. I have been traveling and otherwise occupied and have not had a chance to comment so I feel a little like the kid that kicked the anthill and then ran away. Fortunately, Holly was gracious … Continue reading Does native matter?

Excerpt from Davis et al. letter to Nature on natives vs aliens

In yesterday’s post I linked to a letter in Nature by Mark Davis and a number of other ecologists on the role and native and alien plants.  Unfortunately the journal requires a subscription.   Copyright laws prevent me from re-printing the entire article, however, below is an excerpt from the conclusion, which I think captures … Continue reading Excerpt from Davis et al. letter to Nature on natives vs aliens