Archive for August 2011

Plants of the Week – August 29

Hemigraphes alternata in container JWCHemigraphes alternata, seen here in a terracotta container outside the Wister Center, is also commonly known as the metal leaf plant for its metallic gray-green leaves. The frost-sensitive native of Malaysia is great as a tropical groundcover and in containers and hanging baskets. For best growth provide partial shade and consistently moist soils.   Photo credit: J. Coceano

Polystichum polyblepharum (1) JWCLook for Polystichum polyblepharum at the 2011 Scott Associates’ Plant Sale. The Japanese tassel fern creates a stunning, low fountain-like effect. Mature fronds have an eye-catching luster and hold up well all season. P. polyblepharum can be seen partnering under the shade …

Continue reading »

Wildlife and Conservation: Native Perennial Plants

BarbElliot_fenceEarlier, we discussed some great conservation and wildlife-friendly woody plants. Barb Elliot, co-founder of the Backyards for Nature program at the Valley Forge Audubon Society and trained “Habitat Steward” by the National Wildlife Federation, continues her recommendations with some fantastic perennial plants found in her certified wildlife habitat garden.

Barb noted she bases her home plant selections on a strict interpretation of “native”—giving the highest priority to plants she knows are indigenous to SE Pennsylvania and the Piedmont area. As an avid bird-watcher, her comments derive from many hours of observation of animals and insects. She recommends:

Asclepias tuberosa. People …

Continue reading »

Wildlife and Conservation: Native Woody Plants

Pollinators Garden. Photo credit: R. RobertPlenty of species, not just your human neighbors, are intrigued by what you plant in your landscape. There is a growing awareness that we should consider their interest and provide food and habitat for insects, birds, and other wildlife when making our plant selections. Doug Tallamy and others have alerted us to the particular value of incorporating native plants and plants for birds, insects, and pollinators in our backyards.


Barb Elliot's yard has been a certified wildlife habitat since 1998. photo credit: T. Patterson

We asked Barb Elliot to highlight some plants ideal for our non-human neighbors. Barb is the …

Continue reading »