Leave the Leaves, Turn Out the Lights

Most people are aware of the global biodiversity crisis, the shocking declines of insects, birds, and other animals, yet many don’t connect it with life in our comfortable suburbs. Because everything is connected, what we do at home is more important than you might think. Anyone with a house and yard can take two actions that will immediately increase biodiversity by helping the creatures that share our neighborhoods: leave the leaves and turn out the lights.  I’ve never understood why sensible people would remove autumn leaves from under their trees and bushes, only to then pay good money to add mulch and fertilizer. Fallen leaves are nature’s combination fertilizer and mulch, full of exactly the nutrients trees and shrubs need. And regarding “messiness,” nobody walks through the forest preserves in autumn wishing someone would clear out all those darn fallen leaves. Those leaves are what make the outdoors comfortable for many animals, providing shelter, food, and habitat. Fireflies d

May Has Almost Slipped Away

And I haven't posted blooms. So here is a list, sans the beautiful pictures on display at other blogs.

Non-native: Peonies (Shirley Temple? very old); Salvia 'May Night'; Siberian Iris 'Caesar's Brother'; Geranium sanguinum 'Striatum'; Geranium 'Johnson's Blue'; Clove-scented pinks; Nepeta; Centaurea montana; Gas plant (Dictamnus); Bleeding Hearts. White clover in lawn.

Native: Prairie phlox; Monarda bradburiana; Viburnum dentatum; Columbine (A. canadense); Honeysuckle vine (L. brownii); Amsonia; Blue-eyed grass; Prairie phlox; Viginia waterleaf; Coral bells; Jack-in-the-pulpit.

Unknown: raspberries.

Today is a beautiful blue-sky day.

Comments

Unknown said…
Monarda bradburiana . . . never heard of this one.  It's beautiful. I'm trying Mondarda punctata from seed this year. Hasn't bloomed yet, but already seems pretty drought tolerant.
M. puctata should do well in your zone. M. bradburiana is fairly rare. Someone gave me one plant which did well, and this winter I cold stratified seeds and have a number of starts which I've given to various friends.