Over the past year, we have talked about, learned and benefited from so many things that have amazed us, brought us joy and made our work easier.
We'd like to share some of these things with you and even give you some gift ideas for the native gardener in your life.
These are a few of our favorite things...
Pollinators! And all of the awesome things that they do. Did you know…pollination services by bees, butterflies, beetles and others are responsible for an estimated 1 in 3 bites of food that you will take today?
Wow, and thank you. We love the pollinators!
Beautiful flowers. We will be introducing a bunch of new native plants for next season —things that flower for a very long time and make the bees and butterflies (and gardeners) very happy :)
Some of the new additions:
- wine cups (Callirhoe involucrata)
- prairie sundrops (Oenothera pilosella)
- blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium)
- early sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)
- Ohio spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)
- some wonderful small trees and shrubs 🌳
Citizen science and community action. We have loved learning and sharing some really fantastic info from:
- Xerces Society
- Homegrown National Park
- Wild Ones
- Cornell Lab of Ornithology
- Chicago Audubon Society
Get involved, get on the map, join a local chapter, log some data, and have fun while you do it!
Awesome tools. There are many great tools out there —these are a few of our faves:
Spear Headed Spade —it is light-weight and just the right size to move through a planting with ease. This spade is a game changer! Sharpen it several times throughout the season with a simple metal file to cut through small roots and hard soil.
Corona ClassicCUT Hedge Shears —a must have if cutting back the garden late winter. This tool has little bumpers that absorb shock and lessen impact to your hands and arms.
Felco hand pruners —worth the investment, it can be taken apart for cleaning and sharpening. Spring for the diamond file and leather holster.
Espoma Bio-Tone Starter —if your soil is lacking, this organic fertilizer with mycorrhizae (very important) is great to give your plants a little boost.
Hori Hori garden knife —makes weeding and other garden chores a breeze.
Mud bamboo gloves —protect your hands with these breathable flexible little gems.
Meeting you! It has been so much fun sharing and learning from you during our first year. YOU ARE TRULY INSPIRING!!
North Branch Native Gift Cards! Get a jumpstart on a habitat garden for you & your favorite peeps. We all know gardeners LOVE to buy plants, ahem, possibly are obsessed, and native plants are not only beautiful but so important for our planet. So go wild and grab your gift cards now.
Get involved with us! Not yet a member of our plant posse yet? Go here. Looking to learn native gardening in the new year? Interested in hosting a garden event? We'd love to work with you!
Thank you and happy holidays!
Liz (and Jane)
P.S. A note from Jane: You can see Liz in action with a spear headed spade and copy her unique technique in this quick IG video. This tool has changed the way I approach gardening and made my life easier.