Making seed bombs–the native plant way

Thank you to Dennis Testerman, Margaret Genkins, Carrie DeJaco, and Allison Pittman for teaching kids and family how to make seed bombs and sharing our “Favorite Plants of the Piedmont” list. It’s amazing how interested and engaged our neighbors can be once we start connecting the dots…plants are caterpillar food, birds eat caterpillars, you enjoy the birds in your backyard…so feed them native plants!20170415_124741.jpgNCNPS President Larry Mellichamp challenged members at the 2016 Annual Picnic  to share botany lore and native plants with our communities and most importantly with children. So how to make a seed bomb? Mix equal parts modeling clay and compost, and then roll it around in the seed mix. Let it dry at home, and then “bomb” a bare patch of soil. Try to keep the area moist for about 2 weeks to allow the seeds to germinate. Thank you also to Kelly Lojk for designing the bookmark to go with our Aquilegia canadensis seed packets.  Eastern Columbine is incredibly easy to grow from seed…come visit us and purchase your seed packet for only $1 and start your own native plant garden with seeds or a bomb right away!

NCNPS will also be appearing at the following locations in April:

  • March for Science, Marshall Park, Charlotte April 22
  • Earthfest, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden on April 29
  • Statesville Earth Festival on April 29

There’s still time to volunteer if you want to get your hands dirty, and tell stories about plants. Email ncnpsspchapter@gmail.com if you are interested.

20170415_120641.jpg

 

 

 

Eco-Friendly Native Plant of the Month

Eco-Friendly gardening–what is it and why do we do it? There are many ways to be Eco-Friendly in the world today. Native Plant lovers often find their passion in creating home gardens with native plants, and find their reward in attracting birds, butterflies, pollinators and wildlife. The benefits of providing food and shelter for our neighbors-furry, feathery, scaly and more- is that we often are able to observe them up close, providing constant entertainment and beauty. Fellow NCNPS member and photographer Will Stuart often generously shares his photos of both native plants and their visitors. Note the tiger swallowtail butterfly on the Echinacea purpurea in the photo above.

2015-13-a-campsis-radicans-with-hummingbird-by-will-stuart
Campsis radicans with hummingbird by Will Stuart

One of the goals of the North Carolina Native Plant Society is to educate our community about easy and successful ways to do that (be eco-friendly). Our monthly Bird Friendly Native Plant of the Month series gets a new name in 2017, moving to the more broadly encompassing Eco-Friendly theme. These flyers will continue to be posted on this blog and on our website.

NCNPS members often pass around favorite websites for learning more about plant culture and growth habits, plant lists, habitat lists etc. We offer a few of those to you below, and encourage you to share your favorites in the comment sections!

Native Plant gardening type sites:

Bird lover sites:

  • Cornell University has lots of information about ways to attract birds
  • Audubon Society is doing a great job of compiling information about Bird Friendly native plants and we credit them for getting us started on this theme!
  • Birds and Blooms is a fun site to use to think about specific bird and plant interactions
  • Nature Conservancy and Cornell have created a Habitat Network yard map project that provides a variety of information

Insect lover sites:

2015-07-ilex-verticillata-with-northern-mockingbird-by-will-stuart
Ilex verticillata with Northern mockingbird by Will Stuart