What I'm About

Notice anything different about me? Until a few minutes ago, the by-line at the header of this blog read:
Adventures in Neo-Victorian, Wild, Shade, Organic and Native Plant Gardening, Garden Design, and Garden Restoration.
It now reads:
Urban Gardening with Native Plants
This better communicates the focus of my interests and expertise than the "anything goes" byline it replaces.

How I got here

We bought our house and garden 10 years ago. I started this blog 9 years ago.

The byline I just replaced reflected the experimental approach I was taking to having so much space to play with. Heirloom plants in the front yard, which might have been available to the original gardener of our home. Shade gardening because what urban gardener doesn't have to deal with shade somewhere? Wild, because something has to be left uncultivated. And always organic gardening.

I've gardened with native plants since my first garden in the East Village. Each of the 4 gardens I've worked on in New York City has incorporated native plants. When we bought our house 10 years ago, I had pretty much a blank slate to work with. I quickly decided that the backyard would be a woodland garden, populated with ephemerals, ferns, and others plants native to the forests of northeastern North America.


Native Plant Acquisitions: LINPI 2015 Plant Sale

Saturday, June 13 was the last open day in 2015 for the Long Island Native Plant Initiative (LINPI) Plant Sale. I picked up another 13 species to add to my list, which has already grown this Spring to over 200 species of plants native to eastern North America. We'll see how many of them survive my, um "gardening."

As with all the plants available through LINPI, all are local ecotypes propagated by NYC Parks' Greenbelt Native Plant Center from wild populations on Long Island and Staten Island. It so happens all these species are also native to New York City.


(or Asclepiadaceae, depending on taxonomy)

Asclepias tuberosa, butterfly weed
I bought a 6-pack of these from the LINPI Plant sale two years ago. They are blooming now. I bought a flat (6 x 6-packs = 36 plants) this time. I want to have larger groups of them in several sunny areas to see where they thrive.


Eupatorium hyssopifolium, hyssop-leaved throughwort, hyssop-leaved boneset

Eupatorium perfoliatum, common boneset, boneset thoroughwort
This species is only found in wetlands (Wetland indicator status OBL/"obligate"), so I'm planting this in and around the garage, for runoff, and planters, where it will benefit from overflow from watering.

Eupatorium serotinum, late-flowering thoroughwort
This was listed incorrectly as Eutrochium serotinum on LINPI's web site. This is the odd one out for nativity, which is challenged by some, e.g.: NEWFS.

Solidago nemoralis, gray goldenrod
One of the shade-tolerant goldenrods, I bought a flat of these to plant them all around the house as an experiment to see where/how they fare from sun to shade.

Solidago speciosa, showy goldenrod


Vaccinum macrocarpon, cranberry
This is one of the species available on-site at the plant sale that wasn't listed on LINPI's web site. I already have two of these, one in each bog planter. I bought a 6-pack as an intentional duplicate. I planted 4 in the two bog planters I have. I need to fill in these planters so the squirrels won't keep digging them out. As an experiment, I planted the other two nearby, alongside the garage, where they'll get runoff from the roof and gutter downspout.


Chamaecrista fasciculata, prairie senna, partridge pea, partridge sensitive-pea
Lespedeza hirta
Lespedeza virginica


Hibiscus moscheutos, swamp rosemallow
Another obligate wetland species, I planted this by the side of the garage to benefit from runoff from the roof, and to server as a backdrop for this mixed shrub-perennial bed.


Panicum virgatum, switchgrass
Sorghastrum nutans, indian grass
Tridens flavus, purple top


Rosa carolina, Carolina rose


Cephalanthus occidentalis, buttonbush

Related Content

Other blog posts about my native plant garden


Long Island Native Plant Initiative (LINPI) Plant Sale