All posts by DaveOC

Omnipresent Trees Inspire

Trees surround us, yet are extraordinary  and inspire awe.

Their numbers stagger: 3 trillion[i] worldwide. Globally, 60,065[ii] species exit with about 1,000[iii] in the United States and 60[iv] in Maryland.

A 5,062-year-old pine holds the record as the world’s oldest tree. A Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva), it grows in California’s White Mountains, according to the Tree-Ring Research Group.

One last note, while trembling aspens (Populus tremuloides) aren’t scientifically designated as trees, they are amazing living organisms that grow in tree-like form.

Image result for trembling aspens

Continue reading Omnipresent Trees Inspire

Prepare for the Monarchs’ Return

Monarchs have begun their long journey to Mexico after spending the summer on the East Coast. With luck, a new generation will return next summer. What better way to prepare to welcome them back than to plan a garden of milkweed and other flowers?

Monarchs’ numbers have been dramatically declining. The causes are complex and not fully understood. Scientists, conservation groups and individuals have been working to save them. Gardeners can help too by providing them with nectar and host plants.


Continue reading Prepare for the Monarchs’ Return

Monarchs Take Flight

Monarch butterflies were released into the wild by children at a free workshop at the Eldersburg Library recently. It was the culmination of a series about native butterflies that was open to the public. It began in May and ended in September.

The butterflies, as well as a dozen or so chrysalises, were visible in delicate breeding cages during the final workshop. The Monarchs had been bred in University of Maryland (UMD) Extension Carroll County Master Gardeners’ (MG) homes during the summer in preparation for their release. Continue reading Monarchs Take Flight

Serve Your Birds a Feast of Native Plant Seeds

As summer blooms fade, it’s tempting to tidy up.


Cutting off flower heads is like emptying the pantry before Thanksgiving. Birds depend on seeds and berries to survive the fall and winter.

Grasses provide birds with food as well as cover from blustery winds. The leaves in your garden have been converted into winter homes for many insects including butterflies in various developmental stages.

Continue reading Serve Your Birds a Feast of Native Plant Seeds

Mt. Cuba, A Haven for Native Plants in Delaware

Imagine dappled wooded paths lined with native plants. Envision serene ponds brimming with wildlife and encircled by native orchids. Picture a grass- and flower-filled meadow bordered by dogwoods. If this appeals, visit Mt. Cuba Center.

Set in the lush rolling hills of the Delaware Piedmont, the public may visit and take tours or special programs from April through October.

Thousands of native plants fill acres of gardens designed in naturalistic styles. The names provide a clue of what one will find: Dogwood Path, Meadow, Ponds, West Slope, Woods Path, Trillium Garden and Trial Garden. Continue reading Mt. Cuba, A Haven for Native Plants in Delaware