These snowdrop flowers have been frozen solid numerous times & buried under 3′ of snow and they’re still blooming! They are so resilient the leaves aren’t even broken. In previous years I’ve seen insects foraging on these flowers (possibly native bees). My husband’s uncle Len gave us a few plants from his garden which I planted in several spots. Just as well because every winter a clump disappears, don’t know what happens because apparently animals don’t eat the bulbs, but maybe my voles do!
February 27th through March 3rd is National Invasive Species Awareness Week.
Last weekend I walked the one mile trail at the Saugerties Lighthouse and was upset to see the masses of Oriental Bittersweet (vine), Phragmites (reed), Purple Loosestrife (plant) and Eurasian Water Chestnut (aquatic plant).
I feel overwhelmed by the insidious destruction of our natural environment and can only remain positive by saying to myself “Well I’m creating a healthy ecosystem in my garden and I’m choosing native plants now”.
Early identification and eradication of invasives is key, it’s easier to remove a seedling than a mature plant. Familiarize yourself with the appearance of the most common invasive plants, especially in the seedling stage, then you can remove them promptly.
For timely notification of new invasive species/occurrences in NY join the mailing list of Lower Hudson Prism There’s plenty of information online about how to ID and remove invasive plants or contact your local Cornell Cooperative Extension with any questions.
Looking for professional help, contact Poison Ivy Patrol, they have a holistic approach and don’t use toxic chemicals.
Let’s share this information so individuals can take action on their own land.
Learn about Rain Gardens at SUNY Ulster, Stone Ridge on Saturday July 16th from 10 – 11 AM. This class is free, walkins welcome.
Rain gardens provide the following benefits:
- Water is filtered naturally
- Reduces water run off, lessening the risk of flooding & drainage issues
- Increases the amount of ground water going back into the soil
- Increased use of native plants contributing to a healthy ecosystem and wildlife habitat
- A beautiful environment that makes people happy
Stop the Spread: Help us “Bust” Invasive Plants!
Kingston, NY – Please help us “bust” the cycle of invasive plant invaders! Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County (CCEUC) will be holding two short recruitment events for the Blockbuster Citizen-Science Program on June 13 from 12:30-1:00pm and 5:30-6:00pm at our office, 232 Plaza Road in Kingston. You will learn how you can help CCEUC and the NYS DEC to survey for the presence of invasive plants in the Hudson Valley this summer. Please RSVP to Dona at 845-340-3990 ext. 335 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training for the survey will begin in early July, several dates and locations will be offered. After the training you will pick a 5 km x 5 km block in your area and survey it for invasive plants. You will select the species that you feel comfortable identifying, so you do not have to be a plant expert to participate. As a Blockbuster Volunteer you will be part of a region-wide team of volunteers who will help us find and identify key invasive species and find areas that are free of invaders. Data collected will help scientists and natural resource managers direct their efforts most effectively. This program is part of the Lower Hudson Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management’s (PRISM) efforts to stop the spread of invasive species in the lower Hudson Valley.
For information about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County’s community programs and events go to http://ulster.cce.cornell.edu/. Stay connected to CCEUC-friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County provides equal program and employment opportunities. Please contact the program office at 845-340-3990 if you have any special needs.
At this time of year, turtles may attempt to cross roads
Please be on the look out for these slow-moving animals as they cross roads to reach the area where they lay their eggs. If it is safe to do so, some people park their cars and then carry the turtle across the road (in the direction the turtle is heading). Local folks suggest keeping a small shovel or spade in the car which they use to move turtles. Never hold or drag a turtle by the tail as this may injure it. If you find an injured turtle, here is a list of New York DEP wildlife rehabilitators who handle turtles. (Note: Only licensed rehabilitators are permitted to work with wildlife).
This outdoor furniture is constructed from 100% recycled materials, the garden benches, chairs and plant stands are made from an assemblage of vintage wood, tree roots and found or discarded objects. The ‘carpenter’ Dave, carefully and patiently builds each piece by hand.
Take a look at this garden seat, you’ll see some old tools incorporated into the design.
Dave has been making this yard furniture for about six years and is self-taught. He got started when his girlfriend asked him to build her something and he produced a small bench. From there he went on to create sheds, fences, gazebos and sculpture.
This chair is one of my favorites (below) because it seems to be blown and buffeted to the right by the wind.
The furniture may look delicate but it is resilient enough for outdoors. As Dave says “Everything I make is solid, you can sit on the chairs.” While out foraging for material, Dave sometimes gathers all the ‘found pieces’ together and assembles the furniture on the spot, then brings it back to the store.
Plant Stands and Planters
This garden planter has several shelves for potted plants (below). The looped tree root is a great place to hang a wind chime, a sign or whatever else suits your garden. The up-recycled green and white glass plate provides visual balance.
This is stand out piece, beautiful as is. Or use it as a display area for potted plants, bird houses, ceramics or small sculptural objects (below)
Picture this plant stand with a potted fern in a shady spot on the deck. Or in full sun with a ceramic container of colorful, trailing plants such as nasturtiums – gorgeous!
A table with a tabletop of discarded glass, framed by various pieces of worn wood (below).
The back of this bench is a reclaimed window screen. (below).
Twisted, intertwined tree roots form the back of this garden seat (below). Dave searches for materials locally and recycles everything he sees. He uses grapevine, apple vine and yard sale ‘treasures’. Dave especially enjoys using roots because of the curvy shapes and because they sometimes twine around interesting objects such as old bricks (manufactured centuries ago by the Hudson River brick industry).
This is one of Dave’s first pieces, he calls it the ‘Tiny Tim’ bench. It does have that old Dickensian feel to it (below).
Here’s a decorative windmill (below). I can image it as a centerpiece in a flower bed full of unruly wild flowers.
Poised and focused! Ice hockey is a popular sport locally because there is an ice arena in town. Dave donates furniture to local fundraisers to benefit local schools and churches.
The ‘Bird Sanctuary’ – a three dimensional collage of driftwood from the banks of the Hudson River (below).
The bird sanctuary includes an upcycled bird house complete with miniature deck and hand rails.
Dave selected this piece of driftwood because it resembles an eagle. Golden Eagles are a common sight because they feed on fish and there are many large bodies of water in the area, including the Hudson River, of course.
Dave explained it takes many hours to place each piece in exactly the right spot.
This rustic garden furniture reflects Dave’s love of history and his appreciation of art. Each piece has a story behind it. This is authentic, hand crafted, Hudson Valley folk furniture.
- At the time of writing, Dave’s work was on display at a store called ‘Country Clutter’ – this store is moving, click here for updates and the new location
- Contact Dave on (845) 246-6058 for inquiries and custom orders.
National Park Week
April 16 through April 24 is National Park Week. Visit National Parks in the Hudson Valley for free!
Learning in the Garden Series
Here’s the first class in this series: Learn how to successfully divide perennials and ornamental grass at the Perennial Division Workshop and go home with a few great new plants for your very own garden!
- Saturday, May 21, 2016, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM at Ulster Community College, Stone Ridge, New York.
Click here for more details about the other classes, directions and contact info.
While you’re there, take a look at the beautiful xeriscape garden at the Stone Ridge campus.
Fall Colors in the Hudson Valley
Traditionally, farm produce such as pumpkins, squash, hay bales and corn stalks are used to decorate houses and gardens.
There are still many small, family farms in the Hudson Valley that supply this produce at farm stands, local stores or farmers markets.
One such farm is Boice’s Farm which is located in Saugerties. Their farm stand is on Kings Highway and they have a great selection of seasonal fruit, vegetables and flowers.
They also have decorative pots and ornaments for the house and garden. All the flowers are very well-tended and look great even this late in the season.
They have a field of sunflowers next to the farm house and they sell the cut blooms.
Sue, the Manager of Boice’s Farm Stand explained that their farm started in 1947. In the beginning, they had problems obtaining the seedling plants for the farm so they built a greenhouse and started growing their own. This expanded into growing cut flowers. They also provide chrysanthemums for the Saugerties ‘Mum Festival’ and make Kissing Balls for the holidays.
There are about seven bee hives in the fields and Sue confirmed that there is an improvement in the pollination of the pumpkin and squash due to the bee hives. “Bees have been around forever so why not keep them around?”.
Boice’s Farm stand is open weekdays and weekends.
Buy local and support our family farms!
This item is from the Facebook page of The Catskill Native Nursery, a nursery that specializes in trees, shrubs and pants that are native to New York and the US.
“While out on his morning dog walk, Francis noticed this baby box turtle enjoying the damp woods. A box turtle may live as long as a hundred years, all within a few acres. They are on the menu of various creatures, but their leading cause of death is habit destruction and encountering vehicles such as ATV’s, 4×4 off-road driving, cars and lawn mowers. If you want to help box turtle populations you should encourage their habitat that consists of moist soil (swamps, marsh, moist grasslands or damp forest depressions) and open meadows where they like to breed. Instead of trying to turn our forest floors into tidy parks by tossing down grass seed and removing all downed branches we should encourage the growth of ferns, sedges, partridge berry, wintergreen and low growing shrubs like mountain laurel, huckleberry and blueberry. Meadows are always better than “golf courses”, if you are a part of nature’s web. Box turtles are omnivores and eat insects, mushrooms, berries, and grubs. One of their favorite treats is the fruit of mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). This is an easy to grow, deer resistant, self-spreading plant we encourage people to cultivate in their larger shade gardens and woodland understory.”
“Please don’t move box turtles unless you are saving them from danger. They do not want to be a pet. They are designed to be free-range little tanks fueling up on fungi, berries and bugs – and for making more baby box turtles. If we respect their wild spirit and their habitat they will continue to share our world, and future generations of humans can enjoy discovering them on their walks in the woods.”
Learn more about the Catskill Native Nursery here.