Leave those leaves on the ground

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

Tuliptree leaf in fall (Photo by Bernt Solymar)

As a child, I heard somewhere that if you catch a leaf as it falls from a tree, it’s good luck. So, naturally, I spent most autumns staring up at the huge trees in the conservation area behind my house, waiting patiently for a leaf to dance...

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How the pandemic turned me into an urban gardener

Seedlings in pots layed out on the veggie bed (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

Seedlings in pots layed out on the veggie bed (Photo by Christine Beevis Trickett/NCC staff)

It’s amazing how slowing down and staying put in a place helps you connect with the life around you. I used to have quite a busy travel schedule, moving back and forth across the country several times a year to visit family or for work...

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The Wildflower Blog: Three favourite wildflowers to grow

Bloodroot (Photo by Thomas Noland)

Bloodroot (Photo by Thomas Noland)

Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches and Virginia bluebells are three lovely spring-blooming wildflowers that are worthy of any flower garden, not just a wildflower garden. In my garden, its always a race between bloodroot and Dutchman's breeches for...

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To mow, or not to mow, that is the question

Maria Olkinitskaya picking dandelions at Baie Verte CV event, NB (Photo by NCC)

Maria Olkinitskaya picking dandelions at Baie Verte CV event, NB (Photo by NCC)

During the month of May, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is encouraging people to hold off on trimming their lawn in favour of letting the flowers and grasses grow, to provide habitat for insects and birds. The idea is to reimagine our...

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We’re in a biodiversity crisis. What we plant and how we alter landscapes matters

Front yard naturalization in spring. (Photo by Lorraine Johnson)

Front yard naturalization in spring. (Photo by Lorraine Johnson)

Spring hadn’t officially sprung, but the season was warm, and so the annual ritual began. People began to clean up the dried stalks and dead leaves protecting the earth. While tidying up, people were also throwing out countless insects...

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Create a messy garden for nature

Gardening is a great way to connect with nature (Photo by Lisa via Pexels)

Gardening is a great way to connect with nature (Photo by Lisa via Pexels)

As the warmer weather rolls across the country, many people have started tidying their garden for spring planting. But did you know that by leaving some of the stems and stalks that we traditionally clean up in the spring, you can create habitat...

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Adventures in native gardening

Wild bergamot (Photo by Nicole Senyi/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Nicole Senyi/NCC staff)

If you live in Ontario, as I do, you’ll know we had a run of some pretty nice weather in early April — albeit with the odd blizzard mixed in here and there! But now, with the sun shining, birds singing and nowhere to go, getting...

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Gardening with native plants this spring

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

Wild bergamot (Photo by Sarah Ludlow/NCC staff)

I love to garden. I excitedly begin planning for the next year as soon as the autumn chill settles over the Prairies. I’m always impatient for spring to arrive, and it doesn't help when the seed catalogues start arriving in November. I find...

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Do you get enough Vitamin N?

Father and child by the lake (Photo by Laubenstein Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

Father and child by the lake (Photo by Laubenstein Karen, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Wikimedia Commons)

You find yourself breathing more deeply, taking in the sharp scent of pine and the sweet mustiness of leaves returning to dust on the forest floor beneath your feet. For a moment, the quiet is broken only by birdsong — the notes that...

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Rhubarb and monarchs: an unlikely duo

Monarch butterfly on aster (Photo by June Swift)

Monarch butterfly on aster (Photo by June Swift)

June is my favourite month. That time of year when you’re on the cusp of hot summer weather, daydreaming of how you’ll spend the dog days of summer in some sort of lake or having a picnic in the shade. For gardeners like myself,...

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