Wild Seed Project tree background image
Wild Seed Project: Returning native plants to the Maine landscape
Angelica

NATIVE GREENS: Grow these delicious edible vegetables in your own back yard

by Heather McCargo • April 4, 2017

Spring is a great time to taste some of Maine’s native plants that have edible leaves and shoots. Below are species that can be planted in your home landscape, transforming your experience with native plants beyond their ornamental and wildlife . . . Read More »

buddleia

The Disconnect Between Garden Aesthetics and Local Ecology

by Curtis Jirsa • March 6, 2017

The horticulturist Alan Chadwick, according to his disciples, rebuked anyone caught weeding sow thistle (Sonchus) from his garden beds. “They’re all plants,” he once declared. “It’s just that, if a plant is growing where we don’t want it to grow, . . . Read More »

Groundcover

Native groundcovers for beauty and biodiversity at the ground level

by Heather McCargo • January 30, 2017

A groundcover is a low growing plant that fills in quickly to make a dense carpet of foliage. Once established, it will crowd out weeds, provide year round protection to the soil, and offer overwintering habitat for native fauna. Ideally, . . . Read More »

Return of the Meadow

Return of the meadow

by Heather McCargo • January 5, 2017

Meadows are beautiful dynamic habitats with rich populations of plants and animals, and unfortunately, they have been reduced substantially in the last 50 years. Contributing to their decline is the tractor mower which makes it very easy for everyone to . . . Read More »

trumpet honeysuckle

Growing Vertical with Native Vines: Climbing plants for fences, trellises and walls

by Heather McCargo • December 1, 2016

With their roots in the earth and their stems twining upward, vines are a great solution where ground space is limited but vertical space is available. Choose a native species beloved by hummingbirds, butterflies, bumble bees or birds and you . . . Read More »

Native seed planting equipment

Autumn and Winter Seed Sowing in Six Easy Steps

by Heather McCargo • November 9, 2016

6 easy steps for autumn and winter planting Fall and winter are the best times to sow native seeds. In Maine, the yearly cycle for seed ripening and germination is different from common garden and vegetable seeds. Many native seeds . . . Read More »

Seed bombs

Native Seed Bombs – Dispersing seeds with guerilla action

by Heather McCargo • October 3, 2016

There is something satisfying about the idea of tossing seeds of wild flowers or trees into an impoverished area with the hope that it will magically turn into a flowery meadow or forest. After all, seeds scatter in nature by . . . Read More »

Butternut tree

The Butternuts of Belfast

by Philip Crystal • September 6, 2016

Belfast, Maine is loaded with butternut—the tree, not the squash. Since moving back to Maine last fall, I have seen more mature butternuts here than during my years at Purdue conducting graduate studies on the species. A young butternut, barely . . . Read More »

Connecting Habitat in Portland: Creating corridors of native plants for urban biodiversity

by Heather McCargo • August 3, 2016

In urban areas, green spaces of natural habitat rapidly lose biodiversity if they exist in isolated patches. Many cities across the country and the world are working to promote corridors of native plants in an urban environment. Such contiguous arrays . . . Read More »

Flowers, pollinators and the sex lives of plants

by Heather McCargo • July 1, 2016

The warm, sunny days of midsummer are a great time to observe the many kinds of pollinators that visit flowers. In Maine, the pollinators include the ruby-throated hummingbird and a variety of insects, such as butterflies, moths, native bees (270+ . . . Read More »

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