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

FERNS: Ancient Plants for 21st Century Landscapes

by Heather McCargo • June 4, 2018

Ferns are ancient plants whose ancestors first appeared on Earth over 300 million years ago. Members of a division of primitive plants called Pteridophytes, ferns are one of the earth’s oldest plant groups and dominated the land before the rise . . . Read More »

Black-eyed coneflower

HELLSTRIP PLANTINGS: Creating habitat in the space between the sidewalk and the curb

by Heather McCargo • April 10, 2018

Urban environments are dominated by pavement, the bane of most living things. One area ripe for community greening is the hellstrip—the narrow space between the sidewalk and street curb. Sometimes planted in grass, filled with weeds, mulch or simply bare . . . Read More »

Tree canopy

CREATING CANOPY: Plant a native tree to help bring forth a greener future

by Heather McCargo • January 16, 2018

Planting a native tree is a powerful act that directly benefits local wildlife, moderates ground temperature, and helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Since the dawn of agriculture, people have been cutting trees and replacing forests with farmland. More . . . Read More »

American Pelecinid Wasp Pelecinus polyturator

Wasps in the Garden Ecosystem

by Reeser Manley • November 29, 2017

I am intimidated by the bald-faced hornets that forage nectar from raspberry blossoms and the yellow jackets that swarm over ripe blueberries, having experienced the stings of both. Yet each has an important role in our local ecosystem and in . . . Read More »

New England Aster

The Beauty and Pollinator Benefits of Asters and Goldenrods

by Heather McCargo • September 13, 2017

Asters and goldenrods are some of New England’s most recognizable late season wildflowers. Asters range in colors from blue, purple, pink to white, and goldenrods have abundant yellow flower clusters. These two wildflower groups brighten and enliven the end of . . . Read More »

Forest with missing pieces

Invasive Plants and Maine’s Ecological Puzzle

by Gary Fish • July 31, 2017

What do plants like ‘Crimson King’ Norway maple, burning bush and Japanese barberry have in common? They are long-standing favorites in urban and suburban landscapes; they grow easily and they provide beautiful red or purple foliage all year long or . . . 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 »

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 »

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