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

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 »

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 »

MONARCHS AND MILKWEED: Creating a Landscape in Maine to Support Monarch Butterflies and Other Pollinating Insects

by Heather McCargo • March 1, 2016

As we wait in hopeful anticipation for an increase in monarch butterfly populations, we can prepare for their arrival by planting native species that provide food and habitat for these beautiful creatures. Maine is at the northern edge of the . . . Read More »

A Rain Garden at Your Downspout

by Heather McCargo • November 19, 2015

The torrential downpour that the Northeast experienced at the end of September was a clear reminder that we need to make our landscapes more absorbent of precipitation. Forests and meadows are able to absorb massive amounts of rainfall, slowing the . . . Read More »

A collection of native shrubs for Maine summer gardens

by Heather McCargo • August 12, 2015

People frequently ask me for native plant suggestions for their summer gardens. Below are some recommendations for shrubs that will provide a lot of visual interest in the form of beautiful flowers or fruits, as well as food and habitat . . . Read More »

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