Improving the biodiversity of our landscapes— specifically stemming the significant declines in insects, birds, and millions of species worldwide— requires re-establishing native plant landscapes. It also requires a commitment to ecological landscaping. But what is that? To us, it means gardening by working with ecological processes— leaving leaf litter and decaying plant stems as essential habitat for insects, understanding inherent soil and climate conditions, choosing the most appropriate native species for our site. There is so much to consider! Learn more about our philosophy here.
Mayflower or trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) is much beloved for its fragrant flowers, which bloom early in spring. This species adorns the top banner of our website, and we chose it for many reasons. It grows throughout the Commonwealth and was selected a century ago to be our state flower. Beautiful, small but tough in its own way, it was also used medicinally by Native Americans. Its history, winding from relative abundance, to threatened status, and now legal protection, is emblematic of the challenges that so many of our native plants face.
They all go together. Every year we organize a community service project that promotes native plant landscapes, while raising funds to support both the service project and our year-round programming. For our Ecology Challenge this fall, we are helping Waltham Fields Community Farm establish a native pollinator garden in the midst of their farm fields. And we need your help to bring it to life!
Join us to support this work and meet our fundraising goal of $20,000. Thanks to a very generous donor, your contribution will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling your impact.
Just released in May!
This newest guide by Carol Gracie is richly detailed— full of wonderful photographs and superb writing. It is unique in presenting a depth of botanical information in the context of natural history and ecological systems, helping us to truly appreciate many of the summer flowering species that inhabit both meadows and woodlands. A valuable new resource!