Maintenance Throughout the Season!
 Growing Season Maintenance Timeline
One of the greatest joys of an ecological restoration, whether it be a perennial garden or a natural shoreline, is observing plants as they grow from tiny sprouts to tall, mature flowering plants each year. Our maintenance crews get a front row seat to this yearly transformation in our restorations, working to apply seasonally appropriate management strategies, keep ahead of weed problems, or react to new on-site challenges.

While the snowy months have us anxiously awaiting the retreat of the snow and the beginning of our busy season, restorations in winter provide vital ecological functions. We like to leave as much plant matter as possible in our restoration areas going into winter. The dried stalks and seed heads of native plants are an invaluable resource—birds visit to eat seed throughout the winter, a host of pollinators take refuge inside hollow plant stems, and clumps of native grasses provide insulated hiding places for small mammals. Plant matter packed down by snow over winter will decay in freeze-thaw cycles and in spring, creating wonderful compost for the soil.

Insect of the Month
Common Eastern Physocephala
( Physocephala tibialis )

This is a species of the thick-headed flies that are found mostly in the Eastern United States. Only about a half-inch long, they are black with yellow or white stripes on their abdomens, legs, and face. The Common Eastern Physocephala is a parasitic species, laying its eggs in hosts like bumblebees. When the eggs hatch, they feed on the insides of their host, killing it and then pupating inside. When they do emerge, they are an adult fly. The adult Common Eastern Physocephala are usually found near flowering plants, looking for a host species to attack and lay her eggs in.
Retail Nursery:
Mark Your Calendars!
Visit us this spring!
Here are our upcoming retail dates:
Fri. May 15th
Sat. May 16th
Fri. May 29th
Sat. May 30th
For more sale dates and information:
Order Plants Online!
Need beautiful native plants this spring?  Starting May 15 we can have them ready to pick up at our retail location! This is a convenient way to still get native plants this season while also practicing safe social distancing guidelines.
Non-native Species of the Month- Common Sheep Sorrel ( Rumex acetosella)-

Common Sheep Sorrel is a European weed that colonizes disturbed soils. It prefers full sun and dry soils, blooming from June to August. It grows 4-16 inches tall and spreads by underground rhizomes. It has dark green leaves that are larger around the basal rosette than on the stem. The leaves are hairless and toothless but have an oblong arrow-shape. The flowers are small and found in clusters along the main stem. Mostly red with yellow insides, they give the plant a rusty, weedy look. Management strategies include hand-pulling, herbicide treatments, and preventing the plant from going to seed.

Native Plant of the Month-
Columbine ( Aquilegia canadensis )

Columbine is an interesting looking native plant mostly found in woodlands and other shady places. Columbine grows 1-3 feet and blooms from May-July. Their flowers are yellow in the center and light red around the outside, drooping like a bell. Hummingbirds and other pollinators love visiting this flower and wildlife also eat the tiny black seeds. Columbine propagates easily from those black seeds, but isn't overly aggressive. It has light green leaves and stems that are compound and lobed. The genus name Aquilegia comes from the Latin for eagle because the flowers resemble an eagle's talon foot. Leaf miners are often found making interesting patterns throughout the columbine's delicate leaves, but this doesn't greatly harm the plant.

We love to read books about our natural world, and want to share our favorites with you! Every few months we will feature three books in our newsletter with dates where we will discuss them on our Facebook Page .
Here are next three!
Five Plants For- Easy Maintenance!
These native plants stay in tight clumps and don't need watering (like all established native plants)
Forager Fix
Creeping Charlie may be considered a pest in the traditional lawn, but it’s flowers can be a resource for pollinators, and as a member of the mint family it has value as an edible. Younger, more tender leaves can be tossed into a salad to add a layer of herbal, minty flavor; or dry leaves and add them to your favorite herbal tea blend. 

Natural Shore Technologies, Inc. |