MOST OF US may automatically think “monarch” after hearing the word “milkweed,” or vice versa. And that’s in fact a critical and intimate relationship, the one between monarch butterflies and native milkweed plants.
But the genus Asclepias offers sustenance to a wide diversity of animal species beyond just that one beloved insect.
I spoke about that diversity recently with Eric Lee-Mäder, author of the recent book “The Milkweed Lands: An Epic Story of One Plant: Its Nature and Ecology” (affiliate link). Eric is an ecologist at the invertebrate-focused Xerces Society, where he is the pollinator and agricultural biodiversity co-director. He and his wife also operate Northwest Meadowscapes in Port Townsend, Wash., providing regional native seeds and consultation services for meadow-makers.
Plus: Enter to win a copy of the new book by commenting in the box near the bottom of the page.
Read along as you listen to the Nov. 13, 2023 edition of my public-radio show and podcast using the player below. You can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify or Stitcher (and browse my archive of podcasts here).
the world of native milkweeds, with eric lee-mäder
Margaret Roach: Eric, I’m so glad to talk again and I so have been enjoying your book and loved working on the “New York Times” story with you together. How are you?
Eric Lee-Mäder: I’m good, Margaret. Thank you so much. This is indeed a really interesting topic and I’m excited to dig in more.
Margaret: Yeah, you did. And the book’s illustrations are just charming, and they just are so engaging. So your collaborator also is to be thanked for bringing this book to life.
Eric: Yeah, Beverly Duncan, I think, is exceptional in the botanical art sector
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You can create unique note cards with flowers and leaves from your garden. These botanical cards are easy and fun to make. With just a little bit of preparation and time, you can make your own note cards or holiday cards more personal by designing them yourself. Here’s how to do it!
December is around the corner, which means it’s time for holiday decorating. And today Cherry Ong is sharing some of her incredible holiday wreath creations. She combines basic wreaths with materials gathered from her garden and purchased to make these marvelous custom creations. If you want to try your hand at making your own wreaths with materials from your garden, you can get your inspiration here, and learn the technique in this video: Make a Holiday Wreath.
‘Marvels of Monmouthshire’ takes in the lovely scenery of this part of the world and a selection of special gardens, chosen by Sisley Garden Tours to be in their full summer glory. Many of the gardens have been featured in The English Garden magazine.
So, you bought a real Christmas tree: your entire house is about to smell like pine, your Christmas spirit couldn’t be higher, and your divine connection to nature couldn’t be stronger. But there’s one issue—real Christmas trees are notoriously messy.
With indoor air quality becoming a growing concern, it’s time to turn to nature’s air purifiers – plants! Do note that you must plant more than 1-2 plants to enhance the air quality. Making a spot where there are plenty of green specimens with a sitting space is what this is all about! Let’s dive into creative ways to set up an Air-Purifying Station with Indoor Plants in your home.
There are so many beautiful DIY winter wreath ideas that you can make using natural materials. Collect foliage, flowers, berries, fruits, and other interesting items from your garden – or forage for them on seasonal walks.
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