Art and Nature

Ornamental gardens aim to make our environment beautiful, to lift the places where we spend our time above the humdrum of the random objects and structures that surround us everywhere. In gardens, plants are judiciously arranged to soften buildings, vistas suggest a sense of mystery, and paths guide the foot. Ornaments, carefully placed, give meaning […] Continue reading "Art and Nature"

Fostering Plants

by Beate Popkin It’s a new year and it comes with new hopes, new ambitions, new projects. Our Wild Ones chapter has put together the program for 2023, and its focus is on plants. We will look at plants during garden visits, talk about plants during our program events, and, yes, eradicate plants that undermine […] Continue reading "Fostering Plants"


When a tree dies in the forest, it does not immediately collapse; instead it decays while standing in place for a few years, continuously dropping its smaller branches to the ground. It’s Nature’s way of forest management, for the snag, which is what the dead tree is called, provides countless benefits to wildlife and to […] Continue reading "Snags"

Porcelainberry Vine

An Invasive Coming toward a Greenspace near you The title of this essay may be misleading. Porcelainberry is not an invasive far away on the horizon – it may already be established  in your local park, and it is possibly growing in your garden as well. Perhaps you are mistaking it for a grapevine, a […] Continue reading "Porcelainberry Vine"

American Natives Abroad

We Wild Ones feel virtuous about our commitment to native plants, and rightly so. But we rarely ask ourselves how our plants are received in other parts of the world. During my annual trips to Germany, I often come across familiar north American species and I begin to muse about the benefits and problems of […] Continue reading "American Natives Abroad"

Reforesting in the Bluegrass

For several years after 2015, when I had begun to periodically visit Hisle Park in northeast Fayette County, I was mystified by a property along Briar Hill Road where a very large number of young oaks grew in a dense plantation. In the winter and early spring, a house became visible at the end of […] Continue reading "Reforesting in the Bluegrass"