Eastern Garter Snake

Looking Into Their Eyes – A Place to Live and Grow Naturally

When we strive to provide an environment which welcomes wild creatures

Green Frog

Green Frog

We are creating not only habitats where humans and wildlife coexist

Northern Mocking Bird

Northern Mocking Bird

We are creating opportunities to look into their eyes and see

Green Frog

Green Frog

Nursery Web spider with her egg case

Nursery Web spider with her egg case

They are more than feathers

Juvenile flycatcher getting ready to fledge

Juvenile flycatchers

Scales

Eastern Garter Snake

Eastern Garter Snake

Or fur

Eastern American Grey Squirrel

Eastern American Grey Squirrel

Working in a garden that is also designated a Certified Wildlife Habitat

Green Bottle Fly on Daisy mum

Green Bottle fly on Daisy mum

Allows an individual the time to commune with the natural world.

Tussock moth

Tussock moth

Ribbon snake

Ribbon snake

Beauty abounds

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Tiger Lily

And life is everywhere

Mining Bee

Mining Bee

 

 Joy is contagious!

Silver-Spotted Skipper butterfly  on parsley

Silver-Spotted Skipper butterfly on Flat-leaf parsley

 

CERTIFIED WILDLIFE HABITAT #139,583

Praying Mantis

Praying Mantis on Coleus plant

 

Green frog 2014

Green Frog

 

 

White Caterpillar 2

Caterpillars-Contemplating Their Transformative Nature

IT’S COLD OUTSIDE!

I live in eastern Pennsylvania and like millions of others along the eastern coast of the United States we are in a deep freeze. The sun is shining through the skylight but the warmth is deceiving. Just tried to drive to a local winery, the back roads were drifted over thanks to wind gusts of up to 40 miles an hour. I need a warm weather connection! So enjoy with me one of the most transformative creatures – caterpillars!

All the beauties you see here have called the gardens their home before transforming and flying away…

Black swallowtail caterpillar on dill

Black Swallowtail caterpillar on dill plant

Evergreen Bagworm moth caterpillar

Evergreen Bagworm moth caterpillar

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Variegated Fritillary Caterpillar

Silver-spotted Skipper Caterpillars on Harry Lauder Walking Stick

Silver-spotted Skipper caterpillars on Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick

White marked Tussock moth caterpillar

White-marked Tussock moth caterpillar

Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillars

Milkweed Tiger Moth Caterpillars

Saddleback Moth Caterpillar

Saddleback moth caterpillar next to acorn caps

Tussock Moth Caterpillar 2

Tussock moth caterpillar

Saddleback Caterpillar

Juvenile Saddleback caterpillars on native Spicebush

Woolly Bear Caterpillar

Wooly Bear caterpillar

Monarch Caterpillar

Monarch caterpillar

Pale Tussock moth caterpillar

Pale Tussock moth caterpillar

Butternut Wooly Moth Caterpillar

Butternut Wooly moth caterpillar

 

Portulaca, Alyssum and Celosia all self-seeded in front roadside garden

Proliferation: The Self-seeded Garden

Orange Portulaca flower growing admist rocks in roadside garden      Purple Alyssum self-seeded in brick walkway

When we moved into our home in November of 2004 the only garden beds were foundation plantings. The present gardens began in 2005 with a modest creation of a garden bed adjacent to our driveway and the road.
 Garden bed adjacent to the driveway and road with self-seeded larkspur
Over the years I’ve removed poison ivy vines, raspberry canes and an assortment of weeds to create garden rooms.
 Impatiens have self-seeded between Golden Tiara hostas in the circular garden adjacent to labyrinth
The beds were originally filled with both divided perennials brought from our old home and store-bought annuals.
Echinacea transplanted to bed by potting shed  from self-seeded plants
  I must admit  was not expecting the proliferation of plants as annuals reseeded  and perennials jumped their beds.
Violets and Marsh Marigolds that jumped their woodland bed
I have come to realize that because of their continued proliferation
Portulaca, Alyssum and Celosia all self-seeded in front roadside garden
I have been able to increase the area of the gardens without having to continually oversee established beds.
 Alyssum and Portulaca in front roack garden near road
 Minimal weeding in spring is all that is needed which leaves time to enjoy the gardens!
Maddie sitting in a bed of self-seeded Ice Pansies
Click on any photo to find out more!
Self-seeded sunflowers
Larkspur and Roses

Winter in the Gardens

For those who have never walked a garden during a snowfall it is difficult to perceive the quiet beauty that is the winter garden

Bank barn

In hidden spaces remnants of flowers are found frozen to the ground

Self-seeded pansy growing under the deck

Snow adds new dimensions to garden sculptures 

Primative wooden snowman buried in the snow

Paths are hidden save for those that are outlined by their protruding borders

The Dreamer in the labyrinth

Melting snow creates droplets of ice which reflect next year’s new growth

Ice droplet on Cryptomeria japonica

Evergreens brighten otherwise neutral areas of the gardens 

Holly cultivar

Twilight only adds to the ambient atmosphere

January sunset

Pennsylvania Sunset Valley View Road East Allen Township  2015

Balance is achieved

Eastern American Grey Squirrel

Cabbage butterflies on hosta flower

The Argument for Hostas in a Certified Wildlife Habitat

I am both a gardener and a caretaker of an official Certified Wildlife Habitat.  For many years I have been faithful to the mission of providing food, water, cover and places to raise young for all species of wildlife that share the garden space.

Flycatcher Hatchlings in their nest

 I know the importance of removing invasive plants and adding native plantings.

Bee on Goldenrod

 Along with this commitment I also work diligently to create a landscape that provides for the humans who frequent the garden a space for peaceful contemplation and exploration.

Stream-side path by the Labyrinth

A species of plant that is found at the intersection of garden and wildlife habitat is the hosta.

hosta

Utilizing its structural impact hostas create focal points in the garden landscape.

Whirlwind hosta by standing stone inthe lower garden

The multiple shades of green found in the myriad of hosta cultivars encourage the gardener to create their own unique garden palette.

hosta in the lower border garden

Along with structure and color, hostas provide the four elements needed in a certified wildlife habitat.

FOOD – WATER – COVER – PLACES TO RAISE YOUNG

Golden Tiara Hosta

Look among the leaves in summer and you will find a multitude of insects hiding from the midday heat.

Cabbage butterflies on hosta flower

Skipper Butterfly on Hosta
 Take a closer look at the flowers and watch insects collect pollen or feed from their nectar.

plantain lily hosta

After a rain storm hosta leaves cradle droplets of water from which the smallest of garden inhabitants drink.

Rain drops on Hosta Leaf

Insects and arachnids utilize the safety found within the dense leaves of a hosta plant, to raise their young.

Venusta Orchard Spider

In autumn decaying leaves provide a refuge for insects and others who hug the earth.

hosta in autumn

The green stink bug or green soldier bug (Acrosternum hilare)

Then in winter these same leaves provide sustenance for deer who cross the growing season’s boundaries.

Whitetail deer eating hosta leaf
Allowing  hostas to decay naturally in the landscape also minimize clean-up time for the gardener.

hosta after frost

By sharing  your garden bounty, you will be rewarded!

To learn more about the Certified Wildlife Habitat or Hostas click on the links below

Garden for Wildlife –  making a wildlife habitat at home

American Hosta Society

Whitetail deer grazing on decaying hosta leaves

Cross on the Alter

A Body of Believers A New Direction

This new year I have garnered the courage to step beyond the garden gates and share the greater world in which I live. I hope all who join my journey find life as interesting as I

A Body of Believers

The sanctuary at St John's

A unifying pattern of belief

Stained glass window

Woven together in community

Butterfly on Alter cloth

Celebrated in joyous sound

Pipe organ at St John's

and mystical revelations

Celebrating Christmas

Symbolic representations of a greater truth

Stained Glass window 2

Meant to inspire those within

Cross at St. John's

Click on the link below to learn more about this amazing church and its mission

St John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church

Stained Glass reflection

 Easton PA opens its doors to a myriad of local sub-communities and groups seeking support and collaboration.  I am a part of one of these groups.