A passion for hosting.....

As an introvert, I have no passion for hosting parties or events, although I'm thankful for every opportunity to connect with my fellow humans!

Rather, my passion for hosting is about insects, bees, caterpillars and birds. For many decades of my life, I believed insects and especially bees, which I'm highly allergic to, were not my friends. I've come to understand how my duality from nature was typical of my generation. Our parents may have sprayed to rid our homes and yards of most insects, we ran from the bees, and although the birds were nice to see and hear, there was little understanding of the relationship all of these living beings had to humans.

I gardened for years, taking pride in caring for my lawn, planting beautiful flowers, taking the advice of my local garden centers and nurseries. Then I read many books, joined helpful organizations, did tons of research and learned about native, host plants. It all made sense, but I had never sought or been educated on the role native plants play in saving species from extinction and supporting our food chain. The more I learned, the more passionate I became. I now garden to "host".

How do we change decades of harmful or neutral gardening practices to be beneficial? We do so one yard at a time, where we (homeowners) have total control over what we choose to plant and who we are planting for. It's empowering! However, most of us need help, and we also need our "experts" (landscapers, garden centers, nurseries) to become educated advocates for native plants and our environment, as much as aesthetics and revenue.

In 2017, Mt. Cuba Center (Hockessin, DE) completed a survey that assessed the diversity of plants grown by mid-Atlantic wholesale nurseries with an objective to quantify the proportion of plants native or invasive in the markets' regional horticulture industry. The results are summarized in the diagram below. Change must happen in the industry, so the average gardener is informed and can begin to use their property to restore and revive vs. harm.

I would love to work with you to transform your yard to a place where beneficial insects thrive, native bees pollinate and birds have sufficient food to feed their young. Just as important - to provide a "lifescape" that adds beauty and less maintenance year round!

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