Pickin’ up good vibrations on the prairie

“Although we think of restoration as a science, it’s also about creativity. Prairie restoration begins with a vision. The dream of how the land might be healed, imagined in the mind of a steward or site manager.” So writes author Cindy Crosby in Tallgrass Conversations: In Search of the Prairie Spirit.

On Tuesday, June 14, prairie restoration—and the use of creativity and imagination in the process—will be the focus of a field trip hosted by CFAES’ Environmental Professionals Network. Titled “If You Listen Carefully, It Sounds Like Love,” the event, its website says, will be “a celebration of beauty in the sounds of nine Ohio prairie seeds”—including wild bergamot, big bluestem, little bluestem, dogbane, and milkweed—“and the steps we can take as a bioregional community to help them thrive again.”

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He gives (real) buckeyes to Buckeyes

Doug Malone, pictured above, is an Ohio State “Redcoat”—a part-time worker-ambassador at university athletic events—who gives gleaming, rich-brown, actual Ohio buckeye nuts to Ohio State football players right before home games. It’s a tradition he’s carrying on from his late father. The Ohio State News video above tells his story.

The Ohio buckeye, Aesculus glabra, is Ohio State’s symbol, Ohio’s state tree, and can be grown as part of a sustainable landscape. But it takes a couple of considerations about how you tend it and where you plant it—worth it if you’re a fan of native plants, the Buckeyes, or both. Read tips from CFAES experts on how to grow your own Ohio buckeye tree.

New pollinator planting at Ohio State Mansfield

Monarch butterflyWhat can you grow under electric transmission lines? Plants for butterflies, bees and other pollinators are one idea. A new multi-partner project, called A Monarch Right-of-Way: A Pollinator Demonstration Plot, is underway at Ohio State’s Mansfield campus, and CFAES’s Marne Titchenell and Denise Ellsworth are part of it. Continue reading

Going native at Spring Plant Sale

Monkey plant. Partridge pea. Spiderwort.

Patrick Sherwood and his fellow plant pathology grad students are busy these days tending to a menagerie of native plants. They’re also counting the days to the Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Garden’s Spring Plant Sale on the Ohio State campus, May 5-7. That’s when they’ll offer their native plants for sale, hoping to attract customers looking for eco-friendly landscape plants.

Why natives? Native plants tend to be well-adapted to the area’s environment, are less likely to become invasive, and are good for the native fauna. And they’re attractive and low-maintenance. All good reasons to think about adding natives to the garden.

For information about the spring plant sale, including a 16-page list of plants that organizers anticipate will be available, see the arboretum’s website at http://chadwickarboretum.osu.edu.

Patrick Sherwood