We’re looking at winter interest, rewilding, and season wind-down for today’s Plant Exchange.
***Nearly mid-December, the first “shoveling” flips the landscape into contrasts we haven’t seen for a year. Now the red hues of Little Bluestem and Miscanthus appear against white snow cover. Snowcaps adorn the spent golden yarrow from summer. No wonder this is the season of winter interest.
***Fewer Asian lady beetles found their way into our house this fall. We live near large soybean fields, and in past years, the beetles showed up (maybe coincidentally) a week or so after harvest. Not noxious, they fly and creep about and are hard to remove indoors. This year, drought and slower temperature decline in fall may have influenced their smaller population. Curiously, the news reported a burst of Asian lady beetles in the eastern United States this fall. These introduced beetles are not the garden lady beetles we protect for their work with harmful pests. But likely, they are quite advantageous to the ecology of their homeland.
Working to “rewild” our yards for insects, beetles, and other natural wildlife and contribute much beyond our understanding is the subject of an article in the November/December 2021 Horticulture magazine. Like many efforts to reclaim a more natural landscape, using fewer chemicals is a step. Leaving some foliage and wood debris in the fall for habitat helps. Considering the value of insects, beetles, and other wildlife as contributors like Monarchs is a step toward yards that are of most benefit to us. (Message to self.)
***What remains under the grow light in season wind down includes the last harvest of spinach and Swiss chard before discarding, herbs we continue to use for cooking, such as thyme and oregano, and a few nursery plants. No wonder the earth rests in winter, for readiness in spring.
We hope all will find time for rest and rejuvenation for a new year ahead in this holiday season.