“Creative thinking inspires ideas. Ideas inspire change.”
WILD YARD STORIES
By David Newsom
Eisenstein, the former Director of Outreach at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens and author of the hugely readable and enlightening, “Wild Suburbia” is a horticultural tour-de-force. Though she’s freed herself up from many of the commitments that filled up her calendar over the last 20 years, she’s still a hard one to pin down. After a summer-long game of “text tag”, we finally got to spend a long morning walking through her two main projects: her yard in Pasadena (a favorite stop on the Theodore Payne Native Garden’s Tour here in So Cal), and a restoration project awkwardly titled, “The Arroyo Seco-South Pasadena Woodland and Wildlife Park, an easily overlooked 3-acre park on a bend in South Pasadena that boasts both a vital history and a vibrant ecosystem supported by a lovingly nurtured wealth of local native plants. It was here that we started our tour of her work and ideas…
By David Newsom
I can take a dim view of social media from time to time, but when I stumble across people like John Janick, owner of Good Host Plants Nursery out of Philadelphia, PA, all is forgiven. I began following his work on Instagram about one year ago, and was instantly impressed and inspired by his work and ideas. His work isn’t slick and it’s not meant to be. It has, instead, an alluring “wildness” that feels intimate and timeless. His plant groupings are intelligent and scrupulously observed, but seem utterly organic and natural in their juxtapositions. They feel more like pristine chunks of meadow before humanity got its industrial hands on them.
BY KIM RADOCHIA
I live on the edge of an amazing salt marsh ecosystem in Gloucester, Massachusetts, called, ‘The Great Marsh’. They are the plains of New England; the only naturally-occurring low, grassy, flatland terrain on the coast. They play a critical role in cleaning our water, shielding us from storms and above all else providing a nursery for fish and birds. After moving here, it became clear that I was the visitor in this diverse biome. Swarms of greenhead horseflies, midges, and mosquito’s flourish in the marsh, delighting in the blood of us humans and our mammalian comrades. Schools of fish hatchlings feast on a buffet of copepods, larvae and plankton that live in the mud and heat it up with their collective digestion (ice and snow stay on the marsh only during the coldest weeks of winter). As a result, forage abounds for an amazing diversity of birds, fish and insects that seek shelter in the Great Marsh nursery throughout the year.