5 years ago we bought our first house on the outskirts of Boston, MA (Northeast US, zone 5b). The main draw of the house (for the both of us) was a decent sized lot- about the size of two volleyball courts, with a decent mix of sun and shade. After gardening in community gardens our first DIY in this house, literally just after the boxes were unpacked and before we even painted a single room, was to build raised beds. Our passion for home grown food was just that strong. And it continues to be strong today.
However, as I poked around the yard and became familiar with the landscaping that was there I learned to look beyond my tomatoes. Most of the yard had been barely attended to in at least a decade. Invasive plants and weeds choked every nook and twined through each fence post. Under it all there appeared to be a few well placed and intentional plantings, but not knowing much about landscaping plants beyond hosta, azalea and forsythia, I didn’t know what it all was.
As I’ve weeded, tended to and brought my yard back from the knotty tangle we bought it as I’ve grown more and more appreciative of the power of native plants- their ability to thrive in this sometimes frigid place- their abundant support thousands of native bees swarming around- the exuberance of monarchs laying dozens of eggs in my milkweed patch and the astonishing knowledge and appreciation of creating an ecologically diverse landscape as an island buttressed against asphalt and over-manicured lawns.
This blog is about my education into gardening with native plants. It’s about doing it slowly and learning about these plants and what they need to thrive. It’s about making mistakes and experimenting. It’s about the bugs and bees that come along for the journey. It’ll be about eco-friendly & water-wise gardening as well- both for edibles and ornamentals. And I hope through this medium I can both inspire others and be inspired. Gardening for me is a hobby best shared. And it is a hobby of constant learning. You are very welcome to learn along with me.
My name is Connie, I’m in my 30s, I’m a mom and work full time as a scientist in Boston’s biotech industry. Gardening runs in my family. When I’m not gardening (and not doing all those other things like being a mom and working) I like to run & bike, cook, crochet and DIY things around the house. I might mention those things from time to time. You can reach me at constancejean [at] gmail.