Seeding of a pollinator habitat

Our Lady of the Woods
Ground cedar
Ground cedar

Ryan Conner, Happy Tonics Volunteer in Hayward, WI has a native habitat in his front yard. A few years ago, he decided to stop mowing. Bravo!

A visit to tranquility
A visit to tranquility

This past winter Ryan sent me some seed that he gathered from his own property. I am implementing a Wild Butterfly Habitat, on Ashby West Road, Fitchburg, MA. It is on family land and private.


Asclepias syriaca common milkweed

Desmodium canadense Showy tick-trefoil

Echinacea pallida Pale purple coneflower

Ratibida pinnata Gray-headed coneflower

Rudbeckia laciniata Green-headed coneflower

Solidago speciosa Showy goldenrod

I also bought seed packages for the following plants that were also scattered.


Nepeta cataria Catmint

Aguilegia canadensis Columbine

Artemisia caudatus Love lies bleeding

Artemisia tricolor Joseph’s coat

Monarca media Monarda

Ecinacea purpurea Purple conflower

Helanthus spp. Sunflower


Ryan Conner proudly stands next to his Conservation Star Home Award sign
Ryan Conner proudly stands next to his Conservation Star Home Award sign.

I won’t look for instantaneous results. I have found that native seed sprouts when conditions are compatible to its growing needs. Sometimes seed can lay dormant for years before it emerges. We will see as time develops what takes.

In the meantime, I have put up a driftwood recycled birdhouse. This week another fanciful bird house for my sister’s grandchildren, a small shrine for for La Senora de Guadalupe and a wildflower wood-chime will be placed at the habitat.

Beauty is etheral
Beauty is ethereal

My sister Ronnie already thoughtfully brought a chair up to the habitat for me. It is set in the cool of the pine grove. She also planted ground cover succulents in an old wooden log that had the center eaten out by some critter. Each touch we add will offer refuge to me. There is a reason for this. My life is centered on living a purpose driven life. It is busy with speaking tours, leading restoration gardens, implementing pollinator habitats, teaching environmental classes and writing my third book. I simply need a place of refuge where I can unwind and listen to the wind. Here I do ceremony for water and communicate with the Creator’s natural world, which renews me. I love it so.



Ground Cedar and just how special this plant is

Ground cedar
Ground cedar

I have always known that ground cedar (Lycopodium complanatum) club moss family,  was special, but I didn’t know why. Today, I read a post by Dr. Thomas Barnes, University of Kentucky at

You may enjoy reading the full article at noted link. I can’t get enough of this kind of learning. Every day is wondrous when we learn something new about Creation.

There is a small colony of ground cedar growing in the forest near spring fed snow runoff sites in the hills, at Winter Hill Farm, near Fitchburg, MA. There are large glacial bounders here. For one thing, I learned that it takes 10 – 15 years before the ground plant actually shows itself. First the plant must develop under the ground with a symbiotic relationship with fungi mycelium. The plant also requires a certain soil component, being a lack of nutrients in the soil, and the plant usually requires large boulders, in the near vicinity. Boulders are here because glaciers come through and large tumbling boulders were left behind in the hills. This is one of the beauties of the forest near Fitchburg. My sister lives here on 40 acres, in a protected watershed area, with her husband. The children are all grown now, but Winter Hill Farm is their retreat on weekends and holidays. I am here and will be living nearby come fall. I didn’t dream when I came here, July 11, for a family wedding, that I would be moving back to the East Coast. Pinch me!

I have been given the opportunity to come full circle. Now I can walk into my field work here and continue writing, publishing and observing nature in this environment. Yesterday, my sister gave me a rock that was engraved by an elder artist, who is now deceased. A butterfly was carved into the rock. Ronnie carried the rock up to the Wild Butterfly Habitat and placed the medium size rock on the stone fence at the entrance of the habitat.