Urban Gardening & Ecology

All About Bugs: Dragonflies

Blue Dasher

As soon as other insects start buzzing through the air each spring, dragonflies emerge to hunt them down. After spending the winter underwater as nymphs and hunting small aquatic animals, throughout the spring and summer, these colorful predators come to the surface, molt, and become airborne. By this time of year, they are

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Weed of the Month: Chicory


On sunny summer mornings, chicory (Cichorium intybus) will dazzle you with its periwinkle-blue flowers, but by later in the day, its bright blooms will have vanished, leaving just the scraggly stems and leaves of this otherwise scrappy roadside plant. Add it to a vase of wildflowers, and you’ll see that when placed in

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Helping Our Metropolitan Monarchs

Milkweed and monarch butterfly

If you are lucky enough to see a monarch or fritillary flutter down Flatbush, it's easy to feel a carefree connection to nature. Yet, just as urban gardeners are learning just how dependent humans are on pollinators—moths, bees, birds, bats, and beetles, to name a few—we're discovering with alarm that their

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Be an Urban Soil Steward

Community Garden Alliance workshop

All of us depend on soil, but too few of us realize that it's a finite resource. Instead of conserving this precious substance, human practices too often degrade and erode soil—or completely cover it with concrete. Gardeners know that healthy soil, fed by compost and teeming with microbes, is alive, part of a healthy

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All About Bugs: Bees, Bee-Mimics, and Pollinators of All Kinds

Syrphid Fly

Honey bees and bumble bees are what most of us think of when we picture pollinators, but many other insects contribute to the dispersal of pollen. On one summer day, a single plant can attract paper wasps, mud daubers, hornets, horntails, flower flies, green bottle flies, and dozens of other species. Swarms of these

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Baby Birds at BBG

American Robin

Urban birds don’t have it easy, so it’s always nice to see signs that chicks are thriving at BBG. Enjoy these photos taken by visitor Ann Feldman and staff members Travis DeMello and Lee Patrick. A hungry robin in its nest in the Native Flora Garden in late June. Its mother was likely away hunting for earthworms and

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