What about larvae and their hostplant? things like monarchs and milkweed, swallowtails and carrot family, and spicebush swallowtail larvae in particular love sassafrass.
Some things, like adult butterflies and bees, and then the colorful little flower-loving flies, will drink nectar from many flowers, but I think that Gardenrant is spreading false information that could harm the specialist larvae.
I am wondering what gardenrant’s definition of “expert” is, bc all the experts I know in this field would say that many insects count on native plants, and even if an insect can have a non-native, native plants are better for the area and fill an important niche.
The gardenrant author says: “I was disheartened to read this anti-gardening screed” I think she is being ridiculous, the WP piece is not “anti-gardening” it is giving gardeners info on how to do better and how to work WITH pollinators.
The WP author literally says: “But in a couple of seasons, if all goes well, my yard will be full of pollinators, birds and other visitors in need of an urban oasis. Years from now, those tender oak seedlings, now 6-inch twigs, will stretch as high as 100 feet, feeding and sheltering generations of wild animals struggling to survive climate change and habitat loss.” THAT is pretty much a garden imo, and sounds like a great garden/habitat at that.
Back to the gardenrant person, this quote: “All plants, whether native or non-native, convert carbon dioxide to oxygen and store carbon. Destroying them contributes to greenhouse gases causing climate change.” is ridiculous too, since phytoplankton store so much more carbon than a handful of garden plants. Ripping out invasives and planting something better is NOT going to raise greenhouse gasses at all.
This quote from McAllister is also ridiculous to me: McAllister: This description of Milbank’s ravaged garden is consistent with my 25 years of observing native plant “restorations” on public land. They all begin with destruction, usually accomplished with herbicides. The first stage of these projects is often described as “scorched earth.”
Idk WHAT restorations this person has seen, but generally when converting, say, an old field, it is plowed, burnt w/fire, and/or covered in tarp. after that, they have killed ALL of the plants underneat naturally, and can go on to planting.
McAllister continues saying: “Years later, there is rarely habitat comparable to what was destroyed. Colored flags usually outnumber plants.”
I have no clue where they got this information from. I am helping to plant a field full of natives (plus zinnias, idk why they were in the seed mix but I guess we will see what happens with them, these zinnias might be an example of a nonnative working out well, but they don’t prove that ALL nonnatives are a good idea to just plant wherever.)
Here are two pictures of the same field: the first one was taken in June of 2023, and the second one August of 2023:
June 2023: freshly tilled soil, just planted with seeds, only one sign in sight.
August 2023: LOOK AT THIS! LOOK at what Pheasents Forever and 4-H accomplished. It is beautiful! Little kids helped to plant this field, and they made a beautiful habitat! There was so much wildlife here I still haven’t uploaded it all yet.
I am irratated by GardenRant dumping negativity on restored habitats. They are being ridiculous. And also, as for the many flags McAllister complains about, those are for urban areas and the flags are to keep people from walking/letting their dogs poop there.