Many of us have been asked to work from home and limit our exposure to others.
It’s a wonderful time to enjoy the great outdoors, whether at one of our nature preserves or right outside your door. We’ve compiled a list of activities to help you get your Vitamin N (nature), even if you’re stuck at home.

Things to Do in Your Garden

Updated May 20

  • Now that we’re at the end of the easy-to-pull annual weeds and working on harder-to-remove perennials consider getting yourself a soil knife like this one. It’s a great help for planting, too.
  • If your garden is full of tree seedlings try using needle nosed pliers to pull them up. This can also work on perennials with sturdy taproots.
  • Tidy sorts will want to be cutting back some of the things that have already bloomed this spring. As you do this, think about whether or not you want the seeds to stay in your garden or go away. Plants like Aquilegia canadensis (columbine) and Tradescantia spp. (spiderworts) can make quite a lot of seed. Depending on your garden and on the plant this might be a good thing. If it’s not, perennials don’t mind a little pruning, spiderworts will even reward your efforts with more blooms. You can also collect the seeds and spread them somewhere else.
  • If frost asters are taking up too much space in your garden consider cutting them back. If you do this regularly, you and the late fall pollinators can enjoy the flowers without giving up too much garden space. This technique works on lots of perennials that have a tendency to get unwieldy.
  • Wildflowers of the Atlantic Southeast is not just for identifying native wildflowers, it’s also a great resource for garden weeds!
  • Thin annuals like Impatiens capensis (jewelweed) and Bidens aristosa (ditch daisy) so you’ll have stronger healthier plants for a good show later in the year.
Ready to learn more?

Dig Deeper

What are the best native plants for pollinators? How do I get rid of the English ivy taking over my yard? What's that little purple flower I keep seeing everywhere?

We have plant lists, booklets, and a question form to get all your toughest native plant gardening questions. Check them out!

Contribute to Science with

Citizen Science

Get out in nature, and contribute your observations to science! We are partners in a variety of programs, including iNaturalist, Caterpillars Count!, ecoEXPLORE, Project Budburst, and more!
Little Ones in Tow?

Not Stuck Inside:
Kids Edition

We've compiled a list of simple, nature-themed activities for all ages.
Save the World with Plants

Check out our Podcast

Through interviews with some of North Carolina’s finest naturalists, our Plant Power: The Power of Plants in a Changing Climate podcast series explores the connection between native plants and climate change.
Curl up (or get your hands dirty) with a good book

Recommended Gardening Books

What We're Reading
Find out what our staff are currently reading, beyond the classic gardening titles.
What We're Watching
Find out what movies and TV shows we're delving into.
Spice up your virtual meetings

Zoom Backgrounds

Download a Background

On a computer: Click to enlarge an image; right click and “Save As” to download it.
On a mobile device: Press to enlarge an image; press and hold to save it.

Upload to Zoom

In Zoom, go to Preferences > Virtual Background. Click on the “+” icon to the right of “Choose Virtual Background.” If the image appears backwards, your Zoom view is mirrored – but it looks correct for everyone else! If you’d like to reorient it for yourself, too, go to Preferences > Video and uncheck “Mirror My Video.”

Laptop and Desktop Backgrounds


Mobile Backgrounds

These also work as mobile wallpapers!