about us - WHY i AM WHAT i AM                                          

My Mother taught me to be kind to animals, all animals. My Dad one day built a cage to raise Monarchs and enrolled me in a Monarch tagging program out of the University of Toronto. The same program that eventually led to the discovery of the wintering grounds of the Mid-Western and Eastern Monarchs. My Grandma (Mom's side) took us to the desert each Spring and other locales. We would spend the summers with my Grandparents (Dad's side) in the mountains of California where I would spend days in the Sierra Nevada Mountains fishing and exploring.

At a young age, I began my appreciation of the wild things around me. The diversity of species both animal and plant. The different environments, desert, beach, alpine, redwood forests, grasslands, high meadows, bogs, swamps, rolling hills and more. How they grew, how the animals depended on them, how they looked in the wild. Once I had that Monarch Cage, I wanted to create what I saw in nature. And my parents let me. They let me plant the yard with butterfly friendly plants, host and nectar plants. My friend and I would get on our bikes with Folgers Coffee cans, slits in the lids and head off looking for creatures. We would grab Monarchs off the Narrow Leaved Milkweed plants that lived along the railroad tracks.Its seeds tossed into the air and carried along by passing trains. Anise Swallowtails off Sweet Fennel that grew in disturbed places, vacant parking lots, fields. Mourning Cloaks off the elm at the end of the street. Some years there were so many caterpillars, the chrysalis looked like Christmas Lights hanging from the gutters. Buckeyes from Plantain in the field of our Elementary School. And then we discovered Polyphemus Moths on Birch trees throughout the neighborhood. I was allowed to plant Passionflower for Gulf Fritillaries. Red Admirals munched on a plant called Baby Tears that grew along paths in the shade. And I  collected Tomato Hornworms off of Tomato Plants. Fuschias and Salvias were planted for the Hummingbirds.

I was addicted. And then one day I found on a hillside when staying  the summer with my Grandma a massive field of Shooting Stars. I had never seen them before. They were amazing and the next week, they were gone. Bulldozed for a new Cinema being built on the hill. I was in shock, if only I had dug them up, rescued them. If only.

                                                                    AND HERE WE ARE IN NEW JERSEY

When I moved to New Jersey from California, I looked for a lot that had a garden. But what I ended up with was a near acre, overgrown with saplings and covered in English Ivy. But what a lot, several levels with side yards all in a woodland setting. Then I married a Jersey Girl, but that is a whole other story!

We used to take our kids to a wooded area in Mahwah to catch tadpoles, then one day construction signs went up. Before each lot was cleared we would rescue the plants and small animals and replant in our yard. Transforming our yard from a lot void of pretty much everything to what is now its own ecosystem with many plants and animals living and breeding in the yard year round.

When I lost my job of 30 years, while looking for a job and tinkering in the garden, and with 2 kids in college my wife joked one day that I should stop giving plants away and sell a few. Well, what was a hobby is now S & K Wildflower Rescue and Nursery LLC. The S for me, Steve and the K, for Kellie who if the truth be known has a black thumb, the kiss of death for plants.

So now we have our little backyard nursery, making enough to rescue plants now and then as I have a full time job. Maybe buy a new plant or two, and pay for this website. If we ever do get busy .......................well we will worry about that later if it ever happens!

Many of our plants are the actual plant we rescued from construction sites, some are seedlings from the original rescued plant and others are propagated from plants we have collected over the years. When we have extras, we sell them through this site. While we love all of our plants in the yard, on occasion we come across something rare and wonderful such as the rescued Double Bloodroot pictured here.

Our garden is now a National Wildlife Backyard Habitat and a North American Butterfly Association Garden. We hope you like our website, our plants and our little piece of paradise we have created in Northern New Jersey.

                                  OUR JERSEY DEVIL                                  

And you have to have help, even a small backyard nursery such as ours needs a little help now and then. And no one, and I mean no one helps more in the garden than our Jersey. Our yellow lab makes the lab in Marley and Me look like a saint!!!!

But if I am in yard, she is in the yard. Early on as a pup her favorite toy was empty unused pots. Which remain her favorite today.

Everywhere I go, she goes. She chases the deer to the edge of the garden. She plays with the frogs in the pond by pushing them until they jump into the pond, she barks at the snakes when they try to eat her frogs, and she tree'd a overly friendly bear much to the bears disappointment. She finishes digging all of the holes for plants and then sniffs each once its planted. Pulls sticks and limbs from the garden beds. One bad habit, playing with small rocks and leaving them on the lawn. A hole on the houses siding after mowing the lawn one day is a result of her "play".