Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wildflower Wednesday Debut

Hello one and all,
This post is essentially my first public post, since I'll be linking it up to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday.  My garden is very much in the infant stages, but I did manage to plop in a few natives, whose seedheads I'll feature here.
Clustered Mountain Mint (purchased from the Pineland Alliance fundraiser) and Lucy
 This blog is mostly to help me keep track. Two years ago we spent most of the summer ripping out Ivy, Poison Ivy, Green Brier, Wisteria, ando some creeping evergreens. What I did plant I soon forgot. Last spring I eagerly anticipated my first Coneflower bloom, but I wasn't sure which of my two plants it was. Every morning I watched the plants grow, googling what the seedlings looked like, only to find myself starring at a False Foxglove Beardtongue and an Anise Hyssop.
Anise hyssop facing the driveway large enough for a fleet of limousines
Now I keep a journal of what I plant and am writing this blog because I need help. I'm looking for advice on growing organically, mostly natives here in the Mid-Atlantic area along with some veggies. I also need plenty of advice on making things structurally attractive and, well, doing it as cheaply as possible. I have trees I can't identify, sand in some places, a bog in another, a large steep hill covered in invasives, and a husband that must be dissuaded from chemicals. Help! The winter has been spent researching a plenty, in hopes of avoiding any costly and time consuming mistakes, but more advice is always needed.
Lucy helping with the research, Monty Don's The Complete Gardener 
So anybody have any advice? Anybody from the South Jersey area? Anybody reading this?

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Dreaming About Sedges

Dreaming of Sedges
No, I really did dream of Sedges. Pennsylvania Sedges to be specific, Carex pensylvanica to be technical. A small field of Sedges in the backyard along the new gravel area around the fire pit, which my husband spent the whole of summer creating last year. Most of my yard is in the planning stages at this moment so afraid most of my photos are weeds and bare earth, but I do have plans. 

 Probably have far too many plans. After reading Pennick’s Post on creating “negative space” with Sedges last night, I think I'm sold on the idea.
Sedges require far less water than turf grass and, while not as tough as turf grass, still give you the swath of green we find so refreshing. Plus my husband is a bit obsessed with creating the perfect lawn. Drive by in the summer and you'll often find him standing in the yard eating a sandwhich, while lamenting the brown patches. A sea of green sedge might help convert even him to the native movement. Native sedge apparently doesn't require the feeding, weeding, or mowing of turf grass. Plus I love how Pennsylvania Sedge grows to about 8 inches and flops a bit over, has the effect of rolling waves. In my dream last night it was windy, a gentle breeze, unlike the 50 mph gusts I woke up to this morning. The sedge gently flopped about while the peach tree was fruiting and in bloom, remember this was a dream. I can't be the only gardener right now dreaming about their garden plans. Any of you, nonexistent, readers have dreams about gardens?
As much as I hate the environmental impact, there is something to be said for a lush expanse of green. The view calms us, gives our eyes something to rest on after viewing the flowers. We don't always want to see spastic explosions of color. If you have an area of turf that doesn't receive a whole lot of wear and tear then might I suggest an appropriate native sedge for your area.
Prairie Moon Nursery provides a large selection of Sedges so you can find one appropriate for your area. Pennsylvania Sedge is native to this area and spreads by rhizomes, so I'm hoping it will fill in rather nicely. Not getting any compensation for that mention, but I certainly wouldn't oppose it.  38 little seedlings cost $99, a little pricey, actually a lot pricy.
It is so easy to get carried away this time of year. Soon the local native nurseries will start providing their lists of spring availability, too much temptation. I caved a few weeks back and ordered four bareroot blueberries. The claim was a collection of early to late varieties for around $8 each. Variety is key with blueberries. Cross pollination provides a better crop and the birds will be extremely grateful, those little thieving bastards.  
So much temptations, so much planning.  Rather overwhelming in a delightful kind of way. Anyways this week is Garden Bloggers Bloom day and I think I might actually participate,  sort of like a debutante ball.