garden diary: 22 february 2016

a wrinkle!  prairie moon nursery just emailed to say that some of the plants i ordered (in the interest of having multiple back-ups, i ordered enough plant plugs for some of my top potential combinations in case the winter sowing does not come through) aren’t going to happen.  somehow, they had an issue with their entire seed stock of prairie dock this year.  how does that even happen?

thinking i’m going to go for compass plant instead.  i know i wanted some prairie dock just to play with, mainly inspired by this combo from perennial combinations:

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echinacea, grasses, compass plant

but i did WS an entire flat of that, so maybe my seed stock won’t suffer like theirs did.  the actual potential combo will go something like this:

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compass plant, big bluestem (Andropogon gerardi), common milkweed (asclepias syriaca), pinelands milkweed (asclepias humistrata), echinacea ‘pow wow white’, sisyrinchium ‘quaint and queer’

there is this huge wet…meadow, basically, on a quarter of my yard.  i’ve sort of divided it into sections, in rings, really, going from the outside in.  i’m working on a huge wet meadow design for the largest and most consistently wet area, and i’ve started a kind of hedge of willows that i plan to underplant with sedges (fox sedge), ascelpias incarnata, and perhaps some blazing stars and/or blue flag irises (iris versicolor.  i ordered and winter-sowed an ounce of seed from prairie moon).  immediately behind this border is a swale that is pretty dry, and the incline behind that is very dry and kind of sandy.  i have in mind for that to stabilize the slight incline with sisyrinchium ‘quaint and queer’ which i bought from plant delights nursery in 2015 (alas, they seem to have no more inventory of that this year) as well as some ascelpias humistrata that i both winter sowed in a flat and made seed bombs out of.  it’s called ‘pinelands’ milkweed and it seemed appropriate for the soil.  behind that will be a large grouping of echinacea ‘pow wow white’.  i seed-bombed that last fall and then winter sowed a flat (backups again).  behind that, compass plant and big bluestem grass, and next to that a large grouping of ascelpias syriaca – seed bombs again, though i did find a huge stash of it growing wild on route 32 (sawkill road) in kingston, and when the seed pods opened i helped myself shamelessly to them, and winter sowed the seeds.  (also growing in this wild stash was monarda didyma, and i snipped several spent stalks into paper bags for their seeds as well)

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in the swale itself i am considering a combination of yellowroot and arkansas bluestar.  one of the gardeners at catskill native nursery last summer was telling me about a bike trip he took through the ozarks, and how he saw those plants growing wild in shallow ditches.

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