in which i tempt karma by finding ALL OF THE THINGS

a few years ago i got this great book that focused on native plantings and living habitat gardens and there was an insane spread of a plant called neviusia alabamensis, or alabama snow wreath.  it was gorgeous and fun and hard to find so immediately i knew i had to have it.  in the intervening time, i have twice managed to come across it.  the first time, i planted it, and it didn’t do quite what i hoped.  i think the plant was young and not quite robust enough for the benign neglect i forced it to endure over an extremely hot summer.


the second time, i ended up overwintering it in a pot by accident.  it’s a tough plant and appears to still be alive and i planted some last weekend, but today, at long last, i had a real chance to rectify my error by finding a place that had loads of it in multiple sizes and was happy to fedex it to me before the weekend.

i was on a roll, because it turned out they also had some of my favorite insane/hard-to-find must-haves in their monarch butterfly host plant collection.

Asclepias variegata
Asclepias amplexicaulis

then, my favorite mail-order nursery FINALLY had the baptisias on their buy 3-get-one-free sale, which i have been waiting for for months.  i immediately splurged on 6 new additions and they were all free because i found an american express gift card in my bag.  true story.


THEN.  a nursery i go to a lot emailed me to say that a tree i had been looking for had just come in stock.  boom.


i should quit now.  it’s never gonna get better than this.


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:

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:

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)


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.