New book in the mail! The Social Wasps of North America by Chris Alice Kratzer. It looks very useful.
Awards for bravery all around tonight. Shacks walked right past Briar and she stayed put.
Purple coneflower finally opening up!
Ironweed is budding, seems early??
This is one of two dill seedlings in the herb bed.
Pretty sure now that this is the Mexican sage from Judy.
Whoa, standing cypress about to bloom!
The just-planted two leaf senna doing okay.
The older two leaf senna seems to have gotten nibbled. I’ll have to consider if I should put some Vaseline around it against earwigs or a wire cage over it maybe for rabbits.
A non native moss rose (Portulaca). Dog behind.

“Traditional” gardening with native plants

I recently got a question about people who were interested in planting native plants but didn’t want a meadow. I searched around online for some nice examples of how you can still do design ideas and structure while using native plants.

  • This historic garden is in Delaware but has great examples of a very formal garden using all native plants for their region:.
  • Grow Native has some likely more feasible for most of us “formal” garden plans for sun and shade showing how you can use native plants in a non meadow yard setting.
  • Another far afield garden but good formal design pics from Chicago.

At our house I have beds with metal edging and rock borders in the front yard, and the meadow/woodland edge/prairie is in the back yard. I would love to see any links y’all have to structured gardens using native plants!

New stuff

Read this good book Mom had. “A new garden ethic” by Benjamin Vogt. Definitely recommend it! Arguments for planting native plants and considering all our little friends and neighbors both animals and plants.
Paula, we’re borrowing this.
Seeds from home! Mom collected the common persimmon before I arrived.

Last book report for tonight I promise: “Gardening with Prairie Plants” by Sally Wasowski

Gardening with Prairie Plants was SO BEAUTIFUL. Mom gave it to me a few weeks ago and it was just filled with magnificent pictures of prairies and prairie gardens throughout the Great Plains. I really also liked how it paid attention to the different regions (wetter and drier, north and south), so it has lots of good info on plants native to each region. It mentioned some medicinal and edible uses of native plants too though it refers to other more complete sources. Did I mention the prairie photos? Definitely added to the favorite references spreadsheet.

Another book report: “Grow Cook Eat” by Willi Galloway

Grow Cook Eat by Willi Galloway had a lot of useful tidbits I hadn’t found elsewhere, such as soil temperatures for germinating (the Johnny’s seed catalog seems to have air temperature? or so I assume, as it’s not specified) and some sections on mustard greens and bok choy. I have added it to my spreadsheet of useful books.

For those interested in cooking (aka not me anymore), it also had a lot of recipes and talked about eating parts of plants that aren’t usually discussed, like radish seed pods and various flowers of vegetables.

Book report: “The Beautiful Edible Garden” by Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner

I am on a garden-book-reading spree it seems. I just finished The Beautiful Edible Garden (got it as an ebook from Pioneer Library Systems, our local public library). It had a lot of suggestions on how to arrange edible plants into an existing decorative garden. Mostly not relevant to how we have the yard laid out, but probably helpful for others. They did recommend a three-group crop rotation of brassicas, legumes, and nightshades, and ignoring herbs, lettuce, and alliums. So that was similar to The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible which I read a few weeks ago and liked.

Learning about the best parsnip planting times

My parsnips (“Harris model”) said on the package I could do either spring or fall planting. While researching whether this was true for Oklahoma, I came across a useful post on an Oklahoma gardening forum (expand the featured answer by “macmex” who is located north and east of us, in Talehquah in northeastern Oklahoma) It sounds like you CAN plant them in fall, but as a biennial, they may flower (“bolt”) in the spring before the roots are big enough to be useful. So, we’ll see what happens with my fall-planted ones, but I have just put out a row of them today and I will put out another row each week until the third week of February and see what happens to those.

I also read everywhere about parsnip seeds that they do not keep well. Mine are going on two years old now so I put a lot out to make up for potentially poor germination rates.