Showing posts from January, 2020

Some Plants for a Meadow Planting

The “meadow planting” style of gardening that is so popular now includes plants from various German breeders. Of course you can plant the original native species to help our pollinators...  Click on the links in the captions for more information. Karl Foerster bred tall, hardy plants suited to the northern European climate.  He  called grasses “Mother Nature’s hair”  and one of his best known and popular plants is the strongly vertical  Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster’ (a form of feather-reed grass). Karl Foerster Feather Reed Grass Karl Foerster feather reed grass in background. Sedum Matrona on right. Ernst Pagels  developed new varieties of Miscanthus sinensis .   Piet Oudolf was a friend of Pagels and uses his plants, among others .  Pagels developed Miscanthus sinensis 'Malepartus' which looks like Pampas grass but blooms in midsummer so people in cooler climates can enjoy the bloom.  Hoffman Nursery photo  - Miscanthus sinensis

Start With the Leaves and All Else Will Follow

 “The closer we live to the ground that we live from, the more we will know about our economic life; the more we know about our economic life, the more able we will be to take responsibility for it.”   -   Wendell Berry Leaves are vital to our gardens - and environment. They are a natural resource full of nutrients. When leaves decompose they nourish and enrich the soil. They feed its microbes and organisms. Fallen leaves are life giving aids for the soil.  Saving our leaves can reduce soil infertility and lessen our  dependence  on synthetic fertilizer. In traditional cultures, fallen leaves were looked upon as a precious material. They did not stuff leaves in plastic bags and ship the away on trucks.   Why do we despise leaves that have fallen to the ground? Manicured lawns and gardens do not have areas for leaves to be stored and composted. We should  mulch leaves, not banish them. Soil tilth is the only way. Returning leaves to their natural cycle helps lessen