Yesterday I spent several hours working in the front yard garden. I don’t really consider it ‘working’ – even picking weeds is enjoyable and relaxing. The plants and I had long, somewhat one-sided conversations. This spring has been a very exciting time for me because I have been eagerly awaiting the return of all the native prairie plants.
As soon as the snow melted I began searching for signs that the young plants had survived the very long, harsh winter. I had put plant tags in the garden to remind me what was planted there – I had also drawn a detailed plan which was very helpful since some of the plant tags disappeared.
However, as the plants began growing I had some doubts as to the accuracy of my plan. These plants are new to me and I was having some difficulty identifying them. It seemed to me that the planning I had done for plant heights may have been off since there seem to be tall plants in front of short plants but it may just be that some have grown faster than others.
Currently the garden looks like this;
The Wild Red Columbine were one of the first to arrive and they have grown very quickly. They already have many beautiful flowers;
These Alum Root are also beginning to flower
The Culver’s Root was planted at the back of the garden because it is supposed to grow to a height of 3-4 feet. So far they are a just few inches tall and barely noticeable behind the False Sunflower which are also much smaller than many of the other plants.
Part of the problem I’m having with identifying the plants is that most of the info I have about them only includes pictures of the flowers so until they bloom I’m not really sure what they are. For example, according to my plan I have three Philadelphia Fleabane and four Gaillardia planted next to each other but they all look very similar to me and could even be the same plant;
Then there are some that should be the same but to me look different. According to my plan there are three Smooth Aster here with Fringed Brome behind;
All three of the supposed Smooth Aster are the same height but one of them has leaves that look much different than the other two so I’m not certain it is the same type plant and there is nothing else in the garden that looks like this;
Then there are the bare spots. Spaces where I planted for or five plant and only two have shown up – or in one space none. There was absolutely no sign of the five Joe Pye in the large empty spot where they should have been. So, three weeks ago when I was in Selkirk, I stopped in at Prairie Originals and bought a Blue Vervain to put there instead.
Suddenly the Joe Pye all began to grow and they now dwarf the new plant in their midst;
Yes, I am an impatient, somewhat impulsive, but definitely eager gardener.