We have been working hard on one side of our house this year, I showed it off the other day when I talked about our erosion problems. But what you can't see in the photos are the plants that we have in that area.
Tthe good plants that you can't see - lots of native ferns, a big bleeding heart plant (just popping up at the far left), several trilium plants and lots of hostas. But you also can't see the bad plants - the HUGE hostas, a half dead holly bush and lots of unidentified weed-type annuals that I can't seem to get rid of. I have a love hate relationship with the hostas. They are big, hold back lots of soil and fill the space beautifully. But the area and the landscaping just scream woodsy, native plants to me which hostas are not. SO, I have been trying to introduce more WI native plants.
Which (FINALLY) leads me to what we did today. We hit up the UW-Arboretum Native Plant sale. This is a huge event (which we did not really know before we got there!) and a great way to stock up on local plants.
Every plant had these great signs that were big and described the plant which made it very easy to see the plants around the crowd and know if it would work or not.
So here is everything that I got to help fill in the area around our dry creek bed! It is currently 10:49pm after a date night with my husband and quite frankly I cannot remember what all those plants are called (HA!) but I do know there are two may apples, two trilliums and three other plants that Sam helped me pick out, I will have to tell you what those are tomorrow!
We haven't gotten them all planted yet, I am hoping tomorrow will be our BIG planting day as I think it will also be time for us to get some serious plants in our garden too. Frost mornings are hopefully a thing of our past.
The view and grounds that we were on at the native plant sale were not bad either!
The Nitty Gritty!
First I want to share my little soap box about native plants - if you are having landscaping issues or are making changes to your yard I would STRONGLY encourage you to seek out NATIVE plants which means the plants that have ALWAYS been there. The plants that are there in the middle of the woods or fields where humans are not. These are plants that will thrive, spread and look amazing no matter what you do. Yes there are wildflower seed sets and fun growing kits at every store and great looking plants at every big box store in town but those are not necessarily the plants that are best for your yard, your soil type, your climate, etc. and may not last more than a season or a year or two. The may require a ton more water than what your area is use to getting or may not a lot of additional fertilizer because you don't have the right type of soil. These requirements of non-native plants are not very eco-friendly. Plus, you never know what kind of invasive, new species you might be introducing to your area. Okay, off my soap box now!
"Stomp the Tail" - This is totally unrelated but I wanted to share it anyway because I thought it was so cute! I had a 5 year old's birthday party today that I worked. The theme was just basic; animals. I did an inside program where we examined lots of animal mounts, discussed differences and similarities and then we headed outside to look for signs of animals. When the party was over and the kids were just waiting for parents to pick them up, the mom handed each child a long piece of crate-paper. Each child tucked the streamer into the back of their pants to create a tail. Then, confined to a small area, they were told to try and "stomp" the tail off of the other kids. It was hilarious to see the little kids chasing each other around trying to stomp on the flying tails. They had a blast!
I can see this game being a great active piece to a lesson on animal adaptations. What purpose do animal tail's serve? Why are they different? What special traits do they have? Etc. Could be a really fun way to compare animals!