|Mountain mint, milkweed foliage, goldenrod, and asters|
The Daily DuBrule
I walked around my garden today and just broke into a great big smile. The only creatures around to see me were my cat Bella, the monarch and painted lady butterflies, and tons of bees who were pollinating the crazy, chaotic native border that are exploding from my shrub borders. I have a very relaxed method for establishing native perennials. I harvest paper bags filled with seed pods in the fall and simply toss them where I want them. Ahead of time I dig out the non-native thugs that are trying to establish themselves. If I get energetic I step on the dried seeds and mash them into the ground. The second key element to this passive sowing technique is to NEVER weed out ANYTHING that you don't recognize. This makes you a much better gardener, by the way.
Not every native plant in my crazy, mixed up border was tossed in. I planted divisions of mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum. I love the way this plant smells, I cut the silver bracts to make the bases for herbal wreaths, but most of all I just love to stand and watch the literally thousand of pollinators work this plant all summer and fall. It's a real action plant.
|Milkweed foliage and New England asters|
|Asclepias incarnata seed pods with Itea 'Merlot'|
|Vernonia (Ironweed) seedpods with Itea|