A Conversation for The Plight of Plants Part Two

This researcher tried to raise exclusively native plants

Post 1

paulh, hiding under my bed

Willem, you wrote, "most other gardeners are far, far less conscientious than I am. They completely replace the wild plants with showy exotics, plants not native to South Africa. And those exotics, while being showy, do hardly a thing to sustain a vibrant ecology. The garden owners heavily use pesticides to kill any living thing that comes to feed on 'their' garden plants, and these plants, not being native, to the area, need extra care, such as regular watering and fertilization, whereas the wild land needs nothing of that, while sustaining far more diversity."

For four years I tried to go against the current by planting at least three dozen native plants around my yard, or along the perimeter of the trailer park where I live. During the growing season, I feel pride and happiness at seeing how some of them are doing well, even self-seeding. The New England Asters I raised from seed have begun spreading by seeds. The Anemones are spreading by rhizomes. And, you can't stop Black-eyed Susans from taking over a space if the winds are favorable to them.

Some plants didn't make it. The Canada Mayflowers probably won't be around for much longer. Rabbits and woodchucks eat Echinacea too much, though they seem to come up from the roots, as do the species of Milkweed that I planted. The roots of a milkweed can go down up to nine feet (I know "down up" is an oxymoron.)

Some plants just hold their own, like the white Wood asters or the Trout lilies. The perennial, shade-loving sunflowers spread aggressively through rhizomes. They are up against a formidable foe, a Virginia Rose, but they will spread beyond its reach.

The Alberta Spruce, a hybrid developed from the white spruce (Picea Glauca), seem on track to be around for a long time to come along our front entranceway.

Here are links, so you can see how some of these look. And I apologize for going off-topic by nattering about my plants rather than yours. You have given your readers so many accounts of good plants, and I would fel ungrateful if I didn't try to give back.

New england asters

canadian anemones

rudbeckia hirta

canada mayflowers

echinacea purpurea
[Note: this is native to one county in Connecticut, but I count it as native here as well]

wood asters

virginia rose

alberta spruce
[note: these actually grow slowly, not more than four inches a year]

This researcher tried to raise exclusively native plants

Post 2

paulh, hiding under my bed

One more: trout lilies


these thrive on shade, wet surroundings, and neglect. My father planted six of them, and they spread across an acre of land through their rhizomes

This researcher tried to raise exclusively native plants

Post 3


Thanks a lot for those! I think I like the mayflowers and trout lilies the most. Just one thing - I would rather you plant a real wild plant in its natural form, rather than a cultivar created for gardeners. The natural form will simply be the 'real thing' in terms of ecology, because the features the plant cultivators try to emphasize in their plants are typically features meant to please humans rather than birds, insects etc.

I may sometime make a list of all the things I'm growing in my own garden. All native to SA, most native to my own region, and all doing quite well. I think it will be at least a hundred species, perhaps two hundred or more...

This researcher tried to raise exclusively native plants

Post 4

paulh, hiding under my bed

As far as I can tell, most of these were in their natural forms. I transplanted some wild plants from my father's land.

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