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Old 02-16-2009, 01:58 PM   #21
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Becky - I am wondering the same thing for my zone. Lots of research to be done and then id the one's that are landscape worthy. A good project for all of us.

I know the Lady Bird Johnson site is good, but it wouldn't work for your zone.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:33 PM   #22
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BBBBecky - Whenever you want to check on a native plant in WI you can use this site:
http://wisplants.uwsp.edu/VascularPlants.html

If you know the Latin name just click on "Genera". Or you can click on "Common Names" for that kind of search. Common names do vary from area to area though, so the Latin name is usually better to work with.

That book that's offered on that page is also very good. It's essentially the website in hard copy.
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Old 02-16-2009, 02:36 PM   #23
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Booboobearbecky and others , I just plugged the words "
native plant wisconsin " into google search and a wealth of information is available by simply doing that . Substituting the name of ones state should produce similar results . Persist in trying different search engines . Yahoo, altavista to name a few .

Something else I do is at the top of almost all search engine pages , a person has the option to search images , pictures . These pictures in turn can lead to sites .

Example ; Native plant wisconsin - google traditional search ;

http://www.google.com/search?q=nativ...rlz=1I7GPEA_en


native plant wisconsin - google image search ;

http://images.google.com/images?q=na...N&hl=en&tab=wi


I think you will find that you will be able to answer a fair number of your own questions by doing this . I am not trying to put you off but just trying to illustrate different ways of doing research .
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Old 02-16-2009, 06:08 PM   #24
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Hi Becky and others,
I am part of a midwest native plant nursery and we struggle each year to come up with native mixes that will work for various areas. We do restrict ourselves to the upper midwest but of course the ranges of various species make it hard to have mixes that only contain what is truly native to a specific area.
We frequently get requests for Butterfly and other wildlife mixes. In general I suggest you first just get a good mixture of species that are native to your area. Do not be too concerned that every species is a good nectar source. There are many native trees, shrubs, and grasses that play an equally important part in attracting a variety of wildlife.
Spread the word that our wildlife really does depend on North American native plants. While you may see Butterflies on non-native plants, they would soon disappear without their native host plants.
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Old 02-16-2009, 10:56 PM   #25
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Leslie and BooBooBearBecky- ... Would it be ok if I got back to the two of you some time later in the week?
Of course!! and thank you.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:02 AM   #26
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As I see it , it is one of the foibles of mass marketing . The home depots and such want to award contracts to large growers, producers who can handle thier needs . In order for them to offer cheap/reasonable cost plants they have to . Thier management does not have the time to go out to check quality control etc . of small local growers . We as consumers will wind up getting what wse are willing to pay for . The small local growers are being squeezed , they try to sell competitively but they have not the resources of burpee or ferry morse .

YA get what you're willing to pay for folks . As well as doing the homework to become a knowledgable consumer .
I hear you, lonediver. I do understand that mass marketing is the norm and the necessity for "big box" stores like HD and Lowe's. And I certainly get the concept of getting what you pay for.

The problem is that novice gardeners may have neither the time nor the inclination to educate themselves to the importance of supporting local small nurseries, native plants, etc.; nor, in fact, do they realize that they need to do so. The information isn't presented to them, certainly, at the big box stores, or in most gardening magazines aimed at the novice or weekend gardener. If it were, I likely wouldn't have one neighbor whose property line is defined by massive Trees of Heaven, and another neighbor who proudly told me last year that he'd finally invested in a Bradford Pear [this in an area where 50 mph winds are common- I figure he might have that tree for 2 years, if he's lucky]. Those of us who have and do try to educate ourselves have to deal with the seed banks produced by their mistakes, as I spend each spring uprooting ailanthus seedlings.

I'm really enjoying this website: love being able to read and join discussions among like-minded gardening spirits, without worrying about what manufacturer or advertiser our comments might offend. But how do we reach the "garden-variety" gardener, the family that just wants a nice-looking property and doesn't have unlimited time or money to invest in same? We all have to live with their mistakes, as do the wildlife and the ecosystem. How do we convince them that there are better ways than filling a cart at the big box store every spring? That they can have better results for themselves, their community, the environment and wildlife, etc., etc., without a lot of additional expense, by planting natives instead of invasives or plants inappropriate to their region? Until/unless we can accomplish that, I feel like we're a growing but still small group of voices crying in the wilderness.

Don't have any answers, of course, just raising some questions that have bothered me ever since making the mistake described above, and many others, in my days of blithering ignorance. I would have been happy to make better choices; but I didn't subscribe to gardening magazines or online communities back then, and didn't realize that I needed a thorough self-education before heading out to shop for plants. The world is full of well-intentioned idiots like I was then, and I believe that many would make better planting decisions if the information they needed were more readily accessible.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:52 AM   #27
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This is so informative for those of us that love to garden but are fairly new to the native plant mode. For years I fought to grow the unusual, the different. I could do it, but it's a waste of time and energy to either keep them alive in a climate they're not suited for, or keep them from strangling everything else in the garden. So I've become a believer in native plants and find a lot of my flowers, vines and shrubs in the woods and meadows around me. I would definitely support a nursery that specialized in native plants, but the only ones I see are ones specializing in what's hot for this year, native or not. So I go find my own and learn to progogate them. I've brought home butterfly weed, daylily, dogwood, redbud, rhododendron, fern, blackeyed susan and lots more, just by hiking through the woods and the (unfortunately) clearcut areas within a 5 mile radius of my home, or by going on plant digs sponsored by the local botanical gardens when they know an area is about to be cleared for some reason (usually another development). Of course I've also brought home some that I wished I hadn't, like trumpet vine and wisteria. And I've had natives pop up in areas that I've left 'natural' that are just as beautiful as any you can find in the nursery.
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Old 02-17-2009, 09:55 AM   #28
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And just as an aside, I figure I'm helping some of these plants, like the butterfly weed, which used to be prolific along the roadsides of Alabama, but has been nearly eradicated by pesticide spraying done by the DOT.
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Old 02-17-2009, 10:37 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by transplant View Post
I hear you, lonediver. I do understand that mass marketing is the norm and the necessity for "big box" stores like HD and Lowe's. And I certainly get the concept of getting what you pay for.

The problem is that novice gardeners may have neither the time nor the inclination to educate themselves to the importance of supporting local small nurseries, native plants, etc.; nor, in fact, do they realize that they need to do so. The information isn't presented to them, certainly, at the big box stores, or in most gardening magazines aimed at the novice or weekend gardener. If it were, I likely wouldn't have one neighbor whose property line is defined by massive Trees of Heaven, and another neighbor who proudly told me last year that he'd finally invested in a Bradford Pear [this in an area where 50 mph winds are common- I figure he might have that tree for 2 years, if he's lucky]. Those of us who have and do try to educate ourselves have to deal with the seed banks produced by their mistakes, as I spend each spring uprooting ailanthus seedlings.

I'm really enjoying this website: love being able to read and join discussions among like-minded gardening spirits, without worrying about what manufacturer or advertiser our comments might offend. But how do we reach the "garden-variety" gardener, the family that just wants a nice-looking property and doesn't have unlimited time or money to invest in same? We all have to live with their mistakes, as do the wildlife and the ecosystem. How do we convince them that there are better ways than filling a cart at the big box store every spring? That they can have better results for themselves, their community, the environment and wildlife, etc., etc., without a lot of additional expense, by planting natives instead of invasives or plants inappropriate to their region? Until/unless we can accomplish that, I feel like we're a growing but still small group of voices crying in the wilderness.

Don't have any answers, of course, just raising some questions that have bothered me ever since making the mistake described above, and many others, in my days of blithering ignorance. I would have been happy to make better choices; but I didn't subscribe to gardening magazines or online communities back then, and didn't realize that I needed a thorough self-education before heading out to shop for plants. The world is full of well-intentioned idiots like I was then, and I believe that many would make better planting decisions if the information they needed were more readily accessible.

I Have complained to/harped at our local native plant society here , the Arizona Native Plant Society ;

http://aznps.com/

They have some excellent small booklets on SOME of the native plants here .

http://aznps.com/Merchandise/booklets.html

Now even thier booklets are NOT 100% native . Why ? Because I am told in the past members of the nursery trade often served as officers .

Last year the AZNPS Tucson chapter put on an excellent program called "Wild In The City " where members who had volunteered to open up thier gardens to tour , one was a butterfly garden , lizard garden , tortise garden . You get the idea . Planting lists were furnished on/about each residence garden . I am told that the program was regarded as successful but somewhere the ball was dropped and it is not being done this year .

I have considered joining thier organization but thier programming/speakers I find out of touch .

-----------------------------------------------------------

WINTER SEASON MEETINGS

Evening Program Talk: Tuesday, December 9 Sonoran Desert Flora and their Hitchhiking Friends or Foes presented by Dr. Michael Plagens, AZNPS' own entomologist and field trip leader extraordinaire! Michael is an excellent photographer, able presenter, and most knowledgeable about our great Sonoran Desert environs.
Evening Program Talk: Tuesday, January 13 All about Evolutionism presented by Dr. Les Landrum of ASU Life Sciences and Curator of the ASU Herbarium, and member of AZNPS. The Theory of Darwinism states that species of plants and animals develop through the natural selection of variations, that increase the organism’s ability to better survive and reproduce. This should be an outstanding event at our opening meeting of 2009.
--------------------------------------------------------

The talk offered on Dec. 9 th might have not been too bad but Darwinism ? Like the average homeowner wants to concern themselves with that .

Com'on guys . the average homeowner would rather learn something with a little more day to day practicality .

As I started developing my garden and started looking for information on specific plants , I cannot tell you how many times I wound up at Daves Garden . Easily 1/2 of my searches wound up there .

There are many organizations out there concerned with native plantings now

The NWF ;

http://www.nwf.org/

The wild ones

http://www.for-wild.org/

Audubon

http://www.audubon.org/

Look for the Audubon at home program for your local chapter .

Local native plant societies and butterfly associations are in virtually every state in the union . Most all have some information on the topic of need/desireability/lists of native plants to use .

I have complained royally at the local native plant society that they do not have a high enough profile for the public to find them . Even if they do , do you want to attend a lecture on Darwinism ? It seems that a lot of thier membership is more of an intelectual elite . Now I have gotten to the point where I can often speak with proper botanical names but average Joe homeowher wants the meat and potatoes .

What will work here in my garden ?

There are many other fine organizations , The Nature conservancy ........ the list goes on . Over time I have found a little here and a little there but I am an older fart with more time on my hands . I am not Susie Q homemaker ( no offense intended) with a bunch of kids needing my attention .

The average person wants the quick and dirty answer .

In our micro time managed society they have time for little else . It was not this bad I seem to recall when I was younger but I was little in the "Happy days" when Fonz said " Heeey " with thumbs up .

The answer I see is for enough concerned individuals such as I maybe see here to go out to thier local Native plant societies and the like and DEMAND that the message be put forth . And educate yourselves here and become part of that message .
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Old 02-17-2009, 11:03 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by transplant View Post
I'm really enjoying this website: love being able to read and join discussions among like-minded gardening spirits, without worrying about what manufacturer or advertiser our comments might offend. But how do we reach the "garden-variety" gardener, the family that just wants a nice-looking property and doesn't have unlimited time or money to invest in same? We all have to live with their mistakes, as do the wildlife and the ecosystem. How do we convince them that there are better ways than filling a cart at the big box store every spring? That they can have better results for themselves, their community, the environment and wildlife, etc., etc., without a lot of additional expense, by planting natives instead of invasives or plants inappropriate to their region? Until/unless we can accomplish that, I feel like we're a growing but still small group of voices crying in the wilderness.
I think the answer to this one, unfortunately, is hard. We can't educate "big box style" any more than the big box stores can market responsible plantings for every garden. We educate locally, individually, emphasizing not only the ecological benefits of natives but the practical benefits to the gardener/homeowner. Natives are easy to grow, low-maintenance, drought/flood/heat/cold/pickyourpoison plants exactly tailored to their particular environment. We have to share that with the people around us.
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