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Old 09-01-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Default What Sparked Your Interest?

The other day I was out walking, and, as always, my eyes were scanning the roadside for native plants and such. Something got me thinking (I can't remember what) to ask members here: What sparked your interest in native plants and gardening for wildlife?
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:46 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
The other day I was out walking, and, as always, my eyes were scanning the roadside for native plants and such. Something got me thinking (I can't remember what) to ask members here: What sparked your interest in native plants and gardening for wildlife?
Well I wrote something then went to get the link below and lost what I wrote. I don't know what sparked my interest I think I was born with it. And what about you dap?

DAS ONLINE: Ellen Wright bio
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #3
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I was a master gardener for many many years.
It was W.G. that made me take notice of how important it is to reintroduce the natives. I still have my pretties but NOW
I'm - they're also enjoying the natives I've added since....
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:34 PM   #4
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I have had a love of ferns forever. After moving to a temperate rainforest and having the native ferns and mosses in the yard it was a wonder. In my attempts to encourage and multiple the ferns and mosses led me to reading and learning about other native species.

My yard over the years has gone from a hot sunny environment to deep shade (because of fir trees planted in the neighbors yard on our south side). The changes have opened up a whole world of new plants both native and nonnative say.
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Old 09-01-2013, 01:45 PM   #5
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pawprint Ginseng!

Hey dapjwy, I guess the spark, or ummmmm bright idea that 'got me' was an lame attempt on my part to grow Ginseng. I thought maybe I could make some $$ one day from selling the dried root. So naturally I bought a hundred 2 yr. old rootlets, and of course I bought them and planted around March (wrong time of year, Sept. or Oct. would have been much better, it didn't help much that we would get a serious drought that year either)

Oh well in one of my 'other lives' my name was Turnwrongfirst, so little hang-ups don't usually bother me too much.

Then there was the 'wildcrafting' bright idea that I could attempt while I'm waiting the next 10 or 15 years to see if the Ginseng is ever going to make. So I checked in with a wholesaler/buyer of such items, and heyyyyyyy Mayapple root was on the list. Oh boy, I know I already have a lot of that stuff, so I went about digging the root. I figured this would be good practice for me to learn about digging some kind of medicinal root, that might help me with the future care of the Ginseng. So I dug, and scratched and carefully replanted the growing tips of the Mayapple and made my haul with the rest up to the house. Then I realized how much work this was becoming, as I still had to wash the root, properly dry it, & store. hahaha long story short, for about 3 days of digging, 5 or more days of drying, and several hours of washing...I finally had a pile of the finished product, of course the drying had shrunk in weight by at least half, so really my pile was not much bigger than a hat box! The kicker to the Mayapple root experiment~~~it will bring about $2/pound dried, I'm pretty sure my 'root digging learning curve' ends up~~~ with me paying the wholesaler/buyer to take the stuff off my hands.

Since the Mayapple is not on 'the agenda' for me anymore (chalk one up for the turtles that eat the Mayapple here), I considered the Black Cohosh, and the Spicebush I found on my place. Well forget the Black Cohosh because I don't have nearly the quantity as I have of Mayapple, besides...it pays about the same as Mayapple, so again it isn't worth processing, (chalk one up for the cool little pollinators that fight over the Black Cohosh blooms) . And the Spicebush I have lots of that stuff, but it isn't worth anything either...except to the birds, and me, I use it for mosquito repellant, oh yeah and chalk one up for those pesky black/blue butterfly that lives on it!

Then there is the bright idea of making a mossy garden, which what else can you do with a dry, clay gravel, somewhat shady part of the yard. It seems when I checked on 'moss by the square foot' it was running around $25 a sq. ft, and I thought heyyyyy I could maybe do that. Checked on the moss on the internet the other day, it is now about $4 a sq. foot, so chalk one, no two for my squirrels & those yellow winged wood pecker looking birds will have plenty of that stuff to play in for a long time.

And dapjwy, you wonder why I would venture to help out the local critterz? hahaha for fun of it of course, I'm certainly not in it for the moneyyyyyyyyy!

ww
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:51 AM   #6
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Well I wrote something then went to get the link below and lost what I wrote...DAS ONLINE: Ellen Wright bio
Sorry you lost what you wrote, but great bio! Thanks for sharing it.

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And what about you dap?
Hmm...I can't remember what it was on my walk that gave me the idea to ask the questions, but I think I must've seen something from my early years that helped push me towards landscaping for natives. Let me think about it.

My interest in wildflowers, birds, and other animals seems to have been with me forever. I do remember as a kid mimicking a bird's call and my mom or dad telling me I was talking to the birds. I'm sure my parent's love of wildflowers was part of it, but I know I've gone much farther than they with my desire to plant only natives and restore habitat on our property.
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Old 09-02-2013, 07:54 AM   #7
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I was a master gardener for many many years.
It was W.G. that made me take notice of how important it is to reintroduce the natives. I still have my pretties but NOW
I'm - they're also enjoying the natives I've added since....
Well, havalotta, I had no idea that W.G. is what started you growing/including natives in your gardens. That is great!

By the way, the natives are "pretties" too! ...and as you know, they attract other beauties as well (butterflies, birds, etc.). Keep up the good work!
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:02 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jewell View Post
I have had a love of ferns forever. After moving to a temperate rainforest and having the native ferns and mosses in the yard it was a wonder. In my attempts to encourage and multiple the ferns and mosses led me to reading and learning about other native species.
Mosses and ferns definitely have great appeal. I'm glad they were a gateway for you to explore the beautiful qualities of a myriad of other native plants.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jewell View Post
My yard over the years has gone from a hot sunny environment to deep shade (because of fir trees planted in the neighbors yard on our south side). The changes have opened up a whole world of new plants...
My thoughts at first were on the larger scale of moving to a temperate rainforest (you don't say where you moved from, but I have to assume it was quite different)...I can't imagine having to start anew at learning what was native to another region than what I grew up with...but even the change from full sun to deep shade brings with it a totally different make up of plants.
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Old 09-02-2013, 08:18 AM   #9
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Hey dapjwy, I guess the spark, or ummmmm bright idea that 'got me' was an lame attempt on my part to grow Ginseng. I thought maybe I could make some $$...

Oh well in one of my 'other lives' my name was Turnwrongfirst, so little hang-ups don't usually bother me too much.

Then there was the 'wildcrafting' bright idea...the Mayapple root experiment~~~it will bring about $2/pound dried, I'm pretty sure my 'root digging learning curve' ends up~~~ with me paying the wholesaler/buyer to take the stuff off my hands.

Since the Mayapple is not on 'the agenda' for me anymore (chalk one up for the turtles that eat the Mayapple here), I considered the Black Cohosh...forget the Black Cohosh...(chalk one up for the cool little pollinators that fight over the Black Cohosh blooms) . And the Spicebush I have lots of that stuff, but it isn't worth anything either...except to the birds, and me, I use it for mosquito repellant, oh yeah and chalk one up for those pesky black/blue butterfly that lives on it!

...And dapjwy, you wonder why I would venture to help out the local critterz? hahaha for fun of it of course, I'm certainly not in it for the moneyyyyyyyyy!

ww
Well, turnswrongfirst, I'm glad those experiences turned you onto appreciating native plants and the interaction (and vital role) they have with wildlife. If you collect seed and learn to propagate them, *perhaps* you could become a supplier for a native plant nursery one day...just a thought--and a good and ethical way to make money on the natives on your property by helping to propagate the species.

Well, turnsrighteventually, while you are checking out the spicebush in the future, look for the curled leaves on them to find another cool thing about those 'pesky' (your word, not mine) black and blue butterflies. (I was supposed to add a photo or two here, but I can't find it quickly enough and I'm already really late for my morning walk!)

Glad you found us and continue to explore the fun of helping out the local critters.
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