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Old 03-12-2010, 03:09 AM   #11
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"So 'fess up, how 'bout y'all?"... boy oh boy linrose... you hit below the belt!! Just kidding. I'm a perfect 10- not. I'm probably a 5 or lower. It's my lawn doing me in. I really need to get rid of more of that. Almost all the plants I propagate or buy are native with most being locally native. I have bought some cultivars that were sports of natives and planted some "ornamentals" that were native to west of the Continental Divide but I've really gotten away from doing that. I will plant plants that are given to me as gifts as long as they aren't invasive or potentially invasive or capable of hybridizing with native plants on the property. I buy orchids and hoyas and miscellaneous tropicals that catch my eye but... I keep those in the house so those don't count. If my lawn was gone... I'd rise up to a 9 only because just about everything I buy to plant on the property is native other than the fruit trees in my little hobby orchard and some vegetables. I do try to go native around the house. I like the looks of native plants better than non-natives and... they are better adapted which means less work for me. For the natural areas of the property I'd fall into the purist category.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:14 AM   #12
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What a fun thread! Thanks for starting it, linrose.

I wonder if people's numbers will reflect their paths, the way they came to native gardening?

I'm an 8 or 9.

My husband and I took a Parks-n-Rec class in birdwatching, which led me to look at bird habitat, which led me to natives. I love fixing problems, and a landscape without wildlife is a landscape with a major problem. It's a blank space in the ecosystem. The best solution for healing the wound is to plant natives, so why would I plant anything else?

I have little interest in non-natives.... although I wouldn't mind harvesting a tomato now and then, if the local four-legged thieves would leave me any!



*edit*
I'm not counting what is already on the property, just what I've purchased myself. We have fescue lawn which is going to stay; I have broadcast poverty grass on the scraggly areas to try to up the native quotient a bit. We removed a lot of non-native shrubs-- I feel guilty about the lilacs and crabapples, but we're trying a native flower bed instead.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:49 AM   #13
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The funny thing is, on another thread a while back, I found myself feeling a bit defensive because I realized that I was not doing things "the right way".
Wow, that's a feeling I've had too. Mine is more like guilt than feeling defensive though. I try for perfection then feel guilty if I don't achieve it. A lot of that is based on personality and I think our personality comes out in our gardening styles too and how we treat the land.

So, for some criteria in the rating process. First, your score is not lowered based on what you inherited. It's what you do with it after that counts. Secondly, all food plants for human consumption do NOT decrease your score. Like BBBBecky said, we all gotta eat! Third, lawns may only decrease your score by 1 to 2 points based on how extensive your lawn is in proportion to the total lot size if you don't use chemicals, use your own judgement on proportion. Minus 8 if you use a lawn service or chemicals on your lawn. Hey, I made up the game, so I get to make up the rules!

dapjwy, about the difference between an "extremist" and a "purist". I suppose a purist has the best intentions at heart and really wants to do the maximum they can to approach perfection, and an extremist can be someone who may be a little bit wacko and will go to any means necessary to get the results they want. So in my first discussion on this topic I think I meant to say purist. I'm not calling anyone a wacko, don't worry.

Like BBBBecky I also have acreage that we only maintain and is home and food for many wild animals, birds and butterflies. Our house sits on about 1 acre of "yard" and the other 4 acres are field and woods. We maintain the field by annual brushhogging and keep the woods free of invasives. We had a very old elm, probably a "heritage" elm that just died last year. Now it is home to cavity dwellers. It will stay standing. I'm getting off topic but I'm only considering my "yard" in the assessment. If you inherited a degraded site that needs restoration or remediation and you have added natives then I would consider that in the assessment.

Oh, and about that Japanese maple dapjwy, I wouldn't worry about encouraging others to plant non-natives if you want to go ahead and sell it. We aren't going to change the world. JMs are very expensive. You could use the money from the sale to purchase more natives. So I think that would more than balance out in the long run.

Equil - I knew I was taking on a risky subject when I started this. I can be a bit of a provacateur at times! At least I know I'm not a 10 intent on casting the first stone. So far everyone seems to be perfectly honest. There are many people with integrity here, I knew I was going to like this place!
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:40 AM   #14
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Im not especially a sticklier for native plants, but I am interested in natural plant-animal communities and ecosystems. My property came ready made with basic natives for the South -- my 100 year old house was built in an old pecan grove and the front is populated with a rather rampant grove of old magnolia grandifloras.

A few of the pecans are hybrids, but most are wild or seedling pecans.

My plan now is to fill out the plant associations that go with the basic mature trees that I have -- those will be native paw paws, muscadines, and berries. But I also have hybrid pears and grapes. I am situated on the outer edge of a rural villiage with a 50 acre abandoned farmstead behind me. I occasionally have deer, a lot of 'possums, and zillions of rabbits. In fact I named my place "Rabbit Hill" and planned a nursery with that name but it never materialized. I have had goats and rabbits in addition to my two dogs and an occasional cat. There are also several kinds of snakes, squirrels, and rodents. The snake-rodent warriors sometimes pay no attention to the fact that I am here!

A family of owls left after I repaired my roof and they no longer had free access to my attic.

The plant associations for native pecans are described here:

Carya illinoensis (Wangenh)

As for magnolias, their understory will probably be asian azaleas, camellias, along with native dogwoods and hydrangeas.

Incidentally, if anyone else is interested in Native food plants for Southern floodplain forests here is a list from the Ladybird Johnson Native Plant Center:

http://www.wildflower.org/expert/show.php?id=5063
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Old 03-13-2010, 01:37 PM   #15
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WG Admin, way brave to admit to a 2,
Well linrose, it's like this, we don't know what's native and what isn't. Our burning bushes will be removed. We read an invasiveness discussion at WG. Had a member take a look. Out they go. The pear goes next.
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Old 03-13-2010, 02:43 PM   #16
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hazelnut - I checked out on googlemaps where Greensboro is. Kinda in a triangle with Birmingham and Montgomery, right? My fathers folks are from Leeds outside of Birmingham. I have fond childhood memories of the place. You are in the deep South whereas I am in the upper south. We are in mostly an oak-hickory type forest with cedar glades and other interesting ecotypes. We too had a ready-made property with lots of dogwood, pignut hickory, mockernut hickory, sassafras, chinkapin oak, shingle oak, southern red oak, black oak, winged elm, sweetgum, etc. In fact we have so many nut bearing trees that my 16 year old daughter dreads each spring when we send her out into the "front yard" to rake them all up lest they get shot out of the mower as deadly projectiles.

Do you harvest the pecans for food? That would be great!

WG Admin - good to have good friends that will help you out. Today the burning bushes, tomorrow the world!
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:05 PM   #17
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BTW, Calliandra, by poverty grass do you mean broomsedge, Andropogon virginicus? Again it's a problem with common names. I've been trying to identify a grass we have in our field and it may be A. virginicus or possibly the annual Sporobolus vaginiflorus which is called poverty dropseed commonly. Grasses are so hard to identify.
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Old 03-13-2010, 08:07 PM   #18
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Welllllllll... if I can back out what I inherited and food plants... and if I only lose 1-2 points based on proportion of my lawn to lot size and since I don't use any chemicals or have a lawn service... I'm back up to a 9 if the plants I buy for inside my house don't count!!!! I inherited a boatload of junk plants and there were days I felt like I was bailing out the ocean with a bucket. I like your rules!!!
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Old 03-13-2010, 09:28 PM   #19
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linrose: Montgomery is about 4 hours east of me on Hwy 80. To the South is the black belt, which was originally prairie but with a few trees like post oak. I think the native vegetation here is about what you discribe, but with magnolias added to the oak-hickory mix. The Southern flood plain forest is pretty much a mix of oak and hickory and also loblolly and longleaf pine.

My dog goes crazy when the pecans come down. She wants to stay out all night and make sure the squirrels dont get any of HER pecans. She lets me have the one's that she doesn't meticulously crack, and then separate out the nuts from the shells.

They are hulled when they come down-- I just pop then in the freezer. The seedling pecans are harder to crack, much smaller than the hybrids, but much better tasting.

persimmons are native to this area also.

I lived at Lexington, Ky for quite a few years in graduate school and later I worked in Tennessee and then for the U. of Alabama, but I grew up in Michigan and probably will forever be a yankee.
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Old 03-14-2010, 02:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by linrose View Post
BTW, Calliandra, by poverty grass do you mean broomsedge, Andropogon virginicus? Again it's a problem with common names. I've been trying to identify a grass we have in our field and it may be A. virginicus or possibly the annual Sporobolus vaginiflorus which is called poverty dropseed commonly. Grasses are so hard to identify.
No, the poverty grass I meant is Danthonia spicata from Missouri Wildflower Nursery-- it's on their page here: Grasses & Sedges.

The MO Wildflower spring catalog came on Friday (O happy day).


I think they've added things since last season!
I see new (at least I think they're new) photos for Bur Marigold, horsetails (!), Meadow Beauty, Pickerel Weed, Yellow Honeysuckle, Lowbush Blueberry... and their list of sedges seems longer. Oh, and I see they are selling seed for two sedges this year-- Short's (Carex Shortiana) and Fox (Carex vulpinoidea). <happy sigh>
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