Monday, February 22, 2021

North American Native Plant Society

 Today I joined the North American Native Plant Society.

In my search to find like-minded people out to save the planet, and to learn more about native plant gardening, I have joined with a 5 year membership. 

I am very much aligned with their mission:

"Our key purpose is to provide information and inspire an appreciation of native plants with an aim to restoring healthy ecosystems across the continent. It is our belief that nature belongs in urban, suburban, and rural areas as much as in remote areas."

I look forward to continued learning along with my new friends from across North America. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

My native vs non-native ratios per garden

I have gone ahead and added ratios to each garden bed on my property. Rather than review each list of plant materials exhaustively which seemed a momentous task, I gave myself 5 minutes to come up with my gut perception of each bed.

So these ratios will change not only as I update my beds but they may also change as I make the time to review their make up more closely. 

Nonetheless it feels great being one step closer to having my starting point defined on this journey to sustainable gardening.


Click to enlarge

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

Defining My Starting Point


I have a goal of 70% productive plants in my yard. 

To have the impact I'd like this to have, my definition of 'plants' needs to include my non-native lawn

On the advice of ecology's rock star Doug Tallamy, I am focusing my energy on reducing my lawn above all else. Only after I establish the new beds in my front yard will I return my attention to the rest of my gardens and begin 'weeding out' the non-native plants and replacing them with natives*.

To understand where I am starting from, and how far I have to go, I am taking some simple steps many gardeners might enjoy, some of which I've been meaning to do for years.

Step 1Complete: map all of my gardens. Thanks Google Street View.

Step 2: assign square footage to each bed - this one I've been avoiding even though I am quite curious.  It's not like I dislike math, but this task has lingered... and lingered.

Step 3: put a percentage against the amount of native plants in each bed. 

Step 4: calculate the total square footage and %-per-bed to get an overall % for my property.

Steps 3 & 4 I will repeat on an annual basis, giving myself a 'report card' of sorts on progress towards my goal. 

To help measure the success of my plans I will also continue using iNaturalist to document the fauna in my yard since ultimately my goal is about defending biodiversity. I've already seen an increase in life as I have moved towards natives and want to have concrete documentation to back up my anecdotal experience.


*I sometimes use "productive" and sometimes "native". What gives? While I will generally look to use native plants, if there is documented proof a plant can play an ecological role in my garden, such as Globe Thistle which is beloved by pollinators, I am open to including it.