Home of the Practically Perfect Pink Phlox and other native plants for pollinators

Friday, September 10, 2010

Harvesting Clay and Limestone

We are once again harvesting Ordovician Limestone* (OL) from the front garden?

Limestone is our major cash crop.
You might even say it's an heirloom crop.
Years of trial and error have led us to
success with the following companion plants.

Phlox paniculata

Tradescantia is an unstoppable success.

Solidago, any and all....You'll be harvesting it for months.

Rudbeckia lacinata

Ruellia strepens

Our most successful cover crop has been ~ the Susans.
We highly recommend them.
As you may know,
the Susans, especially Rudbeckia fulgida
can run over other crops, but, not limestone!
They are well matched.

Echinacea tennesseensis produces beautifully
from summer to fall.

As does Hypoxis hirsuta

You should certainly consider,
Heuchera villosa
"Autumn Bride" and Amsonia hubrichtii

Shown growing happily alongside a previous year's crop of Ordovician Limestone.

We've also found annual Perilla frutescens
takes the same growing conditions as limestone and
as an added bonus attracts pollinators.
Anemone japonica shown with a bee does not crowd OL.
I can't say enough about Ordovician Limestone.
It has no natural enemies.
Doesn't require fertilizer.
Is drought tolerant!
Has many companion plants.
Looks good year round.
Is a garden asset.

It's still a practically perfect crop for C&L.
I can't imagine gardening without it!



  1. Dear Gail, I believe your last statement to be profound beyond measure! The plants and friends you show are lovely. I am so glad they can live amongst that wonderful stone. You have done a magnificent job with your conditions. :-)

  2. Kudos to you for blooming where you are planted! A delightful post!

  3. Lol, I imagine your crop survived this dry summer without any problems as well:) You've done a great job of finding what works in your garden, Gail, and turned into a beautiful place for all to enjoy. I see now what I need is some of this OL to keep the Susans from taking over my butterfly garden!

  4. Sweet blooms for your sweet soil Gail. I love all your photos ... especially delight in this last one. It is wonderful you appreciate your limestones so... our New England rocks are not so favored. Boy, does it hurt when you dig and hit a rock! I find your text ... especially at the end very humorous and clever. ;>))

  5. I know you are more tenacious than the limestone in your garden. You have created a native paradise on your patch of earth. Most appreciated by all who are lucky enough to enter whether by foot or fingers. Have a great weekend. It is raining here today. Yay!!!!!

  6. Happy Harvest time Gail! Farther up in Connecticut, we harvest granite left behind by the glaciers and love every single one. Love the echinacea - it's got a stunning form!

  7. Good thing that you can't imagine gardening without it, because I don't think it's going anywhere, any time soon! :-D

    By the way, I adore that Echinacea tennesseensis. It looks so delicate and pretty against the rough limestone that I know lurks below!

  8. I really could use some of that cash crop you have there! I would have to dig very deep to hit any rock like that. Love the companions though!

  9. I enjoed your post Gail! Such lovely flowers! As for the stone, I think it much prettier and more useful than rocks which we have in our garden.

  10. That is a good thing to unearth!

    Your flowers are so beautiful. They really do go well with your Limestone treasures.

  11. I love your echinacea. That is just perfect. I grow quite a bit but have never seen that one and am now in love with it.

  12. A beautiful post, dear Gail, showcasing stunning Clay and Limestone photos. Bees sure do enjoy Anemone japonica :)

  13. Oh, I wish I had some! Sadly, I only have clay. Well, better than sandy loam, I think ;->

    (Great photos. Just love the Susan's)

  14. Are you sure you can't imagine gardening without it?!!! Although it does give you free material to use for terracing, stepping stones and walls. I am trying to imagine unearthing it and thinking you are one amazing woman. But I guess we already knew that. :-)
    You have mastered the plants that work well in your ecosystem, that's for sure. They are all beauties but 'tennesseensis' is particularly lovely ~ is she new or has she grown there a long time (I'm having a brain freeze)?
    Have a good weekend Gail.

  15. You didn't mention how it smells, or how well it holds up in a vase, and what about propagation?

  16. les, it smells of earth; I don't have a cutting garden~the cat eats everything;) and it seems to reproduce at an incredible rate, gail

  17. I have to tell you, we would be paying a absolute fortune for any of this limestone that we could get our hands on. Guess it all depends on where you live...

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  18. Hi, Gail!
    Such a wonderful bunch of color. I am loving that echinacea! I wish I could speak as highly of my tiresome clay soil...

  19. I love your images and description of your 'crop'. The limestone is so nice to use in a garden or landscape. So natural and so appropriate. The little bees are darling.

  20. Love the rudbeckia lacinata! The blue with the fulgida is a great match (I use the perennial ageratum and let it go wherever it chooses).

    It sounds crazy, I know -- but, those of you with rocks, even limestone -- I have to buy and haul in rocks!

  21. These are such beautiful eye candies!

  22. Sure wish I had some of those rocks here.

  23. While I'm sure it presents lots of gardening challenges, I've envious of your wonderful crop .

    Take care of those thumbs and your back throughout your harvest season dear Gail!

  24. I enjoyed reading your blog. Keep it that way. bclmswyhaxoothfd

  25. Gail, you always have the best wildflowers! Believe it or not, I wish I could grow some limestone, I had to pay money for rocks recently!

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