Guidelines! You've got to have guidelines.
|The guidelines fit the spirit of this garden and the spirit of this gardener.
Without guidelines, I would be stuffing my cart (online or at the nursery) with plants that might be seductively beautiful, but, not make sense for Clay and Limestone. My guidelines are quite simple; before I place any in the cart I like to make sure:
Not all natives make the cut! To make it to the checkout cart they need to be able to survive in my nearly neutral shallow clay soil that's sticky icky wet all winter and dry as concrete all summer.
- It has a good chance to survive the difficult conditions at Clay and Limestone?
- It's a nectar or pollen source for pollinators?
- It's a host plant for pollinators?
- It will add to the diversity of my pollinator friendly garden?
- It isn't available locally.
|Witch hazel with pollinator~Must Be The Season of the Witch
|The Susans never fail to bloom and charm.
Of course, guidelines can be amended~I shy away from any plant with "must have moist well draining soil" (Moist Well Draining Soil) or most plants that "need sharp drainage/will not survive in wet clay" (Not The Climate For Xeric) I will make an exception for a few of them.
|Lobelia is an exception to the guidelines.
It's a powerhouse pollinator magnet and the late summer color is too wonderful to pass up
There's one other way a plant makes its way to the cart.
It makes me smile.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone."