Native Garden IV – Plants!
Taking a break from the Arctic to follow up on the garden! The next step in this native garden conversion was the most fun part: getting all the plants! I bought all of my plants from Artemisia Nursery. They specialize in native plants, and while there are other native plant nurseries closer to where I live, Artemisia was able to special order all the plants in my plan, which took all the hard part of hunting the plants down and figuring out appropriate substitutions out of my hands. The ideal way to get things done, honestly.
It took two trips to get the plants, since they weren’t all ready at the same time. This turned out to be good because digging the holes for the plants was far more difficult than I had anticipated. First, because I didn’t remove the lawn, I merely suffocated it, anywhere where there used to be grass was kind of hard to get a good groove into. And then the ground under it was dry (should’ve watered it more before starting), so only bits and pieces were able to be shoveled out at a time.
Then, my endurance was sorely lacking, and so my recruited roommate and boyfriend labor was crucial in getting all the plants in in a reasonable amount of time. Even then, some of the plants stayed in their pots too long and were starting to dry out a little bit by the time I got around to finally planting them in the ground where my sprinkler system would be far more effective.
But forward we pushed, and soon enough (meaning a few weeks later) all 38 plants (and 11 flats worth of plants. Still not too sure how many plants are in a flat…) were in the ground and thriving! Kind of. They suffered a bit at first. Dried out a bit, adjusted to the new location. But now, after a few weeks, they all have new growth and while still not standing completely straight, are growing sort of straight-ish!
The irrigation came next. I took one look at the sprinkler system and the instructions for converting it to drip and thought it was a bit too much for me to handle. This was the only part I hired outside contractors to do, and luckily my regular garden maintenance crew was up for the task! I was actually out of town when this whole thing happened, but I was most concerned for the drip irrigation for my parkway, where all the plants are low laying ground cover plants, meaning there are a lot of them, and there’s no good focal point for the drip lines to focus on. But the team wrapped the lines in sort of columns to cover the whole area. In the main front yard, each plant has a direct line off shooting from the main lines. There’s much less water waste now, and there’s even far less noise from the system. Now I can sneakily water my plants more often, breaking the water restrictions even more!! Just kidding. I wouldn’t do that. I did spend all this time and money to NOT have to do that…
Lastly, I decided to plant my smaller Subpod composting system into the front yard so that my plants get more of a benefit of the compost juices and hopefully grow faster and healthier. Honestly, the plants need all the help they can get because I realistically have very little idea of what I’m doing.