A Better Sense of Place

After the rains

The rain last weekend helped out some of the sprouts while killing others. In the first three pictures, you can see that those in the "highlands" survived while those in the "lowlands" perished. This has made me rethink my haphazard plan. All the low parts where water collects should be a a different sort of plant: those that can be flooded. I initially thought of horsetail (Equisetum hyemale), but it is said to be very aggressive. I still haven't figured it out.

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Rain garden realization

It occurred to me this evening that I don't have a "wetland fringe". I have a rain garden. I may have been too eager to have a one-stop solution (seed mix) that I didn't really consider that I'd need to do more research on this as well. What happens in the area in question is that it's mostly dry, but sometimes it rains a lot. The majority of the backyard drains to it during heavy rain, and it's now responsible for retaining the water and processing it in some way. I'm two weeks away from the Hilltop Arboretum Fall PlantFest, so I've got some research to do to figure out what native plants are adapted to dealing with "mostly shaded (except for one sunny part) and dry but sometimes flooded for 24 hours" conditions.

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Flooded wetland area

I'm a little worried now. It's been raining all night, and the backyard has standing water in my "wetland" area. I worry that the little sprouts will die in the flood. I'm really glad I have extra seeds now, but it wouldn't be too big of a deal to order another pack (17$). But really, I would hope that these species have evolved to handle this sort of thing.

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Starting a front yard plan

I'm now fairly certain that previous picture is of a partridge pea. They've gotten bigger and look a lot like the one that I have growing in the back alley. There are also so many of them that I figure they can't possibly be silk trees.

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The backyard is coming alive

It rained three times this past week. I also watered before I knew the rain was coming. Lots of seeds have sprouted. I imagine most of them are the ones I sprouted, but I can't be sure until they get bigger. I think that second picture is of an Illinois bundleflower, which is exciting. I think I may have mistakenly plucked these up in the past because I thought they were silk trees.

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Seeding the Wetland Fringe area

I sowed the Wetland Fringe Mix today, but it left me unsure about how well "wetland" plants will do right there. I guess it hasn't rained in a long time, but the dirt is super dry. Maybe it won't be a big deal once everything is established and their roots have grown down. I only used maybe 2/3 of the pack. Native American Seed lists this size covering 500 square feet. I figured my area is around 200 square feet. I don't have anywhere else in mind to sow this stuff, so I think I'll wait a couple weeks and sow the rest in the same area, just to make sure it takes.

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alley before caterpillars exotic fall flowers front yard laws neighbor planning plant id prep rain rain garden snow sowing spring sprouts summer winter