A Better Sense of Place

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Describing conditions with graphs

The new front bed that I created in March is an area of stress. I didn't remove the St. Augustine grass after I hoed it and before I sowed seed. I just tossed all the seed right alongside the existing turf grass that I was trying to replace. I was once told (a rumor?) that natives would eventually outcompete the turf grass, so it's not super important to pull everything first.

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It all wakes up

I've been trying to be patient all winter. I've sowed seed here and there (milkweed, lanceleaf coreopsis, blue mistflower, tickseed, rattlesnake master, coralbean, and little bluestem). I've planted new things (witchhazel, swamp sunflower, buttonbush, American beautyberry, crossvine, red mulberry, arrowwood viburnum, Turk's cap, and Eastern redbud). I've moved some others (ironweed and groundsel). I've dug things up and put them into pots (redcedars and pines). And I've waited, because this entire time, nothing has grown. At least above ground. As they say, the activity has all been below ground. But that's pretty boring because there's no proof that anything is happening.

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