Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Flora on the Half Acre

The foundation on which to build a successful restoration garden is floral biodiversity. If you have many different kinds of plants you will attract more kinds of butterflies, birds, and other visitors. You will build more living soil at a wider range of depths, providing niches for more kinds of beneficial bacteria and fungi. You will have more color, texture, and shape. In short, more biodiversity lends the garden more character. Biodiversity is the foundation; the rest is art and fun.

The following is a list of plants in my garden. Most of these are species native to Michigan, and may not be appropriate for you. In fact, I recently read a book on wildlife gardening that was published in England, which recommended several species that are invasive exotics on on this sie of the Puddle.

I'll post more on the individual characters of each species that I have come to know over the last few years.

Columbine (native)
Prairie Smoke
Hairy Beardstongue
Foxglove Beardstongue*
Purple Coneflower*
Bee Balm*
Spotted Mint
Cup Plant
Compass Plant
Culver's Root
Black-eyed Susan
Showy Black-eyed Susan*
Tall Yellow Coneflower*
Gray-headed Coneflower
Western Sunflower
Ox-eye Sunflower
Big Bluestem
Little Bluestem
Side-oats Grama
Common Three-awn Grass
Switchgrass (*?)
Lance-leaf Coreopsis
Tall Coreopsis
Showy Goldenrod
Gray Goldenrod
Stiff Goldenrod
Grass-leaved Goldenrod
Tall Goldenrod
Blue Lupine
White Prairie Clover
Swamp Red Milkweed
Joe-pye Weed*
False Blue Indigo*
Velcro Tick-trefoil
Golden Alexanders
Interrupted Fern
Rough Blazing Star
True Solomon Seal
Calico Aster
Heath Aster
New England Aster
Rattlesnake Master
Hairy Hawkweed
New Jersey Tea
Wild Ginger
Red-osier Dogwood
High Bush Cranberry
Blackhaw Vibernum
Wild Grape
Virginia Creeper (not planted)
Burr Oak
Carolina Rose
Blue-eye Grass
Sugar Maple
*probable cultivars

Columbine (short and showy cultivars)
Bleeding heart
Traditional Tulips
Species Tulips
Early Stardrift
Yellow Geranium
Sage (the herb)
Thyme (English, Lemon, and Lime)
Butterfly Bush
Yarrow (cultivated, red variety)
Borage (reseeding itself)
Snapdragons (reseeding itself)
Concord Grape
Crab Apple
Rose of Sharon

Vegetable Garden
Potatoes (reseeding)
Fennel (reseeding)
Tomatoes (reseeding)
Carrots (going to seed next year)
Swiss Chard (going to seed next year)
(5 + several that will be planted next May)

Lawn and True Weeds
Lawn Grass
Creeping Charlie
Lawn Clover
Crab Grass
Nut Sedge
Common Plantain
Rattlesnake Plantain
Queen Anne's Lace
Weedy Thorn Berry (Rubus sp.)
Black Walnut
Silver Maple

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