New to the idea of natives...feeling overwhelmed.
I am reading a book called Natural Landscaping by Diekelmann. I was looking for a list of plants that would be native to New England, Massachusetts. I got a little more than I bargained for. Fascinating book but quite overwhelming. It has a list of what is now invasive in New England, and I was shocked at how many plants are there, that I just saw in catalogs and would have been thinking of ordering. I was aware of loosestrife, who isn't, and barberry and lonicera, but wow, even butterfly bush and lots more. That was the shocker, but reading further it is apparent what an EFFORT and COMMITMENT it must be to attempt to get all these invasives out of the area and try planting what is natural. I was burning brain cells just trying to follow the descriptions of the different plant communities. Lists of plants I never heard of.
I understand and agree with the underlying issues but the extent of implementation the author might be hoping for, when you stop and think about it..it is just mind blowing.
I started reading the Native Natives thread on this forum and completely agreed with the approach April is taking as presented there. I was just starting to get my mind heading in that direction when I read that and it reinforced my own thinking.
Thankfully, I only had a few plants on the list..butterfly bush being one of them. I do have two maples that I suspect are NOrway or relative of, as they seed everywhere. Actually I didn't plant it, it was a weed sapling that we missed amongst the shrubs. I would like to get rid of that nuisance and have contemplated it often. It is the ONLY tree in our back yard and blocks the view of our neighbor, so to start all over again, with a new tree, is a hard decision to make. It ends up being a much larger project than I initially had been thinking of. Besides which I am surrounded by trees in my neighbors yards. Four large silver maples to my West, a large sycamore and firs or spruces to my North and a huge silver maple and dark leaved maple to my South. All of which will continue to reseed all over the place when I take mine down. I live in a very UN-NATIVE neighborhood. [g]
And that is far from the worst of it. The worst part I realized as I paged through the book, was the photos that represented what the landscape should look like. I LOVE what nature looks like. I LOVE wild places..BUT...I also love other landscapes that I have lived with my whole life. I like butterfly bushes and the imports from Europe and clipped boxwoods and straight lines and perennial beds and vegetable beds, etc. I guess I want the spaces and the wild areas, but I want the cultlivated area too, which I don't certainly have much room for both on a small 1/4 acre lot.
Before I picked up the book, I had been thinking of turning the corner of the yard with the maple into a little wild area with a clearing in the middle to be used for potted vegetables. I was thinking of replacing some shrubs with more natives and underplanting with native wildflowers. I am still determined to attempt some changes, but I am less sure that I can do it satisfactorily. It is a much bigger, more difficult job than I first imagined. Just researching what to plant is not the easiest, and then finding natives and getting them established is a lot of commitment and change.
Well..that is what I had on my mind today and thought I would share it and see if anyone else has felt this way and resolved it for themselves and would like to share it with me. :-)