068 Planting a Post-Wild Garden

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This week I interview Kelly about the ideas behind the remake of our front yard. We talk about why we took out a bunch of stone fruit trees and Kelly discusses how the principles in Thomas Rainer and Claudia West’s book Planting in a Post-Wild World  inspired the new design of our yard.

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  1. I think I’ve been following mostly everything in the design principles even though I’ve never seen the list before. A couple examples:

    1) Behind my garage I always had weeds growing to the sides of the entrance. Technically a wild area but it just didn’t look good. Where driven on not much grew but in the gravel to the side there was. I got some compost & mulch from the landfill and just put it over the gravel and I figured whatever grew was meant to live there. Wild sunflowers have taken over the area now. Though slow to fill in early in the season they take off midsummer. There are bees all around all summer and when they mature in late fall the birds work away at the seeds and re-plant for next year.

    2) In the front yard I noticed an area of lawn never did well. When I probed it there was only 8″ of soil then sandy gravel. I’ve planted hen & chicks and creeping thyme there. Initially it didn’t look like much but as they’ve rooted this year its looking better and they should fill in better over the next few years.

    I really like the idea of not worrying about native plants. I have planted some drought tolerant natives (as I live in a semi-arid area) but I don’t get too hung up on it.

    Finally – thanks for telling all about the failures in the past and the design process. I like hearing the whys and not just what was done.

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