Sunday, January 29, 2012

When plants go crazy

Great article here http://www.rodale.com/invasive-plants on native vrs. non-native shrubs and perennials, and how the ability of some non-native plants to profusely re-seed is wrecking havoc on ecosystems, displacing important native plants that are a source of food to good insects and wildlife. While there are enough good native plants for me to stay away from many of these invasive foreigners, I have a hard time resisting Butterfly Bush (which is actually banned from being sold in the Pacific northwest due to it’s ability to easily re-seed and pop up everywhere). On a warm, breezy summer afternoon, I find myself drawn to the fragrance and sight of those long purple-red blooms, humming with butterflies drinking up the nectar. I believe I’ve alluded to this situation in one of my first posts to this blog. I do confess to having a number of non-native shrubs in my garden, but I haven’t really encountered much of an issue with them getting out of control. In fact, just to see if I could (having had no luck with propagating plants from cuttings) I grew some Nandina from seeds, and have allowed my Buddleia to spring up where seeds fell last fall.

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Of course, being an avid lover of wildlife, I’ve balanced these with natives like Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis), Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), Trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirons, and Oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia).

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