So, we venture into the world with lighter packs (finally!) so we can go further...
and witness a Banded Tussock moth caterpillar munching in harmony right next to an Io caterpillar...
and sing a song of gratitude that Ginseng remains in places not far from people. Life holds on!
Glacial grooves connect us to the forces that shaped our part of the country...
and alvars remind us how much is ephemeral. The time is now - an overused phrase, but oh, so true.
On the homefront, harvesting cabbage means greeting a little Brown Snake. Oh my heart.
It also means saving 20-30 Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars, 5 Monarch caterpillars and 1 Question Mark caterpillar one day shy from getting mowed. Steve's intuition and our evening walk were certainly guided by forces larger than us.
We brought all these friends home and reveled in their life and their magnificence and placed them on all their native hosts plants with no mowing ever in their future. This Spicebush cat was on "walk about" aka searching for a place to make a chrysalis. What color!
Harmony. Always seeking harmony and laughter...that's us. Fern and Aster decided to say hi to Minnie Pearl, which elicited much laughter from us. And joy. Yes, joy. Big, beautiful, sometimes elusive joy.
Wild Cucumber and the perfumy, intoxicating scent of the blooms caused many exclamations of joy too: the scent! the flower spikes and tiny pollinators! the burry seed pods!
We have plants for sale for many of you looking to add this magic to your life. All you need are the right plants, some love for these plants and the life associated with those plants will find you. You will be astonished and bound to the web uniting us all. We promise.
Once you live this way and see the life around you as just that, LIFE around you, you will satiate a part of yourself yearning for this connection and you will want more and more and more. We promise you that too.
Give yourself space and time to reaquaint with this exquisite planet, of which you are an important part and where your decisions in how you live your life affect many - many, many more than you might realize. We learn new connections every single day. Sometimes I tear up as I fill with truly, overwhelming gratitude.
So, plant my friends. Your heart will enlarge and you will find compassion and joy for being part of something much greater - and not something of which we "have dominion over," but rather for what we are stewarding. Yes, stewarding. The greatest gift of my life so far is to serve as caretaker for myself, my loved ones and this planet and the life around me.
We are offering our plants by order only this year. What does that mean? Take a look at the plant list at the end of this post and email me what you are interested in and I will tell you what we have and in what sizes and then I will pull them all together for you and you can pick them up and we will have a happy little plant party together. Why this new format? Well, because we have less plants than years before and so this format will ensure we have what you want before you make the trip.
Why less plants? Well, because we continue to experiment on the media front and sometimes we struggle with experimentation. Who doesn't? We will not capitulate on using peat or synthetic fertilizers. They are not sustainable in any way, shape or form and the plant growing industry, especially native plant growers, needs to get on the right side of this issue. If we want to provide a plant to help us (whether by food or beauty or oxygen, etc) and the planet, we should not do so at the expense of future generations or diversity-rich peat bogs in Canada or the U.S. Read about it.
Once you know, you can't unknow it. So, our media is currently compost, coir (byproduct of coconut industry...not perfect, but it's used for other reasons first), rice hulls (byproduct of rice industry) farmed worm castings and sustainably sourced bat guano. Where did our issues arise? Steve the brilliant soil scientist finally figured it out...alkaline media. Where did the alkalinity come from? Compost. Ours? No. We don't produce enough compost onsite to use in the garden and nursery so we buy from a local composter.
All the different types of compost we purchased from this company tested very basic (highly alkaline). That creates an environment where many plants won't thrive or will have nutrient deficiencies so we will be getting compost elsewhere in the future (and testing right away, duh!) and that means less plants for you this year. But, we still have many brilliant plants and they want homes.
So please take a look at the list and message us with your orders. You can pick them up at our house or we can arrange a drop off location if we will be in your area for other reasons or orders. Thanks for your support friends, not only of us, but of this mighty and dazzling planet!
2018 Native Plant List
When can I make an appointment?
Spicebush Swallowtail Caterpillar Rescue Video